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This Week at Café

May 1st, 2011
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This Week at
… it's Greg Anderson in our spotlight with the Blue Ocean cd! We're featuring a slick trio of selections from that release, all as part of the showcase segment. The second half of the show brings the Fresh Trax section with its cutting edge blend of new music. Headlining are Paul Hardcastle and Bob Baldwin while also sharing the limelight on this edition are Joel Rodney Siemion, Michael C Lewis, and the combo Three Deep! Additionally, we have Tim Bowman, Jonathan Fritzén, Jonathan Butler, and Cindy Bradley creating a vortex of sound to draw you in!
In This Issue:

Blue Ocean - Greg Anderson

For Grover ... - Bob Baldwin
Bluvis Gruvis - Three Deep
Rainforest / What's ... - Paul Hardcastle
Gulf Breeze - Michael C. Lewis
Riding High - Joel Rodney Siemion

AFTER HOURS : Late Night
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#613

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Showcase CD
Blue Ocean - Greg Anderson:

Blue Ocean is the latest release and smooth jazz debut from guitarist Greg Anderson - native to the greater Phoenix area, Anderson has been a fixture on the Southwest circuit for many years. As a working musician, Greg is well versed in a variety of styles - he plays in several bands and does solo gigs for corporate parties while in the past couple of years, he's often worked with long-time friend, producer and keyboardist John Costello. Their friendship goes back to High School when they were in their first garage band together and they've have been writing and playing both together and separately for quite some time - Costello tending to excel on the writing/production side of things while Anderson leans toward performing live. Having recorded a variety of soundtracks for film and TV, 2007's Freestyle, reminiscent of the 60s surfer scene, and the edgier Bad Ass Guitarz released in '08, were issued under Greg's name.

Greg Anderson - Blue Ocean
Even so, Blue Ocean sees the pair collaborating on a project that traverses smooth but albeit familiar terrain. Since 2006, there have been a string of albums, Cooler Shade of Jazz, Spheres, Apasionado, and Beyond Smooth, primarily with John Costello as the front man - so this new venture continues as a natural extension of that work, but time with Greg getting star billing! Nevertheless, according to Anderson, Blue Ocean was Costello's idea, "He wrote all of the backing music" while Greg scored "most of the melodies and soloed over a lot of it"! Filled with load of licks, soaring melodies, and laid-back grooves, here's an effort that's as slick as they come. So it's now our distinct pleasure to be among first to plunge headlong into Blue Ocean as no less than the subject for our showcase feature!
Greg Anderson
Greg Anderson
Kicking off our review is the liquid vibe of Waterfront Café. Cool and refreshing the mellow mood of Cool Jungle Rain leads us into hour two while it's the hip and funky Blue Ocean the title track that carries us away! Now although it may still be 'early in the game', it would appear that with Blue Ocean, Greg Anderson has given us one of the finer releases by a new and upcoming artist to this point in 2011!

CD: Blue Ocean (2011)
Label: Fervor Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Bob Baldwin - Re-Vibe
For Grover and George - Bob Baldwin:
With a career that stretches back to the 80s, Bob Baldwin is a tenured artist with 16 records to his credit. Baldwin's previous cd entitled Never Can Say Goodbye was a tribute to the music of Michael Jackson, the departed King of Pop. Now for his follow up, Bob is in tribute mode once again, at least with the lead single from his forthcoming Re-Vibe release slotted for issue in July. From that effort we have For Grover and George, and a tune that's fittingly dedicated to George Howard and Grover Washington, the two late legendary sax men in smooth jazz! As Trippin label rep Jeff Lunt puts it, "Simple, catchy, feel good, melodic … pound for pound one of his best overall radio tracks"! Bob Baldwin Then & Now Spotlight Feature - Ed#393 January 22nd, 2006

CD: 2 / Re-Vibe (2011)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Three Deep - Common Ground
Bluvis Gruvis - Three Deep:
Three Deep is a concept that brings together three veterans of the music wars. On guitar is Russ Brannon hailing from Halifax, Nova Scotia - with 20 years in the music business, Brannon has several albums to his credit to go along with East Coast Music Awards nominations for each of his last three records. Keyboardist Billy Shields is an alumnus of the Berkeley College of Music in California - with a catalogue that includes two critically acclaimed cds, Shields has a third on the way with a release date that is imminent. Meantime, it's songwriter/producer Preston Glass, rounding out the trio. A native of New Orleans, Glass has 567 titles on file with BMI - among them is the track he penned for Kenny G, Don't Make Me Wait For Love. Together they are Three Deep and a combo that's deeply laden in talent. With a fresh approach to the smooth scene, the power trio is sure to make an impact on the genre. From their Common Ground debut we have Bluvis Gruvis, the blues-inflected Russ Brannon composition originally written for his 2005 record, From Here To There!

CD: Common Ground (2011)
Label: Joe Street Records

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Paul Hardcastle - Hardcastle 6
Rainforest / What's Going On? - Paul Hardcastle:
After a long string of #1 cds, numerous accolades and awards, and world wide acclaim, you may be wondering, 'what's left for Paul Hardcastle The Jazzmaster'? Now judging from the advance single from the forthcoming Hardcastle 6, I wouldn't be surprised if it's a lot more of the same. The track entitled Rainforest/What's Going On combines the re-mixed vibe of one of Hardcastle's biggest hits from early in his career with clips from his monster hit 19 together with the sampled vocals of Marvin Gaye from a much celebrated classic. The track is vintage Hardcastle pure and simple and was issued to coincide with the 40th anniversary of What's Going On and a track that is considered a landmark record in pop music history - the result is itself an instant classic! Paul Hardcastle Then & Now Spotlight Feature - Ed#380 October 16th, 2005

CD: Hardcastle 6 (2011)
Label: Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records
Links: Fan Sites:
Michael C. Lewis - Reflection
Gulf Breeze - Michael C. Lewis:
A graduate of Berklee in Boston, Michael C. Lewis is a Houston native on loan to NYU while pursuing his Master's Degree. Since moving to New York, the multi-talented Lewis has been gathering raves both as a musician and as an actor. Known for creating music as an expression of his spirit, Lewis issued Reflection, his 2010 debut and a project ranges from smooth jazz and smooth soul to hip-ho, and funk grooves. With hints of Freddie Hubbard, Miles Davis, John Coltrane, and others, from that effort w present Michael C. Lewis with Gulf Breeze!

CD: Reflection (2010)
Label: Cybervision Entertainment
Joel Rodney Siemion - Riding High Riding High - Joel Rodney Siemion:
Joel Rodney Siemion earned a degree in Communication & Broadcasting from the u of Iowa and worked for IBM for 11 years before moving to Colorado in 1989. In the intervening period Joel has worked in radio as a DJ and in TV as a producer/director. Having played guitar since he was seven, Siemion started studying jazz in about 1990 and that has evolved to become his true passion. Epiphany his debut was issued in 2003 and the success of that project steered Joel toward a career as a professional musician with Cayman Moon following in 2007. His latest effort is one of the most kinetic singles to this point in the year, Riding High, and a track that was inspired while he was driving home from a gig in Vail Colorado. It was late in Ski Season and the sky was aglow - Joel was 'riding high' and wrote the tune in an "attempt to capture that moment in music"!

Single: Riding High (2011)
Label: Independent

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Late Night: … part 6 in our night time series has 13 tracks, all loosely connected by having the word night in the title or in the band name. We're calling the feature Late Night after a tune by Tony Darren. So catch all the calming sounds of the nocturne on this special Late Night Edition ! Playlist for Ed#613

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