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!
The Spice of Life - Earl Klugh:
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!
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 Promo Shot!
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
Klugh ; Earl's
|Back Trax: Part One
Gemini Rising - Ken Ross:
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 1
||The Girl Next Door - Steve Veale:
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
|Back Trax: Part Two
Soul - Lao Tizer:
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
Tizer ; Lao's
- Kim Waters :
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
Waters ; Kim's
Nights - John Tesh:
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
Label: GTS Records
| 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!