They were doin' fine in '09
Here again in 20-10!

This Week at Café

January 3rd, 2010
Edition #552 Previously Next

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This Week at Cafe Part 1 in our Best of 2009 Review:
Here we go with the start to a brand new year and for the lead off show we're lookin' back at all the best tracks from the year just past - they were doin' fine in '09 and here they come again in 2010 - it's our 10th annual best of review and the first in a 3 part series called the best of 2009! On this edition it's Peter White, Boney James, and Terry Disley - as well there's Tom Grant with our most played track for the year plus a tune by Gregg Karukas from our #1 in-house most played cd. Additionally we've included a few less familiar names such as Vision Jazz and Shane Isenberg as well as S-Tone Inc. and Velez Brothers. But first up is David Arkenstone with a track that became an instant fave!

Café Jazz Faves for 2009:
Sixth annual year-end recap! Café Jazz Favourites in 2009

In This Issue:

Morning Glorious - Tom Grant
Mission 2 Mars - Peter White
Brooklyn Bounce - Cindy Bradley
Daylight - Gregg Karukas
Bouncin' Back - Mark Barrios
Chamaleons - Velez Brothers

AFTER HOURS : Best of Cont.

SPINLIST: Spinlist ONE YEAR AGO: The Café Jazz Best of 2008 - Part 1

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Highlights Hour One
Morning Glorious - Tom Grant:
For us 'Café-ers' it started back in the 90s - a love affair with the music of Tom Grant! It was while vacationing in the Columbia Gorge just outside Portland Oregon - the local smooth channel, KKJZ I believe it was, was playing the dickens out of Grant, the resident piano whiz who had for the past dozen or so years been making a name for himself not only locally and nationally but internationally as well. Even in those early days, there was something about Tom's playing that only caught the ear, but a phrasing that stood out and caressed the memory. In the meantime, Mr. Grant has done little to alter our perception, and if anything, his continued excellence has only served to enhance it. After contributing a raft of great tracks such as Hang Time, Poinciana, Bernie's Groove, Blue Voyage, Angels Crossing and others, Grant has unleashed another remarkable melody yet still. We now add to our list of all-time favourites one of Tom's finest selections ever - the aptly named Morning Glorious and the Café Jazz absolute #1 most played selection for 2009! Tom Grant's Life Is Good Showcased on Ed#516 - March 1st, 2009

CD: Life Is Good (2008)
Label: Nu-Wrinkle Records

Tom Grant - Life Is Good

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Peter White - Good Day
Mission 2 Mars - Peter White:
So here he is our man Peter White, providing yet another featured selection for our hip but humble offering! Yes indeed, after discovering Peter's winning style, there was no turning back, the wonder of White being one of the main reasons we "converted to" smooth in the first place. For many years the affable Brit has been a standard bearer for the cause, if you will! So now, after a swarm of chart-topping singles and a horde of #1 cds, it's more than just a bit reassuring to find that White is ever mindful of a musical mission to boldly go where no one has gone before - in keeping with which, we present the probing sounds of Mission 2 Mars! Our only regret - '09 was already more than half done when we latched onto the Good Day cd - for in truth, it's deserving of a much loftier position on our year end recap. Notwithstanding, we are undeterred and will endeavour to make amends in 2010! Peter White and Good Day in the Spotlight on Ed#539 - October 4th, 2009 Peter White Then & Now Feature Ed #421 - October 22nd, 2006 A Peter White New Year: 3 hour Extravaganza Ed #343 - December 26th, 2004

CD: Good Day (2009)
Label: Peak Records
Cindy Bradley - Bloom
Brooklyn Bounce - Cindy Bradley:
Enter Ms Cindy Bradley, elementary school band teacher by day but a swingin' jazz musician by night! After a debut release a couple of years back, Cindy got her foot in the door before connecting with Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records. The label honchos no doubt recognized the trumpet-lady's tremendous potential in that she was no sooner signed to a deal than Bradley was paired with ace-producer & Grammy winner Michael Broening, the man largely behind the success that saxman Marion Meadows has enjoyed these last few years. The teaming of Broening and Bradley proved to be the unstoppable force in '09 and pretty well 'the' top story in smooth jazz for the year in so far as 'new-comers' were concerned! From our own #2 break-thru artist for 2009 we present the smackin' rhythmic sounds of the resilient Brooklyn Bounce! Cindy Bradley and Bloom Showcased on Ed#536 - September 6th, 2009

CD: Bloom (2009)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Links: Cindy Bradley: Michael Broening:

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Highlights Hour Two
Gregg Karukas - GK
Daylight - Gregg Karukas:
Back in April of '09 as we peered into the Café Jazz mystical musical crystal ball, it was writ…. "With a powerhouse line-up including the likes of … Rick Braun, Paul Brown, Russ Freeman, Jessy J., Michael O'Neill, Michael Paulo, and Ricardo Silveira … GK is not only one of the most anticipated projects for 2009, it will in fact bear strong consideration as one of the finest for the year!" Now just a scant couple of hundred days later, the vision has become ever so much clearer. With spins spread across no less than seven selections in all, Gregg Karakas's GK release received more attention in '09 than any other disc making its way into our studios over the course of the preceding 12 months. From that effort, our most spun for the year, we've selected one of our favourites. With sax work by a player id'd only as Contractually Anonymous (but we think it's Boney James) we have the bright and chic sounds of a tune called Daylight! Gregg Karukas and GK #1 in '09!! Gregg Karukas and GK in the Spotlight for Ed#523 - April 19th, 2009 Gregg Karukas Then & Now - Ed#395 Feb.19th, 2006

CD: GK (2009)
Label: Trippin 'n Rhythm Records
Mark Barrios - West Tampa Style
Bouncin' Back - Mark Barrios:
Guitarist Mark Barrios this past year proved that it's still possible for an independent, not overly promoted artist to make a dent on 'fortress smooth jazz' for want of a better phrase. Ably aided by our good friend Allon Sams operating out of Studio A in the Tampa Bay area, Barrios put his considerable talents on display on his West Tampa Style debut! We had picked up on the sound of the unassuming Mr. Barrios, just over a year ago and, I'm pleased to say, that after being heard on the biggest little show on radio, some other creative types too were moved to include the soulful aspiring guitar-stringer as part of their station sound. Subsequently, Barrios spent the better part of '09 in regular spin rotation. Nonetheless, we're still suitably impressed by our in-house #19 showing for Mark's cd and from that effort, we have the track which squeaked into our top 50 for the year! Suffice it to say we're looking forward to a follow-up already! Mark Barrios' West Tampa Style Showcased on Ed#518 - March 15th, 2009

CD: West Tampa Style (2008)
Label: Independent Release
Velez Brothers - Feel The Rain
Chamaleons - Velez Brothers ft Nick Colionne:
Hailing from Puerto Rico but now Chicago-based, Joan and Cristian the Velez Brothers, share the double distinction of two debuts on our show within a two month period in the very same year! We had just come across the brother combo's 2008 Everything I Love initial effort, than thru a bit of reading and research we came upon their sophomore follow-up in Feel The Rain. You can only imagine our sense of genuine excitement to discover that none other than the "big windy cat" himself, Mr. Nick Colionne, was the featured guest on the disc's opening track. We could contain ourselves no more, and so pitched headlong into that 2nd cd in the shortest time frame on record here at The Café. It's now a pleasure to present that very same tune in Chamaleons and one of our most groovacious tracks in '09! Velez Brothers debut Chamaleons on Fresh Trax Ed#528 - May 24th, 2009

CD: Feel The Rain (2009)
Label: Edson Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site and Select Affiliates:
More of Part 1 in The Best of 2009: .... it's a continuation of the first installment in our review - the best of 2009. As part of our comprehensive summary, we've cued the likes of Marcus Johnson, Norman Connors and Matt Marshak - additionally here & there we've slipped in a few names that may be a bit less familiar. Our opening set includes Drew Davidson, the veteran band Spyro Gyra, the aforementioned Marcus Johnson, and UK saxman Sean Horsey. Set #2 starts with Urban Jazz Coalition and they're followed by Dominic Amato and stormin' Norman Connors - while Lawson Rollins winds it down. Finally, there's Matt Marshak, Criss Starr, and Eliane Elias with Jakob Elvstrøm in the clean up spot. Yes-in-deed you know it's gonna be great! Spinlist

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