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This Week at Café

March 30th, 2008
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This Week at!
Your Café Jazz update ... it's jazz harpist Lori Andrews in our showcase spotlight as we spin selected tracks from the After Hours release. Then get ready in hour 2 for golden oldies with the Back Trax segment and more favourites from back in the day. Headlining this edition, is renowned guitarist Pat Metheny - also appearing we have keyboardist Ozzie Ahlers, vibe player Dirk Richter, and bassman André Berry while violinist Evan Garr, rounds out the feature. Then later in the hour, we've assembled a snazzy pack of current faves - with Darren Rahn, Bob Baldwin, Dwayne Kerr, and Les Sabler, while thruout you'll find selections by Four80East, Joyce Cooling, and Peter White! Meanwhile launching our two-hour musical jamboree we're set to feature Jim Savitt from the Second Light cd!
In This Issue:

After Hours - Lori Andrews

Fingerpainting - Ozzie Ahlers
So Cal - Dirk Richter
Spring Ain't Here - Pat Metheny Group
Jus' Feel It - André Berry
Play Time - Evan Garr


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Showcase CD
After Hours - Lori Andrews:

In a genre dominated by sax players, guitarists, keyboardists, and the like, jazz harpist Lori Andrews may stand out as a bit of an anomaly. Well respected by her peers, Andrews is a gifted and energetic performer who has helped eliminate many of the boundaries normally associated with her chosen instrument. "If you think you've heard it all, check out Lori Andrews, who … double-handedly, redefines the possibilities of the harp and turns it into a funky jazz instrument … she makes it swing!" that endorsement coming from Bob James, the noted jazz pianist. Andrews began playing in the Atlantic City area in the early 80s, relocated to LA in 1985, and then released her solo debut in '92. Since then, Lori has taken the harp well beyond its traditional bounds into the realms of jazz, fusion, and R&B while building an extensive résumé!
Lori Andrews - After Hours
Lori has appeared at numerous festivals, been named winner of a Jazziz Readers' poll, played for a variety of film & TV projects, and performed for royalty, presidents, and celebrities while her JazHarp Quartet sits as the house band at the Academy Awards on the first evening of the Awards. In addition, Ms Andrews has become somewhat prolific in the record department now having issued eight cds with the recent release of After Hours, most likely her funkiest project to date. Ably assisting is Bart Samolis, Lori's long time collaborator, who composed, arranged, and produced the project, while also contributing bass, flute, and guitar to the event. Meanwhile, the stylings of saxman Mark Hollingsworth, a smooth jazz headliner in his own right, accentuate the entire affair!
Lori Andrews Photo by Norman Pierson
& courtesy of Lori Andrews
It's therefore not only a distinct pleasure but also a definite privilege to subject Ms Andrews & company to the soft shimmer of our showcase spotlight. We've chosen three deucedly delectable selections beginning with the nicely varied textures of More Than A Wish. The Long Road Home, one of the prettiest selections on the disc, encapsulates a joyful dreaminess that launches hour two, while City Lights, one of the tracks currently being promoted to radio, leaves no doubt as to Lori's multifaceted talents! With a scope that is simultaneously diverse and yet cohesive, After Hours fittingly profiles Lori's creative forays into the realm of contemporary instrumentals while presenting a body of work that ultimately extends well beyond the ordinary!

CD: After Hours
Label: JazHarp Records
Site: Lori Andrews

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Back Trax: Part One
Ozzie Ahlers - Fingerpainting
Fingerpainting - Ozzie Ahlers:
Well known among smooth jazz aficionados, Ozzie Ahlers helped propel several Craig Chaquico projects to the top of the heap early in the guitarist's solo career. Ahlers first arrived in California playing in Van Morrison's band, then followed that with four albums with Jesse Colin Young, while also joining forces with Jerry Garcia for over three years. Connecting with Chaquico in 1993, Ahlers has been affiliated with the former rocker ever since. However, back in 1997, Ozzie also issued his one and only solo album entitled Fingerpainting to great critical acclaim - from that effort, we have the title track nicely coloured by Peter White with a rare performance on steel string guitar!

CD: Fingerpainting (1997)
Label: Higher Octave Music
Site: Ozzie Ahlers
Dirk Richter - Vibes Alive
So Cal - Dirk Richter:
Vibe player Dirk Richter's solo debut in 1997 made a strong case for the vibraphone "as a viable smooth jazz vehicle" as was noted by reviewer Jonathan Widran. Entitled Vibes Alive, the project actualized all the sensation of the tropics presented in a warm and flavourful manner. Among those guesting on the project were percussionist Luis Conte, drummers John Robinson, William Kennedy, and the late Carlos Vega with John Pena and Jimmy Haslip on bass. From that release, the single Smooth Move made a fair impact on radio but we've opted for the swinging rhythms of the track So Cal with Jeff Lorber featured on the Wurlitzer!

CD: Vibes Alive (1997)
Label: Sin-Drome Records

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Back Trax: Part Two
Pat Metheny Group - Letter From Home
Spring Ain't Here - Pat Metheny Group :
A native of Kansas City Missouri, Pat Metheny began playing trumpet when he was 8, but by the age of 12, he'd discovered guitar - by 15 he was already involved in a steady stream of gigs playing with many of the area's best jazz musicians. Metheny burst onto the national scene in 1974 when he was just 20 or so, in what turned out to be a three-year stint with vibraphone great Gary Burton. With the release of his solo debut in 1975, Metheny redefined the sound of jazz guitar and in the 30 or so years since, his body of work has grown to include compositions for solo guitar, small ensembles, electric and acoustic instruments, large orchestras, and ballet pieces. At 18, he became the youngest ever to teach at the University of Miami while at 19 he repeated that feat at Berklee. Additionally, Metheny has garnered praise from critics and peers alike and over the years, has won countless polls as well as earning three gold records and 17 Grammies. Viewed as both a commercial and artistic success, Metheny's 1989 Letter from Home was named Billboard's Top Contemporary Jazz Album for the year - from that effort, we have the easy flow of the seven-minute mini-opus in Spring Ain't Here!

CD: Letter From Home (1989)
Label: Geffen Records
Site: Pat Metheny
André Berry - Gratitude
Jus' Feel It - André Berry:
Over the past few years, bassist André Berry has been one of the busiest sidemen in the business lending his funky bass to tours & projects with Dave Koz, Rick Braun, Warren Hill, Jeff Golub, and Mindi Abair. In fact, it may be easier to list the few musicians that Berry hasn't played with rather than trying to include all those that he has. The Cleveland native continues to be sought after as a bass player while developing his own solo career. Berry has a new cd with a release date that is imminent but in the meantime, we went to his 2006 Gratitude debut and the sensation of Jus' Feel It featuring the saxwork of Jeff Gonzales!

CD: Gratitude (2006)
Label: LBG Records
Site: André Berry
Evan Garr - The Chill Out Album
Play Time - Evan Garr:
Apart from the music of a handful of top virtuosos, the violin is among a group of instruments not frequently heard in the jazz arena. Enter youthful Evan Garr, who although just in his early twenties, is intent on alleviating that situation. The Detroit native began his formal training in classical music, but being heavily influenced by his family's love for jazz; it was only a matter of time before his focus began to shift. Drawn by the improvisational opportunities and to the broader spectrum that jazz afforded, Garr was just in his late teens when he recorded his 2005 debut, entitled The Chillout Album. With a tone somewhat reminiscent of the great Jean Luc Ponty, Garr nonetheless brings the sound of the violin directly into the 21st century by offering a fresh amalgam of modern flavours - from that effort we've selected the well-named track Play Time!

CD: The Chill Out Album (2005)
Label: NAVE Music

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
This week on After Hours .... fresh listening with 14 selections entirely new to the show - today's installment includes music from saxlady Jesse J and saxman Jerry D; there's something brand new from Jesse Cook as well as from Kansas City keyboardist Max Groove. Stay tuned for more new music from Gerald Veasley, Marcos Ariel, Chris Standring, Les Sabler, and Mike Levine as we explore each of there recent releases. Additionally, we're introducing Marc Macisso, the new single from Bill Bergman, and more from Chris Geith. Also appearing is Eliane Elias while the genre's best known initialled artist winds down the hour!

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