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This Week at Café

November 23rd, 2008
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This Week at ...
... Warren Hill steps in the spotlight with La Dolce Vita, his latest release. We've chosen a trio of selections and have those cued as part of the showcase feature. Our second hour brings another batch of Fresh Trax with all the latest and best in new music. Headlining this installment are Tony Guerrero and Kim Waters. Also appearing is flautist Althea Rene, while debuting we have guitarist Pete Gitlin and keyboardist Phillip Brooks. Then a bit later in the hour, we do a bit of time travelling with the likes of Rick Braun, guitarist Jimmy Dludlu, Birds of a Feather, and the hip and funky band known as Bona Fide - while the remaining portions of the show have plenty of pizzazz and that's courtesy of Gregg Karukas, Peter White, and Jeff Kashiwa!
In This Issue:

La Dolce Vita - Warren Hill

Chronic Ironic - Pete Gitlin
Flutterbye - Tony Guerrero
Take Me Away - Kim Waters
Just Between Us - Phillip Brooks
No Restrictions - Althea Rene

Special Feature - Caravan of Dreams

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Showcase CD
La Dolce Vita - Warren Hill:

Known thru-out smooth jazz as one of the most expressive performers in the genre, Warren Hill has authored several #1 hits, received countless accolades including no less that four CSJA, and sold well over a million albums worldwide. Born and raised in Toronto, Hill began on guitar at age 7 and by his teens, he was fronting a rock group while doubling on vocals. Initially picking up the sax in order to play in his high school band, Warren became hooked on jazz following a summer program at the Eastman School of Music. While studying physics at the U of T, he played weekend gigs at local clubs and eventually chose to pursue music on a full time basis. Winning a scholarship to Berklee in Boston, Hill relocated to LA upon graduating. After picking up a session with Chaka Khan, he immersed himself on the local scene, and in the course of events, he landed a record deal. Subsequently, Hill's Kiss Under the Moon debut followed in 1991 and he's since gone on to claim the title as Canada's undisputed #1 smooth jazz export!

Warren Hill - La Dolce Vita
With La Dolce Vita, Warren brings his output total to nine cds - that to go along with one best of and one seasonal effort. In the past, avid fans have embraced Hill's music, now how shall I put this, as a soundtrack for romance - and, in that regard, this current effort sees Hill engaged in some of his most passionate playing ever! The project, although the first on the Koch label, is nevertheless a reunion of sorts between Hill and keyboardist/producer/arranger Sam Purkin - the two collaborated on Hill's first three releases back in the early 90s - now La Dolce Vita shows time has only served to enhance the chemistry with some of their finest musical moments!
Warren Hill Photo courtesy of
Warren's MySpace
As such, it's now very much a pleasure to place Warren Hill & La Dolce Vita in the cozy glow of our showcase spotlight. As is the custom here at The Café, we've selected three delicious tracks, beginning with the elevating melody of Daydreamer! The hook-laden Purkin composition entitled Warm Rain washes away the cares of the day to open hour 2, while the buoyant title track, leaves us humming without a care in the world at the close. Italian for "the sweet life", La Dolce Vita takes on added meaning with Warren Hill's latest and perhaps most inspired effort to date!

CD: La Dolce Vita (2008)
Label: Koch Records
Site: Warren Hill ; Warren/Space ; Hill/Koch

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Pete Gitlin - Full Circle and the Great Temptation
Chronic Ironic - Pete Gitlin:
Based in Phoenix, Arizona, Pete Gitlin played a variety of bands thru his teens and into his 20s. Then for the next few years, Gitlin's musical aspirations were put on the back burner, as he rose to vice-president in a Fortune 500 company. However, back in April of 2007, Pete met up with drummer/producer John Herrera from the band Turning Point. Their ensuing collaboration resulted in the release of Full Circle and the Great Temptation, Gitlin's debut. With contributions from Jeff Kashiwa, Mel Brown, and Michael Broening, the project is filled with standout selections and bodes very well indeed for Gitlin's future as a smooth jazzer! But, we'll let you decide that for yourself, as we present just one of several fine choices in the tune Chronic Ironic!

CD: Full Circle and the Great Temptation (2008)
Label: Coming Together Music
Site: Pete Gitlin ; Pete/Space
Tony Guerrero - Apasionado
Flutterbye - Tony Guerrero:
Considered one of the leading voices on the contemporary scene back in the late 80s and early 90s, Tony Guerrero began playing trumpet at the age of nine. An early fondness for the music of Led Zeppelin & Kiss was balanced with an appreciation for that of Chuck Mangione - so that over the years, Tony developed a broader affinity for jazz. In addition to playing a variety of wind instruments, Guerrero also dabbled on drums, guitar, bass, & piano. He debuted as a soloist in 1988. With a sound rooted in jazz, rock, Latin, and pop, Guerrero creatively combined a signature style with expressive melodies and resultantly he issued a series of well-received releases. Having been involved in a variety of projects over the last several years, from being active as a fundraiser for charitable organizations to recording and producing in the Christian Pop & Worship fields, the recently issued Apasionado now marks Guerrero's return to the jazz arena and from that effort, we have the swingin' track entitled Flutterbye!

CD: Apasionado (2008)
Label: Native Language Music
Site: Tony Guerrero ; Tony/Space

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Kim Waters - I Want You
Take Me Away - Kim Waters:
During a 16-year career, Kim Waters has paved the way as one of the premiere players in Urban Smooth jazz; he's recorded ten #1 hits and sold over a million units placing him among the top 5 best selling instrumentalists in contemporary field. Recently performing as part of the all-star combo The Sax Pack with Jeff Kashiwa and Steve Cole, Waters has enjoyed more chart-topping success. Now just out is the cd I Want You, which rates somewhere around Waters' 16th solo release, that to go along with several more appearances as part of the Streetwize series of release from Shanachie Records. From that effort, subtitled Love in the Spirit of Marvin, we have the track Take Me Away!

CD: I Want You (2008)
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Site: Kim Waters ; Kim/Space
Phillip Brooks - Just Between Us
Just Between Us - Phillip Brooks:
After building his resume in the field of Gospel music for many years, Phillip Brooks expanded to working with the likes of Mary J Blige and the R&B group Silk. In 2003, the Detroit native was contacted by Wayman Tisdale and was asked by Wayman himself to be his music director - that began an association wherein Brooks discovered his own musical voice. Just out is the cd Just Between Us, Brooks' debut and from that effort we have the tune that lent its name to the project!

CD: Just Between Us (2008)
Label: MoJoy Records
Site: Phillip Brooks ; Phil/Space
Althea Rene - No Restrictions
No Restrictions - Althea Rene:
Originally a Detroit native but now Houston-based, Althea Rene picked up her first flute when she was four. She trained classically for many years while receiving the inspiration to pursue a career in music from her father who performed as a sideman with a number of Motown artists. After college, Althea's focus switched to Jazz and R&B and for a time she studied with Donald Byrd while gaining further inspiration from the works of Hubert Laws. In '97, Ms Rene toured with Straight Ahead, an internationally acclaimed all female jazz band before launching her solo career in the year 2000. Rene's 2006 In The Moment cd proved one of the finer break thru projects for the year and led to a variety of tour dates. With the recently issued No Restrictions, now Rene's 4th and perhaps most accomplished effort to date, Althea will most certainly add to already substantial fan base!

CD: No Restrictions (2008)
Label: Bungalo Records
Site: Althea Rene ; Althea/Space

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Caravan of Dreams ... on this edition, we're presenting something we've tried on a few occasions in that we're going with a name theme - in actuality this will be the first of a four-part series as each and every selection has the word 'dream' in its title. This time round we're calling this our Caravan of Dreams feature, in honor of our opening selection that being from Peter White. Additionally we've included tracks such as When Dreams Come True, Big City Dreams, or Gerty's Dream and so on and so forth. Set#1 does indeed open with the aforementioned Mr. White, while the remaining tracks include selections from the band Shikandaza, saxman Marion Meadows, and Jim Adkins. Then in the middle set, we have Nils, T-Square out of Japan, Germany's Dancing Fantasy, and the one-time keyboardist with the band Bona Fide in Joe Ercole; while rounding out the hour are Steve Laury, Paul Hardcastle, Patty Austin, and Special EFX!

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