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This Week at Café

October 5th, 2008
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This Week at!
... Love's Taken Over today's show as we spotlight the sophomore effort from our debut artist for the year 2007 that being keyboardist Nate Harasim - we're spinning a trio of tasty tracks from his latest release as part of the showcase feature. Then as hour 2 rolls by, we're cracking into a 5-pack of Fresh Trax. Featured on this installment are Tom Grant, the band Fourplay, and Michael Lington, while debuting we have Ray Rosario and Al Williams III. Then just a bit later that same hour, there's a retro set that includes Dan Siegel, Eric Marienthal, Marc Antoine, and Rick Braun - while the remainder of the show is spiced with selections old and new from Dave McMurray, Warren Hill, and The Jazzmasters. In the meantime, to begin, we're playing a track that we enjoy highlighting each year right about this time called October!

In This Issue:

Love's Taken Over - Nate Harasim

I Never Thought - Al Williams III
Fortune Teller - Fourplay
Morning Glorious - Tom Grant
Let's Get Closer - Ray Rosario
Angelina - Michael Lington

Special Feature - Sweet Dreams

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Showcase CD
Love's Taken Over - Nate Harasim:

It seems as though it was just last year that Nate Harasim burst onto the scene with his Next In Line debut - and indeed, it was. When showcased on Ed#449 in August of '07 we reported, "Although still only in his twenties, Nate Harasim's finesse as a musician belies his early years and results in as auspicious a smooth jazz debut as we've seen in recent times!" From the perspective of our modest program, truer words were never writ, as that project faired exceedingly well reaching the #5 spot on our in house end of the year list of favourites while the former US Navy rescue swimmer garnered the coveted #1 spot as our break-thru artist for all of 2007! After landing a record deal, Harasim now returns ready, willing, and able to build more broadly on that success with his sophomore effort entitled Love's Taken Over! As with his previous endeavour, Harasim has the uncanny knack of simultaneously mastering melody, mood, and groove and in so doing, he provides a project that is as rich & warm as it is diverse!

Nate Harasim - Love's Taken Over
Nate Harasim Photo courtesy of Digital Marketing Group
As such, it's with great anticipation and at least an equal measure of pleasure that we nudge author and album into the lustre of our showcase spotlight! We have three amazing choices that I know you're gonna love - beginning with the exquisite title track! With contributions from Darren Rahn on trumpet & flug, and from Jay Soto on guitar, we willing yield as love does indeed take over! The lingering tenderness of Taken It Slow sets a perfect backdrop for romance at the top of hour 2 while appropriately the title Can't Get Enough sums up our feelings about this great disc. Now, when all is said and done, and 2008 becomes but a memory, look for a bit of a "love hangover" on our part with Love's Taken Over and Nate Harasim as odds on favourites to be among our choices as best for the year!

CD: Love's Taken Over
Label: NuGroove Records
Site: Nate Harasim ; Harasim/NuGroove ; Nate's Space

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Al Williams III - Heart Song
I Never Thought - Al Williams III:
Philadelphia-native Al Williams III toured and recorded five albums with Cuban percussionist Mongo Santamaria before joining Stanley Clarke as an original member of Clarke's School Days Band. Williams was part of three groundbreaking albums back in the 70s. Other career highlights include a movie soundtrack with Nils Lofgren and a one-hour concert on BET-TV as a member of Grant Geissman's band. Additionally, Al has three projects under his own name, with the recently issued Heart Song as the most recent of these. From that release, the melody on I Never Thought just sort of jumped out and grabbed us - the thought being it will affect you likewise!

CD: Heart Song
Label: Pacific Coast Jazz
Site: Al Williams III ; Williams/PCJ ; Al's Space
Fourplay - Energy
Fortune Teller - Fourplay:
The foursome of Bob James, Harvey Mason, Lee Ritenour, and Nathan East, first worked together on the recording of a James album back in 1990. Enjoying the chemistry of the project, they united as Fourplay and set upon a course as one of the few super-groups in the smooth jazz genre. Their debut album recorded the following year, occupied the #1 spot on Billboard's contemporary chart for 33 weeks and subsequent efforts also faired well. However, after three albums and a best of, Ritenour chose to leave, realizing he couldn't juggle the requirements of a solo career, establishing a record label, and being a fulltime band-member. Enter Larry Carlton, perhaps the only guitar player capable of sliding effortlessly into the chair that Ritenour had vacated. Now 7-releases later, Energy is their latest and first on the Heads Up label. From that effort, we have the lead track in Fortune Teller!

CD: Energy
Label: Heads Up
Site: Fourplay ; Fourplay/Concord ; Fourplay's Space

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Tom Grant - Life Is Good
Morning Glorious - Tom Grant:
After earning a masters degree in education, Tom Grant was teaching high school social studies, when Woody Shaw caught him playing an after-hours gig. Shaw offered Grant a job on the spot and this led to appearances with notables such as Joe Henderson and Dexter Gordon. With a background in straight-ahead jazz, Grant issued his solo debut in 1976 - with that and subsequent releases he became one of the pioneers and trendsetters in the early days of smooth jazz movement. Now after a few varied projects Mr. Grant returns to the contemporary scene with his 23rd project overall showing his total command of the genre. From the effort, Life is Good, there's the fabulous Morning Glorious!

CD: Life Is Good
Label: nu-Wrinkle Records
Site: Tom Grant ; Tom's Space
Ray Rosario - Let's Get Closer
Let's Get Closer - Ray Rosario:
Although trumpeter Ray Rosario has played commercially for the past 27 years, for the most part he's focused on performing at private functions in the New Jersey and New York City areas. In 2006, he became owner of Ackerman's in Midland Park, NJ with the intent of building a comprehensive music center offering lessons, instruments, supplies, and more. Additionally, Rosario just recently entered the smooth jazz arena with Let's Get Closer, his debut - from that effort, Rosario now debuts on our humble show with the sultry & elegant title track!

CD: Let's Get Closer
Label: Ray Rosario Music
Site: Rosario/CD Baby
Michael Lington - Heat
Angelina - Michael Lington:
Born in Copenhagen, Lington was 21 when he moved to LA in 1990. After landing a pair of gigs - first with Little Richard and then with Gary "US" Bonds - Lington connected with Bobby Caldwell and enjoyed a 4-year association with the noted vocalist. In time, this affiliation led to the release of Lington's 1997 self-titled debut, which featured Caldwell on their collaboration in Tell It Like It Is. The success of that single prompted Lington to embark on a solo career that now includes a catalogue 6-albums deep with Heat as the most recent. From that effort, the selection is the pretty & elegant Angelina!

CD: Heat
Label: NuGroove Records
Site: Michael Lington ; Lington/NuGroove ; Michael's Space

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
…this time it's part 2 of a segment we started a couple of weeks back as every track we spin has the word sweet as part of it's title. We're calling this the 'Sweet Dreams' feature - and included are selections by Chieli Minucci, Pamela Williams, Les Sabler, Richard Elliot, and Eric Marienthal. Also featured are Gerald Veasley, Slim Man, Kevin Toney, and Jeffrey B. Suttles as well as the tune from Nate Harasim for which this segment was named. Other sweet sounds are courtesy of Marion Meadows and Grant Geissman, Russ Freeman & Craig Chaquico team up for a track, while rounding out the hour is David Garfield!

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