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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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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1:05 pm
Sat April 7, 2012

Last Call Review: Frank Russell / Circle Without End / Sonic Portraits

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.

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8:49 pm
Sat March 17, 2012

Last Call Review: Tyler Gilmore's Ninth and Lincoln with Cuong Vu / Static Line / Dazzle Recordings

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". 

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10:03 pm
Sat March 10, 2012

Last Call Label Spotlight: Cuneiform Records

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.

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10:42 pm
Sat February 25, 2012

Last Call Review: Patrick Butler / Solar Sailing / butlerjazz.com

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.

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10:41 pm
Sat February 18, 2012

Last Call Review: Tom Wetmore / Desired Effect / Crosstown Records

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.

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