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

May 10th, 2003
Edition #288 Previously Next

Highlights & Smooth Jazz Awards !
We always try to give you a program that's distinctive and fresh and I believe that the upcoming show hits the mark squarely! We have favourites by Joyce Cooling, Four80East, Marc Antoine, Allon Sams, Herb Alpert and several others. There is the usual assortment of current hits, including tunes from Chieli Minucci and Nelson Rangell, artfully blended with some recent efforts from up and coming artists such Fortune Vinson Cruse and Nura. Throw into the mix the showcase cd feature, our Fresh Trax segment, together with a surprise or two and ... well... the results speak for themselves.

In related news, Gregg Karukas, the author of our showcase cd on this edition of the show, has been nominated for best keyboardist in SJ at the National Smooth Jazz Awards. Other nominees in the category include greats Joe Sample, Bob James (also on this edition of the show on the FT segment), George Duke, David Benoit and last year's winner, Brian Culbertson. The winners will be announced on June 18th.

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Showcase CD
Heatwave - Gregg Karukas :
Since around the time that he first heard and saw the Beatles on TV, Karukas had dreamed of playing his own music and somehow creating the same type of magic that he felt back then. Lucky enough to be born with a bit of natural talent, Gregg found his way into the jazz clubs and studios of Washington, DC and the Baltimore area where he was considered one of the top fusion and studio players in town. In 1983, Karukas moved to Los Angeles. He soon became a major part of the pop jazz scene and appeared as an original member of the Rippingtons in 1986. He earned a reputation not only a highly skilled player but also became well known for his tasteful musical arrangements. Including his first solo work, which has been re-issued and actually predates his stint with the Ripps, Karukas has released a total of 9 fine cds. It is the most recent of these, his excellent 2002 Heatwave project, that finds its way into our musical spotlight on this occasion.

Site: Gregg Karukas

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Real Chocklett - Ronald Turner & the Fashion Statement :
The ensemble is a versatile quartet of players led by drummer Ronald Turner. They’ve performed together as a group since about 1990 or so, always intent on instilling joy into the hearts and minds of their listeners. Theirs is a deeply felt creativity and although the members first joined forces as a jazz/funk ensemble, they also enjoy playing a wide variety of styles ranging from contemporary instrumentals to an interesting blend of straight-ahead jazz with blues and Latin rhythms. It’s All About Love is their just released debut which focuses primarily on the very natural combination of love songs together with SJ.

Site: Pocket Slam

At Last - Ronny Jordan :
The son of a preacher, Gospel music was understandably, always an integral part of London-born Jordan's musical education. Through it Ronny learned the intricacies of melody & harmony as well as the most difficult lesson of all, when less is in fact more. Jordan’s guitar textures were first brought to public attention in 1992 with the release of his groundbreaking debut CD, The Antidote. Now regarded as an acid jazz classic, many compositions on the album featured the unlikely fusion of Rap with Smooth Jazz. This opening chapter of Jordan’s career well disguises the fact that Ronny had been playing in London clubs and exploring various avenues in music through most of the 80s. Now a half dozen or so releases later, the self-taught guitarist has set a new direction on his latest project. On the effort, Jordan exhibits the confidence and maturity in his compositions and playing that can only come about through many years of honing his craft. And from it we have the fabulous title track.

Site: Ronny Jordan

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Five O'Clock Chateau - Bob James :
With over 30 solo releases, a handful of stellar collaborations and several more projects as a member of the super group Fourplay, James continues to be a highly creative and influential force in contemporary music. His latest effort is Morning Noon and Night and from it, we'll be featuring Five O’clock Chateau, a very nice tune that is highlighted by the trumpet of Rick Braun who guests on the track. This is the second piece that we've included on our FT segment in the last few weeks and we may not be done yet.

Site: Bob James

Finsbury Park, Café 67 - Candy Dulfer :
Some people as they say, are just born to play music and so it must be with Ms Dulfer who began on the sax at the age of six. Her father Hans Dulfer, himself a renowned player, first introduced Candy to the stage after she had been playing for only a few months. She took to the instrument quite naturally and by the age of 14 was fronting her own band. A few years later, the group opened for Madonna and then played as Madonna's back band. Things happened in rapid succession after that as Candy also got a gig with Prince and then teamed up with Dave Stewart of the Eurythmics. The result of this latter partnership was the track Lily was Here which was a smash hit in Europe and appeared on Dulfer’s 1991 debut. Fast forward about a dozen years or so and the Dutch-born saxlady is poised to release her new one titled Right in My Soul. From that effort we have the radio edit of Finsbury Park, Café 67.

Site: Candy Dulfer
Norooz - Shahin & Sepehr :
Incredible is one of the first adjectives that comes to mind when hearing the sound of Shahin & Sepehr. Sepehr, a native of Washington DC, first met up with the Iranian born Shahin in the 70s, while both were attending the International School of Tehran. They shared a love of music as well as styles that well complimented one another. As such the two soon became close friends and for a time enjoyed playing together. Although they went their separate ways, a few years later they reconnected in the US. In 1994, the duo recorded their debut cd as they embarked on their mission of spreading the message of peace through the universal language of music. Now several fine cds later, Nostalgia is their latest. As they continue to fondly explore their Persian musical heritage, we'll be playing the excellent Norooz.

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