Sunday, September 24, 2017

Sunday Session: September 24, 2017

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

* Not Just Jazz: Inside Concord Music's Buying Spree (Billboard)
* Forget Carnegie Hall. Musicians rush to rural Colorado to play the Tank (Los Angeles Times)
* Have we reached peak Hans Zimmer? (The Guardian)
* How Fela Kuti Drummer Tony Allen Rediscovered His Jazz Roots (Rolling Stone)
* Marcus Miller: The Multi-Faceted Musician (Jazz Times)
* Monterey Jazz Festival 2017: Story of Some Grooves (Jazz Times)
* ‘Cash Me Outside’ Girl Signing Marks The Official Split of the Music Industry (
* We Are Never Getting Back Together: How Avoiding a Reunion Can Secure a Band’s Legacy (
* Ravi Coltrane brings ‘Love Supreme’ to SFJazz (San Jose Mercury News)
* Why the star of California Symphony’s next concert looks like vacuum cleaner (San Jose Mercury News)
* Mary Hallock Greenewalt’s Illuminated Music (
* Can Music Heal Trauma? Exploring the Therapeutic Powers of Sound (
* Remembering Grant Hart, 1961-2017 (City Pages)
* Concord Music Buys Savoy Label Group, Adding Jazz Recordings From Coltrane, Davis And Parker: Exclusive (Billboard)
* Harmonies That Welcomed Imagination—Remembering John Abercrombie (1944-2017) (New Music Box)
* Songs Of Discomposure: Quietus Writers Pick Their Most Disturbing Pieces Of Music (
* Ann Richards: Dreams Have a Way of Fading (Jazz Times)
* Trombone Shorty Is Big On New Orleans, Music Education & Rap (
* The 50 Best Jazz Singers Of All Time (
* 'An All-Around Musician': Steely Dan Guitarists Share Their Experiences of Working With Walter Becker (Billboard)
* Genres Blur & Swirl in Monterey’s ‘Big Tent’ (DownBeat)
* The Song That Never Ends: Why Earth, Wind & Fire's 'September' Sustains (NPR)
* Notes from the Custerdome: A Jazz Appreciation of Steely Dan (New Music Box)
* Deep Dive with Lewis Porter: The Inspiration(s) Behind John Coltrane's "Impressions" (WBGO)
* A Frank Zappa Hologram Is Going on Tour (Guitar World)
* Esperanza Spalding Talks Recording an Album in 77 Hours, Sexism in Music & Nicki Minaj (Billboard)
* Ageless Corea & Gadd Dazzle at Blue Note in NYC (DownBeat)
* Pete Turner, Photographer with an Eye for Color and an Ear For Jazz, Dies at 83 (WBGO)
* Soul Singer Charles Bradley Dies at 68 (Billboard)
* Charles Bradley Remembered: A Great Soul Man Who Found the Light in Darkness (Billboard)

Saturday, September 23, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Saxophonist & singer Grace Kelly to make St. Louis debut

This week, let's get acquainted via video with saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly, who will make her St. Louis debut with shows starting Wednesday, October 4 through Saturday, October 7 at Jazz at the Bistro.

While these will be her first performances in St. Louis, Kelly, 25, already is a music business veteran. She's performed in North America, South America, Europe and Asia, at venues including Carnegie Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Birdland, the Kennedy Center, Boston Symphony Hall, Jazz Standard, and Blues Alley in the USA, and at Ronnie Scott's, Duc des Lombard, Porgy & Bess, and more overseas, as well as major jazz festivals in Detroit, Newport, Montreal, Toronto, and elsewhere.

Born and raised in the Boston area, Kelly was something of a prodigy, releasing her first CD at age 12. During her teen years, she jammed with and befriended respected jazz elders like Phil Woods and Lee Konitz, both of whom wound up recording with her. Kelly earned her GED at 16 and went on to attend Berklee College of Music, graduating in 2011 when she was just 19. In all, she has recorded a total of ten albums as a leader, the most recent being 2016's Trying To Figure It Out, which finished second in the "Jazz Album of the Year" category in DownBeat's 2016 Readers Poll.

Touted as a potential crossover success, Kelly has gained wider exposure as a recurring guest performer with keyboardist Jon Batiste and the house band for CBS' The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and as a member of the house band for the NBC variety show Maya & Marty. She also recently was featured in a second-season episode of Amazon's cop show Bosch, playing herself and performing a song in a scene filmed at the Catalina Jazz Club in Los Angeles.

You can see and hear some recent samples of Kelly's playing and singing in today's videos, starting up above with "Lemons Make Lemonade," recorded in April of this year at the studios of public radio station KNKX in Tacoma, WA.

In this clip, and in the one of her funked-up version of the hymn "Amazing Grace" immediately after the jump, she's backed by her working band, which includes keyboardist Julian Pollack, bassist Julia Pederson, and drummer Ross Pederson.

The third video is a full set of Kelly and band recorded in August 2017 at the Cape Cod Jazz Festival in Massachusetts. Given that this set happened just a few weeks ago, it would seem to be a reasonable facsimile of what St. Louis listeners might expect when she gets here.

Kelly shows off a different look and sound in the fourth video, in which she guest-stars with the high-concept cover band Postmodern Jukebox on what's described as a "retro jazz version" of vocal group Fifth Harmony's 2015 pop hit "Worth It." While this sort of thing may raise a few eyebrows among the stodgiest jazz purists, it's an entertaining showcase for (at least some of) her skills that potentially could reel in some new fans.

In the fifth video, Kelly guest-stars on a episode of the web series Studio Jams for a version of the standard "Georgia On My Mind," recorded back in March 2016.

The final clip offers a glimpse of Kelly from earlier in her career. Recorded in 2012, it shows her sitting in on a set at Scullers Jazz Club in Boston with St. Louis' own David Sanborn, organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Byron Landham, playing Hank Crawford's "The Peeper" and the blues standard "Let The Good Times Roll."

For more about Grace Kelly, you can check out her 2016 interview with WGBH in Boston; the 2014 episode of Voice of America's Beyond Category that features her, and recent interviews with Las Vegas magazine and AFM's magazine International Musician.

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

Friday, September 22, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Jazz St. Louis will be live-streaming video of tonight's 7:30 p.m. set by Yellowjackets at Jazz at the Bistro.

The gig is the first of four this season at the Bistro that will be live-streamed to the public for free, and you can tune in via the Jazz St. Louis website, their Facebook page, or UStream.

* The Playhouse at Westport Plaza has booked the show An Unforgettable Nat "King" Cole Christmas for the 2017 holiday season. The musical, which stars Chicago actor Evan Tyrone Martin (pictured) and features "a festive cocktail of signature songs and yuletide favorites" associated with Cole, will run from Thursday, December 7 through Sunday, December 17.

* To help promote his upcoming release The Mugician - due out next Friday, September 29 via Legacy Recordings/ Mass Appeal Records - trumpeter Keyon Harrold created a playlist of favorite tracks for the music streaming service

* Improvising trombonist Steve Swell will present a lecture to the Washington University department of music at 4:00 p.m. Friday October 6 in the Music Classroom Building, room 102 on the Wash U campus.

Swell and his quintet, with pianist Dave Burrell, bassist William Parker, saxophonist Jameel Moondoc, and drummer Ches Smith, will perform in a concert sponsored by New Music Circle the next evening, Saturday, October 7, at The Stage at KDHX.

* Registration is open now for Fox Performing Arts Charitable Foundation's 8th annual St. Louis Teen Talent Competition. The competition is open to all high school students in the St. Louis metropolitan area, and offers more than $30,000 in college scholarships, cash awards, and prizes, plus performance opportunities for the participating teens.

The entry deadline for 2018 is December 1, 2017. For more information or to register, go to

* And speaking of local students, Music for Lifelong Achievement's annual drive gathering musical instruments for school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people in St. Louis starts next Monday, September 26. For more information about MFLA and how to donate, go here.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Jazz this week: Yellowjackets, Pangea, Greater St. Louis Hispanic Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the return of a jazz-fusion favorite; a weekend of Latin jazz and salsa at a free outdoor festival, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, September 20
Jazz-fusion band Yellowjackets (pictured, top left) opens a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Although Jazz St. Louis at this writing is describing the shows as "almost sold out," a few tickets remain; call the box office for availability.  For those that can't make it in person, video of the set at 7:30 p.m. Friday will be streamed live on the Jazz St. Louis website and Facebook page and on UStream.

Thursday, September 21
Saxophonist Freddie Washington leads a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and saxophonist Harvey Lockhart will perform at The Dark Room.

Friday, September 22
Percussionist Herman Semidey and Orquestra Son Montuno will play salsa, Latin jazz, and more at the Greater St Louis Hispanic Festival, a free event running through Sunday at Soulard Park; and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar

Saturday, September 23
Pangea,"a contemporary world music band" featuring composer/multi-instrumentalists Hong Wang and Albert Chang, plays at the Touhill Performing Arts Center; singer Erin Bode will perform at Missouri Baptist University's Pillsbury Chapel Fine Arts Center; and Chicago Latin Groove (pictured, bottom left) provides the soundtrack for the evening at the Hispanic Festival.

Sunday, September 24
Jazz brunch possibilities for the day include Miss Jubilee at Evangeline's and drummer Montez Coleman and friends at The Dark Room; and later that afternoon, the Folk School of KDHX will present their monthly "Traditional Jazz Jam Session." 

Monday, September 25
Bassist Ben Wheeler leads a quartet in a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

Tuesday, September 26
Farshid Etniko will present their brand of multi-ethnic fusion in a free outdoor concert for the Missouri History Museum's "Twilight Tuesdays" series

 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, September 17, 2017

Sunday Session: September 17, 2017

Linda May Han Oh
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Mapping The Vast Influence Of Holger Czukay, Alchemist Of Krautrock Legends Can (NPR)
* Lisa Fischer: From Back to Front (Jazz Times)
* What Would the Next Golden Record Carry? (The Atlantic)
* A Conversation with Mark Turner / Ben Ratliff (
* Walter Becker, Glenn Frey, and a Sobering Realization About Dad Rock (
* Designing a world of immersive sound (
* The Music Industry Bands Together to Finally Get Paid Online (Wired)
* Bokanté: Blues & Roots (Jazz Times)
* Esperanza Spalding's 'Exposure': A Creative Marathon, Live In The Studio (NPR)
* A New Mural Rising to Honor John Coltrane (WRTI)
* Tokyo Jazz Joints: Capturing An Old Love Story (
* Blue Note All-Stars Present Their ‘Point Of View’ (
* Toronto: Eric Clapton on Rock Music Now: "Maybe the Guitar Is Over" (Hollywood Reporter)
* Photos: Chicago Jazz Festival 2017 (Jazz Times)
* Inside the Americana Genre's Identity Crisis (Rolling Stone)
* Ambitious Rhode Island music fest ends in chaos (Boston Globe)
* Norah Jones' NYC Residency Reveals the Best Contradictions of the Singer/Songwriter's Career (Paste)
* The Most Expensive Music of Today Is Recorded on Mediums from the Past (Robb Report)
* The Right Music Can Change How Your Date Sees You, Say Scientists (
* These are the biggest pop songs to sample classical music in the last 25 years (
* Interview: Linda May Han Oh (Monterey County Weekly)
* Sun Ra in Sin City (
* 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival (
* Musicals back in vogue, and business, as genre lights up Broadway and TV (The Guardian)
* Musician Fred Hersch Recounts A Life 'In And Out Of Jazz' In His New Memoir (NPR)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2017 jazz preview, part four

Here's the fourth and final part of of StLJN's Fall 2017 jazz preview, featuring videos of jazz and creative music performers who will be visiting St. Louis in the next several months. (You can see part one here, part two here, and part three here.)

Picking up the chronology at the point when part three left off, today's first video features trumpeter and East St. Louis native Russell Gunn, who will be coming back home to perform Wednesday, November 15 through Saturday, November 18 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Gunn's "Blackhawk Revisited" band celebrates Miles Davis' sound at the turn of the 1960s, as exemplified by the box set In Person Friday and Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, recorded in 1961 at the Black Hawk nightclub in San Francisco.

On hand to lend authenticity to the proceedings will be Jimmy Cobb, the octogenarian drummer who played on the original Blackhawk dates and is the only musician from Davis' landmark album Kind of Blue still living. This video was recorded last October at Dizzy's in New York, and features Gunn, Cobb and bandmates Morgan Guerin (tenor sax), Kevin Bales (piano), and Corcoran Holt (bass) doing a full set of the Blackhawk material.

After the jump, it's singer Jane Monheit, who will perform Wednesday, November 29 though Saturday, December 2 at the Bistro. She's seen here singing "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" in May 2016 at the studios of KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma, WA.

The third clip features Battle Trance, the all-tenor-sax quartet who will be presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, December 2 at The Luminary. It's a video of the title track from their album Blade of Love, as performed in January at the Vandoren Studio in Los Angeles.

Next, it's pianist and singer Freddy Cole, seen here performing "Songs for Lovers" in February 2017 at Dizzy's. Cole and his band, with guest saxophonist Harry Allen, will be in St. Louis starting Wednesday, December 6 through Saturday, December 9 at Jazz at the Bistro.

That same weekend, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra will make their St. Louis debut with a holiday-themed show called "Salsa Navidad" on Friday, December 8 at Sheldon Concert Hall. The sixth video depicts highlights from that show, as performed last year at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

The penultimate video features vocal group Take 6, who will be back to perform starting Wednesday, December 13 through Saturday, December 16 at the Bistro. You can see them here singing "Stand By Me" and "Straighten Up and Fly Right," as recorded in August at the studios of Hawaii Public Radio. 

Last but not least, it's actor, singer, and Belleville native Lea DeLaria, who will perform her cabaret show on Wednesday, December 27 and Thursday, December 28 at Jazz at the Bistro. She's seen in the final video doing an impromptu version of "Since I Fell For You" last October at an NYC spot called the Duplex.

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

Friday, September 15, 2017

MFLA's musical instrument drive for local students starts Monday, September 25

Do you have an old, unused, or extra musical instrument taking up space in the basement, garage or spare room? If so, consider donating it to Music for Lifelong Achievement (MFLA).

MFLA is a local not-for-profit organization based at the Sheldon Concert Hall that collects used and new musical instruments and donates them to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people. Since its inception, MFLA has provided nearly 600 instruments to music students all over the St. Louis area.

This year's MFLA instrument drive will begin on Monday, September 25 and continues through Sunday, October 29.

There are two ways to help: by giving a musical instrument, or giving cash. Selected St. Louis-area Starbucks stores once again will serve as drop-off locations for used and new musical instruments during the drive. The donated instruments then will be repaired, if needed, and distributed to students who otherwise would not be able to afford an instrument. Donors get a letter documenting the value of the instrument for tax deduction purposes.

If you don’t have an instrument to donate, MFLA also happily accepts cash contributions, which are used to help pay for necessary repairs of donated instruments and provide accessories such as strings, reeds, and sheet music. These donations also are tax deductible. For more information or to make a donation, call The Sheldon at 314-533-9900 or visit

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was interviewed about his forthcoming album The Mugician by Billboard magazine.

* Last Saturday's Alton Wine and Jazz Festival, which was headlined by Harrold, was the subject of a feature story from the Alton Riverbender's Steven Spencer.

* In other Harrold family news, drummer Emanuel Harrold (pictured), who's Keyon's younger brother, was interviewed by Tony Minvielle of the UK online radio station Jazz FM

* The Brothers Lazaroff promoted their gigs this weekend at Jazz at the Bistro with an appearance on the morning news at KTVI - FOX 2.

* Multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris was interviewed about his score for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ presentation of Blow, Winds by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn.

The production, a re-imagining of King Lear written by Nancy Bell, will be performed at 8:00 pm nightly starting Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17 outside of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library Branch downtown.

* Saxophonist Donny Piela of the St. Louis Big Band was profiled by the Washington Missourian.