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This Week at Café

January 30th, 2011
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This Week at The Very Best of Café Jazz!
… we're celebrating 600 programs by musically leaping tall buildings in a single bound with a once a year 'super show' called The Very Best of Café Jazz - this being our 10th annual installment. Spotlighted on this edition are Ray Obiedo, Gabriela Anders, and Santana while rounding out the featured selections are tracks from the legendary band The Crusaders, the late Grover Washington, Jr., and Andreas Vollenweider. Also appearing on this edition are many long-time favourites from the likes of Peter White, Spyro Gyra, Fattburger, Brian Simpson, Boney James, Terry Disley, and Nate Harasim ... those and more on the Dom Pérignon of smooth jazz radio!

In This Issue:

Pace Verde - Andreas Vollenweider
Fire of Love - Gabriela Anders
Let It Flow - Grover Washington, Jr.
Feel It - The Crusaders
Aqua Marine - Santana
Castille - Ray Obiedo

AFTER HOURS: Super Show (cont.)
PLAYLIST Playlist: 10th Annual The Very Best of! 25 SHOWS AGO The Very Best of Café Jazz 2010 - Ed#575

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Highlights Hour One
Pace Verde - Andreas Vollenweider:
Andreas Vollenweider stepped onto the world stage in the mid 80s emerging out of New Age music, a term that was used more for marketing purposes than it was to describe a genre of music. Hailing from Zurich Switzerland, Vollenweider had been exposed to the city's rich music scene courtesy of his father, one of Europe's leading organists. The young Vollenweider became proficient on several instruments, including guitar and flute; however, he eventually settled on the harp. Developing a passion second to none, Vollenweider was moved to modify the instrument structurally. He changed the damper system to allow for a more rhythmic style of playing. Furthermore, by electrifying the harp he broadened its tonal range.

Andreas Vollenweider - The Essential Andreas Vollenweider
Vollenweider's initial releases drew some attention but for the most part, it was the 1983 Pace Verde, a maxi single remix that paved the way for what became a world wide phenomenon! Released with an accompanying video, the project provided the world a first glimpse at creative genius. In due course, Vollenweider's music swept the globe transcending classification with appearances on pop, jazz, and classical charts!

CD: The Essential Andreas Vollenweider (2001)
Label: Edel Records

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Gabriela Anders - Wanting
Fire of Love - Gabriela Anders:
The daughter of a jazz saxophone player, Argentine-born Gabriela Anders studied classical guitar and piano while attending the Conservatory in Buenos Aires. After high school, she spent time in New York studying orchestration for brass and strings and while going to college, she sang with Grover Washington, Jr. and Tito Puente. A visit to Japan resulted in a record released as Beleza but upon returning to New York, a demo sent to Warner Bros. led to a record deal and the issue of Wanting her major label debut. Featuring arrangements and production by Paul Brown and George Duke as well as by Ms Anders herself, Gabriela penned or co-penned a majority of the selections. From a project that elicited much praise for its unique union of Brazilian, Latin, and jazz influences, we present the wonderfully soulful Fire of Love with Rick Braun guesting!

CD: Wanting (1998)
Label: Warner Bros.
Grover Washington, Jr. - Winelight
Let It Flow (For Dr. J) - Grover Washington, Jr.:
Grover Washington, Jr. was one of the most popular sax players of all time, and one of a rare breed who could fare equally well playing straight-ahead jazz as he could R&B and soul-jazz! Grover's first influence was his father who was a sax player. Grover started playing at the age of 10, but within just a couple of years he was already working club dates. He freelanced for a bit, spent some time in the Army, and then in 1967 he relocated to Philadelphia - a city he was always closely identified with. Working as a sideman, Washington's big break came in 1971, when he filled in at a Creed Taylor record date.

In the course of things, this led to Grover's Inner City Blues debut. It was his fourth album, Mister Magic in 1974 that signaled Grover's arrival as a headliner. A string of acclaimed records through 70s, culminated in the 1980 Winelight cd and a project that encapsulated everything that Washington was then about. The project was nominated for Record of the Year and earned a Grammy for Just the Two of Us in collaboration with Bill Withers. Even so, from that release we've opted for Let It Flow (For Dr. J), a tune dedicated to the great 11-time NBA all-star, Julius Erving of the Philadelphia 76ers. A highly memorable set, it's one of Grover's most outstanding and one upon which he really stretches out!

LP: Winelight (1980)
Label: Elektra

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Highlights Hour Two
The Crusaders - Free As The Wind
Feel It - The Crusaders:
The story of The Crusaders began in Houston Texas, in about 1954 when high school friends Joe Sample, Wilton Felder, & Stix Hooper, started playing as The Swingsters. Within a short time, Wayne Henderson, Hubert Laws, & Henry Wilson joined the combo, which became the Modern Jazz Sextet. After a few personnel changes, the group moved to LA in 1961. Renaming themselves The Jazz Crusaders, they quickly become known for a front line that featured Henderson's trombone dueling with Felder's tenor sax as well as for their gritty style of bop. By 1971, jazz was dropped from the name and that change signaled a shift to a more R&B style. With the addition of Larry Carlton, all the pieces were in place - the 1976 release of Those Southern Knights resulted in unprecedented popularity. It was right around then that Henderson left the band, but in spite of this loss, the follow up project recorded the following year, was heralded as a landmark project in the history of the jazz-fusion of the 70s. From that effort, and the final one to feature Carlton in the guitar chair, we have Feel It and a tune that's just about as funky as you can get!

LP: Free As The Wind (1977)
Label: MCA
Santana - Marathon
Aqua Marine - Santana:
Growing up in Mexico, the son of a mariachi violinist, Carlos Santana took up the violin at five. At about the age of at eight, Carlos moved over to guitar and it was around the same time that the family moved to the border town of Tijuana, where he started playing in clubs and bars. A few years later, the family relocated to San Francisco's Mission District, where Carlos got the chance to see many of his idols perform live while also being exposed to jazz and a variety of influences including the burgeoning hippie movement. After graduating from high school, Santana formed the Santana Blues Band in 1966 with David Brown and Gregg Rolie. The project name was soon shortened to just Santana and gained a strong following as part of the SF club scene. Meanwhile, the band recorded a self-titled debut which was released the same month as their now legendary performance at Woodstock in 1969.

The project became a massive hit and was the first in a series of Santana band releases that featured Carlos and a constantly changing collection of hired musicians. In the early mid 70s, Santana teamed with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin before returning to focus on his own band. Released in 1979, the majority of the cd Marathon was in the R&B/rock style that the band had evolved over the course of the latter half of the decade. Even so, one selection significantly stood apart from the rest in the restful and nearly meditative atmospheric gem called Aqua Marine - and we have it for you as part of our 600th anniversary show!

LP: Marathon (1979)
Label: Columbia
Ray Obiedo - Zulaya
Castille - Ray Obiedo:
Hailing from Richmond California, Ray Obiedo would in his youth travel to nearby San Francisco to take in concerts with Jimi Hendrix and Cream. In spite of his love for music, Obiedo didn't take up the guitar until the age of 17. Heavily influenced by James Brown, Miles Davis, EW&F and the like, in his early years Obiedo regularly shifted between jazz and R&B. In the process, he developed a unique style by fusing diverse elements from Latin, jazz, pop and R&B into an appealing amalgam. A highly imaginative guitarist and a creative keyboard player, Obiedo has never been one to dominate his own compositions. In effect, Obiedo paints with sound, preferring to draw from a sonic palette broadened by the talents of his many guests. From his fourth effort, the 1995 Zulaya cd, we're bringing the tropically flavoured Castille into play, a gorgeous selection enhanced by the steel pans of Andy Narell!

CD: Zulaya (1995)
Label: Windham Hill Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
The Super Show Continues: … included are tracks from Jean-Luc Ponty and Nils. We’ll hear Larry Carlton and Bob James, as well as Joe McBride and Hiroshima. There are 13 super selections include on this After Hours edition of our anniversary show! Spin selections for our 10th Annual The Very Best of!!

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