April 3, 2005
Stay With Me - Michael Lington:
The Copenhagen-born saxplayer began playing clarinet at seven and for a period underwent some classical training. It was Michael's grandfather, Otto Lington, who had a tremendous impact on shaping Michael's musical tastes. The elder Lington was an early proponent of jazz in Denmark and it was in this way that Michael was exposed early on to the music of Adderly, Coltrane and Sanborn. As a result, Lington switched to the sax at age 15. Nonetheless, it was Michael's involvement with the Tivoli Boys Guard that earned him a music scholarship. Once he graduated Lington set up a studio and also did some touring throughout Europe. In 1990, Lington moved to Los Angles at the age of 21, intent on furthering his career. It was soon after, that he landed a pair of gigs first with Little Richard and then with Gary "U.S." Bonds. In the course of things, Michael connected with Bobby Caldwell and worked with him for 4 years.
|It was this association that led to the release of Lington's self-titled debut in 1997, which featured Tell It Like It Is in collaboration with Caldwell. The success of that single, prompted Michael to embark on a solo career. On each subsequent effort, Lington has shown further refinement in the style & substance of his playing. Stay With Me is now his fourth & latest release, and represents some Michael's finest work to date and fittingly finds itself in our musical spotlight on this occasion. The album has already generated a pair of hits with Show Me & Two of Kind, two of the more energetic tracks that have attracted a considerable amount of air play. In light of this, some of Michael's more subtle & nuanced pieces can sometimes be overlooked. True to our mission, that's where we come in!|
So, to launch the showcase feature, we begin with Hey You, a track
highlighted by the guitar work of Paul Jackson Jr. Call Me Late Tonight
opens hour two and this time it's Paul Brown on guitar who contributes
some of his tasty playing to a tune that he co-wrote & produced.
Finally, it's Pacifica, a selection that has everything that a great
smooth jazz track should have. It's melodic & soothing, with an
energy & groove that is maintained throughout. Michael's saxwork
has never been more expressive and is perfectly complimented by the
flugelhorn of Rafael Padilla. Safe to say it's our favourite on the
album and a fabulous way to conclude the feature and the show!
CD: Stay With Me
Label: Rendezvous Entertainment
Web Site: Michael Lington
|Fresh Trax: Part One|
Know Why - Kenny G featuring David Benoit :
In the early days, Kenny was enrolled in the accounting program at the University of Washington. He attended classes by day but during the evenings he played with many of the artists who were appearing in his hometown of Seattle. For a time he performed as a member of Cold, Bold & Together, a local funk group, before joining The Jeff Lorber Fusion in 1979. His work with Lorber led to the release of his own self-titled debut in 1982.
It was Duotones, Kenny's fourth album, issued in 1986 that propelled Mr. G to stardom as the record sold 5 million copies worldwide. Subsequent releases catapulted him to super stardom with sales in excess of 12 million units each for both Breathless and his first Christmas album.
Tough to top that sort of success, but Kenny seems intent on even widening his vast audience with the release of At Last…The Duets Album. As the title may suggest, on the project Kenny teams up with a variety of top artists from various genres, from Burt Bacharach and Barbra Streisand to David Benoit and David Sanborn. It's Kenny's collaboration with the former of this latter pair that we've chosen for our feature, as they perform a great cover of the Norah Jones hit Don't Know Why. Two of the top instrumental artists of the day together on one of the biggest hits from the past couple of years makes for a can't miss musical treat!
CD: At Last...The Duets Album
Web Site: Kenny G
of the Willow - Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass:
The 1960s were musically best known for The Beatles and The Brass. Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass debuted in 1962 with The Lonely Bull and over the course of the next few years they grew to became the fourth top selling act of the day. At one time they simultaneously had five albums in the top 20, a feat that remains unmatched in the history of recorded music. Although the group was officially disbanded in the 70s, just issued is the first album from the original Brass lineup in over 30 years. It's titled Lost Treasures and features a compilation of previously unreleased tracks. The tunes, selected by Alpert himself, have been remixed & remastered so that the project presents the quintessential sound of the 60s projected into the present. There are many gems among them, but perhaps none captures the Tijuana sound better than the selection that we've chosen for today's feature !
CD: Lost Treasures - Rare & Unreleased
Label: Shout Factory
Web Sites: Herb Alpert ; Shout Factory
|Fresh Trax: Part Two|
Mother's Smile - Bryan Lubeck:
Early in his career, Lubeck performed with Red Skelton. Bryan was for a time a member of the University Singers who were voted America's number one collegiate entertainment group and among other things, he performed for Six Flags Show Productions as well as acting as their Assistant Director & Choreographer. More recently the Chicago based guitarist has played throughout the Midwest, opening for artists such as Richard Elliot and Craig Chaquico. Most recently, Lubeck released Acoustic Vineyard, his debut album which presents a fascinating convergence of styles as Smooth Jazz is blended with Latin & pop influences. From that effort we have the gorgeous melody & heartfelt expression of A Mother's Smile!
CD: Acoustic Vineyard
Love - Vanessa Williams:
Vanessa's parents were both music teachers and encouraged her to pursue her love of the arts. As a result, while in high school, Williams played piano & French horn and took part in various bands in addition to acting. She loved musical theatre, and in 1981 won a scholarship to study at Syracuse University. In the meantime, Williams entered a number of beauty pageants, which culminated in her selection as Miss America. Due to an unfortunate controversy, she was forced to relinquish her crown, but undeterred, Vanessa returned to acting. Beginning with an appearance in support of George Clinton in 1986, Ms Williams simultaneously pursued a career as a vocalist. Soon after she released the first in what proved to be a series of highly sophisticated & highly successful releases. Everlasting Love is the most recent of these. From that effort we've selected the superb title track !
CD: Everlasting Love
Label: Lava Records
Web Site: Vanessa Williams
- Michael Haggins:
|Special Mention: 88 Ways to Love - The Marcus Johnson Project|
in Love was first released as an independent project back in 1995 and
helped launch the career of Marcus Johnson. The cd has long been out
of print and the masters for the music somehow went missing for many
years. Those original recordings were recently rediscovered in a Washington
DC warehouse and they have now been digitally remastered for this reissue.
Included as a bonus in the package is 20 minutes of music which was
recorded a few years back for Johnson's Live @ Blues Alley. Otherwise,
Lessons in Love is presented in its original form, thereby satisfying
the many requests that Johnson has had over the years for this heretofore
hard to find album. From that effort we present the superb 88 Ways to
Love, a track that has become a signature tune of sorts for Marcus and
one which for the most part, has well withstood the test of time!
CD: Lessons in Love
Label: Three Keys Music
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :|
|Well you're probably expecting another great edition & I'm not the guy to disappoint you! On today's installment, we have selections from Nicolas Bearde, Chuck Loeb, Will Donato, and Matt Bianco as we explore each of their recent albums. We also have a killer track from Chieli Minucci and Got It Goin' On that will conclude today's installment, so you'll want to stay with us for that. It's well worth it! Gabriel Mark Hasselbach is featured on Then & Now and we also have music from a trio of artists that are signed to the Orpheus music label, namely Vlad, Andre Ward, and Clifford Adams. We have something from each and we're also introducing the music of Patches Stewart, so you can see that we have a terrific line-up. It all begins with Norman Brown and his latest single from West Coast Coolin' !|
Then & Now Feature: Gabriel
Gabriel Mark Hasselbach: In a solo career that dates back to 1981, Hasselbach continues to explore new ground as a pioneer and innovator on the Canadian contemporary music scene. He's done it all! Several fantastic smooth jazz projects that rate at or near the top of the heap in so far as we in Canada are concerned, a handful of releases that are based in straight ahead jazz, as well as a series of albums that delved into the world of New Age music. For the purposes of our program, we'll restrict our focus to the former group.
Adept at playing a variety of instruments from trumpet, flugelhorn, & flute to trombone & digital winds, Gabriel chooses his musical weapons well. With each successive project he's elevated his playing, production, and presentation. As a result, to this point in his career Hasselbach has compiled an outstanding catalogue of music and we're pleased to present some of his finest works to date. So, as we feature Gabriel Mark Hasselbach, we begin with It All Comes Down to You. That is followed by Salsa Picossa, still sounding fantastic over 15 years after its original release date. We've included Maui Rain, a track which opened more than a few ears to Hasselbach's sound a couple of years back and cap the feature with Take That, the fabulous lead single from Gabriel...First Name Basis, his current album.