Café Jazz Radio - Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection
Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at Café

April 9th, 2006
Edition #402 PreviouslyThis Week at Café - Edition #504 Next

On today's show, our line-up includes the latest from Bob Baldwin and a very nice five pack of golden favourites. This time we've included Tommy Emmanuel, Candy Dulfer, Greg Adams, and Paul Hardcastle. As well, there's a track from Britain's Adrian Conington and Sacred Roots. The album was issued in 2004 and we missed it when first released. However, although it's technically new to our show, it seemed just a bit late to include it on Fresh Trax, even with our rather liberal but self-regulated policy on new music. Nonetheless, it's perfect for our review of great trax from the past. Now apart from that we have Nick Colionne, Michael Lington, Joe McBride, Marion Meadows, Peter White, Steely Dan, Chris Botti and Jeff Golub to name a few. All contribute to making your visit with us enjoyable, so you'll to want share The Café Jazz Experience again!
In This Issue:

All In A Day's Work - Bob Baldwin

Villa Anita - Tommy Emmanuel
Mister Marvin - Candy Dulfer
Burma Road - Greg Adams
Easy Life - Adrian Conington
Jokers Wild - Paul Hardcastle

AFTER HOURS: T&N Double Bill!
Althea René AND Gretchen Lieberum

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Showcase CD
All In A Day's Work - Bob Baldwin:

Bob Baldwin was destined to become a musician. His father, Robert Sr. was an accomplished pianist and bassist in his own right having performed with many prominent jazz artists such as Max Roach. Bob Jr. fondly recalls attending some of his father's gigs as a young boy and getting into the sounds of straight ahead jazz. Not surprisingly, he ended up studying jazz as well as classical music. He also found the sounds of Stevie Wonder highly inspirational since Robert Sr. gigged with Wonder when he played their town, Mount Vernon, New York. In the course of his twenty-plus year career, Baldwin has achieved chart-topping success and enjoyed critical acclaim. Nevertheless, his career path veered away from music for a time. He earned a degree in business administration and worked for MCI and Sprint Communications. However, in 1986, he formed The Bob Baldwin/Al Orlo Project, which led to Roberta Flack selecting Baldwin as the 1989 Sony Innovators Award winner. This proved a springboard for Bob's solo career, as, in 1990, he released his debut to some acclaim.

Yet, the following year, Baldwin dejectedly returned home after encountering financial difficulties. Nonetheless, he was undeterred and his subsequent project went all the way to #7 on the contemporary chart. The next couple of years saw Baldwin engaged in a few collaborations with some high profile players, among them late Grover Washington Jr., Pieces of a Dream, and Marion Meadows. Soon after, Bob relocated to Atlanta and embarked on a four year touring stint with Meadows all while continuing to advance a solo career, now 10 albums deep. Throughout it all, Baldwin's spirituality has been a constant, in his life & his music.
Chillin in Brazil
Courtesy of
On a daily basis, Bob looks to his faith for direction and inspiration and it's this quality that his music radiates. This has never been more apparent than on the latest release, All In A Day's Work. Consequently, the album ranks among Baldwin's most accomplished efforts. It's with pleasure & pride that we place All In A Day's Work & its author in our music spotlight; and as is the custom here at The Café we've chosen a trio of tracks. To begin, there's a tune called Steamy, accentuated by the work of David Mann on sax and Barry Danielian on trumpet, two of our favourite sidemen. Third Time's The Charm, nicely kicks off our second hour while New York Minute has been reserved for the finale. One exceptional album represented by fantastic tracks that I know you're going love!

CD: All In A Day's Work
Label: 215 Records
Site: Bob Baldwin

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Back Trax: Part One
Villa Anita - Tommy Emmanuel :
In Australia, Emmanuel's guitar work is legendary while those who've seen this unforgettable showman perform live, would place him among the world's finest guitarists! (For a personal perspective, please check the show notes feature from Sept.6, 2003
Tommy at the Fair.) Tommy was a child prodigy. He began guitar at the age of 4, learning to play by ear without any formal instruction and by age six was playing professionally. Following his father's death, Tommy and his siblings worked hard to create the family's sole income for several years. In his early teens, Emmanuel moved to Sydney to pursue a career as a guitarist. He played in clubs all over the city, and soon found himself in high demand as a session player for some of the era's most popular performers. His storied career now spans over forty-five years as Emmanuel has performed with hundreds of top artists and garnered legions of fans on five continents. In recent years, being inspired by the work of Chet Atkins, Emmanuel has moved to a finger picking style of playing. Nevertheless on this occasion we're checking out The Journey from 1993 and what was Tommy's first North American release!

CD: The Journey (1993)
Label: Sony
Site: Tommy Emmanuel
Mister Marvin - Candy Dulfer:
Aside from some basic training from her father, Hans Dulfer a renowned jazz sax player, Candy pretty much taught herself how to play. In 1987, Dulfer & her band Funky Stuff opened for Madonna in Rotterdam and were scheduled to appear with Prince. Unfortunately, his Royal Badness cancelled all support for shows in The Netherlands. However, after a protest, Prince invited Candy to join him on stage and followed that with a further invitation to work on projects back in the States. There, Candy appeared with Prince on Saturday Night Live, but after careful consideration decided not to accept an offer of a world tour, preferring instead to front her own group. Before heading to the States, Candy had recorded several tracks with Dave Stewart one of them being the instrumental "Lily Was Here". It was featured in a Dutch film and as a single it went to Number One across Europe. Finally accepting a deal, Saxuality was Dulfer's 1990 debut, and it sold over a million copies. Later that year, Candy joined the psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd and performed before a crowd of 130,000. Candy was well on her way. Sax-a-go-go was her sophomore effort and although not all the selections work in the Smooth Jazz format, Mister Marvin is a perfect fit!

CD: Sax-a-Go-Go (1993)
Label: RCA/BMG
Site: Candy Dulfer

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Back Trax: Part Two
Burma Road - Greg Adams:
Greg Adams has been an integral part of the pop music landscape for over 30 years. Although he broke musical ground with Tower of Power, Adams is Grammy and Emmy nominated and has recorded and/or performed with everyone from Santana, Luther Vandross, and the Eurythmics, to B.B. King, Rod Stewart, & Elton John. Adams planned to attend Berklee in Boston after high school yet he opted to join TOP as a founding member when the opportunity came up. However, after helping steer America's premier funk ensemble for the next 25-years, Greg felt the need for a new creative outlet. Fuelled by his steamy cover of Sade's Smooth Operator, Hidden Agenda, Adams' 1995 solo debut went to #1 for five weeks. Nonetheless, there was another modest hit entitled Burma Road that draws us to this exceptional release.

While the track possesses a rare haunting quality that immediately transports, the story behind the composition is equally unique and takes us back to the time of World War II. Greg's father was a Salvation Army missionary and during the war he drove a truck on the Burma Road delivering Bibles. Those excursions proved to be the inspiration for the tune. Safe to say, in my humble opinion Burma Road is an Adams' classic! Furthermore, it remains one of the most imaginative pieces to have ever graced the smooth jazz genre!

CD: Hidden Agenda (1995)
Label: Sony/Epic
Site: Greg Adams
Easy Life - Adrian Conington:
Adrian Conington is a young and talented pianist based in the UK. Conington was classically trained from the age of seven, but in his early twenties, he discovered jazz. After working primarily in a supporting role for a good portion of his early career, in 2004, Adrian chose to embark as a solo artist with the release of his debut cd entitled Sacred Roots. The album consists of entirely original material and yet shows the influence of many of the various styles of music that inspire Conington. Although the project captures the essence of a smooth approach to contemporary jazz, it too presents a bit of a melting pot of sorts, as elements of blues, Latin, soul, and R&B are sprinkled thruout. In spite of the fact that Sacred Roots has been available for barely a couple of years, Conington has already issued his sophomore release and we should have something from that before too long, probably on a Fresh Trax feature in the nest few weeks or so. Nonetheless, on this occasion, we're heading back to that fine debut project for the ever so easy sounds of Easy Life!

CD: Sacred Roots (2004)
Label: R2R Music
Jokers Wild - Paul Hardcastle:
It was while he working in hi-fi sales that Hardcastle swapped his video camera for a small synthesizer. After tinkering around for few months, he joined a band and in 1981, he appeared on his first recorded effort. By the end of the 80s, he was one of the most popular players on the British dance scene. He had scored several huge worldwide hits and sold millions of records. Although those early years provided their share of hits and chart action, it still seemed as though Paul Hardcastle had not yet found his true direction. That all changed with the release of The Jazzmasters in 1991. The album stayed on the smooth jazz charts for over a year and launched the second phase of Hardcastle's career. It's this part of the saga that attracts our attention, as the music is more germane to the show. Subsequently, Jazzmasters II yielded Walking to Freedom, which holds the record for the longest # 1 record in Smooth Jazz history at 15 consecutive weeks. There were several other hits and although Hardcastle 2 following a couple of years later didn't generate quite the same degree of activity, it nevertheless did spawn Jokers Wild, still one of Hardcastle's most popular tracks!

CD: Hardcastle 2 (1996)
Label: JVC
Site: Paul Hardcastle

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
Another first for our show as we present a Then & Now double feature! That's right, we have a double bill Then & Now with two of our favourite women performers in Smooth Jazz. First will be flautist Althea Rene with selections from each of her 3 releases and then just a bit later we have vocalist Gretchen Lieberum and once again we'll have a track from each of her 3 albums. Yes indeed, we remain innovators in Smooth Jazz entertainment and let nobody tell you otherwise!

Then, apart from that, we're up to our usual standard of playing new music, serving up a nice blend of established performers and those deserving broader exposure. Just check this out. There are new never-before-been-played-trax from the latest releases by Gene Dunlap, Walter Duda, Wavelength, and Eric Darius. We have the latest from The Jazzy Devils out of Santa Cruz CA. Maysa has a new release. We have something from that as well as the latest singles by Greg Adams and Anna Wilson. Meanwhile, on the new artist front, we're pleased to introduce José Valentino, a hot young flute player out of Tampa, and while we're in that area we've also slipped in a tune from Gene Cannon and his long awaited debut. Those last two releases, by the way, are two more quality projects produced by Allon Sams out of Studio A. Also new to the show, are Jill Jenson, the duo Lamb & Meyer, and Waldino, one-half of the Love Gypsies. We've packed a lot into this segment once again coming in at just over a 90 minute presentation. And as we get things rolling, there's a little something from Danny Weis, a remake of a tune he recorded as a member of the group Rhinoceros back in the 60s!

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Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Althea René

Flute Talk

Chocolate Rush
Chocolate Carmel

In The Moment
Chocolate Carmel

Althea René: A Detroit native who first picked up the flute at the age of four, Althea René has developed into and gained recognition as a master of improvisation on her chosen instrument. There was always music around the René household. Her dad was a career sideman who played with a number of Motown artists. He was always dabbling in jazz or Motown sounds. Meanwhile Althea's mother played classical music. So it was that Althea just naturally aspired to a career in music. She underwent several years of classical direction from Clement Brown of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and then continued her training at Howard University in Washington DC.

Photo: CD Insert

After college, her focus switched to Jazz and R&B and for a time she studied with the legendary Donald Byrd while gaining further inspiration from the works of Hubert Laws. In 1997, Ms René began to tour with Straight Ahead, a Detroit-based all female internationally acclaimed jazz band. She stepped in to fill an opening when violinist Regina Carter left the group. During her time with the band, Althea developed and fine tuned her creative style, all of which led to the release of her own little know debut on back in around the year 2000. Chocolate Rush followed a couple of years later on the Chocolate Carmel label. Keeping things in the family so to speak, Althea's husband Luther is at the heart of that endeavour. In the meantime, Ms René relocated to Houston and just recently issued In the Moment, perhaps her most compelling release to date. Once again, it's on Chocolate Carmel and although it represents the third personal chapter in her record career, it's René's first national release.

As mentioned when we showcased In The Moment a few weeks back, this album should turn more than just a few ears. In any event, it's a pleasure to now feature music from each of René's three releases. We have One Love, Secret Smile, and the appropriately titled Number One!

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Then & Now Spotlight Feature: Gretchen Lieberum

Three A.M.

Brand New Morning
Lakeshore Records

Siren Songs
Gogogerty Music

Gretchen Lieberum: Gretchen Lieberum is an LA-based singer and songwriter who was born and raised in Berkeley CA. She credits her father for turning her onto jazz. He was a huge fan and so while she was growing up, she listened to Billie Holliday, Nina Simmone, and Sarah Vaughan. Meanwhile, Gretchen developed her love for urban beats on the Bay area's varied music scene. These and other influences fuelled the young vocalist. Nurtured & inspired by this fertile environment Gretchen developed her own unique style. It's an exciting and eclectic blend of new and old. Modern techniques such as loops and samples are utilized to create backdrops for Gretchen's warm and inviting voice, yet her own delivery has a slow burning quality that is somewhat reminiscent of the classic torch singers of the 30s. This combination of flavours sets Lieberum apart. Once you hear that voice, you will remember her; she is one-of-a-kind!

Photo: Promo Shot
Gretchen always loved to sing and got into jazz in a big way in high school. By the time she was in college, she had also started to compose and many of these songs eventually made their way onto Three A.M., her debut. The album was released through the old back in the late 90s when that site was a major force in providing exposure for new and developing artists.

Lieberum's music experienced millions of downloads and that success led to a record deal and Brand New Morning, her sophomore effort followed in 2002. Through it, Gretchen gained broader exposure as eventually some of her selections were used for TV & film. Now Siren Songs is her third & latest release and represents Gretchen's most personal work to date. Written in the aftermath of the murder of her dearest friend, Serena Karlan, the music explores the dark moments of grieving. Nevertheless, Lieberum continues to stretch the boundaries of her craft, much to the delight of jazz lovers and trip-hop followers alike!

Therefore, from three excellent albums, we have three simply superb pieces. In order, they are Three A.M., the title track, Rapture of the Blue, and Beauty of Mine, as we briefly highlight the career of Ms Gretchen Lieberum, one of the most creatively distinctive talents of our day!

Site: Gretchen Lieberum

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