October 28th, 2007
Edition #458 Previously Next
This Week at CafeJazz.ca!
On this edition, it's Take This Ride in the spotlight as we showcase Dave Sereny and his debut release - we have a trio of tasty tracks that you'll be hearing as part of that feature. Hour 2 belongs to Fresh Trax with all the latest & best in new music. Headlining this segment are Soul Ballet and Jamie Bonk. Also appearing are Main Gazane and Bill Bergman and the Metro Jets while making his Café Jazz debut is keyboardist Omar Akram. Then later that same hour there's a retro pack that wraps the hour, included are Pamela Williams, the UK band Light of the World, Bob Mamet, Dutch vocalist Bernard Oattes, and Acoustic Alchemy. Otherwise, we're playing favourites from Gregg Karukas, Euge Groove, Terry Disley, and Les Sabler!
Take This Ride - Dave Sereny:
Although he's just issued his debut release as a solo artist, Toronto-based guitarist/producer Dave Sereny is already a major presence on the Smooth Jazz scene in Canada. Largely, Dave owes his love of music to his older brother Mike who exposed Dave to a variety of genres while buying him his first guitar when Dave was just nine. John McLaughlin was an early influence & then later the music of Wes Montgomery became very important to Sereny's developing style. While in high school, Sereny gained an appreciation for jazz playing in a big band before going on to study classical guitar at Berklee in Boston. Subsequently, he collaborated with some of New York's finer players while performing with greats such as Ritchie Cole, Jose Feliciano, and Mark Whitfield and at jazz festivals from Toronto to Tel Aviv. Then back in Toronto in 1996, the Brothers Sereny formed Groove United, a record label established primarily 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 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 Café Jazz list of faves in '05 while Sereny became a multiple nominee at the 2006 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards. That brings us to the present, and Take This Ride, Sereny's official solo debut. Based on early reaction, success is indeed looming large on the horizon for Mr. Sereny and the project.|
Photo: Album Insert
Give It To Me Baby, the first single to radio has registered a sizable
10 on the "wow factor scale" while Dave has once again earned a nod in
a couple of categories for the upcoming 2008 CSJA. In the meantime, it's
with pleasure that we place Take This Ride and Dave Sereny in our showcase
spotlight. We have a sumptuous trio of selections beginning with Do For
Love and I have no reason to believe that you're not gonna do anything
but love it! The mellow Victor George Street greets us at the front of
hour 2, while Sereny's spunky rendition of Rick James' 1981 former #1
track provides the perfect closer for the feature!
CD: Take This Ride
Site: Sereny/NuGroove ; Groove United
|Fresh Trax: Part One|
Seven Secrets - Omar Akram:
Secret Journey is now the third release since the New York-born Akram grew up traveling the world as the son of a United Nations diplomat. The album is an exotic affair for which Omar's motivation was to provide a musical escape, particularly for those unable to get away physically from the pressures of their daily lives. Some of the compositions capture the heritage of Omar's Afghani ancestors - however, he isn't tied to the culture of any particular geographical region. From that effort, we've selected a tune inspired by the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. With production & keys by Gregg Karukas, acoustic guitar by Ardeshir Farah of Strunz and Farah, and a veiled violin mood provided by Charlie Bisharat (known for his playing with Kitaro and John Tesh),we present the alluring Seven Secrets!
CD: Secret Journey
Label: Real Music
Site: Omar Akram
- Bill Bergman and the Metro Jets:
Veteran saxman & flautist Bill Bergman is no stranger to the music scene having recorded with groups as diverse as Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Stevie Wonder, and Motorhead. Perhaps best known for his sax solo on Glenn Frey's You Belong To The City, Bergman brings a mature musicality to whatever genre he tackles. The Kansas City-bred performer became well established on the contemporary scene with Midnight Sax (later named one of the ten most influential smooth jazz albums of all time by Jazziz Magazine) and its popular follow-up. Bergman now hits the streets with his latest collection entitled Universe Soul - from that effort, we've selected Milano a hip piece that features Bergman on flute with guest spots by Grant Geissman on guitar and Jimmy Haslip on keys!
CD: Universe Soul
Label: L'il G'rilla Records
Site: Bill Bergman ; Strokeland Jazz
|Fresh Trax: Part Two|
End - Jamie Bonk :
Having gained airplay on over 600 stations and receiving numerous awards, Toronto-native Jamie Bonk is one of Canada's most played artists worldwide - yet he remains relatively under-appreciated in his homeland. Bonk began in music on piano in the 70s while his family was living in Winnipeg. After discovering rock & roll and world music, he switched to guitar and then spent a portion of the mid-80s pursuing a degree in music composition. Following graduation, Bonk freelanced as a studio player and for a time taught at the Toronto Guitar Institute, leaving that position in 1997 to concentrate on recording his own compositions, releasing his self-titled debut in Canada later that same year. The project was issued in the USA early the following year and in addition to being named the New Age Voice Radio Album of the Year for 1999, it became the longest charting cd in the NAV top 100.
Bonk's follow up debuted at #1 and remained in the top 20 for six consecutive months while My World, his third album released in 2004, won two NAR Life Style Music Awards. Now you'll have to excuse my Math, but with his latest album, Bonk proves that three plus one equals 5 - since although it is his 4th release, it's actually an EP with 5 tracks, hence the name for the disc. Drawing again from a variety of styles, from New Age and Classical to Jazz, Rock, and Ambient, the endeavour may be Bonk's most diverse undertaking to date, and is available on line and in digital form - just go to jamiebonk.com and follow the links along from there. From this latest effort, the standard-bearer of contemporary instrumental music in Canada gives us the rhythmic yet relaxing gem called Week's End!
Label: Bonk Productions
Site: Jamie Bonk
of the World - Main Gazane :
When we last featured Main Gazane on our show, we explained that apart from being the name Mark Minchello and Bob Magnuson chose for their collaborations, the term meant main man or main thing in the vernacular of the jazz intelligentsia. Enter Minchello and Magnuson. The duo recorded their debut back in the mid 80s, but due to format changes at a New York radio station, their disc never received the support that they had hoped. Subsequently the label folded and in time, they went their separate ways. Minchello toured with Luther Vandross, and performed in a dual capacity as musical director & keyboardist for Jazz Explosion with Boney James while Magnuson became a staple on the NYC studio scene. In the course of events, the pair reconnected and resurrected Main Gazane, with Imagine now being the second release since that event. From that effort, we present the very hip Woman of the World!
Label: NOHO Records
Site: Main Gazane
The V.I.P. - Soul Ballet:
Rick Kelly started playing the clubs in Vegas when he just 14 and since then, he's recorded with many top performers - among others the list includes Herbie Hancock, Madonna, & Chicago. However, it's as Soul Ballet that Kelly scored two #1 albums to go along with a pair of #1 singles. The self-titled debut released in 1996, initiated a string of successful projects, each characterized by pulsating rhythms and a hybrid smooth jazz blend that blurs many traditional boundaries between genres. Kelly masterminds the entire affair playing several different instruments while also handling producing, arranging, & programming duties. Lavish is the latest release, seventh overall and first for ARTizen music. From that effort, we've selected a track that resonates - it's In The V.I.P. with Rick Braun in the trumpet chair!
Label: ARTizen Music Group
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :|
Welcome to Café Jazz After Hours where we live by the motto of less talk & more music. It seems we're making this a bit of a habit but once again our focus today is new music - we've lined up 13 tracks that are entirely new to the show. Here's a quick run down of our line up; we have selections from Rick Braun & Richard Elliot, Mike Catalano, Lake Effect, The Jeanette Harris Band, and Jeff Kashiwa. There's more from Acoustic Alchemy, David Benoit, and Jay Soto - as well, we're exploring releases from Brian Simpson and Marc Antoine. We have something brand new from Mark Hollingsworth and DeeLight out of Germany while "almost new" to the show is the music of trumpeter Gordon James with his first release in several years.