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This Week at Café

April 25th, 2010
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American Smooth Jazz Awards!
HUGE news … yours truly has garnered consideration as smooth jazz internet broadcaster of the year. We've received a few nods from the Canadian Awards these past few seasons and now we're blown away to mention we're part of the American Awards as well! So if you enjoy the style of the hippest show on radio here's how you can show a little luv. Just log on at the ASJA site to vote for all your favourites!

This Week at
… we profile Stefano Tirone's S-Tone Inc. and Moon in Libra - a definite high-water mark for the music we luv! The second hour sees the Fresh Trax feature with all the latest and best in new music. Highlights for this event are from the keyboardist recording as Tomazz and from veteran guitarist Jonathan Butler. Also appearing is David Benoit, the man soon to be the honoree at the inaugural ASJ Awards; debuting is Nitewind out of Bend Oregon, while on guitar Christophe De Villa comes to us from the Toulouse area of South-West France. Then following Fresh Trax, we're hitching our wagon to some incredible listening. It's a spellbinding set starting with Ultrablue and Louie Shelton and then it continues with the David Arkenstone and Nicholas Gunn as Briza, plus there's Slim Man's hip and funky Bona Fide band - while strewn thruout are tunes by Jaared, Vision Jazz, and Cinematone!
In This Issue:

Moon in Libra - S-Tone Inc.

Garrick Street - Tomazz
Make Room For Me - Jonathan Butler
Botswana Bossa Nova - David Benoit
Dark Alley - Nitewind
Tender Love - Christophe De Villa

AFTER HOURS : Smooth Move
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#568

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Showcase CD
Moon in Libra - S-Tone Inc.:

Based in Milan Italy, Stefano Tirone earned a degree in architecture back in the 80s, but for the better part of the last 20 years he's balanced that with a career in music. Initially studying guitar and then later piano, Tirone become interested in recording early on but he didn't debut until an acid jazz project in 1992. That initial effort laid the framework for S-Tone Inc that followed in '96.

With an ear to refining that sound, Stefano found his direction in 2002 with the issue of Sobrenatural and what was already the 3rd cd under the banner of S-Tone Inc. There have now been five releases in the series, with Moon in Libra as the fifth and most recent. This latest effort come after a four year period, which to a large extent was dedicated to the search for a more mature and personal form of expression!

S-Tone Inc. - Moon in Libra
Bolstered by many of Milan's finest, the ranks of S-Tone Inc. regularly swell to double digit strength with several exceptional vocalists and a 4-piece horn section, in addition to strings, vibes, percussion, drums, bass, and keys. Meanwhile, Stefano masterfully orchestrates the entire proceedings and, while doubling on the Wurlitzer and electric guitar, he also handles programming and a few vocals. Incorporating ingredients from Brazilian music, plus elements of jazz, funk and soul, Tirone is nonetheless always mindful of his roots that extend back to club and house. In keeping with these features, S-Tone Inc. perfectly mirrors many of the principles we espouse in our own musical philosophy!
Stefano Tirone - Mr. S-Tone Inc.!!
Stefano Tirone - Mr. S-Tone Inc.
Soooo… with unmitigated delight, it's a pleasure to feature Stefano Tirone, aka S-Tone Inc., and Moon in Libra as the showcase release. We have a choice complement of three exceptional selections … leading with How High is the Moon. Featuring some expressive slide trombone courtesy of Beppe Caruso, this is a potent mix resonating with power and melody all highlighted by the super vocals of Ms Angie Brown as an added dimension! At the top of our second hour is the gorgeous Lua e Xangô taking its name from Lua for Moon and from Xangô, the Brazilian god of thunder and lightning - both are venerated in Yoruban mythology. Finally, we sign off with Universe of Love and the message of peace contained therein! Creative, moving, expressive, and dynamic, Moon in Libra sets a definite high-water mark for the music we luv!

CD: Moon in Libra (2009)
Label: Schema Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Tomazz - Lucid Dream
Garrick Street - Tomazz:
His real name is Thomas James Ackley and he's been involved in music for about the past 20 years. Starting as a recording engineer in Philadelphia, Ackley worked with a variety of independents and then "graduated" to working as the keyboard tech for high profilers such as Boyz to Men and Grover Washington. After moving to New York in the mid 90s, he joined the Hit Factory Studio and engineered for Celine Dion, Will Smith, and others. By the turn of the millennium, Ackley's focus had begun to shift to remixes and to greater involvement in his own work. Debuting under the pseudonym of Tomazz in 2007, Lucid Dream is now his 2nd smooth release and 3rd over all.
By way of explanation, when something is lucid, it's completely comprehensible and characterized by a clear perception or understanding. With a mix of flavours from jazzy piano to an urban vibe, we present the tune Garrick Street as a shining example!

CD: Lucid Dream (2010)
Label: Blue Claw Music
Jonathan Butler - So Strong
Make Room For Me - Jonathan Butler:
Jonathan Butler was born in Cape Town South Africa the youngest of 12 children and grew up under apartheid, a government policy that discriminated against non-whites. Butler found his escape in music and began singing publicly when he was seven. As a 13-year-old, Butler made history when his debut record became the first by a black artist to ever be played on white radio in South Africa. Soon after, he relocated to England where his self-titled album broke internationally and was nominated for a Grammy. The new one is entitled So Strong and it's his 17th to go along with several compilations. From that effort due for release in May, we have the first single to radio with the instrumental Make Room For Me!

CD: So Strong (2010)
Label: Rendezvous Entertainment

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
David Benoit - Earthglow
Botswana Bossa Nova - David Benoit:
To coin a phrase, there's been a lot of water under the bridge since David Benoit debuted back in 1977. A native of Bakersfield CA, Benoit grew up in The South Bay of near by LA. His formal training included lessons with Arturo Toscanini's pianist and studies in theory and composition at El Camino College. While later, he attended UCLA and focused on orchestration and film scoring. Then in 1976, Benoit became Lainie Kazan's Musical Director before assuming similar roles with Ann Margaret and Connie Stevens. As a five-time Grammy nominee, he's recorded nearly 30 albums including a couple as The Benoit/Freeman Project, a pair of seasonal releases, one Best of, several soundtrack compilations, and another yet still as a charter member of the Rippingtons. It's no wonder then that the man is soon to be the first honoree at the inaugural American Smooth Jazz Awards. So it was that in late 2008, Benoit needed a break from the LA lifestyle. Heading up to the mountains near Saratoga, he drew inspiration for two unique pieces that became the foundation for his latest cd entitled Earthglow. From that current endeavour, we have the intriguing opening groove in Botswana Bossa Nova!

CD: Earthglow (2010)
Label: Heads Up International / Concord Music Group
Nitewind - In the Shadows
Dark Alley - Nitewind:
Coming to us from Bend Oregon is the band Nitewind. Led by Martin Wilson on guitar and David Payne on trumpet & keys, the sounds of the combo are filled by Dan Lange on tenor sax, Rick Meyer on bass, and Thom Bergeron on alto sax. Wilson and Payne have been working together since the mid 80s and together they write the bulk of the Nitewind material. Merging elements of jazz, Latin, and pop, in the early 90s, their In The Shadows release gained airplay on KTWV, the Wave in LA. Recently re-issued as a 2010 project, we've gone to that effort for a moody passage entitled Dark Alley!

CD: In the Shadows (2010)
Label: Spirit Productions
Christophe De Villa - Jazz and Soulful
Tender Love - Christophe De Villa:
Meet Christophe De Villa, the Parisian born guitarist now based in the Toulouse area of South-West France. Having started guitar at 14, De Villa joined a few bands playing the music of the 70s - he still loves groups such as Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple as well as some of the punk bands in The Sex Pistols and The Clash. At pretty well the same time, he discovered the funky edge in disco music and over the years, he's progressively moved in that direction. Nonetheless, an inability to make headway put De Villa off from pursuing music professionally, that is until the arrival of acid jazz. Ronny Jordan's The Antidote was particularly inspiring as it perfectly bridged the gap between jazz and funkier styles. So it was that De Villa became interested in things like smooth & house while maintaining his affinity for many of the elements of the acid jazz movement. After a miscue or two, he created his own label and moved to Toulouse where he enjoyed a DJ career from 1995 thru until 2006. Finally, all the pieces lined up squarely so that De Villa's became clear. He set about honing his jazz guitar skills and then for the next couple of years he worked on producing his Jazz and Soulful cd which he named in an instant. From that well-named effort, we've selected an upbeat tune entitled True Love!

CD: Jazz and Soulful (2010)
Label: Digistudio

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Smooth Move: … a smooth & relaxing 14-track set based on the word smooth, all as part of our ongoing connections series. We've called this edition, Smooth Move after the tune by Dirk Richter & Randall Crissman from 1997. So this time the playlist includes 4 tunes going by title Smooth Sailing, a couple more simply called Smooth, there's a Smoothie as well as Smooth Sensation and Riff to the Smooth, plus a few others like Smooth Groove, Smooth Vegas, Smooth Operator, and Smooth as Silk! Set #1 has Soul Ballet, 3D, Candy Dulfer, and Mike Catalano. In the second inning ... The Jazzmasters, Ken Navarro, Greg Adams, and Terry Disley; while the 3rd and final frame includes Sekou Bunch, Dirk Richter, Double Scale, Jeff Friend, and Chris Camozzi. But right off, we start with one of those Smooth Sailing tracks and it's by Peter White! Playlist for Ed#568

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