All jazz, blues, and other music-related posts.


On Chicago Fire, Eric Alexander demonstrates again why he is one of the busiest saxophonists on today's jazz scene. Alexander has a fully developed voice on the saxophone and can blow with the best of them. Harold Mabern, one of the greatest jazz pianists ever, is in the studio, as is bassist John Webber and drummer Joe Farnsworth.  Additionally, special guest Jeremy Pelt steps in for a few tracks and demonstrates his mainstream credentials. This gathering of total professionals creates a smoking session!

Legendary Chicago Drummer & Bandleader Kahil El'Zabar continues to add fine recordings to an already impressive discography of discs firmly in the jazz avant-garde but rooted in straight-ahead jazz. Zabar's latest effort with his longstanding Ritual Trio band, Follow The Sun, continues in that direction. 

FEBRUARY  6: SOME OF THE BEST JAZZ FROM 2004:We go back a decade and listen to some of the fine recordings from 2004. The show includes music from Stefon Harris, Diana Krall, Gary Burton and more!

FEBRUARY 20: PART TWO OF JAZZ FROM 2004: More of some of the notable jazz recordings of 2004 including music from Giacomo Gates, Winard Harper and Roseanna Vitro.

Jazz From Studio One returns in 2014 with more great jazz music, produced by the students of the Omaha Public Schools radio broadcasting program.

The New Year starts with:

January 9: Best Jazz of 1964  Some of the notable jazz recordings of 1964 featuring George Benson, Sarah Vaughan, Dave Brubeck, McCoy Tyner and more.

Our next program will be..

An NPR tradition every New Year's Eve since 1979, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz you can party to, all night from coast to coast,with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones. Spirited, improvised, grooving and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast. Toast of the Nation is co-produced by WBGO FM in Newark, New Jersey and NPR Music.

Shelly Yoellin's Jazz Workshop Septet / Secret Steps / Blujazz
Pablo Masis / Intrinsic / Self Release
Minho Hazama / Journey To Journey / Sunnyside
Giacomo Gates / Miles Tones / Savant
Eliane Elias / I Thought About You / Concord
Ken Fowser & Behn Gillece / Top Shelf / Posi Tone
Etienne Charles / Creole Soul / Culture Shock
Manuel Valera & New Cuban Express / Expectativas / Mavo
Janis Siegal / Nightsongs / Palmetto
Diego Rivera / The Contender / D Clef

Miles Davis , Thelonious Monk and Donald Byrd are among the artists presented in this hour of jazz highlights from fifty years ago.

Music from John Coltrane, Hank Mobley and Horace Silver will be heard in this program featuring classic sessions at Blue Note Records.

Veteran jazz bassist Dave Holland is back with one of his boldest sessions in years. Fans of his straight ahead jazz recordings may be startled to hear the relentless intensity of Prism, but it shouldn't be surprising given Holland's roots in the electric jazz explosion of the late 1960s.

Introducing Gordon Spencer

Oct 1, 2013

Veteran radio personality Gordon Spencer will present Friday's Jazz in the Afternoon on KIOS starting October 18. Spencer has been hosting jazz radio broadcasts continuously since 1976.

From childhood on Gordon Spencer’s life has been full of music. He was in the audience during Philadelphia Orchestra Children’s Concerts, his father up there on stage playing viola. At home little Gordon delighted in recordings of Stravinsky, Prokofiev, Ravel, Debussy. And was baby-sat while his father played Mozart and Haydn string quartets with friends.

This weekend KIOS will present NPR Music's web-only stream of the Newport Jazz Festival. On August 3rd and 4th from 10:00AM to 6:30PM central time many of today's top performers will hit the jazz festival stage, including the Wayne Shorter Quartet with special guest Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Esperanza Spalding, Marcus Miller, Robert Glasper, Dizzy Gillespie Big Band with Paquito D'Rivera.
For the complete lineup you may visit

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

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

The new release from bassist and bandleader McBride is a straight-ahead affair with an acoustic group consisting of Steve Wilson on alto sax, Warren Wolf on vibes , Peter Martin on six of the eight tracks on piano with Christian Sands on the others. Carl Allen handles the drum duties on most of the session and Ulysses Owens Jr. filling in on two tracks.

For Jazz Appreciation Month, KIOS presents the SFJazz Center Opening Night Concert on Wednesday April 17th at 8:00PM. San Francisco has been a jazz hot spot for decades and now the city is home to the first stand-alone building built specifically for jazz. It's the new 700 seat SFJazz Center.

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.

Donaldson Toussaint L'Ouverture Byrd II, known as Donald Byrd, passed away February 4, 2013 at the age of eighty. Byrd was a superb trumpet player whose music spanned a period of some five deacdes. After playing with Lionel Hampton before finishing high school and service in the United States Air Force, Byrd completed his bachelor's degree in music at Wayne State University in 1954 and moved to New York in 1955 to get his master's at the Manhattan School of Music.

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.

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.

Guitarist John Pizzarelli will return to Omaha in February.  Two performances with the Omaha Symphony, Thomas Wilkins, conducting, will be presented on Saturday, February 9, 2013, at 8 p.m. &  Sunday, February 10, 2013, at 2 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center.

Blues at the Crossroads 2: Muddy & The Wolf

Jan 14, 2013

Omaha Performing Arts Presents BLUES AT THE CROSSROADS 2: Muddy & The Wolf on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 p.m. at the Holland Performing Arts Center. This performance is part of the Omaha Performing Arts 2012/2013 Season.
Tickets for Blues at the Crossroads 2: Muddy & The Wolf start at $25 and can be purchased online at, by phone at 402.345.0606, or at the Ticket Omaha office in the Holland Performing Arts Center, 13th and Douglas streets.

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.

KIOS will once again air Toast of The Nation to ring in the New Year. The annual broadcast will begin New Year's Eve, December 31st at  8:00PM. An NPR tradition every New Year's since 1979, Toast of the Nation is perfect for the occasion. It's jazz you can party to, all night from coast to coast, with countdowns to midnight in all four continental time zones.Spirited, improvised, grooving, and swinging, each segment is a stop in a sequence of celebrations and contributing something new to the musical feast. WBGO's Rhonda Hamilton anchors the show.

ALBUMS OF THE MONTH – January, 2013      (and some related comment)

The November, 2012 issue of The Atlantic contained a pitifully myopic article entitled “The End of Jazz”. Essentially, its author argued that since the traditional songbook has become passe and with nothing new coming into the jazz repertoire since 1960 the music has exhausted its relevancy. What we have here is a severe case of ignoratio elenchi.

Jazz Piano Christmas XXIII to air Monday on KIOS

Dec 22, 2012

NPR Music brings you another great concert from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Jazz Piano Christmas presents NEA Jazz Master Ellis Marsalis, Jason Marsalis, Geri Allen, and Taylor Eigsti and other artists who will perform their favorite holiday songs. Tune in for JAZZ PIANO CHRISTMAS XXIII on Monday, December 24th at 8:00pm on KIOS,

Kathy Kosins / To The Ladies of Cool / Resonance Records
Pharez Whitted / For The People /  Origin Records
Dr Lonnie Smith / The Healer / Pilgrimage Records
Bob Mintzer Big Band / For The Moment / MCG
Frank Basile / Modern Inventions / Independent
Arturo Sandoval /Dear Diz /  Concord Jazz
Steve Turre / Woody's Delight / High Note
Takuya Kuroda / Six Aces / Independent
Mike Longo Trio / Celebration of Diz and Miles / Consolidated Artists Productions
Lewis Nash Quintet / The Higher Mountain / Cellar Live

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.