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

January 20th, 2008
Edition #467 Previously Next

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This Week @ Cafe Jazz.ca - Best of 2007 Review Part 2:
On this edition, we're picking up where we left off a couple of weeks ago with part 2 in our 3 part series. Today's highlights include Norman Brown, Down to the Bone, Marc Antoine, and Keiko Matsui, as well as Café Jazz faves by Paul Hardcastle, Brian Simpson, Everette Harp, Acoustic Alchemy, and Rick Braun & Richard Elliot. Add to that, selections from Main Gazane, Darren Rahn, David Longoria, Darren Motamedy, DeeLight, Dephazz, Danny Lerman, David Crawford, and Bill Bergman & The Metro Jets as our continuing mission takes us where no radio program has gone before!
In This Issue:

For A Smile - Marc Antoine
Daydreamin' - Jay Soto
Soulsax - Candy Dulfer
Midnight Breeze - Nils
Let's Get Close - Brian Simpson
Q It Up - Braun & Elliot

AFTER HOURS : More Best of

SPINLIST: Spinlist ONE YEAR AGO:The Café Jazz Best of 2006 - Part 2

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Highlights Hour One
For A Smile - Marc Antoine:
All right, let's take an informal poll now shall we? Okay, the question is, "In so far as smooth jazz is concerned, who plays the sweetest sounding acoustic guitar in the genre?" Just as I suspected, there are many among us who feel that the name of Marc Antoine must belong at or near the top of any short list of the finest. With a string of hits, The Parisian born performer has endeared himself to fans around the world and "has given us cause, here at The Café, to reserve a place of honour for this incredibly gifted musician." So we said when we showcased Antoine's Hi-Lo Split back on Dec. 2, 2007 and now it's only ŕ propos, as the French might say, to re-iterate this fact while playing one of Antoine's most moving selections!

CD: Hi-Lo Split
Label: Peak Records
Site: Marc Antoine
Marc Antoine - Hi-Lo Split

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Jay Soto - Stay Awhile
Daydreamin' - Jay Soto:
As a 2004 finalist in Guitar Center's "Guitarmageddon" competition, Jay Soto came within a whisker of winning that competition, and subsequently issued one of the finer break-thru releases with his Long Time Coming debut. However, in spite of these achievements, it was evident from the first listen that Soto had significantly "kicked things up a notch" with his follow up effort. In fact, in the process of showcasing Stay Awhile back last fall, we wrote: "with a couple of more years to further hone an ever so impressive set of chops … Jay Soto's Stay Awhile is choice and destined to be among a few elite projects vying for Café Jazz top honours for the year!" Truer words were never writ as Jay came in with our #9 cd and three selections on our list of faves including one of the prettiest songs for 2007!

CD: Stay Awhile
Label: nuGroove
Site: Jay Soto ; Soto/nuGroove

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Highlights Hour Two
Candy Dulfer - Candy Store
Soulsax - Candy Dulfer:
She's been performing since the age of seven, scored her first international hit at the age of 19, and aside from some basic training from her father, a renowned jazz musician in his own right, she's pretty well self-taught; she's Dutch-born sax lady Candy Dulfer. Dulfer appeared with Prince on Saturday Night Live and was on the verge of accepting an offer to tour with His Royal Badness, when she recorded several tracks with Dave Stewart, ex of The Eurythmics, with the instrumental "Lily Was Here" going to #1 all across Europe. That led to a record deal and the release of Saxuality, Dulfer's 1990 debut, which sold in excess of a million copies. She's since gone on to perform with the psychedelic rockers Pink Floyd, with Prince (on several occasions), and with several other top names.

Releasing over a dozen projects under her own name, Dulfer has sold many more millions of records with Candy Store, her Heads Up label debut being her 13th and most recent release. While including more of Candy's patented mix of explosive funk based rhythms, this latest installment has also yielded the single L.A. City Lights, which currently is perched at or near the top of many smooth jazz charts. In spite of this, feeling it a better fit for the ambience of a show such as ours, we've opted for Ms Dulfer's moodier Soulsax offering!

CD: Candy Store
Label: Heads Up Int.
Site: Candy Dulfer
Nils - Ready to Play
Midnight Breeze - Nils:
He was "the" smooth jazz story in 2005 with Pacific Coast Highway and now a couple of years later, Nils continued to make headlines with his spectacular follow-up effort. When we showcased Ready to Play in March of last year, we included a quote from Nils wherein the new project featured his "best writing and playing from start to finish … making this even a better album than Pacific Coast Highway." At the time, this may have seemed like bravado or perhaps wishful thinking - nonetheless time has come down squarely on the side of the artist on this issue, at least with respect to our own humble show. Ready to Play sat securely in the #4 position as Most Played Album in 2007 with no less than three of Nils' selection being recognized on our own in house list of favourites for the year. We now offer our #13 track in Midnight Breeze featuring Nils at his lyrical best!

CD: Ready to Play
Label: Baja/TSR Records
Site: Nils Music
Brian Simpson - Above The Clouds
Let's Get Close - Brian Simpson:
Over the past few seasons, the music of Brian Simpson has become integral to helping define the sound of our humble program with Above the Clouds being spotlighted as recently as this past November. At that time we observed, "The project is as fine as any you'll find in the genre and … from the very first listen, there's absolutely no doubt in our minds that we have in our hands a commodity that's sadly all too rare in today's music - a quality project that's delivered with finesse and the utmost taste." The short period since has only strengthened our conviction - from that effort and our #3 album for 2007, we present the smouldering stillness of Let's Get Close, an absolute fave for the year!

CD: Above The Clouds
Label: Rendezvous Entertainment
Site: Brian Simpson ; Simpson/Mack Avenue
Rick Braun & Richard Elliot - R n R
Q It Up - Rick Braun & Richard Elliot:
Billed as "the jazz event release of 2007", Rick Braun & Richard Elliot debuted at Billboard's #1 spot with R n R, while within another week or two, the title track had spiralled to the top of the smooth charts, proving there was more to the phrase than just a bit of hype. When spotlighting the album this past November, we remarked that all this early attention put R n R squarely at 'risk' of being one of the most popular releases for the year"! We're now quite pleased to report this statement too wasn't just so much bravado as the project comfortably nestled into the #2 spot on our in house list of 2007 faves. From that brilliant effort, Braun & Elliot ignite the scene with a scorcher entitled Q It Up!

CD: R n R
Label: ARTizen Music Group
Sites: Rick Braun ; Richard Elliot

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
On the After Hours portion of the show ... more in our 2007 review. Part two in the series continues with our own unique blend of favorites, and this time we're focusing on artists & musicians that may not be quite as well known. That includes Mel Davis, The Jeanette Harris Band, Dee Brown, PJ Spraggins and Joey Sommerville. To that list we've added Terry Disley, Tom Braxton, U-Nam, Grady Nichols, Dan Carlin, Justin Young, and Richy Kicklighter! Complete Spinlist

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