Friday, June 29, 2012

Radio Kaos Caribou - "Radio KC"

Forward-vision French media company embarks on redefining trendy Internet Radio through the creative use of Mixcloud Podcasts

(Also posted to

Most are familiar by now with Internet Radio in its various incantations, either through Pandora's "Music Genome Project", which customizes automatic radio stations based on a listener's favorite artist or group, all the way to conventional radio stations that broadcast or "stream" terrestrial radio feeds over the Internet to fans worldwide. But take this concept one step further; borrow from the conventional podcast, blend with fullness of Internet radio, and fuse the mixes into an ever-changing palette of music styles and genres, and you've got Radio Kaos Caribou, known as " Radio KC. "

Born in April 2012 from the suburbs of Paris, France (Ermont), RKC's founder, known as "DJ NT" uses the service Mixcloud to concoct amazing musical cocktails, designed to tell a story, set a mood, and always flow from one idea to the next. Using spoken vignettes from film, together with world-class music, DJ NT weaves together palettes that include classic rock (complete with rain effects) from the Doors' "Riders on the Storm", but that winds its way to the Doobie Brothers and disco, and eventually lands on Diana Ross' version of "Good Morning Heartache." The mix itself could include multiple music genres, such as smooth jazz, driving funk, Mexican mariachi music, a power ballad or two, and all within the space of 10 minutes - a delight to the attention-deficit and musically-curious among us.

Each mix in French is called a "decoupé" and the RKC Mixcloud site skillfully shows the names of each of the tracks so that if a track catches one's attention, listeners can either buy the single directly from the site, or at least know the name of the band long enough to research it further.

What makes RKC so much fun is that with each podcast offering, upon pushing PLAY, the listener has no idea what to expect, other than the blissful absence of commercials and other annoying pop-up ads. Each podcast, while prepared in advance, comprises several hours' worth of nothing but music, claims that many other online stations no longer can make. Furthermore, each podcast underlies a distinct theme, such as appropriate for Friday night clubbing, current political climates and social issues, or something as simple as Sunday morning coffee and toast.

At present, two mixes are available for RKC's site, but DJ NT indicated earlier today that RKC is ready to release over 30 new ideas in the course of the next few months, and I will certainly be listening for more independent artists and fresh ideas as a result of the station's "decoupés."
RKC does offer a traditional radio feed in addition to its eclectic podcasts at; however, to experience DJ NT's work, visit Mixcloud at

Best wishes and enjoy,
Kathryn Ballard Shut /shoot/
President, Independent Reviewer
TIMKAT Entertainment, LLC
Denver, CO, USA

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Saturday, June 2, 2012

Curtis Fuller Still Has What It Takes To Bring Us 'Down Home'

The latest release from Fuller on Capri Records recalls the best of Fuller's Blue Note sensibilities, coupled with present-day mastery from well-known Colorado and Midwestern US musicians.

In an era where jazz is often "smooth", it is always a blessing to find a recording that recalls the straight-ahead glory of the genre once ruled by classic labels such as Blue Note and Verve. This is exactly what happens on Capri Records with Curtis Fuller's latest release, "Down Home."

Armed with a jazz powerhouse combo that hails from Colorado and the Midwestern United States, Fuller delivers six brand-new original compositions ("Down Home", "Ladies Night", "Nu Groove", "Sweetness", "Mr. L.", and "The High Priest") where the first two items on the list brightly open the album. Fuller collaborates tightly with trumpeter Al Hood, tenor saxman Keith Oxman, pianist Chip Stephens, bassist Ken Walker, and drummer Todd Reid, and the sextet brings such a level of professionalism that it seems as though it had played together for years, and not for only three days in a studio.

In addition to bringing performance excellence, both Stephens and Oxman also contribute as polished songwriters on two originals ("C Hip's Blues" and "Jonli Bercosta", respectively). Stephens' tasty chart is a cool shuffle that very well could have been a midnight secret meeting of the music of Horace Silver and Neal Hefti (aka "Señor Blues" meets "The Odd Couple"), and Oxman's chart is also blissfully remniscent of Hefti's and Mancini's hard-driving shuffles of the late 1960's. In any event, both are complimentary to Fuller's songwriting, conform to the classic theme, and fit beautifully within the context of the entire album.

There is only one non-original track, an Oxman tenor feature entitled "Then I'll Be Tired Of You", which the group has claimed as just a valid of a family member of the set, as if they had written the cover themselves. The instrumentation and overall balance of the horn and rhythm sections are a harmonic delight, and Burns' dexterity in the studio ensures that listeners get a crystal-clear, front-row seat to hear the musical conversation.

Finally, Oxman writes a great homage to Fuller in the album's liner notes, especially when he states, "Repeatedly, I have witnessed Curtis's remarkable thoughtfulness and sacrifices for others." This generosity is keely felt on each track of the album; even though Fuller may be the lead, the album conveys a basic understanding and celebration of each man's immense talent, original soloistic ideas, and therefore grants proper space for each to tell his own story.

For keepers of the jazz flame that wax nostalgically on Blue Note days gone by, "Down Home" is a veritable time machine that instantly transports the listener right back to the golden age of the label in the 1950s and 1960s; however, this album was masterfully produced by well-known jazz enthusiast, producer, and Capri record label proprietor, Mr. Thomas Burns in May 2011. Burns rightfully endorses the effort on the back cover as "truly Curtis Fuller's band and they play together as one ..." and that the album is "now among my personal favorite Fuller recordings of all time."

"Down Home" is set for general release on June 19, 2012. One can visit the Capri Records' Curtis Fuller artist page at, where the album is likely to be offered for sale at mid-month.

Best wishes always,
Kathryn Ballard Shut /shoot/
President, pianist, jazz lover, independent reviewer
TIMKAT Entertainment, LLC
Denver, CO, USA
Web Portal: