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Melody with Muscle!
This Week at Café

December 12th, 2010
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This Week at
… taking center stage on this edition is Michael Fair! Funk in the Trunk is the new one from the Nashville-based horn player and we’ve cued a terrific trio of tracks – all as part of the showcase segment. Then there’s the Back Trax section of the show in hour 2, as we swing our doors wide open to a time-travelling adventure. This installment features The Alan Parsons Project with a track from the late 70s as well as a solo effort by Bill Sharpe, the long-time keyboardist for the band Shakatak. Also appearing are the combo known as Elements with a tune from the 80s; while rounding the set are Rohan Reid and trumpet lady Kiku Collins. Then after the Back Trax are Vincent Ingala and Cal Harris Jr., there’s the latest configuration of the group Fourplay plus a tune from Synthpathic out of Turkey; while glistening thruout the remainder of the show are polished plays from the likes of Dave Koz, Terry Disley, and Jonathan Butler – on the radio show that combines melody with muscle!
In This Issue:

Funk in the Trunk - Michael Fair

Calypso Coast - Elements
Secret Garden - Alan Parsons Project
Hypnotique - Bill Sharpe
Trouble Up Warieka Hill - Rohan Reid
Mr. Barista - Kiku Collins

AFTER HOURS : Fresh Listening
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#594

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Showcase CD
Funk in the Trunk - Michael Fair:

Nashville flugelhorn & trumpet player Michael Fair might be considered a bit of an anomaly as a jazz musician based in Music City USA. Fair took up trumpet at the age of 12 and began playing along to Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass that his parents were listening to. He earned a bachelor's degree from Middle Tennessee State in 1979 and then he went to session work and backing many top performers appearing in the American Country Capital. But there's another side to Fair's music, as over the past 20 years, he's been playing and recording smooth jazz in a city much better known for its country leanings and its Christian music scene! But why smooth jazz? It all comes down to the tone and the groove and that's what moves Michael Fair the most! In 1995, he connected with Brandon Barnes, a multi Grammy nominated recipient of numerous songwriting awards - over the years they've collaborated on several well-received projects.

Michael Fair - Funk in the Trunk
Michael Fair - Playin' Strong
Michael Fair...playin' strong!
Recently Fair and Barnes combined their talents once again for the cd Funk in the Trunk, now their 4th joint effort. As with the previous releases, this project is produced impeccably while presenting a mix of funky jazz styles. With influences ranging from Herb Alpert and Chuck Mangione to Chet Baker, Fair's tone is always full and rich - so it's now a pleasure to nudge Fair and Funk in the Trunk into the Café Jazz spotlight. To begin the feature, there's a haunting ballad entitled Tell Me Why. Come Back to Me hits us up at the start of hour 2 with a groove that's relaxing and smooth. While in the end, we take time to reminisce with the feel-good nostalgia of I Remember When! Changes over the past few years have seen a lot of the air let out of smooth jazz - thankfully artists like Michael Fair and cds like Funk in the Trunk are breathing some much needed life into the genre!

CD: Funk in the Trunk (2010)
Label: Michael Fair Music

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Back Trax: Part One
Elements - Blown Away
Calypso Coast - Elements:
Bassist Mark Egan and drummer Danny Gottlieb had been friends since their days at the University of Miami in the 70s. For a time they were band mates in Pat Metheny's group before they formed Elements in 1982; meantime saxman Bill Evans was also a member of the combo since its inception. Thru the 80s and into the 90s, Elements issued a series of well-crafted releases on a variety of labels, but all the while they adhered to a subtle form of fusion which stressed the creative aspects of their playing. On this occasion, we're checking out an early effort in the cd Blown Away. The music was actually recorded in 1985, but wasn't issued until a couple of years later as the soundtrack to the windsurfing motion picture of the same name.
Later the project was re-mastered and re-released on Mesa/Bluemoon. On this occasion, however, we're doubling back to the original - from that effort we have vintage Elements in the track Calypso Coast!

CD: Blown Away (1987)
Label: Passport Jazz
Elements - Blown Away (re-issue)
Blown Away
Mesa/Bluemoon (1992)
The Alan Parsons Project - Eve
Secret Garden - The Alan Parsons Project:
Alan Parsons first gained notoriety in 1969 thru his work as an assistant engineer on The Beatles' Abbey Road and then he solidified those credentials when he engineered Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon. In 1976, he went on to produce Year Of The Cat for Al Stewart but it was the year prior to that, that Parsons met Eric Woolfson - Woolfson became not only Parsons' manager, but his songwriting partner for what became known as The Alan Parsons Project. The APP debuted in 1975 with Tales Of Mystery And Imagination, an album based on the works of Edgar Allan Poe, and then continued with a series of successful and critically acclaimed releases. That catalogue now includes over a dozen albums. On this occasion we're returning to the 1979 release called Eve and a concept album that deals with the female's overpowering effect on man. From that effort we have the well-titled track called Secret Garden!

LP: Eve (1979)
Label: Arista.

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Back Trax: Part Two
Bill Sharpe - State of the Heart
Hypnotique - Bill Sharpe:
After graduating from Birmingham University with an honours degree in music, keyboardist Bill Sharpe worked for the BBC as a studio manager and then in 1980, he helped found the band Shakatak - a group that attained international success within 3 years. Even as the band continued to gain momentum, Sharpe released his first solo project in 1985; one of the songs called Change your Mind, featuring Gary Numan, became a top 20 hit. In the 90's, as Shakatak moved from touring toward more recording, Sharpe started writing music for TV, an interest that he maintains to this day. In 1996, he met up with jazz great Don Grusin and the following year he asked Grusin to co-produce his second solo project. Entitled State of the Heart, the endeavor enabled Sharpe to work with Alex Acuna and Paulinho da Costa as well as some of his other favourite American musicians. From an album that received worldwide critical acclaim, we have the aptly-titled Hypnotique!

CD: State of the Heart (1999)
Label: Instinct Records
Rohan Reid - Rifle Road
Trouble Up Warieka Hill - Rohan Reid:
Hailing from Kingston Jamaica, Rohan Reid started on the bass when he was just 6, and although still incredibly young, it wasn't too long after that he took to the road. By the age of 10, Reid was touring internationally with one of Jamaica's biggest-selling gospel groups - in due course, he moved on to form his own band with a sound that fused gospel & jazz with reggae. After appearing at the world's largest reggae festival called Reggae Sun and after being featured on Billy Graham's 1994 Global Mission, Reid's reputation as one of the most accomplished bassist in the Caribbean was set. Relocating to Orlando Florida a few years back, Reid has already worked with Eric Darius, Maxi Priest, and Najee as well as many other performers who may not be quite as well known to smooth jazz audiences. With a resume that includes having a hand in a pair of Billboard #1 projects, we present Trouble Up Warieka Hill from Rohan's 2007 debut!

CD: Rifle Road (2007)
Label: Goin' Native Records
Kiku Collins - Here With Me
Mr. Barista - Kiku Collins :
Hailing from a small town in northern New Jersey, Kiku Collins blossomed while attending the prestigious Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. She went on to study classical performance at the Manhattan School of Music and in the time since, she's done oodles of work for TV and radio commercials for many high profile clients. In 2006-07, Kiku traveled the world backing Beyoncé and in that regard she played top venues such as London's Royal Albert Hall. Currently Ms Collins splits her time between touring as a member of Michael Bolton's entourage, working on her sophomore cd, and fulfilling her familial responsibilities. In 2007, she released her smooth jazz debut and found her voice. From that effort we've selected the Latin leaning rhythms of Mr. Barista with Kiku featured on flugelhorn, muted trumpet and trombone!

CD: Here With Me (2007)
Label: Innova

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Fresh Listening: … on our next to last installment of After Hours for 2010, we go out in style with 14 selections totally new to the show. Included in this batch of new and never before been played tracks are tunes by Dave Koz, Brian Simpson, Chris Standring, Oli Silk, and Walter Beasley. But, not to be overlooked are a few up and comers in Jazzyfrank, SureWill, Nicholas Cole, and Cliff DeMarks. And to begin we have another great piece from Nils and his current release called What The Funk? From that cd, Morning Light is the curtain raising track! Playlist for Ed#594

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