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The Sound of Feeling Good
This Week at Café

February 20th, 2011
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This Week at
… a terrific show with Dave Koz in the spotlight - the new one is Hello Tomorrow and we're spinning a trio of tracks all as part of the showcase segment. Hour 2 brings the Fresh Trax feature with its cutting edge blend of new music. Headlining this instalment is Nate Harasim - debuting are Rocco & Rahj and Shawn Brock while other first timers are Todd Ashley & Dana Robbins. Following Fresh Trax we're checking out a few classic tracks from Chuck Loeb and Paolo Rustichelli - while the second half of that set has Main Gazane and Vince Mai. Meantime, a tune from Jim Savitt starts the show, and it's the swizzle stick for your highball of smooth jazz listening!
In This Issue:

Hello Tomorrow - Dave Koz

Syd's Summer Wave - Rocco & Rahj
Who Now Do You Love - Shawn Brock
Iridescence - Nate Harasim
Hayley's Song - Todd Ashley
Poquito Mas - Dana Robbins

AFTER HOURS : The Initialled Ones
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#603

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Showcase CD
Hello Tomorrow - Dave Koz:

In a 20-plus year career, Dave Koz has built a solid reputation as a platinum-selling performer and a six-time Grammy nominee. In addition to playing with luminaries such as Burt Bacharach and Ray Charles, Dave is a well-respected radio show host. He's an entrepreneur and a philanthropist and for 17 years, Koz has served the Starlight Children's Foundation as their global ambassador. For all of this, Koz was honoured on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2009. More recently, Dave was a two-time winner at the ASJA in Chicago and now he's had his name put forward in no less than 7 categories at the upcoming Oasis Awards to be held in San Diego. So if ever there was a "poster boy" for smooth jazz, Dave would surely be among those under consideration.

The release of Hello Tomorrow is now his 10th overall, and a project upon which Koz sounds sweeter than ever. The cd was produced by Grammy award winning producers John Burk and Marcus Miller, and includes contributions by heavy-weights such as Herb Alpert, Lee Ritenour, and Sheila E.

Dave Koz - Hello Tomorrow
Also appearing on the disc are other names familiar to the fans of smooth in Brian Culbertson, Jeff Lorber, Jonathan Butler, Boney James, Paul Jackson, Jr., and Ray Parker, Jr.; while representing the new vanguard in the genre are the likes of Nate Harasim and Darren Rahn. Most of the tracks are original compositions with Dave having had a hand in writing a majority of these - so there's a definite freshness to vibe contained therein. Nonetheless, there's a familiarity that many of Dave's fans from early in his career can connect with.

Suffice it to say, we are suitably impressed here at the Café - so much so that we're now pleased to present a select sampling of tracks from that cd, all as part of the showcase feature.Having captained the Dave Koz & Friends at Sea Cruise for the past several years, the track Getaway nicely reflects Dave's fascination for the Caribbean; it's as catchy as they come, a tune featuring Jonathan Butler on vocals, it's full of the flavour of the islands and musically it's our initial port of call!
Dave Koz
Dave Koz Live - photo by Sherry Fisher!
Likely one of Dave's steamiest efforts is the sensual Whisper In Your Ear; while without doubt, the pièce de résistance is When Will I Know For Sure (a tune co-written by Nate Harasim who appears later in the show as part of the Fresh Trax feature). With Boney James playing tenor in perfect concert with 'The Koz', this represents one of Dave's prettiest yet grittiest selections ever. Following on the heels of Greatest Hits released in 2008, Hello Tomorrow gives Dave Koz a fantastic lead on the next installment of what is sure to be a multi-volume 'best of' series!

CD: Hello Tomorrow (2010)
Label: Concord Music Group

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Rocco & Rahj - Cool Burn

Syd's Summer Wave - Rocco & Rahj:
John 'Rocco' Altamura and Roger 'Rahj' Keay have a friendship that extends back 35-years to North Bergen County New Jersey and a time when they were aspiring young musicians. From the time Rocco & Rahj first met, there was an immediate synergy - they built a studio and for the next 4 years they were virtually inseparable writing, playing, and recording together. However in 1978, Rocco opted for Florida's white sandy beaches and mild winters while pursuing opportunities as an audio engineer, entrepreneur, and inventor. Meantime, Rahj continued to build a career as a top-notch engineer & musician back in the NYC area. Just a couple of years ago, after suffering from 30 years of studio burnout, Rahj finally came to his senses and relocated to Florida as well. The two reconnected, picked up where they'd left off, and now have the 2010 Cool Burn cd to show for their effort - I don't mind saying this is pretty hip stuff! There's already a follow-up in the works but for now we're set to chill with a tune inspired by Rocco's young niece. From Cool Burn, we have the magical swell of Syd's Summer Wave!

CD: Cool Burn (2010)
Label: House Of Hofa Records

Shawn Brock - Sight UnSeen
Who Now Do You Love - Shawn Brock:
Hailing from the small town of Harlan in the Appalachian Mountains of Kentucky, Shawn Brock has been playing guitar since he was 9. Having appeared on hundreds of albums, Brock has always been a fan of instrumental music while having been influenced by multiple genres. Now based in the Mojave Desert, Brock signaled his full migration to the sounds of smooth with the 2009 Sketches of Love & Fury release. As a musician who is without sight, Brock is able to connect with his music in a most unique way, striving to enhance feelings and to communicate through sound. From his soon to be issued Sight UnSeen sophomore effort, we have the emotive lead single, Who Now Do You Love. With Andrew Neu chipping in on sax, and with some added background vocals, the over-all effect makes for a very tasty listening experience!

CD: Sight UnSeen (2011)
Label: Innervision Records

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Nate Harasim - Rush
Iridescence - Nate Harasim:
Take a look back at what Nate Harasim has been up to in the last 12 months and you would likely agree it's been kind of a rush. This past summer he wrote & produced with Steve Oliver on Fun in the Sun, the track that went #1 on Billboard for seven weeks. Then he buddied up with Dave Koz co-writing and performing on Dave's latest release, with a piece entitled When Will I Know For Sure. (On a personal note, this is our favourite on the Koz disc and coincidentally it's included on this edition as part of the showcase segment.) He signed a new deal with Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records plus he headed up the Up and Coming Artist segment at the ASJA this past October. In there as well he managed to write a few tunes and grab some studio time to record his third and latest release called Rush. Considering all that he's been up to, it's not surprising that the production time for the new project stretched for over a couple calendars - so in reality the title isn't describing something done in haste, rather it's being used to convey the high that Harasim's been on for these past several months. Now we're part of the euphoria as the record clearly indicates Harasim's continued growth as a performer. So from the aptly titled Rush, we present a selection upon which Cindy Bradley guests - the ever-changing colors of a tune called Iridescence!

CD: Rush (2011)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Todd Ashley - Funky Nylon
Hayley's Song - Todd Ashley:
A SoCal native, Todd Ashley was born in Encino, CA and grew up in Palos Verdes. Unlike many of his contemporaries who were motivated by the rock guitarists of the day, Todd found his inspiration in the improvisational styles of Pat Metheny and Pat Martino. After high school, he played and toured with a few rock and funk bands before heading to the Musician's Institute where he studied jazz guitar and earned a degree. It was there he began to develop his unique "ruff jazz nylon-string style". With an itinerary that includes gigs from 4 to 7 nights a week Ashley has performed for many high profile clients such as Coca Cola, Samsung, Ford, and Toyota while opening for the likes of Dave Koz, George Benson, and The Rippingtons. Having issued the cd Sedona as Todd Hodulik back in 2003, Funky Nylon is now his second release and from that cd we have the very pretty Hayley's Song!

CD: Funky Nylon (2010)
Label: Ruff Jazz Records
Dana Robbins - So So Good Poquito Mas - Dana Robbins:
After attending the University of Michigan and Berklee in Boston, Detroit-native Dana Robbins relocated to LA. With LA as her home base, she played for Phillip Bailey and Roger Daltrey while also landing a spot backing Barry Manilow, a steady gig that lasted 7 years. Additionally, Robbins has performed with Tower of Power, Frank Zappa and others. For the past 3 years Dana has appeared as part of Aretha Franklin's musical entourage, and additionally she's backed Jeff Lorber, Al Green, CeCe Winans, and The O'Jays. Now based in Nashville, So So Good is her 2010 debut, and from it we have Ms Robbins showing off a few chops on the Latin flavoured Poquito Mas!

CD: So So Good (2010)
Label: Independent

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
The Initialled Ones: ... here's something a bit different; we're playing performers that use an initial in their stage name rather than going by their full surname. Sheila E is one such performer that comes to mind and although she isn't on the show, that's the idea, as we have a bit of fun with a feature called The Initialled Ones. We're starting with Johnny A and finishing with Rachel Z, and in between we've included Stanley B and Michael e - as well as there's Booker T and Freddy V and so it goes. I hope you'll catch up with us for 11 of these 'initialled' tunes! Playlist for Ed#603

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