Carols for the New Millennium!
This Week at Café

December 19th, 2010
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This Week at The Café: A Café Jazz Christmas!
... we're beating the drum for all the best in smooth seasonal music with our 9th Annual A Café Jazz Christmas. Featured are some long-time favourites by Michael Franks, Rick Braun, and Chris Rea; while also appearing are Drew Davidsen, Till Brönner, Sam Stryke, Bradley Leighton, Gregorie Howard, and the pairing of Roger Smith & Tony Windle - all with featured selections that are new to our show. I hope you'll enjoy these 'carols for the new millennium', our holiday gift to you!
In This Issue:

God Rest Ye - Drew Davidsen
Last Christmas - Till Brönner
Good Christian ... - Sam Stryke
Christime Time ... - B. Leighton
Silent Night - Gregorie Howard
A Capitol Christmas - Smith / Windle

The Bacchanalia Continues
Complete playlist: Complete playlist for the 2010 A Café Jazz Christmas! One Year Ago: 2009 A Café Jazz Christmas

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Highlights Hour One
God Rest Ye - Drew Davidsen & Friends:
As a youth, Drew Davidsen trained classically on cello; later he developed a fascination with the bass, but when he was 21 and serving in the US Navy, guitar became his real interest. After completing his tour of duty, Davidsen turned to establishing a career as a musician. 2007 saw the issue of his solo debut followed by the 2009 release of Around (Again) - a project which led to Davidsen's consideration as best new artist at the inaugural ASJA. Now the hip guitarist combines catchy grooves with the richness of the Christmas tradition on his latest entitled We 3 Stringz. Joined by a few friends, the project features the likes of Chuck Loeb and Paul Jackson, Jr. as well as contributions by some top notch Nashville cats! From among our favourites on the disc, we have God Rest Ye, Davidsen's swinging take on a Yuletide classic!

CD: We 3 Stringz (2010)
Label: Creative Soul Jazz

Drew Davidsen & Friends - We 3 Stringz

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Till Brönner - The Christmas Album
Last Christmas - Till Brönner :
With a solo career dating back to 1993, Till Brönner has been heralded as the most significant German jazz musician of his generation. At 13, he discovered the music of Charlie Parker and, after a classical education, he studied jazz trumpet at Cologne's Music Academy. After just three semesters he turned professional. His debut a couple of years later was a classic mainstream recording that won a number of awards. Meanwhile, subsequent efforts have updated traditional approaches to bebop by incorporating varying elements of contemporary R&B and hip-hop. Drawing comparisons to Chris Botti, Brönner is considered a master of his craft. A few years back, he celebrated his vision of one of the oldest and most popular themes in music with The Christmas Album. From that release we have an uber-smooth offering entitled Last Christmas!

CD: The Christmas Album (2007)
Label: Verve (Universal)
Sam Stryke - Joy to the World
Good Christian Men, Rejoice - Sam Stryke:
Hailing from Grand Rapids, MI Sam Stryke issued his solo debut, a new age effort, back in 1991. Even so, Stryke took what turned into a lengthy break from the record biz - he completed college and followed that by launching a successful commercial career. After composing for film and TV, and having his tracks used for Super Bowl commercials and award-winning ad campaigns, the Chicago-based pianist returned to recording in 2002. Earlier this past year Stryke released the cd Brunch, his 4th. Now as a follow up to that effort, comes the recently issued Joy to the World, Stryke's second seasonal project to go along with a well-received 2006 album that was simple titled Christmas. From this latest offering we have Sam's gorgeous rendering of Good Christian Men, Rejoice and a melody that can be traced back to In Dulci Jubilo from the Middle Ages. The lyrics to the passage are thought to have been written by the German mystic Heinrich Seuse and were translated around the middle of the 19th century. According to folklore, Seuse heard angels sing the words and joined them in a dance of worship - now Stryke's instrumental offering captures all the magic and beauty of that image!

CD: Joy to the World (2010)
Label: Razz Records

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Highlights Hour Two
Bradley Leighton - Holiday of Lights
Christime Time is Here - Bradley Leighton:
Right out of high school, Bradley Leighton enlisted in the Army, where he rose to become a jazz ensemble musical director. After a tour of duty to Seoul, Korea, he remained in the Orient to teach and perform; but eventually he returned to the Seattle area where he played in a variety of bands. By 2001, Leighton was ready for the next leg in the journey when he relocated to San Diego - he issued his solo debut a couple of years later. Holiday of Lights is his recently recorded cd of seasonal favourites and 5th release over all. The project unifies elements of Latin music with Bossa flavoured rhythms, thanks in no small part to the collaboration between Bradley & Allan Phillips, a Venezuelan born Emmy winner and two-time Grammy nominee - but with a stylish twist. From that effort Leighton delivers a jazzy re-imaging of Vince Guaraldi's Christmas Time Is Here!

CD: Holiday of Lights (2010)
Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
Gregorie Howard - Silent Night
Silent Night - Gregorie Howard:
Hailing from Lake Charles Louisiana, Gregorie Howard grew up in New Orleans as Gregorie Johnson. Music was happening all over The Big Easy - Johnson was drawn in and for seven years he played with Pete Fountain's band during Mardi Gras. In the 70s duty called - he twice enlisted in the Marine Corps and took to the skies as a flight attendant between tours. More recently, he took part in the Iraqi Freedom mission. Now back on native soil and based in Florida's Tampa Bay region, just over a year ago Johnson emerged under the guise of Gregorie Howard, his smooth alter ago, and released an eponymously titled debut. Produced by two-time Grammy winner Paul Brown, the project proved one of the premiere break-thru albums for the year prompting Howard to begin work on a follow-up. But in the meantime in late 2009, Howard connected with fellow Tampanian Allon Sams, our good friend who operates Studio A in the heart of Florida's Suncoast. Further enlisting Les Sabler to fill the guitar chair, Gregorie issued a pair of seasonal singles. We're now pleased to present Howard's gorgeous read on a nearly 200 year old seasonal favourite!

CD: Silent Night - Radio Single (2009)
Label: Gregorie Howard
Links: A.Sams:
Roger Smith & Tony Windle - A Capitol Christmas
A Capitol Christmas - Roger Smith & Tony Windle:
The track A Capitol Christmas brings together Roger Smith & Tony Windle, a couple of talented keyboardist each totally deserving of much broader recognition. Roger Smith is a veteran performer of over 30 years who has appeared on a variety of projects. For the past several years Smith has doubled as a member of Tower of Power, all while nurturing a solo career. Meantime, Tony Windle did some time playing in Casino rock bands while winning a pair of music awards with a country group and also being nominated as Best Jazz artist for the Sacramento area, three years in a row. He debuted in '97 while gaining some serious attention with a savvy follow-up. A few years ago, the duo connected for the aforementioned radio single, which was recently re-issued. We now have their cool medley of Little Drummer Boy and Silent Night presented as A Capitol Christmas!

CD: A Capitol Christmas - Holiday MP3 (2010)

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
The Bacchanalia Continues: ... on this Yuletide edition we're holding true to the tradition we've established over the past many years by playing an uninterrupted 16-track set! Included among these seasonal favourites with a groove are tracks from Hiroshima, J.Dee, and David Benoit; while debuting are brand new selections from the likes of Brian Simpson, Marc Hoffman, and David Wells! Complete playlist for the 2010 A Café Jazz Christmas!

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