Jeff Denson – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 03 May

Fred Witt | May 2nd, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_05_02_JDensonJeff Denson, a mid-career bass performer, recorder, and instructor was born in Virginia and in the last 15 years has settled in the Bay Area.  In addition to a full professorship at Berkeley’s California Jazz Conservatory his ongoing work includes his international touring and additions to his more than 10 recordings.  Jeff has appeared this spring in the Bay Area, and in May and June will be performing in Oakland, Berkeley, and Napa.

Jeff’s style has been viewed as “improvised middle America jazz” over his performances and recordings.  It is possible to find samples of his music on the net to experience his style.  An example is his latest CD release “I’ll Fly Away.”

Tune in Sunday 03 May at 8 am to hear Jeff Denson’s version of his journey in life & music.  This show will be on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program with KCSM’s Alisa Clancy.

The Real Thing – Cuban Jazz On The Ground with KCSM – 1 of 6

Fred Witt | April 29th, 2015 | 2 Comments »

15_04_29_KCSM_Cuban1On the ground in Cuba ?  Cuba relations have been  in national news recently, and KCSM has been right up to date with it.   A KCSM tour group recently spent a week and a half visiting the musical side of Cuba people-to-people style.  The visitors were seeing musicians, restaurants, show-people, and music schools, along with a little general touring.

Who did they see ? It’s true there are a few Cuban musicians who have made it to the US are are well known (read, Chucho Valdez, etc.).  However there are a whole body of players that have never had the reach out of their country.  The real magic of the tour was the visitors got to look into that layer of Cuban musicians that haven’t been seen or heard out of their country.   Right now, these are the people you get to see by visiting.

“How did they get to Cuba ? ! ”  Oh, right.  The tour was managed by a smaller company, Earthbound Expeditions in the state of Washington.  The Cuban visits are authorized by arrangement under a special “people-to-people” program with our federal government.

What’s the scene like there ? KCSM’s Alisa Clancy was one of the tour co-hosts and took some time to tell us about her experiences.  It’s a rich, individual culture in the country.  The Cuban economy is fairly basic, with not a lot of spare money floating around.   Making a living is largely more “personal” than “corporate.”  If you’re a musician you’re playing for whoever is in town.  If you’re living on it, you are bringing a performance people need.   Alisa said the big message from this tour was that when “the diplomatic doors roll up” for Cuba, we will finally be able to see & hear this body of “in-the-country” musicians.

Next up on the blog.  In some following posts we will take up a few of the local Cuban jazz performers and show their work, as best we can discover it.  Keep an eye here on the KCSM jazz blog.

KCSM Early Bird Pledge 91 CD List

Ron Lee | April 28th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

71097_193349651122_1526328_nBe an Early Bird! Make your donation between April 20 and May 5 and you will pick up the Crazy Bout The Blues Tee Shirt as well as the new Mid-Day Jazz T-shirt with cool images of Chris Cortez, Lee Thomas and Sonny Buxton (artwork in process!) You will also be entered into our raffle to pick up a fantastic “Early Bird” 91 CDs special! It’s a great way add to your collection or start one. The Winner for the 91 CD’s will be drawn Wednesday, May 6th during Midday Jazz!

Pledge Now!

KCSM Early Bird Pledge

 The 91 CD collection was picked by KCSM host Chuy Varella, the host of Sunday Latin Jazz and weekday Jazz in the Afternoon. Chuy just sent us the list of the CDs and here is what you get if you are the winner of this collection:


Artist Title Label
Al Jazzbo Collins Fairy Tales For Hip Kids EL Records
Alice Coltrane Ptah, The El Daoud Impulse
Allen Toussaint The Bright Mississippi Nonesuch
Andy Bey & The Bey Sisters Prestige
Anita O’Day Anita Sings The Most Verve
Art Pepper A Taste of Pepper Not Now
Bessie Smith The Anthology Not Now
Bill Evans Trio Sunday at the Village Vanguard Riverside
Bill Frisell All We Are Saying Savoyjazz
Billie Holiday Ken Burns Jazz Verve
Billy Eckstine JHR
Billy Taylor Trio with Earl May & Percy Brice Prestige
Blossom Dearie The Complete Verve Albums 1957-1961 Not Now
Bobby Hutcherson Somewhere in the Night Kind of Blue
Bobby Timmons The Best of Bobby Timmons Riverside
Bud Powell The Amazing Bud Powell Vol.1 Blue Note
Bud Powell The Amazing Bud Powell Vol.2 Blue Note
Cal Tjader & Stan Getz Sextet Fantasy
Cannonball Adderley with Bill Evans Know What I Mean? Riverside
Cassandra Wilson Coming Forth By Day Legacy
Cedar Walton Cedar Chest High Note
Charles Mingus A Modern Symposium of Music and Poetry Bethlehem
Charlie Musselwhite Memphis Charlie Arhoolie
Chet Baker My Funny Valentine Not Now
Chick Corea The Best of Chick Corea Blue Note
Chucho Valdes Border – Free Jazz Village
Count Basie Atomic Basie Not Now
Dave Brubeck The Definitive Dave Brubeck on Fantasy, Concord, and Telarc Concord
Diana Krall All For You Impuse
Dinah Washington Music For Lovers Blue Note
Donald Byrd Blue Byrd Not Now
Eddie Lockjaw Davis The Best of Eddie Lockjaw Davis Pablo
Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong The Best of Ella & Louis Verve
Eric Dolphy Out There Not Now
Esperanza Spalding Esperanza Heads Up
Frank Sinatra Ring A Ding Ding Concord
Frank Sinatra & Count Basie The Complete Reprise Studio Recordings Concord
Gene Ammons & Sonny Stitt Boss Tenors in Orbit Verve
Giacomo Gates The Revolution Will Be Jazz Savant
Gil Evans Out of the Cool Impulse
Gil Evans Gil Evans & Ten Prestige
Grant Green Street of Dreams Blue Note
Hank Mobley Dig Dis Not Now
Jackie McLean 4, 5 and 6 Prestige
James Moody & Hank Jones Our Delight IPO
Jerry Gonzalez y Los Piratas Del Flamenco Sunnyside
Jimmy Reed The Anthology Not Now (2CDs)
Jimmy Witherspoon Live at the 1972 MJF MJF Records
Joao Gilberto The Bossa Nova Vibe Not Now
Joe Zawinul Brown Street Heads Up
John Coltrane Blue Train Not Now
John Coltrane & Johnny Hartman Impulse
Joni Mitchell Both Sides Now Reprise
Les Paul with Mary Ford The Best of the Capitol Masters: 90th Birthday Edition Capitol
Louis Armstrong Satchmo at the National Press Club Smithsonian Folkways
Marian McPartland Plays the Music of Mary Lou Williams Concord
Marian McPartland 85 Candles – Live in New York Concord
Mark Murphy Giants of Jazz Savoy Jazz
Memphis Minnie Me and My Chauffeur Proper
Michael Feinstein Michael & George: Feinstein Sings Gershwin Concord
Miles Davis Live in Europe 1967 Columbia Legacy
Miles Davis In Person Friday & Saturday Night at the Black Hawk Not Now
Milt Jackson Sunflower CTI
Mongo Santamaria Afro Rhythm Not Now
Mose Allison The Best of Mose Allison Atlantic Jazz
Nancy Wilson & George Shearing The Swingin’s Mutual Capitol Jazz
Nat King Cole After Midnight Capitol Jazz
Nat King Cole The Piano Style of Nat King Cole Capitol Jazz
Oscar Brown Jr. Sin & Soul …and then some Columbia/Legacy
Pat Metheny Day Trip Nonesuch
Preservation Hall Jazz Band That’s It! Legacy
Preservation Hall Jazz Band & guests Preservation Preservation Hall Records
Ray Charles Live in Concert Concord
Sarah Vaughan Sophisticated Lady: The Duke Ellington Songbook Collection Pablo
Sonny Clark Three Classic Albums Not Now
Sonny Rollins The Sound of Sonny Riverside
Stanley Turrentine The Best of Stanley Turrentine Blue Note
Stephane Grappelli & Toots Thielemans Bringing It Together LiSem Enterprises
Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music Vol.1 Blue Note
Thelonious Monk Genius of Modern Music Vol.2 Blue Note
Thelonious Monk The Very Best of Thelonious Monk Riverside
Tommy Flanagan & Hank Jones Our Delights Galaxy
Tommy Flanagan & Jaki Byard The Magic of 2 Resonance
Tony Bennett & Dave Brubeck The White House Sessions Live 1962 Columbia/RPM/Legacy
Trombone Shorty For True Verve Forecast
Various Artists Los Angeles Rhythm and Blues 1944-1954 Acrobat
Vince Guaraldi The Very Best of VG Fantasy
Wayne Shorter Footprints: The Life and Times of Wayne Shorter Columbia Legacy
Wes Montgomery Ultimate Wes Montgomery Verve
Willie Nelson & Wynton Marsalis Two Men With The Blues Blue Note



Chet Baker Memorial – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 26 Apr

Fred Witt | April 20th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_04_16_KCSM_CBakerChet Baker, who passed away in 1988 was a senior American trumpet player, and is high on the list of best jazz trumpeters. Born into a musical family in Oklahoma, he did a lot of his career work out of southern California.

Chet’s style has been declared as cool jazz, and later straight ahead jazz, and he played in several famous groups of the last century. In the mix of his daily life heroin showed up. While Chet was was a fine performer and prolific artist, the addiction depressed his state of living for many years.

Chet puts out a cool, clear melody bringing lots of easy listening. Try these links to Autumn Leaves, and then to an incredible 1 1/2 hr group performance for a feel of his work, and for your own entertainment.

Tune in Sunday 26 April at 8 am for the experience of Chet Baker’s life & music. This show will be on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program with KCSM’s Dick Conte.

Billie Holiday Centenary – Jazz Night in America – 14 April 9pm

Ron Lee | April 13th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

tumblr_n3m82brzCG1t12p91o1_250On April 7, 2015 was the 100th birthday of Billie Holliday. Across the world many jazz stations had special programming that day and through the week. At KCSM we will be playing Christian McBride’s Jazz Night in America show commemorating the Billie Holiday Centenary. The show stars Cassandra Wilson in concert at Kennedy Center. Recently Cassandra released a recording Come Forth by Day featuring her versuions of great Billie Holiday songs. You don’t want to miss this show.

Listen to KCSM online

Chris Strachwitz, Arhoolie Records – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – 19 Apr 8am

Ron Lee | April 12th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

No_Mouse_Music_DVD_smallIn February 2011 Arhoolie Records and its founder Chris Strachwitz celebrated the 50th anniversary of the record label. Arhoolie has published the blues, Zydeco, hill billy and more music  out of El Cerrito, Ca. His first big commercial success was the recording and music of Country Joe and the Fish. However his mission has been to record and preserve the roots of American music. Along with Arhoolie Records Chris has a retail store, Down Home Records also in El Cerrito.

In March a documentary about Chis and Arhoolie Records was released. It is titled “This Ain’t No Mouse Music”. You can get the DVD at Arhoolie Records web site.

Chris will be chatting with host Kathleen Lawton about Arhoolie, the blues and his 50+ years with the blues.


Kenny Burrell – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 12 Apr

Fred Witt | April 10th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_04_10_KCSM_KBurrellKenny Burrell is a senior American jazz guitarist.  Kenny is from Detroit, and is high on the list of the top 100 players.  He cut into commercial territory at the age of 20 in a Dizzy Gillespie group.  He went on to playing and touring internationally since, and received awards as recently as 2004 and 2005.

Parts of Kenny’s music has been described as bop, soul, cool, and blues.  He has manner of a serious dignified musician and a clear, distinct playing style, articulating, not blurring the melody line. He was quite a Miles Davis proponent.

If you need cool music to calm you down or lively score to get your feet dancing Kenny can be the man.  See his tracks here on “All Blues” and “Jeannine.”

Tune in Sunday 12 April at 8 am for the times and music of Kenny Burrell.  This show will be on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program with KCSM’s Chris Cortez.

Jacqui Naylor & Art Khu – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 29 Mar

Fred Witt | March 23rd, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_03_23_KCSM_JNaylorJacqui Naylor, an SF Bay Area native and now a San Francisco-based singer gives a modern mix to our jazz vocals.  She can readily sing one set of lyrics over another song score !  Jacqui has a really good voice and a folk-style, some times a little gritty. A lot of her songs cover the human spirit and daily living of us all.  When she’s easy going she can be really easy on your ears (see the release Live East/West !).

She and her group have a number of recordings out.  Other recent ones are Lucky Girl and Dead Divas Society.

Our Connecticut piano, guitar & 15_03_23_KCSM_AKhubass player in her group, Art Khu is now based in SF, playing and touring with Jacqui.  Beyond the group Art has some arrangement and recording work on his own.  Art shows us swing and new age music, and is masterful at the cool and calm mood.

See their style for your self in tracks by Jacqui and Art here, and especially here.

Tune in Sunday 29 March at 8 am for the story from Jacqui and Art on their journey.  They will be on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program with KCSM’s Alisa Clancy.

Billy Taylor Memorial – I’m Talkin’ Jazz – Sun 22 Mar

Fred Witt | March 19th, 2015 | Leave a Comment »

15_03_13_KCSM_BTaylorBilly Taylor, a veteran performer was born into a musical family in North Carolina early in the 20th century. He studied several instruments and started playing piano for money in his teens. For the first 15 years of his career he was taken with performing and with dozens of his many recordings. In the 60’s his education and broadcasting began to take off, even while his recordings continued. Billy became as famous for his education and jazz promotion as his playing. He passed away in 2010.

Billy played as bebop, dixieland, boogie-woogie, and mambo but some of his easy listening work was swing. Not very much of Billy’s work is available but you can listen to some of his tracks here, here, and here.

Come join Dick Conte Sunday 22 March at 8 am on the I’m Talkin’ Jazz program for the Billy Taylor memorial program.

In Memory of Bob Parlocha, the Dinner Jazz host 1938-2015

Ron Lee | March 18th, 2015 | 10 Comments »

Bob Parlocha photoOn Monday of this week we were sad to learn of the passing of Bob Parlocha a long time jazz radio host in the Bay Area. I remember listening to Bob on his Dinner Jazz show on KJAZ in Alameda. Bob started doing Dinner Jazz in 1978. He eventually became the music director at KJAZ. In 1994 KJAZ was sold. Bob them moved on to produce and record a syndicated show “Jazz with Bob Parlocha”. Bob’s show airs seven nights a week on KCSM in the late night early morning hours. Bob was also carried on many public radio stations across the US and in Canada.You can read more about the life and career of Bob at

We all miss Bob as the voice of jazz radio. Please add your thoughts and memories in the comments below.