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

May 17, 2003
Edition #289 Previously Next

Highlights !
Here we go again with another fantastic program. We open with Les Sabler, move to the pairing of Philippe Saisse and Marc Antoine for a SJ classic, throw in the new one from Daryl Hall and follow that with a hot new track from Solar Wind.... then we take off from there. We have a great tune from Paul Lamoureux and a few favourites from Soundscape, and Acoustic Alchemy as well as an outstanding piece from Dan Siegel. Be sure to catch the music and then you'll know why we call Café Jazz the smoothest show on radio!

Showcase CD
Steve Briody (self-titled) - Steve Briody :
You may very well have already heard some of Steve’s work as many of his compositions have been used on radio & television. As well, the NY Islanders of the NHL chose to use one of his tunes as their theme music. For Briody it all began when he first picked up the guitar at the age of 10 and learned a few riffs from his older brother. After high school Steve attended the State University, where he played classical guitar and also played and wrote for their big band. He got a chance to perform in Europe, went to grad school, and as Steve puts it, was "lucky enough to have made a living as a guitarist for the last 10 years or so." During this period, he did gigs, session work, and taught, but all the while Steve had it in his mind to record a cd of his own. This more or less brings us to the present as Briody has just followed through on that dream. His self-titled debut has been out for just a short while but already it’s beginning to draw a considerable amount of attention. In addition to a winning style that’s been described as fresh, soulful & smooth, the cd is loaded with some of the top players on the Contemporary Jazz scene; Eric Marienthal (Rippingtons), and Joel Rosenblatt (Spyro Gyra) among others and is produced by Bill Heller also of the Rippingtons.

Steve Briody

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Sweet Memories - Richard Elliot :
The Scottish born saxman was raised in Los Angeles where he grew up absorbing the classic R&B sounds of the 60s and 70s. Elliot began performing while in his mid-teens as he toured with Natalie Cole and The Pointer Sisters. This was followed by a stint with The Yellowjackets and a period as a session player at Motown Records. Then in 1982, Richard joined the renowned horn section of Tower of Power, spending a total of five years with the ensemble. It’s this time more than any other that Elliot credits with helping him develop as an artist and performer. It was also during his tenure with the band that he released his debut album. The success of that recording encouraged Elliot to go completely solo in 1987. Since then, his career has been nothing short of phenomenal, with Ricochet being the latest in a long list of excellent cds.

Rrichard Elliot
Wally's Badd - Doc City :
That’s the name under which Dr. Clarence Taylor MD records. As a teenager Taylor played various club and concert dates before his career path turned to medicine. In this regard Taylor received numerous awards for his advocacy in health care for the homeless. In the 80s, he was drawn back to music and in the last few years he has begun to receive recognition in this area as well. Kindred Spirits is his just released and long over due debut, and from it we have an up tempo piece titled Wally’s Badd. The title of the track is a bit of a nod, no doubt, to Wally Badarou, a keyboard and synthesizer player himself who is well known for his expressive playing and whose parents were also physicians.

Doc City Music

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Embrace - Eric Darius :
Eric first expressed interest in the sax, when at the age of 10, he was inspired by the playing at his church. He took some lessons & was performing publicly soon after. In high school, Darius excelled in all aspects; athletics, academics and music. In 1999, The Jazz Ensemble for which Eric played was selected to perform at a festival in New York City, placing fourth out of twenty bands. While there, Darius received the huge privilege of being asked to jam with Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D’Rivera; all of this by the age of 17. Darius was fortunate enough to tour Japan, again as a member of the ensemble and shortly after set about to record his debut solo project. Entitled Crusin’, the cd was recorded in the year 2000. However, as with many new artists in the SJ genre, it took time for word of this hot young saxplayer to spread as it's been only recently that the cd started to receive national & international promotion. From that effort we heard Embrace the warm opening track, with Ron Reinhardt lending his considerable talents on piano & keys to the selection. I’m confident that we'll be hearing a great deal more from Eric Darius in the years ahead.

Eric Darius
Rapture of the Blue - Gretchen Lieberum
Ms Lieberum is an interesting young vocalist whose style is somewhat reminiscent of what were termed torch singers back in the 1930s or so. That was a style of vocalist that were noted for the sultry and slow-burning quality of their ballads. When asked to describe her own work, Gretchen confesses that it’s not easy, but when pressed she often uses the terms 'jazz, soul and trip-hop influenced' . Lieberum originally hails from San Francisco but made the move south to LA a few years back. Brand New Morning is her brand release. On this her sophomore cd, Lieberum wrote or co-wrote all but a couple of the tracks and became much more involved with the production duties associated with the project. From that effort we had a tune that’s perfect for late night listening.

Gretchen Music
Nightgroove - Ultrablue :
A new name to smooth jazz fans. Producer John Smatla is the man who is largely responsible for the UltraBlue sound. A short while back, the classically trained pianist joined creative forces with guitarist Dave Stryker. Together they cultivated some of the leading players on the East Coast including David Mann, Rachel Z and Pete Belasco, with the result being Dusk 2 Dawn their just released debut. The cd is a collection which features a cool & sensual blend of smooth jazz and many contemporary grooves. In addition to his production duties, Smatla’s piano and keyboard work, and his programming are heard on every track. As well, he wrote five of the original pieces, with Stryker penning 4 others including the track that we'll be hearing.

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Smooth Jazz in Canada
Gig & New Release : After three Cds and many years working together, it's finally going to happen. Rob DeBoer and Tony Grace aka in smooth jazz circles as Four80East recently wrote to let us know about their long awaited and much anticipated debut gig, and while they were at it, they threw in some news about a new CD ....

" Well, it's been a long time coming...we’re finally putting together a live show! To get the ball rolling, we’ve just booked our first gig – Catalina Island Jazztrax Festival, Saturday, Oct. 18. Many thanks to Art Good for squeezing us in. With any luck we’ll be adding some more summer dates soon, and a schedule will be posted on the Four80East site very shortly.
The band will consist of Rob DeBoer (keys), Tony Grace (percussion), Jon Stewart (sax/flute) and Jack Trentman (guitar), with additional personnel rounding out the ensemble where possible. We will also be getting down to work on the next album very soon; hopefully we’ll have it finished by the end of the summer, ready for release early in 2004. "

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