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CD of the Month Archive - 2008

Every month KCCK selects a newly released CD as the CD of the Month. Here are the CD's of the Month for 2008. Click here to see 2007 CDs of the Month

January 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for January is "Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival" by the Monterey Jazz Festival 50th Anniversary All-Stars. Heralded as a meeting of three generations of jazz masters, the band was assembled with each member's special relationsip with the festival in mind. Saxophonist James Moody first appeared at Monterey in the early Sixties with Dizzy Gillespie, while pianist Benny Green first experienced the festival when he was a member of the MJF all-star high school band in 1978. Trumpeter Terence Blanchard was artistic director of the 2007 Festival and his drummer, Kendrick Scott, was a member of the Berklee-Monterey Quartet from 1999 through 2002. Rounding out the group is vocalist Nnenna Freelon and bassist Derrick Hodge. Taken together, the members of the All-Stars have performed at the festival twenty-eight times. "Live at the 2007 Monterey Jazz Festival" is the first non-archival recording released by Monterey Jazz Festival Records.
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February 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for February is "Express" by Metro, now celebrating fourteen years of musical collaboration and exploration. Having crossed paths during their early years in New York City, keyboardist Mitchel Forman and guitarist Chuck Loeb joined forces in 1994 with Passport drummer Wolfgang Haffner and bassist Anthony Jackson to record their first cd as Metro. The music is based on their shared passion for the sonic and musical adventures of the Sixties and Seventies, when artists such as Miles Davis, Weather Report, and John McLaughlin began combining jazz, rock, electronica and world music, thus expanding the boundaries of all improvised music. "Express" is a continuation of this genre, which has come to be know as fusion. Metro's "Express" is on the Marsis Records label.

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March 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for March is "Cannon Re-Loaded: An All-Star Celebration of Cannonball Adderly." Saxophone stalwart Tom Scott and an ensemble of some of today's jazz icons join to celebrate the legendary music made famous by Cannonball and his groups. Scott is joined by trumpeter Terence Blanchard, keyboardists George Duke and Larry Goldings, bassist Marcus Miller and drummer Steve Gadd on brand new reworkings of the Adderly band's most popular compositions. Vocalist Nancy Wilson makes a special appearance reprising two songs from her classic 1961 recording with Adderly. It's a stellar jazz compilation saluting one of the true jazz masters. "Cannon Re-Loaded" is from Concord Records.

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April 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for April is "Little Did I Dream" by Twin-Cities-based vocalist Connie Evingson performing the songs of jazz great Dave Frishberg. With her usual flair for delving deep into a songbook, Evingson vividly inhabits all of the humor, hipster smarts and romanticism that earned Frishberg the title of ASCAP Jazz Living Legend. The disc is a true homecoming for Frishberg, a native of St. Paul who studied at the University of Minnesota, and it is the first major recording project that he's undertaken in his hometown. The composer and pianist is also reunited with saxophonist Dave Karr, an old college pal from the Fifties who has worked with Evingson for years. "Little Did I Dream" is on Evingson's own Minnehaha Records label.

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May 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for May is "A Grand Night for Swinging" a previously unreleased live recording of Mary Lou Williams and her trio at the Statler Hotel in Buffalo from 1976. Williams' stature in the jazz world as the most important female jazz musician to emerge in the first three decades of the art writes an important chapter not only in the history of women jazz musicians, but also of 20th-century African-American history in a larger context. Although she had been playing professionally for over fifty years at this point in her career, this is the only recording yet to have surfaced featuring legendary drummer Roy Haynes as part of Mary Lou's trio. As the All Music Guide states, "This is a welcome and necessary entry in Williams' catalog." "A Grand Night for Swinging" is on High Note Records.

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June 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for June is "Esperanza" by bassist, vocalist and composer Esperanza Spalding A child prodigy, Spalding earned her GED at age sixteen and soon after was enrolled at the Berklee College of Music. After three years of accelerated study, Spalding attained her degree and became the youngest faculty member in the history of the College at age twenty. At the same time, she was honing her chops working with several notable artists including Michel Camilo, Stanley Clarke, Pat Metheny and Joe Lovano. The All Music Guide describes the new disc as "wildly diverse and exceptionally well-executed," and that "anyone who encounters this offering will find not only much to delight in, but plenty to be amazed by." "Esperanza" is on Heads Up Records.

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July 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for July is "Present Tense" by reedman James Carter. Described as "one of the brightest stars in jazzdom" by the Detroit News, and a "modern sax god" by Hi-Fi UK, Carter is one of the most admired saxophonists of his generation. Legendary producer Michael Cuscuna sensed a challenge to capture the sheer range of Carter's enormous talent and his mastery of the jazz idiom, which Cuscuna felt had not been adequately represented on earlier releases. That challenge has been met as Carter's critically acclaimed virtuosity on flute, bass clarinet, soprano, tenor, and baritone saxophones has never been better highlighted. A powerful force on today's jazz scene, James Carter shines on "Present Tense" on EmArcy Records.

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August 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for August is "Night Town" by the Hot Club of Detroit. More than seven decades after the innovations of Django Reinhardt and the Hot Club of France, Hot Clubs carry on the gypsy swing sound around the globe. None offers a fresher take on the tradition than does the Hot Club of Detroit. Unlike the instrumentation of the original Paris-based quintet, this quintet utilizes a button accordion, linking it to the French musette style from which gypsy swing partially sprung. Plus some robust saxophone work introduces elements of bop and post-bop to the sound. The program includes originals by the band, along with pieces by Reinhardt and other French composers, but also adapts post-bop tunes by Sonny Stitt, Gene Ammons and Miles Davis. As the All Music guide sums it up, "this is an excellent second chapter for the Hot Club of Detroit, and one that advances their voice further." "Night Town" is on Mack Avenue Records.

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September 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for September is "The Mancini Projec" by Ted Nash.Best known for his association with the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, the Jazz Composers Collective and his own inventive groups, Nash celebrates the genius and diversity of the great composer and bandleader Henry Mancini with this new project. The CD also serves as a grand tribute to Ted's father and uncle, who were both members of Mancini's illustrious orchestra during its peak years. A first class ensemble has been assembled for the disc with Frank Kimbrough on piano, Rufus Reid on bass and Matt Wilson on drums. Nash revisits his roots by revisiting the Mancini music that had such a profound influence on his life. "The Mancini Projec" is on Palmetto Records.

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October 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for October is "Thunder" by S.M.V. Jazz fusion pioneer Stanley Clarke, along with Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten, have done a great deal in recent decades to redefine the electric bass and push the limits of its potential. The trio first played together at a 2006 concert as Bass Player Magazine honored Clarke with a Lifetime Achievement Award. The chemistry among the three was such that they decided a recording was the natural next step. Guest keyboardists Chick Corea and George Duke were recruited to round out the sound. The All Music Guide describes it as a "fun, frisky, funky romp...and a potent showcase for an instrument often relegated to support status." "Thunder" is on Heads Up Records.

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November 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for November is "Pass It On" by the Dave Holland Sextet Esteemed as a bassist, composer, and bandleader, Holland has worked in a vast array of settings over the last 40 years, from classic dates with Miles Davis and Wayne Shorter to his own adventurous recordings. A remarkably interactive set that organically melds advanced contrapuntal writing and wide open improvisation, the disc showcases Holland's new sextet on freshly-realized arrangements of some of his potent compositions from past recordings. The All-Music Guide describes it as "another triumph among many solid efforts the clearly brilliant and effusive Holland has strung together...and a strong contender for best jazz CD of 2008." "Pass It On" is on Decca Records.

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December 2008

The KCCK Featured CD for December is "Jingle All the Way" by Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Since their 1990 debut, the band has released a string of Grammy Award-winning albums and delighted audiences around the world with their "blu-bop" mix of jazz, funk and bluegrass. Though the melodies may be familiar, the varied tonal textures and rhythmic interplay make every measure new. Employing everything from banjo, funky electric bass and percussion, to Tuvan throat singers and klezmer violin, the Flecktones brighten the season with their very first holiday collection. "Jingle All the Way" is on Rounder Records.

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