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This Week at Café

September 19th, 2010
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This Week at
... we've chosen some spiffy tunes by Jonathan Fritzén. Diamonds is his new one and that's featured as the showcase cd. In hour 2 on Back Trax, we're kicking it ole skool with Patrice Rushen and the band Wishful Thinking. Then there's Jeff Linsky, Vance Taylor, and Ric Mandell. That's followed later in the hour, by fresh and exciting sounds with Patrick Yandall and Brian Simpson, Jaared is on the show and then we have The Perry Joslin Project; while also appearing are Jonathan Butler, Jeff Kashiwa, and Norman Brown ... all on the radio show that's designed to blow your hair back!

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In This Issue:

Diamonds - Jonathan Fritzén

Long Overdue - Vance Taylor
Arrival - Patrice Rushen
Southern Passage - Jeff Linsky
Carlos, You're ... - Wishful Thinking
The Only One - Ric Mandell

AFTER HOURS : By the Numbers
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#582

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Showcase CD
Diamonds - Jonathan Fritzén:

Hailing from Stockholm Sweden, Jonathan Fritzén attended the Royal Academy of Music. He was one the first recipients of a Jazz Masters degree - additionally, he's worked Swedish TV while backing some of the country's biggest stars. In 2008, his Love Birds debut hinted at Fritzén's tremendous potential, which was to a great extent realized with a polished follow-up in VIP. Named our own Café Jazz #7 album for 2009, that project peaked at #2 and lingered on the charts for over year. Now, new for 2010, is Diamonds, a cd that literally sparkles with excitement. As on his previous album Jonathan is joined by a mix of international smooth jazz star performers. Darren Rahn and Jessy J both contribute to the project, while also appearing are a few familiar names in the likes of Alex Al and Mel Brown. Additionally, Laila Adéle (vocals), Andreas Ekstedt (percussion), and Alex Crown (guitar), play prominently on the disc. Concurrently, Fritzén handles duties on piano, keyboards and programming - he also produced the project while the selections are all original compositions.

Jonathan Fritzén - Diamonds
In so doing, Fritzén delivers a program that yours truly, the swami of smooth, fully predicts will elevate the talented young Swede to stardom! The Nordic Vibe is indeed alive and well - so it's with a large measure of enthusiasm that we take the occasion to nudge Jonathan and a jewel of an album into the dazzle of the showcase spotlight.
Jonathan Fritzén Jonathan Fritzén
Leading in is a tune called Stockholm Nights - a gritty synth groove activates as Fritzén solos on this melodic mover. At the top of hour 2, is Undercover - with a hook laden refrain here's a number that grabs and won't let go while the rhythmic anthem Feelin' The Groove doesn't hold anything back. With a contagious combination of grit, groove, and grace, Jonathan Fritzén's Diamonds is a rock solid musical lozenge fully deserving of its bedazzling title!

CD: Diamonds (2010)
Label: Nordic Night Records

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Back Trax: Part One
Vance Taylor - Long Overdue
Long Overdue - Vance Taylor:
Atlanta native Vance Taylor was 13 when he received a piano and soon after he was dazzling his church congregation with his style. After some exposure to jazz greats like Oscar Peterson, Taylor found his groove. He toured with Peabo Bryson and later became the musical director for Toni Braxton and Earth, Wind, and Fire on a couple of their tours. From there on in, his resume grew to include gigs with Elton John, the late George Howard and a host of others. For the past 5 years, Taylor has played in the band Maze - meanwhile he's sought-after for church functions and a variety of local engagements. Long Overdue was his aptly named cd released back in 2008 and from that effort we have the classy title track featuring the sax work of Larry Jackson!

CD: Long Overdue (2008)
Label: Independent
Patrice Rushen - Signature
Arrival - Patrice Rushen:
Classically trained since the age of three, Patrice Rushen was just in her teens when she won a solo competition at the 1972 Monterey Jazz Festival. At the age of 20, Rushen debuted with an instrumental release, but within just a few years she had shifted from jazz to club and R&B. With a series of releases thru until the mid 80s, Patrice gained an audience while enjoying some chart action. Although her recordings weren't quite as prolific from that point on, Rushen branched out as a musical director, guiding the world tour for none other than Janet Jackson. In 2004, Ms Rushen became the first woman to serve as musical director for the Grammys; all the while she contributed to releases by Lee Ritenour, Stanley Clarke, and George Benson among others. Now on this occasion, we're turning back the hands of time and revisiting her Grammy nominated Signature cd from 1997!

CD: Signature (1997)
Label: Discovery

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Back Trax: Part Two
Jeff Linsky - Passport to the Heart
Southern Passage - Jeff Linsky:
An appealing guitarist who was for the most part self-taught, Jeff Linsky began playing the guitar at the age of ten. The So-Cal native was just 17 when he began touring with pop groups like the Grass Roots and The Standells. By 19, his focus had shifted to combining his love for classical guitar with his interest in jazz and improvisation. He began traveling the world with stops in Hawaii, the Caribbean, the South Pacific, and the south of France before finally relocating to San Francisco's Bay Area in the late 80s. Along the way, he performed with a variety of musicians from the likes of Gypsie violinist Markus Reinhardt to the master of the ukulele, Ohta-San. Specializing in Brazilian and Latin jazz, Linsky recorded a series of engaging releases and from perhaps his best known release, the '97 effort entitled Passport to the Heart, we have the expressive sway of Southern Passage!

CD: Passport to the Heart (1997)
Label: Concord Records
Wishful Thinking - Train of Thought (The Best of ...)
Carlos, You're Blowing My Mind - Wishful Thinking:
Formed in 1984 by Tim Weston, the combo Wishful Thinking was essentially a 5-man unit that relied on the frontline interplay between guitar & vibes. Enjoying critical acclaim, they defined the cutting edge of the contemporary jazz movement on the West Coast. With a line-up that included drummer David Garibaldi, Chris Boardman on keys, bassist Jerry Watts Jr., and Dave Shank on vibes and percussion, the group recorded three albums. During the band's final year, Vinnie Colaiuta and Mitchel Forman filled the drum and keyboard chairs respectively for one additional project. Released in 1995, the compilation Train of Thought features twelve of the band's most popular selections. From that effort, we have the Weston composition Carlos, You're Blowing My Mind!

CD: Train of Thought - The Best of Wishful Thinking (1995)
Label: Soul Coast
Ric Mandell - A Road Less Traveled
The Only One - Ric Mandell :
Based on the West Coast, keyboardist Ric Mandell played a variety of venues thruout California in the 90s & into the new millennium. In 2001, after years of gigging, Mandell assembled a superb supporting cast and independently issued his debut. Appearing on the disc: Peter Neff on guitar, Roberto Vally on bass, Roy Wiegand on trumpet, Gary Gardner on percussion, and Steve Marsh, Micah Nelson, & Ron Blake on various saxes. Entitled The Road Less Traveled, on the project Mandell nicely tempered his jazz sensibilities with a variety of pop and rock influences. From that release, which unfortunately remains his only effort to date, we have a great track which echoes that lonely sentiment in The Only One!

CD: A Road Less Traveled (2001)
Label: Handgame Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
By the Numbers: Here's a segment that's a bit different! Each selection on this installment has a number in its title and we've done this sequentially hitting the integers 1 thru 12. Now we couldn't find a tune that had the lucky #13 in its title - so we went a bit random & inserted a twenty-two instead and that will be the closing selection! We're calling the feature "By the Numbers", once again proving that you can count on Café Jazz for unique & creative programming! Playlist for Ed#582

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