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The New Cool: Modern Jazz In The KNKX Studio

Abe Beeson
It sure gets cool in here - Christian Scott's trumpet live in the KNKX studios.

This week in the KNKX studios brings two more fresh approaches to non-traditional jazz. Modern music from the Barrett Martin Group and Freudian Slurp is informed by the sounds of rock, electronic music, funk and soul. Both are based in the Seattle area, where The New Cool has been finding plenty of inspiration and material for the show.

This week, just in time to encourage you to support your independent 88.5 KNKX, I'm playing highlights of the amazing modern jazz that's been performed live in our studios so far this year. The "New Cool Sessions", if you will.

I'll begin the show with a song from the recent session with Seattle's Polyrhythmics. Their new double album Caldera is out Friday the 22nd, and live in our studios the band told me they knew right away their fans were going to love this song, "Spider Wolf".

Next is a session from June by the Northwest trio Duende Libre, led by pianist Alex Chadsey and featuring bold support from Farko Dosumov and Jeff Busch at the bass and drums. Inspired by music of the world, each player told us that they were most influenced by the "world music" players right here in the Seattle area.

A Seattle-born group now mostly based in New York City, Tyrant Lizard plays deliberate jazz that echoes the rich traditions of Americana, folk and roots music. Though they're now operating on two coasts, guitarist Gregg Belisle-Chi, bass player Carmen Rothwell and trumpeter Ray Larsen tell us this isn't the end of the Tyrant Lizard story.

The one non-NW-native group I'm playing for you this week is a unique pairing. When Donny McCaslin brought his quartet to Seattle, we were expecting to host Donny and keys player Jason Lindner in our studios. Unfortunately, a bicycle accident delayed Jason's arrival, and we were treated to an amazing - if unexpected - duo performance from Donny and electric bass player Nate Wood. Their cover of David Bowie's "Lazarus", whom they supported on his final album, was magical.

Tim Kennedy has been exploring rock and dance music in his groups Hot Rod and Richie Aldente, but live on 88.5 we were treated to his modern jazz stylings performed by an all-star line-up. From that group, trumpeter Thomas Marriott and drummer Tarik Abouzied will join Tim and bass player Geoff Harper for the second New Cool concert at The Landing at Tyee this Sunday from 3 to 5. Like our broadcasts, the concert is free and all ages are welcome!

Finally, perhaps one of my favorite studio sessions of all time, we have a super soulful song from the DLO3's session this past Spring. Delvon Lamarr has emerged as a top Hammond Organ star in the Northwest, and his pals from The True Loves - guitarist Jimmy James and drummer David McGraw - layed down undeniable grooves that have earned them a new record deal with Ohio-based Colemine Records. Can't wait for that single, fellas!

There are many more studio sessions spanning the wide world of jazz and blues that you enjoy on KNKX, and many more to come. The October 10th session with Tarik Abouzied's Happy Orchestra is highly anticipated by New Cool fans! You can hear them all, and share them with your friends, on demand here.

Thanks for supporting The New Cool for our first 47 weeks. After nearly a year at it, I feel like we're just getting started.

The New Cool airs Saturdays from 3 to 5pm, hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.