Last Call

Saturdays, 11pm - 1am

The Last Call started on KIOS in January 1996.   Since that time Chris Cooke has been the host for this late night jazz program.  It is one of the few radio programs that present the very best of adventuresome jazz-music which generally falls outside of the mainstream of the genre, but includes some of the most creative and innovative music ever recorded by musicians anywhere. The program's host brings along with him several decades of experience and insight into jazz music as he steps into the studio to host each program.

Jazz artists have been motivated by concerns outside of the mainstream for decades. Innovative musicians such as Sun Ra & his Arkestra made some of the first truly "out there" recordings in the 1950s. The following decade saw the emergence of Ornette Coleman & Free Jazz.  John Coltrane's flight into the avant-garde was also a defining moment, equalled only by fellow saxophoniststs Pharaoh Sanders and Albert Ayler. Ayler's  "ectastic" period in 1965-1966 is arguably the most bold demonstration of inspired, sacred jazz ever on record.  The 1960s also saw the formation of Chicago's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM). The Art Ensemble of Chicago also formed in the 1960s, to be followed by the World Saxophone Quartet.

Inspired by the revolutionary guitar work of Jimi Hendrix, the grooves of James Brown and Sly & The Family Stone,  a wave of innovative jazz musicians fused jazz & rock in the late 1960s. Miles Davis & his in studio ensembles were among the first to record electric jazz, other artists such Eddie Harris, Charles Lloyd, Herbie Mann & Larry Coryell also pioneered some of the earliest jazz rock in the late 1960s.  An explosion of progressive jazz groups followed in the 1970s. Bands such as Herbie Hancock's Headhunters (and earlier, Mwandishi sextet), Return to Forever, Weather Report, and John McLaughlin's Mahavishu Orchestra made immensely creative music and won audiences worldwide. Since then a galaxy of jazz talent has continued exploring the possibilities of jazz music. Artists such as Rez Abbasi, Vijay Iyer & Oscar Utterstrom & others featured regularly on the Last Call are an assurance that the future of forward-looking jazz music is bright indeed.

Thank you for listening!

-Chris Cooke

Rez Abbasi presents a new recording for jazz fans which takes well-known jazz rock 1970s anthems in a new direction. Many fans of jazz-rock are familiar with some of the most well-known 1970s anthems from the supergroups that attracted huge followings worldwide, such as Return to Forever, Weather Report, Billy Cobham, Herbie Hancock, and others.  Some listeners may have desired from time to time to hear these selections through a different, more subtle, less noisy lens.

Patrick Butler/Sound Pinnacle/ Independent Release

Last Call: Best of 2014

Dec 31, 2014

For fans of adventuresome jazz, 2014 certainly had a rich grab bag of audio gems to choose from. Here are the finest releases of the year.  Thank you for listening!

Miles Davis / Miles At The Fillmore /Columbia-Legacy: It is a thrilling experience to hear Miles Davis and his band achieve the impossible over and over again in this rollercoaster ride of four nights of performances from June, 1970 at the Fillmore East In New York City.

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.

Jazz Trumpeter/ Composer Pablo Masis has released an invigorating new release of musical conversations, Rubicon.

Masis, based in New York City, is joined by fellow area musicians bassist Aidan Carroll and Drummer Jared Schonig for this new release.

John Coltrane leads a band on a 1966 live recording, Offering, which is perhaps the last great concert performance of the legendary saxophonist, Miles Davis sideman, composer, and bandleader.

Long awaited by fans of the saxophonist, John Coltrane's  Offering will be featured this month on the Last Call. The two CD set presents Coltrane and his 1966 band with special guests in an inspired free jazz performance.

Update: Bassist and vocalist Jack Bruce, who was a member of the rock super group Cream, in addition to Tony Williams' Lifetime, passed away in October 2014.

Herbie Hancock is looking back at a legendary career in jazz.

For decades, he has been one of the most influential figures in jazz music. As a pianist and later keyboardist, he has made important contributions to the genre.

The new memoir, "Possibilities", explores the jazz pianist's work as a sideman with the Miles Davis Quintet in the 1960s. Also covered is the legendary Mwandishi Sextet and Hancock's chart-topping mid 70s jazz-funk recordings, in addition to his Buddhist spiritual practice.

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. 

Remembering Joe Sample

Oct 7, 2014

Joe Sample, legendary pianist and member of the jazz super group the Crusaders, passed away in September. He was 75. Sample died in his hometown of Houston, Texas on September 12 due to complications from lung cancer.

A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus has earned a reputation as iconoclasts. An acquired taste to many, refreshingly outrageous to others, The Bad Plus-Reid Anderson on bass, Ethan Iverson on piano, and David King on drums, have released a highly original body of work over the last fifteen years. The fearless free-spirited demolition of expected chord structure and melody into something completely unexpected is a Bad Plus trademark.

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.

Trombonist Robin Eubanks and his band Mental Images present bold reinterpretations of rock anthems from Led Zepplin, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and the Family Stone on a new release, which also features five new original tunes.

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.

It is a thrilling experience to hear Miles Davis and his band achieve the impossible over and over again in this rollercoaster ride of four nights of performances from June, 1970. 

Karrin Allyson, a jazz vocalist well known to fans of the genre in Omaha, will perform at the legendary Newport Jazz Festival in August.  It's another accomplishment for the veteran vocal artist who has been nominated for four Grammy Awards, released 14 recordings and entertained audiences worldwide, including in Omaha, for many years.

Jazz in the Afternoon host Chris Cooke recently spoke with Karrin Allyson. Click on the link below to hear their conversation. Recording engineer: Mike Hansen/KIOS.

Horace Silver, pianist, bandleader and composer, passed away in June. He was 85.

The legendary hard bop pianist was one of the most significant artists on Blue Note records, creating some of the most widely enjoyed recordings on the label. Silver believed music could be a healing force. On a recorded library that spanned several decades the pianist certainly created music that was A Prescription For The Blues as his 1997 record was titled.    

Last Call salutes Sun Ra and his musical legacy on this, the year that marks the 100th anniversary of his arrival on Earth.   Mystical and otherworldly but always imbued with a powerful jazz consciousness, the music of Sun Ra has withstood detractors and an indifferent public for more than three generations. And well it should, since Sun Ra has been both apart of and ahead of the jazz tradition, swinging on Earth and on Saturn, with a compositional ability"up there" with Ellington and Mingus.

Drummer Harvey Mason is back with a recording that celebrates some of the grooviest jazz-funk of the 1970s with some of today's top players.  Mason's contributions to the vibrant jazz-funk of the 1970s are immediately recognizable for those familiar with Herbie Hancock and the Headhunters.

One of the most adventuresome and dynamic guitarists in jazz or rock is Nels Cline.  Active since 1977 in a wide variety of genres, he is the guitarist for the alternative rock band, Wilco. Cline's command of the guitar is such that Spin magazine in 2012 named him the 43rd greatest guitarist of all time. He is also the leader of the Nels Cline Singers, a band which has explored the frontiers of jazz music on several recordings over the last decade.

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