Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at CaféJazz.ca

March 22, 2002
Edition #282 Previously Next

In the showcase spotlight on this edition is the new one from Urban Jazz Coalition out of Columbus, Ohio. It's called Contempo and we've selected a trio of tracks for the feature. Later on in hour 2 is the Fresh Trax segment that's devoted to the latest and best in new music. As part of this installment, we have Keiko Matsui, Nelson Rangell and Bobby Lyle while also appearing are Clifford Adams and Rik Emmett!

Showcase CD
Contempo - Urban Jazz Coalition
The ensemble is a talented septet of musicians that call Columbus Ohio home. They first broke onto the SJ scene a few years back with the release of Into the Night, which was actually their sophomore project. The album presented a fresh mix of styles that made many new fans for the group. Contempo is their new one. The cd was recorded in conjunction with a contract that the group was awarded as winners of a Battle of the Bands contest sponsored by Jazziz magazine. With the release of this cd it’s clear that the Coalition are picking up where they left off and taking their musicality to a new level. Make no mistake, this is an excellent album. We begin our showcase cd presentation with the track that first caught the attention of SJ fans around the world. San Juan Nights first appeared on Into the Night but now it’s also included on the new cd together with many other terrific tracks.

Urban Jazz Coalition

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Venus of the Sea - Keiko Matsuit
Keiko, who grew up in Tokyo Japan, has been playing piano since the age of five and began composing as early as junior high. She‘s been influenced by various masters including several from both jazz and classical music. In the process she has developed a totally unique style & sound that delicately walks a line that is somewhere between fusion and new age. Ms Matsui, who was newly married at the time, recorded her first cd in North America in 1987, together with her husband Kazu. The project was financed with their honeymoon money and was released to much critical acclaim. With a career that is now over a dozen cds deep, The Ring is her latest.

Love's Gonna Get You - Clifford Adams
Adams is considered a premiere session player and had long been a member of Kool & The Gang. He showed an appreciation for jazz in his preteens and by the age of 17 he was touring with Patti Labelle. Other early work included performing as a member of the horn section for the Stylistics before the opportunity to join Kool & the Gang came along in 1977. Clifford’s solo debut, a classical jazz cd, was released in 1997 and did well throughout Europe. Cliff Notes is his follow up recording. On this project Adams skilfully blends his pop sensibilities with his jazz roots and from that effort we’ll be hearing a terrific track called Love’s Gonna Get You.

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Fresh Trax: Part Two

Give Me Your Heart - Bobby Lyle
A veteran musician and performer, Lyle has played with a long list of top names including Sly & the Family Stone, George Benson and Al Jarreau. In addition, Lyle has issued over a dozen solo projects. Much of his success in this regard has been based on his ability to combine the elegance of the acoustic piano with the funkier grooves of R&B. On this occasion we heard the romantically flavoured Give Me Your Heart from Joyful. This is a very nice effort from Mr. Lyle, one that we heartily endorse and in fact we plan on showcasing Joyful in the very near future.

Steady Burn - Rik Emmett
Emmett is probably best recognised for his work with the high-energy group Triumph. The Toronto-born guitarist’s talents however go well beyond those he exhibited back in the 70s and 80s. In his youth, Emmett studied a wide variety of styles, which included classical music and jazz in addition to pop and rock. Following the eventual break up of Triumph, Emmett chose to explore these and many other new and creative musical avenues. Starting in about 1990 or so, he’s had several fine solo releases. His latest is titled Handiwork and contains a blend of Latin rhythms and smooth jazz as well as several classically influenced pieces. From that effort that was a great track called Steady Burn by Rik Emmett.

In addition to his recording career, Rik also writes his own monthly column in Guitar Player Magazine. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Songwriters Association of Canada, and as well is an instructor at Humber College in Toronto where he teaches a course in Music Career Development. All these elements combined it’s no wonder why Rik is often referred to as "Canada's eclectic Renaissance Man of The Guitar."

Rik Emmett
Look Again - Nelson Rangell
A native of Denver Colorado, Rangell began in music at the rather late age of 15 when he took up the flute. He soon discovered that he was blessed with a natural gift and passion for music and within six months, he was studying at the Interlochen Arts Academy. Shortly afterward, Nelson also started playing the saxophone, and a few years later won Downbeat's Best Jazz Soloist competition on both the high school and college level. His first solo album, released in 1987, received much critical acclaim and with each subsequent cd, Rangell’s popularity has shown continued growth. In fact not too long ago, Rangell’s style was described in Jazziz magazine and I quote … as rich in inspiration and powerfully unique in voice. Look Again is Rangell’s latest and from that effort we have Look Again, the inspiring title track.

Nelson Rangell

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