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This Week at CaféJazz.ca

June 28th, 2009
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The 7th Annual Edition of Smooth Jazz in Canada, Eh!
We wait all year for this one - a special edition called Smooth Jazz in Canada, Eh! As part of our Canada Day celebrations, we're featuring the music of Canadian artists exclusively. We first tried this back in 2003, and each year we've come came back with a bigger & bolder version - this being our 7th annual installment promises to be the biggest and boldest to date. So get set to enjoy the unique vibe of a radio show unlike any other featuring Warren Hill, Gabriel, Alexander Zonjic, & Les Sabler as well as Four80East, Darren Rahn, Vince Mai, Steve Barakatt, & Dave Sereny. Additionally, we've included perennial favourites by Ray Garand, Shikandaza, & many more - all bear the "made in Canada" tag on a 100% Canadian review!
In This Issue:

Eastside - Four80East
Blue Collar - Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Purple Day - Vince Mai
Dragon Passion - Aidan Mason
Still Dreamin - Richard Chadwick
Radiant Acquiescence - Alex Zografov

ONE YEAR AGO 6th Annual Presentation of Smooth Jazz in Canada, Eh! - 2008 Edition

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Highlights Hour One
Eastside - Four80East:
In 1990, Rob DeBoar and Tony Grace launched Boomtang Records, an independent label specializing in 12-inch singles for the U.K. club scene - within their first three years they had penned and produced fifteen such records. However, by 1993, the Boomtang mandate had grown to include artist development; correspondingly, there was a shift in focus with DeBoar & Grace developing as a crack dance remix and production unit. Nonetheless, toward the end of the 90s, the veteran Toronto-based team hit upon a creative side venture that allowed them to meld a dance vibe with some of the jazzier and more eclectic elements that they personally wished to explore. So it was that Four80East came into being! Their 1997 UK debut spawned the single Eastside that went on to become the seventh most-played track in the US while the album, which was simply called The Album made Billboard's top 20 for 1998. Subsequent releases have met with a large measure of critical acclaim - so with a new collaboration only days away, we felt it apropos to return to the track that started it all!

CD: The Album (1997)
Label: Boomtang Records

Four80East - The Album
Bachman-Turner Overdrive
Blue Collar - Bachman-Turner Overdrive:
Few would have predicted the second wave of success that lay in wait for Randy Bachman when he left The Guess Who right at the height of their popularity. Shortly after leaving what was one of the top bands worldwide, Bachman re-connected with former band-mate Chad Allan, the original vocalist in the band Chad Allan and the Reflections, later CA and the Expressions, that eventually became The Guess Who. In 1971, Bachman created the band Brave Belt together with Allan and his own brother and drummer Robbie Bachman. When the record label wanted the group to tour, Bachman recruited fellow Winnipegger, bass player and vocalist C.F. "Fred" Turner, formerly with the D-Drifters, to fill out the live sound of combo! Allan departed part way thru the tour and so Turner was asked to assume vocal duties becoming a full-time member.
However, that release and its follow-up failed to generate much in the way of chart success, so a tour in support of Brave Belt II dissolved part way thru the schedule. Nonetheless, with Turner's influence and his pipes as a focal point, the sound of the band experienced a metamorphosis to a grittier style. Tim Bachman joined the group as a second guitarist and thru sheer serendipity (and after 26 or so rejections) they landed a record deal. Urged by the label to capitalize on the star-power of Bachman's name, what had tentatively been another Brave Belt issue became instead Bachman-Turner Overdrive, the overdrive being borrowed from title of a trucker's magazine. Although their eponymously titled debut issued in 1973, didn't generate what might be termed a hit single, a year later the project was certified a gold seller and nicely fore shadowed what would be their impending stardom. From that debut we've selected, a Turner-penned contribution and an impeccable jazz-rock classic!

CD: Bachman-Turner Overdrive (1973)
Label: Mercury Records

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Highlights Hour Two
Vince Mai - Stretchy
Purple Day - Vince Mai:
Trumpeter Vince Mai has been serving up a unique blend of smooth, Latin, and jazz on Canada's West Coast for several years. In addition to developing a reputation as a dynamic soloist, he's well known as a top call studio player throughout the Pacific Northwest with credits that include Natalie Cole, Robben Ford, Tom Jones, and The Temptations among many others. Additionally his scores have been featured on commercials, film, and TV both in Canada and in the US. Following his 2000 solo debut, a collection of jazz classics, Mai's focus has gradually shifted to a more contemporary style and correspondingly he's raised his profile as a front man. After making a major impact on our humble show with his MBand release, our #1 most played album in all of 2006 Vince returns with Stretchy, an all-new collection of cutting-edge styles. From that effort and now Mai's fourth over-all, we have the heliotropic sounds of Purple Day! Vince Mai Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #406 - May 14th, 2006

CD: Stretchy (2009)
Label: Mai Music/Rawlco Radio
Aidan Mason - Azania
Dragon Passion - Aidan Mason:
With a grandfather who emigrated from China around the turn of the last century, Aidan Mason was born in East London, South Africa. As a youth, Mason experienced the township music that was all around him and after getting his first guitar at the age of 10, he taught himself by playing along to Beatles records. In the early 70s, he joined a Johannesburg band and after scoring a top-10 hit, he abandoned his study of economics for music.. Relocating to Canada, Mason studied harmony and composition and grew to appreciate classical music. For a time, he had a regular spot on Rock It, a syndicated show originating in Edmonton, and it was during this period that he backed the likes of David Clayton Thomas, Elvin Bishop, Dusty Springfield, and others. For a good part of the 80s, Mason toured with Anne Murray and co-wrote a few of her tunes. After learning electronic keys and sampling techniques, he composed for film and TV before deciding to tell his own story. The result was Azania, a name used by some South Africans to symbolize a free and bountiful land. From that effort, we've selected the spaceous sounds of the track Dragon Passion!

CD: Azania (1995)
Label: Alma Records
Richard Chadwick - Still Dreaming
Still Dreamin - Richard Chadwick:
Hailing from Montreal, guitarist Richard Chadwick grew up on a diet of 60s and 70s rock with early influences including Clapton, Beck, and Page. He worked a variety of club gigs in Montreal and then in the mid 70s he landed in Alberta where he was got caught up in Country and Western craze. Moving to LA in 1981 to study at GIT, Chadwick drew closer to jazz & blues. Then as a sideman working LA to London and then to Canada's West Coast, he added varying splashes of sound to his sonic palette. Finally ending up in Vancouver, Chadwick has been active on that city's club and session circuit while working on a solo debut. From that soon to be released effort, entitled Still Dreaming, and produced in conjunction with Ray Garand, a fellow Vancouverite and perennial Café Jazz favourite, we have the superb near title track!

CD: Still Dreaming (forthcoming)
Label: Independent
Alex Zografov - The Bird of Heaven
Radiant Acquiescence - Alex Zografov:
Alex Zografov earned a doctorate in music while majoring in odd rhythms and polyrhythms in the period from 1973 thru to '76. For a time he relocated to LA where he became active on the vibrant session scene and club circuit. In course of things, he moved to Winnipeg to help in the care of an aging parent and there he became involved in a variety of musical projects, from recording & session work, to stage productions. Additionally, as an active member of the Baha'i faith he issued a pair of releases that reflected the mantra of his religion. From the little known The Bird of Heaven from the late 90s, we have the exquisite Radiant Acquiescence!

CD: The Bird of Heaven (1996)
Label: Abha Music

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
SJIC continues ... more great Canadian grooves as we resume our Smooth Jazz In Canada review. Included in the initial set are selections from Greg Kavanagh and Liberty Silver, from one of our favourites in bass-lady Rhonda Smith, as well as from Frank Mills and David Blamires. That's followed in set two with Maurice Gordon, Michael Massaro, Gordon Sheard, Danny Weis, and Nura. Also appearing are James Gabriano, Amarosa, Monsoon, Andrew Glover, and finally Jesse Cook. Those and of course each & every selection we're playing is Canadian as we celebrate smooth jazz in our land!

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