CD of the Month Archive - 2014

Every month KCCK selects a newly released CD as the CD of the Month.
Click here to see CDs of the Month for previous years.

January 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for January is "Colors of a Dream" by Tom Harrell. After releasing five excellent discs with his current band since 2007, the trumpeter and composer introduces some new elements into his working quintet. Saxophonist Jaleel Shaw joins Harrell and reedman Wayne Escoffery on the front line, and the addition Esperanza Spalding makes it a two-bass line-up with regular bassist Ugonna Okegwo. Harrell also adds extra texture to his sound with the addition of Esperanza's wordless vocals. The result is perhaps Harrell's most imaginative and compelling recording to date. "Colors of a Dream" is on High Note Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

February 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for February is "Trombone For Lovers" by Roswell Rudd. The legendary trombonist has been sharing his love of standards for many years. Those he selected for this project come not only from the jazz songbook but also from the worlds of R & B, gospel, rock and country swing, and stem from his recollections of childhood when he would sing the songs in school or church. To assist in this endeavor, Rudd has chosen an eclectic crew of musical friends including organist John Medeski, slide trumpeter Steven Bernstein and vocalist Bob Dorough. It's a tribute to a lifetime of listening and love of music. "Trombone For Lovers" is on Sunnyside Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

March 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for March is "Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith". A one-time member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, saxophonist Craig Handy came to the realization several years ago that he'd never had the chance to cut his teeth with any of the great organ players of jazz. So he took ten numbers from the songbook of Jimmy Smith and reinterpreted them with grooves derived from the tight Crescent City second-line funk. The result, as the All Music describes it, "finds the perfect balance of foot-tapping New Orleans parade rhythms, exploratory jazz improvisations, and blues-inflected, organ-soaked grooves." "Craig Handy & 2nd Line Smith" is from Okeh Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

April 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for April is "Essential Elements" by Ben Paterson. Based in Chicago for many years, the pianist was an integral member of saxophonist Von Freeman's ensemble starting in 2005 and performed with him regularly until the jazz master's passing in 2012. Last year, Paterson made his way to New York City and has since worked at many of the premiere jazz venues there. For his first release since making his move, Paterson presents a fresh take on a number of standards as well as some compelling original compositions in a standard trio format. "Essential Elements" is from MaxJazz Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

May 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for May is "The River Rolls On" by Monty Alexander. Throughout a career spanning six decades, the pianist has garnered acclaim for bridging American jazz, popular song and the reggae and ska music of his native Jamaica. As he turns 70-years-old this month, Alexander has merged his jazz trio with a full Jamaican rhythm section for the most seamless integration to date of his dual musical heritage. "The River Rolls On" is on Motema Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

June 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for June is "Riverside" a new project for trumpeter Dave Douglas. In collaboration with Canadian saxophonist Chet Doxas and bassist Steve Swallow, Douglas honors the musical legacy of composer, bandleader and reed man Jimmy Giuffre. Giuffre blazed many trails in music, inspiring new levels of melodic invention, rhythmic subtlety and true freedom in the practice of improvisation. The band performs both Giuffre's pieces and dedicates its original compositions to Giuffre's spirit. The self-titled debut release for "Riverside" is on Greenleaf Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

July 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for July is "Intersecting Lines" by Jerry Bergonzi. The music is reminiscent of a Gerry Mulliigan or Lee Konitz session in its prominent use of counterpoint melodies, or intersecting lines, between the two lead voices. Bergonzi's tenor is played off of Iowa native Dick Oatts' alto sax in an old-school blowing session. Occasionally the playing is so seamless it's hard to tell who's playing which line when their solos overlap. The result is a dynamic quartet date of adventurous, swinging post-bop. "Intersecting Lines" is on Savant Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

August 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for August is "Let's" by baritone saxophonist Adam Schroeder. A Sioux City, Iowa, native now living and working in Los Angeles, Schroeder formed a relationship with famed trumpeter Clark Terry while still in college and spent four years in the ensemble of Ray Charles. Adam has since worked in the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra and the big bands of Gordon Goodwin and Bob Mintzer. Before heading back to L.A., he spent the last year playing around Eastern Iowa as his wife continued her studies at the U of I. The new disc, his second as leader, includes a handful of originals along with seldom-heard pieces by Benny Carter, Duke Pearson and others. "Let's" is on Capri Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

September 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for September is "Viper's Drag" by pianist Henry Butler and trumpeter Steven Bernstein and their Hot Nine. A veteran of the New York City downtown jazz scene, Bernstein first hooked up with New Orleans legend Butler in 1998 in an all-star band that came out of Robert Altman's film, "Kansas City." They reassembled in 2012 to begin a project which would feature Bernstein's expansive, visionary charts of vintage tunes from Fats Waller, Count Basie and Jelly Roll Morton for an all-star nonet. The New York Times calls it an "ideal paring," adding that "Mr. Bernstein and the Hot 9's New York City erudition and gusto work to compound Mr. Butler's encyclopedic New Orleans flair." "Viper's Drag" is on on the newly reactivated Impulse label.

October 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for October is "All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller" by pianist Jason Moran. The disc is a studio culmination of a project that was born onstage in 2011 as the Fats Waller Dance Party. The acclaimed pianist was commissioned to create a tribute to the Harlem stride master as part of the Harlem Jazz Shrines series. The CD features Moran hosting a changeable cast of musicians that includes a pair of vocalists, his longtime trio The Bandwagon and a funky horn-inflected ensemble. The All Music Guide calls it "a stunning mix of piano jazz with moody, winsome late-night vocals...a marvelous tribute." "All Rise" is on Blue Note Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

November 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for November is "The Miami Jazz Project" featuring legendary saxophonist Dave Liebman, who teams up with reedman Arthur Barron and Miami-based keyboardist Abel Pabon for this project. The disc is an extension of the contemporary jazz traditions laid down by Miles Davis, Weather Report and others with stylistic elements rooted in mainstream jazz, blues, jazz rock and world music. The depth of the performances along with the original compositions and the overall sound production result in this music representing how the fusion style has evolved over the decades since Miles broke ground. "The Miami Jazz Project" is on Zoho Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.

December 2014

The KCCK Featured CD for December is "Home for the Holidays" from Joey DeFrancesco. The keyboardist recalls listening to Sixties-era Hammond organ Christmas albums from Jimmy Smith, Don Patterson and Jimmy McGriff and it's a project he's had in mind to do for a long time. Disc one of the two disc set features what Joey calls "the typical Christmas party songs" while the second includes the more traditional liturgical side of Christmas music. DeFrancesco and his colleagues bring fresh life to a treasure trove of some 23 tunes while respecting the core melodies that have made them so popular. "Home for the Holidays" is from JD Music.

For samples and buying information, click here.