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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

October 19th, 2008
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This Week at CafeJazz.ca ...
... Earl Klugh is in the spotlight with 3 great tracks from The Spice of Life release. Then we trip down memory lane with the Back Trax segment in hour 2. Featured on this edition are John Tesh and Kim Waters - also appearing are Ken Ross and Lao Tizer, while guitarist Steve Veale round things out. That's followed later that same hour by a slick set of current favourites and on this edition that includes the bands Voodoo Village and Vibes Alive, as well as Jim Adkins, and Gabriel, while scattered thruout are myriad others: Michael Lington, Alan Hewitt, Present Tense, 3rd Force, Chris Standring, Mike Catalano, Bradley Leighton, Chris Geith, Tim Bowman, The Sax Pack, and Nils!

In This Issue:

The Spice of Life - Earl Klugh

Gemini Rising - Ken Ross
The Girl Next Door - Steve Veale
Golden Soul - Lao Tizer
Nightfall - Kim Waters
Monterey Nights - John Tesh


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Showcase CD:
The Spice of Life - Earl Klugh:

Earl Klugh started in music on piano when he was three and followed that with guitar when he was 10. Known for an attractive guitar style and an ever so mellow tone, Klugh's biggest influence was the late Chet Atkins - when he was just 13, Earl saw Atkins play on the old Perry Como TV show, and quite literally, he was floored; he immediately immersed himself in Atkins' style and studied dozens of albums! In spite of some serious credentials to the contrary, Klugh has never really considered himself to be a jazz musician. He played with Yusef Lateef at 15; at 17, he worked in George Benson's band for a year and then followed that with a brief stint with Chick Corea and Return to Forever. In 1976, Klugh launched his solo career, making his one of the seminal voices in the Smooth Jazz movement but he didn't really break out until a 1979 collaboration with Bob James for which they won a Grammy - Earl has since gone on to become one of the most played and most prolific artists in the contemporary genre. With over 30 albums to his credit, 22 have entered the Top 10 with four reaching #1, meanwhile Klugh has earned 11 Grammy nominations!

Earl Klugh - The Spice of Life
The Spice of Life is now Klugh's second on the Koch label and one, which we feel rivals some of his best work. Earl explains the album title: "This was one of the few times I didn't pre-plan the sound or direction of the record. I decided to pick songs, instead of picking the style. I called the album The Spice of Life because the record went in a number of directions". Klugh's personal reflections underlie the songs selected for the album - and indeed, our choices for this feature were guided by a similar philosophy - the end result: a simply outstanding feature!
Earl Klugh Earl Klugh Promo Shot!
First up is Ocean Blue, a Wes Montgomery tribute with a great melody and unexpected chord changes. Opening hour 2 is Canadian Sunset, a track that no doubt takes Earl back to his youth. Andy Williams had a #7 pop hit with the tune in 1956, but a competing instrumental version by Hugo Winterhalter and Eddie Heywood reached #2. Earl's rendition is every bit as compelling while an original called Sleepyhead is reminiscent of vintage Earl Klugh! As Klugh's bio affirms, "In a recording career of over three decades … Earl Klugh has been lauded first as a prodigy and groundbreaker, then a defining figure, and ultimately, as one of the true statesmen of contemporary jazz." With The Spice of Life as the focus for our showcase spotlight, this last statement sums up our own sentiments quite nicely!

CD: The Spice of Life
Label: Koch Records
Site: Earl Klugh ; Earl's Space

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Back Trax: Part One
Ken Ross - Caught in the Current
Gemini Rising - Ken Ross:
In his double life as a business consultant/event manager for Apple & an entertainer/music producer, California native Ken Ross splits his time between LA and Europe. Highly skilled as a horn-player, Ross first came to our attention when he appeared on Soul Ballet's '98 Trip the Night Fantastic frosting several of their selections with some tasty muted elegance! He reprised his role a few years later on the Dream Beat Dream release. In between, Ken had a trio of tracks selected for the '99 compilation Wave Music Volume One issued by our good friends at California Sunset Records. This led to the issue of Ross's own 2001 solo debut created with the engineering support of Scott Wilkie and Gregg Karukas. Among the key contributors - Alec Milstein, Andy Suzuki, Daniel Ho, and Scott Wilkie!
Subsequently, Ross gained a fair degree of popularity in Germany appearing on several CSR projects while releasing his European debut album in 2005. On this occasion, though we're revisiting his Caught in the Current for the Daniel Ho composition Gemini Rising!

CD: Caught in the Current (2001)
Label: Ken Ross Music
Wave Music - Volume OneWave Music - Volume 1
CSR / 1999
Steve Veale - Urban Oasis
The Girl Next Door - Steve Veale:
With a style straddling jazz and pop, Steve Veale issued a handful of releases beginning with his '94 debut thru until the turn of the millennium. The Orlando-based guitarist was equally adept at creating breezy sensations as well as some edgier moments and with many positive reviews for his Urban Oasis release, he seemed poised to take his career to the next level. Recorded in 1999 and released the following year, sadly, the project proved to be Veale's last before his untimely passing in January of 2002 after a two-year battle with melanoma. In Memory of Steve, we've gone to his final offering for the radio friendly The Girl Next Door!

CD: Urban Oasis (2000)
Label: Sunspot Records
Jonathan Widran's: Tribute to Steve Veale

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Back Trax: Part Two
Lao Tizer - Golden Soul
Golden Soul - Lao Tizer:
In 1993 while still early in his teens, Lao Tizer cut his first record - while by 17, he had released three self-produced cds and sold over 50,000 copies. In spite of this success or perhaps because of it, the Colorado native was emboldened to move to LA in his early 20s to pursue his musical dreams and it was there that he caught the attention of Mr. Special EFX, Chieli Minucci. Minucci enlisted Tizer's piano for the track Awakening on the '98 Masterpiece cd. This led to a demo project and subsequently, to the release of Golden Soul in 2001. The disc was well received garnering Tizer a "Best New Artist" nomination for 2002 at the National Smooth Jazz Awards. Blending classical, new age, pop, and jazz influences, from that effort produced by Minucci his mentor, we're featuring Tizer's virtuosity on the mellifluous title track!

CD: Golden Soul (2000)
Label: Frat House Records
Site: Lao Tizer ; Lao's Space
Kim Waters - Love's Melody
Nightfall - Kim Waters :
Maryland-native Kim Waters started in music on violin when he was eight but by 13, he discovered his calling in the sax. His first efforts were as part of a band with brothers James and Eric, but a few years later, Kim launched his solo career in 1989. Initially, Waters found support for his music in R&B and Urban radio - however, the title track from his Sweet & Saxy release did find some crossover appeal in smooth jazz. In spite a series of well-received releases over the next few years, things didn't really get into high gear until the issue of Love's Melody in 1998. That album was already Waters' ninth and marked a slight change in style with a smoother direction. The album peaked at #10 for the year yielding the smash hit Nightfall, which all paved the way for Waters as one of the top smooth jazz artists of the day!

CD: Love's Melody (1998)
Label: Shanachie Records
Site: Kim Waters ; Kim's Space
John Tesh - Ironman Triathalon
Monterey Nights - John Tesh:
In a career that spans 25+ years, John Tesh has become known around the world as a leading figure in both the entertainment and broadcast industries. As a youth, he learned piano from the age of 6, and studied with teachers from Juilliard while also playing organ and trombone. He was named to the New York State Symphonic Orchestra in high school but studied communications as well as music at North Carolina. Upon graduating in 1975, Tesh moved to Orlando to fill a TV position. His career included stints in Nashville, Raleigh, and New York before landing co-host duties for Entertainment Tonight in 1986. Meanwhile Tesh travelled a parallel path as a musician. In 1987, he joined Yanni for a 12-show tour and later, Yanni helped Tesh get his first record contract. As a sportscaster in the early 80s, Tesh had covered events such as the Tour de France and as a consequence, his solo debut in 1988 was named for the event. In spite of the fact that he was panned for the effort, its success, and that of his following efforts led Tesh to relinquish his lucrative host duties on E.T. in 1996 in lieu of a career as a musician. A six-time Emmy winner and Grammy nominated as a musician, Tesh gives us one of his most powerful piece in the dynamic and quite ominous Monterey Nights inspired by and written for the Ironman Triathlon!
Note: The track Monterey Nights also appeared on and lent it's name to Tesh's '93 release of the same name!

CD: Ironman Triathalon (1992)
Label: GTS Records
Site: John Tesh
John Tesh - Monterey NightsMonterey Nights
GTS Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
... Paul Jackson Jr. sets the musical wheels in motion with the first of 13 lucky selections totally new to the show! Additionally, our line-up includes Steve Oliver, Warren Hill, and Ken Navarro. Also on this edition are Nick Colionne, Tom Grant, Native Vibe, Fourplay, and Max Groove. There's more from the band Airborne, saxman Al Williams III, and from Fred Engler who debuted on our program just last week!

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