Monday, May 9
The "post-rock" band Tortoise, who mix up a half-dozen genres or more in their mostly instrumental music, will play at the The Ready Room. The Chicago-based group (pictured, bottom left) is touring in support of their first new album in seven years, The Catastrophist, that was released in January.
Also on Monday, saxophonist Doug Webb, a veteran of many movie and TV soundtrack sessions in Los Angeles studios who's also enjoyed a long association with trumpeter Doc Severinsen, will present a free performance and workshop at Saxquest.
Tuesday, May 10 Doug Webb will perform again with Saxquest's Little Big Band at the Tavern of Fine Arts, and pianist "Ragtime" Jack Radcliffe, a Massachusetts-based performer specializing in stride, pre-WWII blues, and yes, ragtime, will play at a one-nighter at Evangeline's.
(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.)
Since saxophonist and composer Henry Threadgill recently won the 2016 Pulitzer Prize for music for his composition "In for a Penny, In for a Pound," this seems like an opportune Music Education Monday to share with StLJN readers a video master class with him.
Threadgill, 72, is a Chicago native who's been creating innovative music since the 1970s with a variety of ensembles, notably the trio Air with bassist Fred Hopkins and drummer Steve McCall; Very Very Circus; the seven-member Sextett; the Society Situation Dance Band; his current group, Zooid; and several others.
An original member of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), Threadgill (pictured) also has written music for orchestra, solo instruments, chamber ensembles, and theatre, and has released more than 30 albums as a leader or co-leader.
You can see the master class, recorded in June 2014 at the Creative Music Studio Workshop in Big Indian, NY, in the embedded video window below.
Also, just below the embed of the master class, there's a bonus video featuring an hour-long interview with Threadgill conducted a couple of years ago for the Library Of Congress, in which he discusses his upbringing in Chicago, the AACM, his experience in Vietnam, the music of his groups Air and Zooid, and his approach to composition and improvisation.
It's the start of a new month, and so that means it's time once again to check in on STLJN's sibling site Heliocentric Worlds, where each day, there's posted a new online music video, drawing from genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk, classic rock, prog rock, experimental and more.
The five most-watched videos added to the site last month were:
Other recent posts have featured John Tchicai & Ascension Unending, Anthony Braxton Quartet, Medeski, Martin and Wood, Ian Carr's Nucleus, Art Pepper, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, The Rolling Stones, Stevie Wonder, Galactic, Bonnie Raitt, Johnny Winter, Tom Harrell Quintet, Jimi Hendrix, Thad Jones-Mel Lewis Orchestra, Pinetop Perkins, Los Lobos, Fast 'n Bulbous, Fats Domino, Zawinul Syndicate with John McLaughlin, Abdullah Ibrahim, Buddy Rich, Oregon, Eddie Palmieri, Zoot Sims, and Flora Purim & Airto Moreira.
Chestnut has been a frequent visitor to St. Louis over the last decade-plus, most recently serving as the pianist for the all-star band assembled for the "Jazz St. Louis at 20" celebration last fall at Jazz at the Bistro. He also has co-headlined at the Bistro with guitarist Russell Malone, and has led his own band there on several occasions. Yet somehow he's never been in StLJN's video spotlight before, an omission that this post now rectifies with a sampling of recent performances by the pianist and his trio.
Now 53 years old, Chestnut grew up in Baltimore and graduated from Berklee College of Music. He served an early career apprenticeship in the bands of Jon Hendricks, Terrence Blanchard, Donald Harrison, Betty Carter, and, briefly, Wynton Marsalis. In the ensuing years, Chestnut also has performed and/or collaborated on record with many other well-known musicians and singers, including Freddy Cole, Bette Midler, Freddie Hubbard, Jimmy Scott, Isaac Hayes, Kevin Mahogany, Christian McBride, Kathleen Battle, Vanessa L. Williams, Brian McKnight, Manhattan Transfer, and the Boys' Choir of Harlem.
As a leader, Chestnut has released 17 albums, the most of recent of which was 2015's A Million Colors in Your Mind on the Highnote label. A versatile player with plenty of keyboard chops, he has a sound rooted in gospel and blues, yet also is known to deploy more than occasionally the sort of melodic and harmonic digressions associated with Oscar Peterson and especially Art Tatum.
So, it's probably not a coincidence that the tune Chestnut is playing in the first video up above - "Brotherhood of Man" from the 1960s musical How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying - entered the jazz repertoire thanks to a very successful recording made by Peterson's trio (with guest trumpeter Clark Terry). This version, recorded last year at Shanghai Jazz in New Jersey, clearly draws some inspiration from Peterson, even as Chestnut does his own thing.
After the jump, you can see Chestnut perform the standard "I've Never Been in Love Before," recorded at the same Shanghai Jazz gig. Below that, there are performances recorded last year in Cuernavaca, México of Chestnut's original "Ami's Dance" and a version of Lionel Richie's 1980s pop hit "Hello."
Those two clips are followed by a full set from a concert by Chestnut's trio last year at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME. The final video features Chestnut in an episode of the Voice of America's program Beyond Category, being interviewed and playing with his trio.
You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...