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Show Notes The Café Jazz Newsletter

May 1st, 2004
Edition #323 Previously Next

Highlights !
On this program, we're getting hip to the sounds of Grady Nichols and Sophistication. We'll tell you a bit about Grady & his music and we'll spin a few selected tracks from the album as part of the showcase feature. Then in hour 2 it's time again for the FT segment. On this installment we have the latest from Pieces of a Dream and Gene Dunlap. Added to that are the names of Edison West, Analysis, & Matt Marshak, for an installment that lives up to the FT billing. But you know that there's much much more to Café Jazz than that. We have music from Ray Garand and Demo Cates. A. Ray Fuller is on the show. Plus we're featuring more than a couple of favourites including music from Joe Fuentes, Michael Franks, and the pairing of Boney James & Rick Braun.

In This Issue:

Sophistication - Grady Nichols

Nightlife - Analysis
It's Go Time - Pieces of a Dream
Up South - Gene Dunlap
Quest for an Angel - Edison West
I Will Be With You - Matt Marshak

There are also a few not as well known known but nevertheless superb blasts from the past by Walter Duda, Brave New World, and Peter Horvath. And if that wasn't enough, as an added bonus we're including some current favourites by The Alan Hewitt Project, Dan Siegel, and Najee. It all begins with a great track from Fridrik Karlsson and you!

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Showcase CD
Sophistication - Grady Nichols:
Nichols picked up his first sax while in the sixth grade. He continued to play throughout high school & university and after graduating, moved to Tulsa OK. There, he quickly became known on that city's scene for his appealing blend of jazz and gospel music. Nichols released his solo debut in 1996, & with that effort Grady became recognized as one of the brighter emerging stars on the SJ scene.

Out for just for a short while is Sophistication, now his fourth and latest cd. Nichols has definitely kicked things up a notch on this new endeavour, having enlisted the aid of Jeff Lorber who produced and co-wrote the album. Chris Botti & Ray Fuller both make guest appearances and Paul Brown the award-winning producer handles all the mixing duties. The completion of the project was spread over a lengthy period and also spanned two major events as Nichols first got married and then became a father.
This combination of circumstances and key personnel provided the perfect backdrop & all the right ingredients to make this release a winner. Indeed, in Nichols' own estimation, it's his best project to date and it's also the subject of our showcase feature on this occasion. From Sophistication we give you Alone With You, Within the Blue, and Circle of Friends.

CD: Sophistication
Label: Grady Nichols Ltd.
Site: Grady Nichols

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Nightlife - Analysis:
We open the FT segment with new music from the Sacramento based combo recording as Analysis. Led by bassist & 30-year music industry veteran A. D. Burrise, the band was first formed in 1993. Since it's inception, Analysis has presented an appealing blend of R&B and jazz-fusion all while steering clear of an excessively commercial sound. Nightlife is now their third release. For this latest chapter in the Analysis story, Burrise recruited a few top talents for their creative contributions, including Jeff Lorber, Chris Camozzi, Ray Obiedo & Peter Horvath. The latter two are both featured on Nightlife, the title track.

CD: Nightlife
Label: Q&W Music
It's Go Time - Pieces of a Dream:
Back in 1976, in Philadelphia, James Lloyd and Curtis Harmon began playing together while they were still in their teens. Initially calling their group The Classic Touch, they adopted the name Pieces of Dream, based on a tune by Stanley Turrentine that was part of their repertoire. The late Grover Washington, Jr., mentored the group for several years, and in fact produced their first three cds. Now many years later, and just a short while after celebrating their 25th anniversary in the music business, the sound of the Dream has never been brighter. Since joining the Heads Up record label, Lloyd & Harmon have set new standards of excellence for their ensemble. Just out is No Assembly Required, their 3rd and latest release on Heads Up. This one picks up where the last cd left off with several top tracks that rank among the group's finest efforts to date including the opening track that being the one that we've chosen on this occasion.

CD: No Assembly Required
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Pieces Jazz

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Up South - Gene Dunlap:
Dunlap, who grew up in Detroit, took up drums while in high school. Early on in his career he hooked up with Earl Klugh with whom he enjoyed a long 20-year affiliation on both record and on tour. This was interrupted for brief periods when Gene put out a few releases as leader of his own projects. In the midst of all this though, Dunlap chose for a time to forgo his career as musician in order to teach inner city youth back in Detroit. It's only within the last few years that Dunlap has returned to music. Wass Up is his soon to be released latest effort and from that recording we're featuring Up South the excellent advance single.

*Final cover art is currently not available.*

CD: I Still Believe (2003)
Label: Liquid 8
Quest for an Angel - Edison West:
Although he grew up in the southern US, in one of the hot beds of country music, West chose a different musical path. Edison began playing guitar in 1974 as a hobby. He was influenced by the Crusaders & in particular their Chain Reaction album. As a result of this and a few others, West came to appreciate various styles of music, a fact which is well reflected in his writing and playing. After studying music and audio engineering at the University of North Carolina, West decided to teach guitar. In addition, over the past twenty years, he's played in several bands, and for the past 12 years he's also owned and operated his own studio. Playing Outside is now his second release. The album features West's own fusion of styles, as Jazz, Latin, Rock, Reggae and Blues are all harmonized into one flavour that is uniquely his own.

CD: Playing Outside
Label: Eye of the Needle
I Will Be With You - Matt Marshak:
A promising young artist, Marshak well exemplifies a new breed of emerging players in contemporary music. Marshak knew early on that his passion for playing would be his life. He became involved in the NYC scene and was soon performing regularly as a sideman. In short order, he recorded his own debut album, did oodles of gigs in and around the Big Apple and all the while worked at honing his style and refining his sound. He was in the process of completing his sophomore project, when he submitted some finished tracks for an artist search cosponsored by CD101.9, the SJ radio station in NY. After being one of about a thousand entrants Marshak found his name to be among the 12 finalists, eventually winning that contest and earning recognition as the Best New Smooth Jazz Artist In New York. No wonder either as Matt expertly blends jazz, pop, blues, and soul with hip rhythms and enticing melodies as you'll hear with the great track that we've chosen from that very same effort.

CD: This Time Around
Label: Nuance Music Group/Kemistre
Site: Matt Marshak

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