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

March 13th, 2005
Edition #354 Previously

What sets Café Jazz apart from other radio shows? Quite simply, it's the music. Each time out, I devote about ten to twelve hours to just choosing music. In the process I inevitably come across some pieces that in a word are incredible. Check out the FT segment, for selections from Marc Kunkel & Janita, and you'll know what I mean. Whether they're new or old, we're searching for tunes that be it melody or groove stand out! For that reason, we've included favourites both past & present from Peter White, David Lanz, Matt Dusk, Duncan Millar, Ronny Jordan, Fridrik Karlsson, Michael Franks, Danny Jung, and Shades of Soul and created a blend that is irresistible! And you'll hear it only on Café Jazz where it really is all about the melody and all about the groove!

In This Issue:

Seldom Blues - Alexander Zonjic

Nightlife - Paul Taylor
T-Jam - George Duke
Every Now and Then - Marc Kunkel
No Words - Janita
Inner Space - Jonathan Sigel

Then & Now Feature - Craig Chaquico

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Showcase CD
Seldom Blues- Alexander Zonjic:
Windsor Ontario native, Alexander Zonjic started in music as a rock guitarist. He actually didn't even own a flute until the age of 21. It was then that he bought his first one through a chance encounter with a shady character on a street corner. Zonjic liked the way the instrument gleamed in its case. Within a year, Alexander had learned enough of the basics to be accepted in the music program at the University of Windsor. There, he immediately became immersed in the works of Bach, Mozart and other masters.

At the same time though, Zonjic was listening to modern masters of the flute, jazz artists such as Hubert Laws and Herbie Mann. It was in this way that he developed a love for a more contemporary style of expression. Shortly after graduating, Zonjic was performing in a club in Detroit, when he was approached by Bob James. James enjoyed Alexander's playing and asked him to join his band. That was a relationship that blossomed into a lengthy association as Zonjic toured with James for about ten years.
In the course of events, this led to a variety of gigs and eventually to the launch of Alexander's own solo career. In this regard, Zonjic has had several well accepted releases with Seldom Blues being the most recent of these.

The album title is a reference to a jazz night club that Zonjic opened not quite a year ago. Nevertheless, this effort may well represent Alexander's most consistent and focused effort to date. It has been nominated as album of the year at the inaugural edition of the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards which Alexander is hosting in early April. In addition, it's also the album that finds itself in our musical spotlight. So, as we launch our feature, we begin with Leave It With Me. Quantum opens hour 2 and as we sign off, we have Isabela, a great Spanish flavoured tune featuring guests Peter White & Jeff Lorber!

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

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Fresh Trax: Part One

Nightlife - Paul Taylor:
Taylor grew up in Denver, CO and picked up his first sax at age seven. He developed a distinctive style early on while listening to players such as Grover Washington Jr. and David Sanborn. Taylor first considered a career in music while he was still in high school. After receiving a scholarship to the University of Nevada, Paul would often commute to Los Angeles in an effort to build his resume. In the course of things, he took part in a session with Jeff Lorber and a few years later he was asked to accompany Lorber at the Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival. As he performed, Taylor was spotted by Keiko Matsui and her husband & producer Kazu, who both enjoyed his playing. He was offered an audition and ended up recording and touring with Keiko for a couple of years. Meanwhile, it was Kazu who produced Taylor's debut release in 1995. After a brief stint touring with the Rippingtons a couple of years ago, Taylor has resumed his solo career and has just released Nightlife, his 6th project overall. From that effort we have the advance single and the title track.

CD: Nightlife
Label: Peak Records
Web Site: Paul Taylor

T-Jam - George Duke:
In a career that dates back to late 60s, George Duke's name has taken on legendary status. Duke was born in San Rafael CA. He first "flipped out" over music when he was just four and saw another Duke, that being Duke Ellington, perform in concert. George began on piano at the age of 7. Early on he became aware of the emotional impact that music could have. This he witnessed first hand at his local Baptist church.

Following high school, Duke attended the San Francisco Conservatory Of Music. He majored in trombone and composition, and graduated in 1967 with a Bachelor's degree. George then connected with Al Jarreau & formed a group which for time performed as the house band at the Half Note Club in San Francisco. He later attained his Masters Degree and shortly thereafter began his work with some of the fusion greats of the day such as Jean-Luc Ponty, Stan Clarke, and Billy Cobham. He enjoyed a pair of stints with Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention and he also toured with Cannonball Adderly.

It was 1976 when Duke finally launched his solo career and then in the late 70s he also got into producing. In this regard, George has enjoyed some of his greatest success. He's earned several Grammy Award nominations and even won a few including one for his work with Miles Davis on Tutu. Commercially, one of Duke's biggest hits was Let's Hear for the Boy by Deniece Williams. The list of accomplishments goes on, from acting as musical director for the Soul Train Music Awards for 9 years, to production credits too numerous to mention, to his own solo work. He's scored for TV and film and headlined numerous Jazz Festivals all over the world. Now with over 30 solo projects to his credit, Duke has definitely earned a spot in anybody's musical hall of fame. From his soon to be released latest effort, which is simply titled Duke, we have T-Jam, the powerful advance single.

CD: Duke
Label: BPM Records
Web Site: George Duke

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Every Now and Then - Marc Kunkel:
Formerly of Woodstock, New York, Marc has worked with artists such as Artie Traum and Buddy Miles. For a time, he was also a member in a 50's style band called Johnny Average and the Falcons. After many years Kunkel relocated to Nashville, where he established himself as a session musician. He's played in various groups and has also worked at his own music. Inspired by people he's met and places he's been to, Kunkel's efforts recently culminated with the release of American Vistas, his solo debut. From that effort we have an incredibly gorgeous tune and a show highlight!

CD: American Vistas
Label: BMI American Vistas Music
Web Site: Kunkel/World Central
No Words - Janita:
Born in Helsinki, Finland, Janita was influenced by all the music that her father, who was an airline pilot, brought home from his flight's abroad. Her career started at the young age of 13 when she met Tomi Sachary with whom she recorded her first album & with whom she still continues to work. Janita soon became a pop sensation in Finland, winning various awards and appearing on the covers of a few magazines. Still, she wanted something just a bit different, and so at around the age of 17 she moved to NYC. Although Janita's first experiences in music on this side of the Atlantic were not all that favourable, she eventually recorded her North American debut a few years back. Seasons of Life is her follow up project and 6th album overall. The music presented therein is a sophisticated blend of styles that rises well above the ordinary. It represents some of her finest work to date and may very well prove to be her break through album. From that effort we selected No Words, the great opening track!

CD: Seasons of Life
Label: Ofir Music
Inner Space - Jonathan Sigel:
Performing on trumpet, keyboards, and percussion, Sigel is a NYC native whose primary influences include Stevie Wonder, George Duke, & George Benson. He's played with various jazz, Latin, & pop artists and has also done soundtrack work for film & TV. Sigel is also the founder of Innervisions, a Stevie Wonder tribute band and the premier one of its kind. He continues to work in and around The Big Apple and has just released Milky Way Soul, his debut as a solo artist. From that album we'll be hearing Inner Space, a great track that opens the project.

CD: Milky Way Soul
Label: Independent
Web Site: Jonathan Sigel

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
On this edition there's new music from Chieli Minucci and his forthcoming release and we're introducing Winston Byrd, Quintin Gerard W, & Lisa Lauren. There are great tunes from Bobby Wells, Everette Harp, Marcus Johnson and Jason Miles as we explore their recent releases as well as from the duo of Rich Arnold & Mike Young . Craig Chaquico is featured on T&N and we've also included a piece from Pieces of a Dream for good measure!

Then & Now Feature: Craig Chaquico

Once In A Blue Universe
Higher Octave Music

Four Corners
Higher Octave Music

Shadow and Light
Higher Octave Music

Midnight Noon
Higher Octave Music

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 the acoustic guitar and soon remembered its healing qualities. 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 with a total of seven cds and one best of project to his credit.

We pick up the story in 1997 with Once in a Blue Universe and what was already Chaquico's 4th album. From that we present Lights Out San Francisco with Peter White guesting on the track. That's followed by Forbidden Love with Paul Taylor on sax, and Could We Fall In Love. Craig's current hit, Her Boyfriend's Wedding from Midnight Noon, concludes the segment.

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