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The Halls of Shambala!
This Week at Café

March 25th, 2012
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This Week at The Very Best of Café Jazz!
You may recall the Three Dog Night hit from the early 70s called Shambala which made reference to the mythical kingdom of the same name. Hidden somewhere in Inner Asia, Shambala commonly is understood to be a place of peace, tranquility, and happiness, and so it seemed a good fit for us as a theme for this our 650th and final show. This is the 11th occasion upon which we've tagged an edition a 'very best of' and as always it presents many of the finest tracks we've played over the course of our run. That being said this unique combination - a very best of and a last show - left me searching for some way to convey 'the end of an era' after devoting thousands of hours to the music that has long been my passion.

In This Issue:

Above and Beyond - David Mann
A Day in Sydney - Igor
I Wish - Sam Cardon
Wind Parade - Donald Byrd
Unconditional - Pamela Williams
Come When You Call - Oleta Adams

AFTER HOURS: Shambala (cont.)

PLAYLIST Playlist: 11th Annual The Very Best of! 50 SHOWS AGO The Very Best of Café Jazz 2011 - Ed#600
As luck would have it, I came across the following that I wrote back in December of 2006 over 200 shows ago for Ed #427, "Trends in music come and go but … we've decided to stick with our tried and true philosophy of doing it with fervour and style, things that may be lacking in many of the musical presentations currently in vogue. Each of our shows attempts to be more than an end unto itself. Rather, it's part of an ongoing journey, one that I embarked on back in 1996 and one that continues thru to the present with many an unexpected twist or turn along the way. Where this all eventually leads, may be anyone's guess, but as in life, the fun is not in the final destination, but in the getting there. And to keep us company all the while, there's just the perfect musical mix for any discriminating listener. Hope that it's you and that you'll enjoy the show!" This may be more true today than ever before in these musical 'halls of Shambala'. Nevertheless, in typical fashion, we already have a few irons in the fire with many of favourite shows featured as encore presentations in the weeks ahead!

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Highlights Hour One
Above and Beyond - David Mann:
David Mann is perhaps one of the most under-rated saxman on the smooth scene, but 'among musicians, his reputation is sterling.' Originally from Ann Arbor Michigan, Mann graduated from the New England Conservatory in 1986 with a bachelor's in Jazz Studies. As a 25 year veteran of the NYC music scene, Mann has performance and recording credits galore - from working with James Taylor, Paul Simon, Madonna, and Michael Jackson to Bette Midler, Santana, Michael Franks, Bob James, Spyro Gyra, Chieli Minucci and many more. In the 90s, Mann enjoyed a 3-year stint with the legendary Tower of Power; additionally he's written for TV & film, and has composed over 1000 jingles. Having produced over 50 albums, for the likes of Steve Cole, Nestor Torres, and Nelson Rangell, Mann is a more or less permanent member of the band Special EFX. His playing was prominently featured on the hit Stay by Club 1600 while on the solo front he's recorded three albums. As Mark Ruffin writes while reviewing the most recent of these, "Mann's music is filled with energy, adventurous harmonies, and melodies that never fall into smooth-jazz clichés. For contemporary jazz lovers looking for a horn out of the ordinary that doesn't go way out, Mann has the Touch." From that album, Mann seductively blows on a tune called Smoke Rings!

CD: Touch (2001)
Label: N-Coded Music

David Mann - Touch

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Igor - You and I
A Day in Sydney - Igor:
Once upon a time a Moscow native, smooth saxman Igor learned to play as a high school student and then attended the State Conservatory in Saint Petersburg. Upon graduating, he launched his professional career, and as his popularity grew, Igor appeared weekly on national TV. Having risen to more or less the top of the industry in the Russian capital, he chose to conquer a new frontier and immigrated to Australia. Over the years, Igor has established a reputation as one of that country's most versatile and sought after musicians and has shared the stage with many top Australian and international performers. Meanwhile, he launched his solo career in 1998 with a self-titled debut. Now splitting his time between composing in a custom-designed studio as well as enjoying snorkeling and scuba diving, Igor takes on a brief musical tour entitled A Day in Sydney from 2003 and his 3rd release!

CD: You and I (2003)
Label: FigorO Music
Sam Cardon - Digibility
I Wish - Sam Cardon:
After earning a bachelor's degree from BYU in 1993, New Mexico native Sam Cardon has gone on to become a noted film score composer and a multi-Emmy award winner. His soundtracks include Lewis and Clark, Mysteries of Egypt, and Building the Dream for the Hearst Castle in San Simeon, CA. In addition, he's written or co-written themes for National Geographic Explorer and Good Morning America while also composing for the Olympic Games in both Calgary and Salt Lake City. Now a long-time Utah resident, Cardon has several albums to his credit; Digibility released in 2000 was his fourth. The intent of the title was Cardon's way of acknowledging his appreciation for the sounds of Motown and Philly soul. Getting the support of a few top notch players such as Tower Of Power Horns, Grant Geissman, Dave Weckl, Brandon Fields, Paul Jackson, Jr., Vinnie Colaiuta, and Sheila E, the project won the Pearl Award as the Contemporary Instrumental Album for 2001. From that effort and from the man who brought home Pearl's Instrumentalist of the Year honors, we present the spell of a pretty duet with Tom Hopkins on guitar!

CD: Digibility (2000)
Label: Treble V

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Highlights Hour Two
Donald Byrd - Places and Spaces
Wind Parade - Donald Byrd:
During a prolific career that extended back over five decades, Donald Byrd's playing crisscrossed many styles. The Detroit native got his start performing with Lionel Hampton while still in high school. His university education was interrupted by military service but after playing in an Air Force band, Byrd obtained both a bachelor's and then a master's degree. Honing his craft playing with the likes of Art Blakey, John Coltrane, and many other leading jazz musicians of the day, there was a period in the 50s when Byrd was considered the finest hard-bop trumpeter on the planet. Always noted for a clear & concise tone, Byrd recorded a series of memorable albums as a leader for Blue Note thru to the late 1960s. In the mid-60s, he became head of jazz studies at Howard University, and inspired by the lead of Miles Davis, Byrd began to shift toward fusion & West Coast funk.
With the help of the Mizell brothers, Fonce & Larry, Byrd perfected a bright, funky, and danceable style - 1973's Black Byrd release marked a full-fledged foray into R&B that became the biggest-selling album in Blue Note history. (At about the same time, he created The Blackbyrds, a group consisting of some of his best Howard State students - the band scored several major hits and gave keyboardist Kevin Toney his start.) Issued in 1975, Places and Spaces was the 3rd the series of albums that Byrd recorded with the Mizells and one that boasted sweeping string arrangements together with punchy horns. From that effort we present the sultry Wind Parade!

LP: Places and Spaces (1975)
Label: Blue Note
Pamela Williams - The Perfect Love
Unconditional - Pamela Williams:
For the most part, Pamela Williams' talents were nurtured by the rich musical heritage of Philadelphia. One of her earliest influences was the late Grover Washington Jr. - it was Washington's cutting-edge blend that first instilled Williams with an interest in jazz. In high school, Pam embraced both contemporary and traditional styles, while by the time she left for LA, she had already toured with fellow Philadelphian Patti LaBelle. A multitalented performer who plays flute as well as a little piano, Williams made her solo debut in 1996 with The Saxtress. That album immediately brought Pam's name into the limelight and led to her being named the Best Female Contemporary Jazz Artist for 1996. A move over to Shanachie in 2003 saw Pam team up with both David Mann and Kim Waters for The Perfect Love, a project that brought her creativity to new heights! From that release and the first in a string of several top albums, we present Unconditional, just one of many outstanding tracks that moved us to dub Ms Williams the first lady of sax! Pamela Williams Then & Now on Ed #462 - December 2nd, 2007

CD: The Perfect Love (2003)
Label: Shanachie Entertainment
Oleta Adams - Evolution
(Baby I'll) Come When You Call - Oleta Adams:
Hailing from Seattle Washington, Oleta Adams was raised the daughter of a minister, so it's not surprising that her musical roots were grounded firmly in gospel. Naturally enough, in her youth she performed in her father's church and in the 70s she moved to LA in the hopes of getting a break that would launch her career. Unfortunately Oleta's vocal style was not the flavour of the day and upon the advice of her singing coach, she moved to Kansas City - there a pair of self-funded projects failed to attract much attention. However in 1985, while Adams was still in KC performing in a hotel bar, she was discovered by Roland Orzabal and Curt Smith, founders of Tears for Fears. They were immediately impressed and a couple of years later, she was invited to join them for The Seeds of Love album. That was followed by a world tour during which Adams opened each show and then stayed onstage to back Tears for Fears for their set. It was 1990, when Oleta issued her debut, Circle of One, and a project that was co-produced by Orzabal - the single Get Here reached the Top Ten while the album went gold. Released in 1993, Evolution was Ms Adams' follow-up and from that effort we present one of the greatest vocal tracks of the 90s!

CD: Evolution (1993)
Label: Mercury Records

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After Hours ~ Exclusive to our Site and Select Affiliates :
In the Halls of Shambala (contd): The melodies continue on this 11th annual Very Best of edition with selections by The Crusaders and Rory Gallagher. We'll hear from Tom Braxton and Nick Colionne, while also appearing are Lao Tizer, Gene Cannon, Vlad, and Bob Madsen. We've included a dozen choice selections, all of this marking our 650th anniversary and final show. So as we start toasting some of our finest favourites we're slipping right into high gear with Chuck Loeb on the Very Best of Café Jazz - the After Hours edition! Spin selections for our 11th Annual The Very Best of!

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