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This Week at Café

May 4th, 2008
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This Week at!
... it's Brazilian keyboardist Marcos Ariel in the spotlight - we've cued selected tracks from 4 Friends and we'll be spinning those as part of the showcase feature. Hour 2 brings favourites from back in the day on the popular Back Trax segment. Headlining this edition are Chris Rea and Ottmar Liebert. Also appearing are saxman Kenny Blake and keyboardist David Bach, while José Padilla, the creative pioneer behind the Café del Mar series, rounds out the feature. Then later in the hour, we've assembled a glitzy collection of current faves - with Earl Klugh, trumpeter David Wells, Paul Hardcastle, Bradley Leighton, and The Sax Pack, while thruout you'll find selections by Rick Braun, Nestor Torres, and Down To The Bone!
In This Issue:

4 Friends - Marcos Ariel

Chill - David Bach
Isla del Sol - Ottmar Liebert
Come Back - José Padilla
European Underground - Kenny Blake
On The Beach - Chris Rea


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Showcase CD
4 Friends - Marcos Ariel:

In a career that dates back to the mid 70s, Marcos Ariel has long dedicated himself to promoting the music of his homeland. The Brazilian born keyboardist began piano at seven and studied classically in his youth. He listened to the masters in Bach, Beethoven, Mozart, and Chopin, and as early as the age of nine, he dreamed of recording his own music. Later, his interests broadened to include jazz. Adding flute to his repertoire in 1971, Ariel studied intensively at the School of Music for the Brazilian Symphonic Orchestra, while later still he headed up a pair of bands in Cantares and Usina, recording the project Bambu in 1979-80 with the latter. Ariel's musical style has been described as purely Carioca, a term that refers to his native Rio de Janeiro, and reflects the laid-back lifestyle that has become synonymous with the expression. Infected with passions for both classical music and jazz, Arial began crossing musical frontiers with his first solo effort issued in Brazil and France in 1986. A follow up released a couple of years later led to international recognition!

Marcos Ariel - 4 Friends
Having issued nearly a dozen North American albums over the years, Ariel has performed regularly in the US with a pair of projects making it into Billboard's top 20! His latest effort entitled 4 Friends sees a reunion between Ariel and guitarist and compatriot Ricardo Silveira, with whom Marcos has recorded frequently dating as far back as the Bambu release. Additionally, another pair of old acquaintances in Joăo Baptista on bass and Jurim Moreira on drums, round out the sound of the combo. The chemistry between the four musicians is exceptional and results in 4 Friends as an exceptional effort and a fantastic focal point for our spotlight feature. So, as we begin to sway to warm some Brazilian rhythms, we have the track Bossa Love!
Marcos Ariel Photo courtesy of Marcos
You may recall the impeccably crafted Green Eyes from 1999, involved an elegant exchange between Ariel and Silveira that has made the track a Café Jazz fave ever since. The duo reprised that partnership a few years later with Magic Eyes and now continue their exploration of the idea with the equally endearing Passionate Eyes and an exquisite variation on a theme! The jazzy piece Maracajazz rounds out the feature while as a bit of an added Marcos Ariel bonus you can find the joy of Summer Happiness, previously unplayed on the program, included as part of our After Hours presentation. Continuing on a path that he's traversed for the past quarter century and more, in 4 Friends Marcos Ariel delivers an inventive and balanced program with his typical brilliance and flair for creativity!

CD: 4 Friends
Label: Tenure Records
Site: Marcos Ariel ; Ariel/Moondo ; Ariel/MySpace

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Back Trax: Part One
David Bach - 5thousand Words
Chill - David Bach:
Based in Baltimore and the DC-area, David Bach traveled the world as the son of an Air Force commander, all of which served to broaden his appreciation for many diverse styles of music. In 1995, Bach toured as keyboardist with Fishbelly Black, before debuting as a soloist in 1998. He's played a variety of gigs throughout the Washington area, been featured on BET's Jazz Central, and was with his band The David Bach Consort, he was voted as "Best Instrumental Band" by Music Monthly Magazine for three consecutive years from 1999 thru until 2001. Additionally, Bach received the 2004 "Individual Solo Performance Award" from the Maryland State Arts Council and has four releases to his credit. On this occasion, we're checking out some of the very hip sounds of a track called Chill from the '01 5thousand Words cd!

CD: 5thousand Words (2001)
Label: Integrity Music
Site: David Bach
Ottmar Liebert - Borrasca
Isla del Sol - Ottmar Liebert:
Born in Cologne, Germany - Liebert traveled Asia before moving to Boston and eventually settled in Santa Fe. After trying his hand at a variety of bands, he began playing acoustic guitar in restaurants. His first self-produced project was recorded essentially for a few of his friends, but after receiving heavy radio airplay in Los Angeles - it was released nationally in the US in 1990. Liebert's '91 follow up effort entitled Borrasca brought flamenco to the mainstream as the project was nominated for a Grammy. From that effort, we have Isla del Sol, an Ottmar Liebert classic!

CD: Borrasca (1991)
Label: Higher Octave Music
Site: Ottmar Liebert

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Back Trax: Part Two
The Best of Café del Mar
Come Back - José Padilla:
Although he's issued over a half-dozen projects as a solo performer, José Padilla first came to prominence operating as a DJ. Padilla was a master of creating musical sets to suit particular moods - specifically he pioneered the art of DJing sunsets, a practice that was made world famous by the Café del Mar series of releases. In 1975, while working as a waiter in Barcelona, Padilla moved to Ibiza off the coast of Spain where he soon became part of the club scene. It was 1991 when one of the local establishments gave him his chance and, in the time since, the tiny isle has become the destination of choice for beautiful people from around the world. It's there that free spirits gather near dusk to watch awe-inspiring sunsets while DJs spin mood inducing music specifically selected to enhance the experience. The practice has spawned over 20 albums with Padilla as the architect who designed the first several while occasionally performing a track here and there. On this occasion, we went to 2003 and The Best of Café Del Mar compilation for Padilla's contribution to the collection and his personal serenade to the beauty of a Balearic sunset!

CD: The Best of Café del Mar (2003)
Label: Mercury Records
Site: Café del Mar
Kenny Blake - An Intimate Affair
European Underground - Kenny Blake:
Hailing from Pittsburgh PA, Kenny Blake took up clarinet at 10 and the sax by the age of 12. He enrolled at Columbia University as a pre-med student but after graduating, he wound up playing at what he describes as "the seediest hotels and clubs imaginable." The experience helped Blake tap into his talents, so that upon his return to Pittsburgh, he immersed himself in that city's great jazz scene. In due course, he formed his own band wherein he was able to forge an evolutionary style by fusing the visceral aspects of R&B with the intellectual appeal of jazz. After playing the local club scene, Blake hooked up with the band Cabo Frio, touring with and appearing on their 1987 self-titled release. Using this experience as a springboard, Blake connected with the Heads Up label issuing a series of well received released from the early thru until the mid 90s. From the '96 An Intimate Affair, we're featuring the moody textures of European Underground highlighted by Blake's trademark of doubling, and sometimes even tripling, on various saxes!

CD: An Intimate Affair (1996)
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Blake/Concord
Chris Rea - New Light Through Old Windows
On The Beach - Chris Rea:
Growing up Middlesbrough England, Chris Rea was already somewhere around 19 by the time he picked up his first guitar. After some initial success with a band called Beautiful Losers, he set out as a solo artist in 1977 and the following year he released Whatever Happened to Benny Santini? - the title being a reference to the name Rea's label had considered for him believing it sounded more commercially appealing. The single Fool (If You Think It's Over) was a minor hit in the UK but initially it didn't enjoy much chart action in the US until its re-release, whereupon it proved to be his biggest hit in America. Nevertheless, Rea went on to record 19 albums in all, selling in excess of 30 million units worldwide. Among several different "best of" Rea collections, the 1988 New Light Through Old Windows was the first and the album that perhaps more than any other cemented Chris Rea's success!
The project featured many of the finest tracks from his first ten years, frequently as reworks of the originals, hence the title, and well captures the highly optimistic nature of Rea's early career. One of the finest is the extended 7-minute version of On The Beach initially released in 1986 on the album of the same name!

CD: New Light Through Old Windows (1988)
Label: Magnet/Atco
Site: Chris Rea
Chris Rea - On The BeachOn The Beach

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Direct from studio B it's fresh listening with 13 selections brand new to the show - today's installment includes Everette Harp, Rob Mullins, and Mike Levine. We have the latest from Gail Jhonson and Matt Marshak while there's more from Marcos Ariel, the band Present Tense, flautist Bradley Leighton, and Kevin Kooyumjian. New to the show are a pair of bassmen namely Sekou Bunch and Stevie Williams out of the UK. Also appearing is trumpeter Larry Lagerberg; while additionally we have the latest radio edit from Les Sabler and that will wind down the hour!

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