| Meanwhile, we have a selection from Peter White, a current
favourite that features Mindi Abair from St. Petersburg Florida. Now right
across the bay, in Tampa, is where today's showcase artist Eric Darius
hails from. Also calling Tampa home for the past several years is Les
Sabler who opens the show. So we have artists from Tampa both opening
and closing this show. Fun huh! But I'm certain that you get the idea
and if it really mattered, I know that we could link all the music that
we're playing. However, the most important factor that connects all of
today's selections is that they are all fantastic and together they create
the unique listening experience called Café Jazz!
on the Town - Eric Darius:
In spite of the
fact that he's still a student at the University of Southern Florida,
twenty-one year old Eric Darius is quickly developing into one of the
brightest young stars in Smooth Jazz. Inspired by the music at his church,
Darius first became interested in playing sax at ten. He took a few
lessons & was performing publicly soon after. In high school he excelled
in all aspects; in academics, athletics & in music. As a member of the
school Jazz Ensemble, Darius traveled to NYC to perform at a major festival.
The band came in fourth out of twenty entrants. But, more importantly,
while he was there Eric was accorded the great privilege of being asked
to jam with Wynton Marsalis and Paquito D'Rivera. All of this by the
age of 17. Following a tour with that same ensemble, this time to Japan,
Eric began recording his solo debut. He'd been dreaming about a project
since the age of 14 when he wrote Crusin'
in anticipation of getting his driver's license. That turned out to
be the title track for the album that he released in the year 2000,
although it wasn't promoted nationally until 2003.
We begin with Eric's superb cover of the Al Green classic, Let's Stay
Together. Heads Up, a tune cowritten by Ken Navarro smoothly and effortlessly
opens hour two while Joy Ride caps off our "night on the town"
As good as that effort was, Darius has definitely kicked things
up a notch with Night on the Town his latest release. Enlisting
the considerable talents of Ken Navarro
who among other things, produced the record, this record has catapulted
Darius into the upper echelons of young SJ artists. It brought
him an appearance at the Catalina Jazz Trax Festival hosted by
Art Good and most recently The Smooth Jazz News named Darius as
their " Debut Artist of the Year". All of this signals a very
bright future indeed for Eric & his music.
On a personal note, while on vacation in Tampa FL the past couple
of summers, it's been my pleasure to briefly hang with Eric, talk
with him a bit and catch him playing live. You couldn't hope to
meet a nicer & more talented young man and so it's now also my
pleasure to have Eric & his music as the subject of our showcase
CD: Night on the Town
Label: Higher Octave Music
Web Sites: Eric
Darius ; Ken
|Fresh Trax: Part One
- Greg Lowe:
From 1986 thru until 1990 Lowe toured with The Lincolns, a Toronto-based
Rhythm & Blues band. Since then he's concentrated for the most part,
on writing and performing. This has resulted in various scores for
television, theatre, and film. Several compositions have been featured
at the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra's New Music Festival and broadcast
by the CBC, and he has been commissioned by the WSO to compose a
piece for electric guitar for the 2005 Centara New Music Festival.
He continues to compose for television, theatre productions, radio
dramas, and films, and recently completed another successful stint
in Vancouver, directing the music and performing in "The River"
a theatrical concert of Joni Mitchell's music which he helped to
debut in Winnipeg in 2002.
| Also during this period, Lowe has recorded five
solo albums. The most recent of these is The Yellow Pelican, scheduled
for release in early December. On the project, Lowe once again demonstrates
that he is one of the finer guitarists in Canada, regardless of
the genre. From that effort I've selected Songo, a track on which
Lowe blends blues based jazz riffs with funky rhythms and grooves.
Featured as well on this selection is Rick Boughton on flugelhorn.
CD: The Yellow Pelican
Web Site: Greg
Tight Katydid - Dotsero:
their name from a small town in the Colorado Rockies, Dotsero, according
to Ute legend, means Something Unique. This band has a long history and
has been playing and recording for nearly 20 years. 1990 proved to be
a watershed point for the group and their critically acclaimed debut.
That project which had been released the previous year, enjoyed the #1
spot on the R&R contemporary jazz chart for a five week stint. Their follow
up projects met with similar success, with yet another #1 record and a
couple of others breaking into the top ten or top thirty. The Watts Brothers,
Stephen on sax and David on electric and acoustic guitars, continue to
steer the efforts of Dotsero. The band has become well known for the energy
of their live performance as well as for the fine caliber of their recordings.
Fresh Pants is now their seventh & latest release and from it we present
Sleep Tight Katydid, a pretty track which features the melodic side of
CD: Fresh Pants
Label: Cinderblock Records
Web Sites: Dotsero
; Jazz @
Mention: For A Little While - Gene Dunlap
I research music for Café Jazz, I will frequently come across
a selection that I can't believe how beautiful it is and how for
the most part it's been overlooked by radio. Such was the case as
I listened to Gene Dunlap,
who has long been a favourite, and his "I Still Believe"
cd. Now this album was actually released over a year ago, but as
sometimes is the case, certain music makes its way northward ever
so slowly, it's as if its arrival depended on dog sled and good
conditions. Be that as it may, I would like to publicly thank David
Chackler at 215 Records for sending me this fabulous cd and for
all the help that he has provided in supporting the cause! But I
digress. Would you like to hear a incredible piece? One that's so
soothing and restful, you really won't believe how great it is?
| That's what I said to my wife Jan after I discovered
this wonderful track. She agreed and I think that you might too!
I know that different people listen to music differently. However,
I for one am most drawn to selections that have the ability to transport.
So that brings us to the case in point and five full minutes of
sheer musical ecstasy! If you enjoy Café Jazz and are looking
for the quintessential smooth jazz track and one that encapsulates
the vibe of our show, this just could be it! Alexander Zonjic
(also appearing on the Fresh Trax segment later in the show) is
featured on flute! Some fantastic contributions are provided from
Dunlap band regulars, Ray Manzerolle on sax and Perry Hughes (no
relation to Brian) on guitar. Rounding out the lineup are Pat Prouty
on bass and the keyboard work of Charles Scales. All is under the
watchful of Gene himself who handles drums, programming, and production
duties. Now you really can't get much smoother than this!
CD: I Still Believe
Label: Liquid 8; Rhythm & Groove
After Hours ~
Exclusive to our Web Site:
have another fabulous installment of After Hours for you on this occasion.
A total of seventeen tracks most of which have never before been played
on our show. To come up with these selections I had to dig a bit more
deeply into a few recent releases from Gary Goin, Euge Groove, All-For-7,
Swing Out Sister, & Eric Marienthal. As well we're introducing the music
of Nighthawks out of Germany ( available on Wave
Music Vol.7 ) and Greg Adams
is in the spotlight on T&N. There's more but I've saved those for the
second part of AH as once again I've had to split this feature into two
segments. So once you're done listening to part 1 please be sure to click
on the second paw to hear part 2. If you do, you'll hear Craig Chaquico,
Anita Baker, & Jamie Bonk all with tracks that are new to the show!
Then & Now Feature: Greg Adams
Adams was a founding
member of Tower of Power, and the man primarily responsible for
the groundbreaking sound and style of that famous ensemble. After
25 years with the band and countless sessions with many of the biggest
names in music, Greg decided to set out on his own. In 1995, he
released Hidden Agenda, his debut. That project reached the #1 spot
on the smooth jazz charts, staying there for a period of about five
weeks. It also spawned Greg's fantastic cover of Sade's Smooth Operator.
Finally in 2002 after too long an absence from the studio, Greg
, his sophomore album. On that project, Adams exhibited
a further refinement in the appealing blend of smooth & funk that
has become a vital characteristic of his signature sound. FireFly
is Greg's latest release that takes his funky & energetic stylings
to even greater heights. As we feature Greg Adams on Then &
Now, check out the sounds of She Still Waits, Midnight Morning (the
title track), Burma Road, and Cruise Control from the above albums