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.  

Dylan Hayes artwork, layout by Regan Hagar.

You can hear a current of youthful energy flowing through everything Dylan Hayes plays. His newly released Songs for Rooms and People with his Electric Band really turns up the juice.

Album cover, High Pulp's Light Fix EP courtesy of the artist.

Saturday night on Capitol Hill, the Seattle funk-jazz fusion group High Pulp performs their latest vocal collaborations EP Light Fix. They'll also plant another flag along their impressive journey to becoming one of the most intriguing improvisational outfits in the Northwest.

Justin Steyer

As your humble New Cool host, I'm out and about catching live jazz on a regular schedule. In fact, when I miss a show I feel a little guilty. So, while I'm out of town for a couple weeks, do me and yourself a favor. Enjoy some of the fantastic modern jazz concerts, featuring a ton of heavy-hitting drummers, heating up mid-winter in the Northwest.

Photograph by Peter Daniel

Saxophonist Peter Daniel was excited to tell me about a new collaboration with his 45th St Brass band later this month. I heard what he told me, but I didn't quite understand. So we met up in Fremont to get to the bottom of an intriguing new way of hearing and playing music.

Photo used by kind permission of the band.

Our New York City-based Northwest neighbors, The Westerlies, return to Seattle for their second annual Westerlies Fest. The brass quartet created the festival to "engage students and audiences in Seattle and give back to the city that raised them." This week, the New Cool previews the festival performances, special guests, and the new Westerlies album, Wherein Lies the Good, released today.

Justin Steyer

The bill is set at Seattle's Nectar Lounge Thursday, Jan. 30. The South Sound sequel follows Jan. 31 at Rhythm & Rye in Olympia. A two-fisted organ trio battle pitting our hometown heroes McTuff facing off in musical combat with Portland's Trio Subtonic. The New Cool has the tale of the tape and we'll give away tickets during the radio show Saturday afternoon.

Photo by Mattias Creutziger

Pianist Julia Kadel is outgrowing one of the great cities of Europe. The young jazz star from Berlin is the first German artist to record for the legendary Blue Note Records since pianist Jutta Hipp in 1956. Her classical music roots mixed with daring improvisation are making her a budding international star.

Parker Miles Blohm

Women musicians in jazz have, since the early days of the form, been mostly singers. Karrin Allyson, one of the finest singers in jazz, has gathered an all-female all-star ensemble for her new album. Shoulder to Shoulder: Centennial Tribute to Women's Suffrage is also marked by some very modern music.

Abe Beeson

This Saturday afternoon on The New Cool, you'll hear a few of the show's favorite albums of 2019. Snarky Puppy, Julian Lage, Theo Croker, Jeff Coffin's Dream Shanti all released terrific modern jazz this year. We'll also celebrate excellent new albums from Tacoma's Velocity and Seattle's Barrett Martin Group.

album cover photo

The modern confluence of reggae, hip-hop, electronic and Afro-beat music seeps to the surface of jazz in the talented young English quintet Ezra Collective. The band plays Barboza in Seattle on Friday, Dec. 13, touring the U.S. to celebrate their new full-length debut album, You Can't Steal My Joy.

Abe Beeson

In another example of a group that doesn't quite satisfy strict definitions of jazz, the Australian band Hiatus Koiyote is making their own kind of music. Their blend of modern soul, electronica, popfunk and — yes — modern jazz is a big influence on how this music evolves in the new century.

Justin Steyer

Their styles vary depending on musical setting, they don't collaborate often, but there's no doubt that Joshua Redman and James Carter are two of the most intriguing and progressive saxophone players of the 21st Century. Happily, both musicians will be performing in Seattle next week.

Abe Beeson

Inspired by modern jazz creations of musicians raised on rock, hip hop, electronica and musical styles around the world, The New Cool celebrates three years on 88.5 KNKX this Saturday afternoon. We're packing this weekend's show full of stars and some brand new sounds for you to thank you for your support.

Used with the generous permission of the artists.

Earshot's 2019 Jazz Festival wraps up with a double bang Wednesday, Nov. 6. Chick Corea will be performing the Gershwin classic "Rhapsody in Blue" with the Seattle Syphony Orchestra at Benaroya Hall. For New Cool fans, the action is across the street with drummer Scott Amendola matching wits and grooves with keyboard whiz Wil Blades as Amendola Vs Blades at The Triple Door.

Abe Beeson

My friend Ruby Brown is watching over The New Cool this Saturday afternoon, but I wanted to chime in with a quick alert on some spooky and groovy live music to enjoy this Halloween season.

Abe Beeson

With Earshot's festival shows and much more, I've been delighted to see so many friendly faces at jazz concerts recently. The audience's job is so important. Thanks for coming out!

It's been a busy time in a lot of jazz clubs for yours truly, and I'm off next week for a much needed vacation. I'll bring you a fantastic New Cool show Saturday afternoon before I get out of town, and encourage you to catch some cool shows I won't be around to see next week.

Nate Wood of Kneebody.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Having just flown in that day from Vancouver, the four men of Kneebody settled into the KNKX studios to briefly catch their breath and play a few songs. Their new album Chapters comes out Oct. 18, and their world tour is kicking into gear.

Photography by Ziggy Spiz.

When drummer Max Holmberg told me he wanted to collaborate on a live jazz series in Bellevue, I asked him where he wanted to make this happen. He said "Resonance at SOMA Towers (which is my favorite acoustic room in the Northwest)." Next Thursday night, Oct. 17, we debut the KNKX New Cool series there with young Seattle stars Dylan Hayes and Xavier Lecouturier's DX-Tet.

Saxophonist Peter Daniel
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Peter Daniel is a busy guy. He's the leader of the 45th St Brass, plays with the New Orleans-influenced funk group Super Krewe, appears on recent records from Lucky Brown & the SGs and Marina & the Dreamboats, and has toured with electro duo Odesza and alt-popper Father John Misty. "When you say it like that, it sounds like a problem," Daniel says.

Kneebody photo by Robbie Suharlim.

The Earshot Jazz Festival has kindly offered three pair of tickets to see Kneebody with openers Trio Subtonic at Nectar Lounge in Fremont October 9. Enter to win on the New Cool fan page now!

The Earshot Jazz Festival returns to venues all over Seattle (*and beyond) from Oct. 4 through Nov. 6, and this week The New Cool highlights a few of the top modern jazz concerts on this year's impressive schedule.

Image from Velocity's video for "Strange Matter"

The New Cool is fired up to present Tacoma's modern jazz leaders Velocity at the Spanish Ballroom at the Elks Lodge in Tacoma Monday night, Sept. 30. It's a celebration of their new album, Magnetar, and also celebrates an exciting cultural movement around the band's home base of Tacoma.

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.

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