April 15th, 2007
Edition #441 Previously Next
Across The Pond - Terry Disley:
Although we're just now showcasing Terry Disley's Across The Pond, since late last year Café Jazz has been very fortunate to have had in our possession a copy of this sensational latest release from the longtime Acoustic Alchemy keyboardist - and, in a phrase we've been loving it ever since. However, being sworn "to no advance spins", it would have been bad form to play any selections before the official release date back in February, even though we were itching to do so. Nevertheless, once the appointed time arrived, there was no reason to contain our exuberance any longer, as such, during the ensuing period we've taken extreme delight in playing no less than 6 glorious tracks from the album's complement of a dozen selections - so suffice it to say, this is a project chock full of substance. However, before we discuss the music any further, perhaps first a bit about the man behind this astonishing collection!
his days as a youth studying Pianoforte, theory of music, and classical
repertoire to his 10 or so years engrossed in the disciplines of jazz,
composition, harmony and arranging, Terry Disley has earned numerous credentials
that attest to his proficiency as a musician. But, what sets this man
apart from his peers in the contemporary realm is his depth of talent
and wealth of experience. Hailing from London England, Disley started
composing at age 11, and by 13, he was creating pieces for his own chamber
group. In 1982, Terry and his group Macondo received the award for Best
Jazz Musicians of the year from the Greater London Arts Association. However,
this is merely the tip of the musical iceberg. Disley has appeared as
featured soloist with London's Metropolitan Orchestra; he's performed
several major motion picture soundtracks, and as an acclaimed jazz pianist,
he's played London's prestigious Ronnie Scott's club on many occasions.
In addition, he's been commissioned to work on projects with Paul McCartney
& Mick Jagger, among others, while also serving as music director for
Dave Stewart of The Eurythmics for 5 years. Still, Disley is best known
in smooth jazz circles thru his lengthy association with Acoustic Alchemy;
he appeared with the band in their earliest days in the 80s, toured and
recorded with the group for six years in the 90s, and recently renewed
that affiliation for an '06 tour. In the process, Disley contributed a
couple of compositions to the Grammy nominated Back on the Case release,
and co-wrote Tete a Tete and the title track for Alchemy's The Beautiful
We're featuring three incredibly tasty tracks, beginning with Island Time. A few years back, Disley and his band performed at the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival hosted by Art Good; the experience rekindled Disley's memories of an appearance there with Acoustic Alchemy years earlier so Terry wrote the tune and dedicated it to Good, as a bit of a nod to Art for his efforts in helping promote Disley and his band. An inspired and rather jazzy take on Led Zeppelin's Stairway to Heaven opens the second half of the show, while an equally brilliant Shaken Not Stirred highlighted by the saxwork of Charles McNeal provides a thrilling climax to our feature! But we're not quite done with Mr. Disley just yet since, as an added bonus, we've included Terry's current single, the title track from Across the Pond as the closing track on the After Hours portion of the show. Now, if you're searching for a worthwhile listening experience, do yourself a huge favour and pick up a copy of Terry Disley's Across the Pond today - they really don't come any finer!
CD: Across The Pond
Label: Disleyworld Music
Site: Terry Disley
|Fresh Trax: Part One|
Into The Rainbow - Kymaera:
Led by Simon James and Shane Hill, Kymaera is a combo with an Acoustic Alchemy connection as James was the late Nick Webb's original partner in Alchemy back in the 80s. With a first project created to celebrate the songs of George Michael, Kymaera has been recording since 1997. Shortly after that effort, they released a similar album to honour Brazilian composer Antonio Carlos Jobim. To date, the group has issued five cds. Into The Rainbow is the re-release of Kymaera's 2001 tribute to James's former partner and their debut in the US. Well known as a tremendous talent with a gift for melody, Webb managed to contribute some material to the album prior to his passing in 1998. Other pieces yet still are selections that he and James co-wrote during their Alchemy days. Perhaps no selection better displays Nick Webb's flair than the one we've chosen - the title track from Into The Rainbow, a gorgeous tune that Webb co-wrote!
CD: Into The Rainbow
Label: Sheridan Square Records
||Burning Spear - Valarie King:
Touted as one of today's most versatile jazz flautists, Valarie King's credits span every genre of music. She has appeared with symphony orchestras, performed on awards programs, played on records by Madonna, Whitney Houston, and George Benson, and in concert, she's backed luminaries such as Luther Vandross and Diana Krall. Thruout, Ms King has earned a reputation as dynamic player with a signature sound. Having released a well-received debut in 2004, King recently issued her sophomore follow up, a cd entitled Only Time Will Tell. From that effort, we've chosen the superb Burning Spear, a selection that comes in at just under 8 minutes and a track that could very well have been custom-crafted for Café Jazz. Full value for each of it's eight minutes, this hypnotic reverie dispels any myths about track length and radio play. A mesmerizing mini-opus!
CD: Only Time Will Tell
Label: Kangu Records
Site: Valarie King
|Fresh Trax: Part Two|
||Let's Take A Ride - Norman Brown:
Although Jimi Hendrix was his first inspiration, Norman Brown was steered in the direction of jazz by his father's love of Wes Montgomery. After high school, he relocated to Los Angeles attending the Musicians Institute where later he also taught for a time. In 1992, Brown signed with the fledgling MoJazz label, delivering three critically acclaimed releases. The close of the 90s saw a leap to Warner Bros. where Brown first connected with ace producer Paul Brown - their second collaboration on Just Chillin' went on to win several Grammys! His latest release, entitled Stay With Me, is Brown's Peak label debut and seventh overall to go along with one best of project. From that effort, we have a tune wherein Brown shares memories of an older brother, who first encouraged him to play guitar, and who died tragically in a car accident when Norman was a high school senior. With Let's Take a Ride, the lead track and first single, Brown fondly reminisces about "… that feeling I would get when I'd ride with him."
CD: Stay With Me
Label: Peak Records
Site: Norman Brown
||Contradictions - Lauren Wood:
Lauren Wood has enjoyed a diverse career primarily as a songwriter and vocalist. She's recorded with the likes of Frank Zappa and Michael McDonald while writing for artists such as Cher, Sammy Hagar, and Gladys Knight. Having also penned songs for feature films, Wood has added her voice to commercials and themes for network TV. In between, she's done animation voice-overs and founded Cat Tricks, a greeting card company featuring pictures of her cats. A native of Pittsburgh, Wood's father owned the region's largest pet emporium while her mother encouraged Lauren's individuality. As a kid, Wood grew up over-weight and was teased. She became shy, to the extent she unable to properly express herself - one of the reasons she became a songwriter. Even now, she confides, her music comes from deep within, from a most personal part of herself. With two previous releases, both self-titled albums, Wood's name is most frequently associated with Fallen, a track she wrote and recorded for the Pretty Woman soundtrack, which went on to sell 18-million copies. Upon Love, Death & Customer Service, her latest release, Wood deals with a pair of universal themes, while the latter part of the album title is an allusion to a pet peeve of hers. From that effort, we have Contradictions, the lead single, which easily rates on a par with some of her strongest efforts!
CD: Love, Death & Customer Service
Label: Bad Art Records
Site: Lauren Wood
Up A Notch
- Lao Tizer:
Keyboardist Lao Tizer - pronounced, Lou(d) Ty-sir - has been hailed as "a torchbearer for the new generation of contemporary jazz". Tizer has been playing piano since the age of five while his formal training started when he was nine. Discovering a flair for composing and improvising, Tizer released three self-produced cds by the time he'd turned 18. In 1997, he relocated to Los Angeles where he soon connected with Chieli Minucci. The release of a demo project and the formation of a band, came about as a direct result of their collaboration. Tizer's label debut in 2001, afforded the opportunity to work with Minucci again. Entitled Golden Soul, the well-received project charted while Tizer earned a nomination as Best New Smooth Jazz Artist of the Year for his efforts. With the release of Diversify, his second full-band album, Tizer "uncompromisingly elevates his craft", (courtesy: Rick Scott and Great Scott Productions), as he takes things up a notch; and, as if the point begged to be to proven, we've chosen an absolutely perfect selection!
Label: YSE Records
Site: Lao Tizer
|Special Mention: The Best of Down To The Bone|
Way - Down To The Bone:
Stuart Wade and Down To The Bone get ready to celebrate the milestone of 10 years as a recording entity with the release of The Best of DTTB. After acquiring the rights to the first three DTTB projects, which were previously released on Internal Bass Records, the leaders of the British jazz-funk movement present this musical digest of many of their finest tracks. However as excited as we are, it appears the issue of "The Best of" may be merely the first in a series of carefully orchestrated maneuvers. With the scheduled release of Supercharged - the seventh in their chronology - little more weeks away, and the re-release of the entire three-album Internal Bass catalogue planned for a wee bit later this same year, 2007 promises to be one of the most significant in the band's history to date. In anticipation, it's with a fair degree of pleasure that we feature an almost seven full minutes of electrified funk-flavoured fun with Carlito's Way from The Best of Down To The Bone!
CD: The Best of Down To The Bone
Label: Narada Jazz
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :|
|On this edition selections past & present from top producer turned top recording artist Mr. Paul Brown. We've chosen three tracks, one from each of Brown's releases - and we'll be presenting those as part of our Then & Now feature -that's coming up about 25 minutes into the hour. Otherwise, new music rules with 10 brand-new-and-never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks. Today's line-up includes Ken Navarro, The Jazzmasters, Everette Harp, and Special EFX. There's more from Dotsero, our favourite Denver-based band, with another great track from their Alive at Jazz@Jack's. New to the program are the sounds of Outta Nowhere and Aquarian Angel, while also appearing are Andrew Neu and Dee Brown. And, as an added bonus we're including the current hit from Terry Disley and that will be coming up towards the end of a fun-filled-action-packed 60 plus minutes of music!|
Then & Now Spotlight Artist: Paul Brown
Paul Brown: For the past 20 years, Paul Brown's expertise as a producer has helped fuel the popularity of Smooth Jazz. Having worked with a long list of prominent names in the genre, from Sam Riney & Boney James to George Benson and Peter White, Brown has earned a pair of Grammys & has been the genius behind an impressive string that is quickly approaching an unprecedented total of 50 #1-hits. Many consider him as simply the best in the business at what he does. Brown's move to a career in music was all very natural. His parents were both studio musicians based in Los Angeles who worked as vocalists & arrangers in the record industry, in movies, & on TV variety shows. They brought Paul to many of their gigs where the impressionable youth had the chance to see all the biggies, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, & Louis Armstrong to name a few.
Brown's production career had literally been in overdrive for years, when in spite of his success, he chose to step out as a front man with Up Front in 2004, which for the first time showcased his talents as a guitarist. Viewing his career in music as evolutionary - Brown rather matter-of-factly states, "The reason I got into this business was to play the guitar and perform live." Having learned a lot about musical structure and melody in his time behind the console, he came across as a polished performer with all the finesse of a seasoned musician, scoring one of the top albums for the year while Radio & Records named 24/7 from that release the #2 airplay cut for 2004! Brown's sophomore effort entitled The City, after the 1970 Mark-Almond tune of the same name, saw a further evolution in Brown's style as a soloist. More accolades followed and Paul's cover of Grover Washington Jr.'s Winelight ranked by Mediabase as the genre's most spun track of the year. White Sand, Brown's recently released 3rd solo effort, sees Brown scaling new heights as a solo artist while cementing his position as one of today's leading Contemporary Jazz guitarists. In addition, it gives us the opportunity to place the award-winning producer turned top performer in our spotlight! Avoiding the obvious, while opting for the subtle and sublime, in order our choices for the feature are Angel, The City (instrumental version), and White Sand, the title track!
Site: Paul Brown