Thursday, July 30, 2015

New Music Monday for August 3, 2015



     George Cables is one of the world’s greatest jazz pianists, one who helped define the sound of the instrument as we know it today. He’s been making unostentatious music at the keyboard for decades. His new release, “In Good Company,” though focusing on people Cables has known in the past, is not a tribute album but rather a series of personal reminiscences from the keyboard. On display on every track are those wonderful turns of phrases, interesting voicings and that gorgeous tone which characterizes Cables’ playing. With musical compadres Essiet Essiet and Victor Lewis, Cables explores the music of Ellington, Strayhorn, John Hicks, and offers a couple of his own intensely interesting compositions.

     Saxophonist extraordinaire Walt Weiskopf shifts into another gear and takes us along for the ride on the “Open Road.” As a tour de force collection of hard hitting originals, Weiskopf’s second release for Posi-Tone Records features the swinging rhythm section of pianist Peter Zak, bassist Mike Karn and drummer Steve Fidyk. All of the musicians do some heavy lifting behind the sensational melodicism and harmonic inventions of their fearless leader.

     Also this week, it’s the final release for the late guitarist Jeff Golub, “The Vault,” featuring saxophonist Kirk Whalum; veteran trumpet stand-outs Randy Brecker and Bobby Shew are featured with the Czech National Symphony Orchestra and St. Blaise’s Big Band, under the direction of Vince Mendoza, on “Trumpet Summit Prague: the Mendoza Arrangements Live”; and Eastern Iowa’s own Laranja, featuring guitarist Dan Padley, reedman Ryan Smith, keyboardist Michael Jarvey, bassist Drew Morton and drummer Justin Leduc, unveil “Thrills and Echoes.”

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

This Week's Special Shows


Week of August 3, 2015

Short List with Bob Naujoks
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM
Jazz and the Spoken Word: Jim McKean and William Ford                                                   
“Jazz and the Spoken Word” Short List series is about a small group of writers and musicians who have worked to blend the rhythm of jazz with the rhythm of poetry and the spoken word. The series reveals some of the best attempts at combining the two art forms during the past 90 years. This week on The Short List it is jazz poetry from the Heartland. Two Iowa City poets are featured – Jim McKean and William Ford. McKean has written two poems that reference jazz music though his main body of work is more personal. On the other hand a greater part of the poetry of Bill Ford is about jazz and the musicians who made it. Both writers have combined a love for jazz music and wider view on life itself in their works. Historic recordings will put the words in context with the music.                           
   
Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson
Monday at 6:00 PM
Mary Lou Williams, 'Perpetually Contemporary'        
Mary Lou Williams achieved and maintained a status that many women in jazz found elusive: unwavering respect from male colleagues as a musical equal. Her accomplishments are many as arranger and pianist with Andy Kirk and his Twelve Clouds of Joy, with her own small groups, and with the be-bop artists of the '40s. Throughout, she was always -- as Duke Ellington once said -- "perpetually contemporary."         

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"Obscure Pianists"           
Craig presents the first of a series of shows spotlighting a handful of jazz pianists who are not exactly "household names". We'll hear selections from Alex Kallao, Jessica Williams, Pete Jolly, Richard Twardzik, Stanley Cowell, Valdo Williams, Joseph Scianni, Hal Schaeffer, and others.

New Orleans Calling with George Ingmire    
Tuesday at 6:00 PM 
In Search of Satchmo 
This week's episode, titled "In Search of Satchmo," focuses on the great Louis Armstrong. The presence and spirit of "Satchmo" can be found in books, in movies, and on recordings spanning many decades. But in New Orleans, he’s very much alive in another way: in the spirit of the musicians of the city.

Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Joey Alexander at Jazz at Lincoln Center         
Jazz Night in America explores jazz prodigies from different eras.  We highlight 11-year-old pianist, Joey Alexander, whose first album “My Favorite Things,” came out this spring.                          

Wednesday Night Special               
7:00 PM (Follows Jazz Night in America)   
Gabe Medd with CR Jazz Band at Kirkwood            
Iowa City native, Gabe Medd, an accomplished trumpet player, performed his first gig at the age of 10. Now 25 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 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 CR Jazz Band, comprised of some of the area’s top professional jazz players and educators, is directed by Al Naylor, member of the Iowa Jazz Educators Hall of Fame.

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland     
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Kenny Burrell     
Guitarist Kenny Burrell has been called a “cool, controlled romantic” whose textured playing is “subtle yet sensual, meditative, exultant, wry, and intimate.” He may well be one of the most lyrical guitarists on the jazz scene. In fact, he was Duke Ellington’s favorite improviser on the guitar. Burrell delights on this 1993 Piano Jazz with a solo of “‘Round Midnight.” He joins McPartland for “Don’t Worry ‘bout Me.”                            

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"Birth Date Anniversary Celebration for Benny Carter"           
Craig salutes this major composer, arranger, band leader, alto saxophonist, clarinetist, trumpeter, Bennett Lester "Benny" Carter, who was born on this date, August 8th, back in 1907. We'll hear selections from throughout his 70 year career in jazz, revisiting his work for a variety of jazz record labels....Bluebird, Pablo, Music Masters, Brunswick, Verve, Swingville, and others!                            

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM 
At the Jazz Band Ball: Jazz Classics Live from the Stanford Jazz Workshop            
At the Jazz Band Ball: Jazz Classics Live from the Stanford Jazz Workshop
Here’s a high-energy concert of red-hot traditional jazz classics from old New Orleans and 1920s Chicago. Join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and clarinetist Evan Christopher as they perform at the Stanford Jazz Workshop.                                     
 
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 July 27, 2015

Short List with Bob Naujoks
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM
Jazz and the Spoken Word: Kenneth Pachen                                  
“Jazz & the Spoken Word” Short List series is about a small group of writers and musicians who have worked to blend the rhythm of jazz with the rhythm of poetry and the spoken word. The series reveals some of the best attempts at combining the two art forms during the past 90 years. This week it is Kenneth Pachen who was a major influence on the Beat Generation of poets though he disliked being included in their group. Kenneth Patchen was one of the first to do live readings of his poetry, and one of the first to use jazz music as a background track.                          
   
Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson
Monday at 6:00 PM
Sidney Bechet, 'Soprano Sax King'       
Sidney Bechet (1897-1959) started playing the clarinet when he was 13 years old. By the time of his death, at age 62, he was considered one of the most innovative and original clarinetists and soprano saxophonists in jazz. He brought to the instrument an unequaled energy, clarity and verve and was best known for his heavy vibrato. Temperamental and creative, Bechet left a profound mark in the way the clarinet and the soprano saxophone is played today. His autobiography, "Treat It Gentle" is still considered one of the best personal accounts of the life and times of a jazzman. This show explores his legacy.        

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Monday, 7:00 PM - 11:00 PM (follows Jazz Profiles)
"McCoy Tyner – His Blue Note Years"         
Craig recently presented a show spotlighting McCoy Tyner during his Milestone years (1972 to 1994). This week, Craig does the same with McCoy's prolific association with the Blue Note record label (December, 1965 through October, 1970, and again from Feb.1985 thru 1989). Among his many Blue Note recordings as a leader, we'll also hear Tyner as a sideman with the likes of Hank Mobley, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Stanley Turrentine, Bobby Hutcherson, Lou Donaldson, Wayne Shorter, and others.             

New Orleans Calling with George Ingmire    
Tuesday at 6:00 PM 
"Rhythm Pilgrimage"                   
Ben Schenck arrived in New Orleans in 1988 with a clarinet, a bicycle, and $100 in his pocket, on a pilgrimage to live within the music of the city. And over three decades his fascination with New Orleans and Caribbean rhythms combined with his forays into music from Eastern Europe and beyond, creating a mix of styles that's still rooted in New Orleans jazz. In this episode of New Orleans Calling, Ben sits down on his porch with our host George Ingmire, and demonstrates these fascinating and related rhythms from around the world -- followed by a special exclusive live performance, of Ben's Panorama Jazz Band recorded at the historic Basin Street Station.

Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
Joey Alexander at Jazz at Lincoln Center        
Jazz Night in America explores jazz prodigies from different eras.  We highlight 11-year-old pianist, Joey Alexander, whose first album came out this spring.                          

Wednesday Night Special               
7:00 PM (Follows Jazz Night in America)   
Uniphonics at KCCK’s Jazz Under the Stars 2014             
We're gearing-up for this summer's Jazz Under the Stars concerts with encore performances from last August.                                                                                                                          
Uniphonics formed in 2007, and in the years since have played on bills with internationally touring superstars like Victor Wooten, EOTO, Primus, The Roots, Rusted Root, and Parliament Funkadelic. They are also regular performers at Euforquestra’s Camp Euphoria. Their 2010 release "CRAWL" featured Grammy award winner Robin Eubanks and Iowa blues guitar legend Dennis McMurrin. The Uniphonics performance was the first time a Jazz Under the Stars concert was given at the McGrath Ampitheatre in downtown Cedar Rapids.  
For a schedule of our 2015 Jazz Under the Stars concert series on Thursday nights in August go to: http://www.kcck.org/juts/

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland     
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Skitch Henderson    
Skitch Henderson (1918 – 2005) worked as a piano soloist on Frank Sinatra’s and Bing Crosby’s radio shows. He began a long-time association with NBC in 1951, appearing as pianist, conductor, leader, and even comedian on The Tonight Show with host Steve Allen. In 1962, he began as conductor of the orchestra for The Tonight Show with host Johnny Carson. On this 1992 episode of Piano Jazz, Henderson plays one of his own compositions, the theme song from the film Act 1.           

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"Obscure Pianists"          
Craig presents the first of a series of shows spotlighting a handful of jazz pianists who are not exactly "household names". We'll hear selections from Alex Kallao, Jessica Williams, Pete Jolly, Richard Twardzik, Stanley Cowell, Valdo Williams, Joseph Scianni, Hal Schaeffer, and others. Don't miss this tasteful mix of eye-opening jazz piano offerings!

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM 
Chicago Reeds: Live from the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee           
Live from the Sacramento Jazz Jubilee, special guests Kim Cusack and Bobby Gordon join The Jim Cullum Jazz Band to celebrate three clarinetists: Jimmy Noone, Frank Teschemacher and Benny Goodman — trailblazers who emerged from the Chicago jazz scene in the 1920s.                                 
 
KCCK's Midnight CD
The Monday - Sunday Midnight CD for this week can be found at:
http://www.kcck.org/onair/midnight_cd.php



Wednesday, July 22, 2015

New Music Monday for July 27, 2015

Listen to this playlist on YouTube and Spotify!

     Norwegian trumpeter Mathias Eick pays tribute to the North American Midwest on a new CD of intensely melodic compositions which reflect thematically upon journeys and homecomings both literal and spiritual. The original inspiration for “Midwest” came during an arduous tour of the U.S. and Canada. “We’d started on the West Coast and were driving long distances every day. I was beginning to get very homesick. Then we reached the area called the Rural Midwest and I suddenly had the strange feeling I was home. Parts of the Midwest remind me strongly of parts of Norway…” In his music for the disc, Eick sketches an imaginary voyage from the village of his birth, over the seas to America.
     “All in the Family” brings together two members of Chicago’s Freeman family that have never recorded together until now. Legendary guitarist George Freeman, who celebrated his 88th birthday in April, played with the likes of Charlie Parker and Gene Ammons and was recently selected as Chicagoan of the Year by Chicago Tribune Arts Critic Howard Reich. The career of world-renowned saxophonist Chico Freeman, who is George’s nephew and Von Freeman’s son, has taken him from his early years with Chicago’s AACM to Earth, Wind and Fire to producing, performing and recording with legendary musicians in New York including Elvin Jones. Together, they present their musical legacy of Chicago jazz with a program of originals by both players.
     Also this week, legendary Grammy-nominee percussionist Sammy Figueroa unveils his fourth release as a leader, “Imaginary World,” featuring Venezuelan pianist and composer Silvano Monasterios; New Orleans keyboardist and composer Charlie Dennard offers up his second release, an organ trio affair, “5 O’ Clock Charlie”; and Sacramento-based pianist Jim Martinez blends a set of Vince Guaraldi compositions with some Guaraldi-esque pieces of his own on “Good Grief! It’s Still Jim Martinez.”

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Music Monday for July 20, 2015

Listen to this playlist on YouTube and Spotify!

     Pianist Donald Vega’s origins were in Sandinista-era Nicaragua, where he spent the first fourteen years of his journey. His mother then brought him to Los Angeles, where he would eventually meet drum icon Billy Higgins. Higgins nurtured Vega’s will to swing, to play jazz without a ‘Latin accent,’ turning him on to Bud Powell and Charlie Parker. In 2005 he began studies with pianist Kenny Barron at both the Manhattan School of Music and Julliard. More recently, he was the late Mulgrew Miller’s replacement in the Ron Carter Trio. For his third release for Resonance Records, “With Respect to Monty,” Vega celebrates the Jamaican jazz icon Monty Alexander with a hard-swinging compilation of Monty’s great, early compositions. His all-star quartet includes guitarist Anthony Wilson, drummer Lewis Nash and bassist Hassan Shakur.
     Winner of the 2012 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Drums competition, Jamison Ross is set to release his debut disc, “Jamison,” which not only showcases his prowess as a jazz musician who commands the drums, but also a gifted composer, arranger and, more pointedly, a singer. “When I won the Monk competition, no one there knew I could sing,” he says. “When I took the quest to record my first record, I was torn between my heart as a drummer and my heart as a singer. Ultimately, I was compelled to take a journey that incorporated my voice as part of my sound.” Infused with jazz, blues and genuine soul, the disc filters music from multiple sources through a contemporary approach, refreshing material by Muddy Waters, Eddie Harris and Les McCann and Carmen Lundy, while mixing in some of his own compositions.
     Also this week, legendary guitarists Larry Carlton and David T. Walker share the stage for the first time “@ Billboard Live Tokyo”; guitarist and composer Kenny Carr, who spent ten years touring the world with Ray Charles, unveils his fourth CD as a leader, “Idle Talk,” collaborating with longtime friends Donny McCaslin on reeds, Kenny Wolleson on drums and Hans Glawischnig on bass; and the Jazz Professors, with special guest Michael Philip Mossman, perform music inspired by the art of French Impressionist Claude Monet with “En Plein Air.”

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

New Music Monday for July 13, 2015

Listen to this playlist on YouTube and Spotify!

     In a musical world where keeping a working band has been difficult for many bandleaders, drummer Steve Smith has managed to keep three bands working for the past three decades. His jazz-rock band Vital Information has been touring and recording for more than thirty years, while his straight-ahead groups Buddy’s Buddies, made up of Buddy Rich alumni, and Steve Smith’s Jazz Legacy have each been in existence for the last five years. Therefore, it makes perfect sense for the drummer to blend all three bands for a new studio disc, “Viewpoint,” with a band called Vital Information-NYC Edition. It includes saxophonist Andy Fusco and pianist Mark Soskin from Buddy’s Buddies and Jazz Legacy, guitarist Vinny Valentino from Vital Information, and bassist Baron Browne from all three bands.
     Organist Brian Charette takes it to the streets and brings it all back home with his ninth release as a leader, “Alphabet City,” so named for the area of Manhattan where he lives. While the compositional focus and musical crux of the CD rests squarely on the shoulder of Charette and his Hammond B-3, the additional contributions of guitar Will Bernard and drummer Rudy Royston also provide melodic highlights and the necessary rhythmic support to keep the session deeply in the pocket. Those who caught the trio at the Iowa City Jazz Festival this month can attest to tightness of the ensemble.
      Grammy nominee Wayne Wallace celebrates the ever-developing cultural   conversation between the U.S. and Cuba with “Intercambio,” the fifth, and strongest, release by his acclaimed Latin Jazz Quintet; British saxophonist Steve Kaldestad, who has now relocated to Vancouver, British Columbia, is joined by pianist Renee Rosnes and her trio for his third disc as leader, “New York Afternoon”; and “Butterfly Blue” finds vocalist Halie Loren drawing inspiration from blues and soul with a mix of jazz and Songbook standards, re-imagined pop songs and original pieces.