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

November 28th, 2004
Edition #340 Previously Next

This shows seems to have many threads, themes, or connections throughout. As such, it makes writing this intro into a somewhat convoluted but highly interesting venture. Okay so here we go. A few cities, a couple of artists, and a few loose associations are all that is needed to connect the dots between many of the artists that we're featuring on this edition.

The city of New York is well represented on this program as we have selections from Machan, Matt Marshak, and the trumpeter known only as CM. Representing Toronto is the music of The CSG and guitarist Aidan Mason. Speaking of Canadian cities, Winnipeg's Greg Lowe kicks off the FT segment. Alexander Zonjic who closes FT, also appears on a fantastic tune by Gene Dunlap and his band. Meanwhile appearing on Zonjic's track are Peter White and Jeff Lorber. For many years Lorber made his home in Portland Oregon from whence hails Chris Botti who also appears on this edition of Fresh Trax.
In This Issue:

Night on the Town - Eric Darius

Songo - Greg Lowe
Sleep Tight Katydid - Dotsero
No Ordinary Love - Chris Botti
I Wished on a Moon - Marilyn Scott
Isabela - Alexander Zonjic

For A Little While - Gene Dunlap

Then & Now Feature - Greg Adams
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!

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Showcase CD
Night 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.

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 feature.

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" with Eric!

CD: Night on the Town
Label: Higher Octave Music
Web Sites: Eric Darius ; Ken Navarro

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Songo - 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
Label: Independent
Web Site: Greg Lowe
Sleep Tight Katydid - Dotsero:
Taking 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 their sound.

CD: Fresh Pants
Label: Cinderblock Records
Web Sites: Dotsero ; Jazz @ Jacks

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
No Ordinary Love - Chris Botti:
Chris is a native of Portland Oregon but grew up in Corvallis, a small town located about 90 minutes away. Chris's mother was a classically trained pianist who also taught piano, and as such she was his earliest musical influence. In spite of this, Botti chose instead to take up the trumpet at the age of ten. He was performing professionally while still in high school and then continued his studies in music in Indiana. In 1986, Botti relocated to New York City and with the direction of a few topflight producers, he soon developed into a well regarded session player. In 1990, Chris was asked to join Paul Simon's band. He toured with Simon for a five-year period, so that it wasn't until 1995 that he finally recorded his solo debut. His next few releases were all well received but it was Chris's association with Sting that really thrust Chris & his music into the limelight.
That began in 1999, when Botti joined Sting as featured soloist on a lengthy stint that lasted over two years. With a break of only ten weeks between that tour and the Jazz Trax Christmas Tour, Botti felt energized by the challenge of creating an album in a very short period of time. The resulting effort was Night Sessions, which climbed as high as # 2 on the Contemporary Jazz charts. That cd proved to be Botti's most successful release to date, that is until his most recent release, When I Fall In Love, catapulted to # 1. From that effort we selected Chris's cover of Sade's No Ordinary Love.

CD: When I Fall In Love
Label: Columbia Records
Web Site: Chris Botti
I Wished On A Moon - Marilyn Scott:
Over the course of her career, Scott has established herself as a premiere vocalist & songwriter. Marilyn was born & raised in southern California. She started performing in school functions and was playing clubs by the time she was fifteen. Early on, Scott relocated to San Francisco to attend college on an art scholarship but also worked at establishing herself on that city's music scene. She fronted a few Cover Groups and Latin-Jazz bands and, in the process, Emilio Castillo of Tower of Power befriended her and hired Scott to handle vocal duties with the band. Those sessions prompted Marilyn to return to Los Angeles as a studio singer. After work with a variety of groups such as Spyro Gyra, the Yellowjackets, and Hiroshima, Scott set out as a solo artist. Her first effort was a single, a cover of Brian Wilson's "God Only Knows'', that reached The Top 100 on Billboard.
After releasing her debut album as a solo artist in 1979, it was some time before Marilyn returned to solo recording. Her base in Los Angeles and her years as a studio singer led to loads of movie-soundtrack work. In 1991, she teamed with Bobby Caldwell and scored a big hit in Japan, which resulted in her headlining a tour of that country. Several projects followed throughout the 90s, including a pair of releases produced by George Duke. On Nightcap, her eighth & latest release, that creative association is rekindled. Together they strike a balance that brings freshness to the arrangements and one that allows Marilyn to explore all of her varied interests in R&B, pop, jazz and Brazilian music. We begin our exploration of the disc with its opening piece. Marilyn's superb stylings, some tantalizing piano from Mr. Duke, and Dori Caymmi on background vocals and guitar all contribute to making this relaxing and rhythmic track a standout!

CD: Nightcap
Label: Prana Entertainment
Web Site: Marilyn Scott

Isabela - Alexander Zonjic:
Seldom Blues is not only the latest album from flautist Alexander Zonjic, it's also the name of a brand new jazz supper club in Detroit. Seldom Blues opened in June of this year. It's an exciting venture dedicated to serving up great food and presenting live music & it was the inspiration for the cd. As part of the enterprise, Zonjic wished to create a record that reflected the spirit of the project. Hence he enlisted the aid of several close friends; namely James Lloyd, Bob James,Jeff Lorber, Kirk Whalum, Earl Klugh, and Peter White who all contribute to the album. The result is not only another highly enjoyable outing from Zonjic, but it may represent his most consistent and finest effort to date. From Seldom Blues we present the Spanish flavoured Isabela, a tasty piece featuring Peter White in collaboration with Jeff Lorber.

CD: Seldom Blues
Label: Heads Up International
Web Site: Alexander Zonjic

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Special Mention: For A Little While - Gene Dunlap
As 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

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
We 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

215 Records

Midnight Morning
Blue Note

Hidden Agenda


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 released Midnight Morning, 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 respectively!

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