The Café Jazz Best of '04 - Part 2
| Highlights Hour One
When The Time Comes - Dan Siegel:
Over the years, Dan's albums have provided an abundance of diverse material. To date he's issued 15 cds under his own name as well as one best of release. Melody, harmony, & mood have long been key characteristics of any Siegel production. These ingredients when coupled with Siegel's impeccable sense of good taste invariably result in a listening treat for fans new & old alike. Inside Out, Siegel's most recent project which was released in '04, is certainly no exception in that regard. In fact, it ranks among Siegel's finest & most consistent efforts to date. On a personal note, Dan was also the subject of my first interview for Café Jazz many, many years ago. Not only was he gracious and accommodating, he also conducted himself with style and class. It was then that I became a true fan of Mr. Siegel, not only for his music but also for the person that he is. So thanks Dan for making me feel at ease and thanks of course for all the fantastic music !
CD: Inside Out
Label: Native Language
Web Site: Dan Siegel
Vibes - Steve Barakatt:
Barakatt was only thirteen when he performed as guest soloist with the Quebec Symphony Orchestra. He released his debut cd the following year and now has numerous projects to his credit. A genuine lover of music, Steve enjoys exploring a variety of styles and has toured extensively. He's composed dozens of scores for both television and film and is also much in demand as a composer & producer. The Best Inspirations, his latest release, is a deluxe cd/dvd package. It includes a collection of songs from six previously released albums, thus chronicling much of Steve's career to date. However, it also provides a glimpse into the future as it contains four selections from a forthcoming album. Stay tuned! There is more incredible music on the horizon!
CD: Les Plus Belles Inspirations ~ The Best Inspirations (cd/dvd)
Label: XXI - 21 Productions
Web Site: Steve Barakatt
La Silla Donde Te Espere - Nestor Torres:
Nestor Torres provides us not only with a terrific highlight for this show but also with what might possibly be the longest title for any track that we played in '04. The name of the tune translates to "give me the chair where I waited for you" and right off I must apologize for my poor pronunciation of this on the show. Nevertheless, Sin Palabras or Without Words is Torres' eighth release and his first on the Heads Up record label. This latest project sees Nestor teaming up with James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream. In addition to contributing piano and various keyboards to many of the tracks, Lloyd is largely responsible for the production duties on the album (including the selection that I've chosen). The pairing works very well indeed, opening new musical vistas for Torres to explore and adding a slightly funkier edge to Nestor's sound. The result is, in my humble opinion, one of the finer releases in the year!
CD: Sin Palabras (Without Words)
Label:Heads Up International
Web Site: Nestor Torres
|Highlights Hour Two
You Mine - Peter White:
It's rare that an artist is able to strike a balance between creativity, musical integrity, & popularity, but such a player is Peter White. For over a dozen years Peter has generated some of the most melodic & memorable music in SJ and in the process has helped define the genre with a string of chart-topping releases. Peter's distinctive acoustic guitar work always sounds inviting and fresh and the warmth of his playing and beautiful instrumentation has seduced many a listener, including yours truly. In this regard, Confidential is no exception. The project took over a year to record as Peter strove to summon emotions from within. Are You Mine, with Mindy Abair on sax, is one of the most personal and revealing tracks on the album wherein Peter shares the depth of his feelings. It remains not only one of my favourite tracks from last year, but I also consider it one of my favourite selections ever from Mr. White.
Web Site: Peter White
Play - Theo Bishop:
For the past eight years, Theo Bishop has helped transform Native Language Music, a label that he cofounded, from an outlet for local contemporary jazz artists into an international company. In the meantime, he has not neglected the music side of things. Theo has performed with some the genre's biggest stars and has written & produced some of its top songs. Perhaps most notable among these is Hyde Park, The Ah Oooh Song, a tune that he cowrote and one that was a big #1 hit for Jeff Kashiwa. Now after nearly a decade of working behind the scenes, Bishop launched his solo career with the release of Newport Nights in 2004. The overall vibe of the album is one of optimism. Its also a project wherein Bishop places the focus squarely on melody and solid playing and was one of our most played cds in the past year.
CD: Newport Nights
Label: Native Language
- Marion Meadows:
When I first listened to Player's Club several months ago I believed that the album was one of the finest projects that I had heard to that point in the year. Since then, that opinion has not changed. In fact if anything, that belief has only grown stronger. On the effort, Meadows continues an association with Michael Broening that began one cd ago. In addition to contributing his production and compositional skills, Broening also handles keyboards & programming duties on several selections. The pairing works exceedingly well. Now the sound and style that Meadows has been honing for years is displayed to perfection as this effort contains some of Meadows' finest work to date. It may not surprise you then, that in addition to being one of our most played album's for the year, this cd provided a total of six tracks for our playlist as well as the tune that was the single most played track on our show for all of 2004. Now if you're looking for something smooth to listen to, you can't get much smoother than Suede by Marion Meadows!
CD: Player's Club
Label: Heads Up International
Web Sites: Marion Meadows
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
Our purpose here is, as always, twofold. To play the absolute best music that makes its way into our studios, and to provide a totally unique listening experience. It's as a result of this philosophy that each week we present a totally unique combination of selections that you will most likely be able to hear only here and nowhere else. Included are familiar names such as Lee Ritenour, Michael Lington, Jesse Cook, Fourplay, Hubert Laws, Norah Jones, Brian Bromberg, & Michael McDonald. We have tracks from each of those. But we're also playing fantastic pieces from Robert Monteleone, CM, Vorriece, Noubarian & Heywood, Joe Kurasz, Max Middleton and a few others that may not be quite as well known. You may also want to check out a special feature that we're calling "In The Lounge" that was inspired by one of our regular listeners and our ongoing contest. That's in the second half of this two-part presentation. So once you're done listening to Part 1, please be sure to click on the second paw for more of our Best of '04 special.