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This Week at Café

October 12th, 2008
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This Week at
The Quarterly Review: Q.3 - 2008!

... we round the final turn in 2008 and head into the home stretch with the third in our series called the Quarterly Review, as we look back at all the best tracks from the past 90 days. Included on this edition are Tim Bowman, Dave Koz, Nick Colionne, and Warren Hill. There's the latest as well from Freddie Fox, David Benoit, and Jason Miles while additionally we're introducing saxmen Evan Knight & Erly Thornton, keyboardist Jonathan Fritzén, and guitarist Gary Carpenter. So I hope you'll stay with us as we take another step well outside the ordinary!

In This Issue:

Deep Down - Jonathan Fritzén
Still Lovin' You - Freddie Fox
Magic In The Air - Evan Knight
Dance of the Courtesans - Gary Carpenter
Strawberry Moon - Jason Miles
Embarkation - Erly Thornton

AFTER HOURS: The QR Continues
ONE YEAR AGO:The QR for Q.3 2007

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Highlights Hour One
Deep Down - Jonathan Fritzén:
Growing up in a musical family, Jonathan Fritzén started playing drums early on and latter picked up a number of different instruments. Born in Stockholm, Fritzén attended the Royal Academy of Music and was among the first recipients of a jazz Masters degree while also attaining distinction as the first "non-classical" musician to receive a grant from the Royal Music Academy. Additionally, Fritzén has worked Swedish TV while backing some of that country's biggest stars - all by the age of 25. Now the talented young keyboardist becomes the latest Swedish musical export to arrive on North American shores and that country's first pianist to enter the smooth jazz arena with his Love Birds debut. Fritzén wrote, arranged, recorded, produced and mixed the project while playing piano, guitar, bass, and flute as well as all other instruments. Featuring 11 originals, that span a range from funky to smooth, the dreamy & romantic Deep Down is an album highlight! And if this cd is any indication of "the Nordic vibe", in the future we'll be closely checking smooth jazz projects with the "made in Sweden" tag!

CD: Love Birds
Label: Nordic Night Records
Site: Jonathan Fritzén ; JonathanSpace

Jonathan Fritzén - Love Birds

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Freddie Fox - Feelin' It
Still Lovin' You - Freddie Fox:
Billing himself as the Southern gentleman out of Tullahoma, Tennessee but now LA-based comes smooth jazz guitarist Freddie Fox. Following a four-year stint at Berklee in Boston, for the past 20 years or so Fox has toured the world with many top names - artists such as Atlantic Starr, Eric Benet, and Evelyn "Champagne" King aka Mrs. Freddie Fox; meanwhile he's played on albums by Walter Beasley and Warren Hill, among others. More recently, Fox appeared on the Grammy-winning track Morning by George Benson & Al Jarreau while additionally he's contributed to several tracks on the albums Players Club and Dressed to Chill from the smooth-as-silk-saxman Marion Meadows! It was back in 2003, that Fox released his self-titled debut, a project, which gained favourable reviews including kudos from our humble show. Now, although perhaps a bit overdue but nonetheless worth the wait, Fox has just recently finished his follow-up project. Helped by guests Nelson Rangell, Najee, and Michael Lington, Fox delivers as he claims "one fashionable track right after the other." From that project entitled Feelin' It, we've selected one of the most fashionable in Still Lovin' You!

CD: Feelin' It
Label: Foxhole Records
Site: Freddie Fox ; Freddie's Space
Evan Knight - Reminiscence
Magic In The Air - Evan Knight:
Syracuse native Evan Knight began playing sax when he was 11 - in junior high he switched onto jazz and as he became more serious as a musician, Knight began to relate to the styles of David Sanborn and Gerald Albright. At 16, he got his first break as a last minute addition to a bill featuring local performer Benny Mardones - he ended up touring with Mardones for nearly four years. At much the same time, Evan hooked into a 9-piece Syracuse dance band and got to hone his chops covering EW&F and Prince. Attending a Warren Hill Smooth Jazz Cruise when he was 18, afforded Knight a rare opportunity when he performed with Chieli Minucci after winning a Star Search Competition. It was also right around then, that he wrote the track Reminiscence that gave its name to his recently released debut. As an independent artist, Knight had to wear many hats, and as such, the project came together rather slowly. However, come together it did with a nice mix of laid-back Jazz, smooth R&B, and rhythmic Funk. From that effort, we've selected the slow jam of Magic In The Air!

CD: Reminiscence
Label: EK Productions
Site: Evan Knight
Gary Carpenter and Tribal Heat - Sirena
Dance of the Courtesans - Gary Carpenter and Tribal Heat:
Out of Santa Cruz California, comes guitarist Gary Carpenter. Carpenter has long-held a fascination for World Music and at sixteen, his experimental Indian Raga-rock compositions got him admitted to the Hartford Conservatory. Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, he formed the band Montage while he's also contributed to the works of Arabic World /Electronica artist, MC Rai. When last heard from Carpenter came to us as one-half of the fusion-based band Helios - he now returns as front man for his own Tribal Heat project. Joined by percussionist and vocalist Renato Annichiarico and veteran pianist Murray Low, Sirena is his solo debut. From an album, that blends Latin and World rhythms with electronica and vocals, Carpenter's guitar lines soars on the cosmic Dance of the Courtesans!

CD: Sirena
Label: Independent Release
Site: Gary Carpenter/ReverbNation

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Highlights Hour Two
Jason Miles - 2 Grover With Love
Strawberry Moon - Jason Miles:
Jason Miles is a veteran jazz composer, arranger, keyboardist, and synth programmer who has worked with the likes of Luther Vandross, Michael Jackson, and Miles Davis while also issuing two acclaimed albums of his own in the '94 World Tour release and 96's Mr. X. Additionally, Mr. Miles was an Emmy-nominee for his work on the Disney animated film People: A Musical Celebration of Diversity and has been a part of more than twenty Grammy-nominated projects having won four of the awards. For the past several years, JM's modus operandi for the most has been paying tribute to some of his musical heroes by covering their works using an all-star cast of players. In the year 2000, it was Celebrating the Music of Weather Report and that was followed by the project A Love Affair: The Music of Ivan Lins later that same year. In 2001, he produced To Grover With Love, in honour of the acclaimed saxman with whom he had frequently worked.

2002 saw production credits for Gato's Shadow of the Cat - which earned a Latin Grammy nomination while winning the Billboard Latin Jazz album of the year! Now after several other diverse releases - from Maximum Grooves and Miles to Miles (in The Spirit of Miles Davis) to a recent project with DJ Logic and Global Noize - Jason Miles returns with his second album honouring his late great friend. From the cd 2 Grover With Love, we're featuring the cover of Strawberry Moon the track from Washington's '87 cd of the same name!

CD: 2 Grover With Love
Label: Koch Records
Site: Jason Miles ; JM's Space
Erly Thornton - My Life
Embarkation - Erly Thornton:
Erly Thornton was born in Nashville, and by grade 5, he'd started on the sax. He learned every lick that he could by playing along with records from Grover Washington Jr., David Sanborn, and others while feeling the funk of groups like Cameo and EW&F. During the late 80's while attending college, Thornton played Nashville and surrounding cities but upon graduating with an electrical engineering degree, he moved to Orlando. It was there that Thornton became the lead voice for the jazz band B. One - they recorded a pair of projects and opened for Spyro Gyra at the House of Blues. Their breakup prompted Thornton to pursue a solo career - he began writing in 2004 for his debut, which was issued earlier this year. From that project entitled My Life, we've selected the very hip track Embarkation!

CD: My Life
Label: Groove Elation Records
Site: Erly Thornton ; ErlySpace

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
... we continue with the Quarterly Review and more of the best in smooth jazz from the past 90 days. Included are selections by Tony Guerrero, Michael Lington, Kim Pensyl, and George Duke as well as from some up and comers - so listen up if you will for Fred Engler, Aziza, Shaun Labelle, and Horace Alexander Young. Now we're not resting on any laurels either as all of today's selections are brand new to the show with additional tracks courtesy of Walter Duda, Phillip Brooks, Ryan Farish, and Vadim Brunell - meanwhile we're starting with Tampa's Mark Barrios and another quality production coming to us from Allon Sams' Studio A!

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