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This Week at Café

June 13th, 2010
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American Smooth Jazz Awards!
This is when the smooth jazz community toasts its own! The list of nominees is wide reaching and includes not only many of its most popular musicians but also broadcasters and journalists, the vital pistons that drive the genre! Nominees and presenters will be traveling from far and wide - undoubtedly it will be a gala event! Voting is open to the public, so if you are a fan of the music, you are cordially invited to get involved - for your convenience, we've linked to the Awards site, so that you can support all your favourites … perhaps even yours truly in the internet broadcaster category! But, don't delay as the voting deadline is quickly approaching!

This Week at
The Very Best of Café Jazz: Our 9th Annual Installment!

… it's our once a year jamboree called The Very Best of Café Jazz this being our 9th annual installment as we celebrate our 575th anniversary show. We're using our incomparable way-back machine to revisit some of the best music we've played over the course of our 13 year run. So please join us for a program unlike any other that includes nothing but favourites! There's Marion Meadows and Tom Grant plus Pamela Williams and Peter White; while featured selections are from the likes of Paprika Soul, Kevin Toney, and Chris Boardman as well as Vital Information, guitar legend Chet Atkins, and Rhythm Logic - these and others that have clearly defined Café Jazz as The Holy Grail of Smooth. So without delay we get right to the tunes & two full hours of the absolute finest that we have to offer. To begin, we have Marc Antoine and his theme for peace & friendship from 1994 in the track Unity - as we musically pop the cork for show #575 and the VB of Café Jazz your Dom Pérignon of smooth jazz listening!

In This Issue:

Rio Sunset - Paprika Soul
Extra Sensual Perception - Kevin Toney
Morning Mist - Chris Boardman
Maltese Connection - Vital Information
Up in My Treehouse - Chet Atkins
Midnight Conversation - Rhythm Logic


PLAYLIST Spin selections for our 9th Annual The Very Best of!! 25 SHOWS AGO Celebrating 550 Programs - The Very Best of Café Jazz 2009 Edition

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Highlights Hour One
Rio Sunset - Paprika Soul:
As part of the London scene, the fundamental concept for the project known as Paprika Soul was conceived in 1993 by the team of Alan Barnes and Andy Spiller. Operating as Soft Sugar Productions, there were a series of Fluid Vibes EPs, a few singles, and an album - the concept proving a progenitor to Paprika Soul, which debuted in 2001. With an extensive background in music, Spiller had composed for TV and directed & arranged West End Musicals. De facto, he was the backbone of the Paprika Soul sound as in addition to his duties as arranger, engineer, and producer, Spiller was featured on keys and programming. Meanwhile, as executive producer and artistic director Barnes also handled the band's business affairs. Spiller and Barnes developed Paprika Soul into one of the hottest acts on the UK scene, with a pair of albums issued at the front end of the millennium. On this occasion, we've returned to 2002 and Into the Light, Paprika Soul's sophomore release for Rio Sunset - a flawless blend of Brazilian, Cuban and American Soul, here's a tune that represents the essence of our very best of Café Jazz concept!

CD: Into the Light (2002)
Label: Baseline
Links: A.Spiller - A.Barnes -

Paprika Soul - Into the Light

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Kevin Toney - Extra Sensual Perception
Extra Sensual Perception - Kevin Toney:
Detroit native Kevin Toney got his start with Donald Byrd in 1972 and subsequently he was an integral member of The Blackbyrds, a jazz-funk unit that featured some of Byrd's students. After seven albums, including three gold releases and hits like the #1 Walking in Rhythm, Toney released a 1982 cd that he headlined. Even so, for the rest of the 80s, he played as a sideman for the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Frank Sinatra, and Ray Charles. After a stint as a musical conductor for Patti Austin and then for Michael McDonald, Toney directed the music for a variety of productions which included "Ain't Misbehavin' ". Nonetheless, by 1994, KT was set to pursue his solo career in earnest. The Lovescape cd yielded a major hit in "Kings" and then what followed was a series of well received releases that earned Toney the nick name "the master of elegant funk" as described by noted critic Jonathan Widran. From the '99 Extra Sensual Perception release, we have the title track and a tune that clearly marked Toney's arrival as one of the great keyboardists of the day! Kevin Toney Then & Now Spotlight Feature on Ed#405 - May 7th, 2006

CD: Extra Sensual Perception (1999)
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Chris Boardman - Midtown Moves
Morning Mist - Chris Boardman:
Chris Boardman may not exactly be a household name in instrumental music, but there's certainly no doubt he has all the credentials he needs to be among the select few who are. After formal training at Utah's Weber State and Cal State Northridge, Boardman was just 22 when he became Mitzi Gaynor's musical director. He followed that with a Tom Jones gig and a two-and-a-half year world tour with Seals and Crofts all while getting his start in scoring for film & TV. Among his credits are The Wiz and The Color Purple, for which Boardman was an Oscar-nominee; in all he's written over 100 motion picture sound tracks while also winning 6 Emmys for various projects such as the Julie Andrews in Concert special.

In the midst of this, Boardman launched his career as a jazz performer with Wishful Thinking and recorded three albums with them from '84 thru to '91. Concurrently, Chris worked on Tu Do Bem his solo debut that was released in 1991 - we were pleased to present the title track from that project only a few shows ago on Back Trax as a spotlight selection. This led to connecting with Chris and the subsequent revelation of Midtown Moves a 2001 EP that Chris recorded for iTunes. And what a pleasant surprise that was as from it we have Morning Mist. With Paul Jackson Jr., Luis Conte and Eric Marienthal guesting, here's simply one of the most exquisite selections it's ever been our pleasure to feature on our show!

EP: Midtown Moves (2001)
Label: Epic / CBS Records

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Highlights Hour Two
Vital Information - Fiafiaga (Celebration)
Maltese Connection - Vital Information:
Vital Information drummer & founder, Steve Smith was enrolled at Berklee in Boston before he signed on with jazz violinist Jean-Luc Ponty - he toured with and appeared on Ponty's '77 Enigmatic Ocean cd. Over the years, Smith has played with the likes of The Buddy Rich Big Band and the jazz ensemble Steps Ahead as well as with artists as diverse as Andrea Bocelli, Ronnie Montrose, and Savage Garden. Nonetheless, he's likely best know for his stint with the arena rock band Journey. While still a member of Journey, Smith began shifting towards more varied and challenging music and started the jazz fusion project Vital Information in 1983. For a time after he was fired by Journey singer Steve Perry, Vital Information became his primary focus and there was a string of albums issued thruout the 80s. Although he's taken on a variety of projects in the time since then, the band continues to be a major force in the realm of fusion and since its inception the line-up has included the likes of Tom Coster, Mike Stern, Frank Gambale, and Tim Landers. On this occasion, we return to one their earlier releases in Fiafiaga, subtitled Celebration, and from that effort we have the Tom Coster composition Maltese Connection, a festive piece featuring the saxwork of then long time & original Vitalee in David Wilczewski!

CD: Fiafiaga (Celebration) (1988)
Label: Columbia / CBS Records
Chet Atkins - Sails
Up in My Treehouse - Chet Atkins CGP:
Hailing from Luttrell TN and inspired by the finger picking style of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins developed a unique method of playing that in time brought him many admirers from both within and beyond the country music scene as well as international acclaim as a guitar legend. He recorded hundreds of solo projects while taking part in several hundred more as a session musician and record producer. Among his many honors, Atkins received 14 Grammies as well as the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally he was recognized on nine occasions as the CMA Instrumentalist of the Year while also being inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. Moreover, later in his career, Atkins lightheartedly bestowed upon himself the CGP designation, standing for 'Certified Guitar Player'.

Nonetheless, in the early 80s, Atkins began to feel handcuffed by his record company, and as a result, in 1982, he signed with Columbia Records where he was afforded the opportunity to display his talent in a variety of contexts. Jazz had always been a strong love, and often in his career, country music purists had criticized Atkins for his jazz influences. From that era, we've gone to the Sails cd. Although the project veers well into new age, we've chosen a tune called Up in My Treehouse upon which Atkins CGP exudes his integrity as a guitar musician!

CD: Sails (1987)
Label: Columbia
Rhythm Logic - Sweet Talk
Midnight Conversation - Rhythm Logic:
A four-piece combo comprised of veteran performers with well-established credentials, Rhythm Logic was a super group of the late 90s that generally wasn't given its due. Drummer Michael White was well known on the LA session scene having worked a staggering number of genres while for his part keyboardist Brian Simpson had toured with biggies in the likes of Najee and George Benson. For over a decade, Simpson has worked with Dave Koz as his Musical Director while more recently he's enjoyed a resurgent solo career. Both White & Simpson had issued well-received solo projects earlier in the decade. Moreover, Ron Smith on guitar had sessioned with Patti LaBelle and George Howard, and along with Michael White, he co-wrote the title track for George Benson's That's Right cd. Meantime the talents of bassist Dwayne "Smitty" Smith, once a pro-bound athlete, landed him a gig touring with Anita Baker in support of her award-winning Rapture cd. From their sophomore Sweet Talk album, that's recently been re-issued, we've chosen the late night exchange called Midnight Conversation! Brian Simpson in the Then & Now Spotlight on Ed#387 - Dec. 4th, 2005

CD: Sweet Talk (2000)
Label: VideoArts Music

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
More of our 9th Annual The Very Best of! We have selections by 3rd Force and Greg Adams in addition to tracks from Paul Hardcastle and Lee Ritenour to name but a few. We've included 12 prime cuts which have earned Café Jazz a wide sweeping reputation as the little radio show with the great big sound! And to begin there's a flash back from Nils and his huge hit from 2005 as we raise our glass once more to a great listening encore! Spin selections for our 9th Annual The Very Best of!!

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