Live Studio Sessions | KNKX

Live Studio Sessions

Barrett Martin in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Drummer, bandleader and songwriter is just the beginning of a proper description of Barrett Martin. He's also the author of a new memoir exploring his musical travels around the world, with a soundtrack of course.

John Watson jazzcamera.co.uk

Manchester trio GoGo Penguin make their Seattle debut at the Triple Door on Tuesday September 12.  I recently spoke with the band's bass player Nick Blacka.

Polyrhythmics
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In Polyrhythmics' musical blender you'll find soul, jazz, r&b, psychedelia, funk, afrobeat and echoes of traditional music from around the world. But after ten years together, they point to the Seattle music community as the driving force of their success.

Cole Schuster in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Establishing a monthly residency at Tula's jazz club in Seattle on the 2nd Thursday of each month, we put the trio disORGANized to the test with a live studio session on a Monday afternoon. They passed with flying colors.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

322 brought their youthful energy and exuberance back to the KNKX studios this month with an electrifying set of neo-instrumental jazz.    Their new CD is out September 8th and it’s loaded with originals.  

The New Cool: Polyrhythmics Erupting Again

Aug 25, 2017
Seattle funk-soul-jazz group Polyrhythmics
Kelly Robbins Photo & Film

Their ambitious new double album Caldera comes out September 22nd, and Seattle's Polyrhythmics begin a West Coast tour shortly after which is sure to cement their reputation as one of the country's most efficient blenders of jazz, soul, funk, psychedelic rock and afro-beat.

Navy Jazz Band Northwest in the KNKX Studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seafair's big Fleet Week celebrations include plenty of sailors at work and at ease around Puget Sound, and a special visit to the KNKX studios from the Navy Band's Brass Band, an almost entirely new group from their visit last year, with a fresh, funky sound.

Clad in their sparkling clean dress whites, we heard two trombones, two saxophones, and trumpet with drums - and a warning to our Leadership Circle studio audience: this is going to be loud.

Ori Naftaly of Southern Avenue perfroming in the KNKX studios in Seattle.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

We were lucky to get a visit from Southern Avenue, one of the hottest new blues acts on the national scene. They have only been together a couple of years and it was their first visit to the Pacific Northwest. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee and with a debut CD on that city’s legendary soul label Stax Records, Southern Avenue has a fresh take on blues and soul.

John Pizzarelli back in the KNKX studios in Seattle, Wash.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Celebrating the release of their CD “Sinatra & Jobim @ 50,” this duo brought the warmth and charm of the beloved Brazilian songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim to the KNKX studios.

Laura Rosok in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

While Laura was still a student at King's High School in Shoreline, she was a guest vocalist for Lance Buller’s group that came in for a studio session a few years back. 

In 2014, Laura was named the winner of the high school division in the Seattle-Kobe Female Jazz Vocalist competition, and in 2015, Downbeat Magazine named her the national winner of their 38th annual Student Music Awards in the high school vocal jazz soloist category.

Leah Natale and Bren Plummer in the KNKX studios.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Seattle Kobe female jazz vocalist of the year Leah Natale and local group Ambience are fond of the oldies -- the really old, oldies. The newest song they played for us when they dropped by for a performance in the KNKX studios was from 1953 - ("Baubles Bangles and Beads" written for the 1953 musical "Kismet" by Robert Wright and George Forrest.) Natale's very favorite type of  singing involves big band jazz. Her clear tone and voice lends to a smaller group like Ambience beautifully however.

Pearl Django performing in the KNKX studios in Seattle, Wash.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

After more than a quarter century, that Mighty Engine of Rhythm still swings like mad. Pearl Django’s KNKX studio session hit the ground running with Floyd Hoyt Rides Again, from their new CD With Friends Like These

Written by Pearl Django guitarist Tim Lerch, it’s named for one of the many noms de jazz of founding member Dudley Hill.

Fiddler Michael Gray says some of Dudley’s other aliases were The New Johnny Sands, and Michael’s personal favorite, H. Burnell Delahoopay. 

Alex Chadsey along with Farko Dosumoy and Jeff Busch make up duende libre.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Blending the rhythms of Brazil, the Caribbean, Africa and Latin America into a groovy gumbo, Seattle's Duende Libre landed in the KNKX studios to celebrate with an exclusive performance of three songs from their new self-titled album live on 88.5.

Michael Goude / Vibe Vision Seattle

New Orleans is so full of incredibly gifted drummers, bassists and pianists, it would probably be impossible to pick one three-piece rhythm section and call it ‘the best.’  But when you’re talking about drummer Stanton Moore, bassist James Singleton and pianist David Torkanowsky, you could make a pretty good case that these guys rule the roost in The City That Care Forgot.  However you’d rate ‘em, though, they sure are funky.

Doug Macleod outside the KNKX studios in Seattle, Wash.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Doug Macleod is a modern renaissance blues man. An award-winning musician and songwriter, he is also a columnist, radio host and teacher. As a sideman in the 1960s and 1970s he played with legends Big Mama Thornton, Eddie “Cleanhead” Vinson and Lowell Fulson among many others.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Boston native LaVon Hardison has enchanted the South Sound with her warm, lively voice and personality.   Utilizing her background in lyric opera and musical theatre, she goes deep into a song to tell its story. 

LaVon’s most recent CD, “Come Together,” showcases her creative connection with some of the Northwest’s finest musicians, and their performance at KNKX was a delight from start to finish. 

World, meet the LaVon Hardison Quartet!

Andrew Trube of the Greyhounds.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

The Greyhounds first came to national attention with the release of their 2016 album "Change of Pace," which features lush, yet airy psychedelic production, heart-wrenching songwriting and Stax-worthy soulful vocals. 

A duo out of Austin, Texas, the Greyhounds distinguish themselves with artful use of  loops and studio expertise that supports their mellow vibe. The uplifting spirit of their music is reminiscent of the soul era of the 1960s, but their grooves are 21st century Southern soul.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

His band's work supporting David Bowie on his final album, "Blackstar," has moved saxophonist and composer Donny McCaslin's Group into the spotlight in the last couple years, and the pride of Santa Cruz, California is ready for it.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

On the afternoon of day three of this year's Ballard Jazz Festival, the 10-clubs-for-one-cover Jazz Walk, KNKX welcomed a trio of Northwest jazz all-stars that reminded us how lucky jazz fans are in this corner of the world.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Raised in the Midwest, one of pianist Larry Fuller's first jobs in jazz was here in Seattle, backing up iconic jazz singer Ernestine Anderson. So his debut performance live on 88.5 felt like a homecoming.

His career has been spent mostly as a sideman, but in the shadows of some of the world's best jazz musicians life can be pretty great. After a few years with Miss Ernestine, Fuller began working with the great California drummer Jeff Hamilton's trio, which led to a dream job in bassist Ray Brown's threesome in the late '90s.

 The vocal trio Duchess came into being almost by accident.  A couple of years ago, New York-based singer Amy Cervini, decided to do something special for one of her regular gigs at New York’s 55 Bar.  She wanted to do one set of music as a tribute to the great vocal groups of the swing era, such as the Boswell Sisters and the Andrew Sisters.   Amy enlisted the aid of two other New York singers, Hilary Gardner (a one-time resident of Seattle) and Melissa Stylianou.  They learned one set’s worth of songs and performed them as planned at the 55 Bar.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

For her third appearance in the KNKX studios, Anat Cohen brought along Trio Brasileiro, the group that presents the very popular spring choro workshops at Centrum in Port Townsend. 

Brazilian choro music is a cousin of jazz, mixing European melodic and harmonic traditions with African rhythms and sensibilities.  The word choro means “cry” or “lament,” but much of the music sounds bright and peppy.  There’s a very subtle touch of sadness and longing, which Brazilians call “saudade.”

Growing up in upstate New York, you might expect a young jazz talent to head for the Big Apple, the legendary "jazz center of the world," but trumpeter Samantha Boshnack came to Seattle. She'll tell you it was a great decision.

Sam is a dedicated composer as well as player, and she told us about working with her large ensemble, the B'shnorchestra, that working with those she admires as players and people is what she loves about jazz.

Live in the KNKX studios, it was obvious that her band loves playing her music with her.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

In 2013, Juan de Marcos and the Afro-Cuban All-Stars performed at KCTS9 television for our first “remote” Studio Session.  This time, KNKX took over the Moore Theatre in Seattle for the afternoon with this multi-faceted and most talented band. 

The Afro-Cuban All-Stars include Juan de Marcos’ accomplished daughters Gliceria (vibes and keyboards) and Laura (clarinets), as well as his wife and band manager Gliceria on percussion. 

Parker Miles Blohm

On her debut album as a leader, trombone player, composer and producer Naomi Moon Siegel utilizes the talents of 13 of her musical friends, but live in the KNKX studios, she treated us to an intimate version with her trombone and sparse electric keys alongside guitarist Sean Woolstenhulme's delicate and ethereal playing. The result was a distillation, a close-up, of the beautiful music on "Shoebox View."

Parker Miles Blohm

If you were to take a look at Grace Kelly’s resume, you might assume she’s in her fifties or sixties. To her credit, she has 10 album releases (including the recently released "Trying To Figure It Out"), several awards, performances with the Boston Pops, a performance for President Obama, and collaborations with dozens of top flight musicians. But she has done all of this by age 24.

Michael Goude

Jazz fans talk often about the need to introduce the music to younger fans. Live in the KNKX studios, drummer Sammy Miller and his band of 20-somethings are getting their attention by having fun.

Their just-released debut "The Mixtape" is a solid document, but the real fun is in seeing this group in action live.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Goodness knows how he finds the time - Robert Glasper has released three albums over the past couple of years, toured the world with his band, produced records for others, and still made it out to mentor a select group of young Northwest musicians for the 16th annual More Music @ the Moore concert, March 25.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When The James Hunter 6 invaded the KNKX studios, we surrendered without a fight.  We surrendered to their high spirits, their musicianship and their great R&B grooves.

British singer/guitarist, James Hunter became known to American blues lovers in 2006 with his release, “People Gonna Talk.”  People certainly did talk and word quickly got around that James and his band were the real deal, playing wall-to-wall soul music and putting on great shows. 

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

It was a little early for guitarist Jimmy James, and he told his band mates he was feeling cranky. But having just come off a pair of road trip Northwest tours, it was all in the family with Delvon Lamarr and drummer David McGraw (co-founder with James of the hot Seattle soul group The True Loves) pushing their friend's buttons until everyone was laughing.

This good-time feeling filled our studios as the DLO3 gave us three cool groovers soaked in the '60s and '70s traditions of funky organ, guitar and drum trios of Jimmy Smith, Big John Patton, Jack McDuff and others.

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