Here Once More
With Our '09 Encore!

This Week at Café

January 17th, 2010
Edition #554 Previously Next

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This Week at Cafe Part 2 in our Best of 2009 Review:
We're here once more with our 2009 encore - this being part 2 in the series. This show includes some of the sound innovators for the year such as Bahama Soul Club and the band Tea - additionally we have tracks from Benson, Braun, and Cooling - as well there's music from relative newcomers in Jonathan Fritzén and JD Daniel. Flautist Althea René is on the show, and we add to that selections by Jay Soto, The Rippingtons, and Paul Taylor. So I hope you can stay with for the entire two hours as we continue to play all the was fine in '09 - and to get things started we have Joyce Cooling with our in-house #2 track for the year - as we pop the cork and buy another round for the Best of '09!

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

In This Issue:

Dolores in Pink - Joyce Cooling
She's So Precious - AJ Baker
Ibiza - Tea
Butterfly - Swing Out Sister
VIP - Jonathan Fritzén
One Step Closer - The Rippingtons

AFTER HOURS : Best '09 Pt2 Cont.

SPINLIST: Spinlist ONE YEAR AGO: The Café Jazz Best of 2008 - Part 2

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Highlights Hour One
Dolores in Pink - Joyce Cooling:
For nearly a decade, Joyce Cooling & Jay Wagner had made a name for themselves as one of the most dynamic acts in The San Francisco Bay area - then in 1996 the South of Market single brought their sound to the global scene. Subsequently, they've issued a string of successful and highly creative projects, all of this setting the stage for 2009's Global Cooling release - now cd lucky #7 and one that we consider an absolute gem! More than just a play on a phrase, the project title seems to rightly underscore that Ms Cooling is one of the classiest players in the world today - a fact that we can readily attest to as Cooling and Wagner were the only performers to place two tracks among our top 10 singles for the year! From the Café Jazz #5-cd for 2009 we have the #2-track in the Brazilian-tinged Dolores in Pink! Joyce Cooling's Global Cooling Showcased on Ed#527 - May 17th, 2009Joyce Cooling Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #432 - January 28th, 2007

CD: Global Cooling (2009)
Label: Group 2 Productions

Joyce Cooling - Global Cooling

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Anthony James Baker - Looking Ahead
She's So Precious - Anthony James Baker:
After stops in LA and Denver, Anthony James Baker now finds himself back in his native England. Having issued his solo debut in 2001, AJB nonetheless made a lasting impression upon yours truly - so that even though we missed his live cd a couple of years back, there was a genuine sense of expectancy when we cracked the seal on this latest effort! With contributions by Bobby Wells on keys and saxman Darren Rahn, who also split the production duties, this was and is one highly impressive disc - from it we have Baker's first single to radio in She's So Precious. Now here's a tune with an engaging melody & refrain, and one which has the full potential to break Baker onto the scene as a major player. We believe, and will do what we can to spread the word! AJ Baker and Looking Ahead in the Spotlight on Ed#547 - November 29th, 2009

EP: Looking Ahead (2009)
Label: Independent Release
Tea - Dreams
Ibiza - Tea:
Now here's a project that's outstanding - it rated as one of the most pleasant surprises for 2009 for several reasons and right now I'm speaking specifically about our track selection in the tune Ibiza. The nucleus for the band Tea is guitarist Franck Balloffet, from Lyon France and drummer & keyboardist Phil Bunch from Southern California. They've worked together since the early 90s on what has turned into a series of soulful adventures in Afro-beat. Tea is their current creation. After drawing a measure of critical acclaim with their 2004 debut, they issued their follow-up in Dreams just this past year. Named for the "party island" in the Mediterranean, Ibiza features the legendary Brian Auger on the Hammond B3 and Steve Ngondo on Congolese vocals - the result is a piece with an intensity that must be experienced to be appreciated! Tea debuts Ibiza on Fresh Trax Ed#534 - August 23rd, 2009

CD: Dreams (2009)
Label: Teajuana Music

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Highlights Hour Two
Swing Out Sister - Beautiful Mess
Butterfly - Swing Out Sister:
To our way of thinking, Swing Out Sister with singer Corinne Drewery & Andy Connell on keys is one of the very few bands offering vocal scores that perfectly match the vibe of today's smooth scene. Nonetheless, SOS has never really attained more than a small but avid following in North America. They've achieved success back in the UK, but it's in Japan where their soothing style has made them one of the most popular acts in the country. Beautiful Mess is now somewhere around their 18th release since they debuted their classy blend of pop & jazz back in 1985. Ever true to the lush & sophisticated arrangements that have long characterized their music, this cd remains ever true to that chic mantra! From the album Beautiful Mess, we're pleased to feature Corinne Drewery and Andy Connell with a hook-laden gem entitled Butterfly! Swing Out Sister Then & Now Spotlight Feature on Ed #353 - March 6th, 2005

CD: Beautiful Mess (2009)
Label: Shanachie Records
Jonathan Fritzén - VIP
VIP - Jonathan Fritzén:
With two great releases in a two-year period, it's readily evident that Swedish keyboardist Jonathan Fritzen is the real deal. When we debuted Fritzen's initial offering titled Love Birds on our show back in October of 2008, we promised that in the future we would "be closely checking smooth jazz projects with the 'made in Sweden' tag!" True to our word, there was heightened expectation when within scant months Fritzen reappeared with his sophomore effort in VIP. Suffice it to say, we were not disappointed. In point of fact, while showcasing VIP in September of '09, we noted that VIP showed "ample evidence that the Nordic vibe" was not only alive, but that it was also "doing very well thank you" … an opinion that was shared by a host of others 'in the know'. So how right was all the crystal ball gazing? Well, it was a pair of 7's for Herr Fritzén as in addition to providing our #7 cd for 2009, Fritzen himself rated as our in-house #7 most played artist for the entire year! Jonathan Fritzén' VIP Showcased on Ed#518 - March 15th, 2009

CD: VIP (2009)
Label: Nordic Night Records
The Rippingtons - Modern Art
One Step Closer - The Rippingtons :
The release of Modern Art in the first half of 2009, marked album #18 for Russ Freeman and the revolving band of musicians recording under the banner of The Rippingtons. The project was the first since the 20th Anniversary release, which celebrated the band's first two decades as a pioneering ensemble on the smooth scene. This latest effort therefore signifies The Rippingtons entry into the 3rd decade of their being - there is an additional wow-factor however, since appearing on the cd is none other than Jeff Kashiwa as the returning saxophonist! Although not the band's original horn player, that distinction being shared by Kenny G & Brandon Fields, Kashiwa was nonetheless the "reed man" during the 90s when The Ripps captured the hearts of smoothie-fans everywhere. Now rounding the band profile, we have drummer Dave Karasony, Rico Belled on bass, and Bill Heller on keys. From that very effort, there's the exceptional One Step Closer that we're pleased to present on this occasion. To be totally honest, I'm not certain what The Ripps had in mind with the track title or what we're one step closer to. This time out though, as we're one show closer to completing our best of '09, the excellence of this piece reminds us it's not so much the destination as the getting that's really half the fun! The Rippingtons debut Modern Art on Fresh Trax Ed#517 - March 8th, 2009The Rippingtons Then & Now on Ed #403 - April 16th, 2006

CD: Modern Art (2009)
Label: Peak Records / Concord Music Group

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site and Select Affiliates:
Part 2 in The Best of 2009 resumes: As our encore continues, it's more of the Best of '09 Review Part 2. This time we've selected a few artists that may not be quite as well known such as Pete Lacey and John Pedersen. But lest you think we're way out there, we've mixed in a few more familiar names such as Dan Siegel and The Sax Pack. Starting things we have Dean Grech and Galaxy Lounge - they're followed by The Sax Pack and U-Nam. Set #2 includes John Pedersen and Pete Lacey plus Noel Webb and Paula Atherton. Then we finish with a 5-pack of selections - there's Dan Siegel, Freddie Fox, and Brian O'Neal, as well as Larry Lagerberg and finally Johannes Linstead with The Happy Song! Simply click on the paw for a complete list of all the selections played! Spinlist

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