Friday, July 28, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Singer Maysa (pictured), who will perform as part of the Gateway Jazz Festival on Saturday at Chesterfield Amphitheater, was interviewed about her new album by the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* Miss Jubilee was profiled for St. Louis magazine by Thomas Crone.

* Drummer Kevin Bowers has posted to Facebook a photo album from his recent performance at Missouri Botanical Garden.

* Electronic musician Walter Whitney's latest project is the subject of a short feature story from the Riverfront Times' Christian Schaeffer.

* Saxquest has announced that they're adding some new services in conjunction with the grand opening on Saturday, August 12 of their new Maryland Heights location at 2614 Metro Blvd, near the I-270/Dorsett Rd interchange.

The new Saxquest Woodwind Teaching Institute will offer lessons for players of all ages and levels, from beginner to advanced, at both the west and Cherokee St locations.

The retailer also is beginning a new rental program this fall, for the first time offering rentals on clarinets and saxophones, including their own Saxquest brand instruments.

Lastly, the store will present the second annual Saxquest Expo on Saturday, November 11, at the Sheraton Westport Chalet in Westport Plaza, featuring representatives from major manufacturers showcasing instruments, mouthpieces, and accessories for all woodwind instruments.

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Jazz this week: Gateway Jazz Festival, Ptah Williams, Emily Wallace, and more

Due to some temporary time constraints and computer-related difficulties here at StLJN HQ, this week's survey of upcoming live jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis may be a day later than usual, but there still are shows worth noting, so let's go straight to the highlights...

Thursday, July 27
This week's performance wrapping up the Jazz at Holmes "Jazz in July" series of free concerts at Washington University will feature a trio with pianist Ptah Williams, drummer Stephen Haake, and bassist Jacob Zengerling.

Also on Thursday, percussionist Joe Pastor breaks out his vibes to lead a trio at The Dark Room; guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran's Guerrilla Swing will play at Joe's Cafe & Gallery; and this month's edition of the Bruxism experimental music series, with GristleMcThornbody, ChelseaGray and AVPlug, will be presented at Schlafly Brewery & Tap Room

Friday, July 28
Singer Emily Wallace, accompanied by the Funky Butt Horns, will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Wallace (pictured, bottom left), who is making her debut as a headliner at the Bistro, is best known as part of the folk/Americana duo The Sleepy Rubies, in which she sings with her sister Ali Ruby, and has made guest appearances on various Funky Butt Brass Band gigs.

Also on Friday, singer Erin Bode will perform outside the St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park before the museum's film series screens Alfred Hitchcock's To Catch a Thief. Both the concert and the film are free and open to the public. 

Saturday, July 29
The Gateway Jazz Festival at Chesterfield Amphitheater will present a day-long bill of acts including Pieces of a Dream (pictured, top left); singer Maysa; saxophonist Najee; the "Gateway Jazz All-Stars" with saxophonist Steve Cole, guitarist Nick Colionne, and keyboardist Brian Simpson; guitarists Chieli Minucci, Steve Oliver and Chris Standring; bassist Julian Vaughn; and saxophonist Tim Cunningham. You can see video samples of the performers in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, Latin jazz/salsa band El Caribe Tropical will be staging a reunion gig at Club Viva.

Sunday, July 30
The Usual Suspects Trio will perform for brunch at The Dark Room while Miss Jubilee plays at Evangeline's. Later that afternoon, the Folk School of KDHX will present their monthly traditional jazz jam session.

Monday, July 31
Trumpeter Jim Manley plays for diners at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, August 1
Rhythms of the Caribbean plays a free outdoor concert at Lucier Park in the Skinker-DeBaliviere neighborhood.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Session: July 23, 2017

John Coltrane
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* This conch shell trumpet would be heard far and wide in the ancient world (Science)
* Portrait of a jazz player: Remembering John Coltrane (Greensboro News-Record)
* John Coltrane: Beyond the Holy Mountain (Jazzwise)
* Marking the Death of John Coltrane, Through the Poetry of Amiri Baraka (WBGO)
* John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' Is Still a Masterpiece After 50 Years (Newsweek)
* Alice Coltrane: “The Gifts God Gave Him” (Jazz Times)
* The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music (GQ)
* Where To Start... John Coltrane - Celebrating the work of a saxophone and spiritual giant (
* Spotify Is Accused Of Creating Fake Artists — But What Is A Fake Artist? (NPR)
* Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 1-4 (
* In New Orleans, There's A Piece Of Music History Around Every Corner (NPR)
* SoundCloud tries to allay fears, but streaming needs a business model (
* On a scale of Monkees-to-Gorillaz, how should we evaluate fictional music? (Washington Post)
* Take a Cruise With Music’s Uncoolest People (
* Can't Prog Rock Get Any Respect Around Here? (NPR)
* Fireside Chat: Wadada Leo Smith (
* 'It's like a Miles Davis trumpet solo': 'Swinging' birds are caught singing off-beat like jazz musicians (Daily Mail)
* Bill Laswell: Four Strings, Zero Limits (Premier Guitar)
* REPORT: Val Wilmer - The Wire Salon at Cafe Oto (London Jazz News)
* A Water Tank Turned Music Venue (The New Yorker)
* These super cool pictures show Frank Sinatra at his best in 1960s Miami (
* Thelonious Monk's surreally strange and spartan genius gets its due (The Guardian)
* UCSD jazz haters prompt Brian Ross to move on (San Diego Reader)
* The Poetics of Jazz (The Nation)
* The Nels Cline Show (
* Jazz Legend Herbie Hancock Tells Us How He Wound Up In the Sci-Fi Epic 'Valerian' (
* Art Ensemble of Chicago Reunites in Norway (DownBeat)
* The 75 Moments That Defined the Decade in Music (So Far) (Billboard)
* 'Here Come The Girls'... Again (NPR)
* Editorial: Kansas City government can’t keep bailing out American Jazz Museum (Kansas City Star)
* Welcome to Moonlight Rollerway, Where Nothing Has Changed Since 1956 (

Saturday, July 22, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Previewing the Gateway Jazz Festival

When commercial radio abandoned smooth jazz as a format a few years back, the audience for the music played on those stations didn't just disappear, and neither did the musicians who played it.

And while St. Louis never had what you'd call a surfeit of live smooth jazz shows, even when the format was at its peak, the limited number of such bookings that previously existed - at the Pageant, at local casinos, and occasionally at other venues like long-departed Finale - has dwindled off in recent years to almost nothing. That would seem to represent a potential business opportunity for someone able to reunite an under-served audience with the musicians they enjoy.

Enter Summerset Jazz LLC, an Alabama-based production company that is presenting the Gateway Jazz Festival* next Saturday, July 29 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Apparently modeling their St. Louis event on the Music City Jazz Festival, which they've presented for the past two years in Nashville, the company has put together a day-long bill of acts, headed by saxophonist Najee and singer Maysa, and featuring a number of other names familiar to smooth jazz fans.

To help give you an idea of what to expect, today StLJN has compiled videos of all the featured performers. They're presented here in alphabetical order, starting up above with a set from saxophonist Steve Cole and guitarist Nick Colionne, recorded when they teamed up for a gig in May of this year at Pizza Express in London.

After the jump, you can see Maysa performing "Inside My Dream" in May 2016 at the KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival in Mission Viejo, CA.

Next it's guitarist Chieli Minucci with his band Special EFX in 2016 at Long Beach Jazz Fest, delivering a surprisingly faithful version of the Allman Brothers Band's "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed."

That's followed by a full set of Najee, recorded in July 2016 in Riviera Beach, FL; and then a clip of guitarist Steve Oliver doing "Soul Deep" in a performance recorded at the Carvin guitar factory in San Diego.

The veteran duo Pieces of a Dream is next, seen here performing "Fo-Fi-Fo" in October 2016 at the Catalina JazzTrax Festival in California.

Then it's keyboardist Brian Simpson, performing his song "WWonderland" at the 2017 Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival in Spain; guitarist Chris Standring, playing "Oliver's Twist" in February 2017 at Pizza Express; and last, but not least, bassist and Kansas City native Julian Vaughn doing his showcase "Ju Ju's Groove" at a show in May in Houston, TX.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

*Not to be confused with the identically named event presented in recent years over the Labor Day weekend by the St. Louis Jazz Club.

Friday, July 21, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Drummer Montez Coleman (pictured) was interviewed by St. Louis magazine's Erin Williams in advance of his performances tonight and Saturday night at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Saxophonist Karl Denson talked with the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson for a brief feature story. Denson and his band Tiny Universe perform tonight at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Emanuel Harrold, who's been part of singer Gregory Porter's band for the past few years, is set to release his first recording as a leader this fall, and is getting advance promotion from and for his song "Luv Hurt" and from for "Special Time."

* The website Sound of StL has a review with photos of The People's Key's recent performance at The Stage at KDHX.

* Euclid Records is looking to hire a "tech savvy music fan" who is "familiar with the workings of Excel, web design, E-Commerce as well as eBay, Amazon and Discogs." They're accepting resumes dropped off at the store or by email at

* Pianist Peter Martin has a new post up at, advising aspiring keyboard players on "The One Scale You Should Be Practicing Every Day."

* Trumpeter and Webster Groves native Ally Hany, who recently completed a master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music, announced in a post on Facebook that she's joining the Air Force Band of the Golden West. After completing basic training, Hany will be stationed at Travis Air Force Base in the San Francisco Bay area.

* The musical instrument and accessories manufacturer D'Addario has announced a free support program for instrumental music teachers called the D’Addario Education Collective, offering discounts on products, access to educational resources, and more. You can get details and sign up here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jazz this week: Samora Pinderhughes,
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the local debut of a much-talked-about young pianist and composer, the return of one of the jam-band circuit's funk-jazz favorites, and more.

Let's go to the highlights....

Wednesday, July 19
Drummer Kevin Bowers will reconvene the large cast of his Brazilian-influenced, imaginary-movie-soundtrack project NOVA in a free concert for the Missouri Botanical Garden's Whitaker Music Festival

Elsewhere around town, though the Curtain Call Lounge has withdrawn from the "Grand Center Jazz Crawl," - apparently permanently, according to StLJN's source - the event goes on as usual, with live jazz and no cover charge at three locations in the district. 

This week, you can hear guitarist Tom Byrne and keyboardist Nathan Jatcko this week at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe; the jam session with bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at Kranzberg Arts Center; and two separate shows at The Dark Room at the Grandel Theatre, with saxophonist Lew Winer playing from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday July 20
Pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes (pictured, top left) with special guest trumpeter Christian Scott will perform at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

NPR devoted an episode of "Jazz Night in America" earlier this year to Pinderhughes' debut recording The Transformations Suite, and this will be his first St. Louis gig as a bandleader, playing music "inspired by" the soundtrack he wrote for the documentary film Whose Streets?. For more about Pinderhughes, and his socially-conscious brand of jazz, plus the complete Transformations Suite and some other performances on video, see this post from last Saturday

Also in the Grand Center district, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Broadway Open Mic," temporarily relocated to The Stage at KDHX; and saxophonist Ben Reece’s Unity Quartet will perform at The Dark Room.

Elsewhere around town, the Funky Butt Brass Band will play a free show outside the St. Louis Public Library downtown, and drummer Maurice Carnes leads a group featuring Dallas pianist Myles Tate in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Friday, July 21
Saxophonist Karl Denson's Tiny Universe returns for an early-evening outdoor show at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion. Though the heat is expected to be stifling, expect a big audience of young fans ready to party with Denson's crowd-friendly grooves.

For a look at what Denson and Tiny Universe (pictured, bottom left) have been up to since they were in St. Louis a year ago, check out this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also on Friday, drummer Montez Coleman celebrates his birthday with the first of two nights of shows at Jazz at the Bistro. He'll be joined by a band including Adaron Pops Jackson (organ), Adam Maness (piano), Eric Slaughter (guitar), Jason Swagler (alto sax), and Ben Wheeler (bass), with Anita Jackson singing on Friday night and Brian Owens on Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran will play a free show at Ritz Park on South Grand; singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black return to The Wolf in Ballwin; and Wack-A-Doo will play swing, vintage jazz and Americana at Evangeline's.

Saturday, July 22
Dizzy Atmosphere returns to Missouri Botanical Garden for another "Garden of Glass" event; The WirePilots will have multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman as their special guest for a performance at the Webster Groves Concert Hall; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to the Venice Cafe.

Sunday, July 23
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents the St. Louis Stompers in a matinee performance at the Moolah Shrine Center, and Community Women Against Hardship's summer benefit at Ferring Jazz Bistro will feature Detroit-based saxophonist Yancyy with an ensemble including singer Anita Jackson, pianist Tony Suggs, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Montez Coleman.

Monday, July 24
Trumpeter Jim Manley will play for diners and drinkers at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, July 25
Pianist Pat Joyce returns to Evangeline's, and saxophonist "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will be back for their monthly gig at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Sunday Session: July 16, 2017

Tony Allen
Here's the weekly roundup of various music-related items of interest that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Stream-ripping is 'fastest growing' music piracy (BBC)
* Record Rendezvous: Cleveland cradle of rock 'n' roll sits empty, awaits new life (photos) (
* Mulatu Astatke’s “Ethiopia” Is A Love Letter To His Homeland (
* Here’s what happened the last time audio producers got better data (
* Ornette Coleman Takes Flight Again, in Music and Film, This Week at Lincoln Center (WBGO)
* Esperanza Spalding: Jazz Musician, Grammy Award Winner and Now Museum Curator (Smithsonian)
* Kansas City's American Jazz Museum Should Belong To The Entire City, Officials Say (KCUR)
* Lady Gaga's Trumpet Player on 'Insane' Gig With Stevie Wonder, Rose Bar Residency & 'Making It' in NYC (Billboard)
* No Heroes: Lester Bangs on Stage (
* Producers Rejoice: Legal Sampling Is Now As Easy As Online Shopping (Video) (
* Newark Sings a New Tune on Road To Revival (Wall Street Journal)
* Original Dixie Dregs Announce Reunion (
* 6 Nina Simone Songs Brilliantly Sampled by Rappers (
* Spotify denies it’s playlisting fake artists. So why are all these fake artists on its playlists? (
* So… who’s actually behind Spotify’s fake artists? (
* Why Spotify’s fake artists problem is an Epidemic. Literally. (
* A Lot of Noise on Spotify (
* Women of Jazz: Stream a Playlist of 91 Recordings by Great Female Jazz Musicians (
* This Woman Has Engineered Pop’s Biggest Recent Hits, from ‘Melodrama’ to ‘1989’ (
* For Chamber Music in Silicon Valley, Hoodies and Haydn Don’t Mix (KQED)
* The Crate Crisis: How the Used Vinyl Market is Changing (
* Is the threat of a copyright lawsuit stifling music? (BBC)
* NEW AGE: jazz in 2017 (
* Diminuendo: Is Classical Music Journalism Fading to Silence? (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Afrobeat Drummer Allen’s Quartet Pays Tribute to Blakey at Poisson Rouge (DownBeat)
* What Can Listening to Nature Teach Us? (
* Mary Halvorson Pushes Jazz Guitar Into New Territory (Village Voice)
* SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time (
* The avant-garde jazz of Griot Galaxy (Detroit Metro Times)
* Rochester Jazz Fest Emphasizes Jazz at the Fascinating Fringes (DownBeat)
* Bria Skonberg: 5 songs that changed my life (
* 'A Pocketful Of Blues': Charles Lloyd On 'Passin' Thru' (NPR)
* Photos: 2017 North Sea Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* Q&A with Ethan Iverson: Addition through Subtraction (DownBeat)
* Power of the Mind: You Can Play This Instrument Using Just Your Thoughts (Newsweek)
* Van Morrison will salute his blues heroes on new album, 'Roll With the Punches' (Los Angeles Times)
* Robert Mugge’s 1986 film Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus to be rereleased (The Wire)
* The Emergence of A New Black Avant-Garde: Experimental Music and Text (
* Vijay Iyer: Taking Stock of the Ojai Music Festival Experience (
* The Story Behind the Surge in Vinyl Film Soundtracks (Paste)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Samora Pinderhughes, jazz, and justice

This week, StLJN's video spotlight is focused on pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes, who will be here in St. Louis to perform next Thursday, July 20 at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

A 25-year-old Juilliard graduate who grew up in Berkeley, CA and now lives in Harlem, Pinderhughes has toured with jazz artists including Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Branford Marsalis.

For his performance here, the pianist will lead a quartet with Scott, bassist Luques Curtis, and percussionist Mark Whitfield, Jr, playing music inspired by his soundtrack for the documentary Whose Streets?, which was co-directed and produced by St. Louis artist and activist Damon Davis (aka FarFetched).

Writing the soundtrack for a film about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the subsequent protests would seem to fit neatly with Pinderhughes' ongoing interest in multidisciplinary projects that address social issues, as exemplified by "The Transformations Suite," which has brought him to wide public attention since the release last November of his album of the same name.

A multi-media event combining music, words and visuals that took the composer/pianist five years to complete, "Transformations Suite" examines the history of oppression and protest throughout the African-American diaspora, connecting contemporary issues like social justice and prison reform with the history of "revolutionary movements of color."

"Transformations Suite" was the subject earlier this year of an episode of NPR's "Jazz Night in America," and you can see that recording, made at the Way Christian Center in Berkeley, in the first embedded window up above.

In addition to Pinderhughes, the ensemble includes his key collaborators Jeremie Harris, who performs the spoken word parts, and Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson, who sings lead vocals, along with Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Lucas Pino (tenor sax), Joshua Crumbly (bass), and Jimmy Macbride (drums).

After the jump, you can see an earlier performance of "Cycles," one segment of the "The Transformations Suite," recorded in May, 2016 at Joe's Pub in New York City. The ensemble features Pinderhughes, Jackson, Harris, Mulkerhar, Pino, and Macbride, plus the leader's younger sister Elena Pinderhughes on flute and vocals, Tony Lustig on baritone sax, and Clovis Nicolas on bass.

After that, there are a couple more videos demonstrating Pinderhughes' penchant for collaboration and socially relevant topics, as he performs "Black is the Color" with poet Jules Latimer and "For Those Lost" with singer Lalah Hathaway.

Finally, you can see a couple of clips of Pinderhughes playing other peoples' music. The penultimate video is a medley of "Cosmia" by Joanna Newsom and "Over There" by Derrick Hodge, recorded in 2013 at La Peña in Berkeley and featuring the Pinderhughes siblings, Jackson, Crumbly, and Macbride.

And for something completely different, the last video shows Pinderhughes as part of a group backing singer Claudia Acuna, recorded in 2015 as part of the NYC club Jazz Gallery's "Mentoring Series."

For more about Samora Pinderhughes, check out the recent coverage of him and his work from, CBC, and the Village Voice.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...