CD of the Month Archive - 2015

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 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for January is "The Art of Conversation" by pianist Kenny Barron and bassist Dave Holland. Both have illustrated musical brilliance in duo settings throughout their respective careers--Barron with such luminaries as Stan Getz and Charlie Haden, Holland with the likes of Steve Coleman and Sam Rivers. The pair performed together as a duo in concerts across Europe and the U.S. in 2012. One such performance in Paris caught the attention of producer Jean-Phillippe Allard of the newly reinvigorated Impulse record label who was so moved by the concert that he encouraged Barron and Holland to head into the studio to document their profound rapport on record. The resulting disc, "The Art of Conversation", is from Impulse Records.

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February 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for February is "Time Remembered: Compositions of Bill Evans" by the Jim Norton Collective. The Seattle-based composer, arranger and reedman has created a wide-ranging exploration of the compositions of pianist Bill Evans. With his distinctive harmonic language and experimentations with mixed meters, polyrhythms and non-traditional forms, Evans's music provides an intriguing platform for Norton's inspired arrangements. The San Francisco Chronicle calls it, " of the most satisfying and revelatory investigations into the music of Bill Evans since his death..." "Time Remembered: Compositions of Bill Evans", is from Origin Records.

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March 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for March is "Songs for Quintet" by the Kenny Wheeler. The disc serves as a swan song for the acclaimed trumpeter as it was recorded just nine months prior to his passing last year. It also marked Wheeler's return, after nearly fifteen years, to ECM Records, the label where he had truly honed his skills as a composer and bandleader. The result, as the All Music Guide describes it, "is an intimate, lyrical session that exemplifies all that made Wheeler such a distinctive voice in jazz," while All About Jazz says it's "a recording that stands amongst the rest of his discography as one of his absolute finest." "Songs for Quintet" is from ECM Records.

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April 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for April is "Afrodeezia" by Marcus Miller. Inspired by his role as a UNESCO Artist for Peace and spokesperson for the Slave Route Project, the bassist went back to the source of the rhythms that make black musical heritage so rich, following them like footprints from their beginnings in Africa to ports along the slave route all the way to the United States. Miller collaborated with musicians from West Africa, South America, the Caribbean as well as the United States for the project which, he says, is his way of paying tribute to the long journey of his African ancestors who became African-Americans. "Afrodeezia" is Miller's debut release for Blue Note Records.

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May 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for May is "70 Strong" by the Steve Gadd Band. The drum master is among the most respected and emulated musicians in the world, bringing signature taste, style and energy to hundreds of the most rhythmically exhilarating moments in recorded music history, across many genres. Gadd turned 70-years-old in April and commemorates the milestone with the release of the second disc with his newest band, which includes keyboardist Larry Goldings, guitarist Michael Landau and trumpeter Walt Fowler. The mix of catchy originals and choice covers make the program a richly satisfying listen. "70 Strong" is BFM Records.

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June 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for June is "Crescendo" by Johnson County Landmark. Continuing a long tradition of University of Iowa faculty and students collaborating with professional artists to develop new work, Jazz Studies Director John Rapson worked with Paola Coletto and Matteo Destro last fall to create the theatrical piece, "Crescendo: Scenes from School." It included music by Rapson performed by Johnson County Landmark. Rapson then took the big band and special guests into the studio to record his compositions. The result, "Crescendo", is from Realtown! Records.

July 2015

The KCCK Featured CD for July is "Say When" by Steve Davis. For twenty years, the trombonist had wanted to pay proper tribute to J.J. Johnson and finally felt the time was right after performing with his sextet during a weekend at Smoke in New York dedicated to the trombone master. Davis and his brilliant team of collaborators--including Eric Alexander, Harold Mabern and Eddie Henderson--deliver a powerful homage with clear affinity and devotion to Johnson's storied legacy and repertoire. "Say When" is from Smoke Sessions Records.

For samples and buying information, click here.