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

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.