KIOS-FM

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

In the last ten years a number of jazz artists have released recordings that attempt to fuse jazz and country music; these efforts have yielded results of varying success.  Guitarist Corey Christiansen's latest effort is without doubt an exception.

Nicole Mitchell's Ice Crystal project is at the forefront of the discs we're featuring this month on the Last Call. Nicole Mitchell is a veteran, award-winning flutist.

Vocalist Gretchen Parlato will perform in Omaha at the 1200 Club at the Holland on May 11th. This is the first Omaha concert for the rising vocal star, whose 2011 effort "The Lost And Found" was the #1 Jazz CD of the year as awarded by this program. Click on the link to listen to an interview with Gretchen Parlato.(Recording Engineer: Mike Hansen.)

For more information about Parlato's concert in Omaha you may visit omahaperformingarts.org

Here is the review of the record from our archives:

The Jimi You Never Knew

May 3, 2013

2-HOUR Jimi Hendrix Special:
"The Jimi You Never Knew"
Sunday May 5th at 7:00PM

Trumpeter Jeremy Pelt is an accomplished trumpeter with a string of critically acclaimed albums.  A solid straight-ahead artist, he has released two albums (2005's Identity) and (2007's Shock Value) that explore electric jazz directions.  For Water and Earth, the noted trumpeter, bandleader & educator is back with his longtime bandmates Frank LoCrasto, keyboards; Dana Hawkins, drums; and newcomers including Roxy Coss on saxophone.

Cuneiform Records has just released a new batch of adventuresome jazz discs. Their usual high standard of creative brilliance continues with a number of fine recordings, most notably The Rob Mazurek Octet's  Skull Sessions.

Giacomo Gates – Miles Tones – Savant SCD 2124

The music of Miles Davis, so firmly entrenched in the instrumental heart and soul of jazz music, has also been embellished with lyrics in several instances. Vocalist Giacomo Gates' latest release gathers a variety of these selections and serves them with his inimitable stylings and superb musical accompaniment.

Thanks for listening to tonight's Last Call!

View our Last Call playlist for March 9, 2013

The music of Miles Davis was changing dramatically in the late 1960s. Most fans of the legendary trumpeter know that in 1969 he recorded Bitches Brew, the hugely successful dawn of jazz-rock that was one of the best selling jazz records ever released. Lesser known is the working unit that Miles took with him on the road was one of the most artistically daring and visionary bands that Miles ever led. Recordings of that outfit have recently surfaced and have been released on a multi-disc set, Live In Europe 1969, The Complete Bootleg Sessions Vol. 2.

Rebecca Cooke

Last Call presents an interview with saxophonist Donny McCaslin. The  saxophonist received a 2004 Grammy® nomination for “Best Jazz Instrumental Solo” for his work with the Maria Schneider Orchestra. He has also worked extensively with trumpeter Dave Douglas and his band. Inspired by the full tenor sound of Sonny Rollins, McCaslin explores a trajectory through electronic jazz on his latest effort, Casting For Gravity.

Guitarist Pat Metheny, whose artistry has been rewarded with multiple Grammys over the years, has won another award for his fine 2012 recording.  Metheny won in the jazz instrumental category with the album Unity Band.

Patricia Barber has long been an important voice on the progressive jazz scene. Barber, an internationally acclaimed pianist, vocalist and composer, was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003, the only songwriter ever to be so awarded. Her ability to craft sophisticated lyrics has been documented on a series of fine recordings, which continued until some years ago.

This month Last Call celebrates its 17th anniversary on the air with a consideration: What is the state of the guitar in progressive jazz?  To answer that, it's helpful to review the arc of the instrument since the 1960s. Guitarists such as Wes Montgomery & Larry Coryell made very important contributions in that decade; also one must acknowledge the huge influence of rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix on jazz & the decision by many jazz artists to "plug in" during the late 1960s.

Last Call Best of 2012

Dec 8, 2012

Spending another year with you via the Last Call on Saturday nights has been a pleasure. Once again we have listened to a potpourri of compelling, adventuresome jazz artistry. Here are the highlights of 2012 as I see them based on their artistic merit:

One of the great names in jazz, Dave Brubeck, passed away a day before his 92nd birthday, on December 5, 2012.

Jazz legend  Dave Brubeck died Tuesday at age 91, one day shy of his 92nd birthday. It was the end of one of the most accomplished lives in jazz history.

Artwork by Christopher Cooke/KIOS

Last Call celebrates the 70th birthday of Jimi Hendrix.  Born November 27, 1942, Hendrix was one of the most artistically accomplished guitarists in music history. Hendrix's  style of combining feedback, fuzz and controlled distortion was a major innovation in the history of the electric guitar. Combined with technique and imagination that placed him light-years of most of the rock guitarists of the day, Hendrix's brief career as an internationally celebrated guitarist  is legendary.

Cuneiform Records continues to release some of the most daring and visionary progressive jazz recordings of our time. Two new efforts are of special interest to jazz fans.

A band well known for their fearless re-arrangements of pop classics into unpredictable jazz explorations, The Bad Plus have returned with a program that might surprise longtime listeners. The date is more accessible, more melodic than many previous Bad Plus recordings. The trio is comprised of Reid Anderson on bass, synthesizers and electronics, Ethan Iverson on piano and David King on drums.

Cornetist Rob Mazurek is an artist with a seemingly limitless ability to create musical melodies and colors. Originally from Chicago, Mazurek now resides in São Paulo, Brazil. His reputation as a progressive artist has been documented on a series of brilliant recordings and performances. This writer attended a live performance by Mazurek some years ago at the Bemis Underground in Omaha, to say that it was a profound night of music only hints at the stellar, cosmic heights of music attained that evening.

Acclaimed saxophonist Branford Marsalis will bring his quartet to the Holland Performing Arts Center on Friday evening, November 9th, at 8pm.

Branford Marsalis is a National Endowment for the Arts master, renowned three time Grammy Award®-winning saxophonist and a Tony Award® nominee composer. Instrumentalist, composer and bandleader, he is also the head of Marsalis Music, a record label founded in 2002.

David S. Ware's saxophone artistry scorched many a Saturday night of adventuresome jazz on the Last Call over the last decade plus; he took the music to the very edge and with him his eager fans.
So understandably it is with sadness that I reflect on the passing of David S. Ware. He passed away in October at the age of 62.

Vocal instructor, performance artist and actress Rhiannon spoke with Last Call's Chris Cooke recently. In a wide ranging interview, the internationally recognized vocal artist & instructor discussed in detail jazz vocal improvisation and its place in the world of jazz. Rhiannon has released many compelling albums including the most recent "Flight", Rhiannon's interactive guide to vocal improvisation, and "Spontaneous", a collection of improvised studio and live small group music.

Return To Forever's new multidisc recording is an essential addition to any progressive jazz fans library.  Founding Return To Forever group members Chick Corea(piano, keyboards); Stanley Clarke(bass) and Lenny White(drums) are joined by Frank Gambale(guitars) and Jean-Luc Ponty(violin). Recorded on tour in 2011, this version of the band creates one magical moment after another onstage with excellent readings of RTF gems "Medieval Overture", "After the Cosmic Rain", "The Romantic Warrior", and others. A DVD is included.

The fusion of West African & jazz musical traditions is impeccably achieved in the latest recording from guitarist Lionel Loueke. "Heritage" creates a sonic landscape that is contemplative and graceful. Steered by the guitar artistry of Loeuke, the warmth of the program is hard to resist. Loueke's brilliant guitar and vocal work is complimented by close friend and associate Robert Glasper on keyboards, the incredibly talented drummer Mark Guilliana, bassist Derrick Hodge and guest vocalist Gretchen Parlato.

A significant trumpeter to arise in the last ten years, Christian Scott has released an ambitious new 2 CD set that heralds his new name and identity.  "Christian Atunde Adjuah" , a traditional African name that has been adopted by the trumpeter, is also the name of this latest release.  Scott says he seeks to "stretch" jazz to encompass new musical forms.  Inspired by his hometown, New Orleans, Scott paints a turbulent & passionate musical story.

Dr Lonnie Smith's immense talent on the bandstand is documented on the new disc "The Healer", on the organist's new label, Pilgrimage Productions.  Never heard him in person? This is the next best thing. Capturing the spontaneity and style transcending appeal of this accomplished organist who just turned 70, Dr. Lonnie Smith is joined by his touring band of Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Jamire Williams on drums. The results are nothing less than mesmerizing, check out the high intensity "Beehive" for an essential electric jazz jam that reminds one of Miles Davis's "Bitches Brew".

Brian Bromberg’s latest recording is a superb salute to Jimi Hendrix, the legendary guitarist who influenced countless musicians, including jazz artists such as Bromberg. A first listen may lead one to believe the music presented includes a guitar, but that is not the case—Bromberg played all of the guitar sounding parts on the basses that he tuned an octave and a fourth above a standard bass.  The effect is quite staggering, as Bromberg releases an arsenal of bass artistry on well known Hendrix numbers “Fire”, “Freedom”, “Purple Haze”, and other classics.

Get ready for the electric trombone artistry of Oscar Utterstrom. His latest recording, Departure, is one of the finest electric jazz recordings to be released in the last several years.

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