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This Week at Café

February 12th, 2012
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This Week at
… for this show it's keyboardist Roberto Vazquez in the spotlight - we've selected a real nice trio of tracks from Between Two Worlds and that's part of the showcase segment. In the second part of the program it's time for another dimension, a dimension of sight and sound that we call The Euro-Zone - highlighting some of the best grooves on today's Euro scene. This pan-European tour includes Italy's Bebo Best and the Super Lounge Orchestra as well as Mezzoforte out of Iceland. More great Italian music includes Novecento with Stanley Jordan and Mario Biondi & the High Five Quintet while also appearing is Sweden's Jonathan Fritzén with a great track from his sophomore cd. But as the sands of time begin to shift, we have Marc Antoine with one of his best!
In This Issue:

Between Two Worlds - Roberto Vazquez

Saronno on the Rocks - Bebo Best
Tribute - Mezzoforte
In Motion - Jonathan Fritzén
Easy Love - Novecento
This Is What You Are - Mario Biondi

AFTER HOURS : The Magic Hour
PLAYLIST: Playlist for Ed#644

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Showcase CD
Between Two Worlds - Roberto Vazquez:

There's a hot new keyboardist on the music scene and his name is Roberto Vazquez. At the age of 10, the Cuban-born musician and composer began his studies in his hometown of Santa Clara. He then moved on to the National School of Music where he earned degrees in both French Horn and Piano. Vazquez has always communicated primarily through the language of music and has built a solid reputation in a variety of settings. From a 3-year stint as a French Horn player with the Symphonic Orchestra of Carabobo, Venezuela to appearing at the Latin Grammys, Vazquez has amassed a diverse and wide-ranging résumé. In 2009, he co-wrote Sand Dancers for saxman Marion Meadows. His touring credits include over a hundred cities from the USA and Puerto Rico to Sweden and Indonesia. Additionally he's backed a host of top Latin performers while playing keys & horn every week for the Legends In Concert showing on the famed Vegas strip. Himself a Latin Ace Award Winner, Vazquez issued his premier a few years back with the recently released Between Two Worlds as his smooth jazz debut.

Roberto Vazquez - Between Two Worlds
Roberto Vazquez
Roberto Vazquez
Somewhat reminiscent of Brian Simpson's finest efforts, here's a project that sparkles like moonbeams on the ocean. Brilliantly written and impeccably played & produced, Between Two Worlds is a rare release filled with beauty and emotion. The 9-track cd showcases Roberto's sensuous style on original tender ballads and hot Latin jazzy grooves. So it is that Roberto Vazquez and Between Two Worlds are now the focal point for the spotlight feature - we have three tasty tracks and to begin it's an exquisite melody entitled Going West featuring the guitar of Jose Carmelo Medina. In a similar serene vein is the easy cool of In The Rain while the love flows like a fine wine on Feeling It Again. Somewhere between spirit and passion, between creativity and good taste, that is where you'll find Roberto Vazquez and Between Two Worlds!

CD: Between Two Worlds (2011)
Label: Independent

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The Euro-Zone: Part One
Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Ochestra - Saronno on the Rocks
Saronno on the Rocks - Bebo Best & The Super Lounge Ochestra:
With a 25 year career in music, Bebo 'Best' Baldan has written and recorded for film, TV theatre, and ads. As a session-man, he's well-known for his work as a bass player, percussionist and drummer, but he can also be called upon to play sitar, keys or guitar. Versed in multiple genres from jazz, funk, and blues to classical, salsa, chill-out, Brazilian and beyond, Best has participated in over 250 albums. Meanwhile, his creative efforts have been used for MTV, McDonald's and So You Think You can Dance among many others. He recorded several albums of electronic music in the 90s as Bebo Baldan before launching the concept of Bebo Best and The Super Lounge Orchestra in 2007. After the success of the first pair of projects, Best was hailed as one of the finest jazz and lounge producers ever to come out of Italy. A master of what has been described as luxury lounge music, Best captures the essence of Nu Jazz with cool cinematic bossa grooves on his latest entitled Saronno on the Rocks. From an effort that blends elements of dance, jazz, trip-hop, swing and downtempo all garnished with electronic touches, we have the sublime title track!

CD: Saronno on the Rocks (2011)
Label: ChinChin Records
Mezzoforte - Forward Motion
Tribute - Mezzoforte:
On more than one occasion, I've referred to Mezzoforte as the hottest band to ever come out of Iceland. After releasing a self-titled debut in 1979, they became the first group hailing from that island nation to score an international hit with Garden Party. In the years since, they've continued to record and to tour regularly. Now 30+ years later on, the group has issued over a dozen albums. It's performed in over 40 countries around the world and, on occasion, the original members sometimes all appear as part of a 6 to 10 piece ensemble. The cd Volcanic issued in 2010 dominated our MPL in 2011 and now we're adding more fuel to the fire with a tune from a few years back. From Forward Motion and the studio cd that most closely preceded Volcanic we present Tribute, the stellar lead track!

CD: Forward Motion (2004)
Label: BHM Music

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The Euro-Zone: Part Two
Jonathan Fritzén - VIP
In Motion - Jonathan Fritzén:
Hailing from Stockholm Sweden, Jonathan Fritzén attended the Royal Academy of Music and was one its first recipients of a Jazz Masters degree. Although young in years, Fritzén was long on talent and had already worked Swedish TV while backing some of that country's biggest stars. In 2008, he became Sweden's most recent musical export, and their first-ever pianist to enter the smooth jazz arena. His Love Birds debut hinted at Fritzén's tremendous potential and over the last couple of releases, he's really started to deliver. In reviewing the 2010 Diamonds cd, yours truly, the swami of smooth, fully predicted that project would elevate the talented young Swede to stardom! Indeed it did. However, it would be remiss of us to bypass Fritzén's 2009 VIP sophomore release, a project that peaked at #2 and lingered on the charts for over year. From an effort that showed the Nordic vibe was alive and doing well, there's the engaging In Motion!

CD: VIP (2009)
Label: Nordic Night Records
Novecento feat. Stanley Jordan - Dreams of Peace
Easy Love - Novecento feat. Stanley Jordan:
Issued back in 2003, the release Dreams of Peace signaled Stanley Jordan's return to the studio. In the mid-80s, Jordan had established himself as a guitar virtuoso with a sophomore release that went #1 on the Billboard Jazz Chart while earning a pair of Grammy nominations. Subsequent projects also proved popular however Jordan's penchant for perfection, kept him from recording for nearly 10 years. In the course of things, he heard of the work of Novecento an Italian group comprised of the brothers Nicolosi that had developed a reputation for their style of instrumental pop. Novecento had since 1997, balanced a busy performance schedule with a thriving production company and studio. The chemistry was immediate. An album was recorded and mixed in Milan, and released as Stanley Jordan featuring Novecento. Interestingly, the same album was re-issued the following year with the billing reversed. Nonetheless, from an effort that presented a colorful mix of styles, we have the soul-jazz gem titled Easy Love!

CD: Dreams of Peace (2004)
Label: Favored Nations
Mario Biondi & the High Five Quintet - Handful of Soul This Is What You Are - Mario Biondi & the High Five Quintet:
Hailing from Sicily, Mario Biondi grew up in a musical family and debuted as a vocalist at the age of 12. Early on, Biondi discovered a passion for the music of Black artists such as James Brown, Lou Rawls and Al Jarreau. He honed his style in many of the local venues and in 2004, he collaborated with Alessandro Magnanini on a two track single. That led to the release of Handful of Soul, Biondi's full-length debut in 2006. Backed by The High Five Quintet, the single This Is What You Are, immediately went into heavy rotation throughout Italy- eventually making the Billboard European Top 100! With superb instrumental backing, creative and imaginative lyrics, and warm and mellifluous tones, here's a track that soars - they really don't come any finer !
A few of the Lyrics:
Knock me down Knock me out
Make me feel shy
But when you hold me in your arms
I can just forget the tears I've cried
This is what you are
Write your number on my wall
It's all you gotta do
Carve your shadow on my soul even when you break my heart in two
This is what you are.

CD: Handful of Soul (2006)
Label: Schema Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
The Magic Hour: With 60 full minutes of music devoted to a magical theme we weren't above the obvious in tagging this segment as 'The Magic Hour' after a tune by Steve Allee. There are 13 enchanted selections with Magic Motion by Roger Sause, Morning Magic from Larry Carlton, plus Magic Moment by Rick Braun. But the first of our spellbinding tracks is by Ken Navarro and it's simply called Magic - so stay with us cuz there's magic in the air! Playlist for Ed#644

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