Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Music Monday


New Music Monday for April 21, 2014



     “For me,” says Dave Douglas, “I have always been fascinated by the trio with Giuffre, Jim Hall and Bob Brookmeyer. It’s kind of unparalleled the way they dealt with harmony and rhythm in such a stark setting and in such an open way.” “Riverside” is a new collaborative project put together by trumpeter Douglas honoring the musical legacy of composer, bandleader and reedman Jimmy Giuffre. Working with bassist Steve Swallow, Juno Award-nominated saxophonist Chet Doxas and Chet’s brother Jim on drums, Riverside puts a contemporary stamp on small group improvisation while evoking the dynamic ensembles Giuffre led. They perform both Giuffre’s pieces and dedicate Douglas’ and Doxas’ original compositions to his spirit.

     Brooklyn-born-and-raised guitarist Tom Guarna is a musician’s musician, a stellar talent who can seemingly play anything, and play it brilliantly. His fluid lines, creative chord voicings, captivating tone and profound solos have made him a first call musician for the likes of Wallace Roney, Branford Marsalis, Randy Brecker, Dr. Lonnie Smith, and many others. After five acclaimed recordings under his own name, Guarna recently experienced another deluge of inspiration, resulting in his new CD, “Rush.” It features Danny Grissett on keyboards, Joel Frahm on reeds, Orlando Le Fleming on bass and Johnathan Blake on drums.

     Also this week, Eastern Iowa percussionist and educator James Dreier unveils his new band, Ritmocano, on “Familia”; Grammy nominated arranger Pete McGuiness leads his Jazz Orchestra with “Strength in Numbers”; and saxophonist Tom Tallitsch is joined by trombonist Michael Dease and drummer Rudy Royston on his new disc, “Ride.” 









New Music Monday for April 14, 2014



     Throughout a career spanning six decades, New York-based pianist Monty Alexander has garnered acclaim for bridging American jazz, popular song and the music of his native Jamaica.  The New York Times has described him as “an effervescent pianist and one of Jamaica’s proudest musical exports.” The Wall Street Journal has called him “maybe the first—and certainly the most successful—musician to combine Jamaican music with North American jazz” and said that, “Alexander’s blend of jazz and reggae makes for an outrageously good time.” As he celebrates his 70th birthday, Alexander unveils “Harlem-Kingston Express Vol. 2: The River Rolls On.” It features a mix of Monty’s originals and interpretations of classic soul hits and reggae landmarks.

     Steve Cardenas has become a standard bearer of sorts for the jazz guitar over his outstanding career. Originally hailing from Kansas City, Cardenas has been an important voice in the New York City jazz community since his arrival in the mid-1990s.  He became an integral part of a number of fabulous ensembles, including those of bassists Charlie Haden and Ben Alllison and drummers Paul Motian and Joey Baron. He’s also led well-received ensembles of his own. His warm tone and nimble picking echo the sound of the historic legends of the instrument, while his compositional voice has bridged the jazz guitar into the future. Cardenas focused on this bridge in the creation of his new recording, “Melody in a Dream,” a collection of covers from jazz legends, historic and more contemporary, and originals written with reverence for the tradition.


     Also this week, MacArthur Fellowship recipient Regina Carter, considered the foremost jazz violinist of her generation, explores the folk music of the South on “Southern Comfort”; pianist Adam Kromelow, who has frequented the KCCK studios over the last year, debuts his new trio, “Krom”; and singer Libby York offers up her first CD in six years, “Memoir.”











New Music Monday for April 7, 2014



     Ken Field’s Revolutionary Snake Ensemble is a horn-heavy project that grows out of the New Orleans brass band tradition, but incorporates modern sounds from electric, post-bop and avant jazz without ever losing its allegiance to the groove and the collective party spirit of NOLA. The group’s elastic instrumentation and attitude have paved their way into every kind of venue: parades and clubs, festivals and concert halls. From the first rhythm laid down by the mighty drum tandem of Phil Neighbors and Kenny Wollesen, “Live Snakes” makes it clear that these Boston-and-NYC-based players are coming for your mind AND your body. As producer of the disc, saxophonist/composer Field creates a remarkably coherent flow from four separate live performances consisting of pieces written over many years.

     Before embarking on her musical career, Manhattan-based pianist and composer Leslie Pintchik taught English literature at Columbia University, where she also received her Master of Philosophy degree in seventeenth-century English literature. She first surfaced on the Manhattan jazz scene in a trio with legendary bassist Red Mitchell at Bradley’s and, in the ensuing years, formed her own trio with bassist Scott Hardy and a series of drummers, including her current band-mates Michael Sarin and Satoshi Takeishi. Downbeat magazine says Pintchik’s music is “fresh, full of light and instantly invigorating,” while the All Music Guide touts her “enormous gifts as a composer, arranger and pianist.” For her new CD, “In the Nature of Things,” she expands her ensemble with the addition of reed man Steve Wilson and trumpeter Ron Horton.

     Also this week, drummer Rudy Royston, whose impressive list of credits includes work in the bands of Bill Frisell and Dave Douglas, steps out as a leader of a septet on “303”;  bassist Nathan East, a founding member of the chart-topping contemporary jazz group Fourplay, makes his debut as a leader as well with “Nathan East”; and Croatian pianist and composer Matija Dedic offers up his third disc as a leader, “Sentiana,” with Antonio Sanchez on drums and Scott Colley on bass.






New Music Monday for March 24, 2014

     “Jazz and the Philharmonic” is a one-of-a-kind concert project featuring a star-studded roster of award-winning jazz and classical artists performing iconic compositions by legendary composers. The project harkens back seventy years when producer and impresario Norman Granz expanded the scope of the jazz audience from clubs to classical concert halls, staging an all-star jazz concert at the Philharmonic Auditorium in Los Angeles. From that original 1944 concert, JATP grew into an institution with Granz assembling internationally touring ensembles for the next four decades. The new program features Grammy Award-winners Chick CoreaBobby McFerrinTerence BlanchardDave Grusin and Mark O’Connor recorded in concert in Miami.

     The West Coast has an unfair stereotype of being home to the more commercial sound associated with modern jazz. There is a sound that only a handful of artists are able to cultivate which is an almost organic mix of the more straight ahead with splashes of contemporary flair. “El Guapo” finds saxophonist Scott Jeppesen nailing the new sound of modern jazz while utilizing some of his more old-school influences on his debut release. The ensemble cast is A-list straight down the line, with trumpeter John Daversa providing the perfect counterpoint while Larry Koonse’s nylon string work adds that ethereal contemporary quality. Josh Nelson further establishes his reputation as perhaps the fastest rising pianist working the L.A. scene and bassist Dave Robaire and drummer Dan Schnelle round out a formidable rhythm section


     Also this week, soulful tenor sax great Javon Jackson makes a crowd pleasing statement with his new live set, “Expression”; award-winning San Francisco-based guitarist and composer Terrence Brewer unveils his eighth studio disc, “Mosaic”; and vibraphonist Jason Marsalis leads a new ensemble, the Native Jazz Quartet, on ”NJQ: Stories.” 








New Music Monday for March 17, 2014

     Puppet’s Jazz, the much-missed Brooklyn, New York, club, may have completed its six-year existence in 2011, but its afterlife has spawned both a substantial jazz quartet and a new record label. “The Puppeteers” reunites drummer and club founder Jaime Affoumado, pianist Arturo O’Farrill, bassist Alex Blake and vibraphonist Bill Ware, respected veteran musicians who logged in more hours together on the compact bandstand of the former club than they can remember. Individually, each member of the group has a rich musical history. Ware, an original member of the influential Downtown band the Jazz Passengers, also co-founded the Groove Collective and has toured with Steely Dan. Blake has long been associated with pianist Randy Weston. O’Farrill leads the acclaimed Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra, and has collaborated with Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Marsalis and Carla Bley. And Affoumado has played with Jaco Pastorious, the Jazz Passengers and Arthur Blythe. In describing their sound, author Howard Mandel states that, “if the heady fragrance of hard bop, Latin, Afro-Caribbean and funk idioms can be detected, then the Puppeteers have done their job.”

     The group L.A. 6 is chiefly made up of musicians based in the Los Angeles area who came together over 13 years ago and continue to evolve their very unique sound and approach to jazz. They exemplify the current state of West Coast Jazz in 2014 by retaining the rich small ensemble arranging style developed chiefly in California during the 1950s (e.g. Shorty Rogers and Gerry Mulligan) coupled with a more contemporary approach to small group playing and dynamics. L.A. 6 carries on the relaxed tradition of West Coast Jazz while brining in some more intense elements of hard-bop. The tunes are an interesting mix of standards and original compositions by members of the band. Pianist Rich Eames and saxophonist Tom Peterson provide the majority of the arrangements with trumpeter Clay Jenkins and drummer Dick Weller each individually contributing an arrangement themselves.


     Also this week, director Mike Vax leads the Stan Kenton Alumni Band on “Road Scholars Live,” featuring Kim Richmond, Scott Whitfield and Carl Saunders; organist Matthew Kaminski unveils his sophomore disc, “Swingin’ on the New Hammond”; and Canadian trumpeter Joe Sullivan’s latest recording, “Whiskey Jack Waltz,” is a collection of nine new Sullivan originals.








This Week's Special Shows

Week of April 21, 2014

Short List with Bob Naujoks                                           
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM  
Cats on the Keys 3: Dr. Billy Taylor      
Dr. Billy Taylor is hard to relegate to being just a jazz pianist --- he became so much more. Taylor got his doctorate in music education in 1975, but was a jazz educator to the public long before that. His professional career started with tenor giant Ben Webster’s quartet on the famed 52nd street in 1944. He was the public face of jazz in the last two decades of his life.  

Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson    
Monday at 6:00 PM
Duke Ellington V: The Composer, Part 1               
Perhaps the most prolific of America's composers, Duke Ellington (1899-1974) left a legacy of over a thousand compositions. Ellington intuitively used folkloric elements of the African-American experience to write pieces like "Black, Brown, and Beige" and used the sights and sounds around him as inspiration for works such as "Daybreak Express," "Sophisticated Ladies," and "Isfahan." This program will also explore how the blues figured prominently in his creations, and look into the genesis of favorite Ellington compositions.

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"The 75th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Note Records - Show #7"    
Craig continues his chronological survey of the evolution of Blue Note Records with more classic material from the mid and late 1950s. We'll hear selections from each and every Blue Note recording session, including gems from Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson, Sonny Rollins, and a host of others.   

Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wendell Pierce  
Tuesday at 6:00 PM
A Joe Henderson Birthday Celebration            
Joe Henderson's distinctive lyrical tenor sax could embellish bop, blues, bossa nova and his own big band sound. His friends and musical collaborators celebrate the man's lifetime of invention. We feature pianist Renee Rosnes, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson and Chris Potter to mark the late Joe Henderson's birthday. 

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Jason Moran at The Kennedy Center                                                        
The set anticipates the next CD from Moran and The Bandwagon, making modern the ebullient music of the great Harlem stride pianist and songwriter Thomas "Fats" Waller.            
  
Wednesday Night Special        
7:00 PM (Follows JazzSet)  
United Jazz Ensemble at the 2013 Iowa City Jazz Festival
Every May, this collaborative high school ensemble comes together to prepare for the Jazz Festival. Directed by Rich Medd and Ryan Arp, the band is composed of students from Iowa City High School and West High School in Iowa City. For 20 years, this group has served as of one of signature elements of the Iowa City Jazz Festival’s commitment to education outreach. The deep immersion of students in jazz over the summer not only strengthens their musical growth, but builds a strong bond between the programs at the two schools. Their sound swings so hard that you can’t help but agree about the bright future of the music!   

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland    
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Paquito D’Rivera
Havana-born saxophonist and clarinetist Paquito D’Rivera began as somewhat of a child prodigy. Today his international style moves from bebop to Latin to Mozart. D’Rivera and bassist David Fink join McPartland for “Birk’s Works,” in honor of composer Dizzy Gillespie, and perform “A Night in Englewood.”   

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"Birth Date Anniversary Celebration for Jimmy Giuffre"     
Craig celebrates the life and legacy of reedman, composer, arranger, and educator, James Peter Giuffre, born April 26th, 1921. We'll hear dazzling selections from throughout his career, beginning with some arrangements for Woody Herman in the late 40s, his time as a central figure in "West Coast" jazz, his groundbreaking experimental trios, right up through the 90s when he retired for health reasons. Giuffre, who passed away 2 days shy of his 87th birthday, was a seminal figure in the development of modern jazz. Essential!     

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM
Eddie Condon: Renaissance Man of Jazz              
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band welcomes Maggie Condon, who shares a wealth of stories on the subject of her famous father: Eddie Condon — guitarist, bandleader, writer, and wisecracker. Don’t miss the music and memories about this remarkable musician, truly a Renaissance man of jazz.                          

KCCK's Midnight CD
The Monday - Sunday Midnight CD for this week can be found at:
http://www.kcck.org/onair/midnight_cd.php







Week of April 14, 2014

Short List with Bob Naujoks                                           
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM  
Cats on the Keys 3: Jimmy Rowles     
Jimmy Rowles had a long career as a supreme accompanist and sideman. He accepted the complement that he was a “musician’s musician.” To some that is faint praise, but Rowles was the most desired collaborator with such great jazz vocalists as Ella Fitzgerald, Carmen McRae, Peggy Lee, Sarah Vaughan and Tony Bennett. He also played in the bands of Benny Carter, Woody Herman and Benny Goodman, and as a partner with saxophonists Lester Young and Stan Getz. His tune “The Peacocks” is a jazz standard.  

Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson    
Monday at 6:00 PM
Duke Ellington IV: The Bandleader, Part 2              
Trumpeter Clark Terry said being in Duke Ellington's band was like "being a member of the royal family -- or the New York Yankees." Host Nancy Wilson explore the sound, sheen, and sophistication of the Ellington band through the eyes and ears of its members, who say that part of the secret of the band's success was in its continuity from year to year, or as historian and composer David Baker argues "There was only one place to go out of the Ellington Band…down."

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"Birthday Celebration for Herbie Hancock"  
In this week's show, Craig celebrates the 74th birthday of top-notch keyboardist and composer, Herbert Jeffrey Hancock, born in Chicago, April 12, 1940.  We'll hear gems from throughout his lengthy career which began in 1961 with Donald Byrd, right up to the present....including his Blue Note years, his time with Miles, his famous septet records for Warner Brothers, his more recent work for Columbia Records, and many other goodies!  

Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wendell Pierce  
Tuesday at 6:00 PM
The Music of Gillespie and Puente           
The vibrant sound of Latin jazz is rooted in the musical heritage of Dizzy Gillespie and 'Mambo King' Tito Puente.  Bassist Carlos Henriquez leads the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with conguero Giovanni Hidalgo and drummer Ignacio Berroa. Selections include Manteca, Ran Kan Kan, Oye Como Va and more.            

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Billy Childs at The Blue Whale in Los Angeles                                         
The pianist's quartet with Bob Sheppard on flute and three different saxophones plays Childs's compositions and "Bolivia" by the late Cedar Walton. 

Wednesday Night Special        
7:00 PM (Follows JazzSet)  
Gabe Medd with the Kirkwood Jazz Ensemble (New)  
Iowa City native, Gabe Medd, an accomplished trumpet player, performed his first gig at the age of 10. Now 22 years of age, his resume includes the North Sea Jazz Festival, Monterey Jazz Festival, Iowa City Jazz Festival, Jazz Standard, Iridium, Chicago Jazz Showcase, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola, the Blue Note and KCCK’s Jazz Under the Stars. Medd, a graduate of Iowa City West High School, currently studies at the Julliard School. He has been endorsed by Wynton Marsalis among “The Next Generation of Jazz Greats” and received mention in the Wall Street Journal. The Kirkwood Jazz ensembles are directed by Al Naylor, member of the Iowa Jazz Educators Hall of Fame.  

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland    
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Steely Dan
Guitarist Walter Becker and singer/pianist Donald Fagen are the duo at the core of the jazz-influenced rock band, Steely Dan. They grew up listening to Bill Evans, Charles Mingus, Sonny Rollins, Charlie Parker and Duke Ellington. Since the late 1960's they have been continually honing their integration of jazz and rock. The pair performs Steely Dan hits “Josie” and “Chain Lightning” as well as standards “Mood Indigo” and “Hesitation Blues.” 

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"The 75th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Note Records - Show #7"    
Craig continues his chronological survey of the evolution of Blue Note Records with more classic material from the mid and late 1950s. We'll hear selections from each and every Blue Note recording session, including gems from Lee Morgan, Horace Silver, Lou Donaldson, Sonny Rollins, and a host of others. Don't miss it!   

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM
Inventive Mr. Edison: The Life and Music of Harry “Sweets” Edison              
His name was Harry, but everyone called him Sweets — Harry "Sweets" Edison, the trumpet wizard who's spare, blues-rooted solos gave the Count Basie Band that unmistakable sound. Join the Jim Cullum Jazz Band as they reflect on the life and music of the inventive Mr. Edison.                         

KCCK's Midnight CD
The Monday - Sunday Midnight CD for this week can be found at:
http://www.kcck.org/onair/midnight_cd.php







Week of April 7, 2014

Short List with Bob Naujoks                                           
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM  
Cats on the Keys 3: Hampton Hawes    
Writer and critic Scott Yanow called West Coast pianist Hamp Hawes “one of the finest jazz pianists of the 1950s.” Hampton Hawes came out of the bebop school of jazz, strongly influenced by the great Bud Powell. He was a key player in the hotbed of 1950s modern jazz on Central Avenue in Los Angeles. His recording history began with the brilliant but unsung trumpeter Howard McGhee in 1947, and he would record with many who became jazz greats. His heroin addiction put him in Federal Prison, but he received a Presidential pardon from John F. Kennedy.

Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson    
Monday at 6:00 PM
Duke Ellington III: The Bandleader, Part 1             
Duke Ellington, the bandleader, was an icon. From his humble beginnings with a little six-piece band from Washington, DC, he assembled one of the greatest orchestras in the history of jazz and kept it going for almost fifty years. Ellington developed jazz orchestration to levels never before imagined, and he remained an ubiquitous presence in American music. The Duke Ellington Orchestra was an institution, something even the greatest musicians aspired to be part of. Duke's ability to captivate audiences and capture an exhilarating array of emotions through his music and its exquisite presentation has never been replicated. This program features commentary from Duke biographer John Edward Hasse, composer and educator David Baker, Dr. Billy Taylor, composer Gunther Schuller, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, and Ellington band veterans Clark Terry, Joya Sherrill, and Louis Bellson.

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"The 75th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Note Records -- Show #6"   
Craig continues his chronological survey of the evolution of Blue Note Records with more classic "modern jazz" material from the mid-1950s. We'll hear selections from each and every Blue Note recording session, including dates from jazz greats Herbie Nichols, Jimmy Smith, Thad Jones, Kenny Burrell, Johnny Griffin, and many others. These are some of the most important jazz recordings of the 20th century!


Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wendell Pierce  
Tuesday at 6:00 PM
Bill Frisell: Gershwin & Beyond (Jazz Appreciation Month Special!)           
After decades at the forefront of jazz and new music, guitarist-composer Bill Frisell steps back to explore the roots of American songwriting. Accompanied by a trio of vocalists and multi-instrumentalists, Frisell brings the music of Gershwin, Billings, Foster, and Ives to the stage of the Allen Room.           

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Aaron Diehl Wins the Cole Porter Fellowship in Indianapolis          
As the American Pianists Association begins a year-long competition for the 2015 Cole Porter Fellowship, here is Aaron Diehl winning the current crown and performing with Dee Dee Bridgewater.           

Wednesday Night Special        
7:00 PM (Follows JazzSet)  
University of Iowa Latin Jazz Ensemble at The Mill (2013)
The University of Iowa Latin Jazz Ensemble is a group ranging from 10-15 members dedicated to playing the music of the Caribbean and South America. Its programs each semester are often centered around one country or region, and regularly feature an expanded rhythm section. LJE records an album every other year, and presents an annual Latin Jazz Festival each December. This group is directed by James Dreier, a founding member of Orquesta Alto Maiz and is widely regarded as a resource for Afro-Cuban drum styles. Members of LJE are selected by audition in the fall of each academic year.  Enjoy the UI Latin Jazz Ensemble at The Mill on our Wednesday Night Special at 7:00 following JazzSet on Jazz 88-3, KCCK.
Join KCCK either in person or on-air Thursday, April 10th at 6:00 p.m. for our Jazz Appreciation Month Special when we broadcast LIVE from The Mill in Iowa City. The broadcast will feature the Area 51 Sec 2 guitar combo led by Steve Grismore and the University of Iowa Latin Jazz Ensemble led by Jim Dreier.  

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland    
Thursday at 6:00 PM
(pre-empted this week for our Jazz Appreciation Month special live broadcast from The Mill in Iowa City)  

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"Birthday Celebration for Herbie Hancock"   
In this week's show, Craig celebrates the 74th birthday of top-notch keyboardist and composer, Herbert Jeffrey Hancock, born in Chicago, April 12, 1940.  We'll hear gems from throughout his lengthy career which began in 1961 with Donald Byrd, right up to the present....including his Blue Note years, his time with Miles, his famous septet records for Warner Brothers, his more recent work for Columbia Records, and many other goodies!   

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM
Deuce Ambience: The Jazz Guitar of Marty Grosz and Howard Alden              
The guitar: Portable, popular, and sheer magic in the right hands — like those of Lonnie Johnson or Eddie Lang, Carl Kress or Django Reinhardt. The Jim Cullum Jazz Band welcomes Marty Grosz and Howard Alden to talk jazz guitar and the legendary players who made magic with the instrument.                        

KCCK's Midnight CD
The Monday - Sunday Midnight CD for this week can be found at:
http://www.kcck.org/onair/midnight_cd.php


Thursday, February 20, 2014

KCCK's IOS App - New and Improved!

KCCK's app for IOS devices has been updated, with a very cool new look and improved functionality. When you load the app, you'll see some rotating screens featuring KCCK's signature events, like Jazz Under The Stars and the Iowa City Jazz Festival. The screen is now optimized for the iPhone 5/5s, but looks good with previous phones as well.

Other improvements:

  • You can choose between both our program streams, KCCK and The Iowa Channel, from within the app, no need any longer to download a separate Iowa Channel App.
  • Title, artist, and album art from what is currently playing display on the lower portion of the screen.
  • On wi-fi, the app will feed our 128K, high-quality audio stream. When the data connection is not so good, it will automatically dial down to a lower bit rate.
  • Links to kcck.org, our program schedule, and an alarm clock widget are at the bottom of the screen.
Android users: We haven't forgotten you! A refresh of the Android app is in process, and should be up in a week or two.

KCCK's IOS app is primarily for mobile listening on your phone, but can also be used on the iPad.

Download the new version in the iTunes App Store.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kennedy Student wins Corridor Jazz Project CD Cover Contest

Cover Art for Corridor Jazz CD, by Kelsey Bills
Kelsey Bills, a junior at Kennedy High School in Cedar Rapids, has been chosen as the winner of the Corridor Jazz Project CD Cover design. Bills will receive a $100 cash prize from KCCK-FM and her design will adorn the cover of the “The Corridor Jazz Project VII”, a compilation of recordings from the top jazz bands from Jefferson, Kennedy, Prairie, Xavier and Washington High Schools in Cedar Rapids, Linn Mar and, Marion in Marion; City and West High Schools in Iowa City, Solon High School and Lisbon High School.

Receiving Honorable Mention in the contest were seven other students, also from Kennedy:
  • Elektra Noble
  • Emily Fitzpatrick
  • Lydia Luton
  • Brittainy Gail
  • Aimee Ermer
  • Rowan Bergen
  • Ryann Jensen

The Corridor Jazz Project CDs, along with tickets for the CD Release Concert, March 31st at Iowa City West High School, will go on sale February 15th. Tickets are $10, and will be available at the door.

Bills’ original piece, and those receiving Honorable Mention will all be exhibited during the March 31st concert. 

The Corridor Jazz Project is a jazz education and mentoring program for jazz band students at the public high schools in the Creative Corridor  The program, developed as a part of the education outreach of Jazz 88.3 KCCK, matches each school’s top jazz band with a professional jazz player, who performed as a guest soloist with the band. The subsequent recordings have been collected and will be released on a compilation CD. CDs will be made available to each school to sell and keep the proceeds. CDs will be available at local retail outlets as well.  

Support for the Corridor Jazz Project comes from MidWestOne Bank, Rockwell Collins, and West Music.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

New Music Monday for January 20, 2014

     Award-winning soprano saxophonist Jane Ira Bloom has always had a special feeling for ballad performances. Her love for melody comes directly from her earliest exposure to American standards.  A few years ago, she noticed that the two or three ballads she would regularly include in live settings attracted special attention from the audience. This led to the idea of ‘all ballads’ programs in her concert and club performances, and is what ultimately informed the concept for her CD, “Sixteen Sunsets.” The beautiful new recording features expressive interpretations from the American Songbook along with five original compositions. Her 15th CD as leader teams her up with long-time colleagues Cameron Brown on bass and Matt Wilson on drums and the exciting new pianist Dominic Fallacaro.
     Picture a giant New Orleans brass big band playing wild funk-jazz with some wild odd meters and twisted melodies. Add in a dollop of whacky lyrics and you have Frank Macchia’s “Grease Mechanix. Jazziz magazine describes the three-time Grammy nominated composer and saxophonist as “an inventive composer and arranger who deserves comparison to Gil Evans and Pat Metheny.” Macchia, who composed and arranged the project, is joined by some of Los Angeles’ best jazz players including Peter Erskine, Eric Marienthal, Bob Shepard, Bill Reichenbach and Wayne Bergeron.

     Also this week, drummer Matt Wilson and his quartet are joined by special guest keyboardist John Medeski for “Gathering Call”; alto saxophonist Matt Criscuolo is joined by veteran pianist Larry Willis for his fourth CD as a leader, “Blippity Blat”; and pianist Larry Gelb offers up a new trio recording, “The Love Songs of Ian Ops.”

Special Programs for the Week of January 20 - 26

Short List with Bob Naujoks                                           
Mon. - Thurs. at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM
Vocal Short List 13: Boz Scaggs                                 
The former pop-rock artist Boz Scaggs has in recent years turned his attention to the Great American Songbook, and to good effect. Scaggs is a veteran of the early Steve Miller Blues Band and a top-selling artist in the 1970s, but on the suggestion of a friend began singing the standards, and finally in 2000, issued an album of love songs. To his credit, Boz Scaggs is at the service of the songs.

Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson    
Monday at 6:00 PM
Charlie Parker: 'Bird Lives!' Part 2   
Charles "Yardbird" Parker was a self-taught innovator who could fly higher and cut deeper than any other musician of his day. Parker pioneered the bebop movement in jazz with trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie. He influenced generations of musicians. The concluding half of this story focuses on Bird's influence on other musicians, his celebrated return to New York, his superstar acceptance in Europe, his experimentations with strings, and his premature, tragic death. Interviewees include Jackie McLean and Mitch Miller.  

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"Shirley Scott -- Queen of the Hammond B-3 Organ - Part Two"
Craig takes us on a tour looking at more material from the sparkling career of this great jazz organist.  We'll hear additional classic recordings from throughout her 35 year career including sides from Cadet, Prestige, Impulse, Blue Note, Candid, and other record labels. She was truly one of the greats!   

Jazz at Lincoln Center with Wendell Pierce  
Tuesday at 6:00 PM
Bird with Strings   
In 1949, Charlie Parker envisioned an album that would link jazz to pop and influence artists to come.  His legendary venture with strings has done just that. Parker with Strings set his searching solos against a lush string quartet. And onstage Bird lives - as we feature saxophonists Wess Anderson and Charles McPherson and the Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas.  

JazzSet with Dee Dee Bridgewater
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Abbey Lincoln’s Songs
Always a vocalist, Lincoln (1930-2010) acted in movies, fought for Civil Rights, and – in her long, productive last chapter – wrote and recorded personal songs about life. New meanings begin to emerge as Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dianne Reeves and Cassandra Wilson sing Abbey. Musical Director Terri Lyne Carrington.     

Wednesday Night Special     
7:00 PM (Follows JazzSet)
Christian Scott Quintet at the 2013 Iowa City Jazz Festival
Christian Scott, the Grammy Nominated and two time Edison Award winning jazz trumpeter, composer and producer, was only 13 when he began playing with his uncle, jazz alto saxophonist, Donald Harrison. By 14, he was accepted into the New Orleans Center of Creative Arts where he studied jazz under the guidance of program directors, Clyde Kerr, Jr. and Kent Jordan. His New Orleans roots served him well and he earned two degrees in two years at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he studied under Charlie Lewis, Dave Santoro, and Gary Burton. He eventually launched a music career that has positioned him as one of the great innovators of his generation.

In 2002 he made his solo debut with his self-released and self-titled album, Christian Scott. In 2006, landing a record deal with Concord Jazz, Scott released Rewind That, an album whose mixture of modern jazz, rock and R&B garnered both criticism and praise – but ultimately a Grammy nomination. Anthem was released the following year and Yesterday You Said Tomorrow came out in 2010. During 2011-12, he toured and recorded with the band 90 Miles that also featured Stefon Harris and David Sanchez. His 2-CD release, Christian aTunde Adjuah in 2012, also on Concord, is his most ambitious and expansive recording to date.

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland    
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Jim Hall
Widely admired as a gifted and innovative player, jazz guitarist Jim Hall (he passed away Dec. 10th at the age of 83) had an amazing career spanning more than five decades. Recently, Hall had entered a new creative space, writing and arranging choral and orchestral compositions, all the while continuing to record and perform in a variety of settings. The NEA Jazz Master teams up with McPartland and bassist Gary Mazzaroppi for “Blue Monk” and solos on “All the Things You Are.”                     

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"Birthday Celebration for Benny Golson"
Craig celebrates the 85th birthday of the great tenorman, composer, and arranger, Benny Golson, with a wonderful mix of jazz gems from throughout his career of 60+ years! We'll hear his writing and playing with jazz giants like Tadd Dameron, Art Blakey, Lee Morgan, Dizzy Gillespie, Wynton Kelly, Charles Mingus, and so many others. We'll also hear from his own group, The Jazztet, as well as other dates that feature Golson as the band leader. Come along and join in on the fun!  

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM
A Triple Crown of Tunesmiths: Youmans, Barris and Green  
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band welcomes New Orleans vocalist Topsy Chapman, Broadway’s Carol Woods, and piano legend Dick Hyman. They honor a trio of top composers of jazz standards — Vincent Youmans (“Time on My Hands”), Harry Barris (“Mississippi Mud”), and Johnny Green (“Body and Soul”).               

KCCK's Midnight CD
The Monday - Sunday Midnight CD for this week can be found at:

Sunday, January 12, 2014

New Music Monday for January 13, 2014

     Any recording made by the legendary pianist Randy Weston is cause for celebration. His legacy with jazz music has spanned over six decades and has put him in contact with the lion’s share of progenitors and innovators of the music. Tenor sax great Billy Harper comes from an equally diverse musical background with a musical journey spanning from his Texas blues background to the avant-garde sounds of New York of the 1970s, where the Brooklyn born Weston had already been innovating and exploring African inspirations of jazz for nearly twenty years. Originally having met in 1972, Weston and Harper have collaborated on and off for over four decades. The pair’s new recording, “The Roots of the Blues,” brings these two giants of jazz together to create moving renditions of ten compositions from Weston’s incredible anthology along with three standards and a Harper original.
    Saxophonist and flutist Mitch Frohman, known for his 25-year stint with the Tito Puente Orchestra & Latin Jazz Ensemble, as well as his membership in the Mongo Santamaria band, is finally set to release his debut album. Leader and co-leader of three of the most in-demand Latin and Latin jazz groups (the Bronx Horns, The Mambo Legends Orchestra, and the Eddie Torres Mambo Kings), Frohman is long overdue to present his own music to the faithful Latin jazz audience. His new two-disc set, “From Daddy, With Love,” features a young and experienced cast of players: Zaccai Curtis of Donald Harrison’s Quartet, Luques Curtis of Eddie Palmieri’s band, and drummer Joel Mateo from the Miguel Zenon Quartet. For this project, Frohman showcases himself as a multi-reed instrumentalist, playing tenor, baritone and soprano saxophones and flute.

     Also this week, the singular guitarist John Stowell and saxophone legend Dave Liebman present an intimate set of duets on “Blue Rose”; Israeli natives Avishai Cohen on bass and Nitai Hershkovits on piano pair up for “Duende”; and 7 On 7 brings a modern mainstream spin to the great small band sound of the hard bop era on “Back When It Was Fun,” featuring trumpeter Clay Jenkins and trombonist Paul McKee.