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

September 10th, 2006
Edition #416 Previously Next

Things continue to heat up on the hippest show on radio. As usual, the Showcase feature and the Back Trax segment form the nucleus of the program; however, rather than quickly selecting twenty-some odd tracks, there is much consideration given to our musical choices. We run the gamut from Peter White and Nick Colionne with top tracks of the day to David Stellmach who rates as an absolute favourite!

This illustrates an important aspect of our philosophy, to go beyond playing what everyone else is playing! Consequently, there's a good chance the tracks you hear on our show from David Benoit, Brian Simpson, and Eliane Elias will be fresh and exciting. Add to the mix a few past favourites from Ronny Jordan, Joyce Cooling, Gota, and CM and you have a program that revels in its individuality!
In This Issue:

Dressed to Chill - Marion Meadows

Blue Beach - David Sanborn
Royal Function - Bona Fide
Rainbow - Espirito
Quiet Time - Tony Darren
Saxafaction - Bryan Savage

More Summer Grooves

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Showcase CD
Dressed to Chill - Marion Meadows:
Since the early '90s, saxman Marion Meadows has been the epitome of cool. From his sound & style to his image, every facet of his persona oozes sophistication. While reviewing Meadows' In Deep album, his 7th release, back in 2003, I wrote: "Seven is indeed lucky, at least for us fortunate listeners, as Marion shows the maturity in sound and style that can only come about through years of honing one's craft." The cd signalled a new era in his career and the debut of Meadows and keyboardist & producer Michael Broening as an inspired and prolific team. Now a few years and a couple of cds later, Dressed To Chill, picks up that tradition begun on In Deep and continued with Players Club by again showcasing their prodigious writing skills and dynamic musicianship. "The more music Michael and I write together, the more we realize that we're evolving into a great creative team," says Meadows. "It's one of those things you kind of know right away when you're collaborating with someone.

We had a lot of songs that we had written for Players Club that we had planned to put on this new record. But at the last minute, we rewrote most of that material. It was very labor-intensive, but in a good way. We had already raised the bar with the last record, and now it was time to raise it again and take the music to a new level."

Photo: Courtesy of
It's been our pleasure to feature Meadows and his past two releases on previous editions of the show and so now it's with a great degree of satisfaction that we keep that string alive by showcasing Marion Meadows and Dressed to Chill. As is our custom, we've reserved three tasty selections representing some of the album's finest moments and plan on sharing those with you, I think you're gonna love'em all. To begin we have Remember Me, an understated track upon which Mr. Meadows has never sounded sweeter. To Love Her, opens hour 2 with a laid back groove, while Just My Style, features a more rhythmic and funkier side of Meadows'. However, regardless of which tracks we went with, it's very apparent Marion Meadows is an artist fully within the prime of his career.

CD: Dressed to Chill
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Marion Meadows

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Back Trax: Part One
Blue Beach - David Sanborn:
Stricken by polio at the age of 3, Sanborn spent a good portion of his youth in the confines of an iron lung. For therapy, he was encouraged to play a wind instrument and eventually chose the alto sax. By his late teens, Sanborn realized he enjoyed playing music above all else. He moved to San Francisco and joined The Butterfield Blues Band, a time during which they appeared at Woodstock. Tours with Stevie Wonder, David Bowie, & The Rolling Stones followed while Sanborn launched his own solo career in 1975. By 1981, he had won the first of his Grammy's before setting a new direction and a new standard in contemporary jazz with the landmark Backstreet release which followed a couple of years later. From that groundbreaking album we have the reggae flavoured Blue Beach!

CD: Backstreet (1983)
Label: Warner Bros.
Site: David Sanborn
Royal Function - Bona Fide:
Back in the late 90s, band founder Tim "Slim Man" Camponeschi connected with a few friends in the Baltimore area. Their debut release as Bona Fide delivered a grittier & funkier brand than the normal fair for the genre. In recognition, Slim and the boys were named the top new group in Smooth Jazz for 2001. In heading back to that release, we could have chosen any of several tracks High Street was a major hit while X Ray Hip also gained favorable airplay. However, the title track, highlighted by the flashy keyboard work of Joe Ercole, proved an unqualified masterpiece!

CD: Royal Function (1999)
Label: N-Coded Music
Site: Slim Man

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Back Trax: Part Two
Rainbow - Espirito:
Espirito is the duo of keyboardist Bill Sharpe and guitarist Fridrik Karlsson. Sharpe is well known on the contemporary scene for his many years with the group Shakatak (he was a founding member back in 1980), for his work with Gary Numan, and for various other projects too numerous to mention. For his part, Fridrik Karlsson has been a professional musician since the age of sixteen enjoying his first international success as a member of Iceland's Mezzoforte. The pair connected shortly after Karlsson relocated to the UK in 1996 and became the more or less permanent guitarist for Shakatak (the band were on the look out for a replacement when long time member, Keith Winter, was forced to leave the group due to a prolonged illness).

While each took part in many diverse projects, in the year 2000, they also took time for a full-blown collaboration as Espirito, their one and only such effort. The project bristles with as lush and delicious a set of tracks as you'll hear anywhere. Given a slightly freer radio climate, the cd would easily have been one of the year's best. Still, that makes our task all the more relevant; if everyone was onto great music such as this, our efforts would be redundant to say the least. In any event, as a footnote under the heading, "don't know what to make of this", neither Sharpe nor Karlsson make any mention of the Espirito project on their respective sites. Go Figure! Nevertheless, we present a track that literally sizzles!

CD: Peace of Mind (2000)
Label: Instinct Records/Passion Jazz
Site: Bill Sharpe ; Fridrik Karlsson
Quiet Time - Tony Darren:
Tony Darren is the son of James Darren, the vocalist and actor who, among other roles, starred in the old TV series The Time Tunnel and guested as the holographic lounge singer on Star Trek, The Next Generation. However, I digress. The younger Darren began playing guitar at age 18, after previously trying his hand at drums, piano, and bass. This progression turned out to be critical in his development as a composer & musician, as in the guitar Darren found an instrument, which served not only as an outlet, it also provided a creative inspiration.

In 1998, Darren released his debut, which he called Sun Song. Grammy Award-winner Al Schmitt was producer on several selections, while Café Jazz favourite Gregg Karukas picked up those duties on the remaining tracks. The disc featured some top names including Joe Sample, Alex Al, John Pena, Vinnie Colaiuta, Land Richards, Tom Scott, and the aforementioned Mr. Karukas. In a word, the finished product was exceptional, and while although a novice in the record-making department, Darren easily lived up to his star billing. Regrettably, it's proved to be his one and only release to date!

CD: Sun Song (1998)
Label: Telarc Jazz
Site: Tony Darren
Saxafaction - Bryan Savage:
After many years of touring and studio work with Al Stewart, The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, and others, Bryan Savage showed several solo flashes of brilliance in 90s. The Colorado based sax and flute player released his debut in '92 and followed that with several albums that for the most part were well received. Unfortunately, Savage has more recently dropped off the radar. Nevertheless, one of his finest moments occurred early on when he recorded Saxafaction, his 1994 sophomore release. Breathing more than just a little fire into the title track, it remains one of the most energizing sax tracks of all time!

CD: Saxafaction (1994)
Label: Elation
Site: Bryan Savage

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site :
After enjoying a lengthy summer hiatus, Café Jazz is running in full catch up mode; therefore on this edition … 90 minutes packed with more great grooves from the summer of '06! If you enjoy hearing the latest sounds before they break or if you're adventurous and just prefer to explore the music scene a bit beyond the ordinary, this program is custom designed for you; you'll want to hear it all! Our line up includes more from Alan Hewitt, Patrick Yandall, Torcuato Mariano, Shilts, Jeffery B Suttles, Oli Silk, Greg Adams, Bakithi Kumalo, and Dan Siegel; the latest from Greg Vail, Gerald Albright and Janita; something new from Doc Powell and Konstantin Klashtorni; and newcomers Chris Korblein, David Longoria, and Larry Washington, in all 19 new-and-never-before-been-played-on-our-show tracks. It all begins with Fourplay and a tune from their latest release!

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