Friday, March 23, 2007

New Miles Book and Ella Tribute-Bob

I was just perusing a review by Steve Greenlee of The Boston Globe about yet another book coming out about Miles Davis. "It's About That Time: Miles Davis On and Off the Record" is written by Richard Cook, who is one of the authors of "The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD." Each chapter of "It's About That Time...," says Greenlee, "focuses on a particular album while bringing into the fold just about every other recording he ever did...Cook is clearly a fan of Miles Davis but he's far from a cheerleader. 'It's About Time' brings fresh insight to a lifetime of music and can help even a longtime connoisseur hear it in a whole new way." The book is from Oxford University Press.

I also notice a new cd is on the way in honor of the 90th anniversay of Ella's birthday. "We All Love Ella: a Celebration of the First Lady of Song" features pop and R&B vocalists such as Linda Ronstadt, Gladys Knights, Chaka Khan and Natalie Cole taking on some of Fitzgerald's signature pieces. Diana Krall and Dianne Reeves bring some jazz cred to the proceedings. Michael Buble is the lone male voice on the tribute, which is expected in June.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, March 16, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of March 19 include "Surveying coral reefs by satellite" and "The Brits tackle climate change."

A new satellite survey has allowed scientists to pinpoint the location and assess the health of half-a-million square miles of coral reefs. Over-fishing is a problem.
With fewer fish to eat algae that grow on coral, the algae can overwhelm and kill entire reefs. Coral reefs support 9-million species of aquatic life.

Britain has become the first country to set hard and fast targets for tackling climate change. The goals are ambitious...a 26% cut in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 and a 60% reduction by 2050. Can they do it? Energy experts say to cut emissions that much by mid-century, the British would have to scrap all their domestic appliances, rip out their central heating, give up foreign hoidays and get rid of their cars!

Clean Up Your Act airs at 6:35 a.m. and 3:35 p.m. weekdays. Weekend editions are heard at 9:20 a.m. Saturday and Sunday and at 3:20 p.m. Saturdays.

George Dorman - News and Operations Director

Friday, March 9, 2007

Great Week-Bob

Boy, it was a great week for live jazz in Eastern Iowa this past week. With numerous opportunities to catch bassist Ben Allison and his Quartet and David Sanborn and his Quintet, it was a rare treat for us jazz fans. I caught Allison's date at the Sanctuary on Monday night, after he and trumpeter Ron Horton stopped by the studios on Sunday for a chat and performance (which are now on the KCCK web site). The Quartet had a great time playing for the appreciative audience on Monday, presenting a few hours of their very forward-thinking jazz. And then, on the other end of the jazz spectrum, there was Sanborn at Hancher on Wednesday night playing a scorching set of his funked-up contemporary jazz. Despite some technical problems which had the players somewhat distracted for a large portion of the evening, it was a fine set. I could have done with fewer of his trademark ballads, but that didn't detract too much. As for live music this weekend, Saul Lubaroff gets a two-night stand at the Tuscan Moon in Kalona, while Dick Watson and Eddie Piccard do their regular gigs. You can get specifics with our concert calendar at

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Monday, March 5, 2007

Ben Allison in Studio Today-Bob Stewart

Bassist Ben Allison and his quartet are in the area this week for a series of live performances. It starts with a gig at the Sanctuary in Iowa City tonight, then at the Redstone Room in Davenport on Wednesday, and the Reverb in Cedar Falls on Thursday before moving on to the Blue Room in Kansas City on Friday. We're going to have Ben in studio this afternoon at 1pm, along with trumpeter Ron Horton, for a conversation and a performance.

Bob Stewart, Program Director

Friday, March 2, 2007

Clean Up Your Act - George

Topics for Clean Up Your Act for the week of March 5 include "Green roofs grow in popularity" and "An Oscar for Al."

The number of green roofs in the U.S. is said to have grown by 80% in 2005.
A green roof contains a layer of soil and vegetation. It helps insulate the roof, reducing heating and cooling, retains rainfall which reduces pressure on storm seweres, and actually prolongs the life of a roof by shielding it from the sun's ultraviolet rays.

Al Gore won an Oscar for Best Domentary at the recent Academy Awards for "An Inconvenient Truth"...a chronicle of his 30 years of research on global warming.
One of the movie's prdocuers...Laurie David...says the movie brings global warming down to a personal level. She says if everyone does something, we can start to solve the problem.

Native Son Glenn Miller-Bob Stewart

As we noted Iowa native Glenn Miller's birthdate yesterday, it brought back memories of my first exposure to jazz back when I was a kid. We were all bombarded by those commercials for the "Best of the Big Band Era" compilations on television. You'd get little snippets of the more famous charts of the Swing Era's most popular bands as a list of the album's complete roster scrolled across the screen. To this day, I could probably still recall some of those snippets, but as far as the whole charts go, my memory would be quite hazy. Unless it's the charts of Mr. Miller who, maybe with the exception of Benny Goodman, has proven the most enduring figure of the Swing Era.

That's because, also when I was a kid, I was exposed to that great film about Miller starring Jimmy Stewart, Henry Morgan and June Allyson. "The Glenn Miller Story" also included cameos from Louis Armstrong, Gene Krupa, Ben Pollack and others. The music just swept me away! Seeing just how passionate Miller was about his music was very intriguing. The mysterious and tragic circumstances of his death also sent a powerful message. I was out the door to one of my local album shops (which are sadly now obsolete) to get a disc of Miller's music. I learned his most famous pieces from front to back, and even taped radio shows on my little cassette recorder as if I was broadcasting his concerts from some far-off ballroom. As a sign of the times, the show was usually sponsored by some cigarette brand I had seen in commercials...usually it was Chesterfield for some reason. Luckily I never picked up the nicotane habit, but I was hooked on jazz from there on out!

I'm sure our resident Miller aficianado, Cary J. Hahn, will be featuring plenty of Miller's music on his Big Band Memories program this Sunday afternoon. A well-deserved salute to one of Iowa's greatest native sons.

Bob Stewart, Program Director