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 concerts at NPR

May 8, 2012

Jazz fans can turn to NPR Music for archived performances with today's leading jazz artists.  This month you can listen to new performances from Steve Coleman and Third World Love. Recently The Checkout: Live From 92Y Tribeca presented a concert with the Ingrid Jensen Quintet. That performance has been archived, along with recent performances from drummer Al Foster and pianist Geri Allen at the Live at the Village Vanguard concert series.  You may listen to these and other concerts anytime at  http://www.npr.org/music 

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke speaks with Calvin Keys in the KIOS studios. Omaha native Calvin Keys has returned to Omaha for a series of performances on May 4th and 5th at Love's Jazz & Arts Center. Show times both nights are at 7:00pm. Keys, an internationally renowned jazz guitarist, has returned many times to his hometown to perform to appreciative audiences.  For more information and reserved seats you may call 402-502-5291.

A prolific guitarist whose music has been featured on the Last Call for many years, Joel Harrison has returned with two recordings worthy of your consideration.

Holy Abyss is a superb project with Italian bassist Lorenzo Feliciati and trumpeter Cuong Vu. Roy Powell is at the piano and Dan Weiss is on the drums.  A series of captivating, moody, unpredictable tracks greet the listener, with highlights being "Requiem For An Unknown Soldier" "Saturday Night In Pendleton" and the gripping "Faith".

Immediately accessible and a pleasant listening experience,  Radio Music Society is another career landmark for Grammy-winning vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding.  While the disc is clearly geared towards a pop audience, this does not mean the music is without interest to jazz fans.  With an all star cast including Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Terri Lyne Carrington and Gretchen Parlato,  Spalding's disc has many bright moments, including "Radio Song", "Black Gold" & "I Can't Help It", all featuring the leaders beautiful, melodic voice and solid bass work.  Fans of the dynamic young

Guitarist John Moulder, a long time presence on the Chicago music scene, is presented in a live session recorded with his quintet at the noted Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago.  In a set that oscillates between crescendos and quiet meditative passages, the John Moulder Quintet amazes the at home listener in many ways. Moulder's guitar mastery is on display in "Gateway", in "The Eleventh Hour" the band performs with the self-assurance of a Pat Metheny live set but with more edginess. "Creation" features the band in a meditative mood.

Frank Russell is a bassist deserving wider recognition. On his second CD, Circle Without End, Russell displays total mastery of the bass, something he refined while working with noted jazz guitarist Henry Johnson and the legendary South African singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A Chicago native, Russell has worked as a musician for more than 25 years.The bassist has performed at many jazz festivals across the country including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and  the Chicago Jazz Festival.

KIOS will air a special to usher in Jazz Appreciation Month in April. The Art of the Jazz Solo can be heard Friday April 6th at 2:00PM. The one-hour program is part of a series from Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan called The New Jazz Archive hosted by Jeff Haas.

KIOS celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month, a national celebration sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute to help raise awareness of this great American art form. The objective, is to draw greater attention to jazz by encouraging musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, libraries and public broadcasters to offer special programs on jazz every April. You can learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month at www.smithsonianjazz.org

 

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke interviews Kathy Kosins, veteran jazz vocalist.  Her new recording, To The Ladies of Cool, is a toast to four of the most important vocalists in jazz, Chris Connor, Anita O'Day, June Christy and Julie London. In a wide-ranging interview, Kosins discusses the creative process behind the new disc as well as her influences and busy career as an in-demand vocalist.

For more information you visit http://www.kathykosins.com/

Recording Engineer: Mike Hansen.

Baritone Saxophonist Frank Basile is on tour in the Midwest.  Basile is a familiar musician to Omaha jazz fans, having spent time as a young musician in the area.  Frank Basile will perform with a band he co-leads with saxophonist Rob Scheps. The saxophonists have  sat next to each other in the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, one of the greatest jazz big bands on earth, both in Taiwan and at New York's Village Vanguard.

Hope and despair walk hand in hand with anyone who has experienced life on the front lines or who has had a family member away in combat. A new recording from Tyler Gilmore's Ninth and Lincoln explores these themes for modern audiences in "Static Line". 

Image Source: Dreyfus Records

Legendary drummer has been recording and performing since the 1940's

Listen to the interview (14:13)

Cuneiform Records has released another series of discs on the last several months that will almost certainly enchant Last Call listeners. Joel Harrison has released a new disc on the label with an impressive band including noted trumpeter and educator Cuong Vu. Holy Abyss does not disappoint. Fans of Return to Forever will delight in a new recording from Forgas Band Phenomena : Acte V. Led by Composer/Drummer Patrick Forgas this band captivates with jazz-rock mix.

Guitarist Patrick Butler and legendary keyboarist Ricky Williams reunite in the studio after 35 years on this solid jazz funk date. Solar Sailing has all of the ingredients you would want from a recording of its kind.  Butler and Williams were much in demand players in New York in the 1970s, supplying live music to dancers in the New York Club scene until the wee hours. Now they have reunited to record a studio session which captures the excitement of this old school danceable funk.

Electric pianist Tom Wetmore makes his debut with an impressive electric jazz recording which does not disappoint. Wetmore's energetic band includes the very talented Jaleel Shaw whose saxophone provides a stimulating conversational partner to Wetmore's electric piano. An all-original program of nine numbers ensures a satisfying listen for the jazz enthusiast. Tom Wetmore is a pianist, composer, and bandleader working in the New York City area.

Sure to warm up even the coldest of winter nights, the latest disc by Frank Macchia is a pleasure.  Swamp Thang presents a band of the same name lead by Grammy Nominated Compser Macchia. Wild groove music with crazy chromatic melodies come together with a dose of Cajun and a dash of humor.   The Swamp Thang band, led by Frank Macchia on saxophone, features  John Rosenberg on piano, organ and keyboards, Ken Rosser and Eric Jensen on electric guitars, Tom Lockett on electric bass and Frank Briggs on drums and percussion.

Another one of those live recordings that lets you feel that you are there.  Further Explorations is a 2 CD celebration of the music of Bill Evans with two of the former band mates of Evans on stage. There's Eddie Gomez, the legendary bassist who was with the Bill Evans trio for eleven years, 1966-1977.  Paul Motian is also on the stage, one of the most influential jazz drummers of the last 50 years who was with Evans from 1959 through 1964 .  Chick Corea, one of the most dynamic and creative pianists in all of jazz since Evans, joins Gomez and Motian.

Artist / CD Title / Record Label
Kurt Elling / The Gate / Concord Jazz
Bobby Sanabria & Manhattan School of Music Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra / Tito Puente Masterworks Live !!! / Jazzheads
Ambrose Akin­musire / When The Heart Emerges Glistening / Blue Note
Giacomo Gates / The Revolution Will Be Jazz / Savant
Jessica Williams / Freedom Trane / Origin Records
One For All / Invades Vancouver / Cellar Live
Johnny Mandel / The Man and His Music / Arbors Music
Pat Martino / Undeniable / High Note

LAST CALL BEST OF 2011:

Jan 25, 2012

GRETCHEN PARLATO /  THE LOST AND FOUND /OBLIQ SOUND

DWIGHT TRIBLE / COSMIC /KATALYST ENTERTAINMENT

BEN ALLISON / ACTION -REFRACTION /PALMETTO

JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY / THE RACE RIOT SUITE / GROOVE MARKETING

TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON / THE MOSAIC PROJECT / CONCORD

ERIC HARLAND /VOAYGER: LIVE BY NIGHT / SPACE TIME RECORDS

ERNEST DAWKINS NEW HORIZONS ENSEMBLE / THE PRAIRIE PROPHET / DELMARK

BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES / ROCKET SCIENCE /EOM

WADADA LEO SMITH'S ORGANIC / HEARTS'S REFLECTIONS / CUNEIFORM

Jazz vocalist's tremendous artistry is demonstrated on "Cosmic".

As one of the most significant jazz pianists of the history of the genre, Herbie Hancock's contributions to music over 50 plus years of activity as a musician are nothing less than remarkable.  Born in 1940,  Hancock made history as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s.  Hancock was also one of the most in-demand pianists of the decade. Important contributions to the birth of jazz-rock in the In A Silent Way/Bitches Brew sessions followed.

Vocalist to perform Ella Fitzgerald tribute with Omaha Symphony this weekend.

Bassist's latest recording is Think Free

(14:05)

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