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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

February 3rd, 2008
Edition #469 Previously Next

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This Week @ Cafe Jazz.ca - Best of 2007 Review Part 3:
We're back with the third and final installment in our best of review. Included on this edition are Eric Marienthal, Greg Adams, Four80East, and Jeff Kashiwa as well as Chuck Loeb, Brian Simpson, and Special EFX - all are part of a collection that spotlights the absolute finest in what '07 had to offer. In addition, our continuing mission is one that's all about style and mood and as such, we're compelled to embrace the music of Omar Akram, Andrew Neu, Keith Andrews, and Bill McGee as well as a few others you may hear only here and nowhere else. So, for a couple of hours, sit back & relax to a radio show that's unlike any other!
In This Issue:

Blue Water - Eric Marienthal
Noodle Soup - Four80East
When It Rains - Darryl Williams
Earthlight - Stardelay
Chill - Bill McGee
Listen to the Wind - Slim Man

AFTER HOURS : Best of Finale

SPINLIST: Spinlist ONE YEAR AGO:The Café Jazz Best of 2006 - Part 3

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Highlights Hour One
Blue Water - Eric Marienthal:
Since his break thru gig as a member of Chick Corea's acclaimed Elektric Band in 1986, Sacramento native Eric Marienthal has demonstrated his adeptness at a variety of styles. He's not only developed into one of the most popular performers in the contemporary genre but has also established credentials as a highly regarded sessionist having worked with pop stars such as Elton John & Barbra Streisand. In 2001, the Berklee alumnus added The Rippingtons to an already impressive resume and thereby beginning his current affiliation with Peak Records. Just Around The Corner is now his 4th issue on the Peak label and 12th overall to go along with a 1997 compilation devoted to his first half-dozen albums and the GRP years.

Eric Marienthal - Just Around The Corner
Having worked with producers from Chick Corea on his debut to Jeff Lorber on some of his most successful efforts, this latest project sees the continuation of that latter friendship with Lorber contributing as co-writer, musician, and producer to several tracks. In addition, the effort marks Marienthal's first collaboration with Brian Culbertson, one of the hottest tastemakers in smooth jazz, and with Stephen Lu, a long-time Culbertson associate, who co-wrote and produced five additional tracks. From that effort, we've opted for the Culbertson/Marienthal co-penned Blue Water - the excellent first single to radio that is presently perched at or near #1 on several charts!

CD: Just Around The Corner
Label: Peak Records
Site: Eric Marienthal

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Four80East - En Route
Noodle Soup - Four80East:
Rob DeBoar and Tony Grace launched their careers in 1990 with Boomtang Records, an independent label that specialized in the release of 12-inch singles for the U.K. club scene - their first three years saw the issue of fifteen Grace and DeBoer-penned and produced records. By 1993, their mandate expanded to include artist development with an accompanying shift in focus as DeBoar & Grace developed into a crack dance remix and production unit. Toward the end of the 90s, however, the veteran Toronto-based team hit upon a creative side venture that allowed the freedom to incorporate a loose dance vibe with many of the jazzier and more eclectic elements that they personally wished to explore. So it was that Four80East came into being - their 1997 UK debut spawned the single Eastside that went on to become the seventh most-played track on Contemporary Jazz radio the following year.
Now a decade or so later, "The Boys" are back with En Route, their first effort since 2002's Round 3 and fourth release overall. From this latest excursion into ambience and trip-hop, we're headlining the tune Noodle Soup, a re-do one of their own tracks from that period in the early 90s that pre-dates their work as Four80!

The term noodle soup is used in reference to a variety of noodle dishes served in stock with other ingredients and is an Asian staple. Being somewhat hip to this track's far-reaching potential, we latched onto the original version a few years back and true to the implications of the term, after which it was named, this tasty musical dish soon became a staple on our humble show - indeed, it made our Canadian Top 10 as far back as our 2004-faves. Now it's taken the rest of the world some time to catch up to whaht we here on the hippest show on radio have known for years as Four80 present their biggest hit since the late 90s and our own 2007-#1 Canadian Selection!

CD: En Route
Label: Native Language
Site: Four80East
Darryl Williams - That Was Then
When It Rains - Darryl Williams:
With a career that stretches back to the late 80s, bassist Darryl Williams has backed many stars on the contemporary scene such as Chaka Khan and Angela Bofill while also supporting the likes of Evan Marks, Patrick Yandall, and others. After a 1997 move to Las Vegas, Williams raised his profile performing with many headline acts and became known as a first call bassist for visiting artist at the world renowned Blue Note Jazz Club. Since 2003, he's played some of the best-known venues on the Strip while backing Celine Dion and other too numerous to mention. Now, after two-and-a-half decades of "playing in the shadows", Williams is ready for a share of the spotlight with his long-overdue solo debut. From that effort, Reggie Smith on soprano sax and Jamar Jones on piano, help Williams create an incredible space with the moody sensibilities of When It Rains!

CD: That Was Then
Label: Independent
Site: Darryl Williams

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Featured in Hour Two
Various Artists - The Sound
Earthlight - Stardelay:
Over the past few months, we've encountered some highly creative releases that have come from beyond North American shores. In this regard, Germany in particular has produced more than a fair share of noteworthy albums, a case in point being the 2007 compilation The Sound from Ozella Music. Subtitled pure downtempo magic, the cd was issued in anticipation of several forthcoming projects, and for the most part presented a varied journey into the worlds of lounge and chill. Among the endeavours represented on the disc is Stardelay - the brain-thrust behind the venture being composer, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, producer, and vocalist Carsten Mentzel. With four tracks culled from A New High Fidelity Tripout, an album billed as a meditative and contemplative excursion, we didn't have to look beyond the first of these to find a superb example of some of the best in today's Teutonic grooves!

CD: The Sound
Label: Ozella Music
Site: Stardelay ; Ozella
Bill McGee - Chase The Sunset
Chill - Bill McGee:
Trumpeter, flügelhorn player, and multi-instrumentalist, Bill McGee's first brush with success in music came back in the 70s as a member of the band Trussel backing Evelyn "Champagne" King just as she was on the verge of stardom. A record deal was imminent; however, due to a management change, that never materialized so in due course, McGee found himself playing a variety of gigs - from the rap records of Grand Master Flash to albums by The O'Jays, Patti Labelle, The Stylistics, and others. However, for the next 20 years or so, McGee gave up the music industry for a career in education - he taught music in his native Richmond and directed the Music Engineering and Technology program at Elizabeth City State. Subsequent to receiving a Master's in administration from Norfolk State, McGee became Director of Instrumental Music at the Morehouse College in Atlanta while later returning to Virginia as an administrator with the Richmond Public Schools.
Even while in Norfolk and Atlanta, McGee still collaborated, ran a label, and kept active behind the scenes as a mentor helping develop hip-hop artists. Finally debuting with a solo project in 2002, Chase The Sunset is now McGee's 3rd and latest release. From that effort, we've selected Chill with Jim Adkins featured on what we personally feel to be one of the coolest selections for the year!

CD: Chase The Sunset
Label: 804 Jazz
Site: Bill McGee
Slim Man - Solstice
Listen to the Wind - Slim Man:
Having worked as in-house songwriter for Motown in the late 70s and early 80s, Tim Camponeschi was on the verge of releasing a solo project when changes at the top saw his project shelved. Later in the decade, he MC'd a travelling country music talent show and it was during this period that he adopted the Slim Man alias in order to escape being tracked down by irate contest losers. After a few moderately successful efforts fronting a rock band and penning tracks for a singer named Brian Jack, Camponeschi launched his solo career as Slim Man with a 1995 debut that yielded a top 10 hit. Gaining a small but avid following, the Slim Dude found broader success as a member of the hip and funky group known as Bona Fide - named the top new group in Smooth Jazz for 2001. This spurred a resurgence in his own solo career so that with his latest release, the Slim Meister's catalogue now includes seven albums plus a seasonal effort. From the latest of these, the Slim Hombre croons on Listen to the Wind, a beautifully crafted track that shows our #1 male vocalist for 2007at his absolute best!

CD: Solstice
Label: Oui Oui Music
Sites: Slim Man

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
We bring our Best of 2007 series to its ultimate conclusion with one final hour to cap off 9 full hours devoted exclusively to the sounds of '07. This edition includes Kyle Eastwood, Dwayne Kerr, 813, Talia, Thelonious Moog, and Lee Jones. In addition, we've thrown in a typically tasty assortment of faves that includes Jay Soto, Nate Harasim, Rhonda Smith, and Norman Brown! Complete Spinlist

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