Setting the Standard for Smooth Seasonal Grooves!
This Week at Café

December 21st, 2008
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A Café Jazz Christmas - Our 7th Annual Bacchanalia!
Ho ho ho ho, direct from studio B, it's our seventh annual A Café Jazz Christmas as we celebrate with all the best in smooth seasonal music. Featured are selections by Brian Auger and Terry Disley as well as past favourites from Michael Franks, Rick Braun, and Chris Rea. We have fresh takes on traditional favourites by Chris Geith, Spyro Gyra, and by saxman J.Dee, while also appearing are Peter White, Jimmy Sommers, Boney James, and the band Fourplay. It's our once a year musical gift complete with a wish that you and yours may experience all the warmth & joys of the season - Merry Christmas and all the best for a smooth and jazzy 2009!
In This Issue:

We Three Kings - J.Dee
Skating - Slim Man
Carol of the Bells - Dotsero
Silent Night - Spyro Gyra
Deck The Halls - Chris Geith
We Three Kings - Brian Auger

More Grooves of the Season
Complete spinlist: Spinlist for 7th Annual A Café Jazz Christmas One Year Ago: 2007 A Café Jazz Christmas

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Highlights Hour One
We Three Kings - J.Dee:
Considered one of the most reverent of the holiday classics, "We Three Kings of Orient Are" was written by Reverend John Henry Hopkins, Jr. The versatile clergyman was an author, journalist, book illustrator, and designer of stained glass windows, and while editor of the Church Journal in New York City, he set out to create a special Christmas present for his nephews and nieces. The result was the 1857 musical dramatization of a story from the Book of Matthew, which subsequently appeared as part of a Christmas pageant for the General Theological Seminary. Some believe the song perpetuates a myth of the wise men being three in number and kings by station since there is no direct mention of either aspect in the corresponding verses. Nevertheless, it remains the best-known carols on the theme of the followers of the star. Now adding to that myth is saxman J.Dee, who with a most unique take on this beloved seasonal hymn creates a musical myth of his own!

CD: Grooves for the Season (2008)
Label: NuGroove Records
Site: J.Dee ; JDee/NuGroove ; Grooves FTS/NuGroove

J.Dee - Grooves for the Season

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Slim Man - Christmas Eve
Skating - Slim Man:
It was 1963, when Grammy-winning Vince Guaraldi was presented the opportunity to work with Charles Schultz on A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Somehow the whole became greater than the sum of its parts. The creation of the Linus and Lucy theme became a signature selection for the Peanuts gang and laid the foundation for many future projects - including "A Charlie Brown Christmas" which debuted in 1965. The special turned the Peanuts gang into an institution while the album went on to become one of the most popular jazz holiday albums of all time. We've played many covers of tracks on the disc on past installment of A Café Jazz Christmas and as recently as 2007, featured Boney James. On this occasion, we now check out Christmas Eve, the new seasonal effort from the Slim Dude - although the only pure instrumental track on the disc, with the Slim Fella on bass and Tom Alonzo on piano, the Slim Meister scores big with as fine as a treatment as we've heard for what is surely a modern-day Christmas classic! Slim Man Then & Now - Ed#472/Feb.24th, 2008

CD: Christmas Eve (2008)
Label: Oui Oui Music
Site: Slim Man ; Slim Space
Dotsero - A Season of Wonder
Carol of the Bells - Dotsero:
The composition Carol of the Bells, also known as the Ukrainian Bell Carol, was written by Ukrainian composer Mykola Leontovych; intended to be sung a cappella, it was based on a pagan chant associated with New Year's in pre-Christian times in the Ukraine. The selection was first performed at the University of Kiev in December of 1916 and was introduced to Western audiences thru a series of concert tours by the Ukrainian National Chorus premiering at Carnegie Hall a few years later. The original Ukrainian lyrics tell of a swallow's proclamation of a bountiful year that a family will have and was later adapted to English. An alternate version entitled Ring, Christmas Bells was written by Minna Louise Hohman in 1947 with lyrics more closely based on the Nativity. Recorded on several hundred occasions, Denver's Dotsero now provide a most unique take on what's become a modern seasonal standard! Dotsero Then & Now Spotlight Feature - Ed#461/Nov.25, 2007

CD: A Season of Wonder (2007)
Label: Cinderblock Records
Site: Dotsero ; Dotsero Space ; Jazz at Jack's

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Highlights Hour Two
Spyro Gyra - A Night Before Christmas
Silent Night - Spyro Gyra:
The story behind the carol ….In 1818, Joseph Mohr, the pastor of a small church in Austria discovered the church organ was broken. This was viewed as catastrophic, since it was just a few days before Christmas and this meant there would be no music for Christmas Mass. That Christmas Eve, Mohr visited a friend who lived a nearby town. Bringing with him a poem he had written a couple of years earlier, he hoped that the church choirmaster and organist, could set the poem to music. Within a matter of a few hours, Franz Xaver Gruber composed the melody for "Stille Nacht", which was set for two voices with guitar & choral accompaniment, and helped Mohr perform it for the first time on Christmas Day, 1818.

In the nearly 200 years since that time, the melody for Silent Night has been somewhat modified and the lyrics translated from their original German into hundreds of languages. It's been recorded thousands of times, becoming one of the most celebrated selections of all time. Now, from their first full scale seasonal project in a 30 or so year career, Jay Beckenstein & his ten-time Grammy-nominated band give a jazzy but reverent take on this long-time holiday standard! Spyro Gyra Then & Now Feature Part 1 - Ed#437/Mar.11, 2007 Spyro Gyra Then & Now Feature Part 2 - Ed#438/Mar.18, 2007

CD: A Night Before Christmas (2008)
Label: Heads Up
Site: Spyro Gyra ; Spyro Space
Chris Geith - A Modern Christmas
Deck The Halls - Chris Geith:
Perhaps the epitome of holiday songs as opposed to those celebrating the Holy aspects of Christmas is the old favourite Deck the Halls. The tune is Welsh in its origins having been discovered by harpist John Parry Ddall in the mid 1700s in a manuscript, although it's likely it's considerably older. The first published lyrics for the piece were in Welsh written by John Ceiriog Hughes and titled Nos Galan or New Year's Eve with the popular English version appearing in 1881 in The Franklin Square Song Collection; however, the translation bares little if any relation to the original. With a definite connectiveness to dancing in phrases such as "follow me in merry measure", the carol is evocative of pagan traditions and remains one of the more purely joyous songs of the season. Now perfectly captures that sense of celebration is keyboardist Chris Geith, one of most played artists in all of 2008!

CD: A Modern Christmas (2008)
Label: Independent
Site: Chris Geith ; Chris's Space ; Space 2
Brian Auger - We Three Kings
We Three Kings - Brian Auger:
Rounding out our featured selections for this 7th annual installment of the hippest Christmas show on radio is Brian Auger! A familiar name from the 60s and 70s, Auger is well known as a jazz musician of integrity and repute, and has been hailed as one of the foremost proponents of the Hammond B3 organ. Credited with being the first fusion artist to make it big in both jazz and rock, Auger's Oblivion Express in particular drew raves as an innovative force! Although Auger recorded a bit less in the 80s and 90s, the year 2000 saw the reformation of Oblivion Express as a creative vehicle. With a 40-year career chock-full of experience to draw upon, Auger delivers an incredibly catchy jazz groove with his hip treatise of a long-time Christmas favourite!

CD: We Three Kings - Radio Single (2007)
Label: Fuel
Sites: Brian Auger ; Brian's Space

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site:
Our Yuletide tradition continues .... we're playing a full hour of sensational seasonal music with no annoying chatter from me whatsoever. So sit back, relax and enjoy our holiday gift to you as A Café Jazz Christmas continues, After Hours style! For a complete list of tracks simply click on the paw! Complete spins for A Café Jazz Christmas!

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