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This Week at Café

June 12th, 2011
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This Week at
… on this edition the spotlight release is from Matt Marshak. It's called Urban Folktales - we'll take a peak inside that cd with a choice sampling of 3 great tracks as part of the showcase segment. In the second half, we'll turn back the hands of time with another exciting Vintage Collection - this instalment is highlighted by selections that go back 20 years or more and features the master of the steel pans in Andy Narell and the Grusin brothers Dave and Don. Also appearing is saxman Sadao Watanabe while rounding the set are Danny Heines and Jeff Tyzik. But getting us off on just the right track is Ken Navarro with a tune from Dreaming of Trains … on Café Jazz, the alpha and the omega of smooth jazz radio!
In This Issue:

Urban Folktales - Matt Marshak

We Kinda Music - Andy Narell
Florentine - Jeff Tyzik
Every Island - Danny Heines
Cool Breeze - Sadao Watanabe
River Song - Dave & Don Grusin

PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#619

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Showcase CD
Urban Folktales - Matt Marshak:

Drawn to the sound of blues and rock greats, like Hendrix, BB King, and Satriani, Matt Marshak was already 17 by the time he took up guitar. Later on he discovered contemporary jazz and it was Larry Carlton and George Benson that gave new inspiration; in fact, it was after meeting Carlton, that Marshak in a moment of self-realization understood that jazz was his calling. Then, as if to "make up for lost time", he would often practice up to 10 hours a day and take up to three lessons a week! Upon joining the NYC music scene, Marshak was soon backing many of the finer players. But, it wasn't too long before the tables were turned and many of the finer players were then backing him. It was while he was recording his sophomore record, that Matt won a contest as the Best New Smooth Jazz Artist in New York City; and it was right around then that we were among the first to pile on the Marshak bandwagon!

Matt Marshak - Urban Folktales
Quite frankly, we were floored by 2004's This Time Around, and by time the dust had settled, the album was among our top ten most played albums on our year-end review. During the intervening years, Marshak has used those early achievements as a spring board to success, and with touring at home and abroad he's been able to gain a world-wide fan base. Now Marshak's 5th cd and first concept record in Urban Folktales, not only locks on the vibe of a late-night city chill, it's a celebration of the experience!
Matt Marshak courtesy of David Pearlman Photography Matt Marshak photo courtesy of
David Pearlman Photography
So with some measure of satisfaction and a whole lot of pleasure, we present a long-time Café Jazz favourite, Matt Marshak with Urban Folktales, on that musical stage reserved for the spotlight release - and to begin there's the 1st of three tracks called A Silent Knowing. Harlem River Drive follows at the top of hour 2 while our pet pick in Teddy P closes the show. Written for and dedicated to the late Teddy Pendergrass, the R&B singer/songwriter was paralyzed in a severe auto accident in 1982 and was a performer whose talent and courage Marshak long-admired! Matt Marshak Then & Now Feature Ed #414 - August 27th, 2006

CD: Urban Folktales (2011)
Label: Nuance Music Group

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Vintage Collection: Part One
Andy Narell - Little Secrets
We Kinda Music - Andy Narell:
Since his solo debut in 1979, Andy Narell has singlehandedly taken the steel drum out of the exclusive lexicon of the steel band and made it part of the vocabulary of jazz. He's worked with an international list of who's who in music while playing hundreds of concerts around the world. In the process of researching this article, I came across the following quote and since I couldn't say it any better I chose to use it for this feature. It goes like this: "Andy Narell has made so many cool albums of jazzy steel pan music through the years he is practically a genre unto himself ... A musician of tremendous skill and consummate good taste, Narell takes the pans places they've never been before." That's from MixOnline.
Now in support of this, is We Kinda Music, originally issued in 1989 on Little Secrets. However, we've opted for the 'edited version' from the compilation Sanctuary - 20 Years of Windham Hill!

CD: Little Secrets (1989)
Label: Windham Hill Records
Sanctuary - 20 Years of Windham Hill
Sanctuary - 20 Years of Windham Hill (1996)
Jeff Tyzik - Farthest Corner of My Mind
Florentine - Jeff Tyzik:
Jeff Tyzik worked with Chuck Mangione from 1973 to 1980 and for many years he played with, and arranged for The Tonight Show band. In fact, in 1987 Tyzik won a Grammy for his production work on the album The Tonight Show Band with Doc Severinsen. In 1994, Tyzik was named Principal Pops Conductor for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, a position that he still holds. In addition, he recorded six albums as a lead man between 1981 and 1990. On this occasion we're returning to the '86 release Farthest Corner of My Mind, for the track Florentine!

CD: Farthest Corner of My Mind (1989)
Label: Amherst Records

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Vintage Collection: Part Two
Danny Heines - Every Island
Every Island - Danny Heines:
Although quiet on the record front for the past few years, Danny Heines has long been known for his virtuosity as a fingerstyle guitarist. Heines grew up playing rock & roll and jazz in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where his mother promoted concerts. Then starting with his 1986 solo debut, the Colorado-based Heines presented his melodic and multi-layered compositions through a series of top charting releases. From the '88 Every Island sophomore cd that reached #1 with Jazziz, we present Heines' lush work on the uptempo title track!

CD: Every Island (1988)
Label: Silver Wave
Sadao Watanabe - Rendezvous
Cool Breeze - Sadao Watanabe:
Based in Japan through most of his career, Sadao Watanabe began on clarinet in high school but switched to the alto sax, after moving to Tokyo at the age of 18. He made his solo debut in 1961 and now in the midst of a 50+ year gig, Watanabe has been prolific with 70 releases to his credit. He made a name for himself as part of the Tokyo jazz scene; then while attending Berklee in Boston (1962-65), he enriched his style by performing with the likes of Chico Hamilton and Gary McFarland. Back in Japan, Watanabe was at the forefront of that country's bossa nova craze in the late 60s. With an international performance schedule, he frequently recorded in LA and in recognition he was awarded a Citizenship Citation. On this occasion we return to one of the albums recorded this phase of Watanabe's career, the 84 Rendezvous release. Supported by an all-star cast that included Steve Gadd, Marcus Miller, Richard Tee, Ralph MacDonald, and Eric Gale, the album ranked #2 for the year on the Billboard chart and from that effort we have a cool track entitled Cool Breeze!

CD: Rendezvous (1984)
Label: Elektra
Dave & Don Grusin - Sticks and Stones
River Song - Dave & Don Grusin:
So what happens when two multi-talented siblings get together and have the chance to bounce their respective keyboard expertise off one another? The answer in the case of the Grusin Brothers, Dave and Don, is their 1988 collaboration entitled Sticks and Stones. An accomplished film and TV soundtrack composer, older brother Dave was also a highly successful performer, producer, and record label exec. He was the assistant music director for Andy Williams in the 60s, and recorded with everyone from Benny Goodman and Sarah Vaughn to Quincy Jones and Lee Ritenour. For his part Don, junior by about seven years, initially avoided the music business and become an economics professor. But by 1975, he was touring with the aforementioned Quincy Jones while also freelancing in LA. After some record work in the early 80s, Don was ready to tackle the pleasant task of teaming up with Dave. The result was Sticks and Stones, a project that Dave openly admitted was terrific fun! With a joie de vivre permeating the disc, we've opted for the spirited composition entitled The River Song!

CD: Sticks and Stones (1990)
Label: GRP Records
Links: Dave Grusin Don Grusin CD

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Ocean: … on the next show we have a one-off feature entitled Ocean after a track by Monica Ramos. With 13 briny tunes all linked to that word, we're setting sail with Oceanna by Special EFX, Brian Simpson's Moonlit Ocean, and Ocean Breeze by Jim Adkins. So as we take to the high seas it's time to feel that salt spray in the air … on the 'ocean edition'! Playlist for Ed#619

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