June 29th, 2008
Edition #490 Previously Next
This Week at CafeJazz.ca: 6th Annual - Smooth
Jazz in Canada, Eh!
... our Canada Day special! We first tried this all the way back in 2003 and each time we've come back with a bigger, brighter, & better version, this will undoubtedly be the best one yet! Featured are Brian Hughes, Warren Hill, Gabriel, Alexander Zonjic, Vince Mai, and Les Sabler … all 100% Canadian. So sit back, relax, and get set to enjoy the unique vibe of a radio show unlike any other, as we pop the cork for our made in Canada special and for Café Jazz your champagne of smooth jazz radio!
Rhondasm - Rhonda Smith:
Coming to us from Halifax via Montreal and a few other locales, bass-lady Rhonda Smith has enjoyed about a twenty-year career in music and has been a member of Prince's New Power Generation since '97. Raised in a musical family, Smith moved to the vibrant jazz-influenced milieu of Montréal when she was a child - it was there that she learned baritone horn, keyboards, and guitar before an older brother told her not to touch a bass that he'd brought home. Citing the work of Stan Clarke, and that of Alain Caron from the band UZEB, as being highly influential to her style, she enrolled at McGill as a jazz major but left to gain playing experience with an all-girl Top 40 R&B band.
| Smith won a Juno, Canada's Grammy, for her work with the
contemporary jazz band The Merlin Factor, before a chance meeting with
Sheila E. at a German music convention led to an audition with Prince
who hired her on the spot. In addition to her work with His Royal Badness,
Ms Smith has performed with Chaka Khan, Beyoncé, Lee Ritenour, and Najee
among many others. During a '99 break from touring with Prince, Smith
headed to Atlanta before moving to LA and recorded her Intellipop debut.
Primarily a groove-based album with some harder-edgy stuff but also containing
a few smoother elements, the project shows off diverse aspects of Rhonda's
well-rounded abilities on the pseudo-sophisticated Rhondasm!
CD: Intellipop (2000)
Label: Slow Wine Music
Seduction Island - NEWA:
NEWA is a 4-man combo that takes its name from the initials of the first names of its members and is comprised of Nicholas Brancker on bass, Eddie Bullen on keys, Wilson Laurencin on drums, and Arturo Tappin on sax & flute. Each is a seasoned musician steeped in the traditions of The Caribbean with Brancker and Tappin based in Barbados, and Bullen and Laurencin in Toronto. Brought together by their love for jazz, their 2001 debut translated into an exploration of the 'edgier side of smooth', and from that effort, we present the fused flavours of their enticing tropical paradise!
CD: NEWA (2001)
Label: Thunder Dome Sounds
Lucky Girl - Joni Mitchell:
Originally, from Fort Macleod, Alberta, Roberta Joan Anderson spent most of her youth growing up in Saskatchewan, first in North Battleford and then later in Saskatoon, a town she still considers home. Formal piano lessons at seven proved stifling and so they lasted only a year and a half. After contracting polio at the age of nine, Joni recovered from the often-fatal illness mostly due to her mother's loving attention and it was during this period of convalescence, that she developed her sensitivity as an artist. Also skilled at drawing, Mitchell was encouraged to 'paint with words' by a Grade 7 teacher and this is something she's been doing ever since. She bought herself a ukulele and started playing at parties, get-togethers, and a coffeehouse. After high school, she enrolled in the College of Art in Calgary, but in 1964 after about a year, she headed to Toronto, where penniless, she gave birth to a baby girl, a fact that was kept secret until 1994.
thereafter, she married Chuck Mitchell while giving her daughter up for
adoption. Performing as Joan and Chuck Mitchell, the couple moved to Detroit
but the marriage dissolved within a year, with Joni moving to New York
in 1967 to pursue her dreams. However, while performing at a club in Florida,
she met David Crosby - the former member of The Byrds helped Joni get
a deal that led to the release of her debut in 1968. What followed was
an unprecedented string of hits, many of which are considered classics
of the era. After trying her hand at jazz during the late 70s and early
80s, and following her marriage to bassist and band mate Larry Klein in
'82, Joni released Dog Eat Dog in '85. The alignment of several factors
resulted in a project that was decidedly more experimental than most of
Ms Mitchell's previous efforts. Nonetheless, the album did yield the avante-garde
gem Lucky Girl - aided by Klein, Thomas Dolby, Wayne Shorter on sax and
others, the track remains one of our all-time favourites!
CD: Dog Eat Dog (1985)
Site: Joni Mitchell
|Highlights Hour Two|
Nights - Demo Cates:
A resident of Toronto since the 80s, Demo Cates is a multi-talented performer whose career extends back to the latter half of the 60s. The former native of Detroit grew up during the Motown era and, exposed to that city's vibrant music scene, he developed an appreciation for a variety of musical styles, from jazz, hip-hop, & R&B, to Latin and more contemporary forms. In 1968, Cates helped form the Fabulous Counts (later just the Counts) who recorded several projects before he went on to tour with the late Lenny Breau - and, although nominated for a Juno Award in both '85 and '88, Cates has always found his greatest challenge in musical stage productions. He studied at the Lee Strasberg School of Acting in NYC and, in addition to appearing in numerous commercials, productions, and movies, he appeared as a cast member for The Lion King in Toronto. Meanwhile, Cates continued to record - the '99 Beautiful As You being a compilation of some of his finest efforts. From that release, we've selected Asian Nights, a track that was issued earlier in the 90s by Cates, Richard Evans, and Greg Kavanaugh as the band Monsoon!
CD: Beautiful As You: An Anthology, the Music of Demo Cates (1999)
De Oro - Johannes Linstead and Nicholas Gunn:
Johannes Linstead grew up listening to classical music every night before bed, and early on, he became fascinated by the sounds of the Spanish guitar. Music always was and still is his passion. In his teens, he dabbled in jazz (winning Musician of the Year in his high school jazz band) and in rock - in addition, he's been highly influenced not only by the music of Spain, but also by the music of Greece, Cuba, Peru, India, Morocco, and many other areas where he has travelled. He released his debut in 1999 and in the time since, his brand of world fusion has earned numerous accolades including a smoothie at the 2007 CSJA. While the guitar is his primary instrument, Linstead also plays mandolin, violin, bass, piano, electric keys, and a variety of wooden flutes. On this occasion though Linstead leaves the duties on flute to one of the world's finest, teaming with Nicholas Gunn for the powerful and exotic Torre de Oro or Tower of Gold!
CD: Encanto (2007)
Label: Gemini Sun Records
Site: J.Linstead ; JL'sSpace ; N.Gunn
- JB Carbou:
Parisian-born JB Carbou lived in Africa for a period in the 80s. He started playing electric bass at 15 after hearing Stanley Clarke's School Days and then a few years later he added the acoustic bass to his repertoire. Moving to Montreal in 1998, Carbou quickly established himself on the local scene and in 2001, he released Groove Avenue, his debut cd that combined a love for jazz with many of the influences that he'd experienced along the way. Although Carbou has continued to remain highly active, appearing weekly on a TV series, and performing with the R&B artist Corneille and the Jean St Jacques Quartet (St Jacques formerly a member of UZEB), Groove Avenue remains his one and only solo project to date. From that effort, we're featuring the track Wolcott with François d'Amours guesting on tenor sax on the track!
CD: Groove Avenue (2001)
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :|
Our SJIC special continues with more great Canadian grooves from Jamie Bonk, Jesse Cook, Bill King, Paul Lamoureux, Torben Oxbol, Dino Pacifici, Liberty Silver, and Amarosa. Also listen up if you will for music by Maurice Gordon, Greg Lowe, Dave Dunlop, Nish, and Barry Aiken - all part of the festivities as we celebrate smooth jazz in our land!