Sunday, June 24, 2018

Sunday Session: June 24, 2018

Eric Dolphy
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:

* Back in Swing: The Secret Subculture of Jazz Cafes (Japan Forward)
* The home of timeless music (CNet.com)
* George Clinton: ‘If people don’t like funk, it’s just the wrong time for them’ (The Guardian)
* Lorraine Gordon, 1922 — 2018 (EthanIverson.com)
* How Herbie Hancock Charted New Territory With ‘Empyrean Isles’ (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* This simple robot offers more cowbell (TechCrunch.com)
* Rutgers Acquires Count Basie Collection (Jazz Times)
* Gregg Allman's Son Devon Talks Carrying on the Family Legacy (Rolling Stone)
* Herbie Hancock Looks Back on Work with Indy Jazz Legends (Nuvo.net)
* Warner to Launch Elektra Music Group as Standalone Company (Variety)
* Nina Simone’s Childhood Home Named National Treasure (Pitchfork)
* 16 Years Late, $13B Short, but Optimistic: Where Growth Will Take the Music Biz (Redef.com)
* The Sound Of Silence: Female Composers At The Symphony (NPR)
* Eric Dolphy: Gone In The Air (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Systems Two Recording, A Prolific and Pivotal Studio in Brooklyn, Quietly Closes Its Doors (WBGO)
* Arturo Sandoval Features Pharrell, Grande and More on ‘Ultimate Duets’ (DownBeat)
* Clatskanie native Nate Wooley translated musical passion into thriving New York career (TDN.com)
* Revered Drummer Brian Blade Draws a Through-Line from Jazz to Gospel (KQED)
* Archaeologists Just Sifted Through the Woodstock '69 Festival Field (Billboard)
* Brötzmann Reflects on ‘Machine Gun’ as it Hits 50th Anniversary (DownBeat)
* Jazz Commentary: Greg Hopkins Big Band at Ryles — Whither Big Bands? (ArtsFuse.org)
* Crosscurrents: Converging Jazz And Indian Classical Music (NPR)
* A Lot of Energy—Remembering Cecil Taylor (1929-2018) (New Music Box)
* Meet the Italian composer who conducts the world’s biggest all-robot orchestra (KXXV)
* The Axe Murderer Who Loved Jazz (WBUR)
* Can You Measure How Good a Song Is? (New Republic)

Saturday, June 23, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The Grant Green Story



This week, we take a brief respite from previewing upcoming performances for a look at the recent documentary film The Grant Green Story.

Born in St. Louis in 1931, Green was a popular jazz guitarist in the 1960s and '70s, recording for Blue Note and other labels and playing most of the major venues of the era. He was just 43 years old when he died of a heart attack in 1979, leaving behind six children and a discography that included more than 100 sessions for Blue Note alone plus numerous other recordings.

Though Green's musical legacy was underappreciated for some time after his death, he was "rediscovered" in the 1990s, thanks in part to the short-lived "acid jazz" phenomenon, and, more importantly, from his work being sampled by hip-hop artists and producers including A Tribe Called Quest, Cypress Hill, Public Enemy, Eric B & Rakim, and most recently, Kendrick Lamar.

Directed by Charles F. Cirgenski and Sharony Green, who's the ex-wife of one of Green's sons, The Grant Green Story reveals details of Green's biography while it "follows the story of a son's search for his father," incorporating interviews with the likes of George Benson (who once called Green his favorite guitarist), Lou Donaldson, Blue Note recording engineer Rudy Van Gelder, St. Louis drummer Kenny Rice, and others.

The film was an official selection for the 2016 Harlem Film Festival, and also was shown at a selection of film festivals that year. Now that it's been released to YouTube, you can see it right here, starting with part one up above and continuing after the jump with parts two and three.

After that, you can see what seems to be the only footage of Green performing that's available online, recorded in October 1969 in Paris, France. Specifically, the fourth video is a set of music featuring Green in a trio setting, backed by bassist Larry Ridley and Don Lamond. In the fifth video, recorded as part of the same session, the trio is joined by guitarists Kenny Burrell and Barney Kessel for another short set.

These two clips document some of the music released for the first time earlier this year by Resonance Records on Funk In France: From Paris to Antibes (1969-1970), a 2 CD/3 LP set that also includes concert recordings Green at the 1970 Antibes Jazz Festival with a different band. At the same time, the label also released Slick! - Live at Oil Can Harry’s, another live recording of Green performing in 1975 at a popular club in Vancouver, BC Canada.

The final video is a promotional film put together by Resonance Records, which tells the story of how the masters were acquired and includes samples from the albums, plus some brief audio excerpts from an interview with Green.

For more about Grant Green, check out his page at the Blue Note Records site, the recent article about the Resonance albums from The New Yorker's Richard Brody, and this 1972 interview with Green, unearthed and republished in 2015.

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

Friday, June 22, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Singer and bassist Tonina Saputo (pictured) is the latest musician to be featured as one of NPR's 2018 "Slingshot" artists, in what's described as "a collective effort among taste-making music stations to introduce exceptional up-and-coming artists."

* A video of guitarist Dave Black performing his original composition "Still The Same" is the latest release in the St. Louis Open Media Integration Center's "Songday Afternoon" series.

* Trumpeter Russell Gunn has released another track from the forthcoming album by his Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, previewing “Sybil’s Blues” via a post on Revive Music.

* The LouFest music festival has announced its 2018 lineup, which includes trumpeter Keyon Harrold on the main stage, as well as a secondary stage featuring jazz musicians from the Kranzberg Arts Foundation's artists-in-residence program.

* Teenage piano phenom Royce Martin, who's headed for Berklee College of Music this fall, was profiled in a story by Art Holliday of KSDK.

* The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis has announced seven honorees for their 2019 St. Louis Arts Awards, and the group includes actor and singer Ken Page for "Lifetime Achievement in the Arts" and Chris Hansen of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation for "Arts Innovator." The awards will be presented at a celebratory dinner next January.

* Pianist Peter Martin's Open Studio Network has added another product to their line of instructional videos, as singer Dianne Reeves' new course "Define Your Voice" went online this week.

* The recently issued box set Miles Davis & John Coltrane—The Final Tour from Columbia/Legacy Recordings’ has inspired a feature story about the record and the tour from DownBeat's James Hale.

* Singer and pianist Diana Krall's performance last week at the Peabody Opera House was reviewed for the Post-Dispatch/STLtoday by Dan Duchholz. (Link may be paywalled)

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Jazz this week: L.A. Swing Barons, John Wiese, Chesterfield Jazz Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes something for almost every taste, with shows on tap featuring traditional jazz; big band swing; contemporary jazz-fusion; the music of John Coltrane; original works by local composers; and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, June 20
This week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session led by bassist  Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's band at The Dark Room.

Also on Wednesday, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Cabaret Open Mic" at its new location, Sophie's Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club in the .ZACK Building at 3224 Locust in Grand Center.

Thursday, June 21
Thursday is "Make Music Day," an international holiday celebrating music, and several local venues are taking part with extended or day-long programming. For example, Evangeline's will present a different band or performer every hour starting at lunch time, with a lineup including Jim Manley and Chris Swan, Eric Slaughter and Glen Smith, Valerie "Miss Jubilee" Kirchhoff and Ethan Leinwand, Tommy Halloran, and more.

Meanwhile, the National Blues Museum downtown will supplement their roster of blues bands with sets from bossa nova trio The Bonbon Plot and the STL Free Jazz Collective. 

Thursday evening, the L.A. Swing Barons (pictured, bottom left), a 14-piece big band from Los Angeles heavily influenced by Count Basie and Duke Ellington, will perform for a swing dance at the Intersect Arts Center.

You can find out more about them and see some videos of the band in action in this post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and pianist Kim Portnoy will team up with poet and author David Clewell for "Cocktails + Conversation: No Hard Feelings - A Night of Poetry + Jazz" at Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Friday, June 22
Veteran saxophonist Freddie Washington will be backed by pianist Adam Maness' trio as they "Celebrate Coltrane" at Jazz St. Louis.

Saturday, June 23
The Chesterfield Jazz Festival will present a lineup including drummer Simon Phillips' band Protocol (pictured, top left) as headliner, plus sets from St. Louis' own Bach to the Future with violinist Tracy Silverman, Trace, Two Times True, and Maurice Carnes.

Also on Saturday, electronic musician, filmmaker and St. Louis native John Wiese, who did an ambitious show here last year for New Music Circle, will headline a bill of experimental musicians in a free show at El Lenador; The 442s will perform at Jazz St. Louis; and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, June 24
The St. Louis Record Collector & CD Show will hold their summer event at the American Czech Educational Center, and the St. Louis Jazz Club presents Cornet Chop Suey playing traditional jazz and swing at the Moolah Shrine Center.

Monday, June 25
Dizzy Atmosphere plays for diners at The Shaved Duck.

Tuesday, June 26
Singer Joe Mancuso has organized "Voices of St. Louis,"  a benefit concert raising money to fight MS, with performers including former American Idol contestant Ashley Lusk, Richie G. Kihlken, Erika Johnson, and more at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

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.)

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall to perform
Sunday, August 19 at Grandel Theatre

Trumpeter Herb Alpert and his wife, singer Lani Hall (pictured), are coming to St. Louis to perform at 7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 19 at the Grandel Theatre.

Alpert has been a significant force in the music business for more than 50 years, leading the 1960s pop instrumental group Tijuana Brass, founding A&M Records, and enjoying a long career as a solo artist and producer. Hall first come to public attention as the lead singer for Sergio Mendes and Brasil '66, and has enjoyed success as soloist and with her husband.

Their current live show includes "an eclectic mix of American standards, Brazilian jazz, some Beatles, some classic Tijuana Brass & Brazil '66 songs and a number of other surprises." A selection of Alpert’s sculptures & paintings, curated by Chip Tom of the Heather James Gallery, will be on display before and after the concert in the Grandel's Grand Hall.

Tickets for the concert are priced from $28 to $35 and are on sale now via Metrotix.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Sunday Session: June 17, 2018

Alice Coltrane
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 Toast to Lorraine Gordon, the Formidable Engine Behind the World's Greatest Jazz Club (WBGO)
* How Spotify Discovers the Genres of Tomorrow (Spotify.com)
* The pioneers commissioning their own classical music masterpieces (Financial Times)
* So, When Will YOU Hit Your Musical ‘Peak and Paralysis Age’? (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* Ginger Baker's Son: 'My Dad Has Been Dead to Me for a Long Time' (Rolling Stone)
* Angélique Kidjo on the Myth of Cultural Appropriation and Covering Remain in Light (Pitchfork.com)
* NEWS: Jon Hiseman (1944-2018) R.I.P. (London Jazz News)
* Buddy Guy Is The Last Bastion Of The Blues (Forbes)
* Jimmy 'Duck' Holmes keeping blues alive in Bentonia (Jackson Clarion-Ledger)
* Yes, U2 Really Did Perform With Sun Ra's Arkestra (ClashMusic.com)
* Playboy Fest Highlights New Talent, Genre Titans (DownBeat)
* Chicago Blues Fest Honors Delmark Anniversary (DownBeat)
* The Smaller the Theater, the Faster the Music (Nautil.us)
* Invisible Hits: Alice Coltrane’s Journey (Pitchfork.com)
* Cartoonist Blutch Explores the Genre in ‘Total Jazz’ (DownBeat)
* Women Set the Agenda, and a New Precedent, at the Jazz Journalists Association Awards (WBGO)
* Classical music 'should learn from hip hop' (BBC)
* The End of Owning Music: How CDs and Downloads Died (Rolling Stone)
* Tracing Coltrane’s Footsteps in Jersey (DownBeat)
* All That Jazz - A new documentary explores the Jewish origins of Blue Note Records, but evades some tough questions (Tablet)
* Artifacts Investigates AACM at Spoleto (DownBeat)
* 21 exhilarating records from the contemporary UK jazz scene (RedBull.com)
* Top jazz pianists chosen for Ellis Marsalis International Piano Competition (HuntingtonNews.net)
* U.S. to Review 1940s-Era Music Rules, With Billions at Stake (Bloomberg.com)
* Erik Friedlander and Throw a Glass See Green (Jazz Times)
* East Meets West - Indian Classical Music and Jazz (SFJAZZ.org)
* R.I.P. Matt “Guitar” Murphy, Blues Brothers guitarist has died (ConsequenceOfSound.net)

Saturday, June 16, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on the L.A. Swing Barons



This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring the L.A. Swing Barons, who are coming to St. Louis for a performance presented by the St. Louis Jitterbugs this coming Thursday, June 21 at the Intersect Arts Center.

The event is part of an ongoing Thursday night swing dance series sponsored by the Jitterbugs. So far the series has featured mostly recorded music spun by DJs, said co-owner Christian Frommelt, but plans are to present a live band at least once a month, plus jam sessions led by local musicians.

As the name implies, the L.A. Swing Barons are based in Los Angeles, and describe themselves as a "14-piece big band inspired by the vibrant dance halls of the 1930s swing era...We aim to play the energetic music of bands like the Count Basie Orchestra, Duke Ellington and his Orchestra, and others that shaped the golden age of swing."

They released their first studio album, Kansas City Stride, late last year, and their performance here next week, part of a two-week tour through the Midwest, will be their St. Louis debut.

The Barons' Basie repertoire is featured prominently on their YouTube page, and you can see and hear several examples of it here today, starting up above with Basie's "Hollywood Jump" as performed live last July at a gig in Orange, CA.

After the jump, you can see the band and vocalist Terrence Taylor do a version of "Every Day I Have the Blues" recorded in March 2018 at the Pasadena Ballroom.

That's followed by performances of three more Basie charts - "Splanky," "Shiny Stockings," and "Lester Leaps In" - from 2015, the latter featuring Albert Alva on tenor sax.

The final video finds the band going from Kansas City to outer space, as they perform their version of the "Cantina Band" theme Star Wars at a gig in December 2015.

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

Friday, June 15, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Just in time for the Riverfront Times' "Showcase STL" this weekend, trumpeter Adam Hucke of the Funky Butt Brass Band was profiled as another of the RFT's "STL 77."

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold's July tour dates in the UK are previewed in a post on the website Jazz in Europe.

* The sartorial style of Miles Davis inspired an article from Vanity Fair magazine about "what we imagine he might have in his (online) shopping bag now."

* Saxophonist, clarinetist and U City native Marty Ehrlich (pictured) has a new release, Trio Exaltation, which was reviewed by AllAboutJazz.com's Troy Dostert.

* Trumpeter Russell Gunn's Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra backs singer Dionne Farris on a new remake of her hit "Hopeless." The track is featured on the Orkestra's debut album Get It How You Live, which is set for release on Friday, July 13 from Ropeadope Records.