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

Veteran jazz bassist Dave Holland is back with one of his boldest sessions in years. Fans of his straight ahead jazz recordings may be startled to hear the relentless intensity of Prism, but it shouldn't be surprising given Holland's roots in the electric jazz explosion of the late 1960s.

Our CD of the Month at KIOS is from legendary pianist and bandleader Chick Corea. His latest release, The Vigil, features a new lineup of players along with the keyboard legend in an energetic program that recalls Corea's legendary group Return To Forever.

Certainly one of the most potent dates in recent years by some of the today's top Chicago avant-garde players. Frank Rosaly leads this group of top notch instrumentalists in a program of dense rhythm and unusual musical conversations.

Jazz legend George Duke, a visionary keyboardist, producer, composer and arranger, died in Los Angeles on Monday. He was 67.

In a career spanning nearly 50 years, the Grammy-winning artist collaborated with Don Ellis, Frank Zappa, Miles Davis, Michael Jackson, Anita Baker, and many others.

As a child, George Duke watched a performance by Duke Ellington that inspired a his own trajectory as world-renowned keyboard artist. He released more than 40 albums and was a successful producer and bandleader, hitting gold with a megahit 1977 record, Reach For It .

Etienne Charles is a trumpeter from Trinidad whose three previous albums have featured calypso music as interpreted through an engaging post-bop focus. Charles continues to grow as an artist as evidenced on his latest, Creole Soul.  His latest recording reflects his interest in Carribean music and the music of New Orleans.

This weekend KIOS will present NPR Music's web-only stream of the Newport Jazz Festival. On August 3rd and 4th from 10:00AM to 6:30PM central time many of today's top performers will hit the jazz festival stage, including the Wayne Shorter Quartet with special guest Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band with Paquito D'Rivera.
For the complete lineup you may visit
http://www.kios.org/live-event/newport-jazz-festival

One of the most eclectic guitarists in jazz is back with his associates for another enjoyable journey into music. Big Sur is the new recording from Guitarist Bill Frisell and his band.  Composed by the guitarist at Glen Deven Ranch in Big Sur, California, the new effort presents a kaleidoscope of musical colors listeners have grown accustomed to expect from the veteran guitarist. Frisell is joined by Eyvind Kang, viola; Hank Roberts, cello; Jenny Scheinman; violin and Rudy Royston, drums.

In the last ten years a number of jazz artists have released recordings that attempt to fuse jazz and country music; these efforts have yielded results of varying success.  Guitarist Corey Christiansen's latest effort is without doubt an exception.

Nicole Mitchell's Ice Crystal project is at the forefront of the discs we're featuring this month on the Last Call. Nicole Mitchell is a veteran, award-winning flutist.

Vocalist Gretchen Parlato will perform in Omaha at the 1200 Club at the Holland on May 11th. This is the first Omaha concert for the rising vocal star, whose 2011 effort "The Lost And Found" was the #1 Jazz CD of the year as awarded by this program. Click on the link to listen to an interview with Gretchen Parlato.(Recording Engineer: Mike Hansen.)

For more information about Parlato's concert in Omaha you may visit omahaperformingarts.org

Here is the review of the record from our archives:

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is an accomplished trumpeter with a string of critically acclaimed albums.  A solid straight-ahead artist, he has released two albums (2005's Identity) and (2007's Shock Value) that explore electric jazz directions.  For Water and Earth, the noted trumpeter, bandleader & educator is back with his longtime bandmates Frank LoCrasto, keyboards; Dana Hawkins, drums; and newcomers including Roxy Coss on saxophone.

Cuneiform Records has just released a new batch of adventuresome jazz discs. Their usual high standard of creative brilliance continues with a number of fine recordings, most notably The Rob Mazurek Octet's  Skull Sessions.

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, Live In Europe 1969, The Complete Bootleg Sessions Vol. 2.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 Quintet / The Higher Mountain / Cellar Live

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:

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.

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.

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.

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.

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 that evening.

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 record label founded in 2002.

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.

.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.

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