December 27th, 2009
Edition #551 Previously Next
Week at CafeJazz.ca:
The Very Best of Café Jazz: Our 8th Annual Installment!
… it's a special called The Very Best of Café Jazz as we celebrate 550 shows - this now being our 8th annual edition. We've dipped into our treasury of classic tracks for a few favourites and we're featuring some of the best selections we've ever played! So stay tuned for a program unlike any other as with the likes of Dan Farrow, Daryl Stuermer, James Hollihan, and Glenn McNulty. Additionally there's music from Acoustic Alchemy, Dan Siegel, Special EFX, Peter White, and Ricardo Silveira - those and a few others that have for so many years helped define Café Jazz as the hippest show on radio. So get set for two full hours of the absolute finest that we have to offer and to begin, there's the aptly titled Let's Get Started by Gota - helping us to musically pop the cork for The Very Best of Café Jazz, your Dom Pérignon of smooth jazz listening!
Funkatazz - Dan Farrow:
Renowned as a sessionist & touring keyboardist, Dan Farrow hails from Zurich, Switzerland. He started with the Hammond B3 when he was three, and he's since gone on to master a battery of keys. He arrived on the scene in the mid-80s, playing the famed Montreux Jazz Festival and, after relocating to the US in the early 90s, he's backed the likes of Eric Clapton and Billy Preston. As well, most prominently displayed on Farrow's résumé is a 1993 appearance on Ray Charles' Grammy-winning My World cd - additionally he's played with many other platinum-selling performers while gigging around the world. Meanwhile, Farrow made his solo debut back in 1998 - and, as we wait and watch for what will be his 4th release, we're revisiting 2001 and Evolution. From that effort and what was Farrow's sophomore issue there's the wonderful melding of funk and jazz that Farrow labelled Funkatazz!
CD: Evolution (2001)
Label: Soulstar Records
Java Dawn - Shakatak:
Born out of the London club scene in the early 80s, Shakatak scored a series of dance hits in the early days and then over the years, their style has gradually shifted to one more firmly rooted in a mix of jazz and funk. Prolific in the studio, there have been numerous releases including seasonal efforts as well as compilations and live issues. Additionally, they've enjoyed unprecedented success in the Land of the Rising Sun - a Japan only clause in their recording contract ensures they produce a new package almost yearly. So what I can write about the band that I haven't already written on one of the numerous occasions they've been featured on our humble show? Well, we'll keep it to the point. The veteran band continues to create music brilliantly. From the 2005 Beautiful Day cd released in Japan and the UK, we're pleased to present Java Dawn, a Bill Sharpe composition. The track features guitarist Alan Wormald and was inspired by one of band's many trips to Indonesia. Succinctly put, this one is for lack a better phrase, musically eloquent!
CD: Beautiful Day (2005)
Links: G.Anderson R.Odell B.Sharpe
||Kingdom of Rain - The The:
The The was a project under which Matt Johnson displayed his edgy and often dark-sided talents. Raised in a flat above his father's pub, a refuge for notables as well as dubious types alike, Johnson was exposed to a variety of musical forms thru several venues owned by his uncle. He formed his first band at 11, left school at 15, and by his late teens he was working an assistant recording engineer. The first manifestation of The The appeared as far back as 1979, while for most of the 80s the band was essentially a guise for Johnson's solo work. Side-lined by illness for the better part of a year, Johnson transitioned from dance-flavored pop to more eclectic fare by 1986. However seeing the need for a more stable line-up, so that he could tour, Johnson hired guitarist Johnny Marr for the 1989 Mind Bomb cd - and what proved one of The The's most successful in North America. The release was accompanied by a full length promotional video with discordant and sometimes disturbing images. From that effort, we present the somewhat incongruously titled Kingdom of Rain co-featuring the vocals of Sinéad O'Connor!
CD: Mind Bomb (1989)
Label: Epic / CBS Records
|Highlights Hour Two|
||Bullseye - Peter White:
For nearly 20 years Peter White has been nothing short of a smooth jazz lover's delight! He's one of the main reasons that yours truly got hooked on this genre while travelling somewhere around 1700 miles just to see him perform - that was back in 1998 at the Mt. Hood Festival of Jazz. Now what 'very best of' would be complete without a tune from the most played artist in smooth jazz, and likely our own most played over the course of our 13 or so year run? Now in total keeping with that sentiment, we have the ebullient Mr. White right on the mark with one his finest!
CD: Glow (2001)
Label: Sony Music / Columbia
Links: Fan site:
Wish - Hiroshima (remixed by Paul Hardcastle):
Now celebrating their 30th anniversary since the band's inception, Hiroshima was formed by East LA native Dan Kuramoto & by his then wife June Kuramoto. Dan had picked up a flute as a "diversion to his post-hippy lifestyle" - but thru playing for a variety of events, he discovered not only his voice as a Japanese-American but also an outlet for his artistic needs. Meanwhile June has in many ways been the main creative force behind the band. Having earned all the degrees accorded the traditional Japanese instrument the koto back in her homeland, she is considered one of the world's leading players. They began in 1979 with a self-titled debut, and then with their subsequent releases they continued to gain momentum. 1985's Another Place was their 4th issue and their first certified gold album - the success of that project in no small way being fuelled by a special remix of the track One Wish produced by none other than Paul Hardcastle!
Single: One Wish (1985)
- David Arkenstone & Tim Weisberg:
Chicago native David Arkenstone immersed himself in music when his family moved to California when he was 10. He played keys and guitar in a variety of bands and after college, he crisscrossed the country playing the pop sounds of the day. It was in 1987, after he discovered Kitaro's lush and exotic arrangements that Arkenstone ventured into the realm of new age with Valley in the Clouds. With 3 Grammy nominations, Arkenstone has issued over 30 cds across multiple genres. Meanwhile, Tim Weisberg issued a string of releases in the 70s thru until the 80s that invariably made their way onto Billboard's Jazz Charts. In 1978, he teamed with Dan Fogelberg for the landmark Twin Sons of Different Mothers, a partnership they reprised nearly 20 years later for the '95 No Resemblance Whatsoever. However, surprisingly little has been written about one of the finest flautist to have emerged over the past 3 decades. On this occasion, we've unearthed a fantastic one-off collaboration featuring two of the trail-blazers in the contemporary scene!
CD: Midnight Groove: The Art of Smooth Jazz (1998)
Label: Windham Hill Jazz
Links: Arkenstone: Weisberg:
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