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

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...

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.

In basing the state of jazz music upon the premise of popular song...

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 M onday, 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...

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: Vijay Iyer Trio / Accelerando / ACT

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...

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. Dave Brubeck was born on December 6, 1920. He was a jazz pianist and composer, one of the most significant artists of the genre. His recording with his quartet in 1959, Time Out , remains one of most important and top selling jazz albums in history; containing the huge mainstream hit "Time Out" as well as "Blue Rondo a la Turk" and "Strange...

Artist / CD Title / Record Label Michael "Iron Man" Burks / Show of Strength / Alligator
Ruthie Foster / Let It Burn / Blue Corn
Eddie C. Campbell / Spider Eating Preacher / Delmark
Milton Hopkins & Jewel Brown / Dialtone Records
Rick Estrin & The Nightcats / One Wrong Turn / Alligator
Debbie Davies / After The Fall / M.C. Records
Robert Cray Band / Nothin' But Love / Provogue
Mississippi Heat / Delta Bound / Delmark
Billy Boy Arnold / Sings Big Bill...

Artist / CD Title / Record Label

Bob Mintzer Big Band / For The Moment / MCG
Bobby Broom / Upper West Side Story / Origin
Stacey Kent / Dreamer In Concert / Blue Note
Jimmy Owens / The Monk Project / IPO
Frank Basile / Modern Inventions / Independent
Bruce Barth / Three Things Of Beauty / Savant
Cassandra Wilson / Another Country / EOne
Corey Weeds / Up A Step / Cellar Live
Lewis Nash Quintet / The Higher Mountain / Cellar Live
Laverne Butler /...

As usual I have trouble confining my annual “Best of the year” list to the traditional ten and have thus weaseled my way around the issue by adding a few vocal releases and reissues. Your sympathetic tolerance is appreciated. Our hungry ears were substantially rewarded through the year with these fine recordings:

Frank Basile – Modern Inventions – independent through CD Baby - Omaha native and baritone burner Frank Basile leads a vibrant sextet on this refreshingly straight-ahead...

KIOS will air the final show in the 2012 Jazz Heritage Series on Friday December 7th at 2:00PM.

Cuneiform Records continues to release some of the most daring and visionary progressive jazz recordings of our time. Two new efforts are of special interest to jazz fans.

Living By Lanterns presents drummer Mike Reed and vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, essential members of Chicago's jazz scene, leading an ensemble of Chicago and New York musicians for a studio date, with is Old Myth, New Science . Together,the ensemble explores tunes written by Reed and Adasiewicz based on a...

KIOS will air the two-hour special The Best of the 2011 Detroit Jazz Festival on Friday August 31st at 8:00PM . Join us for another spectacular showcase of some of the world's finest jazz musicians as they perform at one of the largest jazz festivals in the U.S. Among the highlights are performances by Paquito D' Rivera , Joe Lovano , Jeff "Tain" Watts , and Helen Sung . The program is hosted by Ed Love of WDET and Linda Yohn of WEMU.

Last Call Notes

Jul 30, 2012

S trong 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 . Pat Metheny's Unity Band is a new configuration of sorts for the guitarist and well-known jazz artist. Metheny adds saxophonist Chris Potter to the musical adventure this time in addition to Ben Williams on bass and Antonio Sanchez on drums. The result is another satisfying Metheny...

NPR Music will hit the road again this year and head north to Newport, R.I. with a live broadcast and webcast from the Newport Folk Festival, July 27-29. The coverage begins with a live webcast of Wilco on Friday July 27th. It'll also include opening sets from Megafaun and Blitzen. In addition to Wilco, you'll be able to watch live video performances by The Head and the Heart, Iron And Wine, Alabama Shakes and more from the folk festival online and via the NPR mobile apps. Listen live all...

Jazz concerts at NPR

May 8, 2012

Jazz fans can turn to NPR Music for archived performances with todays 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...

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...

South High School celebrates 50 years of show choir

Apr 11, 2012
courtesy OPS

Omaha South High School s Ambassadors Show Choir is celebrating its 50 th anniversary. A 50 year reunion concert is scheduled for Saturday evening at South High School. The Ambassadors Show Choir began in 1962 as the Choralaires. Among the 100 participants in this weekends reunion show are members of that choir. Clay Blackman, Director of Choral Activities at South High School, says the Ambassadors Show Choir has 18 members this school year. He says even if participants choose not to pursue a...

KIOS will air a special to usher in Jazz Appreciation Month in April. The Art of the Jazz Solo can be heard Friday April 6th at 2:00PM. The one-hour program is part of a series from Interlochen Public Radio in Michigan called The New Jazz Archive hosted by Jeff Haas. The Art of the Jazz Solo goes inside the art and craft of one jazzs most quintessential elements: the solo. Well hear from veteran jazz instructor Bill Sears about the challenge of teaching students the art of jazz improvisation,...

KIOS celebrates Jazz Appreciation Month, a national celebration sponsored by the Smithsonian Institute to help raise awareness of this great American art form. The objective, is to draw greater attention to jazz by encouraging musicians, concert halls, schools, colleges, libraries and public broadcasters to offer special programs on jazz every April. You can learn more about Jazz Appreciation Month at

Experimental percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani performs at the Bemis Center Saturday, April 7 th . Joel Damon, Underground Curator, says Nakatani plays a traditional gong with a bow. He says it creates an atmospheric sound that can be felt and experienced on multiple levels. Damon says Nakatani also plays singing bowls, and uses cymbals in new ways. He says the Bemis is always interested in performers and artists who may not fit comfortably within traditional concert venues. The second half of...

Once again this year KIOS will air highlights from the UNO Great Plains Jazz Festival.
The one-hour 2012 edition will air Thursday March 29 at 8:00PM. The festival took place on the campus of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and featured a wide array of high school jazz bands ranging from small combos to big bands. On this years broadcast youll hear performances by Omaha Central, Omaha Burke, Westside, Papillion-LaVista, Millard North,Thomas Jefferson, Kearney, Lewis Central and...

The proof, as they say, is in the pudding; and trombonist Steve Turres new release Woodys Delight is a rich and highly palatable blend of straight ahead, relaxed and Latin sounds enhanced by an array of talented musicians augmenting the leaders consistently engaging compositional skills and playing. Its a marvelously diverse session and our CD of the month.

Woodys Delight is a reference to one of Turres influences the late trumpeter Woody Shaw who was a musician deserving of...

The Liverpool Legends will perform at Morton Magnet Middle School tonight at 7:00. The group is comprised of musicians specially picked by Beatle George Harrisons sister, Louise. Dan Mattran, Instrumental Music Director at Morton Magnet, says the concert will offer a complete Beatles experience with music that spans the Fab Fours entire career. He says the performance will feature Mortons chorus and band on selected songs. The students have been putting in time after school and during the...

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...

Another one of those live recordings that lets you feel that you are there. Further Explorations is a 2 CD celebration of the music of Bill Evans with two of the former band mates of Evans on stage. Theres Eddie Gomez, the legendary bassist who was with the Bill Evans trio for eleven years, 1966-1977. Paul Motian is also on the stage, one of the most influential jazz drummers of the last 50 years who was with Evans from 1959 through 1964 . Chick Corea, one of the most dynamic and creative...

Artist / CD Title / Record Label
Giacomo Gates / The Revolution Will Be Jazz / Savant
Jessica Williams / Freedom Trane / Origin Records
Kurt Elling / The Gate / Concord Jazz
Bobby Sanabria / Tito Puente Masterworks Live!!! / Jazzheads
Orrin Evans / Captain Black Big Band / Posi-Tone
Westchester Jazz Orch. / Maiden Voyage Suite / WJO
Tom Harrell / The Time Of The Sun / HighNote
Arturo OFarrill / 40 Acres And A Burro / Zoho
Judy Wexler /...

Artist / CD Title / Record Label
Kurt Elling / The Gate / Concord Jazz


Jan 25, 2012




Special airs January 2nd on KIOS. Tune in January 2nd at 2:00PM for a one-hour special, Ray Charles: Singular Genius. Youll hear music from the new box set Singular Genius: The Complete ABC Singles including such hits as I Cant Stop Loving You, Hit The Road Jack and Georgia. The program also includes interviews with Charles and with music historian Billy Vera, guitarist George Benson , Concord Records President Richard Burke and Chicago radio personality Herb Kent. They reflect on the music...