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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

September 28th, 2008
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This Week at CafeJazz.ca!
In the spotlight on today's show is the After Hours release from Dirk Richter and Randall Crissman as Vibes Alive - there'll be a trio of tracks that we're featuring thruout the show. Stay with us in hour 2 for Back Trax and our biweekly trip down memory lane. Highlights on this edition are from Gregg Karukas and Tim Bowman - also appearing is Paulinho Da Costa, while Ramsey Lewis and the band Sea Level round things out. That'll be followed just a bit later that same hour by a swank set of current favourites with Ken Navarro, The Sax Pack, Paul Hardcastle, and Acoustic Alchemy, while scattered thruout are Eric Marienthal, Pamela Williams, and Chieli Minucci. In the meantime, we have Jim Savitt cued and ready - from the album Second Light we're spinning a track with a unifying theme called One World!

In This Issue:

After Hours - Vibes Alive

Jackson Park - Ramsey Lewis
Fifty-Four - Sea Level
I'll Be There - Tim Bowman
African Sunrise - Paulinho Da Costa
Alligator Alley - Gregg Karukas


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Showcase CD:
After Hours - Vibes Alive:

Vibist Dirk Richter became serious as a mallet player when he was eight and in his early years, his style and tastes were influenced by greats in the contemporary movement - among them Jean Luc Ponty, Jeff Lorber, and George Duke - as well as by renowned vibraphonist Lionel Hampton. After high school, he met guitarist Randall Crissman while studying at Pasadena City College and they soon began collaborating. For his part, guitarist Randall Crissman, a composer for film and TV has enjoyed credits with several networks having worked on programs such as Oprah and Dancing with the Stars. Together, Richter & Crissman shared in the penning and production credits for the '97 Vibes Alive release, a project that was initially issued 'featuring Dirk Richter'. With a roster of guests that included high profile players such as Jeff Lorber, Jimmy Haslip and Carlos Vega, 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!

Vibes Alive - After Hours
Now perhaps even more surprisingly, eleven years later, the team of Richter and Crissman has re-surfaced! They re-issued their Vibes Alive debut just last year and, borrowing that album title as the band name for their second collaboration, their recently released After Hours sophomore effort is packed with serious grooves and poses a genuine threat to be one of the finest releases for 2008! Featured guests on the project include several alumni from the first album - Jeff Lorber, Luis Conte, and Jimmy Johnson all reprise their appearances - while Gary Meek and Vinnie Colaiuta further enhance the musical ambiance. In the way that time serves to heighten the bouquet of any fine wine, it's abundantly clear from the initial listen, the years have worked a similar magic with music of Vibes Alive!
Vibes Alive - Randall Crissman & Dirk Richter Randall Crissman & Dirk Richter
Vibes Alive!
Therefore, it's with pleasure that we present Messrs Richter and Crissman as Vibes Alive with After Hours as the focus for our showcase feature! From that effort, we're starting with a "welcoming beacon" upon which Jeff Lorber is the featured guest - it's called Lighthouse. The mood-drenched title track opens hour 2, while the luminous track entitled Bright Lights continues to glow as our show fades to a memory. Still, we're not quite done yet, as we conclude our mini-tribute with Walk Away on our own After Hours portion of the show! So, please join us for this outstanding feature as we come alive to the sounds of Vibes Alive!

CD: After Hours
Label: Swingding Records
Site: Vibes Alive

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Back Trax: Part One
Ramsey Lewis - Ivory Pyramid
Jackson Park - Ramsey Lewis:
With a career that extends back to 1956, Ramsey Lewis has long straddled the various boundaries that separate pop and jazz. Over the years he's issued well over fifty projects under his name alone while beginning back in the 90s he launched a parallel career as a radio announcer - he's twice been recognized as the R&R Personality of the Year and gone on to host two highly popular syndicated programs. Additionally, Lewis is known for his active community efforts on behalf of youth and in that regard in 2005, he formed the Ramsey Lewis Foundation to provide college scholarship opportunities. We're now heading back to Ivory Pyramid - his #7 contemporary jazz album for 1992 and the track Jackson Park with Henry Johnson featured on guitar!

CD: Ivory Pyramid (1992)
Label: GRP Records
Site: Ramsey Lewis
Sea Level - On the Edge
Fifty-Four - Sea Level:
A combo that specialized in the unlikely blend of Southern pop/rock vocals and funk-based instrumental fusion, Sea Level was formed in 1976 when the trio of keyboardist Chuck Leavell, bassist Lamar Williams, and drummer Jai Johanny Johanson left The Allman Brothers Band. With guitarist Jimmy Nalls rounding out the original lineup, they issued their self-titled debut the following year and continued to record thru until 1980 with five albums to their credit. On this occasion, we're zipping back to 1978 and On the Edge. From that project, we have the tune Fifty-Four, the opening track, and one that was definitely way ahead of its time!

CD: On the Edge (1978)
Label: Capricorn
Site: Chuck Leavell

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Back Trax: Part Two
Tim Bowman - Love Joy Peace
I'll Be There - Tim Bowman:
In spite of winning a scholarship to the Detroit School of Music, 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 music became his primary focus. Through his sister, he met Marvin Winans, who gave Bowman a call when he needed a guitarist for his group The Winans - that band went on to become the best-selling gospel act of the 80s. Bowman played with them for six years but left in 1987 in order to spend more time with his family. It wasn't until nearly 10 years later, in 1996, that Tim released his solo debut. He's since issued three additional albums while authoring the quintessential track for the summer of '04 in Summer Groove. Meanwhile, with the release of album #5 just weeks away, Bowman is rising up the charts with Sweet Sundays his current hit. However, as a bit of a retro look, we're heading to that '96 debut for the track I'll Be There for the track that broke Bowman's blend of smooth and gospel!

CD: Love Joy Peace (1996)
Label: Insync
Site: Tim Bowman
Paulinho Da Costa - Sunrise
African Sunrise - Paulinho Da Costa :
Perhaps best known as a premiere sessionist, Paulinho Da Costa has been described by Downbeat Magazine as "one of the most talented percussionists of our time." Born in Rio de Janeiro, Da Costa discovered his love for percussion early on and in his teens, he travelled the world over playing with a variety of bands. He landed in the USA in 1973 and shortly thereafter, he hooked up with Sergio Mendes and Brasil '77 working with them for a four-year period. With an arsenal of over 200 percussive instruments, Da Costa has taken part in hundreds of record dates with some of the biggest names in the biz from Dizzy Gillespie and Miles Davis, to Madonna, Sting, and Michael Jackson. Thru radio and TV, Da Costa's talents come into our homes on a daily basis via various commercials - meanwhile his movie credits "range from the Oscar-nominated The Color Purple to box office hits like Saturday Night Fever." An innovative composer and producer in his own right, Da Costa has also recorded occasionally under his own name with four solo albums appearing on his resume. From the Sunrise cd, we've selected one of his finest efforts, African Sunrise with Ernie Watts guesting on flute!

CD: Sunrise (1987)
Label: Pablo Records
Site: Paulinho Da Costa
Gregg Karukas - Sound of Emotion
Alligator Alley - Gregg Karukas:
Highly influenced by jazz legends such as Herbie Hancock and Les McCann, Gregg Karukas was just 17 and right out of high school when he found his way into the clubs and studios of the Washington, DC / Baltimore area. After a few years leading the city's top crossover act, he headed to LA to further his opportunities and was soon performing with the likes of Patti Austin, Richard Elliot, Grant Geissman, & others. Forming his own band, Karukas featured some of the best-undiscovered sax talents of the day in Dave Koz, Gary Meek, and Boney James and released his solo debut in 1987. Later that same year, he helped launch The Rippingtons as a charter member while with his subsequent solo efforts he's established a reputation with tastefully arranged melodies. This time however, we've selected a more rambunctious outing from the '92 Sound of Emotion in the track Alligator Alley. With the aforementioned Mr. Dave Koz on sax and Ricardo Silveira on guitar, most positively, here's an oldie that rocks!

CD: Sound of Emotion (1992)
Label: Positive Music
Site: Gregg Karukas

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Direct from studio B it's another Café Jazz After Hours! As we spotlight fresh listening with 13 selections totally new to the show - our line-up includes the latest from Everette Harp, the band Fourplay, and Michael Lington. Also appearing are Jim Adkins, Nate Harasim, and Warren Hill. There's a tune from Nick Collione's new one with more from Steve Oliver, Terry Disley and Vibes Alive. Debuting on the show are saxman Al Williams and keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen while it all begins with Freddie Fox and a track from his soon to be released cd!

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