Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at CaféJazz.ca

February 24th, 2008
Edition #472 Previously 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 CafeJazz.ca!
On today's show, we're spotlighting Little Tokyo from the veteran band Hiroshima - we have three selections that we'll be playing as part of that feature. Hour 2 sees all the latest & best in new music with the Fresh Trax segment. Chris Standring and Patrick Yandall headline this edition. Also appearing are the Walle Larsson led Fjord 7 while making their Café Jazz debuts are keyboardist Mike Levine and the band known as East of West. Then later in the hour we've injected a retro pack of classics that includes Ken Navarro, Marion Meadows, Brian Culbertson, and Boney James & Rick Braun while thru-out there are choice selections by Paul Brown, Brian Simpson, and Chieli Minucci. It all begins with another past favourite from Tony Darren that helps launch our two hour celebration!
In This Issue:

Little Tokyo - Hiroshima

Laws of Groovity - Patrick Yandall
Headin' Home - Mike Levine
Love and Paragraphs - Chris Standring
View From Above - Fjord 7
Crossing Borders - East of West

Then & Now - Slim Man

Back to Top
Showcase CD:
Little Tokyo - Hiroshima:

Now nearing the 30th anniversary since the band's inception, Hiroshima continue "to bridge cultural divides through the power of their music". Bandleader and principal composer, East LA native Dan Kuramoto first started playing flute as a "diversion to his post-hippy lifestyle". He graduated with a degree in fine arts and shortly thereafter, he became the first chair for Asian-American studies at Cal State University, teaching there for three years. However, thru playing for a variety of community events, Kuramoto discovered his voice as a Japanese-American and a forum wherein he could express his artistic needs. Meanwhile, born just outside of Tokyo, June Kuramoto has developed into the band's main creative force. Her family relocated to LA when she was but as a child, and at the age of six, June found her musical connection in life when a master of the koto, started teaching right in her family home. Subsequently she returned to Japan earning all the classical degrees accorded the instrument.

Hiroshima - Little Tokyo
The future husband & wife team met upon June's return to the US and soon after began merging June's Eastern-influenced playing with aspects of "the diverse musical environment of Los Angeles"; their collaboration resulted in the 1979 Hiroshima self-titled debut. On their latest installment - 4th on Heads Up & 16th overall - called Little Tokyo, after a well-known Asian neighbourhood in southern California, Hiroshima acknowledge the importance of diversity in the American fabric and the strength that multi-ethnicity can bring. Buoyed by a philosophy that has always been rooted in idealism over realism, Hiroshima embrace a multitude of styles while continuing to explore their creativity - a fact which well born out by the selections on the disc. It's therefore now our pleasure to thrust Hiroshima and Little Tokyo into the splendour of our showcase spotlight!
Hiroshima - Album Insert Hiroshima - Album Insert
L to R: Dean Cortez, Shoji Kameda, June Kuramoto,
Danny Yamamoto, Kimo Cornwell, Dan Kuramoto
We begin with the first of three exceptional selections and one that we feel ranks among their finest - a tune that works on a multitude of levels - from stretching boundaries and connecting sounds of the Orient with today's downtempo style, to the statement of a musical vision - it's called Hiro Chill. Opening hour two is Lanai, written by James Lloyd for an idyllic island off the coast of Maui - intricate in its detail yet somehow subtly simple. Meanwhile the cross-cultural connections of the tune Sir Charles close the segment. As innovative & dynamic as ever, Hiroshima incorporate many exotic & mystical elements thereby elevating their music to an almost spiritual level l!

CD: Little Tokyo
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Hiroshima

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part One
Patrick Yandall - Laws of Groovity
Laws of Groovity - Patrick Yandall:
Beginning with his 1992 solo debut, reissued in '94, Patrick Yandall has developed into one of the most prolific guitarists in smooth jazz with eight records in the past 10 years or so. In the past, Patrick has frequently been the focus for features in a variety of contexts on our humble show. The San Diego-based performer has just released Laws of Groovity, now his 9th project overall and so it's a pleasure to spotlight Mr. Yandall once again. From that album, we present vintage PY on the title track!

CD: Laws of Groovity
Label: Zangi Records
Site: Patrick Yandall
Mike Levine - From the Heart
Headin' Home - Mike Levine:
Based in the Sunshine State, veteran keyboardist Mike Levine is one of the premiere sessionists on the Miami music scene. With a career that stretches back to the early 80s, the University of Miami alumnus made his record debut in 1981 as co-leader of The Ross-Levine Band with a project upon which Pat Metheny guested. Since that time, Levine has among others, worked with Michael Bolton and saxophonist Ed Calle, while touring and writing for radio & TV. Levine recorded From the Heart, his smooth jazz debut back in 2006, although the project has just entered its promotional phase to coincide with its official release. From that effort, we've selected the first track issued to radio in the tune Headin' Home; but, as we insist on doing things right, we've opted for the full-length version with Mike Scaglioni of Miami Sound Machine fame, contributing some tasty licks to this melodic groover!

CD: From the Heart
Label: Rhombus
Site: Mike Levine ; Levine/Rhombus

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part Two
Chris Standring - Love and Paragraphs
Love and Paragraphs - Chris Standring :
The new album from guitarist Chris Standring called Love and Paragraphs will be his 5th North American solo release (there was also a semi-best of issued across the pond in 2001 that was primarily a compilation of Chris's first 2 albums) and follows closely on the success of his 2006 Soul Express cd. After a few record label trials and tribulations with his past endeavours, Standring unfurls his entrepreneurial skills with Love and Paragraphs as the debut on his newly formed Ultimate Vibe label. Basking in the glow in having co-written one of the top tracks for 2007 in R n R with Rick Braun & Richard Elliot, Chris is promising not only his most mature work to date, yet one that is both artistic and commercially appealing. Judging from the advance single and the album's superb title track, Love and Paragraphs may indeed prove to be Standring's most articulate effort to date!

CD: Love and Paragraphs
Label: Ultimate Vibe
Site: Chris Standring
Walle Larsson
View From Above - Walle Larsson & Fjord 7:
For many years, Smooth Jazz has thrived in Canada's heartland due in no small way to the effort of saxman Walle Larsson. Larsson has long been active on the Winnipeg scene both as a musician, and as a radio announcer - for several years, Walle hosted the very popular Lights Out radio program and currently he's on the air on 99.1 Groove FM once again here in Winnipeg. Larsson's professional career has taken him from Montreal to Japan and beginning with his 1990 debut, he's released four albums. A short while back, Walle hit upon the concept for Fjord 7 in his production studio in partnership with various soundtracks and his computer. The project saw the creation of View From Above, an experimental single, which aired locally and which eventually will lead to a new Walle Larsson album - hopefully before too long. We're now pleased to debut that single to the rest of the world!

CD: Unreleased
Label: Independent
Site: Walle Larsson
East of West - Crossing Borders
Crossing Borders - East of West:
The East of West story begins in the late '80s with bassist Steve Jeffrey and drummer John Cardoso as band mates playing central California. For a time their paths diverged, with Jeffrey moving to Boston to attend Berklee while Cardoso relocated to Los Angeles, where he graduated from the Grove School of Music and freelanced. When unexpectedly Jeffrey developed a rare retinal condition and began losing his eyesight, he called upon his friend for help - Cardoso responded immediately and that marked the beginning of the collaboration that became East of West. Within the year, they were back in LA recording and after completing the project, the name East of West proved prophetic as they wound up back on the east coast. Initial response to the project was very encouraging and resulted in Jeffrey and Cardoso seriously pursuing a promotional campaign. From the resulting Crossing Borders release and their debut as East of West we present the superb title track with Andy Suzuki on sax, Ron Pedley on piano, and Bob Fernandez on percussion, rounding out the sounds of the combo!

CD: Crossing Borders
Label: EOW Records
Site: East of West ; John Cardoso

Back to Top
After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
On this edition ... it's the music of Slim Man, as part of our Then & Now spotlight - we've chosen a selection from each Slim cd for a 7-track-set of Slim Stuff and that'll be about a dozen or so minutes into today's presentation. In the meantime, we have music that is new to the show. Our line-up includes more from Les Sabler. We're introducing the Sax Pack comprised of Steve Cole, Jeff Kashiwa and Kim Waters. Brand new to the Café Jazz studios are the sounds of Dr. Guy's Musiqology. As well we have the latest from U-Nam, Paul Hardcastle, saxman Jaared, and bassist extraordinaire Michael Manson!
Then & Now Spotlight Artist: Slim Man

Slim Man - End Of The Rainbow End Of The Rainbow
GES Records
Slim Man - Closer To Paradise Closer To Paradise
GES Records
Slim Man - Secret Rendezvous Secret Rendezvous
GES Records
Slim Man - Jazzified Jazzified
Bona Fide

Slim Man - For Now and Forever For Now and Forever
Oui Oui Music
Slim Man - Bella Mia Bella Mia
Oui Oui

Slim Man - Solstice Solstice
Oui Oui


Slim Man: Tim Camponeschi worked as in-house songwriter for the Motown label in the late 70s and early 80s and was on the verge of releasing a solo album when changes at the top saw his project shelved. Later in the decade, he MC'd a traveling country music talent show and it was during this period that he adopted the Slim Man handle to escape being tracked down by irate contest losers. After a few moderately successful efforts fronting a rock band and penning tracks for a singer named Brian Jack, Camponeschi launched his solo career as Slim Man with a 1995 debut that yielded a top 10 hit!

Slim Man Courtesy of Slim Man.com
Gaining a small but avid following, the Slim Dude found broader success as a member of the hip and funky group known as Bona Fide - named the top new group in Smooth Jazz for 2001!

This spurred resurgence in his own solo career and in 2003, the Slim Hombre wrote a screenplay about four artists in a struggling nightclub/restaurant in Baltimore's Little Italy area - that project received a few awards and drew the attention of a director who wanted to do a film. But first a soundtrack was needed - armed with some of his favourite tracks the Slim Fella went into the studio with his band and cut the music as though it were being played live and that resulted in a pair of projects. The first was primarily a set of standards while the second was comprised of Slim staples from some of his earlier records. In 2007, the Slim Meister's catalogue grew so that now his number of albums reached seven - that plus a seasonal effort - all of which perfectly set the stage for a Slim Man Then & Now feature!
To begin, we pick up the story in 1995 with the Slim One's End of the Rainbow debut and a perennial favourite on our show in the tune Should've Been Me. In order, the tracks that follow include Starlight Starbright, Athena, Beginning, For Now and Forever the title track, and Angela - a 7-track set that shows our #1 male vocalist for all of 2007 at his absolute finest!

Site: Slim Man
More Slim Stuff
Slim Man - All I Want For Christmas All I Want For Christmas
Oui Oui Music
Bona Fide - Royal Function Royal Function
N-Coded Music
Bona Fide - The Poe House The Poe House
N-Coded Music
Bona Fide - Soul Lounge Soul Lounge
Heads Up Int.

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 Jazz.ca | Music Den The Music Den / Playlists and More | Favourites (Most Played) Café Jazz Favourites
© 2008 Jazz Lynx / Café Jazz Radio