Upping the Ante!
This Week at CaféJazz.ca

March 18th, 2012
Edition #649 Previously Next

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This Week at Cafe Jazz.ca: A 15 Season Retrospective (Part 4):
...it's the final in a four part series that celebrates 15 seasons. We've upped the ante and featured are perennial favourites by 3rd Force and Acoustic Alchemy. Also high on our list of defining tracks are selections by Marc Antoine, Brian Culbertson, and Lonnie Liston Smith, while adding a bit of spice to the proceedings are the likes of David Lanz, Chris Botti, Dave Koz, and Craig Chaquico. In the meantime, we're starting with a performer nominated in the 'best new' category back in 2001 - before the genre's wheels started getting wonky. From Joe Fuentes and A Good Cup of Joe we're set to do a bit of Hangin' Out!
In This Issue:

Hangin' Out - Joe Fuentes
Timeless Line - Marc Antoine
Keepers of the Flame - Craig Chaquico
7th Heaven - 3rd Force
Jive Town - Brian Tarquin
Escape - Brian Culbertson

SPINLIST: Spinlist

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Highlights Hour One
Hangin' Out - Joe Fuentes:
A versatile guitarist & composer, Joe Fuentes was born in LA, but spent the better part of his youth growing up in Mexico. After some initial recognition 'south of the border', Fuentes headed back to tinsel town when he was 20. In the course of things, he gravitated to jazz and, following a brief visit to San Francisco, Fuentes fell in love with the city by the bay and relocated. Following a well received '97 debut, Fuentes chose a unique theme for his next album, one that reflected the hip coffee scene in San Francisco as well as his Epicurean love of the beverage. Titled A Good Cup of Joe - the project not only presented a great play on words for its name, it also led to a nomination as 'best new artist' at the 2002 National Smooth Jazz Awards. In the intervening years, Joe has continued to score & perform, and to produce & record in the San Fran area, but unfortunately A Good Cup of Joe remains his most recent effort that's been made available for wide distribution. Even so, it's continued to be a favourite and remains to our tastes, such as they are, one of the best ever offered by the genre!

CD: A Good Cup of Joe (2001)
Label:Trippin 'n' Rhythm Records

Joe Fuentes - A Good Cup of Joe

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Marc Antoine - Classical Soul
Timeless Line - Marc Antoine:
As a teen growing up in Paris, Marc Antoine split his time between developing as a musician and as a competitive swimmer. He came to a crossroads when he won a scholarship to the Conservatory of Music and chose that as his path in life. Tragedy struck in the summer of 1981 when at 19 Antoine suffered a career-threatening injury - the tendons in his left wrist were severed to the bone when he fell backwards thru a plate glass door. The prognosis was he would never play again. But after three long and painful years of rehab and practice, Antoine ultimately proved the doctors when he went back to performing and playing the Parisian club circuit! In 1988, he relocated to London - he toured with Basia, played on Soul II Soul's first album, and became absorbed in the acid jazz scene. Moving to LA in the early 90s, Marc sessioned with Queen Latifah and played with Sting, George Benson, and the late Selena while also working a few movie soundtracks. Then as a seasoned 31-year-old performer, he recorded his critically acclaimed 1994 debut while earning Best New Artist of the Year. From that release, the exotic flavor of Timeless Line is still one of his best! Marc Antoine Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #474 - March 9th, 2008

CD: Classical Soul (1994)
Label: GRP Records
Craig Chaquico - Shadow and Light
Keepers of the Flame - Craig Chaquico:
Craig Chaquico's journey in music began as the result of being hit by a drunk driver when he was twelve. Despite multiple injuries which included two broken arms, a wrist and a thumb, a desire to master the guitar became his motivation for recovery. Self-taught and still in high school, he was just 16 when Grace Slick recruited him for Jefferson Starship in about 1974. By the time he left nearly a dozen years later, Chaquico had become disillusioned with the "corporate" mentality that permeated rock 'n' roll. Unsure of which direction to take, fate stepped in when his wife was pregnant and to quote Craig, "the electric guitar was not as welcome around the house." He started playing the acoustic guitar and soon remembered its healing qualities. Never abandoning his rock roots, but rather expanding his musical radius, Chaquico released his first solo effort in 1993 to great acclaim and developed into one of the top contemporary instrumentalists of the day. By the time 2002's Shadow and Light was released, Craig's focus had grown from an approach grounded in new age to include smooth and beyond. From that release, it's 'shades of the 60s' with a mystical rocker entitled Keepers of the Flame! Craig Chaquico Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #354 - March 13th, 2005

CD: Shadow and Light (2002)
Label: Higher Octave

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Highlights Hour Two
3rd Force - Force Field
7th Heaven - 3rd Force:
One the most creative projects to appear in the 90s was the combo known as 3rd Force. At its nucleus, the band was propelled by a synergy generated by William Aura, Craig Dobbin, and Alain Eskinasi. William Aura, who was the group's producer and main writer, had enjoyed a significant solo career thru the 80s and early 90s with about a dozen albums under his own name. Always a strong believer in the power of music many of Aura's compositions were specifically composed for the healing arts. Craig Dobbin, on the other hand, was a classically trained pianist who had composed extensively for TV and film. Meanwhile, Dutch-born Alain Eskinasi had studied African drums for 6 years in Gambia & for a time he'd been a key member of The Soto Koto Band. Emerging with their debut in 1994, and with frequent appearances by many musicians known to the smooth genre, 3rd Force made an unprecedented impact on smooth and one that has near really been equaled. From one of their best, the '99 Force Field release and an album that featured Craig Chaquico, Grant Geissman, John Klemmer, Bryan Savage, and Paul Taylor, we present the sublime 7th Heaven with Brian Hughes guesting! 3rd Force Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #363 - May 15th, 2005

CD: Force Field (1999)
Label: Higher Octave
Brian Tarquin - Soft Touch
Jive Town - Brian Tarquin:
Described as a guitarist with 'cosmopolitan flair' by Jazziz - Brian Tarquin is all that and a whole lot more. Tarquin's fascination with music drew him to pursue an advanced degree in audio engineering. Early in his career, the NYC native composed for some of The Big Apple's most influential audio houses; meanwhile a burgeoning career scoring for TV brought him to LA where he scored coverage of the '92 and '94 Winter Olympics. After the release of his debut in 1996, on Jazz Inspiration out of Montreal, Tarquin landed a deal with the Instinct imprint. He connected with England's Ernie McKone and his shift to acid jazz drew rave reviews. But as the smooth house of cards began to fold in on itself, Instinct moved away from the genre while Tarquin for his part gravitated toward more production work as in fact this had always been his bread & butter. In this regard, he's written for dozens of TV shows and as a six-time Emmy nominee, he won in 2002 & '03, and then again in 2005 for his work on All My Children. Nonetheless, it's now a genuine treat to return to 1999 and Tarquin's Jive Town - a sensational tune from the heyday of smooth!

CD: Soft Touch (1999)
Label: Instinct
Brian Culbertson - Somethin' Bout Love
Escape - Brian Culbertson:
It was back in 1994, that Brian Culbertson first broke onto the smooth scene and in the near 20 years since, he's developed into one of the most prolific and popular performers in the genre. Shortly after graduating out of high school, Culbertson more or less single-handedly recorded Long Night Out, in the bedroom of an apartment that he shared with three college buddies. The project proved a resounding success and nestled into the top-5 for ten weeks in a row! Subsequent efforts have made Brian a staple with many awards and much recognition along the way. This commercial success has tended to somewhat overshadow many of the creative aspects of Culbertson's craft - even so there are many examples where he steps well outside the confines of the radio format; but that's where we come in. A case in point is the well-titled Escape, an incredible mood-inducing piece that rates among his best! Brian Culbertson Then & Now Spotlight Feature Ed #384 - November 13th, 2005

CD: Somethin' Bout Love (1999)
Label: Atlantic

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Web Site and Select Affiliates:
More Ante: … the excitement continues on this the final installment in a 4-part mini-series as we celebrate the best in 15 years of quality on the air entertainment. Cued for today's line-up are Rick Braun, Boney James, Hiroshima, and Paul Jackson Jr. Also appearing are Pieces of a Dream, Fattburger and Richard Smith plus we have Gota the Groove Activator and Noel Elmowy - all as part of a feature dubbed Upping the Ante. So as we go 'all in' we're raising the stakes with Billy Joe Walker Jr. and a real nice tune that's simply called Luis! Spinlist

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