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This Week at Café

October 26th, 2008
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This Week at!
…it's Nick Colionne in the spotlight with his No Limits release - we've selected a trio of musical treats and have those cued as part of the showcase feature. Then as hour 2 rolls by, we're cracking into a 5-pack of brand new listening on the Fresh Trax segment. Highlights on this edition are courtesy of Kim Pensyl and Paul Jackson Jr. Also appearing is Ryan Farish, while debuting are Mark Barrios and Fred Engler. Then just a bit later in the hour, we follow with a retro pack - included are Rick Braun, Jeff Golub, Mr. Terry Disley, and Gene Cannon - while the remainder of the show has more than a dash of excitement with selections tried and true from Ronny Jordan, Warren Hill, and Pieces of a Dream. But to get things spinning there's a Grant Geissman track from a few years back, on another cork-popping edition of Café Jazz your champagne of smooth jazz listening!

In This Issue:

No Limits - Nick Colionne

When Katie Smiles - Kim Pensyl
Bouncin' Back - Mark Barrios
Bay Shore Drive - Paul Jackson Jr.
Holding Hands - Ryan Farish
Meet Me in Rio - Fred Engler

Special Feature - Velvet Kisses

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Showcase CD
No Limits - Nick Colionne:

When Nick Colionne seemingly burst onto the smooth jazz scene back in 2004, it belied the fact he had been honing his craft for many years. The Chicago-based guitarist grew up surrounded by jazz, and by 15, he was playing professionally. Early in his career, Colionne enjoyed stints with The Impressions and Natalie Cole but, in the course of events, he returned to his jazz roots releasing a well-received debut in 1994. Although subsequent projects drew a small but avid following, for a time Nick thought he might be relegated to playing sideman gigs. However, that all changed for the better in 2004 with Just Come On In which was already Nick's 4th album overall. The project proved to be 'the' break-thru album for the year launching Nick on the path to star status in the genre! A couple of years later Colionne picked up exactly where he left off with Keepin' It Cool, a release that garnered Nick a win as the International Smooth Jazz Artist of the year at the 2007 Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards!

Nick Colionne - No Limits
In the interim, Colionne has toured incessantly and with those successes still fresh in everyone's mind, he's back with No Limits, a cd whose title well reflects his current philosophy on life and music. The project illustrates Colionne's coming of age if you will and therefore it's now a pleasure to place Colionne and that release into the soft sheen of our showcase spotlight - as is the custom, we've selected three great tracks, beginning with the fluid Ports of Call!
Nick ColionnePhoto credit - Peter Boehi
At the start of Hour 2 is Headin' Wes Before Dawn as Nick pays tribute to one of his musical heroes that of course being Wes Montgomery. Meanwhile, we have one of our favourites entitled The Big Windy Cat, and a track with autobiographical implications, as the closer! With a style that stretches across urban and contemporary, Nick Colionne's star continues its meteoric rise so that "No Limits" is rightly the phrase of the day!

CD: No Limits (2008)
Label: Koch Records
Site: Nick Colionne ; Nick's Space ; Nick/Koch

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Kim Pensyl - When Katie Smiles
When Katie Smiles - Kim Pensyl:
Columbus Ohio native Kim Pensyl launched his solo career back in 1988 and the following year he earned recognition as the ASCAP Best New Jazz Writer. He's gone on to record over a dozen albums; four of them have made Billboard's Top 10 Contemporary Jazz Chart with the third album in his Pensyl Sketches series being honoured as the '91 NARM Jazz Album of the Year. Absent from the record scene for the past few years, Pensyl recently issued When Katie Smiles, now his 14th project over-all and first contemporary disc in about a decade. From that release, we have the title track - featuring Pensyl at his lyrical best!

CD: When Katie Smiles (2008)
Label: Penton Music Productions
Site: Kim Pensyl
Mark Barrios - West Tampa Style
Bouncin' Back - Mark Barrios:
Based in Florida's Tampa Bay area, Mark Barrios has been playing lead and rhythm guitar for nigh on 25 years. Some of Mark's influences include Carlos Santana and Eric Clapton and for the last few years, he's performed as a founding member of Off the Cuff. Billed as the hottest band in town, Off the Cuff has appeared regularly at "The Fox", one of the city's finer jazz venues. In addition, Barrios recently completed his solo debut, a cd produced in conjunction with our good friend Allon Sams, and Studio A. Suitably entitled West Tampa Style, the project includes dashes of Funk, Blues, and Soul - and from that effort, we're cuttin' loose with the track Bouncin' Back!

CD: West Tampa Style (2008)
Label: Independent
Site: Mark Barrios

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Paul Jackson Jr. - Lay It Back
Bay Shore Drive - Paul Jackson Jr.:
Enrolled in USC and majoring music, guitarist Paul Jackson Jr. received his first big break when he connected with Patrice Rushen. By the time he was a junior, Jackson was inundated with sessions, so much so that he left the halls of learning to take advantage of the many opportunities that presented themselves. He's since risen in the ranks and now stands among the finest guitarists in the world, Grammy nominated and in-demand as a studio musician with literally thousands of credits. Additionally Jackson has issued a handful of projects upon which he demonstrates his versatility as a performer. His previous project, Still Small Voice released in 2003, was among our favourites for the year so that now it's been five full years between releases. In the interim, Jackson has recorded with George Duke, Sergio Mendes, Jeff Lorber, and Smokey Robinson among others and while working projects like the Grammys and American Idol, he's also done a few live performances on own most recently appearing at the Catalina Jazz Festival. Lay It Back is now album #7 for Mr. Jackson, and from that effort, we have the track Bay Shore Drive, a moody & melodic gem that harkens to many of his finest moments thus far in his career!

CD: Lay It Back (2008)
Label: Branch Records
Site: Paul Jackson Jr. ; PJJ's Space
Ryan Farish - Wonderfall
Holding Hands - Ryan Farish:
Grammy nominated and a 2008 Dove Award Winner, Ryan Farish launched his music career on the first generation of - there his dulcet offerings obtained a whopping 1.8 million downloads. With an ability to communicate through music, the songwriter-producer-composer has in the time since issued several well-received independently produced releases with several reaching Billboard's Top 10 on the New Age Chart. Having been featured regularly on The Weather Channel, Farish also composed the theme for their Storm Stories series; and most recently, he was featured on the top compilation, The Weather Channel Presents: Smooth Jazz. Wonderfall is his most recent project and from that effort, the buoyant Holding Hands proves nothing short of inspirational!

CD: Wonderfall (2008)
Label: Ryan Farish Music
Site: Ryan Farish ; Farish/MySpace
Fred Engler - Since Then 'till Now
Meet Me in Rio - Fred Engler:
Keyboardist Fred Engler grew up learning classical piano but as a teen, he became hooked on jazz and played the party circuit thruout university. However, for a period of decades, performing became but a distant memory as Engler focused on more routine things like earning a living. Nevertheless, for the past few years, Engler's fascination with West Coast Jazz has seen him composing and visualizing a full studio project - a dream that just recently came to fruition. Tapping into Toronto's vibrant music scene, Engler assembled a superb cast of 18 musicians for a no less than auspicious Canadian smooth jazz debut. From that effort, entitled Since Then 'Till Now, we have a track that chugs right along in the rhythmic Meet Me In Rio. Mobilized by a percussive groove and a spirited horn section, Engler and guest Bill McBirnie are featured trading off with some expressive soloing on organ and flute respectively!

CD: Since Then 'till Now (2008)
Label: Fred Engler Music
Site: Fred Engler ; Fred's Space

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
…another chapter of our program wherein we've adopted a name theme - this time we're calling this our Velvet Kisses feature as each & every selection we're playing has the word 'kiss' as part of its title. Included are selections by The Rippingtons, Ken Navarro, Rick Braun, and Jonathan Butler. Also spotlighted in this set of kissable favourites are tracks by Brian Tarquin and Richard Smith, as well as from Demo Cates, Eliane Elias, and Alan Hewitt who gives us the tune for which this segment was named. Other kissing sounds are from Paul Rozmus and Wolfgang Haffner & The VIP Club, while Michael Sims and Brian Simpson round out the hour with a musical goodbye kiss; in the meantime, Jim Adkins begins the smooching with A Kiss From You - on the Velvet Kisses feature!

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