Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Music Monday for May 4, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Recorded at the Tin Angel in the Old City section of Philadelphia in the mid-‘90s, “Nexus” represents a rare look a jazz guitar master Pat Martino in the stripped-down setting of duos with one of his most emphatic partners to date, pianist Jim Ridl. Martino’s signature sound is instantly revealed in these intimate recordings with Ridl, a longtime member of the guitarist’s working quartet and a valued duet partner for ten years. This previously unissued material provides a reminder of the remarkable rapport between the Philly jazz icon and the North Dakota native, two musicians who come from different generations and different parts of the country but very much speak the same language.
     “I see so much beauty and truth in nature,” Lisa Hilton writes, “and I like to let that inform and inspire our music and my life.” Hilton’s new CD, “Horizons,” presents exceptional performances from the clarion trumpet of Sean Jones, the smoky tenor of J.D. Allen, the Julliard trained bassist Gregg August, the ever-inventive drummer Rudy Royston, and Hilton’s evocative touch on piano.
     Also this week, prolific bassist and composer Kyle Eastwood’s new CD, “Time Pieces,” is full of melodic elegance and a sense of groove; “Hot Club of the Americas” is a band that performs a unique blend of Latin and Gypsy Jazz led by world renowned violinist, Federico Britos; and tenor saxophonist Harry Allen takes on the works of Gershwin, Porter and Ellington on “For George, Cole and Duke.”

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Music Monday for April 27, 2015

New Music Playlist on YouTube and Spotify

     After David Sanborn recorded his one-off acoustic jazz album with pianist Bob James for Okeh Records in 2013, the label continued the conversation with the renowned alto saxophonist. That exchange led to Sanborn—deemed the most influential crossover artist of his generation and the most commercially successful saxman since his 1975 debut—to link up with his old collaborative friend, bassist Marcus Miller, to serve as producer in creating the jazz-meets-R and B recording, “Time and the River,” Sanborn’s 25th as a leader. “Marcus can cover all the bases—as arranger, composer, instrumentalist, producer—and since we have a lot of history together, working together was like shorthand,” Sanborn says of the project.
     Writing about Mary Stallings, The New York Times declared that “perhaps the best jazz singer singing today is a woman almost everybody seems to have missed.” Bay Area jazz lovers chuckled ruefully over yet another blast of East Coast parochialism, long recognizing Ms. Stallings as a singular jazz treasure.  Her talents were also recognized by the likes of Dizzy Gillespie, Billy Eckstine, Count Basie, Cal Tjader, Ben Webster and Wes Montgomery, who all went out of their way to showcase this supremely soulful singer. For her latest CD, “Feelin’ Good,” Bruce Barth occupies the piano bench and handles the arranging duties with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington rounding out the rhythm section. Mary herself requested the added tone color of Steve Nelson’s vibes, Freddie Hendrix’s trumpet and the Latin percussion of the irrepressible Ray Mantilla.
     Also this week, pianist Harold Mabern, who has enjoyed a reputation among vocalists as one of the music’s most sensitive and stimulating accompanists for more than 50 years, features special guests Gregory Porter, Norah Jones, Kurt Elling, and Jane Monheit on his new CD, “Afro Blue”; keyboardist Jason Miles and trumpet great Ingrid Jensen collaborate on a project inspired by Miles Davis’ Cellar Door sessions with “Kind of New”; and Canadian drummer Curtis Nowosad is joined by reedman Jimmy Greene and trumpeter Derrick Gardner on a new quintet recording, “Dialectics.”

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

New Music Monday for April 20, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Drum master Steve Gadd is among the most respected and emulated musicians in the world—an anomaly whose panache for playing precisely what a piece of music requires plus bringing signature taste, style and energy to the proceedings has resulted in hundreds of the most rhythmically exhilarating  moments in recorded music history, across genres. Steve turned 70 on April 9th and commemorates the milestone with the release of “70 Strong,” the second CD by the Steve Gadd Band.  The panoramic sound palette of groove and grace features Larry Goldings on keyboards, Walt Fowler on trumpet, Jimmy Johnson on bass and Michael Landau on guitar. 
     Since the beginning of his illustrious career, pianist Joey Calderazzo has mainly played in quartets led by remarkable saxophonists, namely Michael Brecker and Branford Marsalis.  As a musician and composer, he had become comfortable in this format, developing an intensity in his playing and composing that those ensembles’ size demanded.  Calderazzo saw the establishment of his trio as a means to strengthen his craft by working on material and musical concepts that he would not ordinarily work on. In light of the progress he has made in that format, Calderazzo views his new recording, “Going Home,” as a snapshot of a work in progress, an experiment that continues to progress and wield an abundance of intriguing results.
     Also this week, guitarist Phill Fest, the son of bossa nova pioneer Manfredo Fest, offers up a bit of samba-jazz with “That’s What She Says”; singer Jose James features music from the Billie Holiday songbook with “Yesterday I Had the Blues”; and trombonist John Fedchock and his quartet are captured live  in Virginia Beach on “Fluidity.”

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Make Your Own "I'm The Boss" Bumper! - Dennis

By now, you've probably heard of our new way of referring to KCCK donors: The Boss.

It's a light-hearted and hopefully fun way of reminding you that as a non-profit, KCCK runs on donations from people who want to support our jazz radio programming and jazz education programs.

In radio parlance, a quick recorded line that comes in between two songs is called a "bumper."

If you're a KCCK Boss, and we have not yet gotten a "Boss Bumper" from you; and you have a smartphone, you can make your own!

Here's how:

  • Open the Voice Recorder app on any IOS or Android phone or tablet.
  • Press Record and say the following into the phone's microphone (a hole or small grill on the bottom of the device).

"Hi, this is __________________________, and I'm The Boss here at KCCK! You can be the boss, too, when you invest in local jazz radio. Listen like a Boss and donate now at"

  • Touch the Share button. Depending on your device, it could be one of the icons to the right, or the word "Share."
  • "Email" will be one of your share choices. Email the file to
  • That's it! I'll let you know that it arrived and will work.
 And thanks for being The Boss at KCCK!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

New Music Monday for April 13, 2015

New Music Monday Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Eliane Elias’ “Made in Brazil” marks a musical homecoming for the multi-Grammy-nominated keyboardist/singer/composer. In her three-decade long career as a solo artist, this is the first time she’s recorded a disc in her native Brazil since moving to the United States in 1981. Along with co-producers Steve Rodby and Marc Johnson, the latter her bass playing musical partner, Elias ventured ‘home’ and recruited a splendid cast of Brazilian musicians. She also peppered the sessions with delightful special guest performances from Mark Kibble and his multi-Grammy Award-winning gospel vocal group Take 6; one of Brazil’s most celebrated R and B stars, Ed Motta; and the distinguished bossa nova composer Roberto Menescal. 
     Much like the importance of a compass to an explorer, when bassist Avishai Cohen is asked what he would consider his favorite navigational instrument, he points to his bass-piano-drums trio that helps him find his orientation and drive to push forward. His new recording, “From Darkness,” sees the Israeli native go back to the very core of his musical idiom and activity and open an essential gateway into a new creative and expressive dimension. “It is the first time since 2007 that I have the feeling I am reaching a new, fresh and incredibly substantial form with the trio.” A belief reinforced by two outstanding partners, pianist Nitai Hershvovits and drummer Daniel Dor. “Both Nitai and Daniel take my music to places and perspectives that I had never suspected it would go and I couldn’t dream of anything better.”
     Also this week, iconic guitarist Larry Coryell crosses genres between blues, folk, rock and soul-infused jazz on “Heavy Feel”; saxophonist Tim Warfield puts his own spin on the music of Thelonious Monk with “Spherical”; and Chicago-based reed master Bernard Scavella debuts with “A Taste of Scavella.”

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

New Music Monday for April 6, 2015

New Music Playlist on YouTube and Spotify.

     Onstage and on record, the music of Anat Cohen positively glows—with virtuosity, with charisma, with the sheer joy of creation—and never more brightly than on her seventh CD as a bandleader, “Luminosa.” The disc sees the clarinetist/saxophonist play singing, dancing originals, interpret Brazilian classics by the likes of Milton Nascimento, and even re-imagine electronica as acoustica. Members of Anat’s touring quartet—keyboardist Jason Lindner, bassist Joe Martin and drummer Daniel Freedman—appear on the album, as do guest guitarists Romero Lubambo and Gilad Hekselman and the Brazilian players from her new band Choro Adventuroso.
     Warren Vache is ideally and nearly uniquely qualified to interpret the music of Benny Carter. He was one of Benny’s favorite musicians and they played together at numerous festivals over the years. The genesis of a new project, “The Warren Vache Quintet Remembers Benny Carter,” happened when Carter’s widow asked Vache to headline a tribute concert in Connecticut, the success of which made the cornetist decide to put together a disc featuring largely the same band as had played in concert. Saxophonist Harry Allen was not available, however, so Vache called on the veteran reedman Houston Person to sit in.
     Also this week, Grammy Award-winning bassist Mark Egan unveils “Direction Home,” the second release from his all-star contemporary jazz trio featuring drummer Danny Gottlieb and keyboardist Mitchel Forman; vocalist Cassandra Wilson delves into the Billie Holiday songbook in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Lady Day with “Coming Forth By Day”; and guitarist Steve Watson offers up a fresh fusion of down-home Memphis blues and soul and melodic jazz on “Heat It Up.”