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CD of the Month Archive - 2012

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 2011 CDs of the Month
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 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for January is "Conversations with Christian" by Christian McBride. Following his debut as a big band leader, McBride turns his sights to a much more intimate affair with these sessions. The musical conversations sit him down in the studio with a diverse array of musician friends, including collegues of his own generation like trumpeter Roy Hargrove and guitarist Russell Malone, piano greats Chick Corea, Eddie Palmieri and George Duke, along with some of the final recordings made by jazz masters Hank Jones and Dr. Billy Taylor. The results are unexpected, compelling and often amazing. "Conversations with Christian" is from Mack Avenue Records.

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February 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for February is "Further Explorations" by Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez and Paul Motian. Last year marked the 50th anniversary of Bill Evans' original "Explorations" album. The contributions of the pianist to the language and appreciation of jazz continue to have a profound influence. Corea leads Evans trio alumni Gomez and Motian in sessions recorded at the Blue Note in New York in 2010, featuring pieces by Evans and originals by the trio. Sadly, it's one of the final recordings made by drummer Paul Motian, who passed away in November. "Further Explorations" is from Concord Records.

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March 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for March is "In Case the World Changes Its Mind" from Medeski Scofield Martin and Wood. Last year marked Medeski Martin and Wood's 20th year together as a band. Over that span, they've collaborated on a couple of discs with guitarist John Scofield. Following their 2006 release, the quartet embarked on a tour together, which is now being issued for the first time. The two-disc set was compiled from numerous dates that year. As the All Music Guide describes it, "In a live setting, the music is actually tighter; it's fiery, with ideas arising from collective energy and almost symbiotically folded into prearranged tunes." "In Case the World Changes Its Mind" is from Indirecto Records.

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April 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for April is "Radio Music Society" by Esperanza Spalding, who just last year became the first jazz musician ever to receive the Grammy Award for Best New Artist. The new CD is a celebration of the men and women who have helped cultivate and nurture her vision along the way. It's her most diverse, ambitious and masterful recital yet. The music is realized by many of the brilliant musicians who are part of Esperanza's ever-expanding universe, including Joe Lovano and Terri Lyne Carrington, along with jazz legends Jack DeJohnette and Billy Hart. The eleven songs are accompanied by conceptual short films which further express her inspiration and story behind each track. "Radio Music Society" is from Heads Up Records.

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May 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for May is "Ode" by the Brad Mehldau Trio, the first new studio release from the band in seven years. The New York Times says Mehldau's pace-setting ensemble, "has evolved into a graceful powerhouse, equally savvy about groove and harmony." The disc is a collection of originals Mehldau wrote specifically for the trio, which features drummer Jeff Ballard and bassist Larry Grenadier. Most of the songs are tributes, including odes written to the late saxophonist Michael Brecker, guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel, and a character from the film "Easy Rider." "Ode" is from Nonesuch Records.

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June 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for June is "Dear Diz (Everyday I Think of You)" from Arturo Sandoval. This is the trumpeter's loving tribute to Dizzy Gillespie, the mentor and friend who rescued Sandoval and his family from an oppressive existence in Cuba and gave them a chance at an entirely new and better life. The disc is a collection of classics from Gillespie's massive body of work, each framed in big band charts from some of today's premiere arrangers including Grammy-winner Gordon Goodwin, Chris Walden, and Shelly Berg. "Dear Diz (Everyday I Think of You)" is on Concord Records.

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July 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for July is "Celebrando" from the German-born harmonica ace Hendrik Meurkens and Mexican-born bassist Gabriel Espinosa. The pair met at a performance at Central College in Pella, where Espinosa heads the jazz studies program. They discovered a strong musical affinity and made the decision to collaborate on the project, a breezy session of Brazilian sambas, bossa novas and chorinhos. It also marks a milestone for Zoho Records, a dynamic independent New York label specializing in Afro-Cuban and Brazilian music. The disc is the label's 100th recording released.

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August 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for August is "Down Home" from Curtis Fuller who, after coping with some health problems, is still going strong. The 77-year-old jazz master's discography includes a who's who of jazz greats, including John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and Art Blakey. For this new CD, the trombonist is reunited with his current Colorado-based quintet, which formed in 2005. The disc features a half-dozen Fuller originals alongside pieces written by his band mates. As All About Jazz describes it, the disc is, "nourishing hard-bop soul food" from a group "which shines throughout as it supports a jazz legend in his late-career renaissance." "Down Home" is from Capri Records.

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September 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for September is "Within a Song" by John Abercrombie, celebrating the spirit of discovery that illuminated the jazz of the 1960s. The guitarist pays tribute to a range of early influences with specific references to key albums by Miles, Coltrane, Ornette, Sonny Rollins and Bill Evans. Abercrombie and saxophonist Joe Lovano convey their empathy with the original protagonists, while also bringing much of their own creativity into service. There is superlative playing from both of them, with encouragement an alert support from Joey Baron and Drew Gress, also vital contributors to the project. "Within a Song" is from ECM Records.

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October 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for October is "Loud and Dark" by Equilteral. It's the third release from this stellar Eastern Iowa-based quartet, the second in its current configuration. Saxophonist Chris Merz and trumpeter Brent Sandy have worked extensively together since 2000, with the current lineup including bassist Greg Mazunik and drummer Eric Thompson coming together four years ago. The disc is highlighted by a program of sparkling originals fueled by intricate melodic counterpoint and performed by adept jazz musicians at the height of their creative prowess. "Loud and Dark" is on Realtown Records.

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November 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for November is "My Muse" by George Cables. The pianist has been one of the most sought-after sidemen in jazz for more than four decades, indispensible to artists like Art Blakey and Sonny Rollins. He has been equally skilled a leader of his own ensembles creating an extensive discography. His muse for this trio outing is the love of his life for 28 years, Helen, whom he lost to cancer shortly after going through a serious illness of his own. He wrote three of the compositions as heartfelt tributes to her, while the rest of the program was chosen with his muse in mind. "My Muse" is on High Note Records.

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December 2012

The KCCK Featured CD for December is "Star of Jupiter" by Kurt Rosenwinkel. The inspiration for his first quartet release in over ten years came to him in a dream concerning "the relationship we each have with the universe at large and how we use our intuition to hear what it is telling us," he explains. "The Star of Jupiter was given to me as a key to transcend the cycles of form, illusion and fear which exist on this earthly plane. The dream was powerful and became a tangible force in the making of this album." A celestial collection of original compositions, the disc transports listeners on a journey toward discovery, truth and ultimately peace. "Star of Jupiter" is on Wommusic Records.

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