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This Week at Café

January 29th, 2012
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This Week at
The kings of beach jazz are back with their sophomore release called Beach Life and we'll take a good long look inside the album with a choice sampling of 3 great tracks as part of the showcase segment. The second hour spotlights new music with the Fresh Trax feature. Here's what's going down on this show - headlining are Eliane Elias and Roberto Vazquez. Scott Allman is on, plus we have selections by Drew Simpson and Lloyd Gregory. Meanwhile opening the spot is one of our all time favourites - it's from Thom Rotella and it's called Dance the Night Away!
In This Issue:

Beach Life - Rocco & Rahj

Home Again - Scott Allman
On Fallen Ground - Drew Simpson
Going West - Roberto Vazquez
Stay Cool - Eliane Elias
Dream of Love - Lloyd Gregory

AFTER HOURS : Here to Stay
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#642

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Showcase CD
Beach Life - Rocco & Rahj:

Rocco and Rahj are John Altamura and Roger Keay and in 2011, they made a major impact on our show. Named the Café Jazz top debut act and #2 over-all, the dynamic duo go back 35 years to North Bergen County New Jersey. They'd built a studio and played and recorded together, but for over 30 years they went their separate ways, before reconnecting in the Sunshine State a few years back. Based in Indian Rocks Beach, just outside Tampa, they created of a new sub-genre of jazz and they are the undisputed kings. With Rocco on organ & keys and Rahj on guitars and synth programming, Cool Burn was their premier release. A project that burned with 'low key intensity' that cd soared to #6 on our year-end review. Now the boys are back with Beach Life and an album that's poised for similar if not greater success - so it's time for a little fanfare please as we present Rocco & Rahj and a select offering of three very cool tracks - all as part of the showcase segment!

Rocco & Rahj - Beach Life
Rocco & Rahj
Rocco & Rahj
Beach Life comes alive on Ocean Drive!
First off is Java Breeze, an old school groove that's island cool chilled and it's the opening tune for the segment. At the start of the second half of the show it's a track the boys named as nod to yours truly, as we were the first to air their music here at The Café - it's called Café Jazz and I will admit, I kind of like the sound of that! Finally the beach scene takes on a life of its own with the rhythms of South Beach Samba. A standout from beginning to end, Beach Life takes on a whole new meaning with the sun and surf sounds of Rocco & Rahj!

CD: Beach Life (2011)
Label: House Of Hofa Records

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Fresh Trax: Part One
Scott Allman - Generations
Home Again - Scott Allman:
Currently based in Naperville, Illinois near the Chicago area, Scott Allman has been composing for many years. In the past 18 to 24 months, things gelled in a way they never had before with the result as Generations, Allman's recently issued debut and a collection largely inspired by those he is closest too. Among those lending their talents to the disc are Danya Thompson as drummer and producer as well as noted saxman & producer Darren Rahn who contributes to a couple of the tracks. From an effort that's been labeled as outstanding and refreshing we have an exceptional groove - the moody Home Again, that I know you're gonna luv!

CD: Generations (2011)
Label: Independent
Drew Simpson - Noteworthy
On Fallen Ground - Drew Simpson:
Having played with the likes of Wilton Felder and Terry Blanchard, Drew Simpson is known throughout the So-Cal region as an innovative and creative guitarist. Able to connect with styles from Straight-Ahead and Contemporary to R&B and Latin, Simpson has played local venues and at festivals from Long Beach to Las Vegas. After years of stage sharing, Noteworthy was Simpson's 2011 debut. The project features original compositions and an expressive approach, and Simpson is supported by some great players. Appearing on the disc are Alex Al on electric bass, Larry Antonino on acoustic bass, Munyungo Jackson on percussion, and Mark Stephens on piano & keys. From an effort chock-full of melody and rhythm, we present the samba-flavoured On Fallen Ground!

CD: Noteworthy (2011)
Label: Independent

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Fresh Trax: Part Two
Roberto Vazquez - Between Two Worlds
Going West - Roberto Vazquez:
Smooth jazz is often dismissed as elevator music but with Between Two Worlds, there's no doubt Roberto Vazquez takes us to the penthouse! Over the years, the Cuban born pianist, keyboardist, & composer has built a solid reputation in a variety of settings. From a 3-year stint playing French horn with a Symphony Orchestra in Venezuela to appearing at the Latin Grammys, Vazquez has a diverse and wide-ranging résumé. In 2009, he co-wrote Sand Dancers for the smooth as silk saxman Marion Meadows. Additionally he's backed a host of top Latin performers. Somewhat reminiscent of Brian Simpson's tastiest efforts, here's a project that sparkles like the softest moonlight on the ocean. Brilliantly written and impeccably played & produced, Between Two Worlds is one of those all too rare releases that grabs your emotions and just won't let go!

CD: Between Two Worlds (2011)
Label: Independent
Eliane Elias - Light My Fire
Stay Cool - Eliane Elias:
Well-known for a distinctive and immediately recognizable style, Eliane Elias blends influences from her Brazilian heritage with an impressive set of jazz and classical skills. Born in Sao Paulo, Elias began studying piano at the age of seven. At twelve she was transcribing the solos of many of the jazz masters and by the time she was fifteen, she was teaching piano and improvisation at Brazil's prestigious school of music. In 1981 Elias headed for New York and the following year she landed a spot in the acclaimed group Steps Ahead. Her first release in 1984 was in collaboration with Randy Brecker and to date her solo career spans over twenty albums in all. There have been numerous accolades along the way and multiple Grammy nominations. A '97 Downbeat reader's poll voted Elias' The Three Americas as Best Jazz Album; while the 1998 Eliane Elias Sings Jobim won Best Vocal Album in Japan and was awarded Best Brazilian Album in the Jazziz Critics Poll. Her chilled cover of The Doors classic Light My Fire and the title track from her new one was named to the NPR top 5 vocals for 2011 but we've opted for the dazzling rhythm of Stay Cool!

CD: Light My Fire (2011)
Label: Concord Music Group
Lloyd Gregory - Lloyd Gregory Dream of Love - Lloyd Gregory:
Raised in Cleveland but now based in the Bay Area, Lloyd Gregory is well established as a popular entertainer on the San Francisco music. Versed on both the acoustic and electric guitar, Gregory has recorded with Martha Reeves and performed with Stanley Clarke, George Duke, Gerald Albright, and many others. Having issued five critically acclaimed albums, Gregory's style has been described as an 'intellectually stimulating' fusion of soul, pop and jazz. His self-titled release is his first on the Roxboro label and from it Gregory is at his best on the tender Dream of Love!

CD: Lloyd Gregory (2011)
Label: Roxboro Entertainment Group/Bungalo Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
Here to Stay: ... a one-off feature named after a track by Pat Metheny - all the selections have the word stay as part of the title. Included are Stay in Touch by the band Windows and Let's Stay Together from Eric Darius. Also appearing are Special EFX, Ken Navarro, and Stan Berger with Stay a While, Nothing Stays the Same, and Our Love Is Here To Stay. So be sure to stay with us for the Here to Stay edition! Playlist for Ed#642

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