Wednesday, January 16, 2019

Jazz this week: Donny McCaslin; Lea Bertucci & Sarah Davachi; Brian Blade & John Patitucci in "Winter Jazz Festival"; and more

Though the weather forecast for this weekend is looking a bit dicey, the calendar of upcoming live jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis provides a number of good reasons to get out of the house, including the return engagement of a top tenor saxophonist; a double-bill of experimental composer-performers making their local debuts; and a benefit event featuring a stellar lineup of touring and local musicians.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 16
Saxophonist Donny McCaslin returns for the first of five nights of performances continuing through Sunday at Jazz St. Louis.

McCaslin (pictured, top left) in October released his latest album Blow, which features the same band he led  accompanying David Bowie on Bowie's final album Blackstar, plus guest vocalists.

The recording has earned generally positive reviews, with Rolling Stone's Hank Steamer praising the band's choice to "step boldly into hybrid, tough-to-classify musical terrain, grafting their trademark sleek, emotive electrojazz onto lush, proggy art rock."

Though McCaslin will have a different lineup of musicians in St. Louis,  it seems likely that he'll include at least some of the material from Blow in his sets here, which should provide some interesting opportunities for contrast with the recorded versions of those tunes.

Also on Wednesday, pianist Jim Hegarty leads a trio at Evangeline's, and this week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features multi-instrumentalist TJ Muller and friends at The Stage at KDHX, the weekly jam session led by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor and his band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, January 17
Saxophonist Tim Cunningham brings his smooth jazz and R&B sounds to The Laugh Lounge STL, and guitarist Vincent Varvel leads a trio at The Dark Room.

Friday, January 18
Singer Erin Bode performs for the first of two nights at the Emerald Room at The Monocle; trumpeter Keith Moyer leads a quartet at Evangeline's; and the Second Generation Swing Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, 
January 19
New Music Circle presents electronic musician and composer Sarah Davachi and saxophonist and composer Lea Bertucci (pictured, bottom left) performing in separate sets at Link Auction Galleries in the Central West End.

Also on Saturday, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Brian Blade headline the "Winter Jazz Festival" at the Grandel Theatre. The event also will feature performances by Bach to the Future, violinist Tracy Silverman, guitarist Dave Black, keyboardists Jay Oliver, Mo Egeston, and Ptah Williams,  drummer Lucrezio de Seta, and multi-instrumentalist William Lenihan, with proceeds benefiting the Dillon International adoption agency.

Sunday, January 20
Singer and guitarist Tommy Halloran plays for brunch at The Dark Room, and the St. Louis Jazz Club presents Annie and the Fur Trappers in a matinee performance at the Moolah Shrine Center.

Monday, January 21
Guitarist Tom Byrne leads a quartet in a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

Tuesday, January 22
Singer and bassist Janet Evra will play a "Notes From Home" concert at The Sheldon.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, January 13, 2019

Sunday Session: January 13, 2019

Roy Hargrove
Here's a roundup of various music-related items of interest that have shown up in one of StLJN's various inboxes or feeds over the past week:

* Vinyl and cassette sales saw double digit growth last year (TheVerge.com)
* How one designer created the “look” of jazz (Vox.com)
* A Guide To Blue Note: 10 Essential Albums You Must Hear (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* Musician performs highest ever classical concert on a grand piano in the Himalayas (iNews.co.uk)
* On Roy: The Jazz Gallery Speaks (JazzSpeaks.org)
* Dom Flemons Presents A New Image Of The American Cowboy (NPR)
* Blue Note's High Notes: The Jazz Label Celebrates 80 Years (Billboard)
 * No Color Photos of Jazz Singer Mildred Bailey Existed… Until Now (Smithsonian)
* A Mosaic of Music: Jazz Pianist, Composer, and Arranger Toshiko Akiyoshi (Nippon.com)
* Sun Ra: Never A Part Of This Planet (PleaseKillMe.com)
* ARP Founder Alan R. Pearlman Has Died (Synthtopia.com)
* SFJAZZ Celebrates Wayne Shorter (DownBeat)
* Universal Music Group Will Get New Owners This Year (Rolling Stone)
* Latin Music Is Now More Popular Than Country & EDM In America (Forbes.com)
* Woodstock Will Return This Summer, For Its 50th Anniversary (NPR)
* Roy Hargrove Tribute at Jazz at Lincoln Center: Common, Norah Jones, Wynton Marsalis & More Pay Homage to Late Trumpeter (Billboard)
* Drummer Alvin Fielder Dies at 83 (Jazz Times)
* Jazz at Lincoln Center Tribute Recalls Hargrove’s Big-Tent Approach (DownBeat)
* Best Kept Secret: Hear the First Song From a New Album by the Branford Marsalis Quartet (WBGO)
* How 1960s Pop Songs Helped Young Women Find Their Own Voices in a Time of Social Change (TIME)
* Bucket List Travels: 8 Music Museums Around The World (KEFWhat.com)
* Why Spotify Is Not A Music Company (Medium.com)
* Joey Calderazzo Bounces Back (DownBeat)
* Clarinetist Anat Cohen to Premiere New Concerto at Carnegie Hall (Jazz Times)
* Bill Evans “in” Paris “with” Gene Lees (Jazz Profiles)
* Joseph Jarman, 81, Dies; Mainstay of the Art Ensemble of Chicago (New York Times)
* Gary Clark Jr.’s New Song Is a Scathing Account of Trump-Era Racism (Rolling Stone)
* Motown: The Music that changed America (BBC)
* Remembering Urbie Green (1926-2018)(Jazz Times)
* Philip Glass Finishes His David Bowie Trilogy, Debuting His Lodger Symphony (OpenCulture.com)

Saturday, January 12, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Winter/spring 2019 jazz preview, part five



This week, it's time for part five of StLJN's winter/spring 2019 jazz preview, featuring videos of noteworthy jazz and creative music performers who will be coming to St. Louis in the next several months. You can see part one of the series here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.

Picking up where last week's installment left off, today's first video features drummer Mark Guiliana's quartet, who will be performing Wednesday, March 27 through Sunday, March 31 at Jazz St. Louis.

They can be seen in the first clip up above playing "From You" last March at the Blue Note Milano in Italy. Along with Guiliana, the band includes Chris Morissey on bass, Fabian Almazan on piano, and  Jason Rigby on tenor and soprano saxes.

After the jump, you can see pianist Ahmad Jamal, who will be here to perform on Saturday, March 30 for the annual benefit gala at the Sheldon Concert Hall. He's seen here playing "Autumn Leaves," as recorded in 2017 at the Palais des Congrès in Paris with bassist James Cammack, drummer Herlin Riley, and percussionist Manolo Badrena.

The following week, saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet will return for shows starting Tuesday, April 2 and continuing through Thursday, April 4 at Jazz St. Louis.

Marsalis, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis and drummer Justin Faulkner will be supporting the release of their first quartet album in nearly seven years, The Secret Between the Shadow and the Soul,  which is due out March 1 on OKeh Records. They're all seen in the second clip after the jump, playing "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" in November 2018 at the Teatro Coliseo de Buenos Aires.

After Marsalis and company complete their run, drummer Matt Wilson, trumpeter Ron Miles and saxophonist Jeff Coffin will conclude a week-long educational residency by joining forces for shows on Friday, April 5 and Saturday, April 6 at Jazz St. Louis.

Wilson can be seen in the next clip, playing with a group called Perfect Pitch Project and demonstrating some deft brush work on "Cute." That's followed by a video of Miles with Joshua Redman, Scott Colley and Brian Blade, aka the Old and New Dreams tribute band Still Dreaming, performing "Unanimity" in 2017 at Jazz in Marciac; and a clip of Coffin playing Horace Silver's "The Preacher" in March 2016 at the Nashville Jazz Workshop.

That same week, guitarist Toby Foyeh and Orchestra Africa will present a concert on Saturday, April 6 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Foyeh, the British-born son of Nigerian parents, mixes Afrobeat with jazz, rock and more, as you can see in the next-to-last video, which documents a good chunk of a set at the Fuji Rock Festival in Japan.

Today's final video features the Brad Mehldau Trio, who are set to perform Wednesday, April 10 through Sunday, April 14 at Jazz St. Louis. The clip of them playing "Highway Rider" was recorded by an an audience member last July at a festival called PianOstuni in Ostuni, Italy/

Look for part six of the winter/spring 2019 jazz preview next week in this space. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, January 11, 2019

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Drummer Kevin Bowers' band Nova's performance tonight at Winter Jazzfest in New York City was previewed in articles by Kevin Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Cara Wegener of Alive magazine.

* Trumpeter Miles Davis is the subject of a new children's book, Birth of the Cool: How Jazz Great Miles Davis Found His Sound by Kathleen Cornell Berman. Aimed at readers ages 8 to 12, the book (pictured) is scheduled for release on Tuesday, April 16.

* Jazz St. Louis is conducting an online survey of audience members, asking about their experiences of the venue, preferences for show times, and more. Anyone completing the questionnaire will be entered in a drawing for four free tickets to an upcoming performance, with two ticket packages to be awarded. If you'd like to take the survey, go here before end of business next Friday, January 18.

* Though The Dark Room has live music seven nights a week, the blog on their website has been devoted almost exclusively to describing the kitchen's daily/weekly specials - until now. Production manager Kevin Koehler announced this week that he'll be blogging about the various bands and musicians playing the room, starting with a look back at a Mo Egeston performance last September, which you can see here.

* HEC-TV has released online Gateway Sound, a new documentary about changing technology in the music industry that was directed by Justin Fisher, head audio engineer at SmithLee Productions.

* Webster University professor and department of music chair Jeffrey Carter is the new music director for Circus Harmony, the not-for-profit organization based at the City Museum that teaches circus skills to children and teens.

* St. Louisans may be mildly surprised to learn that a recent study named our town "the best city for nightlife in America." As reported by the Riverfront Times' Daniel Hill, the study by the magazine Apartment Guide based its rankings on "how many nightlife options were available per resident while excluding cities with a population of less than 100,000. Using those metrics, St. Louis' abundance of bars, breweries, clubs and music venues, coupled with our smaller population, sees us leading the pack with one nightlife-related business for every 1,143 people."

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Jazz this week: Support your local musicians

While there are no touring jazz or creative music performers visiting St. Louis in the next few days, you still can hear plenty of hometown musicians playing in a variety of styles at various spots around town. Here are a few suggestions...

Wednesday, January 9
This week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" includes bassist Glen Smith and friends at The Stage at KDHX, along with the weekly jam session hosted by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor (pictured, top left) and band at The Dark Room.

Also playing their regular Wednesday night gigs are Miss Jubilee at the Schlafly Bottleworks; guitarist Joe Park's trio at Yaquis on Cherokee, and trumpeter Jim Manley at Sasha's Wine Bar.

Thursday, January 10
Guitarist Dave Black and multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman perform at The Pat Connolly Tavern; pianist Eddie Randle Jr leads a trio at The Dark Room; and singer Joe Mancuso will be doing his weekly gig at 50/Fifty Kitchen.

Friday, January 11
Pianist Ptah Williams plays solo for happy hour at The Dark Room, followed by singer Anita Jackson performing for the late show.

Also on Friday, Falling Fences (pictured, bottom left) plays for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis. Known locally both for two well-received albums of original Americana material and for a Sunday night residency at McGurk's playing mostly Irish music, they'll present an expanded version of their usual five-piece lineup at the Bistro, adding Funky Butt Brass Band trumpeter Adam Hucke, saxophonist Charlie Cerpa, and multi-instrumentalist Paul Niehaus IV.

Based on that configuration of the band's show last August at Delmar Hall, listeners can expect to hear those original Americana tunes, with the addition of some horn arrangements plus expanded segments for solos on some songs.

Saturday, January 12
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents a mid-day jam session hosted by keyboardist Bob Row and drummer John Gillick at J P's Corner. Then on Saturday night, keyboardist Mo Egeston plays late night at The Dark Room.

Sunday, January 13
Singer and bassist Janet Evra provides the music for brunch at The Dark Room, and the Arcadia Dance Orchestra will play vintage jazz for a matinee show at Focal Point.

Monday, January 14
Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at The Shaved Duck.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, January 06, 2019

Sunday Session: January 6, 2019

Ron Carter
Here's a roundup of various music-related items of interest that have shown up in one of StLJN's various inboxes or feeds over the past week:

* A Jazz Conversation with Ted Gioia (Jazz Profiles)
* Ron Carter: Still Searching for the Right Notes (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Paul McCartney opens up about Abbey Road, the Beatles' breakup in wide-ranging interview (CBS News)
* The West Coast Jazz Revival (City Journal)
* Jeff Goldblum: Not a Hollywood Square (Jazz Times)
* Helen Sung: Words and Music (Jazz Times)
* These early Louis Armstrong recordings are among the flood of works now in the public domain (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
* New Orleans Is Not Coachella: Guest Editorial (Offbeat)
* Herbie Nichols’ Third World (WFIU)
* Jazz Musician Plays Acoustic Guitar While Undergoing Brain Surgery, Helping Doctors Monitor Their Progress (OpenCulture.com)
* The Price, Cost and Value of Digital Music (DownBeat)
* Is this the end of owning music? (BBC)
* Bill Charlap: Life, Love, Songs, and Pianos (Stereophile)
* DJ Art Laboe, 93, spins oldies to link inmates and family (Associated Press)
* Dickey Betts returns to performing following brain surgery (Sarasota Herald-Tribune)
* Album Sales Are Dying as Fast as Streaming Services Are Rising (Rolling Stone)
* How Soul Train became the most radical show on American television (DazedDigital.com)
* Blue Note “As Important As The Beatles Or Dylan” Says Don Was (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* Bootsy Collins Announces Retirement from Live Bass Playing (NoTreble.com)
* Carlos Santana Announces New EP, Signs to Concord Records (Jambands.com)
* 12 New Jazz Artists to Watch in 2019 (Paste)
* The Jazz Glories of 1959, One Day at a Time: A Conversation with Critic Natalie Weiner (WBGO)
* Green Book Director Peter Farrelly Defends Film Amid Criticism by Don Shirley’s Family (Vanity Fair)
* Spike Lee’s Secret Weapon For 30 Years: ‘BlacKkKlansman’ Composer Terence Blanchard (IndieWire.com)

Saturday, January 05, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Winter/spring 2019 jazz preview, part four



Today, it's part four of StLJN's winter/spring 2019 jazz preview, featuring videos of noteworthy jazz and creative music performers who will be coming to St. Louis in the first part of 2019. You can see part one of the series here, part two here, and part three here.

First up is a show that, chronologically speaking, should have been part of last week's post, but was left out due to a clerical error. That would be the upcoming appearance by trumpeter Jaimie Branch, cellist Fred Lonberg-Holm, and Ståle Liavik Solberg presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, February 9 at The Stage at KDHX.

Branch, a Chicago native who has gained international attention since moving to NYC a few years back, has her own working band, Fly or Die. But she's also played with a variety of other ensembles, including with Lonborg-Holm and Solberg (billed here as "The Party Knüllers") as seen in the first video up above, an excerpt from a show in June 2018 at Da Vinci Art Alliance in Philadelphia.

After the jump, we get back on schedule with Marilyn Maye, known as "the grand dame of cabaret," who will present her show "It's Better with a Big Band" on Wednesday, March 6 and Thursday, March 7 at Jazz St. Louis. The video is an excerpt from Maye's 90th birthday party (!) last April at Feinstein's/54Below in New York City, in which she sings "Guess Who I Saw Today" and "Fifty Percent."

Maye will be followed at Jazz St. Louis by another distinctive vocalist, Kurt Elling, who will check in for a five-night run at the Bistro starting Wednesday, March 13 and continuing through Sunday, March 17.

Elling can be seen in the second video after the jump singing the Julian Priester/Tommy Turrentine composition "Long As You're Living" at the International Jazz Day 2018 All-Star Global Concert in Saint Petersburg, Russia. Though he'll have his regular working band in St. Louis, here he's backed by a group including Branford Marsalis (tenor sax), Terri Lyne Carrington (drums), Antonio Farao (piano), and Ben Williams (bass).

That same week, New Music Circle will present flute player and composer Nicole Mitchell’s Liberation Narratives, featuring poet Haki Madhubuti, on Saturday, March 16 at Xavier Hall on the St. Louis University campus.

"Liberation Narratives" also is the title of Mitchell's 2017 album featuring Madhubuti, but since there doesn't seem to be any live-performance video of the two of them available online, the next clip offers a look at Mitchell, her Black Earth Ensemble, and poet Jamila Woods doing a set in 2017 at "Centennial Brooks," a gathering in Chicago of scholars, writers, musicians, and fans paying tribute to Gwendolyn Brooks, the first African-American poet to win the Pulitzer Prize.

Next up, it's guitarist Ralph Towner, who will be doing a solo performance on Wednesday, March 20 at Graham Chapel on the Washington University campus. Towner is featured in the fifth video playing his original composition "The Reluctant Bride."

Also on Wednesday, March 20, the eclectic ensemble MarchFourth will make their return to St. Louis with a show at the Old Rock House. You can see a representative example of their syncretic style, which draws on everything from marching bands to Afrobeat, jazz, rock and more, in the penultimate video, a mashup of The Doors' "Roadhouse Blues" and the JBs' "Doing It To Death" (misidentified as 'James Brown's "Funky Good Time"') recorded in 2017 at the Sioux Falls Jazz Fest in Iowa.

Today's final video feature singer Michael Bublé, who will be performing on Friday, March 22 at the Enterprise Center. While there's an argument to be made that Bublé at this juncture is more of a pop performer that a jazz singer, he still touches enough different stylistic bases to merit including a clip of him singing "Haven't Met You Yet," recorded in October 2018 on the Australian TV show Sunrise.

Look for part five of StLJN's winter/spring 2019 jazz preview next week in this space. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, January 04, 2019

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Guitarist Dave Black (pictured) and his "itti bitti Swing Orchestra" are the latest local musicians to record a video for the St. Louis Open Media Integration Center's "Songday Afternoon" series, with a clip of Black's original composition "See Ya at 5" posted to YouTube last week.

* The second half of New Music Circle's 60th season was previewed in an article in the West End Word.

* A celebration of the life of the late Michael Castro, St. Louis' first poet laureate and a member of the STL Free Jazz Collective, will be held from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Sunday, January 20 at Central Reform Congregation, 5020 Waterman in the Central West End.

* Shirley Harrold, mother of trumpeter Keyon Harrold and drummer Emanuel Harrold, passed away on Christmas Eve. The wake and funeral services were held this week on Wednesday and Thursday. Ms. Harrold and her experiences raising 16 children were featured last year in an article by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn. StLJN's condolences go out to the Harrold family.

* Beale on Broadway, the bar and music venue that has made up one third of the South Broadway "blues triangle" since the turn of the century, closed this week with final performances from singers Roland Johnson and Kim Massie. In a story in the Post-Dispatch, proprietor Bud Jostes said that he was forced to close when the Beale's landlords sold the building to new owners, adding that after some time off, he may eventually look for a new venue to run.