Wednesday, November 26, 2014

This Week's Special Shows

Week of December 1, 2014

Short List with Bob Naujoks
Monday - Friday at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM
Sax Soiree 2: Lee Konitz
Alto Saxophonist Lee Konitz was a member of the forward looking Claude Thornhill Orchestra in the late 1940s and played with trumpeter Miles Davis in the “Birth Of the Cool” recording group. He was not influenced by the bop master, Charlie Parker, as many of his generation were. Rather, his mentor and associate was the iconoclastic pianist Lennie Tristano, whose influence extended farther than his fame. Lee Konitz would be an individualistic player throughout his life and his career extends to this day as Konitz is in his late 80s.
Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson
Monday at 6:00 PM
Abbey Lincoln: "The Power of Voice"  
Few singers have the emotional depth of Abbey Lincoln. And few are as versatile. With a voice capable of evoking the joy and pain of life, Lincoln has been carving a niche as a singer, songwriter, storyteller, actress and survivor during her career. Her own story speaks of hardship and finding herself. Interviewees include Ms. Lincoln, Max Roach, and Benny Carter. Abbey Lincoln was a legendary jazz singer who believed in singing as a political act. She died August 14, 2010 in Manhattan. Lincoln was 80.        

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 # 24"
Craig continues his chronological survey of the evolution of Blue Note Records with more outstanding recorded material from 1966.  We'll hear at least one selection from each and every Blue Note recording session, which includes some tasty jazz classics from Don Cherry, Joe Henderson, Ornette Coleman, Andrew Hill, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, and many others.                            

New Orleans Calling with George Ingmire    
Tuesday at 6:00 PM 
"The Squeezebox"                        
This week we take a look at an instrument that might be old fashioned in much of the world -- but very much alive in New Orleans and Louisiana. It's the accordion, and you'll be surprised by just how versatile and beautiful the accordion really is.    

Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride
Wednesday at 6:00 PM
“Spokfrevo Orquestra: Carnival + Jazz”  
In Brazil, during Carnival, music fills the streets. The Spokfrevo Orquestra bring the joyous music from the streets of Brazil to the Appel Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. “Frevo” is a genre drawing from march, Brazilian quadrilha, polka and classical music. Fronted by virtuoso saxophonist and arranger Inaldo Cavalcante de Albuquerque, better known as Spok, the 17-piece orquestra brings an adventurous program featuring special guests saxophonist Melissa Aldana and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon. Jazz Night in America brings you the highlights from this exhilarating performance while tracing the origins of Brazilian Carnival music.       

Wednesday Night Special             
7:00 PM (Follows Jazz Night in America)  
North Corridor Jazz All Stars at the 2014 Iowa City Jazz Festival     
The North Corridor All-Star Big Band returned for its third performance at the Iowa City Jazz Festival.  Like the United Jazz Ensemble, this group is composed of some of the most talented high school jazz musicians of the corridor from Cedar Rapids to Cedar Falls. Under the direction of Steve Shanley, the North Corridor Jazz All Stars will present a musically diverse program featuring the many facets of Big Band repertoire.       

Piano Jazz with Marian McPartland      
Thursday at 6:00 PM
Liz Story
Pianist/composer Liz Story is a fascinating, ever-changing musician. She was inspired to pursue music after hearing Bill Evans perform, and her music has been compared to Copeland, Chopin, Debussy, Keith Jarrett, and Chick Corea. In this 1993 Piano Jazz session, Story plays “My Foolish Heart,” then she and McPartland get together for “All the Things You Are.”       

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday, Noon - 4:00 PM
"The 75th Anniversary Celebration of Blue Note Records -- Show #25"
Craig continues his chronological survey of the evolution of Blue Note Records with more classic material from 1966.  We'll hear at least one selection from each and every Blue Note recording session, including fascinating jazz gems from Cecil Taylor, Lee Morgan, Donald Byrd, Hank Mobley, Don Cherry, Larry Young, and many others....ESSENTIAL LISTENING from the premier modern jazz label of the 20th century!!         

Riverwalk Jazz
Sunday at 5:00 PM  
A New Generation: Clarinetist Virtuoso Dave Bennett            
The Jim Cullum Jazz Band and clarinet phenom Dave Bennett, described as an authentic musical prodigy, explore the legacy of Benny Goodman and the infectious sounds of swing.         

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

Week of November 24, 2014

KCCK’s Special Thanksgiving Day Holiday Broadcast
Thursday, 9:00am -4:30pm (repeated 4:30 pm-Midnight)  

Join KCCK as we celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday with a look back at Jazz Under the Stars 2014. Beginning at 9:00am – over seven hours of some of the best live music that happened anywhere in the Cultural Corridor this year! Our line-up includes the original, sophisticated jazz of Commons Collective, Planet Pluto, featuring Craig Erickson and Natalie Brown with their unique blend of jazz, blues, rock and jam-band music, the progressive arrangements and big band sounds of Colossus and the contemporary soul-funk hip hop of Iowa City’s Uniphonics!

Short List with Bob Naujoks
Mon. – Fri. at 8:35 AM and Saturday at 7 AM             

The Sax Soiree 2 Short List continues with David Sanborn. Writer Scott Yanow called David Sanborn “the most influential saxophonist of the pop, R&B and crossover players of the past 20 years.” Sanborn has also been one of the most commercially successful jazz musicians over that period and a six-time Grammy winner. 

Jazz Profiles with Nancy Wilson           
Monday at 6:00 PM                         

Jimmy Witherspoon is in the spotlight Monday night at 6:00 on Jazz Profiles. Blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon had a deep, smoky voice and recorded dozens of albums and fronted bands and orchestras. Throughout his career, "Spoon" managed to span the worlds of blues, R&B and jazz with his deep baritone and unique style. His collaborators ranged from Count Basie to Eric Burdon, Gerry Mulligan to Van Morrison, and T-Bone Walker to Robben Ford. 

Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler    
Monday 7:00 PM 

This week Craig continues his survey of Blue Note Records with more exceptional material from 1965. We'll hear from every Blue Note recording session, including those from Bobby Hutcherson, Herbie Hancock, Dexter Gordon, Grant Green, John Patton, Freddie Hubbard, and many others.

New Orleans Calling with George Ingmire 
Tuesday at 6:00 PM                              

Experience the culture of the “Big Easy” with this hour-long show featuring exclusive New Orleans stories, interviews and music. 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                              

It will be “Very Very Threadgill” on Jazz Night in America with Christian McBride Wednesday night (tonight) at 6:00. A postcard from a two-day celebration of Henry Threadgill, one of the world’s leading avant-garde composers and arrangers. The concert is curated by pianist Jason Moran and features dozens of performers, from those who played in Threadgill’s various ensembles to members of a new generation of admirers. 

Wednesday Night Special        
Wednesday at 7:00 PM        

Enjoy Joe Lovano Us 5 at the 2014 Iowa City Jazz Festival on our Wednesday Night Special at 7:00. Joe Lovano has been one the world’s premiere saxophone players with an impressive career spanning almost four decades. Us 5 has two drummers, which creates a broad area around the beat. They’ll play tight or loose, without cymbals or with only cymbals. Lovano’s third album with Us 5 is “Cross Culture.” 
Jazz Corner of the World with Craig Kessler
Saturday at 12:00 PM

This week Craig continues his survey of Blue Note Records with more outstanding recorded material from 1966. We'll hear from every Blue Note recording session, including jazz classics from Don Cherry, Joe Henderson, Ornette Coleman, Andrew Hill, Horace Silver, Jackie McLean, and many others. 

Riverwalk  Jazz                    
Sunday at 5:00 PM                              

We serve up some Sage Hen Strut with Frim Fram Sauce & Other Jazz Delicacies Sunday at 5:00 PM on Riverwalk Jazz. Whether it’s celebrating gustatory pleasures or racy double entendre, the Jim Cullum Jazz Band and friends spread a table full of tasty jazz tunes for this season of feasts. 

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

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

New Music Monday for November 24, 2014

New Music Monday for November 24, 2014

Click here for the New Music Monday Playlist on Youtube or on the individual links below.

Click here for our new Playlist on Spotify.

     Dayna Stephens has developed into one of the most important saxophone stylists playing today. His lush tone on tenor, soprano and baritone has led to his involvement with musicians of legendary status and those of the scene nouveau, from Al Foster and Kenny Barron to Taylor Eigsti and Ambrose Akinmusire. For his new recording, “Peace,” Stephens focuses on interpreting intimate and heartfelt compositions that harken back to the major ballad players like Lester Young, Ben Webster and Dexter Gordon. The musicians selected to fill out his ensemble include one of his influences, the fantastic pianist Brad Mehldau, wunderkind guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Eric Harland.

     “Playing with the Mu’tet is a dream come true to me. Making music with these amazing players is like eating homemade ice cream on a hot day!” That’s reedman Jeff Coffin talking about his band mates in his Mu’tet, which takes its name from the word mutation, clearly reflecting Coffin’s philosophy that music must continue to change and mutate in order to grow. A longtime member of Bela Fleck’s Flecktones and now a part of the Dave Matthews Band, Coffin and the Mu’tet blend music from the deep wells of funk, African, New Orleans, Indian, jazz, rock, Brazilian and other cultures of music. The new CD, “Side Up,” features an all-star group including Felix Pastorius on bass and Futureman on percussion. 
     Also this week, Hungary’s iconic guitarist, composer and arranger Attila Laszlo and world-renowned drummer, composer and arranger, Hungarian-born Ferenc Nemeth, composed the music for their new CD, “Bridges of Souls,” with two of jazz fusion’s greats in mind, Russell Ferrante and Jimmy Haslip of Yellowjackets fame, who complete their quartet; “Questioned Answer” is the intergenerational collaboration between Grammy Award-winning trumpeter Brian Lynch and new piano star on the modern jazz horizon Emmet Cohen; and pianist Dana Landry  and his trio celebrate the jazz musicians of a great American musical city with “Memphis Skyline,” including new interpretations pieces by Hank Crawford, Charles Lloyd, Phineas Newborn, Jr. and others.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Music Monday for November 17

 New Music Monday for November 17, 2014

Click here for the New Music Monday Playlist on Youtube or on the individual links below.
Click here for our new Playlist on Soundcloud.

     “While their acoustic instrumentation, virtuosity, and improvisational brio scream jazz, their music displays influences from all over the map, including classical, rock, ambient, and electronica. James Farm has big ears. And the quartet grooves fiercely.” That’s the Boston Globe talking about the quartet James Farm, featuring saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. They’ve performed in this exact configuration since their debut at the Montreal Jazz Festival in 2009. Their sophomore release, “City Folk,” is comprised of a new collection of ten original tunes written by all four members of the collaborative band. As Penman describes them, “In general, we like to let the songs lead the way, and each of these tunes is like a mini world unto itself with its own ecosystem and hidden places to discover.”

     When you visit a franchise restaurant, you always know what will be on the menu and what it will taste like. When you listen to a Bill O’Connell recording you may not know what is on the menu, but you’re guaranteed it’ll be a gourmet delight. For O’Connell’s new CD, “Imagine,” as with his previous recordings, the gifted veterans and leaders in their own right, Conrad Herwig on trombone and saxophonist Steve Slagle, add their prowess to the mix. On the bass is one of New York’s first call rhythm men, Luques Curtis, who was also part of Bill’s prior CD, as was percussionist Richie Flores, who has been playing with O’Connell for more than a decade. The newcomer to the group is drummer Richie Barshay, who has an impressive resume that includes a stint with Herbie Hancock. 

     Also this week, New York harmonica ace Hendrik Meurkens teams up again with Mexican bassist Gabriel Espinosa, who heads the jazz department at Central College in Pella, for “Samba Little Samba, featuring nine new Brazilian-style originals; veteran saxophonist Houston Person is joined by vibraphonist Steve Nelson for his new disc, “The Melody Lingers On”;  and saxophonist John David Simon exhibits impressive writing and performing skills on his third release as a leader, “Phantasm.”

Click here for "Phantasm"

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

New Music Monday for November 10, 2014

 New Music Monday for November 10, 2014

Click here for the New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube or on the individual spotify playlists below. 

     “There’s something about being the age I’m at now,” reflects iconic guitar hero Bill Frisell.” I turned 63 this past spring, and after playing for more than 50 years, it just feels right to once again play some of the music which shaped my consciousness during my formative years, even to play some of it for the first time.” As a baby boomer who came of age in the 1950’s and ‘60s, there is an undeniably autobiographical bent to the tenor and tone of the repertoire which Frisell explores on “Guitar in the Space Age,” along with long-time collaborators Greg Leisz on pedal steel and electric guitar, Tony Scherr on bass and Kenny Wollesen on drums and vibes. The disc, says Frisell, “isn’t really an exercise in nostalgia, but about a re-commitment to keep learning, to firm up the foundation—and to showcase one of the best bands I’ve ever had.”

     Banjoist Bela Fleck has praised vibraphonist Jason Marsalis for “brilliant ideas that sound as if he’s played them his whole life but are really coming off the top of his head.”  Some of those brilliant ideas are on display on Marsalis’ second release with his Vibes Quartet, “The 21st Century Trad Band.”  Backed once again by Will Goble on bass, Austin Johnson on piano and David Potter on drums, the disc puts a spotlight on the growing synergy between these young and talented musicians. In addition to including original compositions from his band mates, Marsalis has taken a step further in encouraging the vanguard of the next generation of jazz by including compositions from a couple of young graduates of the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts.

    Also this week, “The Art of Conversation” showcases the duo partnership of pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland with a simple, beautifully understated mix of standards and originals; pianist Marcus Roberts and his new big band the Modern Jazz Generation offer up “Romance, Swing, and the Blues”; and acclaimed multi-reed instrumentalist Steve Heckman is joined by guitarist Howard Alden and others on his fourth album, “Search for Peace.”


A Little of the DG Thing - Dennis Green

I've had a great time over the last few months, holding down KCCK's Saturday morning shift, which I dubbed the Saturday Morning Thing. I tried to do my friend Doug Jackson proud, and enjoyed talking with his friends and mine during the show.

We've recently added a talented personality to the KCCK stable, Ward Grant, to take over Saturday mornings, and even in these early days, he's doing a fabulous job.

But I already miss doing the show, and while I'm not going to joggle Ward's elbow, I thought it might be fun to play around with offering you some music in a different listening context.

Below is a link to a Spotify playlist entitled "The DG Thing." If you enjoyed my Saturday show, I think you'll enjoy this list.

And if you do enjoy it, and would like to hear more, let me know in the comments and I'll periodically post other playlists.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Music Monday

New Music Monday for October 27, 2014

Click here for the New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube, or on the individual links below to check out this week's new music on demand.

     After years of experimentation and exploration, it can be beneficial and, occasionally, revelatory to look backwards to known paths and accomplishments. The reexamination of an older composition can lead to new discoveries and goals for an ensemble that has been performing together for years. Pianist and composer Greg Reitan has led his fantastic trio of bassist Jack Daro and drummer Dean Koba since 1996, formed shortly after their graduation from University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music. Their long and fruitful tenure has created a fantastic partnership, which can be fully enjoyed on the new recording, “Post No Bills.” The rearranged title track is the very first tune the trio ever played together, for the 1996 Hennessy Cognac Jazz Search in New York City.

Listen to it here!

      With her burnished voice, penetrating emotional interpretations, solid sense of swing, and hip repertoire, Julie Kelly’s vocals never fail to capture all the senses at once. A seasoned veteran, Julie has appeared and recorded with luminaries including Ray Brown, Gary Foster, Alan Broadbest, and Chris Botti. Legendary jazz critic Leonard Feather has said that Julie “radiates a sense of joy and spontaneity. Listening to her, you are reminded that jazz singing is alive and well.” Her new CD, “Happy to Be,” which combines the talents of Grammy Award-winning masters and young virtuosos alike, offers up a feast of storytelling that draws from classic vocal jazz, bebop roots and fresh originals.

     Also this week, saxophonist Harry Allen’s celebration of the intermingling of Brazilian music and jazz is a stunning and beautiful blend of the jazz of two Americas on “Flying Over Rio”; pianist Shamie Royston unveils her debut release, “Portraits”; and Italians Alessandro Collina on piano, Rofolfo Cervetto on drums, and Fabrizio Bosso on trumpet along with French bassist Marc Peillon pay tribute to the late, great French pianist and composer Michel Petrucciani with “Air Michel.”
(Youtube Link)

(Youtube Link)

(Spotify Link)

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Iowa City Jazz Fest Channel Returns for 2014

KCCK's Craig Kessler and Bob Stewart interview singer Cyrille Aimee.
Iowa’s Jazz Station, KCCK-FM, along with Summer of the Arts, has launched the “Iowa City Jazz Festival Channel.” The program stream will consist solely of artists performing at the Iowa City Jazz Festival, July 3-5.
“We did this last year, and got a great response,” says KCCK General Manager Dennis Green. “So, the Jazz Fest Channel is back for another 24-7 preview of the Festival.”
The channel was created in recognition of the fact that how people listen to music has changed with the advent of on-demand services like Pandora and Spotify.
“We’ve always given heavy play to Jazz Fest artists in the weeks preceding the Festival, and aired interviews and other features,” says Green. “But today, if someone wants to hear a particular artist or tune, they aren’t always willing to wait for it to show up in our rotation. They want it now. The Jazz Fest Channel is our way of making that content available whenever people want it.”
Programming on the Jazz Fest Channel consists of recordings of the groups performing on both the main stage and side stages. Artist interviews and profiles, as well as schedule information and updates, will be carried as well.
The Iowa City Jazz Festival will take place July 3-5 on the UI Pentacrest. Headliners include Joe Lovana, Tom Harrel and “Colors of a Dream,” Anat Cohen, Etiene Charles, Pedrito Martinez and Jared Gold.
A variety of local and regional bands will play on three side stages, including several high school and college ensembles. Their music, is also be a part of the Jazz Fest Channel.
The Iowa City Jazz Festival Channel will pre-empt KCCK’s second program stream, The Iowa Channel, for a little over a month. The station as a stream choice on the KCCK app for IOS or Android, online at or at 88.3-2 on HD Radio.
KCCK’s main channel, 88.3 and 106.9 FM, and online, will broadcast all of the main stage performances live.
The Iowa City Jazz Festival is presented by Iowa City’s Summer of the Arts. Information is available at There is also a Jazz Fest Channel “button” for quick access from that site.