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This Week at Café

October 30th, 2011
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This Week at
Here's an edition with a global edge as ready for the spotlight is Australian bassman Wayne Jones. Closed for the Holidays is the new one and as part of that feature we have a real nice trio of tracks. In the second part of the show it's time for a new segment called the Euro-Zone with some of the best grooves on today's Euro scene. Appearing out of Italy are Rocco Ventrella and S-Tone Inc - with us also are Germany's Helmut Hattler, Daniel Domenge from France, and Mezzoforte out of Iceland. Stops along the way include Canada and the UK as well as the good ole USA, but our first destination is Scotland for a track by David King!
In This Issue:

Closed for the Holidays - Wayne Jones

Exotica - Hattler
On The Night - Rocco Ventrella
Last Summer - Daniel Domenge
Copacabana Soul - S-Tone Inc.
It's A Funk Thing - Mezzoforte

AFTER HOURS : Deeper Than Deep
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#631

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Showcase CD
Closed for the Holidays - Wayne Jones:

A seasoned musician with a wealth of experience, Australian bassist Wayne Jones has been plying his craft for nigh on 30 years. During that time, he's played nearly every imaginable style with some of the country's leading artists. But as smooth jazz blossomed in the 80s and 90s, he was drawn to the music of Marcus Miller, Lee Ritenour, Larry Carlton, and others. Even so, he was told there wasn't a large enough market down under for the type of music that he was interested in making. So it was that years down the road, Jones found himself going round the same old block, and finding less creative satisfaction with each successive lap. So it was that he decided to concentrate on his own music and, although it was 7 years in the making, that dream was realized in 2006 with the issue of Forgotten Melody, an auspicious debut and a most pleasant surprise for the year! The follow up in Saturday Street, further cemented Jones' reputation as a world-class tunesmith and now in 2011, Wayne has unleashed his finest project to date! On the disc, Jones is backed by a raft of great talent; it's a dynamic 6-tune recording that prompted Wayne to say, he gets the feeling that he's arrived … an opinion which I don't mind saying meshes neatly with our own!

Wayne Jones - Closed for the Holidays
Wayne Jones
Wayne Jones at Spensers in Melbourne
Superb from start to finish, there are no fillers and that's one of the truly great things about such a 'compact' offering! Now as part of this review we're beginning with Strawberry on a String, a tune that came out of a Skype conversation between Wayne and Mike MacArthur the saxplayer for the record. Jones gives us the lowdown, "He had this lamp behind him coming down from the roof, a big long cord and the lamp looked like a strawberry." At the top of hour two is Children Who Lose Their Way and one that is very special to Jones. The closer for the segment and the show is the sure-fire can't miss tune that gave its name to the disc featuring a Rick Braun trumpet solo. Perhaps Wayne said it best when describing the selection: "A nice fun track, a great groove and simple old fashioned bass lines." So in spite of the title Closed For The Holidays, there's little doubt that in so far as Wayne Jones is concerned, business is about to pick up!

EP: Closed for the Holidays (2011)
Label: Dim & Dimmer Records

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The Euro-Zone: Part One
Hattler - Bass Cuts
Exotica - Hattler:
After many years of violin lessons as a youth, Germany's Hellmut Hattler was ready to never touch a musical instrument again - that was until discovered the bass and the music that lay within. In the intervening years, Hattler has developed into a premier musician in his homeland and in a 30-plus year career there have been many high water marks, perhaps too numerous to mention in full detail. Nonetheless mandatory Hattler listening includes the 8 cds he recorded with trumpeter Joo Kraus as half of Tab Two. Meanwhile, Hattler has continued to his explore his craft thru a variety of projects, not the least of which was his 2004 Bass Cuts release. From that effort we have one of his best in the tune Exotica!

CD: Bass Cuts (2004)
Label: Bassball Recordings
Rocco Ventrella - Give Me the Groove
On The Night - Rocco Ventrella:
A native of Bari, in Southern Italy, Rocco Ventrella's first instrument was clarinet which he studied at the Conservatory of Music. He took sax at the age of 14 and then honed his chops as a member of the Big Band "J.S.O." for the better part of 20 years. For a time, Rocco lived for a time in the Boston area - a move which no doubt precipitated a shift toward jazz of the smooth variety. In 2005, he self-produced a 3-track EP tribute to the music of Grover Washington, Jr. before raising the bar with Give Me The Groove, his first full length cd. From that 2007 release, On The Night is a playful piece upon which Ventrella shares the spotlight with Renato Falaschi on piano!

CD: Give Me the Groove (2007)
Label: Smooth Sounds Music

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The Euro-Zone: Part Two
Daniel Domenge - Patchwork
Last Summer - Daniel Domenge:
Guitarist Daniel Domenge comes to us from the Montpellier region located in the wine-producing area of southern France, and a hop skip and a jump from the Mediterranean. Influenced by Wes Montgomery and Pat Martino and inspired by the likes of George Benson and Chuck Loeb, Domenge has played professionally for about 25 years and has performed in various capacities including recording and arranging for radio. It was back in 2006 that Domenge decided to record a smooth project which due to a variety of commitments, wasn't released until 2009. Now it's said, you can't rush a good thing and truer words were never writ, particularly in this instance. Entitled Patchwork, the project is a tightly knit package woven together by the skills of a seasoned performer. From that effort, we have the reminiscence of Last Summer gently eases us into the second half of the The Euro-Zone!

CD: Patchwork (2008)
Label: Independent Release
S-Tone Inc. - Moon In Libra
Copacabana Soul - S-Tone Inc.:
Based in Milan Italy, Stefano Tirone earned a degree in architecture back in the 80s, but for the better part of 20 years he's balanced that with a career in music. Initially studying guitar and then later piano, Tirone become interested in recording and debuted with an acid jazz project in 1992. That initial effort laid the framework for S-Tone Inc that followed in '96. With an ear to refining the sound, Stefano found his direction in 2002 with Sobrenatural - the 3rd cd under the banner - Moon in Libra released in 2009 was the 5th and most recent issue. Bolstered by Milan's finest, the S-Tone ranks swell to double digits with singers, a horn section, strings, vibes, percussion, drums, bass, and keys. Meanwhile, Stefano doubles on the Wurlitzer and electric guitar, while also handling programming and a few vocals. Incorporating Brazilian music, plus elements of jazz, funk and soul, Tirone is always mindful of his club and house roots. In keeping with these principles we present the lead track in Copacabana Soul!

CD: Moon in Libra (2009)
Label: Schema Records
Mezzoforte - Volcanic It's A Funk Thing - Mezzoforte:
Hailing from Iceland, the band Mezzoforte have been recording since their self-titled debut in 1979. They became the first group from the island nation to score an international hit in 1983 with Garden Party and in the intervening years, they've continued to record and to tour. Now 30-plus years later, the group has recorded a dozen albums with performance credits in over 40 countries around the world - on occasion, all the original members will appear as part of a 6 to 10 piece unit. Back in the spring of 2008, the band spent several days lodged in a summer house near Hekla, Iceland's best known peak, writing music for the album Volcanic. The project was the first since 2007's deluxe Live in Reykjavik package and the first studio album in seven years. From a cd that's been called a masterpiece, the track It's Funk Thing further fuels the belief that Mezzoforte may well be the greatest funk/jazz/pop/fusion band in history!

CD: Volcanic (2010)
Label: Mashhad Music

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Deeper Than Deep: … a one-off show in our connections series called Deeper Than Deep that's named for a track by Chieli Minucci. All the selections are linked by the word deep being used as part of their title; be it Marion Meadows with In Deep, David Blamires and Deep as the Midnight Sea or A Deeper Shade of Love by Kevin Toney. First up it's Larry Carlton getting us into it - from an album called Deep Into It we have the title track with Kirk Whalum on sax - on a feature that's Deeper Than Deep! Playlist for Ed#631

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