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This Week at Café

September 30th, 2007
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This Week at The Quarterly Review: Q.3 - 2007!
The third in our series for 2007 called the Quarterly Review looks back at all the freshest & hippest from the past 90 days. We've included Acoustic Alchemy, Rick Braun & Richard Elliot, Brian Simpson, Marc Antoine, and Spyro Gyra as well as the latest as well from Greg Adams, Jeff Kashiwa, and Britain's Shakatak. Also appearing are Dave Sereny, Les Sabler, Blake Aaron, Darren Motamedy, U-Nam, Mike Catalano, Jamie Bonk, Danny Lerman, David Crawford, Lisa Hilton, Jimmy Sommers, Ben Tankard, and Nightbyrd. So, if you're looking for some musical excitement, this is your chance to step well outside the ordinary!
In This Issue:

Evening Drive - Tom Braxton
Meu Amigo... - Ragan Whiteside
773 - Lake Effect
Snoopy's Dance - Danny Lerman
Small Hours - Shakatak
Movin' Up - Jeff Kashiwa

AFTER HOURS: More of the QR

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Highlights Hour One
Evening Drive - Tom Braxton:

West Texas native Tom Braxton credits his dad with connecting him with jazz. The elder Braxton exposed him to the music of Coltrane, Parker, and Davis while also putting an alto sax in his son's hands in the 6th grade after he'd been playing piano for a couple of years. After attending Texas Tech on track and music scholarships, Braxton joined forces with keyboardist and producer Bernard Wright - while producing Braxton's solo debut Wright was also instrumental in connecting him with bassist Wayman Tisdale. Since joining Tisdale for a gig in 1992 opening for The Yellowjackets, Braxton has for the most part played with Tisdale ever since. During this period, he's had several additional releases - two smooth jazz albums, a seasonal release, and an instrumental praise and worship cd - the most recent of these was 2005's Bounce cd that was produced by Tisdale. Imagine This, now his 6th release overall, sees Braxton himself at the production helm. From that effort, we've selected Evening Drive - a smooth & easy 6-minute melodic cruise with Braxton featured on tenor sax, flute, piano, & keys while guest Tim Bowman handles guitar duties!

CD: Imagine This
Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
Site: Tom Braxton ; PC Jazz

Tom Braxton - Imagine This

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Ragan Whiteside - Class Axe
Meu Amigo , Meu Amante - Ragan Whiteside:
Ragan Whiteside began her musical journey at the age of 5 and after piano, drums, and violin, she found herself focusing on playing flute and studying classical music. She won a variety of competitions in both performance and composition, and then later attended the Cleveland Institute of Music and the Harid Conservatory earning a Bachelor of Music Performance degree in the process. Upon moving to New York, Ms Whiteside switched to Jazz, Funk, and R&B while earning performance and recording credits with the likes of Chuck Loeb and Marion Meadows. After winning the 2006 Capital Jazz Challenge, Whiteside has now just issued Class Axe, her first full length project that was produced by Bob Baldwin. From that effort, we have the uplifting and fresh Meu Amigo, Meu Amante!

CD: Class Axe
Label: Randis Music
Site: Ragan Whiteside
Lake Effect - Brighter Moments
773 - Lake Effect:
Co-created by keyboardist Neil Artwick & guitarist Robert Davis, Chicago's Lake Effect presents a delectable blend of Latin, funk, jazz, and R&B elements all connected by exciting rhythms and activated by a vital groove. Davis was founder of the group Cooly Cool, originally formed with bassist Darryl Jones of the Rolling Stones and keyboardist/saxophonist Ari Brown of Elvin Jones' group. He's worked with Patty Smith and John Waite and, while residing in New York, he wrote his own feature column in Guitar World Magazine. For his part, Artwick has operated as a top call sessionist having played, written, or produced hundreds of commercial spots for radio & TV. He's scored for A&E's Biography, several PBS series, and for independent films; in addition, his keyboard work can also be heard on the theme for "Oprah".

Davis and Artwick first collaborated about 10 or so years ago, and thru a variety of projects their arrangements & compositions have continued to grow and develop. An Ocean Away, their debut as Lake Effect in 2002, ably demonstrated their creative style and sound. Now with Brighter Moments the duo presents as compelling a collection as you're likely to hear in the genre. From that effort, we've selected the liquid 773!

CD: Brighter Moments
Label: nuGroove Records
Site: Lake Effect ; Lake Effect/nuGroove

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Highlights Hour Two
Danny Lerman - Meow Baby
Snoopy's Dance - Danny Lerman:
From appearances in Holland & Istanbul, to dates in Mexico, Finland, South Africa, & points in between, within the course of the last several years saxman Danny Lerman has amassed a wealth of worldly experience. Back in 1998, the South Bend, Indiana native released Danny's Island, a project that fused a variety of influences & flavours and which went on to reach the top 20 on the Radio & Records Contemporary Jazz charts. Now in spite of a substantial gap between cds, Lerman's follow up effort and his fourth release over all, builds on that momentum with a fully accessible mix. Backed by guests that range from Hubert Laws and Paul Jackson Jr., to Randy Brecker, Fareed Haque, and Brian Hughes, it's clearly Lerman's show as he's spotlighted in a variety of musical settings. From Meow Baby and an album that has the full potential to become one of the top break thru releases for the year, we've selected the very hip and hummable Snoopy's Dance!

CD: Meow Baby
Label: Sugar Whiskey Records/Lightyear Entertainment
Site: Danny Lerman
Shakatak - Emotionally Blue
Small Hours - Shakatak:
Born as part of the London club scene back in the early 80's, the band Shakatak scored a series of accessible pop and dance hits in their early days. Over the years, their style has gradually evolved into one that's more firmly rooted in jazz-funk and they now enjoy a catalogue that runs in excess of 50 albums - Emotionally Blue released earlier this year being the most recent of these. Apart from the departure of guitarist Keith Winter in the 90s due to ill health, the band personnel has remained virtually unchanged for nearly the entire period - a fact that may readily explain the cohesiveness with which the members play; they make it sound ever-so-easy! From Emotionally Blue we've selected the late night chill and smoky stillness of Small Hours, the closing track on the disc!

CD: Emotionally Blue
Label: Shak CD
Site: Shakatak
Jeff Kashiwa - Play
Movin' Up - Jeff Kashiwa:
Touring & recording with America's top contemporary jazz act from 1990 thru until 1999 afforded Jeff Kashiwa countless opportunities for growth as a performer and it was during this period that he launched his solo career. Following his decade long tenure with The Ripps, Kashiwa scored an eight-week #1 hit with Hyde Park (The Aah, Ooh Song), in the year 2000. Over the past few years, Kashiwa has performed nearly 100 shows annually - with his longtime band Coastal Access, with Steve Cole & Kim Waters as The Sax Pack, as well as dates with Acoustic Alchemy and others. In 2006 and continuing thru to the summer of '07, Kashiwa reunited with The Rippingtons as part of the band's 20th Anniversary Tour. In there somewhere, he also managed to record an album, his fourth on Native Language and sixth overall. Entitled Play, Kashiwa's mantra for the project was one of high-energy interaction with an exciting ensemble of musicians - one of the best examples of this philosophy being Movin' Up, an exuberant track spurred by the collaborative efforts of Kashiwa & Acoustic Alchemy's Miles Gilderdale!

CD: Play
Label: Native Language
Site: Jeff Kashiwa ; Native Language

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
On this edition, 14 incredible never-before-been-played-on-the-show tracks many of which are fresh out of the wrapper. Highlights are courtesy of Kirk Whalum, Najee, and Jonathan Butler. New to our program are Ronny Smith, Rob Ryndak, Justin Young, and Dwayne Kerr. There's the latest from Grady Nichols and Airborne, a bit more from Burt Brion, Bill Bergman, and Dan Carlin and making special appearances are Machan and Tony Adamo. They're all here!

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