Artist: Cate Musiq Group feat. Nina Vidal
Title Of Album: Cafe Jazz 80's [Japan Edition]
Year Of Release: 2014
Label: Village Again Association
Genre: Smooth Jazz, Crossover Jazz
Quality: FLAC (image+.cue+.log,scans)
Full Size: 542 MB
From the first tinselly notes of the piano arrangement of "Sailing" on Caté Musiq Group's "The Style Lounge, Vol. 1, the 80's" this album had me. Its 14 tracks are jazzy, often instrumental arrangements of mostly early '80s hits. What keeps this from being muzak? I don't know, but something does. Each track is surprising, enlightening, gorgeous. "Sailing" goes seamlessly into a beautiful version of Michael Jackson's"Human Nature," primarily instrumental except for the chorus. The CD was pre-released in Japan under the title "Café Jazz 80's" and entered the iTunes Jazz Chart at #25, according to Caté, the producer of the CD. For more information, visit catemusiqgroup.com.
Caté, who lives in Montclair, said he used to play at Tierney's Tavern and then at Church Street. He said that the Cate Musiq Group is "an umbrella for me to do different projects, to bring in people to do things with me. What I want to do is make it an ongoing project, switch musicians in and out, and over see it. I take a back seat to let them shine." That said, he does play keyboard, percussions, background vocals and more on the album.
Caté is a nickname he received when he was 16, he said, comparing it to Bono - whom he met once at a bar in New York. The Style Lounge is going to be a series, Caté said. "The '80s came first. It's the period I grew up in, when I started to play music." Some of the songs he chose for their melodies. He chose Joe Jackson's 1982 song "Steppin' Out" because "it was a crossover from punk to rock. He was doing almost New Wave punk when he came out. Now he's doing classical and instrumental. That trajectory pulled me."
Nina Vidal sings vocals on their version of Eurythmics' "Here Comes the Rain Again." The fast piano in the background and the cymbals give the song an urgency as well as yes, a martini-lounge quality. UK Soul artist Fil Straughan also appears on a few tracks. Straughan and Vidal's duet on "Careless Whispers" takes that 1985 fluff to a place of jazz goodness.
It's rare that a CD lives up to its own press materials, but this one does: it's groovy, funky, smooth, sleek, and slick. It's hanging out in my car.
-- Gwen Orel
01. Arthur's Theme (The Best That You Can Do) (Cross-Bacharach-Allen-Sager) - 4:57
02. One More Night (Collins) - 3:56
03. What You Won't Do for Love (Caldwell-Kettner) - 3:40
04. Holding Back the Years (Hucknall-Moss) - 5:55
05. Human Nature (Porcaro-Bettis) - 4:33
06. Careless Whisper (Michael-Ridgeley) - 6:30
07. Time After Time (Lauper-Hyman) - 4:47
08. Every Breath You Take (Sumner) - 4:34
09. I Can't Go for That (Oates-Hall-Allen) - 5:12
10. Interlude (Sunrise) (Gillis) - 0:47
11. Here Comes the Rain Again (Lennox-Stewart) - 6:58
12. Africa (Paich-Porcaro) - 6:59
13. Sailing (Cross) - 4:35
14. Stepping Out (Jackson) - 4:39
15. Holding Back the Years (Saxtrumental) (Hucknall-Moss) - 5:57
Quinell "Dr Q" Brown - bass
Brad Whiteley - piano
Stantawn Kendrick - tenor saxophone, soprano saxophone
Jean Caze - trumpet, flugelhorn
Corey Rawls - drums
Nina Vidal (#2,6,11), Fil Straughan (#2,4,6) - vocals
Produced, arranged, performed and curated by Cate.
Recorded at Funky World Soul Studios, Teanack Sound Studios, Kowalski Sound Studios.