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

February 6th, 2005
Edition #349 Previously Next

Thanks for joining me for a fabulous show! On this edition, we're spotlighting Up Front, the debut album from Paul Brown, the top producer in SJ. In hour 2 we have another dazzling (and I do mean dazzling) installment of Fresh Trax. What a great blend of music! This of course can happen only on Cafe Jazz. On this occasion we'll be hearing from Chuck Loeb, who toured with the legendary Stan Getz back in the 70s. We have the new one from Bobby Caldwell as he teams up with Deniece Williams. We'll be hearing from Jamie Cullum out of the UK, and we're also introducing the music of Bobby Wells and Nils. Then around those features we build an exceptional program that includes classic tracks from Kenny G, George Benson, David Benoit, Tom Grant, Soundscape, and Dave McMurray! Current favourites include selections by Pamela Williams, Queen Latifah, and Nicolas Bearde. And as an added treat I've thrown in music from Paul Lamoureux and Steve Barakatt. Those and more are all on this sensational show!

In This Issue:

Up Front - Paul Brown

What A Difference ... - Jamie Cullum
Tropical - Chuck Loeb
I Barely Know You - Bobby Wells
Where Is The Love - Bobby Caldwell
Pacific Coast Highway - Nils

C'est l'aviron qui ... - Paul Lamoureux

Then & Now Feature - Chris Botti

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Showcase CD
Up Front - Paul Brown:
For the last 20 years, Paul Brown has worked as a SJ producer & engineer. In that respect he's recorded with the most prominent names in the genre, from Boney James to George Benson, from Sam Riney to Peter White. In the process, Brown has secured a reputation as a one of the best in the business. His production talents have resulted in an impressive string of hits that include over 40 #1 songs to go along with a pair of Grammys. Some time ago, Brown was due for a rare break in his busy schedule. Without any sessions planned for period of a couple of months, he decided to return to his first love, the guitar, & finally record his own long overdue solo debut. That was released a few months back. The project places the focus squarely on Brown's prowess as a player and rather appropriately he called the album Up Front. It's clear from a single listen that Brown's gifts extend well beyond the production studio and engineering console. He comes across as a polished performer who plays with the style and finesse of a seasoned musician. In fact, it may be those very same qualities that have contributed so greatly to Paul's success as a producer.

In any event, as we show case, Up Front, we begin with Moment by Moment, a tune that was co-written by Chuck Loeb who is also featured on acoustic guitar on the track. Angel, one of Wes Montgomery’s most well-known tunes opens hour 2 and reveals Brown’s admiration for the legendary guitarist. He uses some phrasing that was inspired by Wes while incorporating a funky groove that allows the tune to swing along quite nicely. Finally 24/7, the first release from the album, features the trumpet of Rick Braun and brings the feature and the show to a fitting finale!

CD: Up Front
Label: GRP
Web Site: Paul Brown

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Fresh Trax: Part One

What A Difference A Day Made - Jamie Cullum:
The twentysomething sensation from England, has been playing guitar and piano since he was eight. Cullum inherited a keen interest in jazz from his older brother Ben, and spent some of his formative years living in Paris where he honed his skills performing in clubs. He eventually returned to England and earned a degree from Reading University. Heard It All Before was Cullum's first album which was recorded during that same period. The surprise success of the project led to the release of Pointless Nostalgia, in 2002. That record received heavy airplay & prompted the release of "twentysomething" in the fall of 2003 in the UK. Within the first few months of its release, "twentysomething" became Britain's fastest selling jazz album ever, and contributed to making Cullum the biggest selling UK jazz artist in history. This success led to its North American release in 2004 and the album has since gone on to become a million-seller worldwide.

CD: twentysomething
Label: Verve
Web Site:
Jamie Cullum

Tropical - Chuck Loeb:
Growing up in the musically fertile 60s, Loeb began guitar at age eleven and initially learned all the top pop songs of the day. At around the age of 16 though, Loeb was exposed to jazz, in particular the music of Wes Montgomery and John McLaughlin, which permanently influenced his approach to playing. After a two-year stint at Berklee in Boston, in 1979, Chuck was asked to join The Stan Getz Band. He toured with the legendary sax player for nearly two full years and credits this period as most critical in his development as an artist. It was then that he learned the true value of every note that he played.

Eventually, Loeb left to pursue other interests and worked at establishing himself on the studio scene in New York City. He played on hundreds of sessions and in 1988, he finally released his solo debut. With that & his successive projects, Loeb has been able to achieve a rare mix of critical acclaim and commercial success. His own compact discs have yielded many top 10 singles, including three #1 records. Meanwhile, Loeb has also worked as a producer with the likes of Bob James, Michael Franks, and Spyro Gyra. In this regard he's found his productions and compositions again topping the charts. When I'm With You is his latest and from that we have Tropical, the advance single. This a great track which I predict will soon begin its ascent to some similar lofty position on the SJ charts!

CD: When I'm With You
Label: Shanachie
Web Site: Chuck Loeb

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
I Barely Know You - Bobby Wells:
As a youth growing up in Omaha, Wells selected the trombone as his first instrument. However, he suffered from severe asthma and as a result he spent a great deal of time in the hospital and in oxygen tents. Wells realized right off that playing trombone was definitely not going to work for him. Nevertheless, there was music inside of him that could not to be denied. Bobby initially tried playing on the piano at his church and eventually discovered that drums came most naturally to him. Wells relocated to Denver where he drummed in a reggae band for several years. As the Smooth Jazz movement began to gain momentum, he turned to writing in that style. In 1993 a good friend convinced him, that he had something happening that others need to hear. Shortly thereafter, Wells released his solo debut and decided to pursue music full time. Bayside is now his 3rd release. From that album, I Barely Know You is the track that we're featuring. Eric Marienthal helps out with some great sax work on the track to go along with Wells fabulous job on piano and drums!

CD: Bayside
Label: Roundtop Music Studio
Web Site: Bobby Wells
Where Is The Love - Bobby Caldwell & Deniece Williams:
Caldwell's parents were hosts of a TV variety show in NYC. It was through the program that Caldwell was exposed to a wide array of music and thereby he discovered early on the career path that he needed to follow. He studied piano and guitar and although he initially ventured into the world of rock and roll, he turned in time to jazz and R&B. His breakthrough came in 1978 with What You Won't Do For Love. For most of the 80s and 90s Caldwell was firmly entrenched as a staple artist in the SJ format. After a short foray into straight-ahead jazz for a couple of projects, Bobby is back with Perfect Island Nights, his latest release.

Meanwhile, Deniece Williams is an award-winning vocalist who has enjoyed a career that stretches back to the 70s. She received her first big break when she was hired to sing back up for Stevie Wonder and did that for several years. In 1975, Williams enlisted the aid of producer Maurice White, leader of EW&F, as she launched her solo career. She scored numerous hits during her association with White including Too Much, Too Little, Too Late, a duet with Johnny Mathis. However, she may be best remembered for her pop hit Let's Hear it for the Boy from 1984, that was produced by George Duke. She turned to singing gospel music in the late 80s and her efforts were rewarded with a pair of Grammys. Deniece has continued to record into the 90s but for the most part prefers to maintain a low profile.

So now we see the teaming of Caldwell & Williams on Where Is The Love. The track was a big hit for Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway back in 1972 and as such it's understandably a tough tune to cover. However, Caldwell & Williams are more than up to the task!

CD: Perfect Island Nights
Label: The Music Force Media Group
Web Site: Bobby Caldwell
Pacific Coast Highway - Nils:
Since the mid-80s, Nils has resided in southern California. Things have started to really come alive for the German born guitarist in the past few years. As a session player he's worked with The Temptations, Marcus Johnson, and George Benson. Benson actually covered a Nils composition on his own Standing Tall cd and then guested on Nils' Blue Planet solo debut in 1998. He also made a guest appearance on the second album from LA Jazz Syndicate. All of this attracted the attention of producer Paul Brown, the subject of our showcase feature, who enlisted Nils' guitar work on releases from Gabriela Anders and Rick Braun. In addition to his extensive studio work, Nils has composed for TV and Film and he's also become involved with music production. Pacific Coast Highway is his brand new release & has only been out for a couple of weeks. From that effort we have the cool groove of the title track and one that I've already earmarked for our Best of '05 series of specials.

CD: Pacific Coast Highway
Label: Baja/TSR
Web Site: Nils

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Special Mention: C'est l'aviron qui nous mene - Paul Lamoureux

Lamoureux originally hails from Edmonton, Alberta & was born into a French-Canadian family. As a young boy, Paul attended many weddings where he would fall asleep in his mother's arms to the sounds of accordion, fiddle, and saxophone as they played dance & traditional music. He recently issued Zing Zing-a-Zing and what is now his 3rd release. The title of the album is an effort to phonetically express the sound that a fiddle creates when playing a traditional French-Canadian reel. On the album Lamoureux attempts to combine his love of smooth jazz with elements from the folk songs of his youth. From that album, I'll be playing "C'est l'aviron qui nous mene". Loosely translated the phrase means "It is the oar which propels us." It's a short tale of a first date with a beautiful girl in a rowboat. This project definitely breaks new ground. But if you are somewhat open to a totally fresh & creative approach to SJ, you may very well find this to be a highly rewarding listening experience ... just the way I did!

CD: Zing Zing-a-Zing
Label: Disques Lam-Chops Records
Web Site: Paul Lamoureux

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
Fantastic SJ and nothing but. What a novel idea! Well here we go with another great edition of AH. Debuting today are guitarist David Boswell, Gary Farr out of Florida, and vocalist Carol Duboc. We also have some superb selections from Marion Meadows, Joyce Cooling, David Lanz and Fattburger. Chris Botti is featured on Then & Now and we're also exploring recent releases from Hall & Oates, Jim Adkins, and Daryl Stuermer!

Then & Now Feature: Chris Botti

Slowing Down the World
Polygram Records

Night Sessions

When I Fall In Love

A Thousand Kisses Deep

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 instead chose to take up trumpet at age 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. Since that time Chris has had a couple of more releases that have catapulted him to the upper echelons of SJ artists. So, as we feature Chris and his music on Then & Now, we begin with The Place Between Us, Miami Overnight, No Ordinary Love, and finish it off with Indian Summer ... my most favourite Botti track of all! Those tunes are played in that order and are taken from the above albums respectively.

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