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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

April 13th, 2008
Edition #479 Previously Next

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This Week at CafeJazz.ca!
... we're spotlighting the debut release from Steve Jeffrey and John Cardoso as East of West. We've chosen three great selections from Crossing Borders and will be presenting those as part of the showcase feature. Then it's on to Fresh Trax with all the latest and best in new music. Headlining this show are Jesse Cook and Earl Klugh. Also included is a remix of an Eliane Elias track from a few years back, a fabulous piece from Kansas City keyboardist Max Groove, while saxman Jerry D rounds out the segment. Then later in the hour, there's a retro pack with James Hollihan, Kenny G, Matt Marshak, Stacey Knights, and Pamela Williams - while the remainder of the show is nicely seasoned with some prime selections by Ray Obiedo, Everette Harp, Norman Brown, and Brian Simpson!
In This Issue:

Crossing Borders - East of West

Kissed By Nature - Eliane Elias
Café Mocha - Jesse Cook
Night Owl - Max Groove
Driftin' - Earl Klugh
Back To Motown - Jerry D

Special Feature - Blue Days

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Showcase CD:
Crossing Borders - East of West:

East of West is appropriately a bicoastal affair helmed by bassist Steve Jeffrey and drummer John Cardoso. Their Crossing Borders debut presents nine originals that masterfully navigate the somewhat tricky waters that bridge the varying shades of jazz. Mixed metaphors aside, chapter 1 of the saga begins in the late '80s when Jeffrey and Cardoso were band mates playing central California. Born in Portugal, Cardoso's family moved to Orange County California when he was a youth but by the age of twelve, he was already touring with a jazz big band. For his part, Jeffrey was 11 when he convinced his family to buy him a bass; after performing with numerous rock bands, a time during which Jeffrey and Cardoso first connected, Steve discovered jazz and this where their paths diverged for a time.
East of West - Crossing Borders
The second part of the story finds the two amigos on opposite coasts, Jeffrey deciding to broaden his musical studies attended Berklee in Boston while Cardoso relocated to LA, where he graduated from the Grove School of Music and freelanced. Meanwhile Jeffrey graduated from Berklee with a major in Music Business Management in '95. Soon after he developed a rare retinal condition and began losing his eyesight, where upon he called on his longtime friend for help - without hesitation Cardoso responded, and that marked the beginning of their collaboration that became East of West. Phase 3 of their tale saw that within a year, the setting had changed with Cardoso and Jeffrey recording in LA - Andy Suzuki on sax, Ron Pedley on piano, and Bob Fernandez on percussion, all seasoned performers with extensive résumés being enlisted to round out the sounds of the combo. However, after completing the project, the name East of West proved somewhat prophetic as they wound up back on the east coast!
East of West - On Stage Photo courtesy of East of West.net
Response to date has been very encouraging and resulted in the release of the band's first single to radio and we have that for you - it's called Changes. Hour 2 begins with View From My Window, our pick as the prettiest track on the disc, whereas the buoyant enthusiasm of the title track makes for a fantastic closer. Possessing a welcome degree of complexity with just the right amount of oomph, Crossing Borders is an auspicious debut and marks East of West as a force to be reckoned with!

CD: Crossing Borders
Label: EOW Records
Site: EOW ; J Cardoso ; S Jeffrey/Carroll Center
A Suzuki ; R Pedley ; B Fernandez

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Wave Music - Latinova 4
Kissed By Nature (remix) - Eliane Elias:
Well known for her distinctive style, the multitalented Elias blends influences from her Brazilian heritage with an impressive set of jazz and classical skills - by fifteen, she was teaching improvisation and piano at São Paolo's prestigious school of music. In 1981, Elias headed to New York and the following year landed a spot with the group Steps Ahead. Her first release in 1984 was in collaboration with Randy Brecker - she now has over fifteen albums. Among them the 2002 cd Kissed By Nature featured the tune of the same name, but lest you think this be a Back Trax feature, let it be known we've selected a simply fantastic remix of this track from the compilation Latinova 4 recently issued by our good friends at California Sunset Records.
You may have heard us consult Germany's premiere jazz, lounge, & chill label on other occasions for some of the finest sounds on the European circuit. With this selection we've definitely hit upon one of their best!

CD: Latinova 4
Label: California Sunset Records
Site: Eliane Elias ; CSR ; Latinova Series
Eliane Elias - Kissed By NatureKissed By Nature
RCA Victor
Jesse Cook - Frontiers
Café Mocha - Jesse Cook:
Born in Paris in 1964, Jesse Cook first tried mimicking the style of a Gypsy guitar legend on one of the many summers he spent as a youth in the southern-French region known as the Camargue. It was here, that Cook developed his passion for flamenco and many of the other free-spirited sounds that permeated the vicinity. After his parents separated, Cook accompanied his mother back to Canada, where lessons followed. Between the unusual dichotomy of annual Gypsy festivals and continued studies at some of North America's most prestigious music schools, Cook honed his skills while developing a wide-ranging taste in music. Since the release of his 1995 debut, Cook has become known internationally as Canada's ambassador to the world of rumba & flamenco. Drawing on many diverse ingredients from new age, jazz, and pop, Cook masterfully blends these into an exotic but nonetheless a highly tasty dish. Although released in Canada in 2007, just out now in the rest of the world is Frontiers, Cook's latest and now his seventh album overall - that to go along with a 2005 double cd compilation. From this most recent effort, we're savouring the rich Café Mocha here on Café Jazz!

CD: Frontiers
Label: Koch Entertainment
Site: Jesse Cook

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Max Groove - Night Owl
Night Owl - Max Groove :
With a career that dates back to 1981 and a catalogue of nearly a dozen quality releases, Kansas City keyboardist Max Groove is both a pioneer and architect in the contemporary smooth jazz movement. After a series of well-received releases thruout the 80s, Grove hit musical pay dirt in the late 80s and early 90s with a pair of projects that crept into the upper teens on Billboard's chart. Subsequent efforts also faired well culminating in Groove's masterful 2001 It's A Beautiful Day, a cd that never really received it's just recognition in spite of many transcendent moments. Conspicuously absent for the past several years, Groove now emerges with a project that is certain to recapture much of the lustre of a period earlier in his career - from that forthcoming release, we present Night Owl the title track. With a haunting sax intro that penetrates the night and Groove's own deft keyboard work, which gently eases us into that magical wee-hour stillness, this ultra moody gem is guaranteed a place of honour on our in-house end-of-the-year list as one of the finest tracks for 2008!

CD: Night Owl
Label: Independent
Site: Max Groove
Earl Klugh - The Spice of Life
Driftin' - Earl Klugh :
A guitarist known for his attractive style and an ever so mellow tone, Earl Klugh's biggest influence was the late Chet Atkins and, in spite of some serious credentials to the contrary, Klugh has never really considered himself a jazz musician. He played with Yusef Lateef at 15 and in 1971 contributed to George Benson's White Rabbit. He took a regular stint with Benson thruout '73 and the following year enjoyed brief duty with Return to Forever. In 1976, Klugh launched his solo career, making his one of the seminal sounds in the Smooth Jazz movement but didn't really break out until a 1979 collaboration with Bob James - he has since gone on to become one of the most played and most prolific artists in the contemporary genre with over 30 albums to his credit. With a release date that is imminent, The Spice of Life is his new one - from that effort, we're featuring the dulcet strains of the radio advance single with the track Driftin'!

CD: The Spice of Life
Label: Koch Entertainment
Site: Earl Klugh
Jerry D - Deseo
Back To Motown - Jerry D:
From the time when he received his fist sax, back in the 4th grade thru until early in his college days, Jerry D's love affair with music burned with the brightness and intensity of a rocket flair shot into the night. In time, that infatuation shifted to the broad and burgeoning field of health care. However, after a 10-year hiatus from the music scene and upon spying a sax in a pawnshop window, the spark was rekindled, to the extent that the now Nashville-based D-Man gave up on a successful career as an executive in sales and marketing for a second chance with his first love. Deseo is his soon to be released and most recent effort, and from it, we have the soulful sounds of the track Back to Motown!

CD: Deseo
Label: MMG
Site: Jerry D

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
On today's show ... the second in a new series wherein we take a unique approach to song selection. Every track on this edition has the word "blue" as part of it's title and as a result we're calling this our Blue Days special feature - included are many Café Jazz favourites from Gregg Karukas, David Sanborn, Fourplay, the UK's Shakatak, Blue Knights, and Nestor Torres. We'll be hearing as well from Ken Navarro, Eric Marienthal, Alan Hewitt, Tony Gable & 206, and Light of the World. Also appearing are the duo of Rich Arnold and Mike Young while additionally we have the selection from Paul Hardcastle & his first Jazzmasters release that lent it's name to this segment!

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