Setting the Standard for Excellence in Smooth Jazz!!
This Week at Café

August 23rd, 2003
Edition #297 Previously Next

Highlights !
Café Jazz, Canada's first and longest-running independently produced Smooth Jazz program, takes to the airwaves for it's seventh season! As we hurtle headlong towards our special 300th anniversary show, this opening edition puts the emphasis on new music. Our mission has been and continues to be to bring you the best in Smooth Jazz and its related genres. We are relentless in our search for exceptional music that not only fits your lifestyle but music that will also soothe your spirit and stimulate your senses. Invariably we unearth a gem or two. In this regard, I believe that the upcoming show is packed with musical treasures! In addition to the Fresh Trax segment we have great new music from Acoustic Alchemy, Pamela Williams, and Michael Bublé who have all had new releases in the past few months or so. As well we have vintage selections from Allon Sams, Mark Winkler, and Peter White; and of course there are current favourites from Brian Bromberg and UltraBlue. Some other names that we'll be playing that you may not have heard before include Laura Turner and the East West Connection; plus there is the latest from The Rippingtons and Steve Cole. And as an added bonus for visitors to "" you will find a special extended instalment of After Hours, exclusive to our site. So please tell a friend about our program and encourage them to connect and listen. I'm certain that they too will agree Café Jazz is indeed your escape from ordinary radio!

Showcase CD
Nu Life Stories - Dave McMurray :
McMurray first began in music playing the clarinet but he switched to the sax shortly after seeing a performance by Cannonball Adderley. Dave now plays several different Saxes and has also added flute and various keyboards to the list of instruments that he’s mastered. Growing up in Detroit, the R&B flavoured Motown sound was understandably a huge influence on McMurray’s developing musical tastes and style. It was during his final years in high school when Dave was awarded a scholarship to attend a private school that he got more into jazz. Early on in his career he was able to work with such notables as Albert King, George Clinton, and Gene Dunlap and for a time he performed as a member of the funk group, Was (Not Was), before connecting with Bob James.
James had come to the Motor City to play a gig and McMurray was able to sit in on the session. Shortly after, when James’ regular sax player, Kirk Whalum, went out on tour with Whitney Houston, Dave was invited to join James on his stint to Japan. That was in 1993. Since then, McMurray has played & toured with Bob on several occasions and as well has worked on developing his own solo career. Nu Life Stories is now the 4th project that McMurray has recorded under his own name and the one that finds itself in our musical spotlight on this occasion. On the album the saxman from Detroit weaves his usual blend of intoxicating melodies and continues to explore new musical territory, all seamlessly connected by his wonderful playing. So as we showcase Nu Life Stories, we present a trio of super selections that include From Detroit to Cali, Sunday Morning, and Mack Avenue.

CD: Nu Life Stories
Label: Hip Bop Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
High Flyin' - Nick Colionne :
Born and bred in Chicago, Nick has been playing guitar since he was 9. He grew up in a household surrounded by jazz. In fact his mother and stepfather, under whose tutelage Nick first learned his craft, would often disagree as to whom he should emulate as a guitarist, Kenny Burrell or Wes Montgomery. (It seems Wes won out.) Nevertheless, Colionne became a professional musician while still in high school playing rock and R&B. Included on his resume are stints with artists such as the Impressions and Natalie Cole, gigs which in the course of events took Nick all over the world; and as a songwriter his music has been recorded by Paul Anka and Johnnie Mathis. In time Colionne chose to return to jazz, eventually deciding to go solo. He has released 4 cds to date. On Just Come On In, his latest and his debut on Three Keys Music, Nick incorporates many R&B and funk influences and from that effort we have High Flyin' the excellent lead single.

CD: Just Come On In
Label: Three Keys Music
Site: Nick Colionne

Alegria E Aviero - Zzah:
Zzah is a veteran jazz combo whose name means joy or effervescence. The band is primarily the trio of keyboardist Richard Garoogian, guitarist Rod Borges and drummer/percussionist Mark Shuklian. Hailing from central California, they have performed together for about 25 years or so and have been featured at numerous festivals throughout that state. In the process they’ve cultivated a style that mirrors the joy they experience in turning people on to their brand of contemporary jazz and have also recorded four fine cds. Of these Love the Children is their latest. From that release we’ve chosen Alegria E Aviero a track that is joyful and effervescent and one which well reflects their name of Zzah.

CD: Love the Children
Label: Higher Feelings
Site: Zzah

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Seeing is Believing - The Heddon Street Band :
The group takes its name from the two principles that head it. Keyboardist Randy Heddon attended the Berklee College Of Music in Boston and moved to Los Angeles shortly after graduating. He’s worked with a variety of artists and bands, most notably Oingo Boingo and Berlin and in the 90's toured extensively with several jazz combos. Saxman Jimmy Street is a native of Los Angeles. Street has performed with numerous artists over the past 18 years including Frank Sinatra and Patti Labelle. The two hooked up a few years back and recruited a few other top local musicians that complemented their styles and to fill out their sound. L. A. Dialogues is now their second release and from that project we have a great track which might just as easily been titled "hearing is believing".

CD: L.A. Dialogues
Label: Advantage Media/Music

Sunrise - Simply Red :
If you enjoy the music of Hall & Oates and the stylings of Simply Red, you have a nice two-for-one waiting in store for you. The Hall & Oates classic, I Can’t Go For That (No Can Do), is liberally sampled and lushly supplemented with some additional lyrics courtesy of Mick Hucknall. The whole affair has been freshly repackaged as Sunrise and is available on Home, the new one from Hucknall and Simply Red.

CD: Home
Site: Smply Red
Brighter Day - Brian Hughes :
The chemistry is unmistakable. Joining Brian on his new release, his debut on A440 are bassist Tim Landers, Neil Wilkinson, a top British session drummer, percussionist Jason Hann, and longtime band member pianist Les Portelli, who all take Hughes' music to a new level. Titled Along the Way, the cd is a reference of sorts to Brian’s relocation from Toronto to Los Angeles and a bit of a nod to his years of touring and to the experiences that he’s enjoyed along the way. Hughes has found the move to Southern California highly inspirational and this is well reflected by the melodies and performances on the collection.

*Café Jazz Pick of the Week*

CD: Along the Way
Label: A440 Music Group

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New this Week!
Essential Smooth Jazz Listening :
Frequently listeners write for help in finding some album that will help them get started in building a Smooth Jazz library. As a way of providing some guidance in this area, beginning this week, we're listing those cds that we not only would recommend but ones that we feel you should not be without. On this show, we're playing a track from each of the following and endorse these without hesitation as essential SJ listening!

Allon Sams - A Place in Time
Peter White - Promenade
Thom Rotella - A Day in the Life

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