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

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.

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