Chris Cooke

Jazz host

Chris Cooke has been a voice on public radio in Omaha since 1989. Working at KVNO-FM during college, Cooke hosted a weekend progressive jazz show on the station in addition to working as an on-air announcer. In November 1992, Cooke signed on at KIOS-FM and has been there ever since. He has hosted the Tuesday and Thursday editions of Jazz in the Afternoon since 1996 and has hosted Last Call since that year. A long time fan of jazz music, Cooke enjoys talking with the musicians who make jazz music and presenting those conversations with listeners. When not hosting or listening to jazz, on record or in person, Cooke maintains a busy schedule as a self-employed web design consultant.

Email address:christopher.cooke@ops.org

Ways to Connect

Jazz From Studio One : May
1st and 3rd Thursdays at 8:00PM

Programs for May, 2015:

May 7: Great Jazz Drummers Through The Years
May 21: Jazz Grab Bag

Rez Abbasi presents a new recording for jazz fans which takes well-known jazz rock 1970s anthems in a new direction. Many fans of jazz-rock are familiar with some of the most well-known 1970s anthems from the supergroups that attracted huge followings worldwide, such as Return to Forever, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, and others.  Some listeners may have desired from time to time to hear these selections through a different, more subtle, less noisy lens.

Patrick Butler/Sound Pinnacle/ Independent Release

Last Call: Best of 2014

Dec 31, 2014

For fans of adventuresome jazz, 2014 certainly had a rich grab bag of audio gems to choose from. Here are the finest releases of the year.  Thank you for listening!

Miles Davis / Miles At The Fillmore /Columbia-Legacy: It is a thrilling experience to hear Miles Davis and his band achieve the impossible over and over again in this rollercoaster ride of four nights of performances from June, 1970 at the Fillmore East In New York City.

ARTIST / CD TITLE / RECORD LABEL

Jazz Trumpeter/ Composer Pablo Masis has released an invigorating new release of musical conversations, Rubicon.

Masis, based in New York City, is joined by fellow area musicians bassist Aidan Carroll and Drummer Jared Schonig for this new release.

John Coltrane leads a band on a 1966 live recording, Offering, which is perhaps the last great concert performance of the legendary saxophonist, Miles Davis sideman, composer, and bandleader.

Long awaited by fans of the saxophonist, John Coltrane's  Offering will be featured this month on the Last Call. The two CD set presents Coltrane and his 1966 band with special guests in an inspired free jazz performance.

Update: Bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce, who was a member of the rock super group Cream, in addition to Tony Williams' Lifetime, passed away in October 2014.

Herbie Hancock is looking back at a legendary career in jazz.

For decades, he has been one of the most influential figures in jazz music. As a pianist and later keyboardist, he has made important contributions to the genre.

The new memoir, "Possibilities", explores the jazz pianist's work as a sideman with the Miles Davis Quintet in the 1960s. Also covered is the legendary Mwandishi Sextet and Hancock's chart-topping mid 70s jazz-funk recordings, in addition to his Buddhist spiritual practice.

Remembering Joe Sample

Oct 7, 2014

Joe Sample, legendary pianist and member of the jazz super group the Crusaders, passed away in September. He was 75. Sample died in his hometown of Houston, Texas on September 12 due to complications from lung cancer.

A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus has earned a reputation as iconoclasts. An acquired taste to many, refreshingly outrageous to others, The Bad Plus-Reid Anderson on bass, Ethan Iverson on piano, and David King on drums, have released a highly original body of work over the last fifteen years. The fearless free-spirited demolition of expected chord structure and melody into something completely unexpected is a Bad Plus trademark.

Trombonist Robin Eubanks and his band Mental Images present bold reinterpretations of rock anthems from Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone on a new release, which also features five new original tunes.

It is a thrilling experience to hear Miles Davis and his band achieve the impossible over and over again in this rollercoaster ride of four nights of performances from June, 1970. 

Karrin Allyson, a jazz vocalist well known to fans of the genre in Omaha, will perform at the legendary Newport Jazz Festival in August.  It's another accomplishment for the veteran vocal artist who has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, released 14 recordings and entertained audiences worldwide, including in Omaha, for many years.

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke recently spoke with Karrin Allyson. Click on the link below to hear their conversation. Recording engineer: Mike Hansen/KIOS.

Horace Silver, pianist, bandleader and composer, passed away in June. He was 85.

The legendary hard bop pianist was one of the most significant artists on Blue Note records, creating some of the most widely enjoyed recordings on the label. Silver believed music could be a healing force. On a recorded library that spanned several decades the pianist certainly created music that was A Prescription For The Blues as his 1997 record was titled.    

Last Call salutes Sun Ra and his musical legacy on this, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of his arrival on Earth.   Mystical and otherworldly but always imbued with a powerful jazz consciousness, the music of Sun Ra has withstood detractors and an indifferent public for more than three generations. And well it should, since Sun Ra has been both apart of and ahead of the jazz tradition, swinging on Earth and on Saturn, with a compositional ability"up there" with Ellington and Mingus.

Drummer Harvey Mason is back with a recording that celebrates some of the grooviest jazz-funk of the 1970s with some of today's top players.  Mason's contributions to the vibrant jazz-funk of the 1970s are immediately recognizable for those familiar with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters.

Legendary jazz drummer Louis Hayes and his band recorded a set of music last year at Smoke Jazz Club in New York City. The set draws the listener in with twelve numbers of sustained brilliance and is the "Return of the Jazz Communicators".

It swings!

Louis Hayes knows a thing or two about swing. He co-founded the Jazz Communicators with trumpeter Freddie Hubbard in 1967, after offering to present a summer's worth of performances in a club in Manhattan with a band that had not actually been founded at the time of the offer!

One of the most adventuresome and dynamic guitarists in jazz or rock is Nels Cline.  Active since 1977 in a wide variety of genres, he is the guitarist for the alternative rock band, Wilco. Cline's command of the guitar is such that Spin magazine in 2012 named him the 43rd greatest guitarist of all time. He is also the leader of the Nels Cline Singers, a band which has explored the frontiers of jazz music on several recordings over the last decade.

On Chicago Fire, Eric Alexander demonstrates again why he is one of the busiest saxophonists on today's jazz scene. Alexander has a fully developed voice on the saxophone and can blow with the best of them. Harold Mabern, one of the greatest jazz pianists ever, is in the studio, as is bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth.  Additionally, special guest Jeremy Pelt steps in for a few tracks and demonstrates his mainstream credentials. This gathering of total professionals creates a smoking session!

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