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This Week at Café

June 22nd, 2008
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This Week at The Quarterly Review: Q.2 - 2008!
... the second in our series for 2008 called the Quarterly Review, is a comprehensive look back at all the best tracks from the past 90 days. Included are selections by Earl Klugh, David Benoit, Denny Jiosa, & Ken Navarro. As well, there's fabulous music from Jim Adkins, Will Donato, and Terry Disley. Nevertheless, we're not done there as integral to our mission we're compelled to present The Sax Pack, Nate Harasim, Stevie Williams, Present Tense, and Matt Marshak to name just a few that have provided exceptional musical moments over the past three months. So to catch all the action, don't look any further 'cause they're all right here!

In This Issue:

Dreamin' - Al Turner
Somaya - Kyle Wolverton
Funktioning Smoothly - Walter Duda
BC's Bounce - Al DeGregoris
Smooth Sailing - Sekou Bunch
Candlelight - Voodoo Village

AFTER HOURS: More of the QR
ONE YEAR AGO:The QR for Q.2 2007

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Highlights Hour One
Dreamin' - Al Turner:

Growing up in 60s Detroit, Al Turner was inspired by the sounds of Motown. He began playing bass at the age of 12, dabbled in a bit of piano, and after graduating from high school, he played in a band featuring Anita Baker. Performing professionally since the early 80s, having backed the likes of Aretha Franklin and Gladys Knight - not to mention Earl Klugh, Oleta Adams, and Bob James - Turner's reputation as a sideman has grown to triple-A status. Nicknamed "the Burner" while touring with David Benoit, Everette Harp, and others, Turner has perhaps been somewhat over due in launching his own solo career. Nonetheless, the dream became reality with the recent issue of Movin', his debut! Joined by several of the headliners that he's backed and covering a range of forms from raunchy to super smooth, Turner's talents are featured in a variety of contexts and he is now indeed the star of the show! From that effort, we've selected a contemplative gem entitled Dreamin'!

CD: Movin'
Label: Megawave Records
Site: Al Turner ; Al's Space ; Turner/Megawave

Al Turner - Movin'

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Kyle Wolverton - Soul Groove
Somaya - Kyle Wolverton:
Early in his career, Kyle Wolverton teamed with his father and brother to form the Wolverton Family Sax Trio - with a style rooted in gospel, they played thruout the Pacific Northwest. Drawn to the sounds of Grover Washington Jr. and inspired by a love of fusion, the Seattle native developed his own unique style by melding R&B with a variety of soul and pop flavours. While studying at Pacific Union College, he formed the band Similar Differences, and then afterward traveled the South Pacific playing with a variety of local acts. Upon his return to the US, Kyle connected with the blues band, Marshall Law and has since relocated to LA. Having performed with an extensive list of artists, Wolverton felt the timing was just right for the issue of his solo debut. From that effort, entitled Soul Groove we're featuring the soulful sounds of Somaya!

CD: Soul Groove
Label: Smooth Ride Records
Site: Kyle Wolverton ; KyleSpace
Walter Duda - Notes From The Coast
Funktioning Smoothly - Walter Duda:
Hailing from Bridgeport Connecticut, Walter Duda is self-taught as a musician and was already in college before he started in music. He graduated with a BA from The University of Detroit and became a foreign language teacher but while pursuing a Master's, he discovered music to be his language of passion. Early on Duda identified with vocalists such as Dion and Bobby Darin and later became a fan of Brian Wilson's arrangements. While in Detroit, he was influenced by the Motown sound and the progressive styles of the 70s typified by bands such as King Crimson and Yes. In due course, the works of Brian Auger and George Duke motivated a switch to piano. A demo placed Duda as a finalist in a contest sponsored by the Berklee College of Music - now based in New York City the recently issued Notes From The Coast is his fourth. Ably aided by savvy veterans John Tropea on guitar, Will Lee on bass, and Chris Parker on drums, Duda delivers one of his best efforts on the aptly entitled Funktioning Smoothly!

CD: Notes From The Coast
Label: First Alert Records
Site: Walter Duda ; Walter's Space

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Highlights Hour Two
Al DeGregoris - Three Before Midnight
BC's Bounce - Al DeGregoris:
Keyboardist Al DeGregoris started playing piano at the age of 4; he tried a bit of sax when he was 6, formed his first band at 7, and was gigging by 13. The Long Island native studied jazz and classical music intensely, graduating with a Bachelor in Music and a Juris Doctor, a professional doctorate in law. After experimenting with smaller recording facilities, DeGregoris designed and built his own state of the art 48-track studio. He produced a few local artists & several TV commercials, all while performing at some of NYC's hottest venues. In 2001, DeGregoris formed the Smooth Jazz group Deja Blue and after winning several awards for his compositions, the 2-time Billboard Magazine World Song Contest Top 500 winner has finally released his solo debut. From that effort, we have the rollicking BC's Bounce!

CD: Three Before Midnight
Label: A-Pex Recordings
Site: Al DeGregoris ; Al's Place
Sekou Bunch - The Next Level
Smooth Sailing - Sekou Bunch:
Born in NYC, Sekou Bunch grew up in a house filled with the sounds of jazz - Ella Fitzgerald, Wes Montgomery, Miles Davis, and many others would prove to be major influences in life. A veteran of 30 or so years in the music business, Bunch was originally encouraged to develop his artistic talents with one of his paintings displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. However, music had much more of impact on the young Mr. Bunch. Inspired by James Brown, Sekou and two of his brothers started a dance review as the Black Executives and would often win local talent contests. However, even with the promise of a career as either a dancer or artist, Bunch found his true calling when he was 14 and his mother bought him a bass - his spirit was touched!

Bunch was just 17, when he connected with Tom Browne for the project Funkin for Jamaica, which went on to become a Gold Record. Then moving to LA shortly after, he met up with the late George Howard, touring and recording with the sax great for several years. In the time since, he enjoyed an 11-year gig as musical director for the Isley Brothers, became a member of Quincy Jones' "A Team", and performed with the likes of Anita Baker, Luther Vandross, Lionel Ritchie, George Benson, and Michael Jackson. With the issue of his solo debut, Bunch further demonstrates his versatility as a player - covering Coltrane to Hendrix the project does indeed live up to its title as Sekou his career to The Next Level. From that release, we have the soothing track Smooth Sailing with Angela Winbush on vocals and none other than Boney James on sax!

CD: The Next Level
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Site: Sekou/MySpace
Voodoo Village - Sleight of Hand
Candlelight - Voodoo Village:
Comprised of guitarist Niko Lyras, Ernest Williamson on keys, Pat Register on sax & flute, bassist Dave Smith, and Steve Potts on drums, Voodoo Village is a band whose roots extend deeply into the rich traditions of soul, blues, gospel, and funk. The members of this Memphis-based quintet are literally some of the most talented players in the USA and share extensive credits, both live and in the studio. Adept at a variety of genres, the ensemble debuted in 2003 with Funk Soup, a project that received very favourable reviews across the nation. Now returning with a solid sophomore follow-up, the ensemble sounds better than ever. From that effort, we've opted for the dreamy starry-eyed mood created by the track Candlelight!

CD: Sleight of Hand
Label: 40 West Records
Site: Voodoo/MySpace

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
...the QR continues with Brian Culbertson, Nick Colionne, and Eric Darius. Also appearing are a few lesser-known artists - so listen up if you will for tracks by Park Lane, Larry Lagerberg, André Berry, Robert Harris, and Steffen Kuehn. Now we're not resting on our laurels either as this edition features many selections totally new to the show - from Fiona Joy Hawkins, Alfonzo Blackwell, the guitar duo of Shahin & Sepehr, and Roger Smith, as well as Germany's De Phazz. Then debuting on the show are Funkee Boy, Novello, Snap Dragon, Antonio Allen, and Sean O'Bryan Smith; as well we're tossing in a track each from DE Chung and Brother Jay. They're all on this segment - which we we've had to s-t-r-e-t-c-h into a two-part feature! Part 1 comes in at around 40 minutes while part 2 covers just under 50 minutes - giving us somewhere around 90 minutes of virtually uninterrupted listening with 21 fantastic selections in all!

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