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.  

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The New Cool: Busy Weekend In Ballard

May 18, 2018
Parker Miles Blohm

Not much of a post this week, I've dedicated my writing to preview the Ballard Jazz Festival. I hope to see you in the clubs Saturday night!

The New Cool: Seattle-Portland Groovin' at Tula's

May 11, 2018
Used with kind permission of the costumed.

Seattle's mighty Hammond organ and drums combo of Joe Doria and Tarik Abouzied are friends and collaborators in McTuff, Happy Orchestra and other various line-ups. Their new project includes an icon of Portland's jazz scene, guitarist Dan Balmer, with a new recording and a live show at Tula's Friday, May 18th.

Abe Beeson / KNKX

I'm just back from a fantastic trip to the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. There are far too many moments from the festival grounds to mention here, but on Sunday night I found an allstar group of New Cool favorites on the edge of the French Quarter.

The New Cool: Creating Blue Lab Beats

Apr 27, 2018
Photo by Ruthe Zuntz, used with permission from Native Instruments

The creation of beats probably has its origins in the early days of hip hop when DJs would sample and blend the drum breaks from their favorite records. Today, the process is more akin to a musician with an instrument, and though the beats sound familiar, they're as fresh and original as an Art Blakey solo in the hands of talented duo Blue Lab Beats.

The New Cool: Return Of Kamasi Washington

Apr 20, 2018
B+ (Brian Cross) mochilla.com/bplus

He sure has changed the idea of what a "full length" record is. Kamasi Washington follows his debut triple-album The Epic from 2015 with his double-LP follow up Heaven and Earth this Summer, and The New Cool previews an "epic" song from the new release this Saturday on KNKX.

The New Cool: Live Coolness In the PNW

Apr 13, 2018
Used with permission of the artist - facebook.com/lionelloueke

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and there are countless ways to celebrate around Puget Sound. Listen to jazz on KNKX, buy some jazz for Record Store Day, and take advantage of the plentiful opportunities to see and hear live jazz. This week on the New Cool we'll preview a few modern jazz shows in the coming weeks.

Abe Beeson

The Boston-based trio Soulive are a busy bunch, though in most recent years you'll find guitarist Eric Krasno, keys player Neal Evans and drummer Alan Evans playing with their own groups and as valuable sidemen. So the 5-song EP Cinematics, Vol 1 is like a desert oasis for thirsty fans of the original trio.

Support The New Cool on KNKX!

Mar 23, 2018
Abe Beeson

The Spring fund drive has arrived, and with it comes your opportunity to support The New Cool, your home for modern jazz on KNKX. Today's show will feature long time favorites like Snarky Puppy, The Bad Plus and The New Mastersounds.

The New Cool: Modern Jazz in the PNW

Mar 17, 2018
Michael Goude, Vibe Vision Seattle

The Pacific Northwest has a long musical tradition going back to vaudeville acts during the Gold Rush, and this corner of the country became home to early jazz, garage rock pioneers, the so-called "grunge" movement and many less-recognized but incredibly talented musicians. In the 2nd decade of the 21st Century, the Puget Sound region is filled with creative jazz musicians pushing their music past easily categorized genres. You'll hear a group of our Northwest neighbors in every set this week on The New Cool.

The New Cool: Syrinx Effect's Dynamic Duo

Mar 9, 2018
Daniel Sheehan, A Beautiful Day Photography

After two well-received shorter EP releases, the Seattle-Missoula connection of reed player Kate Olson and trombonist Naomi Moon Siegel - Syrinx Effect - are back with their first full length album, A Sky You Could Strike a Match On. To say it's striking would be an understatement, but a clever one.

The New Cool: Snarky Puppy Charms Seattle

Mar 2, 2018
Photo by Freudian Slurp guitarist Ian Hughes.

The entry to Seattle's Moore Theater is surrounded by scaffolding as the old building's facelift continues, inside the hall Snarky Puppy was doing a bit of construction of their own. They're building a new kind of instrumental music, and they've already built a fan base who love what they hear.

The New Cool: Lance Ferguson's Hopeful Menagerie

Feb 23, 2018
Used with kind permission of the artist. @_lanceferguson_

Influenced by the vast history of jazz, and in particular the cosmic, spiritual music of the 70s featured on record labels like Strata-East and Oakland's Black Jazz Records, the new album from multi-instrumentalist and producer Lance Ferguson's Menagerie will fit comfortably in your record collection alongside new releases from Kamasi Washington and Snarky Puppy as well as classics from Pharoah Sanders and late-career John Coltrane.

The New Cool: MAST Takes Monk to Space

Feb 16, 2018
Hand painted by Tokio Aoyama.

Multi-instrumentalist Tim Conley, performing as MAST, has just released a new collection of Thelonious Monk tunes. "Another one?" I hear you saying. Well, this collection of Monk tunes, simply titled Thelonious Sphere Monk, takes the jazz giant's music to wild electronic destinations. Thankfully, to a Monk fan like me, it really works.

Portland Jazz Festival Preview

Feb 12, 2018
Justin Steyer / KNKX

Now in its 15th year, the Portland Jazz Festival begins this week, running February 15th through the 25th. Always a great excuse to visit the Rose City, this year's jazz festival is wide-ranging and features jazz greats, Northwest favorites, and a number of tributes from all-star groups.

The New Cool: Jazzlandia in Portland

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

The 15th Portland Jazz Festival begins February 15th, running through the 25th with big names like Abdullah Ibrahim, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Marcus Roberts and Dr. Lonnie Smith. On this week's New Cool show, we'll highlight a few of the modern jazz shows in Portland at this year's festival.

Seattle's Bad News Botanists.
Photo by Shahaan Smith https://www.instagram.com/haanphoto/?hl=en

The landscape of talented jazz musicians in the Pacific Northwest continues to bloom, despite an especially wet January threatening to wash us all away. Take a look at the nominees for this year’s Earshot Golden Ear Awards and you’ll see the name Bad News Botanists and those of two band members, a solid indication that this band’s time has come.

The New Cool: Kraken Quartet Keeps the Beats

Jan 19, 2018
Evan Monroe Chapman/Four/Ten Media

The four drummers of The Kraken Quartet studied their instruments together at Ithaca College, but few expected the rhythm section to evolve into their own band. Now based in Austin, Texas, their 2017 debut release Separate / Migrate is bringing the four well-deserved attention.

The New Cool: A Saxman Raises His Voice

Jan 12, 2018
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

When I first met Braxton Cook, he was playing saxophone with the amazing trumpeter Christian Scott's band, live in our studios in the Fall of 2015. There was something intangible I noticed, maybe just his gregarious personality, but I knew there was more to be heard from Mr. Cook. How much more is a pleasant surprise.

The New Cool: Favorites of 2017

Jan 5, 2018
Abe Beeson

I'm not crazy about "best of" lists. Who could possibly listen to enough music to produce an objective list of the best recordings in a year? I prefer to list "favorites", and on this week's New Cool, you'll hear two hours of Abe Beeson's favorite modern jazz from 2017. I hope you enjoy it as much as I will!

The New Cool: Happy New Cool Year!

Dec 29, 2017
Abe Beeson

Paul Carlson subs for Abe Beeson this week. You can preview the playlist here. Happy New Year, everyone!

Abe Beeson

Though each member of Industrial Revelation are in high demand these days, they always find time to get together to make music. As they prepared for their first headlining show at the Neptune Theatre last week, the band told me how excited they were to unleash new music in the new year.

The New Cool: Jessica Lurie - Beyond Bicoastal

Dec 15, 2017
Jessica Lurie and her NW Ensemble live on KNKX
Parker Miles Blohm

Jessica Lurie is a Northwest jazz icon, though she's been based in New York City for the past few years. She has returned to Seattle to unveil her new album Long Haul, and it's clear that no matter where her musical travels take her, she will always have a home here.

By kind permission of Hunter Gather.

Warm up your genre blender for Seattle's Hunter Gather. Described in various hyphenates as avant-jazz, post-rock, folk-jazz, and their own "post-sad-jazz-rock", this quartet draws musical inspiration from all over. These descriptors are fun to read, but they only begin to describe the creative exploration Hunter Gather undertakes on their new, debut album, Getting to Know You.

The New Cool: Cuban Jazz Meets American Pop

Dec 1, 2017
Eduardo Rawdriguez / billboard.com

I'm always suspicious of collections of modern pop covers. The songs of today don't normally equal the quality of the Great American Songbook. But the collaborations on the new album AmeriCuba from the Havana Maestros bring fresh energy and explore unexpected opportunities for improvisation.

The New Cool: Meet England's Ezra Collective

Nov 24, 2017
Stephen Leigh/Funkyfeet Photography

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. You'll hear a song from their new release Juan Pablo: The Philosopher on their New Cool debut this Saturday afternoon on KNKX.

Parker Miles Blohm

You may have noticed many more of our exclusive KNKX studio session performances mixed into our jazz in recent weeks. The New Cool is also committed to the art of live performance, and on this week's show we’ll hear four fantastic 88.5 studio session recordings from a wide variety of modern jazz styles.

The New Cool: Return of the Brass

Nov 10, 2017
Peter Adams/45th St Brass

The brass band tradition goes back more than a century both in the United States and in the United Kingdom, and today both countries continue to produce outstanding brass funk that continues to up the ante for old school party music.

The New Cool: Celebrating One Year on KNKX

Nov 3, 2017
Make a note, keep all papers organized in a file cabinet for easy access.
Abe Beeson

Fifty-two shows in the books! The New Cool celebrates one year on the air at KNKX this week. The essence of jazz is to push creativity forward, and we've shared some of the coolest music influenced by today's sounds - hip hop, rock, electronic, soul, funk and folk music from around the world. Now we're ready for Year #2.

The New Cool: London's THUMB Catches a Break

Oct 20, 2017
Check out THUMB's music at https://butespeciallythumb.bandcamp.com/album/south-of-the-river
Abe Beeson

"I hope this email finds you well," is a phrase that rarely earns instant excitement. Thankfully, in the case of young London neo-jazz group THUMB, the payoff is cool jazz from across the ocean that you probably haven't heard before.

Used with kind permission of the artist: marquishill.com

Trumpeter Marquis Hill returns to Seattle to lead his Blacktet at the Royal Room in Seattle for the Earshot Jazz Festival Friday night. He was just in town with bassist Marcus Miller's band, and a year ago that group was live in the KNKX studios. I remember it well, because of Marquis Hill.

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