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

October 23rd, 2005
Edition #381 Previously Next

To kick off this edition of the show we have the title track from Paul Brown & his latest release, his cover of The City. Ultimately things wind up four hours later with that same track. This time however, it's the eleven minute original that was recorded by Jon Marc and Johnny Almond as Marc-Almond back in the 70s. As such, the show might be viewed as a musical version of a four decker sandwich. Nonetheless, it contains many tasty treats & when listened to from beginning to end, it may well provide that little extra bit of musical spice that you've been craving!

In This Issue:

Long Time Coming - Jay Soto

Spice - Fattburger
Rendezvous - Eric Marienthal
Ocean Way - Torcuato Mariano
Every Time She Whispers - Michael Franks
Ain't Nobody - Tom Grant

Special - Not Ready For Radio
SPINLIST: Spinlist

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Showcase CD
Long Time Coming - Jay Soto:
Soto is an accomplished composer, producer, and arranger. For many years he's served in the capacity of choir director at his church. He's had several songs air on TV for shows such as Sex and the City and All About Us and he's also opened for many acts in the Phoenix area where he resides. Music has always been a very important part of Jay's life. After all, he was only five when he started playing drums. A couple of years later he began piano and experienced the rigors of a formal classical training. However, Soto's true musical passion was only revealed at twelve when he picked up his first guitar & it's that instrument on which he's excelled. In 2004, Soto entered Guitar Center's "Guitarmageddon Competition". He won the local, district and regional portions, and out of a field of over 3000 entrants, he appeared as one of six finalists at Eric Clapton's Guitar Festival in Dallas, where he played for an audience of 15,000 plus.

Hot on the heals of that experience, Jay has just issued Long Time Coming, his debut. Now I don't mind mentioning, this one's a goodie! Check out any of the tracks and it becomes fairly obvious, why Soto fared as well as he did in that competition. The selections are upbeat and melodic, and encompass a variety of styles & moods. And as for Soto, well this man possesses all the tools. His tone is incredible and his technique is impeccable as at times, his fingers literally fly over the strings!
Courtesy of Jay's site However, being the sentimental sap that I am, I'm also drawn to the pieces that are emotionally evocative. The sort of stuff that tugs at my heart and in that regard we have three super selections slotted for this feature! First up is an incredible mood inducing piece that's highlighted by the wonderful trumpet of Jesse McGuire. That's followed by Reflections at the top of hour two, once again with McGuire. Then finally there's the compelling Caught In A Moment, one the tracks that being promoted to smooth jazz radio! Although several other selections could have also easily been included as part of , these three proved to be integral to vibe & flow of the show. They feature some sensational playing from a very promising young guitarist. As for the other tracks, well, we'll save them for another occasion. All the more reason to return to one of the finest break thru albums for the year!

CD: Long Time Coming (2005)
Label: SotoPop
Site: Jay Soto

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Back Trax: Part One
Spice - Fattburger:
Taking their name from a popular highway restaurant in California, this San Diego based quintet has remained one of the most popular bands in SJ since their debut in 1986. However, the roots of the group can be traced as far back as the latter half of the 70s. It was during this period that saxman Hollis Gentry toured with several R&B groups. When the last of these broke up, Gentry took the opportunity to hook up with a few of the other musicians, namely keyboardist Carl Evans, bassist Mark Hunter, drummer Kevin Koch, and guitarist Steve Laury, and form his own band. The lineup hasn't really changed that much in the twenty or so years since. Later on Tommy Aros joined the band as percussionist and in the early '90s, Evan Marks took over as Fattburger's guitarist when Steve Laury decided to set out on a solo career. Meanwhile, Gentry has assumed a role as a more or less permanent guest. In any event, Fattburger now enjoy a catalogue of 13 releases, and we could have easily gone to any of these for our feature. Nevertheless, on this occasion we decided to head back to the late 90s and check out an album called Sugar. From that effort we've selected Spice, a tune that was written for the group by label mate Chuck Loeb. That's also Chuck who's the featured guitarist on the tune. It's smooth, moody, and melodic and remains one of their finest pieces to date!

CD: Sugar (1998)
Label: Shanachie
Site: Fattburger
Rendezvous - Eric Marienthal:
In a genre that's heavily laden with sax players, there are only a handful that might be considered as great musicians. These would be an illustrious few who continue to grow in their craft and stretch its boundaries. One such artist, whose talent is unsurpassed and who belongs on any short list of the best in the business, would be LA native Eric Marienthal. After attending Berklee in Boston for a couple of years, Eric toured with Al Hirt for seven months. This was followed by various sessions including a period working at the Walt Disney studios. In 1986, Marienthal connected with Chick Corea. He soon became a member of Corea's acclaimed Elektric Band and took part in a pair of albums. With the release of his solo debut in 1987, Marienthal launched a prolific career and one that is no doubt the envy of many a musician. Over the years, Marienthal has well demonstrated his adeptness at playing virtually any style that he wishes. On this occasion we're heading back to Turn Up The Heat one of his more recent releases. From that effort I'll be playing Rendezvous one of favourite Marienthal smooth tracks right from the moment we first heard it!

CD: Turn Up The Heat (2001)
Label: Peak Records
Site: Eric Marienthal

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Back Trax: Part Two
Ocean Way - Torcuato Mariano:
One of South America's most accomplished guitarists, Mariano grew up listening to the music of his native Argentina. When he was just 14 though, Torcuato moved from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro, where he became absorbed by that city's vibrant music scene. Initially Mariano gained recognition as a pop composer but within a couple of years, he had also developed into a highly regarded jazz musician & session player. He toured and played with some of Brazil's finest performers, among them saxman Leo Gandelman, Ivan Lins, and Sergio Mendes. It wasn't until the mid 90's though, that Mariano finally moved to establishing a solo career. In 1994, his debut made history as it was the first album to be released simultaneously in both Brazil and the US. It was well received and subsequently its success led to a tour of the States and to the release of Last Look, his sophomore project, the following year. Building on the momentum of the his debut, Torcuato took his music to a new level. Last Look outdid the success of its predecessor and yielded the smash single Ocean Way, which ranked among the top 20 songs for 1995 ! Now ten years after its release, Ocean Way sounds as vital and fresh as ever!

CD: Last Look (1995)
Label: Windham Hill
Site: Mariano/MySpace

Every Time She Whispers - Michael Franks:
Michael Franks is readily acknowledged as one of the strongest and most imaginative lyricists in contemporary music. The former literature student, turned to performing on a part time basis while attending UCLA. In the early 70s he turned this around by teaching an undergraduate course in music first at UCLA and then at Berkeley, before releasing his debut in 1973. Franks enjoyed enormous popularity throughout the 70s and 80s and for a good portion of that time he was considered a staple artist in the format, before his music for some reason fell out of favour. Nevertheless, Michael has always stayed true to his unique and somewhat quirky style. A case in point is Barefoot on the Beach and from it Every Time She Whispers. A master of the double entendre, Franks' lyrics fall nowhere short of brilliant! The track was produced by Chuck Loeb who also lent some of his tasty playing to the selection. And that's Carmen Cuesta, aka Mrs. Chuck Loeb, with the wonderfully seductive vocals towards the end of the tune ! Creative and inspired music & lyrics, this one has it all ! Every Time She Whispers is a masterfully structured piece from beginning to end and in our humble opinion, rates as one of the finest tracks to come out of the 90s!

CD: Barefoot on the Beach (1999)
Label: Windham Hill Jazz
Site: Michael Franks

Ain't Nobody - Tom Grant:
Operating out of Portland, Oregon, Tom Grant is undoubtedly one of the finest musicians in the Pacific North West. After earning a master degree in education, Grant was teaching high school social studies, when Woody Shaw caught him at an after-hours gig. Shaw offered Grant a job on the spot. This soon led to extensive playing with many notables including Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon. With a background in straight ahead jazz, Grant was nevertheless able to safely navigate the waters of contemporary music as he became one of the pioneers in SJ. In 1976, he released his solo debut and over the course of his career he's recorded a series of best selling albums among them Lip Service from 1997. From effort and what was his 15th release overall, we chose Ain't Nobody. Now after rehearing Tom's exceptional cover of the track, I was moved to quip, "They sure don't make them like that anymore !"

CD: Lip Service (1997)
Label: Shanachie
Site: Tom Grant

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
Not Ready For Radio Special Edition!
On this edition we're intent on outdoing everybody, even ourselves, as we present music that's Not Ready For Radio. The premise behind the feature... to select great tracks that we felt were highly unlikely to played on commercial radio given today's "climate." Perhaps the title should have been Music that Radio is not Ready For but I decided to stick with Not Ready For Radio. We scoured the planet and apart from the good old USA which supplies a whoppingly huge percentage of the Smooth Jazz that we play, we also came up with great selections from such far away places as South Africa, Germany, Canada (of course), Britain, South America, Australia and perhaps even a few points in between! In one way or another we've played these selections on our show in the past, but now you can hear them all at one time in one place. Two hours with 17 tracks in all, averaging around seven minutes each, and as such we needed to create a special two part installment. In hour one, we squeezed in selections from Ray Obiedo, DTTB, and Chieli Minucci. Then by simply "clicking on the second paw" you'll hear outstanding tracks from David Garfield, Brian Hughes, & Fourplay. Quite sincerely, I don't think there's anything out there that's going to come even close to what you're about to hear !

Playlist: Since the majority of these artists and tracks aren't that well known, I've included a complete play list which you can readily access just by clicking on the paw ...

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