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

From a veteran rock & jazz drummer and his long standing band, this date really cooks. A CD + DVD package allows the listener to totally enjoy the recorded experience, from 2007 with band members keyboardist Tom Coster, bassist Baron Browne and, guitarist Vinny Valentino, and drummer Steve Smith. Sustained energy and creative interplay persist throughout the recording, featuring adventuresome numbers, "Cat Walk", "Time Tunnel", "Interwoven Rhythms-Synchronus" and a straight ahead burner, "Jimmy Jive".

Last Call Notes

Jul 30, 2012

Strong new recordings from well known guitarists Pat Metheny and Mike Stern will be featured this month. We will also present a new disc from Japanese jazz trumpeter deserving much wider recognition, Shunzo Ohno.

One of the finest recordings of 2012,  The Vijay Iyer Trio's "Accelerando" has been recognized throughout the jazz world as an exceptional effort from one of the most compelling pianists on today's jazz scene. A major milestone for the pianist has been the winning of multiple categories in the 2012 Downbeat Critics Poll.  Critics have voted Vijay Iyer as Jazz Artist Of The Year, Top Pianist and Rising Star Composer.  The Vijay Iyer Trio was also voted the best jazz group of the year, and Accelerando won top Jazz Album.

A prolific recording artist,  drummer Matt Wilson has appeared on over 250 records. Touring and performing worldwide,  he  performed recently at the Iowa City Jazz Festival with Mumbo Jumbo: A Tribute To Paul Motian.

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.

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 

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".

Immediately accessible and a pleasant listening experience,  Radio Music Society is another career landmark for Grammy-winning vocalist and bassist Esperanza Spalding.  While the disc is clearly geared towards a pop audience, this does not mean the music is without interest to jazz fans.  With an all star cast including Joe Lovano, Jack DeJohnette, Terri Lyne Carrington and Gretchen Parlato,  Spalding's disc has many bright moments, including "Radio Song", "Black Gold" & "I Can't Help It", all featuring the leaders beautiful, melodic voice and solid bass work.  Fans of the dynamic young

Guitarist John Moulder, a long time presence on the Chicago music scene, is presented in a live session recorded with his quintet at the noted Green Mill Jazz Club in Chicago.  In a set that oscillates between crescendos and quiet meditative passages, the John Moulder Quintet amazes the at home listener in many ways. Moulder's guitar mastery is on display in "Gateway", in "The Eleventh Hour" the band performs with the self-assurance of a Pat Metheny live set but with more edginess. "Creation" features the band in a meditative mood.

Frank Russell is a bassist deserving wider recognition. On his second CD, Circle Without End, Russell displays total mastery of the bass, something he refined while working with noted jazz guitarist Henry Johnson and the legendary South African singing group, Ladysmith Black Mambazo. A Chicago native, Russell has worked as a musician for more than 25 years.The bassist has performed at many jazz festivals across the country including the Newport Jazz Festival, the Telluride Jazz Festival and  the Chicago Jazz Festival.

Hope and despair walk hand in hand with anyone who has experienced life on the front lines or who has had a family member away in combat. A new recording from Tyler Gilmore's Ninth and Lincoln explores these themes for modern audiences in "Static Line". 

Cuneiform Records has released another series of discs on the last several months that will almost certainly enchant Last Call listeners. Joel Harrison has released a new disc on the label with an impressive band including noted trumpeter and educator Cuong Vu. Holy Abyss does not disappoint. Fans of Return to Forever will delight in a new recording from Forgas Band Phenomena : Acte V. Led by Composer/Drummer Patrick Forgas this band captivates with jazz-rock mix.

Guitarist Patrick Butler and legendary keyboarist Ricky Williams reunite in the studio after 35 years on this solid jazz funk date. Solar Sailing has all of the ingredients you would want from a recording of its kind.  Butler and Williams were much in demand players in New York in the 1970s, supplying live music to dancers in the New York Club scene until the wee hours. Now they have reunited to record a studio session which captures the excitement of this old school danceable funk.

Electric pianist Tom Wetmore makes his debut with an impressive electric jazz recording which does not disappoint. Wetmore's energetic band includes the very talented Jaleel Shaw whose saxophone provides a stimulating conversational partner to Wetmore's electric piano. An all-original program of nine numbers ensures a satisfying listen for the jazz enthusiast. Tom Wetmore is a pianist, composer, and bandleader working in the New York City area.

Sure to warm up even the coldest of winter nights, the latest disc by Frank Macchia is a pleasure.  Swamp Thang presents a band of the same name lead by Grammy Nominated Compser Macchia. Wild groove music with crazy chromatic melodies come together with a dose of Cajun and a dash of humor.   The Swamp Thang band, led by Frank Macchia on saxophone, features  John Rosenberg on piano, organ and keyboards, Ken Rosser and Eric Jensen on electric guitars, Tom Lockett on electric bass and Frank Briggs on drums and percussion.

LAST CALL BEST OF 2011:

Jan 25, 2012

GRETCHEN PARLATO /  THE LOST AND FOUND /OBLIQ SOUND

DWIGHT TRIBLE / COSMIC /KATALYST ENTERTAINMENT

BEN ALLISON / ACTION -REFRACTION /PALMETTO

JACOB FRED JAZZ ODYSSEY / THE RACE RIOT SUITE / GROOVE MARKETING

TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON / THE MOSAIC PROJECT / CONCORD

ERIC HARLAND /VOAYGER: LIVE BY NIGHT / SPACE TIME RECORDS

ERNEST DAWKINS NEW HORIZONS ENSEMBLE / THE PRAIRIE PROPHET / DELMARK

BELA FLECK AND THE FLECKTONES / ROCKET SCIENCE /EOM

WADADA LEO SMITH'S ORGANIC / HEARTS'S REFLECTIONS / CUNEIFORM

Jazz vocalist's tremendous artistry is demonstrated on "Cosmic".

As one of the most significant jazz pianists of the history of the genre, Herbie Hancock's contributions to music over 50 plus years of activity as a musician are nothing less than remarkable.  Born in 1940,  Hancock made history as a member of the Miles Davis Quintet of the 1960s.  Hancock was also one of the most in-demand pianists of the decade. Important contributions to the birth of jazz-rock in the In A Silent Way/Bitches Brew sessions followed.

Bassist's latest recording is Think Free

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