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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Jazz
8:00 am
Thu June 14, 2012

An Interview with Chick Corea

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.

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10:41 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Remembering Pete Cosey

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.

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9:04 pm
Sat June 9, 2012

Last Call CD Review: Spectrum Road /Palmetto Records

The Tony Williams Lifetime band was arguably the first band to release a true jazz-rock recording. 1969's blistering hot "Emergency" was a tour de force of music at the cutting edge. Williams, the young, legendary drummer who had just left the Miles Davis Quintet was at the top of his game with an incredible band that included John McLaughlin on guitar and Larry Young on organ.

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9:19 pm
Sat May 26, 2012

Last Call Review: Rhiannon / Spontaneous / RhiannonMusic

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.

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12:47 pm
Sun May 13, 2012

Last Call Review: Wayne Escoffery / The Only Son Of One / Sunnyside

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.

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12:01 pm
Wed May 9, 2012

Gil Evans 100th Birthday Celebration on KIOS

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.

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11:40 am
Tue May 8, 2012

Jazz concerts at NPR

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 

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10:47 pm
Sat April 28, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Joel Harrison

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".

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11:04 am
Thu April 19, 2012

Last Call Review: Esperanza Spalding / Radio Music Society / Heads Up

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

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10:44 pm
Sat April 7, 2012

Last Call Review : John Moulder Quintet / The Eleventh Hour / Origin

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.

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