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.

Ways To Connect

Tenor saxophonist Virginia Mayhew celebrates the  100th year anniversary of the birth of Mary Lou Williams  with new arrangements of eight Williams compositions, including "What's You Story, Morning Glory?", material from the "Zodiac Suite",  plus two new compositions by Virginia inspired by the legendary pianist.

Chick Corea is one of the major pioneers of fusion. "No musician has used the fusion concept with more variety, intelligence and unimpeachable taste than Chick Corea," wrote Len Lyons, a longtime jazz author and critic, in his book "The 101 Best Jazz Albums." Corea worked with the Miles Davis Ensemble during the sessions that produced the legendary recordings In A Silent Way and Bitches Brew, in addition to birthing several successful fusion bands including Corea's Return to Forever.

Remembering Pete Cosey

Jun 9, 2012

Pete Cosey, a Chicago guitarist who was known for his work with the Miles Davis band from 1973-1975, passed away on May 30th. He was 68. Cosey's intense, roaring guitar work fed through wah-wah distortion was a important part of the Miles Davis sound of the mid 1970s.

Tribute albums are a plenty these days to legends in jazz. These discs have varying degrees of quality and artistic sincerity. Without question Arturo Sandoval’s latest disc is at an extremely high level of accomplishment in any regard. The heartfelt nature of the project no doubt drives the effort.

 

An artist with roots in the Midwest, Rhiannon is one of a handful of vocalists who can successfully explore totally improvised music.  Her latest recording, Spontaneous, is a good introduction to her immense talents. Together with Abraham Laboriel, electric basses; Alex Acuna, drums and percussion, Otmaro Ruiz, acoustic piano and Jetro Da Silva, acoustic piano and keyboards, the ensemble (also named Spontaneous) creates magic. "Breath", "Multitudes" and "Drop of Rain" are profound experiences of music beyond predictability.

Saxophonist Wayne Escoffery moves to the center stage with a personal musical statement. "The Only Son of One" is informed by a troubled childhood that is familiar to those with abusive parents. Escoffery's response to dark childhood memories is a spiritual statement of processing and release. It is a profound one. Aided and enhanced by keyboards played by Orrin Evans and Adam Holzman, bass either from Hans Glawischnig and Ricky Rodrigues and drums from Jason Brown, the date reminds the listener of the Herbie Hancock Mwandishi Band of the 1970s.

This week KIOS celebrates the 100th birthday of Gil Evans, one of jazz music's most celebrated composers and arrangers.  Jazz in the Afternoon will begin the weeklong tribute on Tuesday May 8th with music featuring Evans work as a leader and in collaboration with Miles Davis. NPR's Jazz Profiles will examine his life and career on Thursday May 10th. JazzSet will present a concert tribute to the collaborative efforts between Evans and Miles Davis on Friday May 11th.

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".

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