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This Week at Café

November 8th, 2009
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This Week at ...
… spotlighted on this edition is trumpeter Rick Braun. We've chosen three tasty tunes from All It Takes and we'll be presenting those as part of the showcase cd segment. There's more excitement brewing in hour 2 with Back Trax - highlights include Strunz and Farah as well as Checkfield and Peace of Mind. Also appearing - Daniel Deaguero and a remix of a 60s Tijuana Brass classic by Thievery Corporation. Then later in the hour, there's music by Tom Braxton and Dan Siegel, in addition to George Benson and Joe Ercole; while featured thru-out are Candy Dulfer, Jim Savitt, and Peter White. But as we take to the air for a radio show unlike any other, Anthony James Baker starts us off by asking the musical question What If?
In This Issue:

All It Takes - Rick Braun

El Jaguar - Strunz & Farah
Avalon - Checkfield
Times Gone By - Peace of Mind
Lemon Tree - Thievery Corporation
City Lights - Daniel Deaguero

AFTER HOURS : Chill Pill

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Showcase CD
All It Takes - Rick Braun:

As reported a few months back when All It Takes debuted on our hip but humble show, Rick Braun has it all going on - a tone that's second to none delivered with charismatic flair! Nonetheless, the slick trumpeter originally from Allentown PA had amassed an extensive résumé in the earlier part of his career before finding his niche in contemporary jazz. It began in 1977, when his band Auracle was offered a record deal and he made that fateful trek across the USA to LA. After a pair of avant-garde release, Braun gained touring sideman gigs with the likes of Rickie Lee Jones, Tina Turner, Glenn Frey, Natalie Cole, and the group War while he experienced his first big success with Here With Me, a tune that he wrote for REO Speedwagon. He cinched an 18-month stint with Rod Stewart and then finally he launched his solo career in the early 90s. Shortly thereafter, Rick landed a spot with Sade on her "Love Deluxe" tour and subsequently he exploded on the smooth jazz with a string of chart topping successes!

Rick Braun - All It Takes
In the time since, he's racked up numerous accolades, including many from yours truly, whilst almost single-handedly re-igniting interest in the trumpet as a viable lead instrument and thereby making it safe again for mass consumption! After collaborations with Boney James on Shake It Up, with Norman Brown and Kirk Whalum as BWB, and most recently on RnR with Richard Elliot, Rick Braun now re-connects with a longtime friend, in Parisian-born keyboardist Philippe Saisse for All It Takes!
Rick Braun - Live
Rick Braun - Live
The cd is now the 15th wherein Braun enjoys marquee billing while he continues to add to a musical legacy that is among the most distinguished in the genre. The project is all we've learned to expect from the dynamic Mr. Braun, and as such, it's now indeed a treat to nudge the glitzy horn-player into the soft sheen of our showcase spotlight. As is our custom, we'll be featuring a trio of prime selections and on this occasion we're starting it with Christiane - co-written with Jeff Lorber, Rick titled it for his wife - it's a simply gorgeous piece and likely our absolute favorite from the disc. At the top of the second half of the show we have Freddie Was Here, a tune written for the late Freddy Hubbard. Braun confides … "Freddie's playing and songwriting were huge influences"… and so the track is dedicated to his memory. Finally, there's She's The One a co-write with keyboardist Tim Gant - a melodic up-tempo mover it's the end piece for the feature. (And ….a bit of a side note, guitarist Dwight Sills appears on all three.) Expressive, varied, and innovative, All It Takes has what it takes to rank among Braun's most creative ventures to date! Rick Braun Then & Now Spotlight on Ed #399 - March 19th, 2006

CD: All It Takes (2009)
Label: Artistry Music/Mack Avenue Records

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Back Trax: Part One
Strunz & Farah - Americas
El Jaguar - Strunz & Farah:
Hailing from Costa Rica and Iran respectively, the guitar duo of Strunz and Farah has been performing together for 3 decades. Their meeting in 1979 signified the first occasion that the rich cultures of Latin America and the Middle East were united into a new and unique form of musical expression. Their style has been described as exotic and innovative. It's highly rhythmic, strongly improvisational, and requires the upmost proficiency. They debuted in 1980 and have issued over a dozen albums; all have met with a measure of critical acclaim. On this occasion, our focus is their 1992 cd and one billed as "A celebration of five centuries of Spanish guitar in the Americas." From that effort, we have El Jaguar! With the guitars of Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah featured on the left and right channels, there's a stretch within the piece that falls nowhere short of brilliant!

CD: Americas (1992)
Label: Mesa Records
Checkfield - Through The Lens
Avalon - Checkfield:
San Diego's Checkfield was a collaboration that featured Ron Satterfield and John Archer - both handled a variety of guitar and keyboard duties while drawing on a highly eclectic mix of folk, classical and ethnic sounds. The two had met back in 1970 at Mesa College and then they reconnected for some gigs a few years later. Their first release followed in 1982 before they signed to American Gramaphone, the label run by Chip Davis of Mannheim Steamroller fame. They released four albums from 1986 thru until 1992 while tapping the back-up talents of a raft of "America's Finest City's" finest and, in the process they earned an equal number of Grammy nominations. A 10-year retrospective was issued in 1997, while one final project followed the following year. For a time, Satterfield did a bit of double duty, regularly appearing on and writing for a number of Steve Laury projects. When last heard from he'd relocated to Arizona a while back while John Archer retired and moved to Costa Rico about 13 years ago. This time out we're returning to 1994 and checking out Checkfield's Through The Lens, the last of their releases from their Am-Gram years. From that effort, we have a cheery and upbeat tune called Avalon - in Arthurian legend Avalon was an island paradise in the western seas, to which heroes were transported at their death!

CD: Through The Lens (1992)
Label: American Gramaphone

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Back Trax: Part Two
Peace of Mind - Journey To The Fore
Times Gone By - Peace of Mind ft Gota :
A one-off project, Peace of Mind involved some of the top names from the heyday of the UK acid jazz scene. Spurred by the success enjoyed by Internal Bass Records, the concept was not so much to feature any single artist in particular as it was to present a cohesive project that represented some of the best sounds of the day. Featuring selections co-written by Stuart Wade of Down to the Bone fame, prominent guests on the disc included the likes of Gota the Groove Activator and Neil Cowley. Richard Sadler (who still works with Wade) was on the album too, engineering, mixing, and playing horns - while another co-writer, Richard Wargent, played sax and flute. From that one and only release entitled Journey to the Fore, we have the wickedly funky Times Gone By and a tune that gets down and celebrates the groove!

CD: Journey To The Fore (1998)
Label: Internal Bass / NuGroove
Thievery Corporation - Versions
Lemon Tree - Thievery Corporation ft Herb Alpert:
Thievery Corporation features the production skills of Washington DC's Eric Hilton and Rob Garza. Their partnership grew out of an association at the Eighteenth Street Lounge, a DC club with a dubby, loungy, international vibe where they DJ'd with a heavy hand. Hilton had grown up on a steady diet of 60s ska, 70s funk, mod, Bossa Nova, salsa, Latin jazz, reggae, hip hop, and straight ahead jazz. In the early 90s he co-founded the club Exodus with Farid Ali where Friday nights became legendary before they started the Eighteenth Street Lounge. Hilton and Garza first met at the club in 1995, just prior to Hilton's acid jazz Exodus Quartet release. Soon after, the two began working together and in 1996, they scored a pair of underground vinyl hit singles, which were released on their own ESL Music record label. Their debut release as Thievery Corp., Sounds from The Thievery Hi-Fi, followed in 1997 and became a project that helped define a genre. Over the next decade they recorded three more critically acclaimed albums of original material, but in addition to their production expertise, Garza and Hilton proved they were masters of the remix! Issued in 2006, Versions was their second project wherein they put a creative sheen on the likes of The Doors, Bebel Gilberto, and Sarah McLachlan. Among the finest, is the lush and dreamy re-dubbing of Lemon Tree, the Tijuana Brass classic featuring Herb Alpert from 1965!

CD: Versions (2006)
Label: ESL
Daniel Deaguero - Colorado Sunset
City Lights - Daniel Deaguero:
As an independent artist with over three decades as a performer, Colorado based Daniel Deaguero has issued eight albums split evenly between smooth jazz and a Spanish style. Additionally, Deaguero has written and/or produced for other indie artists while collaborating with a few well-known acts such as Malo and Louie Shelton. Best known for a rich tone and his fluid playing, in 1998 Deaguero received a Billboard Critic's Choice Award. On this occasion, we're spinning 01's Colorado Sunset and its opening track. With a few slick licks from Deaguero and a bit of nice piano courtesy of Dave Innes, makes me wonder what's keeping the rest of smooth radio from latching onto Deaguero's appealing blend!

CD: Colorado Sunset (2001)
Label: Night Beat Records


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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Chill Pill: … kick back and relax with a special edition wherein every track has the word chill in its title. There's License to Chill, Chill Factor, and Chill or be Chilled, with 14 chillin' tunes in all. Opening things is Marc Antoine, and he's followed by Richard Elliot, Matt Marshak, David Bach, and Hiroshima. Set #2 has Euge Groove and continues with Jim Adkins, Oli Silk, and Denny Jiosa with the piece for which we named this segment. While wrapping it up are LA Chillharmonic, Bill McGee, Will Donato, Gordon Sheard, and Bernie Williams. So if you're feeling down, turn up the sound - take a chill pill & enjoy a 60 minute chill-out!

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