In the Limelight!
This Week at Café

March 11th, 2012
Edition #648 Previously Next

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This Week at Cafe A 15 Season Retrospective (Part 3):
On this edition of the show we're back with part 3 of a 15-year retrospective. We've tagged this chapter In the Limelight and featured are Gregg Karukas and the combo Helios; also appearing are Lee Ritenour, David Garfield, and Joyce Cooling - plus there's a fabulous tune from Craig Chaquico & Russ Freeman. But for the party starter, there's Daryl Stuermer - the long-time guitarist with Genesis had a great release back in 2005 - from the cd Retrofit we have the exotic Zanzibar - popping the cork for In the Limelight!
In This Issue:

Blue Touch - Gregg Karukas
Conversations - Helios
Sweet PC - David Garfield
Before Dawn - Joyce Cooling
Runaway - Lee Ritenour
Samba del Luna - Chaquico & Freeman

AFTER HOURS: More Limelight
SPINLIST: Spinlist

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Highlights Hour One
Blue Touch - Gregg Karukas:
Gregg Karukas was just 17 and right out of high school when he found his way into the clubs and studios of the DC / B-More area. Over the next several years Karukas opened for many of the top acts of the day before heading to LA in 1983. There he was soon playing with, and for the likes of Patti Austin, Richard Elliot, & Grant Geissman. Additionally, Dave Koz, Gary Meek and Boney James, were among the first young undiscovered sax talents to join Gregg's own group. Karukas made his record debut in 1987 and then later that same year, he became a charter member of The Rippingtons. In the period since, he's firmly established his credentials in a variety of settings - in addition, Gregg's tasteful arrangements have become known throughout the smooth arena. From Blue Touch and just one in a long string of top notch releases, we're featuring the bluesy textures of the title track and a perennial favourite! Gregg Karukas Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #395 - February 19th, 2006

CD: Blue Touch (1998)
Label: i.e. music

Gregg Karukas - Blue Touch

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Helios - Helios
Conversations - Helios:
In Greek mythology, Helios was the personification of the Sun, but for the three-man combo Helios based in Santa Cruz California, that was their one and only self-titled release. The powerhouse trio was comprised of Peter Cor on keys, Gary Carpenter on guitar, and Chris Miller on drums. With a résumé that included compositions for Earth Wind & Fire and Lee Ritenour, Peter Cor's musical experiences saw the native New Yorker, play on three continents. For his part, Gary Carpenter's experimental Indian Raga-rock compositions got him accepted to the Hartford Conservatory at the age of 16; after moving to the 'bay area', Carpenter formed the band Montage, before connecting with Cor. When last heard from, Peter Cor had issued a pair of cds with The Jazzy Devils while Carpenter had recorded three projects as the front man for the band Tribal Heat. Nonetheless, from their rare 2001 fusion-based release, we present Helios with Conversations and a Café Jazz favourite for the year!

CD: Helios (2001)
Label: Independent
David Garfield - Giving Back
Sweet PC - David Garfield:
Chicago native David Garfield relocated to LA in the mid 70's and in the years since his name has become one of the most respected on the club scene and the session circuit. In addition to scoring films and ads, Garfield launched his own label and produced over 20 albums. He's done loads of session of work and has played with the likes of Cher, Boz Scaggs, & Larry Carlton. For a time, he toured with Earl Klugh and for 5 years in the 80s he was the musical director for George Benson with whom he continues to tour on occasion. After heading up a pair of high-energy fusion bands in Karizma & Los Lobotomys, Garfield launched his solo career in 1997 by fronting an all star cast of 78 musicians on a tribute to the late Jeff Porcaro. Released in 2004, Giving Back was one of the finest break thru albums for the year and saw Garfield once again at the helm of another great ensemble. Contributing to the disc are the likes of Hiroshima's June Kuramoto, Michael O'Neill, the late Carlos Vega, Airto, Lee Ritenour, Ricardo Silveira, and Vinnie Colaiuta among many others. From that release we present the track the upbeat Sweet PC with Gerald Albright on sax! David Garfield Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #372 - August 21st, 2005

CD: Giving Back (2004)
Label: Creatchy Records

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Highlights Hour Two
Joyce Cooling - Keeping Cool
Before Dawn - Joyce Cooling:
When Joyce Cooling burst onto the music scene in 1996, it well belied the fact that she had been honing her chops for the better part of a decade. After moving to San Francisco from New Jersey, Cooling had dabbled in keys and percussion. Then things crystallized one afternoon while listening to a Wes Montgomery record - Joyce picked up her roommate's guitar and from then on it was almost as if the guitar had chosen her. Self-taught for the most part, Cooling developed a unique finger picking style - in time this led to various gigs including straight-ahead sessions with giants such as Getz, Henderson, and Byrd. Then, in the mid-80s, she met keyboardist Jay Wagner and they discovered their songwriting compatibility and they developed into one of the most dynamic act in the 'bay area'. Cooling's South of Market single made her a household name in smooth circles - from Keeping Cool and Ms Cooling's Heads Up sophomore cd, we have the early morning rhythms of Before Dawn! Joyce Cooling Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #432 - January 28th, 2007

CD: Keeping Cool (1999)
Label: Heads Up
Lee Ritenour - Portrait
Runaway - Lee Ritenour:
Long regarded as one of the consummate players in contemporary music, Lee Ritenour's career has assumed almost legendary status. The LA native started near the top - he was just 16 when he took part in his first sessions with The Mamas and The Papas - and from there on in it's been ever on ward and upward. Within a couple of years, Captain Fingers as he became known, was one of the most sought-after session players of the mid-70's, backing luminaries such as Tony Bennett and Lena Horne - to date he's been part in over 3000 studio gigs. In 1976 at the age of 24, Ritenour launched his solo career - he's recorded over 25 albums under his name alone, with several best of compilations, a few celebrated collaborations, and four more as a member of the super-group Fourplay. Along the way, Ritenour has received 17 Grammy nominations - however there have been numerous other accolades; he's been named #1 in guitar polls, he was recognized as the USC "Alumnus of the Year", and a few years back he named the CSJA life time achievement award winner. With this as a backdrop, we return to the Portrait release from 1987, when smooth jazz was in its formative years and Ritenour was one of its pioneers!

CD: Portrait (1987)
Label: GRP Records
Craig Chaquico & Russ Freeman - From the Redwoods to the Rockies
Samba del Luna - Craig Chaquico & Russ Freeman:
Since launching his career in the mid 80s, Russ Freeman has gained a far bit of notoriety in the smooth genre both as a top guitarist & as a producer. For over two-decades, Freeman has enjoyed a string of successes as the lead man for The Rippingtons, but additionally he's recorded as a solo artist with a catalogue that also includes several top collaborations. Meanwhile, Craig Chaquico initially enjoyed the pop & rock spotlight as a member of Jefferson Starship before switching gears & taking up acoustic guitar. In the early 90s, Chaquico launched his solo career as he ventured first into new age & then into smooth. In that regard, Chaquico's efforts have put him squarely at the forefront of the contemporary movement. The two connected back in 1998 with the result a one time offering entitled From the Redwoods to the Rockies & a release that proved to be among the finer albums for the year. From that effort we have Samba Del Luna; a beautifully structured composition, samba is propelled by gorgeous interplay between Freeman's nylon string & Chaquico's steel string guitars; all of this is further enhanced by the stylish piano work of David Benoit. It's easily one of the tastiest tracks we've played!

CD: From the Redwoods to the Rockies (1998)
Label: Windham Hill Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site and Select Affiliates:
More Limelight: Our 15 year retrospective continues with In the Limelight - the 3rd in a 4-part series. Included on this edition are longstanding favorites from Earl Klugh and the saxman known as Shilts. We have Tony Gable & 206 as well as Tommy Emmanuel and Four80East. Also appearing are Kevin Toney, Mark Sloniker, and Dave Grusin - and they're all part of a 12-track set that's our focal point for today. So as we power up we're starting with Doc Powell and a tune from Inner City Blues. Here's a piece that the Doctor wrote for his favourite vocalist - it's called Sade's Song and it's In the Limelight! Spinlist

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