Tom Ineck, host of “Night Town,” highlights his best in jazz and more from 2016
Top Jazz CDs of 2016 (in no particular order)
John Scofield: Country for Old Men
The adventurous guitarist fronts a quartet on jazzy takes of country and traditional melodies, including tunes by Hank Williams, Merle Haggard and Dolly Parton.
Bill O’Connell and the Latin Jazz All-Stars: Heart Beat
This band, led by pianist Bill O’Connell, always delivers a satisfying listening experience with a high level of musicianship, and suitable for Latin dancing!
Frank Kimbrough: Solstice
Pianist Frank Kimbrough fronts a trio in a gorgeous performance of obscure tunes sensitively played.
Charlie Haden & Liberation Music Orchestra: Time/Life: Songs for the Whales & Other Beings
This is the final project involving bassist Charlie Haden, who died in 2014. LMO co-leader, composer and arranger Carla Bley made it a profound closer.
The Dave Stryker/Steve Slagle Band (Expanded): Routes
Omaha native and guitarist Stryker teams up with frequent collaborator, saxophonist Steve Slagle, to lead an octet of world-class musicians in a set of mostly original compositions.
Roberta Piket: One for Marian: Celebrating Marian McPartland
Pianist Piket, a friend and student of Marian McPartland’s, pays tribute with lovely interpretations of McPartland compositions.
Cory Henry: The Revival
Organist Cory Henry of the group Snarky Puppy, delivers a deeply moving performance of gospel, soul and jazz tunes. It includes a DVD of the concert.
Kendra Shank & Geoffrey Keezer: Half Moon: Live in New York
Singer Shank and pianist Keezer work beautifully together in this intimate house concert setting of originals and covers.
Charlie Hunter: Everybody Has a Plan Until They Get Punched in the Face
Hunter’s distinctive 8-string guitar takes on a harder, rocking edge in this set of original tunes, with a quartet also featuring cornet, trombone and drums.
Jane Ira Bloom: Early Americans
Soprano saxophonist Bloom is joined by bassist Mark Helias and drummer Bobby Previte on this progressive set of originals.
Top Jazz Performances of 2016 (Lincoln and Omaha)
Gregory Porter, Holland Center, Omaha, Feb. 4
Group Sax, Vega, Lincoln, Feb. 5
The Brubeck Brothers, Holland Center, Omaha, Feb. 26
Nebraska Jazz Orchestra with Doc Severinsen, Lied Center, April 16
Kevin Eubanks, Holland Center, Omaha, May 20
Nebraska Jazz Orchestra with Rich Perry, Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, Sept. 8
Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, Holland Center, Omaha, Dec. 2
Nebraska Jazz Orchestra with Marquis Hill, Cornhusker Hotel, Lincoln, Dec. 15
Other Top Performances of 2016 (Lincoln and Omaha)
Peter Case, Reverb Lounge, Omaha, Feb. 14
Dave and Phil Alvin, Zoo Bar, Lincoln, March 3
Pablo Ziegler, Lied Center, Lincoln, March 31
James McMurtry, Vega, Lincoln, June 10
Bob Dylan and Mavis Staples, Pinewood Bowl, Lincoln, June 22
Dale Watson / Lee Fields / The Derailers / Nikki Hill, Zoo Fest, Lincoln, July 8-9
Bonnie Raitt and Richard Thompson, Pinewood Bowl, Lincoln, Sept. 6
Nikki Hill Band, Zoo Bar, Lincoln, Sept. 21
Emmylou Harris, Steve Earle and Buddy Miller, ococo Theater, Lincoln, Oct. 9
Earl & Them, Zoo Bar, Lincoln, May 5 and July 29
Tom Ineck hosts “Night Town” every Thursday from 8:30-10 p.m. on KZUM. Listen to recently archived episodes via Radio Free America.