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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

December 2nd, 2007
Edition #462 Previously Next

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This Week at CafeJazz.ca!
This week at The Café, Marc Antoine takes center stage in the showcase spotlight with his latest entitled Hi-Lo Split - we're pleased to present a trio of selections as part of that feature. As hour 2 rolls by, the focus shifts to new music with the Fresh Trax segment. Headlining this edition are Everette Harp and José Feliciano. Also appearing are Jimmy Sommers and Queen Latifah while making his Café Jazz debut is guitarist Keith Andrew. Then later that same hour there's a retro pack that includes Alexander Zonjic, The VIP Club, Jeff Jarvis, and Brian Hughes. Additionally, we've slipped in favourites from Gregg Karukas, Rick Braun and Richard Elliot, Jeff Kashiwa, Marcos Valle, Daryl Stuermer, and Mike Catalano!
In This Issue:

Hi-Lo Split - Marc Antoine

Out of Nowhere - Jimmy Sommers
Baker's Thing - José Feliciano
Old School - Everette Harp
What Love Has ... - Queen Latifah
Today's The Day - Keith Andrew

Then & Now - Pamela Williams

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Showcase CD
Hi-Lo Split - Marc Antoine:

Parisian-born Marc Antoine has been one of the mainstays in smooth jazz ever since his 1994 Classical Soul debut earned him a nod as the Radio & Records "Best New Artist of the Year"! With the release of Hi-Lo Split, his first album for Peak Records and ninth overall, Antoine continues to venture along musical paths of discovery - a practice that's been a hallmark of his career. After training at the International School of Classical Guitar in his early teens, and playing a mix of jazz and Afro-influenced pop in the clubs of Paris, Antoine moved to London in 1988 - he toured with Basia and played on Soul II Soul's first album while becoming totally absorbed in that city's acid jazz scene. Upon moving to LA in the early 90s, Antoine sessioned with The Solsonics and Queen Latifah, backed Sting, George Benson, and the late Selena, worked film soundtracks that included Get Shorty and Demolition Man, and launched a highly successful solo career.
Marc Antoine - Hi-Lo Split
With a string of hits drawn from his tastefully crafted releases, Antoine has endeared himself to numerous fans around the world. Undoubtedly, however, some of his strongest playing has come in supporting roles - Marc's heart-rending performance on the Philippe Saisse track Riviera is one that readily springs to mind. It's always been a favourite and - together with tracks such as Sunland and Camden Town from his own releases - has given us cause here at The Café, to reserve a place of honour for this incredibly gifted musician. For the past 5 years, Marc has resided with Rebecca his wife in her native city of Madrid as they raise their young son Alejandro - and, although he loves visiting and touring the U.S., Antoine finds that city, its sidewalk cafés and Mediterranean ambiance, particularly inspiring. Swept up by the current craze surrounding poker, Antoine named his latest effort Hi-Lo Split after a term that describes when the winnings are split by the highest and lowest hands. While producing this new collection from the comfort of his home studio, Antoine now provides another sparkling release that contains some of his most creative work to date!
Marc Antoine Photo Courtesy of Marc Antoine.com
It's with the utmost pleasure then, that we place Hi-Lo Split and Marc Antoine into our showcase spotlight. As is our custom, we've chosen three distinctly delectable selections starting with Bossalectro. Hour 2 begins with Forever and a tune that I personally feel is one of the prettiest in Marc's entire repertoire. Finally we close the feature on Hi-Lo Split with the title track - and true to the spirit of the expression, we're all winners with this one!

CD: Hi-Lo Split
Label: Peak Records
Site: Marc Antoine

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Jimmy Sommers - Sunset Collective
Out of Nowhere - Jimmy Sommers:
Jimmy Sommers started on sax in the fourth grade and by high school, he'd made his record debut as a featured soloist with the school band. When he was 16 and still underage, Sommers would use fake id to sneak in to some of Chicago's hotter nightspots sitting in with blues legends such as Buddy Guy. For a time he moonlighted as a model and as an actor before his music career took off. Although rooted in the blues - Sommers' style today stretches to include jazz, soul, R&B, pop, and hip-hop. James Café was his debut in 1997 with Sunset Collective now his fourth release - that to go along with a 2004 seasonal effort. Upon this latest cd Sommers continues to elevate his musicianship - the project has already yielded a #1 single on smoothjazz.com's indie chart - and from the endeavour, we've chosen the chilled ambience of Out Of Nowhere!

CD: Sunset Collective
Label: Gemini Records
Site: Jimmy Somers
José Feliciano - The Soundtrax Of My Life
Baker's Thing - José Feliciano:
The Soundtrax of My Life signals the first new material from Feliciano in over a decade. The singer/guitarist is most likely best known and remembered for his version of Light My Fire, which became a major hit in 1967 even though it was issued during the heyday of psychedelia - and for Feliz Navidad that's gone on to become a seasonal standard. Feliciano continued to record throughout the '80s & 90s, albeit somewhat sporadically and primarily in Spanish - as well he landed acting roles in both film and TV. Now returning with The Soundtrax of My Life, and his trademark flamenco-flavoured style, Feliciano musically reflects on the past decade while writing all the material, playing the majority of instruments, and producing the album. From that effort, we have José's first single to radio called Baker's Thing!

CD: The Soundtrax Of My Life
Label: Hip-O Records
Site: José Feliciano

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Everette Harp - My Inspiration
Old School - Everette Harp :
After graduating from North Texas State with a major in music, Harp tried his hand at accounting before pursuing a career in music. He played in a few local bands, picked up a bit of studio jingle work, and then moved to Los Angeles in 1988. There his career as a sideman really took off - he toured briefly with Teena Marie, and then for several years he backed Anita Baker on many of her international tours. It wasn't until 1992, that Harp finally released his solo debut, a self-titled album whose immediate popularity led to appearances at the Montreux Jazz Festival and to weekly dates as a member of The Posse on The Arsenio Hall Show. Although he's continued to play & tour with many notable performers, over the past few years Harp has cut back a bit on his side gigs in order to focus on his solo career. The forthcoming My Inspiration is now his latest & eight cd overall and from that effort we have Old School, the reminiscently styled advance single!

CD: My Inspiration
Label: Shanachie Records
Site: Everette Harp
Queen Latifah - Trav'lin' Light
What Love Has Joined Together - Queen Latifah :
When we first featured Queen Latifah, aka Dana Owens, on ed343 of our show back in December of 2004, I was prone to ask, "Now what's a bona fide female rapper with a somewhat tragic and chequered past doing on a nice show like this?" The future queen of rap was eight when her cousin nicknamed her Latifah, meaning sensitive or delicate in Arabic, but presenting an image diametrically opposed to that evoked by her moniker, Queen Latifah broke onto the hip-hop scene in 1988 when she was 18. With a past fuelled by personal tragedy - she was the victim of a carjacking and her brother died in a motorcycle accident - Queen Latifah became the first female rapper to ever go gold with the release of her 3rd album in 1993. By this point in her career, Latifah had already begun to branch out. She appeared in a couple of movies and in the hit series The Fresh Prince of Bel Air.

Despite running afoul of the law on a couple of occasions, her acting career continued to fair quite well and culminated in a nomination as Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the movie Chicago. The 2004 release of The Dana Owens Album saw Ms Owens switch gears and take on an unlikely collection of covers that ranged from pop, to blues and soul that spanned a 40-year period from the 30s to the 70s. Now following in much the same vein with her Trav'lin' Light - the former rap queen gives us a fantastic remake of What Love Has Joined Together, a vintage Mo-Town classic written by Smokey Robinson and Bobby Rogers. The tune was originally recorded as a 1963 single by Mary Wells, but on this redo, Latifah proves fully deserving of her regal title!

CD: Trav'lin' Light
Label: Verve Music Group
Site: Queen Latifah ; Latifah/Verve
Keith Andrew - Contemplation
Today's The Day - Keith Andrew:
Following on the heels of his 2001 debut, Contemplation is the long awaited and recently released sophomore effort from San Francisco based Keith Andrew Silverman - recording as Keith Andrew. Originally, a native of Baltimore, Andrew took up the guitar at the age of 10 and as a teen, his family relocated to the Bay Area of San Francisco where he became exposed to that city's rich music scene. Subsequently, Andrew's passion took him to LA - there he studied with some of the best contemporary players, among them Robin Ford and Joe Pass. He later attended the renowned Guitar Institute of Technology, graduating at the top of his class upon which Andrew joined the faculty. After a stint in the Jazz and R&B band Himalaya, Andrew now finds himself back in the SF area with his latest project as proof of his emerging status as a top performer. From that effort, we've selected the infectious groove-driven rhythms of the opening track!

CD: Contemplation
Label: Hard Tail Records
Site: Keith Andrew

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
On this edition we're featuring Pamela Williams, the first lady of sax in our Then & Now spotlight. We've gone to each of Pam's solo cds and are offering a deluxe pack of 7 tracks for your enjoyment; that'll be about a dozen or so minutes into the hour. Otherwise, the tradition of featuring new music continues - with selections from Lake Effect, Johannes Linstead and Nicholas Gunn, Darryl Williams, Mark Hollingsworth, and keyboardist Mechial White recording as The Groovematist - while as an added bonus we've included a previously unplayed track from Marc Antoine and Hi-Lo Split, the showcase cd. All of those are coming up in what promises to be another great and fabulous action-packed fun-filled hour of music!
Then & Now Spotlight Artist: Pamela Williams
Pamela Williams - Saxtress Saxtress
Heads Up 1996
Pamela Williams - Eight Days of Ecstasy Eight Days of Ecstasy
Heads Up
Pamela Williams - Evolution Evolution
Fome Records
Pamela Williams - The Perfect Love The Perfect Love
Shanachie Ent.
Pamela Williams - Sweet Saxations Sweet Saxations
Shanachie Ent.
Pamela Williams - Elixir Elixir
Shanachie Ent.
Pamela Williams - The Look Of Love The Look Of Love
Shanachie Ent.
Pamela Williams: Dubbed "the Saxtress" after the title of her debut record, Pamela Williams is undoubtedly, one of the most popular performers on today's smooth jazz scene. However, since we here at The Café hold her musicianship in the highest regard, we've long preferred to refer to Ms Williams affectionately as the first lady of sax! Although she established her career in LA, for the most part Williams' molded her musical identity during her youth - her talents nurtured by the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia. One of her earliest influences was the late great Grover Washington Jr. whose cutting-edge blend of styles first instilled Williams with an interest in jazz. In high school, Pamela joined the Jazz Ensemble and embraced both contemporary and traditional styles of playing while by the time she left the city of brotherly love, Williams had already toured extensively backing fellow Philadelphian Patti LaBelle, among others.

Pamela Williams - The First Lady of Sax!! Photo Courtesy of
Shanachie Ent.
A multitalented artist who plays flute as well as a little piano, Williams made her solo debut in 1996 with The Saxtress, an album that immediately brought her name into the limelight. The project peaked within the Billboard Contemporary Jazz Album top 10 and remained on the chart for full five months while also earning her the title of Best Female Contemporary Jazz Artist of 1996. On that release and on each of her subsequent projects, Williams has continued to exhibit a stylish blend of flavours, from Latin & jazz, to R&B, hip-hop and house. With the recent issue of The Look of Love, Williams now has seven excellent projects to her credit that span her 12-year career as a solo performer. Therefore, it's with great pleasure that we thrust Pam into our Then Now spotlight; we've selected a track from each of her seven releases. Pam's first pair of cds were on the Heads Up record label - we start with Slow Burn from her debut while from her Eight Days of Ecstasy follow-up, which peaked at #7, we have the tune Saxy-ness.

In 2002, Williams switched labels, releasing just a one project on Fome Records that barely missed top 20 status. From that album, we have a tune written by Gerald Albright called A Song for Pam. With a move over to Shanachie Entertainment in 2003, Pam began to hit new heights! The Perfect Love hit #5 while the 2005 Sweet Saxations reached #4 - we have Twin Souls and Sweet Saxations the title track from those releases respectively. That brings thru to 2006 and Elixir, a release that proved to be Williams' highest placing project to this point in her career as it reached the #3 position - from that effort, we've selected the appropriately titled Rise. Finally, just this past year Pam issued her seventh and latest cd with The Look of Love, a collection celebrating the music of Burt Bacharach, Dionne Warwick, & Hal David. From that album, we've taken Pam sounding more seductive than ever on the title track - thereby concluding one of our finest Then & Now features wherein Ms Williams unequivocally lays claims to her title as the First Lady of Sax!

Site: Pamela Williams

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