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

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9:53 pm
Sat November 17, 2012

Last Call CD Review: The Bad Plus / Made Possible / E One Records

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.

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5:08 pm
Sun November 11, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Rob Mazurek Pulsar Quartet / Stellar Pulsations / Delmark

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.

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5:34 pm
Thu November 8, 2012

An Interview with Branford Marsalis

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.

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10:50 pm
Sat November 3, 2012

Remembering David S. Ware

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.

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5:20 pm
Fri October 12, 2012

Last Call Spotlight: Rhiannon

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.

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5:43 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Return To Forever / The Mothership Returns / Eagle Records

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.

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3:54 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Lionel Loueke / Heritage / Blue Note

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.

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10:23 pm
Sat September 15, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Christian Scott / Christian Atunde Adjuah/ Concord

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.

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4:57 pm
Thu September 13, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Dr Lonnie Smith / The Healer / Pilgrimage Productions

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".

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10:37 pm
Sat August 25, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Brian Bromberg / Bromberg Plays Hendrix / Artistry Records

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.

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