KIOS-FM

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

Thanks for listening to tonight's Last Call! View our Last Call playlist for March 9, 2013

The music of Miles Davis was changing dramatically in the late 1960s. Most fans of the legendary trumpeter know that in 1969 he recorded Bitches Brew, the hugely successful dawn of jazz-rock that was one of the best selling jazz records ever released. Lesser known is the working unit that Miles took with him on the road was one of the most artistically daring and visionary bands that Miles ever led. Recordings of that outfit have recently surfaced and have been released on a multi-disc set,...

The Bad Plus will return to Omaha on Friday, March 1 at 8:00pm for a performance at the 1200 Club at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

The band will be performing On Sacred Ground, their interpretation of Igor Stravinsky's score to The Rite of Spring. The group’s rendition of this great work incorporates a multimedia presentation for added impact.

A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus has...

Rebecca Cooke

Last Call presents an interview with saxophonist Donny McCaslin. The saxophonist received a 2004 Grammy® nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” for his work with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. He has also worked extensively with trumpeter Dave Douglas and his band. Inspired by the full tenor sound of Sonny Rollins, McCaslin explores a trajectory through electronic jazz on his latest effort, Casting For Gravity . Last Call fans will find much to enjoy on this bold effort with Jason...

Guitarist Pat Metheny, whose artistry has been rewarded with multiple Grammys over the years, has won another award for his fine 2012 recording. Metheny won in the jazz instrumental category with the album Unity Band . Pat Metheny's Unity Band was a new configuration of sorts for the guitarist and well-known jazz artist. Metheny added saxophonist Chris Potter to the musical palette in addition to Ben Williams on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. The result was another solid Metheny session...

Patricia Barber has long been an important voice on the progressive jazz scene. Barber, an internationally acclaimed pianist, vocalist and composer, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, the only songwriter ever to be so awarded. Her ability to craft sophisticated lyrics has been documented on a series of fine recordings, which continued until some years ago. Fans of her artistry will be delighted to listen to her return. Smash is another artistic triumph for Barber, who dazzles the...

Guitarist John Pizzarelli will return to Omaha in February. Two performances with the Omaha Symphony, Thomas Wilkins, conducting, will be presented on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at 8 p.m. & Sunday, February 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center. As a jazz guitarist, vocalist and bandleader, John Pizzarelli is known worldwide for classic standards, late-night ballads, and the cool jazz flavor he brings to his performances and recordings. Pizzarelli brings his vocal...

This month Last Call celebrates its 17th anniversary on the air with a consideration: What is the state of the guitar in progressive jazz? To answer that, it's helpful to review the arc of the instrument since the 1960s. Guitarists such as Wes Montgomery & Larry Coryell made very important contributions in that decade; also one must acknowledge the huge influence of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix on jazz & the decision by many jazz artists to "plug in" during the late 1960s. A young...

Kathy Kosins / To The Ladies of Cool / Resonance Records
Pharez Whitted / For The People / Origin Records
Dr Lonnie Smith / The Healer / Pilgrimage Records
Bob Mintzer Big Band / For The Moment / MCG
Frank Basile / Modern Inventions / Independent
Arturo Sandoval /Dear Diz / Concord Jazz
Steve Turre / Woody's Delight / High Note
Takuya Kuroda / Six Aces / Independent
Mike Longo Trio / Celebration of Diz and Miles / Consolidated Artists Productions
Lewis Nash...

Last Call Best of 2012

Dec 8, 2012

Spending another year with you via the Last Call on Saturday nights has been a pleasure. Once again we have listened to a potpourri of compelling, adventuresome jazz artistry. Here are the highlights of 2012 as I see them based on their artistic merit: Vijay Iyer Trio / Accelerando / ACT

One of the finest recordings of 2012, The Vijay Iyer Trio's Accelerando has been recognized throughout the jazz world as an exceptional effort from one of the most compelling pianists on today's jazz...

Jazz legend Dave Brubeck died Tuesday at age 91, one day shy of his 92nd birthday. It was the end of one of the most accomplished lives in jazz history. Dave Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920. He was a jazz pianist and composer, one of the most significant artists of the genre. His recording with his quartet in 1959, Time Out , remains one of most important and top selling jazz albums in history; containing the huge mainstream hit "Time Out" as well as "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Strange...

Artwork by Christopher Cooke/KIOS

Last Call celebrates the 70th birthday of Jimi Hendrix . Born November 27, 1942, Hendrix was one of the most artistically accomplished guitarists in music history. Hendrix's style of combining feedback, fuzz and controlled distortion was a major innovation in the history of the electric guitar. Combined with technique and imagination that placed him light-years of most of the rock guitarists of the day, Hendrix's brief career as an internationally celebrated guitarist is legendary. While with...

Cuneiform Records continues to release some of the most daring and visionary progressive jazz recordings of our time. Two new efforts are of special interest to jazz fans.

Living By Lanterns presents drummer Mike Reed and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, essential members of Chicago's jazz scene, leading an ensemble of Chicago and New York musicians for a studio date, with is Old Myth, New Science . Together,the ensemble explores tunes written by Reed and Adasiewicz based on a...

A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus have returned with a program that might surprise longtime listeners. The date is more accessible, more melodic than many previous Bad Plus recordings. The trio is comprised of Reid Anderson on bass, synthesizers and electronics, Ethan Iverson on piano and David King on drums.
The band comes out swinging on "Seven Minute Maid". It's solid work from pianist Iverson..very...

Cornetist Rob Mazurek is an artist with a seemingly limitless ability to create musical melodies and colors. Originally from Chicago, Mazurek now resides in São Paulo, Brazil. His reputation as a progressive artist has been documented on a series of brilliant recordings and performances. This writer attended a live performance by Mazurek some years ago at the Bemis Underground in Omaha, to say that it was a profound night of music only hints at the stellar, cosmic heights of music attained...

Acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis will bring his quartet to the Holland Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, November 9th, at 8pm. Branford Marsalis is a National Endowment for the Arts master , renowned three time Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist and a Tony Award® nominee composer. Instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, he is also the head of Marsalis Music, a reco rd label founded in 2002. Branford Marsalis has been active on the jazz scene for several decades, creating a...

David S. Ware 's saxophone artistry scorched many a Saturday night of adventuresome jazz on the Last Call over the last decade plus; he took the music to the very edge and with him his eager fans.
So understandably it is with sadness that I reflect on the passing of David S. Ware. He passed away in October at the age of 62.

One of the few musicians to totally embrace the tradition of "free jazz", Ware's music was fully in the tradition of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler and Pharaoh...

.Chicago based trumpeter and educator Pharez Whitted returns to the spotlight with an exciting new release, For The People . A bright, optimistic, heartfelt session, the noted trumpeter is joined by the band with which he recorded 2010's "Transient Journey": Guitarist Bobby Broom, pianist Ron Perrillo, saxophonist Eddie Bayard, bassist Dennis Carroll, & drummer Greg Artry. The result is a bright, optimistic, heartfelt session that features a solid lineup of tunes. On "Another Kind of...

Vocal instructor, performance artist and actress Rhiannon spoke with Last Call's Chris Cooke recently. In a wide ranging interview, the internationally recognized vocal artist & instructor discussed in detail jazz vocal improvisation and its place in the world of jazz. Rhiannon has released many compelling albums including the most recent "Flight", Rhiannon's interactive guide to vocal improvisation, and "Spontaneous", a collection of improvised studio and live small group music. With...

Return To Forever's new multidisc recording is an essential addition to any progressive jazz fans library. Founding Return To Forever group members Chick Corea(piano, keyboards); Stanley Clarke(bass) and Lenny White(drums) are joined by Frank Gambale(guitars) and Jean-Luc Ponty(violin). Recorded on tour in 2011, this version of the band creates one magical moment after another onstage with excellent readings of RTF gems "Medieval Overture", "After the Cosmic Rain", "The Romantic Warrior", and...

Bassist Marcus Miller has released his second recording in less than a year. This one sees the veteran bassist, bandleader, sideman and famous associate of Miles Davis on a groove driven project with a number of special guests, including vocalist Gretchen Parlato. Miller's signature bass sound is one of the most distinct in jazz, and it sets the pulse on a number of fine gems on the new disc, including "Detroit", "Slippin' into Darkness", Setembro(Brazilian Wedding Song) and "Mr. Clean". As a...

The fusion of West African & jazz musical traditions is impeccably achieved in the latest recording from guitarist Lionel Loueke. "Heritage" creates a sonic landscape that is contemplative and graceful. Steered by the guitar artistry of Loeuke, the warmth of the program is hard to resist. Loueke's brilliant guitar and vocal work is complimented by close friend and associate Robert Glasper on keyboards, the incredibly talented drummer Mark Guilliana, bassist Derrick Hodge and guest...

A significant trumpeter to arise in the last ten years, Christian Scott has released an ambitious new 2 CD set that heralds his new name and identity. "Christian Atunde Adjuah" , a traditional African name that has been adopted by the trumpeter, is also the name of this latest release. Scott says he seeks to "stretch" jazz to encompass new musical forms. Inspired by his hometown, New Orleans, Scott paints a turbulent & passionate musical story. The songs are often inspired by injustices, ...

Dr Lonnie Smith's immense talent on the bandstand is documented on the new disc "The Healer", on the organist's new label, Pilgrimage Productions. Never heard him in person? This is the next best thing. Capturing the spontaneity and style transcending appeal of this accomplished organist who just turned 70, Dr. Lonnie Smith is joined by his touring band of Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Jamire Williams on drums. The results are nothing less than mesmerizing, check out the high intensity ...

Brian Bromberg’s latest recording is a superb salute to Jimi Hendrix, the legendary guitarist who influenced countless musicians, including jazz artists such as Bromberg. A first listen may lead one to believe the music presented includes a guitar, but that is not the case—Bromberg played all of the guitar sounding parts on the basses that he tuned an octave and a fourth above a standard bass. The effect is quite staggering, as Bromberg releases an arsenal of bass artistry on well known...

Get ready for the electric trombone artistry of Oscar Utterstrom. His latest recording, Departure, is one of the finest electric jazz recordings to be released in the last several years. Nashville based trombonist and native of Sweden, Utterstrom's conception is at the best of what can be achieved in an electric, post Bitches-Brew era. The trombonist is joined by Black Cat Sylvester on turntables, Adam Agati on guitar, Russell Wright on bass, and Justin Amaral on drums with special guests...

From a veteran rock & jazz drummer and his long standing band, this date really cooks. A CD + DVD package allows the listener to totally enjoy the recorded experience, from 2007 with band members keyboardist Tom Coster, bassist Baron Browne and, guitarist Vinny Valentino, and drummer Steve Smith. Sustained energy and creative interplay persist throughout the recording, featuring adventuresome numbers, Cat Walk, Time Tunnel, Interwoven Rhythms-Synchronus and a straight ahead burner, Jimmy...

NPR Music will provide coverage of the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival on August 4th and 5th. You can watch live video of the performances at www.npr.org/music . Among those scheduled to perform are Pat Metheny, Bill Frissell, Dianne Reeves, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Maria Schneider Orchestra and Jason Moran. The full schedule can be seen at the web site.

The Newport Jazz Festival, was founded by jazz pianist George Wein in 1954 as the first outdoor music festival of its kind devoted...

Last Call Notes

Jul 30, 2012

S trong new recordings from well known guitarists Pat Metheny and Mike Stern will be featured this month. We will also present a new disc from Japanese jazz trumpeter deserving much wider recognition, Shunzo Ohno . Pat Metheny's Unity Band is a new configuration of sorts for the guitarist and well-known jazz artist. Metheny adds saxophonist Chris Potter to the musical adventure this time in addition to Ben Williams on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. The result is another satisfying Metheny...

One of the finest recordings of 2012, The Vijay Iyer Trios Accelerando has been recognized throughout the jazz world as an exceptional effort from one of the most compelling pianists on todays jazz scene. A major milestone for the pianist has been the winning of multiple categories in the 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll. Critics have voted Vijay Iyer as Jazz Artist Of The Year, Top Pianist and Rising Star Composer. The Vijay Iyer Trio was also voted the best jazz group of the year, and Accelerando...

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