KCCK Producers' Top 10's for 2013

Mark Yother
Bob Stewart
Gordon Paulsen
Bob De Forest
Bob Naujoks
Ron Adkins
Craig Kessler
Doug "DJ" Jackson

Mark Yother: Monday-Friday 6 a.m. - 10 a.m. / Sundays 6 a.m. - 9 a.m.

1) Tommy Flanagan and Jaki Byard - The Magic of 2 (Resonance)

Of the recordings that arrived at KCCK during 2013, my choice for top album is "The Magic of 2" by Tommy Flanagan and Jaki Byard. They were recorded in performance February 7, 1982, at the Keystone Korner in San Francisco. Each gets solo opportunities, but the real attraction is the two-piano performances. Byard in particular had the whole history of jazz piano in his fingers, and was often tempted to stake out more ground than he could plow. But the two grand masters were in sync while playing together. You'll never believe they didn't practice together every day for years.

My other choices, in alphabetical order:

2) Beegie Adair - A Time for Love (Green Hill)

3) Anat Cohen - Claroscuro (Anzic)

4) Commons Collective - New Beginning (Commons Collective)

5) Earl Klugh - Hank Picked (Heads Up)

6) Rob Parton Big Band - We'll Be Together Again (Capri)

7) Ken Peplowski - Maybe September (Capri)

8) Swingadelic - Toussaintville2 (Zoho)

9) Phil Woods and the Festival Orchestra - New Celebration (Chiaroscur)

10) Selected recordings from the collection of Bill Duffy, long-time friend of KCCK. Thanks to his sons Mark and Joel for the privilege of reviewing and choosing some new favorites.

Bob Stewart: Monday-Friday 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.

1) 1) Phil Woods & the Festival Orchestra - Celebration (Chiaroscuro)

Phil Woods' amazing arranging skills are brilliantly displayed on this follow-up to a disc he and the Orchestra did in 1997. The extraordinary writing serves as a perfect setting for Phil's solo virtuosity. The ample skills of the rest of the featured players out of the Festival Orchestra from Woods' Poconos home region are also fully realized. Just a delightful and exciting big band date for the veteran saxophonist.

2) Etienne Charles - Creole Soul (Culture Shock)

3) 3 Cohens - Tightrope (Anzic)

4) Dave Douglas Quintet - Time Travel (Greenleaf)

5) Ron Miles - Quiver (Enja)

6) Chris Potter - The Sirens (ECM)

7) Tierney Sutton - After Blue (BFM)

8) Ralph Alessi & Fred Hersch - Only Many (CamJazz)

9) Sean Nowell - The Kung-Fu Masters (Posi-Tone)

10) Brad Goode Chicago Red (Origin)

Gordon Paulsen: Monday-Friday 2 p.m. - 6 p.m.

1) Enrico Rava - Rava on the Dance Floor (ECM)

Italian trumpet virtuoso Enrico Rava did something totally unexpected for his legions of fans and even to himself -- he recorded in concert, an entire album of music written/co-written and/or inspired by pop icon Michael Jackson! Not your usual Jackson tribute album either. The project had its beginnings when Enrico (age 70) discovered his wife watching a MJ concert video shortly after the singer's death and became obsessed with what he heard and saw -- having only before this chance encounter, what he describes as "superficial acquaintance" with Michael's music. To Enrico it was new, fresh, unique and wonderful and for the following several months he gobbled up everything MJ he could find! For this send-up to the King of Pop, Rava assembled an incredible group of eleven mostly younger, accomplished and versatile musicians known as Parco della Musica Jazz Lab. With music director trombonist Mauro Ottolini, Rava and company offer some of the most interesting, spacious, and funky arrangements on some of Jackson's best known songs as well as some that are a bit less familiar. Highlights include "Speechless", "Thriller", "Little Susie" and "Blood on the Dance Floor."

Writing online for AllAboutJazz, John Kelman notes: "The arrangements are rigorous, but this isn't just a case of structured charts with planned space for soloists, though there is plenty of that” beyond Rava's consistently lyrical yet searching performances throughout, including an impressive alto turn from Daniele Tittarelli on the balladic "Speechless," a powerhouse tenor feature for Dan Kinzelman near the end of "They Don't Care About Us," and Ottolini delivering some visceral trombone work that dissolves into utter free play at the end of "Thriller," before cueing to a brief but muscular reiteration of its main theme. Instead, while there are, indeed, clear roadmaps to these nine arrangements, there's also room for the entire band to engage in sheer spontaneity...and a little humor thrown in, here and there, for good measure."

2) Gary Burton - Guided Tour (Mack Avenue)

3) Hiromi - Move (Telarc)

4) Brad Goode - Chicago Red (Origin)

5) Mark Egan/Karl Latham/John Hart - Unit 1 (Wavetone)

6) Gregory Porter - Liquid Spirit (Blue Note)

7) Poncho Sanchez - Live in Hollywood (Concord Picante)

8) Kevin Eubanks - The Messenger (Mack Avenue)

9) Yellowjackets - A Rise in the Road (Mack Avenue)

10) Spyro Gyra - The Rhinebeck Sessions (Crosseyed Bear)

Bob Naujoks: Sundays: 9 a.m. - 11 a.m. (Gentle Jazz)

For the Gentle Jazz genre there were a number of excellent efforts, but no real groundbreakers, unless one would applaud Ali Ryerson's effort to offer a flute big band. I found it fascinating. Four clarinetists -- Dave Bennett, Anat Cohen, Eddie Daniels and Ken Peplowski -- came to the fore showing that instrument is still strongly on the scene, and the young pianist, Ariel Pocock, with connections to Cedar Rapids and KCCK (she appeared at Jazz Under The Stars) issued a lovely album. A relatively unknown singer out of Nashville, Monica Ramey, impressed me with her album featuring the Beegie Adair Trio; she is excellent. In alphabetical order here are my ten picks for 2013:

1)Dave Bennett - Don't Be That Way (Mack Avenue)

2) Anat Cohen - Claroscuro (Anzic)

3) Eddie Daniels/Roger Kellaway - Duke @ The Roadhouse (Live) (IPO)

4) Kyle Eastwood - The View From Here (Jazz Village)

5) Wycliffe Gordon - The Intimate Ellington (Criss Cross)

6) Scott Hamilton - Swedish Meatballs (Charleston Square)

7) Ken Peplowski - Maybe September (Capri)

8) Ariel Pocock - Touchstone (ArtistShare)

9) Monica Ramey - & The Beegie Adair Trio (Adair Music)

10) Ali Ryerson - Game Changer (Capri)

Doug "DJ" Jackson: Saturdays 8 a.m. - Noon (Smooth Brunch)

1) BWB - Human Nature (Heads Up)

Norman Brown has a track on his 2007 "Stay With Me" cd entitled "It Ain't Over BWB". Well after 11 years (it's been that long since their debut cd "Groovin"), Norman Brown, Kirk Whalum and Rick Braun reunited with a jazz tribute to the music of Michael Jackson. They do more than just cover Mike's music, they make it they're own. A tribute that I'm sure Mike would definitely "Jam" to. Because if you're gonna do MJ's music, you wanna do it, like BWB does.

2) George Duke - DreamWeaver ( Heads Up/BPM)

3) Dave Koz and Friends - Summer Horns (Concord)

4) Steve Cole - Pulse (Artistry Music)

5) Jeffrey Osborne - A Time For Love (Jay Oz/SaguaroRd)

6) Maysa - Blue Velvet Soul (Shanachie)

7) Brand New Heavies - Forward (Shanachie)

8) Pieces Of A Dream - In The Moment (Shanachie)

9) Althea Rene - In The Flow (Trippin N Rhythm)

10) Melvin M. Miller - I Hope You Dance (LipOnItMusic)