Saturday Night Jazz

Saturdays, 7p - 10pm
  • Hosted by Eddie Dunn

Get a three-hour workout in America's true art form with Eddie Dunn and Saturday Night Jazz. Dunn's satin-smooth voice and creative delivery have caused more than one KWIT-KOJI listener to assume that SNJ is a syndicated program. We are proud to say however, that Mr. Dunn can be heard exclusively on the airwaves of KWIT-KOJI.

Dunn started in radio after what he calls his "first failed attempt at a career in music," at a Middle of the Road station in Vermillion South Dakota. It was there that he would violate the station's MOR format with his own jazz show.

The call of the West Coast and a series of employment opportunities therein would take Dunn away for several years but he returned to the Midwest over a decade ago to fill a position at Western Iowa Tech Community College. He has hosted Saturday Night Jazz ever since, building his set lists almost entirely from new or recently re-issued material. "I've often said that right now is the real golden age of jazz," says Dunn pointing to talented young artists like Christian McBride and Diana Krall. He also nurtures his creative side by playing bass and singing in the local jazz combo the Eddie Dunn Project.

Pianist Ramsey Lewis has returned to the electric side on his funkiest recording in years. Taking Another Look is in part a revisiting of Lewis' highly-regarded 1974 classic Sun Goddess. On that album Lewis demonstrated his chops on a level approaching Herbie Hancock's. Lewis' performances on ARP synthesizers and Fender Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, as well as acoustic piano and electric guitar, earned the already-successful keyboardist and composer scores of new fans the way Hancock's first Headhunters albums had cast a net out to funk lovers a year earlier.



Over the past few months we’ve heard a lot from 70 Strong, the recent issue from the Steve Gadd Band, an electric quintet led by the now-legendary drummer and completed by Walt Fowler (trumpet, flugelhorn), Larry Goldings (keys, accordion), Jimmy Johnson (bass) and Michael Landau (guitars). This show features the cut “Desu.”


On this show you can hear “Barangrill” from pianist Robert Glasper and his acoustic trio (bassist Vicente Archer and drummer Damion Reid) on his new album Covered. Glasper applies his elegant jazz skills to “an inviting tracklist that was mostly written to be sung,” wrote The Guardian in a glowing 4-star review.

This edition of SNJ features the song Such Is Life (sung by Alexis Cole) from Harold Mabern’s new CD, Afro Blue (John Webber, bass, Joe Farnsworth, drums, Eric Alexander, tenor sax, Jeremy Pelt, trumpet).

The program features the song “Favor” from Terell Stafford’s new CD, BrotherLee Love: Celebrating Lee Morgan. (Terell Stafford – trumpet; Tim Warfield – saxophone; Bruce Barth – piano; Peter Washington – bass; Dana Hall – drums)

Terell Stafford is the perfect player to do a long overdue tribute to one of Philadelphia’s greatest jazz legends, Lee Morgan. Though not raised in the City of Brotherly Love, Stafford cut his jazz teeth in Philly working behind Shirley Scott and Mickey Roker. For over 20 years he’s been the Director of Jazz Studies at Temple University.

Includes singer Rachel Caswell doing “Tell Him I Said Hello” from her new CD, All I Know on Strikezone Records. Strikezone specializes in creative music produced by the musicians themselves. It’s run by jazz guitarist Dave Stryker. Another recent Strikezone recording, heard extensively on SNJ, is Messin’ With Mr. T, featuring Stryker doing the music of Stanley Turrentine, with whom he played for many years. Dave Stryker grew up in Omaha, Nebraska and moved to New York City in 1980.

Several exciting new releases are featured, including “Say When” from trombonist Steve Davis in his tribute to trombone legend J.J. Johnson, “The Thompson Fields” from the Maria Schneider Orchestra, and “Jazz From Poland” with trumpeter Fortuna Maciej and his Quartet.    


One of the highlights this week is a cut from trumpeter Terence Blanchard’s new release Breathless, featuring his group, the E-Collective. Blanchard explores the intersection of jazz, R&B, funk and jazz fusion with his bandmates Fabian Almazan (piano), Charles Altura (guitar), Donald Ramsey (bass) and Oscar Seaton (drums).  

Saturday Night Jazz stays in the here and now by focusing almost entirely on new releases and new trends in jazz.

We find the best of it and dish it up for you.