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.  

Photo by Craig Carpenter, courtesy of Segerstrom Center for the Arts

Still in his mid-30s, Theo Croker has become a jazz trumpet star. His new album, Star People Nation, puts his horn solidly in the spotlight, that instrument acting as an extension of the artist himself. The result is a confident, modern trumpet record that builds on tradition while sounding fully of the 21st century.

Ear Up Records album cover design for Dream Shanti

Since the late '90s, Jeff Coffin's skills on saxophones have been well featured with Bela Fleck and the Flecktones and the Dave Matthews Band. Fans of the New Cool love his own group, the Jeff Coffin Mu'tet, and now Coffin shares his love of Indian music with a new modern jazz project he calls Dream Shanti.

Tom Collins

There were miles of smiles at Marymoor Park in Redmond last Friday for the world-class double bill of Kamasi Washington and Herbie Hancock bands. Before the show and between sets, fans stopped by the KNKX tent to talk with New Cool host Abe Beeson about what "modern jazz" means to them.

Drummer Matt Wilson's student ensemble at Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend.
Tom Collins

Centrum's Jazz Port Townsend jazz camp is an educational opportunity for students of all ages. On my visit to the camp and jazz festival last month, I took my opportunity to ask some of the younger campers what they thought of modern jazz, who their favorite modern musicians are, and what they're generation will contribute to the future of this ever-changing art form.

Tom Collins

One of the hottest trumpet players in jazz returns to Seattle next week, and KNKX welcomes Marquis Hill's Blacktet for an exclusive studio session performance, as well. Hill's fans will tell you he's an amazing musician, but he's also committed to making his music mean something.

Kalina Cimone

Last Halloween, High Pulp celebrated the night at Nectar Lounge and welcomed some special guests for a few choice collaborations. Among them, Shaina Shepherd was featured in a roof-raising version of the Aretha Franklin classic "Rock Steady." I was floored, and mentioned to both that they should make a record together. Now we can all celebrate their new single, "Broken Little Dolls."

Abe Beeson

One of the Northwest's most exciting reed players has been sidelined by injury for months, and now she's back with a vengeance. Kate Olson talked to New Cool host Abe Beeson about the tough break, the road back, and her exciting musical plans to come.

The New Cool is proud to sponsor PBJam-fest 2019 Friday and Saturday in Fremont.
Design by Snowdeer

The New Cool is proud to be sponsoring the first PBJam-FEST 2019 at Nectar Lounge in Fremont this Friday and Saturday nights. It's a blend of 21st century jam band styles, ranging from bluegrass to modern jazz, on two stages from 5 p.m. until closing time nine hours later. Yours truly will be there both nights to see a pair of my all-time Seattle jazz favorites.

Abe Beeson / KNKX

A long holiday weekend calls for some funky, soulful modern jazz on this week's New Cool. Heat up the grill and groove along with a heaping helping of tasty tunes from the KNKX cooler, including exclusive KNKX studio session performances from The Greyboy Allstars and Polyrhythmics.

Abe Beeson

When fans of modern jazz are looking to Mexico, you can bet they're looking to Troker. For more than a dozen years, the band from Guadelajara has been at the forefront of modern Mexican music. They've been gaining more attention abroad in recent years, you'll hear their impressive latest album, Imperfecto, on The New Cool Saturday afternoon on KNKX.

Abe Beeson

The double jazz festivals in Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia later this month (June 21 through July 1) feature many wonderful modern jazz groups. Happily, a few of them will make the border crossing to entertain Seattle audiences. Others will require a passport. Tune in Saturday afternoon to hear a few of them on The New Cool.

Artwork designed by Andrew Adams.

With a new single and accompanying video just released, and more recordings nearly ready to share, Tacoma's progressive jazz quartet Velocity are shifting into a higher gear. I caught the band at Seattle's Seamonster Lounge earlier this week to ask them about the new release and their plans for the summer.

The New Cool: Saturday night's all right for jazz

May 31, 2019

KNKX listeners know that Saturday night belongs to All Blues on 88.5 FM, but the modern jazz lineup around town this Saturday is creating difficult choices for New Cool fans. You'll hear from The Bad Plus, Barrett Martin Group and Samantha Boshnack's Seismic Belt on the show in the afternoon, with all three bands performing later that night.

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.

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