Big Blues Voices Maybelle (Smith) and Joe Turner – Friday 06 May 2016

Fred Witt | May 1st, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_04_22_KCSM_BMaybelleBig Maybelle from Tennessee started as a child in gospel and in time moved along to blues.  She had a big voice, and could chose to really belt out, or sing music in great melody. Maybelle performed and lived to be a veteran of the 20th century, with a great list of releases.

Try some of the surviving tracks of Maybelle’s songs here: a booming “I’m Getting ‘Long Alright“, and a delightful melody, “Candy.”

16_04_23_KCSM_JTurner“Big Joe” Turner, from Mississippi went through a great career arc in the 1900’s.  He started in Blues, went forward through pop and Rock & Roll, and in the ’60’s pulled back into the Blues.  He was considered a master of traditional Blues verses and could spin them out the whole night.  He was entitled the “Boss of Blues” and came out with a release of the same name.  Here are some samples of Joe, with a 1965 UK Show, and work from his album “Boss of The Blues.”  (The UK show seems to start out Rock & Roll, but with a little patience it moves forward to Blues.)

Join Kathleen and Greg between 9 pm and midnight Friday May 6 for a program about Maybelle’s and Joe’s blues music, along with Charlie Musselwhite’s blues harmonica.

Charlie Christian Centennary – Fri 06 May 2016

Fred Witt | April 30th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Charlie-Christian1Charlie Christian, trailblazing jazz guitarist was born 100 years ago in Texas in 1916. While he died young, in his mid-twenties, Charlie’s talent was swift enough to make his mark by then. Interestingly, Christian looked good to Benny Goodman, whose band undoubtedly was a vehicle for Christian’s progress.

His arresting guitar playing launched jazz on two different steps forward at once. Charlie picked up on electric guitar at just over age 20. His playing proved to be so good that he carved out a shelf for electric players in the jazz world. His “hot” rhythmic style was also entertaining enough to open the door for jazz to move from then swing toward the future’s bebop.

While Charlie’s music could be things we recognize from “having heard way back,” it’s still entertaining for a lot of folks. Try some samples here: Swing To Bop, and Stompin’ At The Savoy. Christian passed away in only a few years, at age 25, but his talent had already made it’s mark.

Join Alisa and Ron between 7 and 10 am Friday May 6 for a full sweep of Charlie’s historic music.

Unesco International Jazz Day Sat 30 April – live stream of White House concert

Ron Lee | April 29th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

4eaaca2ad4A special event is going on tomorrow Sat April 30. If you are lucky enough to be in the Washington DC area the events start with a free concert in Dupont Circle, Washington, DC. Performances by Herbie Hancock, Dee Dee Bridgewater, and more go on all day till 8pm.

For the rest of us on the web there will be a live stream Saturday evening 9pm EDT. Highlights will be broadcast on ABC TV on Sun May 1 at 8pm EDT. From the International Jazz Day web site:

The All-Star Global Concert at the White House will feature stellar performances by Joey Alexander,Terence Blanchard, Kris Bowers, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Till Brönner, Terri Lyne Carrington, Chick Corea, Jamie Cullum, Kurt Elling, Aretha Franklin, Robert Glasper, Buddy Guy, Herbie Hancock,Zakir Hussain, Al Jarreau, Diana Krall, Lionel Loueke, Hugh Masekela, Christian McBride, John McLaughlin, Pat Metheny, Marcus Miller, James Morrison, Danilo Pérez, Rebirth Brass Band,Dianne Reeves, Lee Ritenour, David Sánchez, Wayne Shorter, Esperanza Spalding, Sting,Trombone Shorty, Chucho Valdés, Bobby Watson, Ben Williams and others, with further details to be announced shortly. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

The host city for International Jazz Day is Washington DC this year. This event is the finale for Jazz appreciation month. You can learn about International Jazz Day at their web site Events have been taking place all across the world. The sponsor for International Jazz Day is UNESCO. Thank you!


Cinco de Mayo Celebration, Thursday 05 May 2016

Fred Witt | April 29th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_04_19_KCSM_cinco-de-mayoCome celebrate Cinco de Mayo with Chuy and Melanie on  the Thursday afternoon, May 5th.  (Cinco de Mayo theme song…)  Listen the great Mexican performers of modern jazz Santana and Cal Tjader, among others.  For samples, try Guajira Candela or El Sonido Nuevo for Cal Tjader, or Oye Como Va for Carlos Santana.

Tune in as well  to see what special gifts that Chuy has planned. Help support KCSM and celebrate with Chuy and Melanie from 2-6pm on Thursday May 5th.

Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis movie 6 May Fri 2pm-6pm and & 7 May Sat 10am-6pm

Ron Lee | April 24th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

miles_aheadAs a long time Miles Davis fan the Miles Ahead movies was very nicely done. After previously reading the Miles Daivis autobiography I knew what the scenes were portraying and how they fit in. There were scenes with his two great quintets. It was interesting to see how they cast actors to represent the muscicians.They also did a scene where Miles gets beat up by NYC police.

The music in the film were the real recordings and there was a substantial section of the credit calling out the recordings. All the classics like So What, Sketches of Spain, Solea, etc. were there. The soundtrack album has all the cuts plus some of the movie diaglogue. The last scene was a live concert with appearances by Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter. The nusic definitely set the scene for the movie.

The storyline was faithful to Mile’s life. Some of the scenes felt like they were enhanced for the movie. Overall this is a great movie for a jazz and Miles fan. I do recommend reading Mile’s autobiography if you are interested in the details and how things fit together. I am going to go back and reread it while listening to Mile’s albums.

On Fri 6 May Chuy and Mel will be covering Miles Davis and the Miles Ahead movie. Sonny, Mel, Dick and Kathleen will be doing the same on Sun 7 May. Listen in!

Miles Davis Miles Smiles and Kind of Blue 4 May 2pm-6pm and 16 May 2-6pm

Ron Lee | April 20th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

Miles SmilesWhy are these two albums so interesting to listeners? Relative to Miles Davis they represent works from his two quintets. Kind of Blue comes from the first great quintent and has Mile Davis, trumpet, John Coltrane, tenor sax, Wynton Kelly and Bill Evans on piano, Paul Chambers, base and Jimmy Cobb, drums. Wikipedia provides a thumbnail history of Kind of Blue at Kind of Blue. Kind of Blue is considered one of the gateway recording for non-jazz listeners. The pieces are melodic and swing. A lot of people talk about hearing Kind of Blue, So What or Freddie the Freeloader and asking what’s that?

In 1966 Mile came back with his second great quintet. Here he features Herbie Hancock, piano, Wayne Shorter Saxaphone, Ron Carter, base and Tony Williams, drums. On Miles Smiles there are ballads like Circle, Wayne Shorter’s Footprints and Eddie Harris’s Freedom Jazz Dance. All of these songs are jazz standards.

Find a copy of both, preferably vinyl, and play them through and listen. You will be well rewarded.


Miles Ahead and the KCSM Early Bird Special

Ron Lee | April 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

miles_aheadHey what is all this excitement with Miles Davis? If you don’t know the Miles Davis movie Miles Ahead was released on April 1st. This movie portays Miles Davis with a lot of attitude. If you read his biography you can see how they reflected on Miles.

For the KCSM Early Bird pledges we have this special Miles Davis package for you:

KCSM designed a Miles Davis t-shirt

Miles Davis Kind of Blue(Not Now) 2 CD box set – this set includes the tracks from Kind of Blue(the #1 Jazz LP to this day), Ascenseur pour l’échafaud – the movie soundtrack that Miles wrote, and Somethin’ Else featuring Miles Davis and Cannonball Adderley.

774L-1To top all this off there is a grand prize drawing for this collection:

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KCSM Spring Jazz specials 5/4-5/16

Ron Lee | April 17th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

KCSM_Logo2015_rgb_pms179Spring is here!   Starting on Wed 4 May KCSM is resenting a series of special programs on KCSM. The list is below and we are looking forward to presenting this programming on KCSM!



Wednesday, 5/4, 2-6PM              Miles Smails/ The music of Kind of Blue

Thursday, 5/5, 2-6PM                  Cinco de Mayo

Friday, 5/6, 9-10AM                     Charlie Christian Centenary

Friday, 5/6, 2-6PM                       Miles Ahead!

Friday, 5/6, 9PM-Midnite          Charlie Musselwhite, Big Maybelle & Joe Turner

Saturday, 5/7, 10AM-6PM         Miles Ahead!

Sunday, 5/8, 10AM-2PM            Patti Labelle

Monday, 5/9, 2-6PM                   The Meters

Tuesday, 5/10, 2-6PM                 Jaco Pastorius

Wednesday, 5/11, 2-6PM            Earth, Wind and Fire

Thursday, 5/12, 2-6PM               Betty Carter

Friday, 5/13, 2-6PM                    Willie Nelson

Friday, 5/13, 9PM-MIDNITE    The Meters and Elmore James

Saturday, 5/14, 10AM-6PM       Ernestine Anderson, Sarah Vaughan & Thad Jones

Sunday, 5/15, 10AM-2PM          Earth, Wind and Fire

Monday, 5/16, 2-6PM                 Kind of Blue



KCSM Reviews: Nic Bearde @ the Sound Room – 26 Mar 2016

Fred Witt | April 3rd, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

imagesBay area singer Nicolas Bearde and his quartet held a CD release party and played at Oakland’s Sound Room Saturday night, March 26.  The CD was Invitation.  See the track list here.  Nicolas has more than half a dozen releases out.  After the show, audience members were heard to say, “Wasn’t that a great concert.” and “Wasn’t this just terrific.”

Veteran performer Nic is from Tennessee  After some world travels he landed in the SF scene in the 80’s.  He now plays nation-wide.  His “California” quartet included John Shifflett on bass, Leon Joyce Jr on drums, Charles McNeal on sax, and a notable piano player Glen Pearson.  (Nic explained he has another band in New York, when he plays in eastern US.)

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KCSM Reviews: Bria Skonberg @ Cafe Stritch – Sat Mar 5, ’16 – Kaiser Permante San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by Metro

Fred Witt | March 18th, 2016 | Leave a Comment »

16_03_11_KCSM_BriaStritchBria Skonberg, New York singer-trumpeter, was back to the recent San Jose Jazz Winter Fest by popular demand.  Bria had shown up at last August’s Summer Fest as a first-timer and was picked by the crowd right away as a favorite.  She was even called in for a post-festival encore show that week !

Ms. Skonberg’s usual warm manner, great voice & trumpet made the night.  People in the audience were saying “Here’s this woman playing the trumpet like crazy.”  and “Bria’s better than some other promising lady brass players we’ve had in here.”

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