CD of the Month Archive - 2011

Every month KCCK selects a newly released CD as the CD of the Month. Here are the CD's of the Month for 2010.
Click here to see 2010 CDs of the Month
Click here to see 2009 CDs of the Month
Click here to see 2008 CDs of the Month
Click here to see 2007 CDs of the Month

January 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for January is "Triple Play" by guitarist Russell Malone. Malone has been a significant figure in the jazz world for more than two decades now, but this is the first trio recording of his illustrious career. The piano-less format allows the guitarist the opportunity to present a program of originals and overlooked or forgotten standards in a very open and pure manner. With this disc, the New York Times says, Malone, "...reasserts his stature as a prime guitarist in the jazz mainstream." "Triple Play" is from MaxJazz Records.

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February 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for February is "In Good Company" from guitarist the Bud Shank/Jake Fryer Quintet.Following years of ill health, the legendary alto saxophonist still had the ideas, fire and passion for which he was well known for this his final recording session. Utilizing his outstanding West Coast rhythm section, the veteran Shank was joined by U.K. alto man Jake Fryer on a program of Fryer originals and swinging arrangements of familiar tunes. As it happened, this was to be Shank's swan song as he passed away the day after the recording session at age 82. "In Good Company" is from Capri Records.

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March 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for March is "Disney Jazz: Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" by Various Artists. From the outset, it was inevitable that two of the major creative forces of the 20th century--jazz and Disney-- would find a productive way to overlap and inspire each other. That Disney came of age at the end of the 1920s had a lot to do with it, a time when jazz and popular songs lived in close proximity. Ever since, the sound, rhythms and feel of jazz have informed Disney's creations. For this new CD, artists including Dave Brubeck, Roy Hargrove, Regina Carter, Joshua Redman and Dianne Reeves explore a set of classic Disney melodies. "Everybody Wants to Be a Cat" is from Disney Pearl Records.

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April 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for April is "Sophisticated Ladies" from Charlie Haden and his acclaimed Quartet West. The ensemble is currently celebrating its 25th year together, offering up their first release in over ten years. This classy, elegant new disc features vocalists Cassandra Wilson, Diana Krall, Norah Jones and Melody Gardot backed by Iowa native Haden and band mates Ernie Watts, Alan Broadbent and Rodney Green. The disc is a sequel of sorts to a 1999 CD which had featured Shirley Horn and Bill Henderson, and is focused on a program of rarely-recorded gems. "Sophisticated Ladies" is from EmArcy Records.

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May 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for May is "Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody" by Al Di Meola. The guitar virtuoso has reformed his World Sinfonia ensemble from the 1990s for this fusion of jazz, rock and world music. He incorporates everything from Argentine tango and Spanish flamenco to Middle Eastern, Afro-Cuban, and North African music on this unique project. Joining Di Meola and World Sinfonia are bassist Charlie Haden and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba on a program that is both hauntingly beautiful and deeply moving. "Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody" is from Telarc Jazz.

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June 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for June is "Duality" by guitarist Larry Coryell and pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. This intimate duet setting was brought about when Drew relocated to Central Florida where Coryell resides. They were paired up for a live gig and the sparks flew between the two virtuosos. They continue a tradition in jazz begun by such masters as Bill Evans & Jim Hall and Oscar Peterson & Joe Pass. All About Jazz says, "The improvisational banter, the interplay and feeding of ideas throughout this effort is pure listening joy." "Duality" is from Random Act Records.

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July 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for July is "Forever" by Corea, Clarke and White. Pianist Chick Corea, bassist Stanley Clarke and drummer Lenny White, the core of the classic line-up of the legendary jazz fusion band Return to Forever, reformed for some live dates in 2009. Disc one of the two-disc set is a sampler from this world tour, the first-ever acoustic recording made by the trio. Disc Two features highlights from a concert that kicked off the tour at the Hollywood Bowl featuring guests Jean-Luc Ponty on violin and Bill Connnors on guitar, both former RTF members. "Forever" is on Concord Records.

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August 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for August is "Harlem-Kingston Express: Live" by Monty AlexanderIn a career spanning five decades, the pianist has distinctively bridged the worlds of jazz, popular song and the music of his native Jamaica. Alexander celebrates his 50th year in music with his most "reggaefied" touring group yet, which for the past few years has defined a bold new chapter in his life-long journey of uniting jazz with reggae and a wide array of other island musical idioms that he holds dear. The program is drawn from live performances in five countries over the course of four years. "Harlem-Kingston Express: Live" is from Motema Records.

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September 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for September is "Ron Carter's Great Big Band". Throughout his illustrious career, bassist Ron Carter has been in Miles Davis's classic '60s Quintet, was a mainstay for CTI Records throughout the '70s, and has led a variety of groups ever since. But until now, he had never led a big band. The group includes Carter's frequent rhythm mates, pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Lewis Nash, and noted horn players Wayne Escoffery, Steve Davis and Steve Wilson. With charts done by esteemed arranger and conductor Bob Freedman, Carter's 17-piece band delivers a vibrant outing of thirteen tunes that exude refined elegance and sonic power. "Ron Carter's Great Big Band" is from Sunnyside Records.

October 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for October is "All We Are Saying" by Bill Frisell. The Wall Street Journal calls Frisell, "the most innovative and influential guitarist of the last 25 years," and for his latest project, he focuses his interpretive skills on the music of John Lennon. Frisell was recently asked to put together an impromptu set in honor of the former Beatle as part of a special project in Paris. The preparation, performance and reception to these compositions was an inspiration nurtured to fruition with this project. Bill Frisell's definitive take on the songs of John Lennon, "All We Are Saying" by Bill Frisell is from Savoy Jazz

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November 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for November is "Legacy" by trumpeter Al Naylor. As an educator, Naylor built a solid jazz program at Linn-mar High School while keeping his own busy performance schedule. In retirement, he continues to perform in various groups around Eastern Iowa, and has recorded his first CD as a leader. Featuring a quintet comprised of former students, the disc is filled with swinging original melodies and catchy hooks, mostly in a post-bop vein, with a shuffle or two, a moving ballad and some Latin flavors. An impressive debut from a true jazz master.

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December 2011

The KCCK Featured CD for December is "A Very Gypsy Christmas" by Doug Munro and La Pompe Attack. The two-time Grammy nominee and jazz guitar virtuoso demonstrates his long-standing love affair with the music of Django Reinhardt and Stephane Grappelli with a swinging program of Gypsy Jazz versions of Christmas favorites. The brand new, reworked arrangements feature special guest and current king of the swing clarinet, Ken Peplowski. Fans of Reinhardt's music, and of jazz in general, will thoroughly enjoy this outing. "A Very Gypsy Christmas" is from Got Music Records.

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