Café Jazz Radio - Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection
Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at Café

September 9th, 2007
Edition #451 PreviouslyThis Week @ Café - Edition #450 Next

Listen to Café Jazz Radio | Show Notes | Program Profile | Contact Information
Hot Links to Cool Cats | Cool Links | This Week | Music Den | Favourites (Most Played)

This Week at 3rd Annual - Sounds of Summer Review!
As the summer of '07 begins to wind down, we're firing things up with a sun-baked special! Featured on this edition, our Sounds of Summer Review are Norman Brown, Marc Antoine, and Spyro Gyra as well as Joyce Cooling, Soul Ballet, and Nils. New to the show are David Crawford and Rocco Ventrella while we also have the latest from Greg Adams, Dave Sereny, and Lisa Hilton. Other names you'll be hearing include Acoustic Alchemy, DTTB, Mike Catalano, Najee, Bill McGee, Terry Disley, Jay Soto, and Keith Jacobson in addition to Joey Sommerville, Lao Tizer, Darren Motamedy, Danny Lerman, Dan Carlin, Nate Harasim, and Bob Madsen & The World Machine. So, as you can see, there's plenty to get excited about on this 3rd annual sizzling Sounds of Summer special!

In This Issue:

Brazilian Sunrise - David Crawford
Hi-Lo Split - Marc Antoine
Child At Heart - Najee
Don't Cha Know - Darren Motamedy
On The Night - Rocco Ventrella
Give It To Me Baby - Dave Sereny

ONE YEAR AGO 2nd Annual Sounds of Summer Review 2006 Edition

Back to Top
Highlights Hour One
Brazilian Sunrise - David Crawford:

Flautist David Crawford has created a utopian paradise with Shangri-La his most recent release. Whether Crawford intended Shangri-La or Utopia, as the metaphor for his project may in the end, very well be moot. Both are fictitious, the former was conjured by British author James Hilton for the 1933 Lost Horizon novel while the latter was described by Sir Thomas More in his 1516 book of the same name - Utopia being an island in the Atlantic Ocean that enjoyed perfect social, legal, and political systems. Meanwhile, Shangri-La, nestled in the mountains of Tibet, was a harmonious valley - however, the usage of Shangri-La has become synonymous with any earthly paradise. It's within this context that Crawford's cross-connection resides and wherein he well utilizes his artistic license.

Crawford, an LA native, graduated from the California Institute of the Arts with both a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Music. He's worked with artists from Stevie Wonder and Isaac Hayes to Freda Payne and Patti Labelle. Now with his second release over-all, Crawford provides a welcoming escape destination in Shangri-La. Featuring a blend of tracks that range from the exotic to the sublime, we've selected the sun-drenched splendour of Brazilian Sunrise!

CD: Shangri-La
Label: Jazzer Inc
Site: David Crawford ; Crawford/Jazzer

David Crawford - Shangri-La

Back to Top
Marc Antoine - Hi-Lo Split
Hi-Lo Split - Marc Antoine:
With the release of Hi-Lo Split, his Peak Records label debut and 9th album overall, Marc Antoine continues to venture along musical paths of discovery - a practice that he began on his 1994 Classical Soul debut and one for which Antoine was named the Radio & Records "Best New Artist of the Year"! On this latest effort, the Parisian born guitarist blends funky flavours and percussive rhythms into yet another appealing set of highly seductive grooves. Swept up by the current craze surrounding poker, Antoine named this new collection of gems after a term used in the game - one that describes when the winnings are split by the highest and lowest hands. From that effort, we've taken the title track and true to the spirit of the tune, we all share in the prize with this one!

CD: Hi-Lo Split
Label: Peak Records
Site: Marc Antoine ;
Najee - Rising Sun
Child At Heart - Najee:
Considered a pioneer in Smooth Jazz, who helped define the sound of the genre from the mid 80s thru until the mid 90s, Najee is the two-time Grammy nominee. The native New Yorker began his career on clarinet and later added both sax and flute to his repertoire. After attending the New England Conservatory of Music, Najee for a time toured with Chaka Khan and in due course released Najee's Theme. This independently produced debut went platinum and paved the way for subsequent projects, which also proved highly popular - 1995's acclaimed "Najee Plays Songs from the Key of Life: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder" attaining gold status. Never in a rush to capitalize on his popularity Najee, has recorded only a handful of projects in the time since with Rising Sun now his sophomore release on the Heads Up label and his tenth cd overall.

Always the innovator, on the new disc Najee attempts to do something a bit different from what he's previously done while remaining true to his own creative identity -accordingly, the project contains shades of jazz coupled with various aspects of R&B. Among the album highlights is "Child At Heart" upon which Najee trades his sax for a flute. Joined by Phil Davis on piano, Reginald Veal on acoustic bass and drummer "Little John" Roberts, the tune has a strong contemporary vibe that's tempered with elements of straight-ahead jazz - simply outstanding!

CD: Rising Sun
Label: Heads Up
Site: Najee

Back to Top
Highlights Hour Two
Darren Motamedy - Don't Cha Know
Don't Cha Know - Darren Motamedy:
You'll soon be hearing a lot more from Seattle's resident sax whiz who's musically been tearing up the SeaTac area for better than a dozen years. No stranger to the U.S. airwaves, Motamedy previously gained exposure at the national level with several well-regarded projects. However, with the somewhat prophetically entitled Don't Cha Know, his latest and ninth release overall, Motamedy seems poised to take it to the next level, if you will. The album explores contemporary urbanville fuelled in no small part by Motamedy's fluency in rhythm and funk while sharing many of the credits is John Raymond, another staple on the Seattle scene who has toured and recorded with Kenny G. In particular, you'll want to check the album's namesake, the title track - great playing, a potent melody, and a killer groove! So when you hear "Don't Cha Know", you'll know - it's Darren Motamedy!

CD: Don't Cha Know
Label: Independent
Site: Darren Motamedy
Rocco Ventrella - Give Me The Groove
On The Night - Rocco Ventrella:
Rocco Ventrella is a native of Bari, a city in Southern Italy that shares its coastline with the Adriatic Sea. Initially Ventrella studied clarinet at the Conservatory of Music before taking up the sax at the age of 14 and then honing his chops as a member of the Big Band "J.S.O." for the better part of 20 years. For a time he relocated to Boston, a move which likely in no small way contributed to his shift toward Smooth Jazz. He recorded a few promotional tracks and then single-handedly arranged and produced the 2005 Tribute To Grover Washington, Jr.

The 3-track EP received positive reviews for Rocco's interpretation of Grover classics such as Winelight and Let It Flow. Now with several of his own compositions supplementing a few other GWJ treasures from the past, Ventrella has raised the bar for Euro-smooth-jazzers with Give Me The Groove, his first full-length production. Of particular interest is On The Night - a captivating piece upon which Ventrella's soulful playing shares the spotlight with some jazzy piano improv courtesy of Renato Falaschi. At times subdued and yet otherwise joyfully exuberant, the melody is irresistibly hip! Suffice it to say, we here at the Café feel On The Night is a definite winner!

CD: Give Me The Groove
Label: Smooth Sounds Music
Site: Rocco Ventrella
Dave Sereny - Take This Ride
Give It To Me Baby - Dave Sereny:
Although he has yet to release a solo project, Dave Sereny is already a presence on the Smooth Jazz scene in Canada. While in high school, Sereny played in a big band before going on to study classical guitar at Berklee in Boston. In 1996, Dave and his older brother Mike formed Groove United, a record label primarily established to help promote Canadian artists. It was in the fall of 2004, when Groove United launched a five-cd series covering a wide spectrum of jazz styles that Sereny's efforts first came to our attention. Featured on several tracks on the disc The Jazz Room Presents Smooth Jazz, Dave and the cd earned consideration for our list of '05 faves in several categories while Sereny became a multiple nominee at the 2006 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards.

That brings us to the present, and Sereny's impending debut. Based on the advance single, success is indeed looming large on the horizon for the Toronto based guitarist & producer. You may already know - we're not partial to covers! Nevertheless, there are exceptions - Give It To Me Baby being a prime example! The Rick James version originally reached #1 on some of the charts back in 1981 and we're now looking for a repeat of that little bit of history for Sereny's spunky rendition!

CD: Take This Ride
Label: Nu Groove

Back to Top
After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Café Jazz continues with the SOS review and more great grooves from the summer of '07. Typically, we spin new-and-never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks as we try to "spread the luv"; this segment is no different as all the music is brand new to our show. Included are: Euge Groove, Four80East, Keiko Matsui, and Hiroshima as we explore each of their recent projects. We have the latest from Eric Marienthal, Jamie Bonk, Blake Aaron, Randy Scott, and U-Nam while making their Café Jazz debuts are Ragan Whiteside, Nightbyrd, and Lee Jones making 13 selections in all. First up though is Les Sabler. We've been promising this for several months and its finally officially here arriving just as we went to production. The album is Sweet Drive and from it, we're set to cruise on down to the track Club Street!

Back to Top

Listen to Café Jazz Radio Listen to Café Jazz Radio | Show Notes Show Notes / This Week at Café Jazz Archive | Program Profile Program Profile | Contact Information Contact Info
Hot Links to Cool CatsArtist Links | Cool Links Cool Links| This Week This Week@Café | Music Den The Music Den / Playlists and More | Favourites (Most Played) Café Jazz Favourites
© 2007 Jazz Lynx / Café Jazz Radio