October 4th, 2003
In addition to the FT segment, we have new music from Ken Navarro and Chuck Loeb. There are several brilliant tracks from the past including selections from Tom Grant, Sam Riney, Ronny Jordan, Pieces of a Dream, Mark Winkler, and Norman Brown. We've include a couple of gems from artists such as Native Vibe and Espirito that may not normally a great deal of exposure on commercial radio. To that we've added an assortment of current favourites from Bass X, Billy Paul Williams, Nura, and Rik Emmett. All in all it's going to be a wonderful program, but don't just read about it. Please join us, on the air or on line and experience Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection. This is music that's picked by design to soothe your spirit and stimulate your senses!
Come On Up - Brian Culbertson :
Ever since he first burst onto the SJ scene not quite ten years ago, Culbertson’s name has become synonymous with quality projects. Brian credits his dad, a high school band director, with helping him not only develop an ear for music, but also with teaching him how to play a wide variety of instruments. Brian began on piano at age 8, but in short order he had also added drums, trombone and bass to his arsenal. Bored with classical recital pieces, the young Culbertson began composing in junior high and as well was experimenting with a synthesizer and an old four-track recorder.
Soon after graduating, Brian headed to Chicago to further his studies in music. With the help of a family friend, Culbertson was able to sign a deal with the Mesa/Blue Moon Record label shortly thereafter. And so it came about that he single-handedly recorded his debut album, Long Night Out in the bedroom of an apartment that he shared with three college buddies. The album was a resounding success, spending ten consecutive weeks in the Top Five of the adult contemporary charts.
| Since then, Culbertson’s name has become somewhat of a
fixture near or at the top of the charts as he has enjoyed not only a
string of highly creative and successful releases under his own name but
has also helped pen and/or produce smash hits for Steve Cole, Bob James,
and Rick Braun, among others. This was all capped off just last year when
Brian was recognized as the top keyboardist in SJ. Come on Up is his latest
solo project, seventh overall, and the one that finds itself in our musical
spotlight on this occasion. From Come On Up, we have the title track with
Norman Brown on the track as well as Our Love and Playin'.
CD:Come On Up
Label: Warner Bros.
Site: Brian Culbertson
|Fresh Trax: Part One|
on Swan Pond - Joel Rodney :
Rodney grew up in Pleasantville New York but has resided in Colorado since about 1989. Along the way, he attended the U. of Iowa, graduating with a degree in Communications & Broadcasting. He’s worked in television as a newscast director and more recently has been involved in radio as a program host on CD104.3, the SJ station in Denver. Throughout this entire period, however, Rodney has maintained a desire to display his musical creativity and finally his moment has come. Epiphany is his recently released debut as a solo artist. From that endeavour, we have a track that well illustrates Joel’s talents as a composer, arranger, and musician.
Label: Joel Rodney Music
Site: Joel Rodney
Love - A. Ray Fuller :
For over three decades, Fuller’s considerable talents have graced countless projects. His resume includes contributions to the works of many legends such as Quincy Jones, David Foster, Dionne Warwick, Whitney Houston, Anita Baker, & Oleta Adams to name but a few. In the process the native Chicagoan has travelled the world over and earned the enviable reputation of being considered as a musician's musician. In spite of all of these successes and a very satisfying career, Fuller nevertheless felt the need to leave his own personal musical legacy. The sum of all these varied experiences has resulted in the release of his long over due debut cd as a solo artist. Titled The Weeper, the cd derives it's name from the nickname that Fuller was given by George Duke because of the emotive quality of his playing. The album showcases Ray not only as musician but also as an composer and arranger. This latter quality is well illustrated on Ray’s masterful cover of the Teena Marie composition from 1981 that we’ve selected on this occasion. Portuguese Love is the track, a tune on which Fuller is full measure for his star billing as he tastefully balances all the dynamics and subtleties of the selection.
*Café Jazz Pick of the Week*
CD: The Weeper
Label: A Ray Artists Music
|Fresh Trax: Part Two|
Beautiful Day - Kirk Whalum :
Whalum is one of the most highly regarded & well- respected saxplayers on the contemporary scene. Born in Memphis, Kirk grew up being exposed to all the music of the great players of the era who contributed so vitally to the Memphis Soul sound. On Into My Soul, his latest cd that has been out for a short while now, Whalum returns to the scene of his youth, as he revisits Memphis not only physically to record the album but also in the style and substance of his music.
CD: Into My Soul
Label: Warner Bros.
Site: Kirk Whalum
Thru - Kevin Chokan :
Chokan's first major gig in music was playing for George Duke. For the last six years, Chokan has been Diana Ross’ musical director, a capacity in which he continues to perform. In the years between, he toured extensively with a variety of well-known artists and made numerous TV appearances, in the process developing into a highly skilled and in demand player. In the midst of a packed schedule Kevin and a couple of other top-notch session guitarists were approached by Vernon Neilly, himself an accomplished guitarist, and asked to contribute to a project that Neilly was producing. The result was the release of G-Fire, an energetic cd where guitars rule the day. Twelve tracks in all on this one featuring four different guitarists of varying styles as they take center stage to present their individual personalities on a mix of smooth jazz and fusion flavoured passages.
Label: Boosweet Records
Amore - Special EFX :
It’s now been almost twenty years since the release of Special EFX's self-titled debut cd. In the time since, band co-founder Chieli Minucci has steadily explored an incredible variety of styles both within the context of the group and as a solo artist. I don’t know what it is about this man and his recent projects, however. He’s always been a great artist, one of the top musicians and producers in his chosen field. But of late Chieli seems to have definitely kicked things up a notch as he continues to seek new musical horizons to conquer. This has never been more apparent than with the release of Party, the latest cd to bear the Special EFX banner. The name of the project is totally appropriate as the cd carries all the flavour and variety of a party from the first few beats right until the final groove driven chords fade. It’s a party mood that’s saturated with a dance club feel, with interesting musical detours into chill and some slightly more exotic styles along the way.
In addition to Chieli’s tantalizing guitar & keyboard work, the cd features David Mann on sax and flute. The musical chemistry between the two is undeniable and results in an exhilarating experience of sound and style with long time Special EFX bassist Jerry Brooks (he's appeared on EFX's records since about 1993 or so) and Emedin Rivera on percussion perfectly filling out the sound of the combo.
*Café Jazz Pick of the Week*
Site: Chieli Music
|Indispensable Smooth Jazz Listening:|
| Each week we
provide you with a short list of cds that we recommend without hesitation.
Follow up on these and in no time you'll be the envy of all your SJ loving
friends. This is music that you should not do without. As is our custom,
we're playing a track from each on the show.
Norman Brown - After the Storm (1994 - MoJazz)
Espirito - Peace of Mind (2000 - Instinct Records)
Tom Grant - Lip Service (1997 - Shanachie)