Jazz Junction

Saturdays, 8pm - 11pm
  • Hosted by Rick Erben

Welcome to the Jazz Junction page wherein we would like to inform you about our humble program and give you an idea what you will be hearing on Saturday nights on KIOS-FM. We are here to explore the pure joy of musicianship that constitutes the remarkable, evolving legacy of jazz music.

Today's jazz scene is a vibrant affair as reflected in the amount of high quality recordings that are being issued. As with our other jazz programs here on KIOS-FM, we endeavor to explore these new releases and intersperse this material with tracks from classic jazz sessions and legendary artists. This is surely a bountiful pursuit. At the Jazz Junction, our intent is to provide a pleasing listening atmosphere. You will hear a bit of virtually everything from vintage Nat “King” Cole and Charlie Parker to big bands and jazz orchestras. We endeavor to keep things fluid with a variety of rhythms from minor blues and jazz waltzes through ballads and Latin beats; and to vary the instrumentation and framework. You will hear a lot from the recording sessions that produced so-called classic jazz – those upon the Blue Note, Columbia, Contemporary, Pacific Jazz, Prestige, Riverside and Verve labels among them. Then there is the wealth of new releases from artists who are pushing the music forward; cognizant of a rich tradition and yet reaching toward new boundaries. But one thing is for certain: the music at the Jazz Junction resides firmly in the mainstream and the straight ahead.

I respectfully solicit your eardrums on Saturday nights between 8 and 11pm. It is quite a pleasing opportunity for me to be able to come into the radio station and share a variety of stimulating sounds. Your's truly has been airing jazz for over thirty years; and the Jazz Junction is in its 23rd year. In a sense, the program is a coalescence of the many varied experiences I have had through my lifetime as a jazz listener. Several 50,000 watt clear channel “giants” of broadcasting on the AM band used to air jazz programs – usually late at night or all through the night – and there once were numerous FM stations with a full-time jazz presence. I can clearly recall a number of DJs who enhanced my awareness of jazz music over the years. WRTI's “The Historical Approach to the Positive Music” with the late Harrison Ridley, Jr. was like a laid-back lecture in its depth of information and musical scope. When traveling, I still enjoy tuning in various public radio stations across the land to hear local jazz broadcasts; each with their own style and perspective in choice of music. It is a rather felicitous situation for us to be able to share the good music here at 91.5 FM.

Our Thing at the Jazz Junction is to have a good time on Saturday nights. We generally keep the music up-tempo but turn the burners down every once in awhile for a ballad or some deep blues. So, let's get together beginning at 8pm for three hours that I hope you will enjoy, immersed as they are with the uniquely creative sounds that comprise the positive force of jazz music – yesterday, today and forever (thanks to Shorty Rogers for that phrase).


Pianist Tim Olsen's “Creature of Habit” is a beautifully rendered collection of highly attractive compositions from Olsen, performed in either quintet or sextet settings. He earned a Doctor of Musical Arts in composition from Yale University and is currently Associate Professor of Music at Union College in Schenectady, NY as well as Director of Music and Organist at St. George's Episcopal Church in Clifton Park, NY. He performs in concerts and clubs with a band that varies in size from a quartet to an 18-piece big band. This is his very convincing debut recording.

Bassist and vocalist Katie Thiroux has released an attractive album that combines delightful repertoire and musicianship on this introductory recording. She was recipient of the Shelly Manne New Talent Award at age 17 and has won awards for bass and voice. She has attended Berklee College of Music in Boston and later received a Masters of Music at CSU Long Beach. She has performed with numerous prominent jazz artists and has worked at jazz festivals and venues in the Big Apple.

NPR's Toast of the Nation 2014/2015 airs 8:00PM Dec 31 - 4:00AM Jan 1 on KIOS-FM

An Afro Blue Christmas

Dec 22, 2014

An Afro Blue Christmas  will air Monday, December 22 at 8:00pm on KIOS.

Once again we're back with this year's edition of our respective picks for top albums of the year. Inhabiting our three hours on Saturday nights we have been hearing a lot from the albums listed below, all of which should also prove attractive recordings to which we'll return over the years. Dispensing with all pretense of maintaining a rigorous limit in deference to this year's bountiful array of releases, here are a number of eminently worthy recordings:

Jazz Night In America

Oct 20, 2014

Jazz Night In America, a new program from NPR Music, is now airing on Friday nights on KIOS at 8pm.

Hosted by veteran jazz bassist Christian McBride, this new program utilizes a number of media platforms to present live jazz concerts in a new and innovative way. There will be streaming video of the concerts available online and chat rooms available for fans to interact with musicians. The concerts will take place at a number of venues including Lincoln Center in New York, and at jazz festivals. 

The new disc by the septet The Cookers harkens back to the
days of the classic hard bop sessions on Blue Note by Art Blakey's
Jazz Messengers, Wayne Shorter and Jackie McLean.

The music soars with fine soloing on the front line with Billy Harper on
tenor, Donald Harrison on alto and two trumpeters, David Weiss and Eddie
Henderson. The rhythm section of pianist George Cables, bassist Cecil
McBee and drummer Billy Hart keep things firmly grounded and in the pocket.

We begin with the KIOS Jazz CD of the month:

ORRIN EVANS – LIBERATION BLUES – Smoke Sessions Records SSR-1409

As a listener I appreciate an album that catches my attention through stimulating composition, improvisation and that spark that transpires between musicians during a good session. It is also pleasing when a CD's capacity is utilized to offer over seventy minutes of solid music that takes one unexpected places, both inside and outside the pocket. Pianist Orrin Evans' new release “Liberation Blues”embraces these qualities in stimulating fashion.