The New Cool | KNKX

The New Cool

Saturday 3PM-5PM
  • Hosted by Abe Beeson

The New Cool — 21st century jazz inspired and informed by the sounds of today: hip-hop, & funk, Electronic music and punk rock — the future of jazz has arrived.

The New Cool is hosted by Abe Beeson and produced by KNKX Public Radio in Seattle, Wash.  

The New Cool: Upcoming live modern jazz

May 17, 2019
Abe Beeson

The nights are getting longer in the Northwest, and there's plenty of live modern jazz sounds to be found around Seattle. This week's New Cool previews several hot dates in Seattle over the next seven days, including two shows presented by KNKX.

Earshot Jazz poster design by Lauren Beauchemin.

Before we start, that's not a typo. It's a band name. Thiefs is a modern jazz trio spanning the Atlantic with musicians based in Paris and New York City. As I discovered on my recent vacation, Paris has many similarities to New York. The big city hustle and international "melting pot" communities, the youthful energy and progressive attitudes all come through on Thiefs' impressive second album, last year's Graft (La Greffe).

The New Cool: The sky's the limit for Cloud Six

Apr 19, 2019
Photo by Carisa Lolmaugh

Lifelong love for local musicians has always meant expanding one's definition of "Northwest," and I'm happy to push the boundaries of our scene to Portland to call Cloud Six our neighbors. With their self-titled debut release out last fall, the muscular horn-driven sextet shows that the Rose City's musical reputation holds strong.

Design by Anschutz Entertainment Group (AXS).

Spring is flowering, and The New Cool looks ahead to summer as ticket sales begin today for what's sure to be the biggest jazz event of the year. Lifelong musical innovator Herbie Hancock is co-headlining a tour with one of the hottest new voices in jazz today, saxophonist Kamasi Washington. The 10-date (so far) tour brings them to Marymoor Park in Redmond on Aug. 16, and you can expect that tickets will be gone long before then.

The New Cool: Hailing the female future of jazz

Apr 5, 2019
"I believe the (female) children are our future....
Parker Miles Blohm/KNKX

This week, Seattle JazzED's Girls Ellington Project makes jazz history. They became the first all-female band to compete in a national high school jazz competition, one of just 12 groups invited to the Savannah Music Festival's Swing Central Jazz Competition. The battle of these teenage bands took place earlier this morning, and the Girls Ellington Project made all of us proud, despite missing out on the finals. And they reminded us that the future of jazz is, slowly, becoming more and more female.

Abe Beeson

Drummer, composer, band leader Barrett Martin returns with a new CD this spring. The worldwide release date for Songs of the Firebird is May 10. The official release show, in conjunction with the release of Martin's new book of short stories, "The Way of the Zen Cowboy," is June 1 at the Royal Room. You'll hear the world broadcast premier — of the CD, not the book — coming up Saturday on The New Cool.

Artwork by Jason Deamer

Karl Denson brings his saxophone, flute and powerful voice back to Seattle for two nights at Nectar Lounge in Fremont March 20 and 21 to celebrate his brand new album Gnomes and Badgers. I spoke to him earlier this week about his first album in five years, and his varied career working with Lenny Kravitz, The Rolling Stones, Seattle's sax hero Skerik, and a surreal day with Eddie Murphy.

The New Cool: Talking with the SmackTalk horns

Mar 1, 2019
Photo by Seth Halleran, inspiration by good ol Norman Rockwell

During this winter's "snowpocalypse," I traded emailed questions for answers with Sidney Hauser and Natalie Barry, sax players and driving forces behind Seattle's modern jazz combo SmackTalk, about their new five-song release. Servin' It Hot is available digitally on March 7, and the release party is that night at Conor Byrne in Ballard.

The New Cool: Kassa Overall talks teamwork

Feb 22, 2019
Album cover artwork by Jesse Brown

Drummer, composer and producer Kassa Overall released his debut album, Go Get Ice Cream and Listen to Jazz in January to excited reaction. The New York Times called it "one of the few genuine-sounding, full-scope amalgams of contemporary hip-hop and jazz to surface in recent years." The Seattle native, now based in New York City, is especially excited to share his new music with his hometown, and you'll hear a song from the album on The New Cool this Saturday.

Eric Ryan Anderson

One of today's leaders in modern jazz fusion returns to the Northwest for shows in Seattle and Portland next week. Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah brings his bent trumpet to Nectar Lounge Tuesday night, before opening the Portland Jazz Festival at the Star Theater Feb. 20. That show is already sold out.

Abe Beeson

Best known for his nearly two decades with the modern jazz fusion group Kneebody, Ben Wendel explored the endless possibilities of the duet format with 12 videos released in 2015 featuring 12 different collaborators from across the wide jazz spectrum. I spoke to Wendel recently about his career, his many young fans, and this diverse recent project, The Seasons, just released in CD and vinyl formats as performed by Wendel in a quintet setting.

Parker Miles Blohm

Whether you prefer planes, trains or automobiles, a trip to Portland is always a good idea. That's especially true when the Rose City presents its annual jazz festival, and I'm excited to highlight a few modern jazz concerts that New Cool fans will love. KNKX will make the trip with a group of listeners for the first weekend, find more information on that amazing package here.

Brandon Jernigan photography (TheBeautifulSounds.com)

Tom Misch describes himself first and foremost as a beat maker. His musical development began on the humble fiddle, next to the guitar, which he plays prominently in live performances. Misch's 2018 debut album Geography blends both his digital and acoustic expertise, with impressive results.

The New Cool: Favorites of 2018

Jan 4, 2019
Abe Beeson

You've already seen plenty of top-albums lists for the year now past. Tune in to The New Cool this Saturday for my look back with two hours of favorites from 2018. There's plenty of diversity — from piano trios to synthesizers and laptops, retrospective updates and all-star collectives, too. Make a date to spend Saturday afternoon (3-5 p.m.) with some of the most exciting new music of the past 12 months!

With kind permission of Amy & Delvon.

Delvon Lamarr and his wife/manager Amy Novo are packing up the Hammond organ and moving to Austin, Texas, to begin a new direction on their musical journey. After a sparkling live performance in the KNKX studios, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio celebrates New Year's Eve at the Triple Door before the big move in a couple of weeks. I asked them to write a fond farewell note, a "love letter" to their friends and fans in the Northwest. They were only too happy to oblige.

Used with kind permission of Amy & Delvon.

Delvon Lamarr and his wife/manager Amy Novo are packing up the Hammond organ and moving to Austin, Texas, to begin a new stage in their musical journey. After a sparkling live performance in the KNKX studios, the Delvon Lamarr Organ Trio celebrates New Year's Eve at the Triple Door before packing and preparing for the move. I asked them to write a fond farewell note, a "love letter" to their friends and fans in the Northwest. They were only too happy to oblige.

The New Cool: Get Grooving for Christmas

Dec 21, 2018
Album cover from Fog City Records, San Francisco.

Merry Christmas to you, New Cool listener! Santa has dropped off a few modern jazz Christmas tunes for The New Cool this week, so tune in and enjoy as you scramble to finish all your pre-Christmas shopping, wrapping, cooking and (hopefully) relaxing.

Michael Goude - Vibe Vision Seattle

A pair of Seattle-grown modern jazz outfits return to the KNKX studios for live sessions next week. One group is marking a departure from the Northwest, the other is celebrating a holiday return.

The New Cool: Shabaka Hutchings Revisited

Dec 7, 2018
Cover photo by Sergio Aparicio (Okobé)

One of London's hottest young jazz musicians, Shabaka Hutchings isn't big on self-promotion. He's appeared on around 50 releases over the past decade, but only one album under his own name - Shabaka and the Ancestors from 2016. He continues the pattern on a wild new album from the trio 1000 Kings.

The New Cool: Stanley Clarke's New Bass Grooves

Nov 30, 2018
Photo by Raj Naik, with kind permission of the artist.

The three pioneers of the electric bass in jazz have been making great records recently. You've been hearing the latest from Marcus Miller and Victor Wooten on KNKX, and on this week's New Cool I've got the new album from Stanley Clarke. It's a ferocious young band, filled with plenty of Clarke's trademark low end grooves.

The New Cool: Jesse Fischer Flips Jazz

Nov 16, 2018
Album design by Roland leFox.

Multi-instrumentalist Jesse Fischer is also a songwriter, producer, engineer and musical anthropologist. OK, I added that last one to his bio, but his new album Flipped II seamlessly mixes cultures across decades and generations.

The New Cool: Monika Herzig's SHEroes

Nov 9, 2018
Used with kind permission of the artist.

Though the journey to equality isn't over, women in jazz have been steadily gaining attention in recent years. Just last weekend, Maria Schneider (with the SRJO), Dawn Clement, Tia Fuller, and Jane Bunnett and her all-female latin band Maqueque were the star attractions in Seattle.  With her new release SHEroes, pianist and composer Monika Herzig's all-female band adds another important milestone of great music from still-underappreciated ladies in jazz.

Boo!! A New Cool Halloween Jazz Preview

Oct 26, 2018
Abe Beeson

Autumn in the Seattle area always brings fantastic live music, these days even weeknights are filled with world class live jazz around Puget Sound. So then, a Wednesday night Halloween is due to be full of spooky, funky jazz fun. Rake in the candy for the kids before dark, then get out for some musical treats of your own.

The New Cool: Return of Mark Guiliana

Oct 12, 2018
Deneka Peniston

Among the parade of jazz stars in the Northwest for the Earshot Jazz Festival (through November 4th), one of The New Cool's favorite drummer's makes a return to Seattle on November 6th. The excitement is already building, and KNKX is giving away tickets!

The New Cool: London's Sons of Kemet in Seattle

Oct 5, 2018
London quartet Sons of Kemet at Barboza in Seattle Sunday night!
Abe Beeson

It's been a busy week at KNKX, and thanks to listeners like you, the Fall fund drive has concluded with our incredibly ambitious $600,000 goal reached this past Thursday. Thank you! Now on with the show...

London's modern jazz scene continues to impress from across the pond, and Sunday night one of that city's top saxmen brings his quartet to Seattle for a show you shouldn't miss.

Photo by Rene Huemer for Robert Walter.

Keys player Robert Walter has been a master of funky grooves with the Greyboy Allstars, his own bands, and as a guest in various settings. With his new release, Spacesuit, Walter is breaking free from the Earth's gravity and exploring the outer limits of electronic keyboard possibilities.

Clayton Lancaster

The Oakland based Negative Press Project are built from a variety of musical talents, some from the California Jazz Conservatory, but others employing skills honed in the realms of pop, rock, global folk and classical music. Together, the octet delivers a "jazz adjacent" sound that allows for countless creative possibilities. NPP will be exploring some of those possibilities at Cafe Racer in Seattle Sunday night, with the Racer Sessions jam following.

The New Cool: Cool Earshot Festival Preview

Aug 24, 2018
Abe Beeson

Our friends at Earshot have another amazing jazz festival coming up October 7th and continuing through November 4th. I'm particularly excited about the shows featuring some of the coolest modern musicians in the world, and on this week's New Cool, I'll preview a half dozen of my most eagerly anticipated concerts.

The New Cool: A Taste of Shake Stew

Aug 17, 2018
Andreas Waldscheutz Photography

The New Cool's explorations of modern jazz in Europe moves to Austria this week with a spotlight on bassist Lukas Kranzelbinder's septet Shake Stew. Their new album Rise and Rise Again is a wild trip in itself.

The New Cool: Alex Monfort's Modern Swing

Aug 10, 2018
Photo by Arthur Wollenweber

French pianist Alex Monfort honors his jazz heroes on the new trio release Introspection. Bill Evans, Keith Jarrett, Chick Corea are all on the list of legends who inspire him, but Monfort makes his own statements here. This is modern jazz piano that brings the legacy of jazz into the 21st Century.

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