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This Week at Café

October 26th, 2008
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This Week at!
Ken Navarro steps in the spotlight with The Grace Of Summer Light ...there'll be a trio of selections and those are cued as part of the showcase feature. Hour 2 brings Fresh Trax with all the latest and best in new music. Featured on this edition is Wayman Tisdale. Also appearing are Shaun Labelle and Robert Harris, while debuting are saxman BK Jackson and guitarist Arturo Romay. Then a bit later that very same hour, we peal back a few calendar pages with the likes of Brian Hughes, Danny Federici, The Jazzmasters, and Paprika Soul - while the remainder of the show has more than a dash of excitement with selections tried and true from Eric Marienthal, Tim Bowman, and Dave Koz. Notwithstanding that fact, we're getting things in motion with Paul Jackson Jr. and the tune Walkin' ... as we start to strut for another boffo installment of Café Jazz your escape from ordinary radio!

In This Issue:

The Grace of ... Light - Ken Navarro

City Lights - Robert Harris
Desert Nights - Shaun LaBelle
Cuerdas del Corazón - Arturo Romay
Find Your Way - BK Jackson
One On One - Wayman Tisdale

Special Feature - Coast To Coast

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Showcase CD
The Grace of Summer Light - Ken Navarro:

While not receiving the notoriety accorded some of his peers, few players if any, have as consistently delivered as tasty and upbeat a series of releases as has Mr. Navarro. After establishing himself as a top sideman on the LA session scene back in the 80s, in 1990, Navarro made a major leap toward creating his own identity by simultaneously launching his solo career and his Positive Music record label. His sophomore release earned a Grammy nomination and from that point, it's been ever onward and upward for the man many acknowledge as the most soulful guitarist in contemporary jazz. The Grace of Summer Light is now his latest and 18th overall - and one upon which Navarro rekindles the spirit of individuality and the enthusiasm that's for years been sadly lacking on "mundane radio" for want of a better phrase!

Ken Navarro - The Grace of Summer Light
Composed over days or even weeks rather than hours or minutes, the majority of tracks are lengthy excursions that explore a complex diversity of themes. Challenging at times, each creation is a mini-voyage in the purest sense and therefore it's now a pleasure to place Navarro and that release in the luminous glow of our showcase spotlight!
Ken Navarro Photo credit - Navarro MySpace
As is our custom, we've selected three great tracks, exemplifying the essence of discovery personified on the disc. We begin with the selection Nomad, a musical journey upon which Navarro well actualizes the adventure. Unfortunately, program constraints have forced us to offer a somewhat abbreviated Café Jazz edit of this exceptional selection! Refined and halcyonian, Just Before The Dawn formulates an atmosphere that can be viewed as both anticipatory and serene and that starts of the second half of the show. Meanwhile the hopefully entitled Blue Skies, Bright Dreams well fulfills its prophecy of optimism! And so it goes for Mr. Navarro, as he again elevates his craft to levels unmatched in the genre! title="Ken

CD: The Grace of Summer Light (2008)
Label: Positive Music Records
Site: Ken Navarro ; Navarro/Space

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Robert Harris - City Lights
City Lights - Robert Harris:
Hailing from Detroit with stops in Seattle and LA along the way, guitarist Robert Harris now comes to us from Central Florida. Having founded Fast Trak Recording Studios in LA in 1985, Harris discovered he enjoyed the performing end of the music business more than the engineering side - so in 1991 he sold his studio and relocated to the Orlando area. With appearances at a variety of festivals thruout the state, Harris has also played with Kirk Whalum and Warren Hill on Hill's smooth jazz cruise. Additionally, Harris issued his smooth jazz debut a few years ago while recently releasing his sophomore follow up effort. From the project entitled City Lights we've selected the restful and refreshing title track!

CD: City Lights (2008)
Label: Canyon Lake Records
Site: Robert Harris ; Harris/Space
Shaun LaBelle - Desert Nights
Desert Nights - Shaun LaBelle:
Dating back to the early 90s, Shaun Labelle has worked with saxman Everette Harp on a variety of projects from producing and arranging to handling programming, bass, and keyboard duties. Additionally, LaBelle has contributed to efforts by the late Ray Charles and Paula Abdul. His solo debut is the soon to be released Desert Nights and from that effort we're buoyed by the title track - Everette Harp now returns the favour appearing on the tune while fellow saxplayer Tom Saviano also contributes!

CD: Desert Nights (2008)
Label: Innervision Records & Entertainment
Site: LaBelle/MySpace

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Arturo Romay - Alma Latina
Cuerdas del Corazón - Arturo Romay:
Hailing from Maracaibo, Venezuela, Romay's talents and passion have long been found in the company of performers such as Tito Puente and Marc Anthony. Now based in Princeton, New Jersey, Alma Latina is album #4 for Senor Romay - from that effort, we're playing the aptly entitled Cuerdas del Corazon, loosely translating to Strings of the Heart!

CD: Alma Latina (2007)
Label: Independent
Site: Arturo Romay ; Romay/Space
BK Jackson - On The Move
Find Your Way - BK Jackson:
Since the age of 10, Jackson has mesmerized audiences in his hometown of Tampa Florida. With a skill set, that reflects a maturity well beyond his years Jackson has received numerous awards - most recently being The Winner of the 2008 Capital Jazz Fest Competition. He's opened for a variety of nationally renowned musicians from Pieces of a Dream and Ken Navarro to the great blues legend, BB King. Now intent on pursuing a career in music, the 17-year-old sax sensation has just issued his On The Move debut a project produced in conjunction with our good friend Allon Sams at Studio A. From that release, we have the smooth and sultry sounds of Find Your Way! Helping out on the selection - some of Tampa's finest, including Ruben Drake on bass, and John Mayeux on guitar, as well as Mic Smith with a tasty contribution on flügelhorn!

CD: On The Move (2008)
Label: Independent
Site: BK Jackson ; Jackson/Space ; Allon Sams
Wayman Tisdale - Rebound
One On One - Wayman Tisdale:
The 6ft-9 former basketball star played 12 seasons in the NBA and appeared as an all-star on several occasions. But as his pro career began to wind down, Wayman Tisdale switched gears and began to fire up his long-time passion of a music career. Self-taught on bass, he issued his debut in 1995 and he's since gone on to become one of the stars in smooth jazz. Diagnosed with bone cancer in his leg a little less than two years ago, Tisdale scraped a summer tour, underwent chemotherapy and a knee replacement, and then went back into the studio intent on putting this period of convalescence to good use. The fruits of those efforts are now apparent with the release of Rebound now his 6th album overall. From that project, the b-ball metaphors continue with the track One on One co-written and produced by Darren Rahn!

CD: Rebound (2008)
Label: Rendezvous Entertainment/Mack Avenue Records
Site: Tisdale/Mack ; Tisdale/MySpace

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
... we've adopted a name theme. This time round we're calling this our Coast to Coast feature as each & every selection we're playing has the word 'coast' as part of it's title. Additionally we've included three tracks, one in each set, that have the very same name that being Coast to Coast. Also part and parcel of this coastal collection are selections that have names such as Coastline or some reference to California's famed Pacific Coast Highway and so it goes. Set#1 opens with Evan Marks and the first of the Coast to Coast tracks while the remainder of the set includes Richard Elliot, Roger Odell's Beatifik project out of the UK, Rich Arnold and Mike Young, and Peter White. Then as part of the middle set, we have Germany's Colors in Motion leading things off with what else but Coast to Coast. That's followed by the 25th Street Band, Matt Marshak, and Kim Waters. Other shoreline sounds are courtesy of Boney James, Nils, Sam Riney and Doc Powell, while rounding out the hour is Kevin Toney with the 3rd and final of our Coast to Coast tracks!

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