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

August 31th, 2008
Edition #491 PreviouslyThis Week at Café Jazz.ca - Edition #490 Next

Listen to Café Jazz Radio | Show Notes | Program Profile | Contact Information
Hot Links to Cool Cats | Cool Links | This Week | Music Den | Favourites (Most Played)

This Week at CafeJazz.ca - Season 12 Opener!
On our Season 12 opening edition, we're spotlighting award-winning guitarist Jim Adkins and City Streets - we've selected three delicious tracks as part of the showcase feature. Hour 2 brings new music with an exciting five-pack of Fresh Trax. Headlining are saxman Warren Hill and guitarist Tim Bowman. There's something brand new from Oli Silk and from Vibes Alive featuring Dirk Richter and Randall Crissman, while rounding out the feature are Bill MacPherson and Nee Sackey recording as Native Vibe. Then a bit later that very same hour, we're balancing the new with the tried and true - this time that includes blasts by Acoustic Alchemy, Paul Hardcastle, Alan Hewitt, as well as former DTTB lead-man Shilts. Otherwise, the remainder of the show is seasoned with prime cuts from the likes of Norman Brown, Shakatak, Gota, and The Rippingtons!
In This Issue:

City Streets - Jim Adkins

After Hours - Vibes Alive
Sweet Sundays - Tim Bowman
La Dolce Vita - Warren Hill
Chill Or Be Chilled - Oli Silk
Where There's Smoke - Native Vibe

Then & Now - Acoustic Alchemy
SPINLIST: Spinlist

Back to Top
Showcase CD:
City Streets - Jim Adkins:

With a career that extends back into the early 90s, guitarist Jim Adkins has demonstrated a rare balance of creativity, versatility, and originality in the music business. Hailing from central Virginia, Adkins' first exposure came while he was still in high school thru the rock band Dream with whom he toured locally. After a couple of modest hits, they disbanded while Adkins continued to hone his writing skills becoming increasingly interested in instrumental music in general and in Smooth Jazz in particular. The 1998 release of his Just Chillin' solo debut saw a project that drew a fair bit of attention on the old mp3.com site - that was in fact, when we here at The Café first latched onto Adkins' rich and full-bodied tone and style! Additionally, the Adkins composition Wind Dancing captured second place honours in a Billboard Song Contest the following year while also prompting its inclusion on the mp3 compilation 103 of the Best Songs You've Never Heard!

Jim Adkins - City Streets
Moreover, over the years Adkins has earned recognition as a nine-time VOCAL (Virginia Organization of Composers and Lyricist) Award Winner for his songwriting in jazz and inspirational music! This success has paved the way for three subsequent releases; all have gained airplay in the US while enjoying consideration on our own modest show. Issued earlier this year is City Streets, now Adkins' fifth and arguably most accomplished project to date!
Jim Adkins Photo courtesy of JImAdkinsMusic.com
The album is the second on Adkins' own Clear Image Records label that he launched with his previous '04 License to Play and the effort that we now proudly present as the focus for our showcase feature. We have three delicious choices beginning with the superb lead single Lost In The Moment - gorgeous and utterly tasteful, this one is destined to be among our in-house favourites for 2008! Out and About, the opener for hour 2, uniquely combines hipness, mood, and groove! Finally, bringing us to a fitting apex is City Streets the title track. A while back Adkins guested on the track Chill for trumpeter Bill McGee; McGee now returns that favour with a bit of cool frosting of his own. Classy, upbeat, and polished, Jim Adkins' City Streets heralds what is easily one of the catchiest and most charismatic releases for the year!

CD: City Streets (2008)
Label: Clear Image Records
Site: Jim Adkins

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part One
Vibes Alive - After Hours
After Hours - Vibes Alive:
Vibist Dirk Richter became serious as a mallet player when he was eight. After high school, he met guitarist Randall Crissman while studying at Pasadena City College and they soon began collaborating. Although they shared in the penning and production credits for the '97 Vibes Alive release, the project was issued under Richter's name alone. That effort proved one of the more pleasant surprises for the year and made a strong case for the vibraphone as a viable lead instrument in smooth jazz. Now perhaps even more surprisingly, eleven years later, the team of Richter and Crissman has re-appeared. Borrowing the previous album title as the band name for their second collaboration, this sophomore effort is packed with some serious grooves and poses a genuine threat to be one of the finer releases for the summer of' 08! From the effort After Hours, we have the mood drenched title track with Jeff Lorber, Gary Meek, and Vinnie Colaiuta guesting!

CD: After Hours (2008)
Label: Swingding Records
Site: Vibes Alive/Swingding
Tim Bowman - Tim Bowman
Sweet Sundays - Tim Bowman:
Detroit native Tim Bowman was working on an automobile assembly line when he was laid off after only a few months; this proved pivotal as from then on, playing guitar became his primary focus. Soon after, Bowman latched onto a spot with The Winans helping them become the top-selling gospel act of the 80s. He left in 1987 to spend more time with his family, and didn't return to music until nearly ten years later gaining modest success with his first three releases. It was his 4th project entitled This Is What I Hear that spawned one of the quintessential tracks for the summer of 2004 in Summer Groove. Now, after a 4-year hiatus, Bowman is back with a long-overdue follow-up. From that effort, we have Sweet Sundays, the lead single and a selection that may well rival his previous triumph!

CD: Tim Bowman (2008)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Site: Tim Bowman ; BowmanSpace

Back to Top
Fresh Trax: Part Two
Warren Hill - La Dolce Vita
La Dolce Vita - Warren Hill:
Known thru-out smooth jazz circles as one of the most expressive performers in the business, saxman Warren Hill has scored several #1 hits, received countless accolades, and sold well over a million albums worldwide. Born and raised in Toronto, Hill actually began on guitar at age 7 but by his teens, he was fronting a rock band while doubling on vocals. Initially picking up the sax in order to play in his high school band, Hill became genuinely hooked on jazz following a summer program at the Eastman School of Music. While studying physics at the U of T, he played weekend gigs at local clubs and eventually chose to pursue music on a full time basis. Landing a scholarship to Berklee in Boston, upon graduating Hill relocated to LA where he immersed himself in the local scene and soon after landed a record deal. His Kiss Under the Moon debut followed in 1991 and he's since gone on to claim the crown as Canada's #1 smooth jazz export! La Dolce Vita is his new one and from it, Hill delivers the sultry and soulful title track and one of his most engaging efforts to date!

CD: La Dolce Vita (2008)
Label: Koch Records
Site: Warren Hill ; Hill/Koch
Oli Silk - The Limit's The Sky
Chill Or Be Chilled - Oli Silk :
After a pair of projects partnering with Danny Sugar as half of the British smooth duo of Sugar & Silk, keyboardist Oli Silk surfaced with his solo debut in 2006. Among other accolades, Oli garnered recognition as our own Café Jazz break-thru artist for the year. His sophomore project entitled The Limit's the Sky has a release date that is imminent and judging by the album title and the advance single, Silk is poised to take things to yet another level. From that effort, we're spinning the very hip Chill or Be Chilled!

CD: The Limit's The Sky (2008)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Site: Oli Silk ; Silk Space
Native Vibe - Across The Globe
Where There's Smoke - Native Vibe:
The band Native Vibe brings together bassist Nee Sackey and guitarist Bill Macpherson, both born in the US but united by a love of African music. Macpherson was born in LA but raised in the Congo from the age of eight by medical missionary parents. He graduated from Berklee in Boston with honours, enrolled in a Master's program in Jazz Performance at San Diego State and began incorporating many world flavours into his solo releases. For his part, Sackey was born in NYC, the son of Ghana's ambassador to the US. While back in Ghana, he began composing and performing at 11 and although he started his studies in electrical engineering, he ended up attending Berklee in pursuit of his musical credentials. Macpherson and Sackey connected in San Diego thru a mutual friend in the early mid '90s and eventually joined forces as Native Vibe for their '96 debut. Several cds have followed with Across the Globe being somewhere around their 6th release overall - from that effort, we've selected the ever-so-combustible Where There's Smoke!

CD: Across The Globe (2008)
Label: Third Beat Records
Site: Bill MacPherson ; Native Vibe

Back to Top
After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
The tradition continues to boldly go where no radio program has gone before and in so doing, we're devoting the entire segment to the sounds of Acoustic Alchemy. In its various configurations, the band has fabricated an amazing collection of music over the course of the past 20-plus years. In keeping with which, we're spotlighting the Alchemy gang on an extended Then & Now feature with selections from each of their 16 releases and just under 80 minutes of a virtually uninterrupted revue!
Then & Now Spotlight Artist: Acoustic Alchemy

Acoustic Alchemy - Early Alchemy Early Alchemy
GRP Records
Red Dust & Spanish Lace
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Natural Elements Natural Elements
MCA Records
Blue Chip
MCA Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Reference Point Reference Point
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Back on the Case Back on the Case
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - The New Edge The New Edge
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Against the Grain Against the Grain
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Arcanum Arcanum
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - Positive Thinking Positive Thinking
GRP Records
Acoustic Alchemy - The Beautiful Game The Beautiful Game
Higher Octave
Acoustic Alchemy - Aart Aart
Higher Octave
Acoustic Alchemy - Sounds of St. Lucia Sounds of St. Lucia
Image Ent.
Acoustic Alchemy - Radio Contact Radio Contact
Higher Octave
Acoustic Alchemy - American/English American/English
Higher Octave
Acoustic Alchemy - This Way This Way
Narada Jazz

Acoustic Alchemy: Over the span of the past two decades, the band Acoustic Alchemy in its various configurations has created an incredible cache of musical wealth! Simon James on nylon strings and Nick Webb on steel strings first pioneered the concept of two duelling acoustic guitars. The pair connected in the early 80s and although Webb actually pressed a couple of their records, with a response that was somewhat muted, it was only a matter of time before they went their separate ways; James went on to form the band Kymaera in the 90s, while in 1985, Webb discovered Greg Carmichael, playing in a London bar. The two hit it off & soon after, they were writing and performing together and laying the groundwork for what was destined to become a unique and endearing partnership.

Greg Carmichael & Nick Webb circa 1996 Carmichael & Webb
circa 1996
Answering an ad from Virgin Airlines, Webb & Carmichael were hired to provide live in-flight entertainment from England to the US. While in the US, they headed to Nashville with a demo tape and, in the course of events, they landed a record deal. Unbeknownst to them, they happened to be in just the right place at just the right time with just the right sound. Their first release was an overwhelming success and a perfect fit for the emerging Smooth Jazz format. Subsequent projects also faired well prompting Webb to re-release some of his previous efforts with his former partner James as "early Alchemy". This accompanied a prolific stage for the band with eight releases in eight years. Our opening set focuses on this period and in reverse order includes the selections: Against the Grain, London Skyline, Clean Air for Miles, Take Five, Catalina Kiss, Casino, Mr. Chow, and Last Summer. Take Five remains the band's only recorded cover, a fact that rightly underscores Alchemy's originality while Last Summer, the initial track for our proceedings, features the original pairing of James and Webb.

For their next album, Carmichael and Webb decided on a retrospective and accompanied by the London Metropolitan Orchestra string section, they re-recorded some of their most popular tracks along with three new compositions. Sadly, the project proved the final one to feature Nick Webb. Shortly before the follow-up cd, he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and although he co-wrote several of the selections for the project, in his weakened condition, the best he could do was offer advice and inspiration. John Parsons, frequently referred to as the third Alchemist, filled in for Webb on the record. After Webb's passing (he was just 43), Carmichael decided to continue the Alchemy concept while also charting a dramatic new direction when he brought in Miles Gilderdale as his playing partner - since that point, experimentation and diversity have been key to the six albums they've recorded! Our closing 8-track set highlights the years from 1996 thru until the present.
Also From
Acoustic Alchemy
Acoustic Alchemy - The Very Best of The Very Best of
GRP Records

Modern-day Alchemists - Miles Gilderdale & Greg Carmichael Modern-day Alchemists:
Miles Gilderdale & Greg Carmichael
Featured selections are Columbia, Passionelle, Tête à Tête, Senjo Wine, Viva Ché, Venus Morena, The Crossing, and finally Slampop from the most recent This Way release. Columbia was one of Webb's final contributions to the Alchemy legacy, Passionelle is with John Parsons, while the latter 6 showcase the talents and chemistry of the current tandem of Carmichael & Gilderdale! With exceptional listening from start to finish, we present a collection that's unsurpassed in the history of our modest show!
Click on the paw for direct streaming:Acoustic Alchemy - Extended Then & Now Feature

Site: Acoustic Alchemy

Back to Top

Listen to Café Jazz Radio Listen to Café Jazz Radio | Show Notes Show Notes / This Week at Café Jazz Archive | Program Profile Program Profile | Contact Information Contact Info
Hot Links to Cool CatsArtist Links | Cool Links Cool Links| This Week This Week@Café Jazz.ca | Music Den The Music Den / Playlists and More | Favourites (Most Played) Café Jazz Favourites
© 2008 Jazz Lynx / Café Jazz Radio