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

October 24th, 2004
Edition #337 Previously Next

Get set for musical excitement! We begin the show with a tune that's certain to whet your appetite. It's Delicioso from Ken Navarro! We have classic tracks, from Ronny Jordan, Michael Franks and Kilauea. Among the current batch of Café Jazz favourites are selections from Seal, Chris Botti, and Marion Meadows. There's a great track from The Benoit Freeman Project. And what program would be complete without something from Peter White? Add to that an outstanding set of Fresh Trax and a superb showcase feature. Now you're getting the idea! Throw in some Les Sabler and Brian Hughes. Add a pinch of David Mann and toss in something special from Special EFX. That's it, a show that I believe may rank among our finest for the year. It's exciting from beginning to end and hopefully you'll find it as exhilarating & enjoyable to listen to as it was to create!

In This Issue:

The Good Life - David Lanz

Don't Ask My Neighbors - Garry Goin
Cream - Soul Ballet
In The Pocket - TFOXX
Blossom - Machan
Her Boyfriend's ... - Craig Chaquico

Then & Now Feature -
Steve Oliver
SPINLIST: Spinlist Ed#337

Showcase CD
The Good Life - David Lanz:

David Lanz played in several bands as a teen and had aspirations of "making it" as a rock musician. However, at nearly the same time, he began to develop his style as a solo pianist. For the most part, this came about almost unintentionally. While performing in a small nightclub In Seattle, Lanz would introduce original material into his repertoire as the establishment required a varied mix of music. Based on the positive response that these selections generated, it wasn't too long before David found that he was playing his own compositions almost exclusively. In the course of things Lanz released Heartsounds, his solo debut, and with it he launched what has developed into a highly successful career. Over the past 20 years or so, he's issued a total of 16 solo projects to go along with 3 collaborative efforts when he teamed with guitarist Paul Speer as well as 3 additional albums of seasonal music. The result has seen Lanz achieve and maintain a status as one of the most prominent & popular artists in instrumental music.

Nevertheless, the last couple of cds have seen a shift in David's style, from one that was focused in new age music to one that exhibits a much jazzier approach to playing. The transition began a couple of years ago with the release of Finding Paradise, Lanz's successful foray into smooth jazz. The Good Life, David's recently released follow up project moves even further in that same direction. Lanz has long been known for selections that were either spiritual or romantic and in that regard his music has always been quite reflective in nature. To a large extent, this has not changed on the new release. What has changed however, is the sense of celebration that his music transmits. In fact, that is essentially what the album title was intended to convey.
So, as we showcase The Good Life, we begin with the title track. Kal-E-Fornia, laden with as easy piano groove and splashes of a funky horn section led by Jerry Hey, kicks off the second half of the show. And to close we have Mystical, a superb track that features Michael Paulo on sax and Jeff Lorber on keys. Make no mistake smooth jazz lovers. This is one fabulous record. I'm set to include it on our year-end summary for the best cds of 2004 and it's also a recent addition to my indispensable listening list!

The Good Life
Label: Decca
Site: David Lanz

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Fresh Trax: Part One

Don't Ask My Neighbors - Garry Goin:
As a youth growing up in Cleveland, Goin didn't begin playing the guitar until he was 17. At that time he found a name in the phone book and actually hopped on a bus to get to his first lesson. In the course of events, Goin landed in Memphis about 14 years ago. There he had a variety of experiences including many gigs on that city's historic Beale Street. In time, he connected with renowned producer, composer, & arranger David Porter. It's been a fruitful association, which has led to projects for sports and television. He's also had the opportunity to work & record with a variety of artists: most recently he cowrote and produced Into My Soul for Kirk Whalum. Together with his early exposure to music in Cleveland, these have all had an influence on Goin as an artist. In that respect, he's been well primed for the release of his solo debut. It's titled Goin' Places and from it we have Garry's great cover of the old hit from the Emotions. And, as he returns the favour, this one feature Kirk Whalum on sax!

CD: Goin' Places
Label: Compendia

Cream - Soul Ballet:
Kelly was already performing by the age of ten. He started playing in clubs as early as 14, although he had to sneak in the back door in order to be able to do so. Rick has recorded with a string of top artist too numerous to mention but the list includes names such as Herbie Hancock, Robert Palmer, The London Symphony Orchestra, Madonna, & Chicago among many others. However, it's his work as Soul Ballet that has brought Kelly two number one albums and two number one hits. Soul Ballet presents a hybrid blend of smooth jazz coupled with pulsating rhythms and in so doing, it transcends many of the traditional boundaries between genres. Kelly masterminds the entire affair. He plays a number of different instruments and also acts as producer, arranger & programmer. The self-titled debut released in 1996, initiated a string of successful projects with dreamBEATdream now the fifth and most recent. From that endeavour, we have the first single titled Cream. The track features the superb trumpet of Ken Ross and has already begun a quick climb to the top of the charts just as its name might suggest!

CD: dreamBEATdream
Label: 215 Records

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Fresh Trax: Part Two

In The Pocket - TFOXX:
Willie J. Thompson III records as TFOXX, a nicknamed that he picked up for the sly way that he plays guitar. Thompson studied trumpet in elementary school thru until junior high. However, it wasn't until high school, when the native of St. Petersburg Florida picked up the guitar, that he discovered his musical passion. As a young man, Willie entered the Marine Corps. This was a rather lengthy gig, but allowed Thompson to perform all over the USA as leader of various combos, and to appear with Chubby Checker live in Japan. Since then, TFOXX has worked at establishing himself on the music scene in the Tampa Bay area. He's opened for a variety of artists including George Benson, BB King, Roger Smith, & more recently for Brian Culbertson & Patti Austin. Earlier this year he won a battle of the bands competition sponsored by WSJT the smooth station in that area. Now a veteran performer, TFOXX has played professionally for 29 years, and has 4 previous cds to his credit. Nevertheless, Thompson is presently set to launch a brand new phase in his career with his latest project, produced by Allon Sams at Studio A in Tampa Florida. From that effort, due for release early in 2005, we'll hear In The Pocket, a tune full measure for its title, and one that suitably implies that we're in for a musical treat at the hands of Messrs. TFOXX and Sams!

Label: TFOXX Music
Site: TFOXX Music

Blossom - Machan:
Machan is Machan Taylor who was born in Yokohama Japan. Although her family wasn't at all connected to show biz, Machan just naturally gravitated to the stage. She started performing at ten as a ballet & tap dancer in New Jersey where she grew up. By 12, the young Ms Taylor had taught herself how to play guitar so that she could accompany herself while she sang. At 16 she teamed up with friend & mentor Grover Kemble. They enjoyed some success as a duo and later moved to NYC to form the group ZaZuZaz. Since that time, Machan has enjoyed a varied & multifaceted career. After a short stint studying jazz theory & vocal performance, she toured with the Glenn Miller Orchestra as the featured vocalist. She's appeared live with Sting & Pink Floyd. She was the lead singer for the group Hiroshima from 88 thru until 91 a period, which included the recording of East. Taylor toured with Bobby Caldwell for a couple of years and has also worked with George Benson & Pat Benatar. Now back in NYC, Machan has established herself as a session singer & continues her work on commercials and scores for film & TV. Most recently she appeared on the track Icy recorded by Rafe Gomez of The Groove Boutique. In addition, she finally released her solo debut earlier this year. From that project, we'll hear a cool tune where Brazilian music meets chill. Blossom is the track and in addition to Machan on guitar & vocals, Danny Lewis also contributes vocals & some piano to the tune. This one soothes as it energizes and is definitely a pick as one of the top tracks for the year !

CD: Machan
Label: A440 Music Group
Site: Machan

Her Boyfriend's Wedding - Craig Chaquico:
Chaquico's journey in music began as the result of a personal tragedy. At the age of twelve, he fell victim to a drunk driver. Despite multiple injuries, which included two broken arms as well as a broken leg, wrist and thumb, Craig's desire to master the guitar became his motivation for recovery. Self-taught and still in high school, he started gigging around town and then, although he was only sixteen at the time, Grace Slick recruited him as lead guitarist for her new band Jefferson Starship. By the time he left that group, Craig had become disillusioned with the "corporate" mentality that permeated rock 'n' roll. Unsure of which direction to take, fate stepped in to provide an answer. His wife was pregnant at the time and to quote Craig," ..the electric guitar was not as welcome around the house." He started playing around with the acoustic guitar and soon remembered its healing tendencies. And so it was that Craig took a left turn into what was then uncharted musical terrain. Never abandoning his rock roots, but rather expanding his musical radius, Chaquico released his first solo project to great acclaim and has since developed into one of the top artists in contemporary instrumental music. Inspired by the expression "jazz noon" for midnight, Midnight Noon is his brand new release and seventh overall. From that effort we have Her Boyfriend's Wedding, the advance single & the fabulous lead track!

CD: Midnight Noon
Label: Higher Octave Music
Site: Craig Chaquico

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
On this edition we're revisiting a few current tracks and we're playing a few new ones as well. We have selections from George Benson, Dan Siegel, Spyro Gyra, Terry Disley, & Lynn Cannon. There's brand new music from Brenda Russell, Swing out Sister, & trumpeter Ken Ross (who also appears on Soul Ballet's Cream featured on the FT segment). We're doing a bit of exploring as we delve more deeply into the current release from Everette Harp. I've selected a tune that features Harp and a powerhouse lineup of all star talent, so you won't want to miss that. There's more as Steve Oliver is featured on T&N. But why not tune in for an hour of fabulous music with very little chatter, and get into the great grooves of After Hours !

Then & Now Feature : Steve Oliver

Passion in Paradise

First View
Native Language

Positive Energy
Native Language


Steve Oliver: Steve first burst onto the music scene back in 1997. Ex-Rippington Steve Reid had asked Oliver to join him on Mysteries, his third Bamboo Forest Project. Oliver not only performed on that recording, penning 9 of the selections, he also hung around for one more album. This led to the release of Oliver's own solo debut that same year. Steve's sophomore project titled Positive Energy was a stellar follow-up effort. It garnered loads of rave reviews including our own CJ endorsement as one of the finest cds of 2002 and spurred it's inclusion on our indispensable listening list. It now appears that Oliver is intent on exceeding even that effort as he has just issued 3D, his appropriately titled 3rd release. We have an excellent sampling cross section on After Hours. Check out the sounds of Passion in Paradise, One Wish, Festevo (one of my all time Oliver favourites), and Wings of Spring from the above albums respectively!

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