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This Week at Café

February 7th, 2010
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This Week at
… it's the Grammy nominated Rippingtons in the spotlight with Modern Art - we've cued three great tracks and we'll be featuring those on the showcase segment. Then stay tuned for Fresh Trax with all the latest and best in new music. Highlights on this edition include Winnipeg's Walle Larsson and guitarist Drew Davidson; also appearing is Chris Standring while debuting are keyboardist Matt Belcher and the band Wine & Chocolate with one of our early picks as a top track for the year. Then later in the hour, we're turning back the hands of time with a few favourites from days gone by - there'll be music from David Benoit and Art Porter Jr. As well, we have the project known as Dancing Fantasy plus Marc Antoine - while the remainder of the program is gingered with selections by Tony Vattimo, Eric Marienthal, and Natural High … all on the radio show with a fondness for the fantastic!
In This Issue:

Modern Art - The Rippingtons

Beaches - Walle Larsson
Going Coastal - Drew Davidsen
Bossa Blue - Chris Standring
Color My Soul - Matthew
Step by Step - Wine & Chocolate

AFTER HOURS : Sunset Ride
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#557

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Showcase CD
Modern Art - The Rippingtons:

It's over two-and-a-half years since the issue of The Rippingtons last album one, which celebrated their 20th anniversary as a pioneering ensemble on the contemporary scene. That project led to extended touring with the unintended consequence that fans have had to wait a bit longer than usual for a follow-up. Even so, the extra time between albums allowed Freeman and the band, the opportunity to work the songs and have them evolve in some amazing ways with more spontaneity and a more natural interaction in the studio. Joining Freeman for the project are Bill Heller on keys - a member of The Ripps since the '99 Topaz release this now being his 7th album with the ensemble - and Dave Karasony on drums - Karasony first played on 2003's Let It Ripp, making this his 4th appearance on a Ripp record the way we figured it. Handling bass duties is new-comer Rico Belled, while long-time member and now returning saxman Jeff Kashiwa makes a special guest appearance, his first full cd since '97's Black Diamond!

The Rippingtons - Modern Art
Subsequently, it's now a pleasure to showcase this power house line-up and the Grammy nominated Modern Art. With the first pair of tracks on the cd spawning two radio singles, we decided to dig just a deeper for our complement of selections.
The Rippingtons!!
The Rippingtons - Bill Heller, Jeff Kashiwa,
Russ Freeman, Dave Karasony, & Rico Belled
Well we made it all the way to track #3 and the tune Black Book - moody and melodic this piece is highlighted by Freeman's work on the electric sitar which he's previously used on only a few occasions - and it opens hour 2 of the show! First up though, it's Freeman in more familiar territory with the acoustic guitar on the aptly named Sweet Lullaby; while for the closer it's our fave on disc in One Step Closer a rouser that was a featured selection as part of our year end re-cap only a few shows ago. Whether performing the melodic, the exotic, or any style in between, The Rippingtons do it with a finesse that makes Modern Art a genuine collector's item! The Rippingtons Then & Now on Ed #403 - April 16th, 2006

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

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Walle Larsson - Beaches
Beaches - Walle Larsson:
For many years, Walle Larsson has tirelessly toiled as the chief standard bearer for smooth jazz in the Canadian heartland. Going back as far as 1990, Larsson has issued a string of four well-received release while additionally for over a decade he's promoted the genre that he loves as a radio show host, thru live appearances, and as the booking agent for a series of in the park concerts at "The Lyric" band shell, Winnipeg's premier outdoor venue in Assiniboine Park. Now a polished veteran, Larsson is set to deliver his latest, an ultra-smooth blend that may well become one of the break-thru releases for the year. From that yet to be titled and soon to be released effort, we have a great tune which may in fact become the title track - it's called Beaches and we know you're gonna luv it!

CD: After The Night (2010)
Label: DockSide Records
Drew Davidsen - Around (Again)
Going Coastal - Drew Davidsen :
Hailing from just outside of Baltimore Maryland, as a youth Drew Davidsen trained classically on cello at the Peabody Conservatory. Over the years, he developed an interest in rock and jazz guitar and after a few summer music camps his interest in the cello was replaced by a fascination with the bass. However, it wasn't until he served in the US Navy that Davidsen actually moved to the guitar - and after his tour of duty, he went about setting up a career as a musician. He played in a few bands, developed his writing talents, and then became a sessionist with dozens of credits. 2007 saw the issue of Drew's own solo debut with his sophomore follow-up Around (Again) being issued just last year. Scoring a hit with the first single to radio in the tune Astro, a song written in memory of his father, the noted astrophysicist from Johns Hopkins who pioneered satellite technology for NASA, Davidsen drew recognition as one of the top breakthru performers for the year. With an appearance at Art Good's Catalina Island Jazz Trax Festival, we could think of no better way to tip our hats to Davidsen than by spinning the track Going Coastal as a nod to his success to date!

CD: Around (Again) (2009)
Label: Creative Soul Jazz

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Chris Standring - Blue Bolero
Bossa Blue - Chris Standring:
As a youth, Chris Standring trained classically as a guitarist while growing up on a farm just northwest of London. He later attended the London College of Music and early in his career, he composed for the BBC and for several theatrical productions. In the mid 90s, Standring relocated to LA & in due course he gained a gig backing the Guitars Saxes & More tour - subsequently he joined Rick Braun's band! It was in 1998 that Standring broke thru with his solo debut & the track Cool Shades which went on to become one of the biggest hits for the year. In the time since his left leaning style has continually provided some intriguing insights into a diverse and creative mindset.
Now Standring bears left of that mark with Blue Bolero, his 6th solo cd and his most adventurous to date. With themes ranging from cinematic to smooth, from reflective to refined, Standring describes the journey as somewhat autobiographical and unifies the concepts using orchestration virtually thruout. From this effort, as daring a foray as any in a genre that otherwise prefers to play it safe, we have the cosmopolitan vibe of the track Bossa Blue. Chris Standring Then & Now on Ed #418 - September 24th, 2006

CD: Blue Bolero (2010)
Label: Ultimate Vibe Records
Matthew Belcher - Color My Soul
Color My Soul - Matthew :
Hailing from San Diego, Matthew Belcher took up the piano when he was five. Growing up, he was influenced by the synth styles of the 80s and as a huge fan of Sting he tried to emulate Sting's compositional technique. For a time Belcher resided in Portland Oregon and it was there in about 1993 that he started playing with a cover band called Paradise while collaborating with one of the members in Tom McNaughton. Although much of Matt & Tom's work showed promise and they were promised much, their efforts went without material gain. In time the partners went their separate ways and it wasn't until 2004, when Belcher was back in California, that he issued his blend of smooth & pop debut. Color My Soul is now his sophomore release and from it we have the pretty & reflective title track and a great example of Matthew's "music to inspire thought and feelings"!

CD: Color My Soul (2009)
Label: Independent
Wine & Chocolate - Snapshots in Motion
Step by Step - Wine & Chocolate :
Wine & Chocolate is an intriguing musical concept conceived of by Grammy-nominated producer and multi-instrumentalist Alex Salzman. With Salzman on guitar, keys & vocals, the combo includes Anthony Aiello on sax & flute with Erin Henry on vocals, while making a special guest appearance is Don Harris on trumpet & flugelhorn. Each member is an accomplished performer in their own right with extensive credits. As Wine & Chocolate they present as hip a blend of vintage jazz as you're likely to hear - all nicely embellished by the some of the sweetest sounds around from the pop and funk side of things - hence the name Wine & Chocolate perfectly encapsulates the many diverse elements of their style. From their Snapshots in Motion debut, we have the scintillating Step by Step - and an early bet to be one of our choice selections in 2010! Stay tuned - there'll be much more from Wine & Chocolate in the weeks ahead!

CD: Snapshots in Motion (2009)
Label: The Factor

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Sunset Ride: … it's a "sunset" theme show with each & every track having the word sunset in its title. The feature opens with Torcuato Mariano - he's followed by Joe McBride, Nils, and Paprika Soul. The second frame is highlighted by a 5-pack beginning with Marion Meadows and then continues with Jonathan Butler and the tune for which we named the segment. Additionally, we have selections by Michael Lington, the band Shakatak, and Louie Shelton. Then wrapping things are Daniel Deaguero and The Braxton Brothers - plus there's Joel Rodney - while in the end it's saxman Ed Calle. So stay tuned for tracks as Rio Sunset, Sunset Bay, and After Sunset - with a total of 13 tracks just perfect for cruzin at twilight! Playlist for Ed#557

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