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This Week at Café

June 27th, 2010
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8th Annual Smooth Jazz in Canada, Eh!
On this edition ... a select chapter of the show called Smooth Jazz in Canada! Celebrations of Canada's nationhood are just days away and we're beating the drum to commemorate the occasion by featuring the music of Canadian artists exclusively. We first tried this back in 2003, and each year we've come back with a bigger, bolder, & better edition - this being our 8th annual installment, it will likely represent the biggest, boldest, & best so far. We've included selections by Les Sabler, Vince Mai, and Four80 East while also appearing are Warren Hill, Gabriel, and Brian Hughes. In addition, there's a 6-pack of featured performers with Torben Oxbol, Dr. Music, and Darren Rahn - the other half of that has Steve Barakatt and The Guess Who as well as the man starting the show in Dave Sereny. So let the pyrotechnics begin on a made in Canada spectacular!
In This Issue:

Funkified - Dave Sereny
Midnight Walk - Torben Oxbol
Sun Goes By - Dr. Music
Simple Song - Darren Rahn
California Vibes - Steve Barakatt
Undun - The Guess Who

ONE YEAR AGO 7th Annual Presentation of Smooth Jazz in Canada, Eh! - 2009 Edition
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#577

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Highlights Hour One
Funkified - Dave Sereny:
Dave Sereny largely owes his love of music to his older brother Mike who exposed him to a variety of genres. Early on John McLaughlin became a big influence and then Wes Montgomery proved highly important to his developing style. While in high school Sereny gained an appreciation for jazz playing in a big band before studying classical guitar at Berklee in Boston. Subsequently, he collaborated with some of New York's finest. He backed a few great in the likes of Ritchie Cole and Jose Feliciano while playing festivals from Toronto to Tel Aviv. Then back in TO in 1996, the Brothers Sereny formed the Groove United record label to promote Canadian artists. In 2004, Sereny was featured on a few tracks on the compilation The Jazz Room Presents Smooth Jazz, and in addition to earning consideration for the 2005 Café Jazz list of faves, Sereny became a multiple nominee at the CSJA. This set the stage for the release of Take This Ride, Dave's official debut, which led to a second series of CSJA nominations. From that very effort we've selected a spunky tune entitled Funkified!

CD: Take This Ride (2007)
Label: NuGroove Records

Dave Sereny - Take This Ride

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Torben Oxbol - Westcoast Journey
Midnight Walk - Torben Oxbol:
Hailing from Denmark, Torben Oxbol moved to Vancouver in the mid 70s and is one of only a handful of Canadian jazz bassists to have achieved international renown. Early on, Oxbol developed into a first-call studio musician and then toward the end of the decade he hooked up with the group Pacific Salt, a premier fusion band of the day. In the time since, he's played everything from coffee-houses to concert-halls having appeared with the likes of Wynton Marsalis, Freddie Hubbard, and Diana Krall, to name but a few. In recent years, Oxbol has turned to music production wherein his expertise has been sought by a litany of the finest on the Vancouver jazz scene, among them Karin Plato, Armi Grano, and Beverley Stanton. Yet on this occasion, we return to 1997 and Torben's little-known Westcoast Journey release for the measured motion of the tune Midnight Walk!

CD: Westcoast Journey (1997)
Label: Independent
Dr. Music - Dr. Music
Sun Goes By - Dr. Music:
Led by Toronto's Doug Riley, Dr. Music debuted in the early 70s as a mega-ensemble, a 16-piece gospel-rock unit complete with a 4-man horn section and with up to 10 of the members sharing in the vocal duties. As a child, Riley was stricken with polio and so he took to the piano as a way of coping with his affliction. He studied classically at TO's Royal Conservatory of Music and early on he gained an appreciation of jazz thru his father's record collection. In his teens, Riley began playing with the R&B band the Silhouettes. By the time he was 20 he was prolific jingle writer before going on to earn a Bachelor's in music at the U of T. For many years, he worked behind the scenes as the music director for a variety of TV productions, among them The Ray Stevens Show. For the 69/70 season, Riley put together an assembly that would form the nucleus for Dr. Music and that remained together following the cancellation of the TV project. Shortly after, Riley managed to land a record deal which resulted in the issue of the band's eponymously titled debut. A couple more LPs sported a significantly scaled down version of the cast with the compilation Retrospective chronicling these early years. Sadly Riley passed in 2007 at the age of 62. Nonetheless, Sun Goes By from that initial Dr. Music release remains as one of the most uplifting tracks of the era!

CD: Dr. Music (1972)
Label: GRT

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Highlights Hour Two
Darren Rahn - Once in a Lifetime
Simple Song - Darren Rahn:
Hailing from BC Canada, Darren Rahn started sax at the age of 12. After high school, he earned a degree in Music Education from Adams State College and followed that with one in Sax Performance and Jazz Pedagogy from the University of Northern Colorado. Recognized by Downbeat Magazine as one of the top university sax soloists in the U.S, early on Rahn earned an impressive set of credits with the likes of Dave Koz, Jeff Lorber, and Gregg Karukas. Mainly content to work behind the scenes since the mid 90s, it wasn't until 2004 that his work on Wayman Tisdale's #1 Ain't No Stopping Us Now would bring Rahn to the forefront of the smooth scene. That recognition led to Rahn's NuGroove label plus a series of CSJA nominations. Since then, Rahn has been virtually unstoppable having produced three consecutive #1 tracks for Dave Koz, Eric Darius, & Tim Bowman. Additionally, he's scored a big hit of his own while racking up no less than three ASJA nominations at the upcoming awards. From Once in a Lifetime, we have Rahn at his best on Simple Song!

CD: Once in a Lifetime (2007)
Label: NuGroove Records
Steve Barakatt - The Best Inspirations
California Vibes - Steve Barakatt:
An accomplished composer, producer, pianist, and singer, Québec City native Steve Barakatt was captivated by the charm of music when he was four. Even early on it was clear that Barakatt was no ordinary talent. He studied classically for ten years and when he was just thirteen, he performed as guest soloist with the Symphony Orchestra. The following year, he released his solo debut and now has hundreds of artistic projects to his credit including a complete symphonic work. A genuine music lover, Steve enjoys exploring a variety of styles including dabbling in jazz. He's toured extensively, composed dozens of scores for both TV and film and is also demand as a composer & producer. The Best Inspirations, issued in 2004 was a deluxe cd/dvd collection chronicling six previous releases while also providing a glimpse of a forthcoming album. Originally appearing on the 2000 A Love Affair release but this time from The Best Inspirations, we have the power & passion of California Vibes!

CD: The Best Inspirations / Les Plus Belles Inspirations (cd+dvd) (2004)
Label: XXI - 21 Productions
The Guess Who - Canned Wheat
Undun - The Guess Who:
Formed by Chad Allen in 1962 in their hometown of Winnipeg, the band went through several name changes before reaching their eventual status as one of the top bands in the world. In 1965, the group was a 5-man unit comprised of Allen, Bob Ashley, Randy Bachman, Jim Kale, and Garry Peterson when they covered the track Shakin' All Over and scored their first #1-hit in Canada as Chad Allen & The Expressions. However, in the US as a marketing ploy, the single was credited to the "Guess Who?" Subsequent singles were IDed in a similar fashion although on their first two albums, both names were used. Then in late 1965 and early 1966, there was a dramatic shift in personnel as Burton Cummings joined the unit while both Ashley and Allen left. This latter move precipitated the band's exclusive use of the moniker "The Guess Who?" with the question mark being dropped in 1968 just prior to the band's These Eyes from Wheatfield Soul becoming their first million selling single. The ultra-strong and cleverly-titled Canned Wheat followed in 1969. Always much more than just a rock band, from that effort we have The Guess Who's take on the jazzy Bachman composition titled Undun!

CD: Canned Wheat (1969)
Label: RCA Victor

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
More SJIC, Eh! ... ... more great grooves emanating from the great white north as we continue with our all Canadian smooth jazz review. And included on the playlist are selections by Richard Chadwick, Liberty Silver, Don Breithaup, and JB Carbou. That's followed by Paul Lamoureux and Monsoon, as well as Eddie Bullen, Dino Pacifici, and Barry Aiken. Also appearing are Greg Kavanagh and Alexander Zonjic, plus there's Joni Mitchell, and finally Kalabash. Those and of course each & every selection we're playing is 100% Canadian this being part and parcel of our Canada Day celebrations here at The Café! Playlist for Ed#577

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