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This Week at Café

May 23rd, 2010
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American Smooth Jazz Awards!
... in what is BEHEMOTH news in our 13-years of hosting Café Jazz, yours truly has garnered ASJA consideration as internet broadcaster for the year. What can we say but that we're honored and humbled. Now the only thing bigger than being nominated would be to actually win … that's why there's this little pitch. So if you dig the sounds of the radio show for people who don't like to listen to the radio, here's how you can show some luv. We're conveniently linked to the Awards site, so you can give a tangible thumbs up to all your favourites … hopefully you'll help in making smooth jazz history!

This Week at
… on this edition we're spotlighting keyboardist Alan Hewitt and his new one called Retroactive - we have a trio of tasty tunes all as part of the showcase segment. In the second half of the show, there's a 5-pack of cutting-edge Fresh Trax. Headlining are Gerald Albright and Steve Cole, there's something brand new from Les Sabler; also appearing is trumpeter Eric Bolvin while debuting is the group from Budapest Hungary called Mizar. Then after the new, there's the tried and true. Getting us started will be Greg Vail and Larry Carlton - then following are Keiko Matsui and Peter White. It's gonna be fantastic! Nonetheless, ready and queued is the band 3rd Force with Peter White guesting - from Collective Force we're giving in to the track Sweet Surrender!
In This Issue:

Retroactive - Alan Hewitt

Undun - Steve Cole
Crescent Shores - Les Sabler
Late Night Call - Eric Bolvin
A Tale Of Two Hearts - Mizar
Get On The Floor - Gerald Albright

PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#572

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Showcase CD
Retroactive - Alan Hewitt:

If you listen to Alan Hewitt today, it's hard to believe that back in the early 90s he worked with the metal band Warrant on one of their best charting albums. A native of north Michigan, Hewitt attended Berklee in Boston and while issuing a handful of well received releases on his own, for the most part he's devoted his career to backing the likes of EW&F and Donnie Osmond. Having composed for film & TV, Hewitt is an award-winner whose credits included The Osbournes, ET, and the Oprah Winfrey Show. All that changed with the issue of Noche de Pasion in 2004 - an album that reached #3 on our in-house list of most played albums, a feat that Hewitt duplicated with Metropolis a couple of years later. Since then the man who's billed as platinum producer to the stars, has himself gone on to enjoy star status. He's made numerous guest spots, having recently backed Steve Oliver, while he's also appeared as a headliner on several smooth cruises! Now in truth, it's highly unlikely that Hewitt's success is attributable to our adulation alone.

Alan Hewitt - Retroactive
Notwithstanding that fact, we're going on notice that after an absence of about 4 years between studio efforts, Hewitt is poised for similar or even greater success with the 2010 issue of Retroactive. In the meantime, the band The Moody Blues has commandeered Hewitt as part of an extensive tour; nonetheless it's with great anticipation to now shove album & author into the glow of our spotlight!
Alan Hewitt
Alan Hewitt
For the occasion we have selected a scrumptious complement of tunes… beginning with the very track that lent its name to the disc. Backed by the Desert Storm Horns comprised of Steve Madaio, Will Donato, and Steve Clark, Hewitt tinkles the keys while doubling on piano and B-3. All For You features a relentless melody all ably aided by the sax work of Gerald Spikes, while Hewitt sparkles on vibes on our personal favourite on the disc - an up tempo mover called In The Works. Now on our show we've often used the mantra … where creativity meets taste! To that we now add … and that's where you'll find Alan Hewitt!

CD: Retroactive (2010)
Label: Nu Groove Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Steve Cole - Moonlight
Undun - Steve Cole:
After high school, Steve Cole attended Northwestern, where he explored modern classical sax and where as an undergrad, he was either a finalist or semi-finalist in several prestigious competitions. He went on to earn an MBA which led to a professorship at the McNally Smith College of Music - a position he continues to maintain. Now in the process of gigging around, Cole connected with Brian Culbertson & played on three of his albums. This in turn resulted in the launch of his own career as a headliner and in that regard he's enjoyed four #1 hits. For the last few years, Cole has been active as a member of The Sax Pack so that it's been four years since his last solo outing. Nonetheless, from the forthcoming Moonlight cd, we have Steve's take on a Guess Who classic from back in 1969. It's called Undun and I know you're gonna luv it!

CD: Moonlight (2010)
Label: Mack Avenue/Artistry
Les Sabler - Crescent Shores
Crescent Shores - Les Sabler:
Fresh off the 2008 Café Jazz #1-album for the year in Sweet Drive, this past year Les Sabler issued Live Recorded At The Sarasota Opera House, a cd whose seeds were planted back in 1995. For a variety of reasons the tapes from that memorable event sat unfulfilled until the passing of Steve Gould, one the band members, stirred Sabler's passion to share the music. Additionally, the process proved therapeutic and now sees Sabler's latest release as a reunion effort with Allon Sams - the two had collaborated extensively on Sabler's 2003 Bridge the Gap - and I for one couldn't be more thrilled to see that connection revitalized. From the soon to be issued Crescent Shores, the team of Sabler & Sams whisks us away with the balmy beat of the sun-laden tune that lent its name to the disc! Les Sabler Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #470 - February 10th, 2008

CD: Crescent Shores (2010)
Label: Big Deal Records
Links: Sabler - Sams -

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Eric Bolvin - No Boundaries
Late Night Call - Eric Bolvin:
An award-winning composer & arranger, Eric Bolvin's diverse résumé includes everything from playing and writing to teaching and producing. The San Jose native has been part of over 50 cds and in the process he's worked with the likes of Richie Cole, Dave Weckl, Tom Scott, Brian Bromberg, Russell Ferrante, Jeff Lorber, and many others. Additionally, Bolvin owns his own publishing company, Faded Duck Music, while he's also authored several books and manuals. Moreover, starting with a 2002 debut, the veteran trumpeter has released five solo albums. No Boundaries is the soon to be issued cd and from it there's the soothing chill of Late Night Call!

CD: No Boundaries (2010)
Label: Inner Vision Records
Mizar - Natural Design
A Tale Of Two Hearts - Mizar:
Hailing from Budapest Hungary, Mizar is a trio whose members are in their late twenties & early thirties - each has well established credentials on the Hungarian scene. Singer, songwriter, & keyboardist Fanni Sárközy plays with a number of local acts and teaches classical piano; drummer Gábor Pusztai tours regularly as percussionist for the Budapest Festival Orchestra; and guitarist Péter Schneider does double duty as a graphic designer and program editor for local TV. The band formed in 2002 and by the time of their first album in 2007, they had already done a couple of scores for film while picking up a fistful of prizes, one of which included access to the best studio in Hungary. The result was the '09 issue of Natural Design their international debut. Tapping into a progressive blend of jazz, 80s' pop, funk and world music all framed by the rich heritage of Central Europe, we present the unique allure of A Tale of Two Hearts!

CD: Natural Design (2009)
Label: Beagle Beat Records
Gerald Albright - Pushing the Envelope
Get On The Floor - Gerald Albright:
It was just a week ago that we featured Gerald Albright with a tune from his debut as part of the Back Trax segment. Now only 7 days after that, here's Gerald again, this time it's on Fresh Trax. Pushing the Envelope is his soon-to-be-issued 12th and latest and it's billed as Albright's most rewarding session to date. To quote Albright, he "didn't want to hold anything back" and "really wanted to push the envelope and give people a little more edge," and in that regard he's definitely on the money. In addition to producing and arranging the project - Albright played a variety of saxes as well as flute, bass, and keys, all while also handling synth, EWI and programming duties. Consisting of eight originals, Pushing The Envelope offers two covers - the classic Close To You by Bacharach & David, plus a great take on a Michael Jackson tune originally recorded back in 1979. With Gerald's daughter Selina on vocals, from Pushing the Envelope, we have the funky-disco of that very tune as Albright pays tribute to the late King of Pop!

CD: Pushing the Envelope (2010)
Label: Heads Up / Concord Music Group

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
North, South, East and Wes: … a 270° panoramic special and the 4th and final installment in our current series ... named for the tune North, South, East and Wes by Chuck Loeb! Playlist for Ed#572

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