January 9th, 2011
Week at Cafe Jazz.ca: Chapter 2 in our Best of 2010 Review:
.... we're back again with the 2010 encore - this being the second chapter in the series. This show includes outstanding tracks from Nils, Tim Bowman, and Candy Dulfer - as well from Jonathan Fritzen and Oli Silk. In addition we have selections by David Arkenstone and Chris Standring; also appearing are Michael Fair, Patrick Yandall, and a host of others, while by destiny or by design, Gregorie Howard is featured as our top break-thru performer for this year-end review!
Café Jazz Faves for 2010: Our 2010 soundtrack!
|Highlights Hour One
Undercover - Jonathan Fritzén:
Unprecedented for our year-end re-cap of favourites, Jonathan Fritzén was edged-out by …. Jonathan Fritzen. We were still basking in the afterglow of Fritzén's VIP release, our own Café Jazz #7 album for 2009, when the rising Swedish star issued Diamonds part way thru 2010. In spite of the fact, we had access to this superb release for less than half the year, Diamonds barely missed top-10 status. Nonetheless, our #6 performer for the year placed no fewer than 3 tracks on our in house list of favourites. From a jewel of an album fully deserving of its bedazzling title, we present the track Undercover and a selection destined for even loftier heights in 2011!
CD: Diamonds (2010)
Label: Nordic Night Records
Just Past Midnight - David Arkenstone:
If you head over to David Arkenstone's website, you are greeted by a blend of the exotic and the esoteric. Described as "a musical storyteller", Arkenstone designs "Soundtracks For Your Imagination" and he's issued over 30 releases covering multiple genres from Celtic to New Age. A three-time Grammy nominee, Arkenstone's record sales have exceeded a million units worldwide while additionally, he's composed for TV and film. A couple of years back, his label asked that David record a chillout project, and to quote Arkenstone, "so I did. It was fun using beats and textures I hadn't explored before to make this laid back, groovy experience...." Navigating that sonic region lying somewhere between melody and texture, Arkenstone conjured up what proved our #5 cd for the year. From that release we have an aural masterpiece and easily one of our most outstanding tracks for 2010!
CD: Chillout Lounge (2009)
Label: Green Hill
Beaches - Walle Larsson:
… and the top Canadian track in 2010 is from right in our own back yard by none other than Walle Larsson! If you mention Walle Larsson in Winnipeg, Manitoba, you'll inevitably draw instant recognition. For years Larsson has worked tirelessly as the chief standard bearer for smooth jazz in the Canadian heartland. With well-received releases dating back to 1990, with live appearances, and with over a decade as a radio show host, Larsson's name has become synonymous with smooth in the city known as the queen of the prairies. Issued this past year, After The Night was Larsson's 5th release and one with which Walle proved positively he was poised for a grander stage. Now in keeping with that fact, we're featuring the sultry grooves of Beaches and a tune that created quite a splash on our show as our over-all #3 track for the year!
CD: After the Night (2010)
Label: DockSide Records
|Highlights Hour Two
Smooth - Gregorie Howard:
Whilst showcasing Gregorie Howard's self-titled debut cd way back in late March of 2010, I described Howard as a man of some mystery. Having served several tours of duty with the American forces in various theatres, the long-time American patriot was now budding smooth jazz superstar with "as auspicious an inaugural release as we've heard in many years." So now a few months later that opinion has only been confirmed - the tallies are in and that very release puts Howard at the forefront of the pack as the Café Jazz break-thru performer for the year! From the #2 cd on our list of outstanding releases, we've opted for the wonderful timbre of a tune called Smooth and one that tonally presents Howard at his finest!
CD: Gregorie Howard (self-titled) (2009)
Label: Gregory Howard
Dance With Me - Nils:
After bursting onto the smooth scene in 2005 with the mammoth Pacific Coast Highway, Nils has gone on to become an ace player in the genre that we luv - while not to be overlooked, he's also been a perennial favourite here at The Café! With an ever increasing string of hits to his credit, plus a nomination at the inaugural ASJA, this past year Nils upped the ante with What The Funk?, his fourth release on the Baja record label and 5th overall. While showcasing WTF back in October, we noted the effort was "rife with soulful riffs" and so it was that Nils once again found a welcome spot near the top of our year-end review. From the #2 most played performer for the year, we have Nils and Dance With Me, a tune that comfortably nestled into the top 10 of our favourite tracks for 2010!
CD: What The Funk? (2010)
Label: Baja Records
How High Is The Moon - S-Tone Inc. :
S-Tone Inc. is the main musical vehicle for multi-instrumentalist and jazz musician Stefano Tirone. Based in Milan Italy, for the past 20 years Tirone has balanced careers in architecture and music, although more recently there's been increased priority given to the latter. Having studied guitar and piano, Tirone debuted in 1992 with an acid jazz project. That initial effort laid the framework for S-Tone Inc. that followed four years later. With an ear to refining that sound, Stefano found his direction in 2002 with the issue of Sobrenatural and the 3rd cd as S-Tone Inc. - Moon in Libra is the now the fifth and most recent. Bolstered by many of Milan's finest, the ranks of S-Tone Inc. swell to double digit strength with a 4-piece horn section, strings, vibes, percussion, drums, bass, keys, and several vocalists. Ever mindful of roots that extend back to club and house, Tirone incorporates Brazilian music and elements of jazz, funk and soul, while doubling on Wurlitzer and electric guitar. Expressive and dynamic, Moon in Libra came in as the #8 cd on our year-end list of favourites, and from it we present our top vocal track for the year!
CD: Moon in Libra (2009)
Label: Schema Records
|After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site and Select Affiliates:
|More of Chapter 2 in The Best of 2010 Review: … it's the continuation of our 2010 encore. Featured this time around are tracks by Kenny G, Jeff Beck, and Steve Cole; also included are Rob Tardik, Gary Carpenter, and Tomazz in addition to Matthew Belcher, Rico Belled, & Greg Holsey!