September 26th, 2010
This Week at CafeJazz.ca:
… the combo known as The 420 Café takes center stage on this edition - we have their self-titled debut and a complement of 3 hip & groovy tracks - all as part of the showcase segment. The Fresh Trax feature follows in hour 2 with a cutting edge blend of new music. Headlining this installment are Tom Grant and Slim Man; also appearing is guitarist Will Sumner, while Dennis Nelson and Stephanie Sante round the segment. Then after the fresh & new is a bouquet of the tried and true - this time with selections by Grady Nichols and Peter White - there's music from Bob Gaynor as well as from Bob Madsen & The World Machine. But the lead-off number for the show is Preview of Coming Attractions by Paul Jackson Jr. and it gives a pretty good hint of what's in store - on the radio show that's cooler than a cucumber sandwich!
|Fresh Trax: Part One
Hip-Notic - Dennis Nelson:
Dennis Nelson began his musical career as a youngster in Mobile, Alabama, and during his summers in the Bronx, he was drawn to the rich rhythms of the New York Latin scene. While earning a BA at Louisiana's Southern University, he honed his talents. Soon after, Nelson landed the guitar chair with Otis Day and the Knights while later he worked with The Temptations and the late legend Ray Charles. These experiences combined with those in Jazz and Afro-Cuban music allowed Nelson to play across multiple genres. With a fluid style, he's in demand not only for tours, sessions, and gigs, but also as a clinician. After recording three solo projects as Finger Roll - his first full release being nominated Best Independent Jazz Record in 1998 - the now Atlanta-based Nelson recently issued Rolling With Passion. From that release there's that familiar finger action on a bouncy tune entitled Hip-notic!
CD: Rolling With Passion (2010)
- Tom Grant:
Born to show-biz parents, native Oregonian Tom Grant began playing professionally in the 70s. Even so, he earned a Masters Degree in Education and was teaching high school social studies, when he was spotted by Woody Shaw at an after hours gig. Grant was offered a job on the spot and this led to appearances with Joe Henderson, Dexter Gordon, and others. With a background in straight-ahead jazz, Grant debuted in 1976 - but with a '83 release, he made a conscious shift to a more contemporary style. That release and subsequent efforts saw Tom become firmly established as one of the genuine trendsetters in the early days of smooth - several of his projects enjoyed lengthy stays at or near the top of the charts. After embracing the full spectrum of jazz on his past few releases, Grant returned to the contemporary scene a couple of years back with Life Is Good and an effort that yielded Morning Glorious - our #1 most played track for all of 2009. Now comes Delicioso the new one and from it we have the aptly titled title track!
CD: Delicioso (2010)
|Fresh Trax: Part Two
|Red Moon Rising - Slim Man:
In the 70s and 80s, Tim Camponeschi worked as in-house songwriter for the Motown record label writing for the likes of Angela Bofill, Brian Jack, the Temptations, and Carl Anderson. For a time he MC'd a travelling talent show where he picked his unique moniker, and then he debuted as Slim Man in 1995 with his initial project yielding a top 10 hit! Several subsequent releases led to a loyal following; but the Slim Dude found even broader success as a member of the hip and funky group known as Bona Fide, named the top new Smooth Jazz group for 2001. This spurred resurgence in his solo career, in keeping with which the Slim Hombre has now recorded 8 albums plus a pair of seasonal releases. The new one is the first Slim cd in 4 years and it picks up where the last one left off. Having worked with Marc Antoine on a few of the tracks for his past release Solstice, the Slim Fella commandeered Antoine for Thousand Miles Away. Perhaps not coincidentally, the Slim Meister migrated to Marc's home studio in Spain, about a thousand or so miles away, to work on the record. To quote Smooth-Jazz.de ... "Thousand Miles Away is an album full of top notch love ballads, strong compositions, fine arrangements and overall Slim's convincing and authentic vocals." In a nutshell, The Slim Hombre has never sounded finer and we've selected one of the best - the moody & melodic Red Moon Rising!
CD: Thousand Miles Away (2010)
Label: Oui Oui Music
|Morning Breeze - Stephanie Sante:
A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Stephanie Sante grew up in a milieu of cultural and artistic diversity. She began her creative journey thru surrealistic paintings, but soon found that a love for music was greater still. While attending college with a major in music, she studied Piano Performance; however an attraction for the guitar lured her to attend the Conservatory of Guitar and Voice. Classical and Flamenco Guitar were her primary focus for two years although in time that gaze broadened to include a variety of styles. Now based in Boulder, CO, Ms Sante nonetheless continues to be inspired by the grandeur and beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Her 6th and latest collection is entitled Prismatic upon which she explores a spectrum of sounds. From that effort, we have Morning Breeze - a riveting blend of Nu Jazz, Chill, and Ambient with dashes of Electronic and Bossa!
CD: Prismatic (2010)
Label: Sante Music
| Far Away - Will Sumner:
An accomplished guitarist who is also well-versed on piano and violin, Will Sumner first trained at the University of Minnesota, while later attending Berklee in Boston and the Westminster College in Salt Lake City. In the late 90s, Sumner debuted with his band Tropic Zone. That was followed by a pair of well received releases in Desde Mi Corazon and Coast Drive issued in 2000 and 2003 respectively. In the interim, Sumner has become well established on the So-Cal music scene. He's earned recognition as a multiple winner at the United States Cine Awards, as well as at Film Festivals from New York to Italy. Well known for the sensitivity of his compositions and the expressiveness of his playing, Sumner's latest is simply entitled Tracks. With a mix of Latin, Brazilian & pop and jazz flavours, there's a guitar solo on our choice for today that will literally knock your socks off!
CD: Tracks (2010)
Label: OceanStreet Records
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
|Fallen Heroes: We took the concept for this current instalment from Fallen Heroes, a track by Russ Freeman & Craig Chaquico. The tune appeared a few years back on From the Redwoods to the Rockies and was in the memory of the late Nick Webb from Acoustic Alchemy. So extending the idea, we chose to do an entire show dedicated to some of the great players who are no longer with us, borrowing the name of that very track as it seemed to suit the somber mood of the feature - so Fallen Heroes it is. Featured on this edition are Wayman Tisdale, George Jinda, Chet Atkins, Zachary Breaux and Art Porter, Jr. Additionally we have Artie Traum and Grover Washington, Jr. Meanwhile a Yulara selection features the sax playing of Annie Hilsberg who passed in 2006; plus there's a Fattburger tune highlighted by two members both now deceased - Hollis Gentry III (sax) and Carl Evans, Jr. (keys). Now in compiling the selections for the segment, one of the first tunes that came to mind was an old Alchemy track with Nick Webb called Missing Your Touch and it's the tune that gets the Fallen Heroes special underway.