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This Week at Café

September 20th, 2009
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This Week at
... there's music from keyboardist Jonathan Fritzén - we're playing a sampling of three great tracks from the VIP release and those are part of the showcase segment. Then stay tuned for Fresh Trax in Hour 2 with all the latest and best in new music. Highlights on this edition are from a few familiar names. Dan Siegel & Najee are on the show. Also appearing is Urban Jazz Coalition out of Columbus Ohio. Saxlady Jessy J has a new one - we have something from that, while Brian Bromberg caps the feature. Later in the hour, we're doing a bit of navigating thru time and, on this occasion, that includes music by Gabriel & Larry Carlton. We'll be hearing from Paul Hardcastle and The Jazzmasters as well there's something from Joyce Cooling - while woven thruout are the likes of Marion Meadows, Jeff Golub, Everette Harp and Club 1600!
In This Issue:

VIP - Jonathan Fritzén

Sometime Tomorrow - Dan Siegel
Sweet Summer Nights - Najee
Moonlight Taboo - Urban Jazz Coalition
Tropical Rain - Jessy J
Martinis at the ... - Brian Bromberg

Feature - Falling Through Time

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Showcase CD
VIP - Jonathan Fritzén:

Hailing from Stockholm Sweden, Jonathan Fritzén attended the Royal Academy of Music. He was one the first recipients of a Jazz Masters degree and additionally, he's worked Swedish TV while backing some of that country's biggest stars. The talented musician is now Sweden's latest musical export and their first-ever pianist to enter the smooth jazz arena. When Fritzén debuted on our show, it was fairly obvious, he was on the way to becoming a "name" on this side of the Atlantic. Now a year after that initial release, Fritzén's VIP follow-up takes on added dimension. As with his initial effort, Fritzén self-produced the work while covering eight different instruments but, as he explains: "VIP has a groovier, deeper urban sound, while keeping the elegance I aimed for on my first album. I'm very excited about it - everything is just on another level" and we couldn't agree more. Contributing to the cause are special guests like Jay Soto, while supplementing the Scandinavian groove is saxman Michael Lington - the result is a project with ample evidence that the Nordic vibe is not only alive, it's doing very well thank you!

Jonathan Fritzén - VIP
Jonathan Fritzén - Ibiza Jazz
Jonathan Fritzén - Ibiza Jazz
As such, it's a pleasure to present Jonathan Fritzén and VIP as the focus for our spotlight segment! We've chosen a threefold serving of great music beginning with a rhythmic groover called Day After Day. Enticing and nuanced, the seductive In Motion will sweep you away at the top of hour 2. Finally it's VIP with Jay Soto, the track that gave its name to the disc; and it's here perhaps more than anywhere else that Fritzén lays claim to the billing of the album title. So when you're thinking VIP in smooth jazz, more than likely the VIP you're thinking about is Jonathan Fritzén!

CD: VIP (2009)
Label: Nordic Night Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Dan Siegel - Sphere
Sometime Tomorrow - Dan Siegel:
With a solo career that extends back to 1981, Dan Siegel is a genuine pioneer in smooth movement. Back in the early days, Siegel's records were instant adds and he's now issued somewhere around 20 in all. Additionally, Dan produced several fine all-star projects as leader of Birds of a Feather while recording & performing with a litany of top names in the likes of Glenn Frey, Hugh Masekela, Joe Sample, Herbie Hancock, and the London Symphony Orchestra. He's composed for film & TV, worked as musical director on CBS late night TV, and played numerous sessions. Sphere is the new one from the veteran keyboardist and we have a great tune with that classic Siegel ambience from that for you today!

CD: Sphere (2009)
Label: Dan Siegel Music
Najee - Mind Over Matter
Sweet Summer Nights - Najee :
Considered a trendsetter in the genre, Najee helped define the sound of smooth for over a decade and he's a two-time Grammy nominee. The native New Yorker began on clarinet and later added sax and flute to his repertoire. He attended the New England Conservatory of Music, toured with Chaka Khan, and in '86 he released Najee's Theme, which went platinum. Subsequent albums also proved popular - in particular "Najee Plays Songs from the Key of Life: A Tribute to Stevie Wonder" was critically acclaimed and reached gold status. Never rushing to capitalize on his popularity Najee, has recorded only a handful of projects in the time since although he's become somewhat more prolific since joining the Heads Up label a few years back. Mind Over Matter is now his 3rd on Heads Up and 11th overall. From that release, we 're featuring the sweet & summery sounds of Sweet Summer Nights!

CD: Mind Over Matter (2009)
Label: Heads Up

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Urban Jazz Coalition - A New Day
Moonlight Taboo - Urban Jazz Coalition:
It's the start of 'a new day' for the Urban Jazz Coalition. Based in Columbus, Ohio and led by bassist & founding member Phil Raney, this is a veteran septet that is rich in a depth of musical talent. Raney studied a variety of instruments in his teens and was self-taught on guitar along with childhood friend and UJC guitarist, Joe Gothard. In 1986, Raney moved to LA where he held down a variety of gigs during an 8-year stint, returning to Columbus in 1994. Shortly after Phil reconnected with Gothard, drummer Jim Bridges (recently replaced by Rich 'Rico' Adams) and percussionist, Hector Maldonado with whom he had played in the early 80s. Rounding out the sounds of the current combo, are keyboardist Brandon Howard, Richard Randolph on sax, and the newest member Duane Tribune on guitar. Billed as one of the hardest working bands in contemporary jazz, UJC have done hundreds of live gigs over the years, performing with the likes of Spyro Gyra and Al Jarreau among many others. Now, with the issue of the aptly titled A New Day, their latest & 6th release overall, UJC for the first time unfurl this latest configuration on record. As on previous releases, the band establishes that tricky balance between a disciplined approach and a spontaneous sound while continuing to find that emotionally charged higher ground in their playing. From the effort we have the tantalizing styles of Moonlight Taboo! Urban Jazz Coalition Then & Now Feature Ed #426 - December 10th, 2006

CD: A New Day (2008)
Label: The Continuum Music Group
Jessy J - True Love
Tropical Rain - Jessy J:
As a musician who's passionate about her playing, Jessy J honed her chops before bursting onto the scene with her Tequila Moon debut. The title track earned Contemporary Jazz Song of The Year recognition from both R&R and Billboard while additionally Jessy was named R&R's Debut Artist for 2008. Understandably, there's now a fair degree of excitement as Ms J returns to the limelight with True Love, her sophomore follow up and a project that's once again produced by Grammy-winning Paul Brown. Backed by Brown and Gregg Karukas, as well as Roberto Vally and a few other A-listers, Jessy draws upon the full richness of her Latin heritage and on her love of jazz. The result is a venture indelibly stamped with class and finesse. From that effort, we're caught in the warm rapture of Tropical Rain!

CD: True Love (2009)
Label: Peak Records
Brian Bromberg - It Is What It Is
Martinis At The Velvet Lounge - Brian Bromberg :
Critically acclaimed and regarded as an innovator in his field, Brian Bromberg's stylistic range is diverse as he's equally at home on both straight-ahead and contemporary projects. He's highly regarded not only as a bassist but, as the man in charge at B˛ Studios and Productions, he's developed a reputation for his top-shelf work as a producer, arranger and composer with somewhere around 15 top-10 hits and a pair of #1's to his credit. Additionally, Brian's personal catalogue has grown to more than a dozen releases with his previous album, Downright Upright, earning a Grammy mention. Superlatives have abounded thruout his entire career, as Bromberg sets about dispelling any preconceptions as to how a bass is supposed to be played. The mission continues on It Is What It Is, wherein Bromberg is backed by a killer horn section while enlisting the aid of a brilliant batch of triple-A cats; George Duke, Patrice Rushen, Jeff Lorber, Dave Weckl, Dan Siegel, Randy Brecker, Eric Marienthal, Richard Elliot, Gerald Albright, and Rick Braun all contribute to the disc! From this latest, we're sipping a funky cocktail called Martinis At The Velvet Lounge!

CD: It Is What It Is (2009)
Label: Artistry Music / Mack Avenue Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Falling Through Time ... we're moving thru time on the 3rd in a 5-chapter series with each & every selection having the word time as part of its title. We're calling this edition Falling Through Time after a selection by Cecil Ramirez that's included in the segment. We've chosen tracks such as Quiet Time, Hard Times, & Time Out, with 13 time travellin' tunes in all. Opening the show is Ray Garand and he's followed by Bob Baldwin, Wayne Jones and Pieces of a Dream. Chuck Loeb launches set #2 and then we continue with Cecil Ramirez and the namesake track for the feature. Then it's Queen Latifah, Grady Nichols, and the band Cabo Frio. Meanwhile the final inning features Bob Bangerter and Duncan Millar as well as Jeffrey B Suttles - then in the end it's Acoustic Alchemy with a terrific closing track!

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