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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

March 25th, 2007
Edition #439 Previously Next

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This Week at CafeJazz.ca!
The Back Trax feature includes Hiroshima, Paprika Soul, and Helios while Keiko Matsui and Steve Reid's Bamboo Forest round out the segment. Later that same hour, there's some of the brightest in current music with Chuck Loeb, Marion Meadows, Lee Ritenour, and Ken Navarro!

Countdown to Program #450!
We're getting set to celebrate our 450th anniversary show and 6th annual 'the very best of'. Be sure to join us in just 11 shows to hear some of the best tracks that we've played over the course of our 10-year run.
In This Issue:

Hands On - Bobby Lyle

Sup Poze - Hiroshima
Boss Tres Bien - Paprika Soul
Soul Mates - Steve Reid
Precious Time - Keiko Matsui
Conquistador - Helios


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Showcase CD
Hands On - Bobby Lyle:

Lyle is a veteran musician who has constantly reinvented himself in a career that now spans three decades. Born in Memphis TN, Bobby's family relocated to Minneapolis MN - it was there that Lyle's "love affair with the piano" began when he was just six, with his church organist mother as his first teacher. The long winters provided plenty of practice time, and Lyle's resulting development as a player led to plenty of gigs and exposure to some of the jazz piano greats - among them Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson. After six years of performing locally in The Twin City area and a couple of years in college, Lyle felt the timing was right to jump to the national circuit when presented with an extended two-year opportunity with Young-Holt Unlimited. In the early 70s, he met and jammed with Jimi Hendrix, who was planning on starting a jazz-rock band with Lyle before his untimely passing.
After returning to Minneapolis, Lyle recorded an album that was released in 1974 exclusively in Japan. Two years later, he moved to LA where he quickly gained a spot with Sly and The Family Stone. Following a stint with Ronnie Laws and a meeting with Wayne Henderson of Crusaders fame, Lyle landed a contract and recorded a trio of solo albums. Then thruout the 80s, he appeared on projects by George Benson and Phyllis Hyman, touring with Benson and then later with Bette Midler, Al Jarreau, and Anita Baker, as each of their musical directors. It was while working with Gerald Albright that Lyle landed a deal with Atlantic records. This led to the release of six albums in 9 years, a string that included The Journey, which became the #1 jazz album for 1990.
Photo: Back Inser from Hands Ont
In the meantime, Lyle has continued to tour with Ms Midler (receiving an Emmy nomination for her HBO special) while also touring and recording on his own, Hands On being the latest in his catalogue of over a dozen releases. This most recent release from the versatile Mr. Lyle presents an exciting blend of contemporary jazz and acoustic piano as it deftly crisscrosses the boundaries between straight-ahead and smooth and it now finds itself as the subject of our showcase segment. We begin with the first of three tasty tracks, a funky little ditty called Fancy Pants highlighted by Lyle's own sparkling work on keys. The light melodic groove of Take a Step opens hour 2, while the R&B-inflected title track provides the exclamation point that punctuates the feature!

CD: Hands On
Label: Heads Up International

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Back Trax: Part One
Sup Poze - Hiroshima:
Dan & June Kuramoto have guided the fortunes of Hiroshima for over 25 years. As bandleader and principal composer, Kuramoto is an East LA native, who started playing flute as a "diversion to his post-hippy lifestyle". He graduated with a degree in fine arts and shortly thereafter, became the first chair for Asian-American studies at Cal State University. He taught there for three years. However, Kuramoto discovered his voice as a Japanese-American as well as a forum wherein he could express his artistic needs thru playing music for various community fund-raisers. Meanwhile June, who was born just outside of Tokyo, has been the main creative force behind the ensemble. Her family relocated to LA, but as a child, June longed to return to Japan. As if by destiny, a master of an ancient Japanese instrument called the koto, started teaching right in June's family home.

It was in this way that, at the age of six, June found her musical connection in life. Subsequently she returned to Japan earning all the classical degrees accorded the instrument. The future husband & wife team met upon June's return to the US and began merging her Eastern-influenced playing with many of the diverse aspects of Western music on the LA scene; their collaboration resulted in the 1979 Hiroshima debut. Although their marriage has since dissolved, Hiroshima has endured and indeed, flourished. By incorporating exotic & seemingly mystical elements, the Kuramoto's continued to elevate their music to an almost spiritual level with Sup Poze as one of the finest.!

CD: Between Black and White (1999)
Label: Windham Hill Jazz
Site: Hiroshima
Boss Tres Bien - Paprika Soul:
The Paprika Soul concept was created in 1993 by the production team of Alan Barnes and Andy Spiller. Spiller's background in music was extensive; having composed for TV, he also directed and arranged West End Musicals. De facto Spiller was the backbone for the Paprika Soul sound as in addition to his duties as arranger, engineer, and producer, he featured as keyboardist and programmer on all tracks. Meanwhile, Barnes was the executive producer and artistic director while also handling the band's business affairs. Working with like-minded musicians, Spiller and Barnes developed Paprika Soul into one of the hottest acts on the UK scene, their offerings being sprinkled with a variety of flavours from soul to jazz and beyond. They released a pair of albums at the front end of the decade before disbanding. On this occasion, we're returning to the Paprika Soul debut from 2001 for Boss Tres Bien and its incredible blend of influences!

CD: Paprika Soul (2001)
Label: Baseline Records/Higher Octave Jazz

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Back Trax: Part Two
Soul Mates - Steve Reid's Bamboo Forest:
First surfacing in the mid-70s, percussionist Steve Reid quickly developed into a top sessionist appearing on hundreds of records including a date led by Miles Davis. Reid joined Russ Freeman in the founding of The Rippingtons in 1987, while finding time to also appeal to pop audiences as a member of the band Supertramp. Voted "Percussionist of the Year" by Jazziz magazine for both 1993 and 1995, Reid issued his solo debut as leader of Bamboo Forest in the year between. Comparisons to The Ripps were inevitable as helping Reid on the project, was first-and-foremost fellow Ripp-mate saxophonist Jeff Kashiwa. However, that effort and subsequent projects were much more world beat and jungle jazz influenced than anything ever done by the Ripps. By the release of Mysteries, the 3rd in the Bamboo Forest series, the line-up included bassist Kim Stone and keyboardist Dave Kochanski also members of The Rippingtons. Meanwhile, guitarist Steve Oliver made his debut on that same cd. Nonetheless, from that release, we've opted for Soul Mates with Kashiwa & guest Marc Antoine as a track that well represents one of the project's finest moments!

CD: Mysteries (1997)
Label: Telarc
Precious Time - Keiko Matsui:
Keiko Matsui started with piano lessons at the age of five and began composing as early as junior high. Her music has been influenced by masters from a variety of disciplines, artists as diverse as Stevie Wonder and Rachmaninoff as well as Maurice Jarre and Chick Corea. Well-versed in jazz and classical music, Matsui has developed a unique style that delicately walks a line somewhere between fusion and new age. With over 20 albums to her credit, we're returning to 2002's the Ring for one her most moving performances!

CD: The Ring (2002)
Label: Narada Jazz
Site: Keiko Matsui
Conquistador - Helios:
Based in Santa Cruz, CA, the band Helios was a powerhouse trio composed of keyboardist Peter Cor, Gary Carpenter on guitar, and drummer Chris Miller. They released their one and only album in 2001, an excellent fusion-based project packed with rare gems. From that effort, we're presenting the rich and undiluted sounds of Conquistador, a Café Jazz favourite for that year!

CD: Helios
Label: Independent
Site: Cor/Jazzy Devils

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
The focus is new music with 13 never-before-been-played-on-our-show trax. Here's a quick run down of our line up. There's something from Kim Waters; we have a bit more from Terry Disley with a terrific remake of an old Led Zeppelin hit and we'll be hearing from Paul Brown and Janita. Flautist Valerie King is on the show, first time for her and we're also introducing Andrew New and Planet Lounge, a great chill based project out of Germany fronted by Christoph Spendel formerly with Special EFX. There's the latest from saxman Andre Ward, while Four80East are in the house with a terrific remake of a great track they first recorded in the early 90s. Check this, there's music from the Simon James project Kymaera, James was a co-founder of Acoustic Alchemy, and we have music from Joel Rodney Siemion and Paul Wainwright to round out the hour. In the meantime, it would seem only appropriate to begin with something new and to that end we have the advance from the forthcoming Norman Brown cd!

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