Sunday, August 18, 2019

Sunday Session: August 18, 2019

Brian Blade
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Bob Wilber 1928 – 2019 (Jazz Times)
* 7 Questions With Catherine Russell (
* Live Review: 46th Umbria Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* San Antonio jazz great Jim Cullum Jr. dies (
* 5 minutes alone - George Benson: “A guy said, ‘I could get you a job with Fats Domino’. I said, ‘I am not ready for that’” (
* Chuck Berry’s Family, Famous Fans Remember Guitarist in New Documentary Trailer (Rolling Stone)
* Santana Returns to Woodstock and Revisits “Smooth” (
* Concrete Science Fiction Riot: Why Do We Ignore The 70s French Underground? (
* In ’61, Stan Getz at His ‘Most Aggressive’ (DownBeat)
* Imagine Documentaries Trumpets Partnership With Louis Armstrong Foundation On Definitive Icon Movie (Deadline)
* You Don’t Have to Be Rich (To Commission New Music) (Limelight)
* Leave No Good Idea Behind: Millennial Composers Embrace a Cosmopolitan Style (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Ted Dunbar: Teacher Man to Nile Rodgers, Kevin Eubanks, and Many Others (Jazz Times)
* Fine Tuning: The Art Of Guitar Making (KALW)
* Britain’s jazz scene is in full swing (The Spectator)
* Hackers Can Turn Everyday Speakers Into Acoustic Cyberweapons (Wired)
* Brian Blade Leads ‘Joni 75: A Birthday Celebration’ (DownBeat)
* Rhythmo’s BeatBox is a cardboard drum machine (
* A Lost Album From John Coltrane Is Found, With Thanks To A French-Canadian Director (NPR)
* Inside the home of a queen: Aretha Franklin's mansion hits market for $1.2 million (
* Thousands of Unseen Blue Note Photos Online Now (Jazz Times)
* The Do's & Don'ts of Sample Clearances (
* Herbie Hancock gears up for his newest music and joins Kamasi Washington at Northerly Island (Chicago Tribune)

Saturday, August 17, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2019 jazz preview, part one

With fall fast approaching, it's time for the first autumn installment of StLJN twice-yearly jazz preview, featuring videos of noteworthy jazz and creative music performers who will be playing here over the next few months.

Today's preview starts on Labor Day weekend, for that's when pianist Edward Simon will be coming to town for a solo concert presented by Open Studio on Saturday, August 31 at Centene Center for the Arts.

You can see Simon in the first video up above, a trio set with drummer Adam Cruz and bassist Matt Brewer (billed as the "Festival New York Jazz All-Stars") that was recorded in 2016 at Teatro Ocampo in Cuernavaca, Mexico.

Also in town over Labor Day weekend will be the Shake 'Em Up Jazz Band from New Orleans, who will perform on Saturday, August 31 and Sunday, September 1 at Focal Point. You can see them in the first video after the jump, a full set of music recorded in July of this year in Copenhagen, Denmark.

The next clip features another New Orleans group, Rebirth Brass Band, who will be in St. Louis the following week for a show on Friday, September 6 at Atomic Cowboy Pavilion. It's another full set, recorded in September 2018 at Smith's Olde Bar in Atlanta.

That same weekend, singer and pianist Diane Schuur will headline the Alton Jazz & Wine Festival on Saturday, September 7 at Alton Amphitheater, with locals Good 4 The Soul and the Funky Butt Brass Band as supporting acts. Schuur can be seen in the third video after the jump, singing George Gershwin's "S'Wonderful" with the Charleston Jazz Orchestra in February of this year at the Charleston Music Hall in South Carolina.

Also on Saturday, September 7, the "Smooth Jazz Cruise on Land" docks at the Chesterfield Amphitheater, with a crew that will includes multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson, saxophonist and vocalist Grace Kelly, and saxophonist Eric Darius, plus St. Louis' own Erin Bode and Tim Cunningham.

Culbertson can be seen next performing "Feelin' It/Funkin'" as recorded last year for his Colors of Love Tour - Live in Las Vegas concert video.

That's followed by Kelly, cutting tracks for her most recent album GO TiME: Brooklyn 2 live in the studio, and, last but not least, Darius playing Stevie Wonder's "I Wish" at an event last year for the Cannonball Saxophones company in Sandy, Utah.

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

Friday, August 16, 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 Ronnie Burrage (pictured) was interviewed in the August issue of The Wire.

* Trumpeter Ally Hany Albrecht wrote an essay for the blog El Paso Jazz Girls about her experiences being in an Air Force band.

* Billboard magazine presented the online premiere of "So Emotional," a track from the forthcoming "lost" Miles Davis album Rubberband (featuring vocals from Lalah Hathaway) that will be released on Friday, September 6.

* Elsewhere on the Miles Davis beat, NPR this week devoted the latest episode of their program "Jazz Night In America" to a retrospective look at Davis' album Bitches Brew, with music from bassist Marcus Miller's tribute to the trumpeter's electric bands.

* Guitarist Todd Mosby was featured in a story by St. Louis Public Radio's Jeremy Goodwin.

* Also on St. Louis Public Radio, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tonina Saputo was interviewed by "St. Louis On The Air" host Sarah Fenske.

* Tonina also is featured in a video released last week by the Lo-Fi Saint Louis project, which shows her performing "Mercy" at Earthbound Beer on Cherokee St.

* Trio 3, which includes saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake along with drummer Andrew Cyrille and bassist Reggie Workman, will receive a major grant from Chamber Music America.

Edited after posting to add Tonina video link.

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

New Music Circle kicking off 2019-20 season with party & fundraiser on Tuesday, August 20

New Music Circle will mark the beginning of their 61st season with a party and fundraiser at 6:00 p.m. next Tuesday, August 20 at the Tick Tock Tavern, 3459 Magnolia Ave on the south side.

The free event will feature the announcement of NMC's 2019-20 season schedule, with music from guest DJs NNN Cook,, and 18&Counting.

NMC also will raffle off various prizes including CDs, LPs, and tickets to upcoming concerts. All the proceeds from drinks sold from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Tick Tock Tavern will go to support New Music Circle concerts and workshops throughout the year.

While admission to New Music Circle's season kickoff party is free, organizers are requesting that those wishing to attend RSVP via the event's Facebook page.

Edward Simon to perform Saturday, August 31 at Centene Center for the Arts

Pianist Peter Martin's company Open Studio, producers of instructional videos featuring well-known jazz musicians, is making another of its occasional forays in concert production, presenting pianist Edward Simon in a solo performance at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, August 31 at the comapny's space in the Centene Center for the Arts, 3547 Olive St in Grand Center.

Simon (pictured) is a native of Venezuela who may be best known as the pianist since 2010 for the SFJAZZ Collective. He's also recorded 14 albums as a leader, and earlier in his career worked as a sideman with saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby, Kansas City saxophonist Bobby Watson, trumpeter Terence Blanchard, and many others. Simon's most recent album is 2016's Latin American Songbook on the Sunnyside label.

Tickets for Edward Simon's solo performance are $25 for general admission, and are on sale now via Eventbrite.

Jazz this week: Glenn Miller Orchestra, Chicago Cellar Boys, Funky Butt Brass Band, "Django Guitar Summit," and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis has a definite retro vibe, with shows coming up featuring one of the Swing Era's best-known bands, several performances by traditional jazz groups, and even a look back at local music history by a currently popular group. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, August 14
The Glenn Miller Orchestra (pictured, top left) brings their deep catalog of Swing Era hits to the Sheldon Concert Hall. You can see some videos of the present-day version of the Miller band in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, this week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session hosted by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and bassist Ben Wheeler's band Solid Ghost at The Dark Room at the Grandel Theatre.

Thursday, August 15
Saxophonist Larry Johnson and guitarist Randy Bahr will play duets at Rendezvous Cafe & Wine Bar; keyboardist Ryan Marquez brings his trio to The Dark Room; and singer Robert Nelson returns to the Chase Club in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

Friday, August 16
The Funky Butt Brass Band performs for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis. It's the first official gig for the band's newest member, saxophonist Bryan Fritz, and reportedly will feature cover versions of songs by famous St. Louis bands and musicians.

Also on Friday, guitarists Joe Park, Gary Hunt, Paul Davis and Eric Slaughter will be featured in the  "2nd Annual Django Guitar Summit" at Focal Point.

Elsewhere around town, the Hard Bop Messengers return to Evangeline's; Schlafly Tap Room has a triple bill of experimental music including Temporal Marauder, John Wiese, and Flanger Magazine; and fusion trio 3XGroove plays at Troy's Listening Room.

Saturday, August 17
On Saturday afternoon, Dennis Owsley, host of the "Jazz Unlimited" program airing Sunday nights on St. Louis Public Radio, will sign copies of his new book St. Louis Jazz: A History at the Book House in Maplewood.

Then on Saturday evening, traditional jazz band Chicago Cellar Boys (pictured, bottom left) with singer Roya Naldi will play at Focal Point, and guitarist Todd Mosby leads his World Fusion Ensemble in a performance at First Congregational Church of Webster Groves.

Also on Saturday, singer and multi-instrumentalist Tonina will headline a show at Delmar Hall, and pianist Carolbeth True and singer Kim Fuller will perform music associated with Billie Holiday at the Ozark Theatre.

Sunday, August 18
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents Red Lehr and the St. Louis Rivermen playing traditional jazz at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis - Westport, and Cornet Chop Suey plays a free concert at Carondelet Park.

Monday, August 19
The Dark Room introduces "Monday Night Mix-Up," a new event aimed at music and hospitality industry workers, this week featuring sounds from bassist and beatsmith Tristaño.

Tuesday, August 20
Nashville-based quintet The Cosmic Collective returns to Evangeline's, and guitarist Tom Byrne leads a trio in a concert at the Gaslight Theater.

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, August 11, 2019

Sunday Session: August 11, 2019

Sam Rivers
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Joni Mitchell's 'Mingus' At 40: A Look Back At A Seminal Jazz Collab (
* The Night Charlie Parker Soared in South Central L.A. (
* Why Stevie Ray Vaughan Turned Down a David Bowie Tour (Rolling Stone)
* Woodstock Had Some of the Most Legendary Performances in History. But Many Attendees Never Heard a Single Note (Time)
* Herbie Hancock & Cecile McLorin Salvant Among 9 Best Moments at 2019 Newport Jazz Festival (Billboard)
* How SFJAZZ Center Established Itself As A Cultural Force In San Francisco (
* Roger McGuinn Shoots Down David Crosby’s Byrds Reunion Idea (Again) (Rolling Stone)
* Mike Stern: Different Orbits (
* From The Tent Show To The Parlor: Bessie Smith's Travels In Her Time (NPR)
* Laurie Spiegel’s expanding universe (
* The sounds of Woodstock reborn (CBS News)
* Copyrighting the 'Building Blocks' of Music? Why the Katy Perry Case Alarms Producers (KQED)
* Art Neville spent a lifetime 'throwin' bricks' with the Meters and Neville Brothers (
* How "Free Exploration" Can Inspire New Compositional Creation (Guitar World)
* Tools for the Personal Studio (Pro Sound News)
* JAZZIZ Backstage Pass: Pianist Monty Alexander Plays Monk with a Reggae Twist (Jazziz)
* Bob Wilber, Saxophonist and Clarinetist Who Carried a Torch for Classic Jazz, Has Died at 91 (WBGO)
* Noncommercial Sounds Draw Crowds to Berlin’s A’larme! Festival (DownBeat)
* Want to Get on the Radio? Have $50,000? (Rolling Stone)
* The Unheard ‘Abbey Road’: An Exclusive Preview of Beatles’ Expanded Final Masterpiece (Rolling Stone)
* How Decca Records Brought Jazz Music To The World (
* First-Time Leaders Preserve and Evolve Newport Legacy (DownBeat)
* How a Collaboration Between Roky Erickson and Doug Sahm Became Part of the Blueprint for Punk Rock (Austin Chronicle)
* John Fogerty celebrates 1960s rock with ‘My 50-Year Trip’ tour (Boston Globe)
* Cultivating the Legacy of Sam Rivers (DownBeat)
* How composer Matthew Burtner is putting climate change into song (PBS)
* Listen With Me (Columbia Journalism Review)

Saturday, August 10, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The Glenn Miller legacy

How well do contemporary musicians recreate the sound of a band from 80 years ago? This week, let's find out by taking a look at some videos featuring the Glenn Miller Orchestra, which will be in St. Louis to perform next Wednesday, August 14 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

One of the most successful bands of the Swing Era, Miller's orchestra may not have reached the artistic heights of Ellington or Basie, but they were very popular in the years leading up to World War II and into the 1940s, thanks a catalog of hit songs including "Moonlight Serenade," "String of Pearls," and, of course, "In The Mood."

Historically speaking, the Miller orchestra might have remained a phenomenon specific to their era after the leader disappeared over the English channel in 1944, but in 1946 the Miller estate took the then-novel step of authorizing a "ghost band," led at first by former Miller vocalist and saxophonist Tex Beneke.

The group proved to be a commercial success even without its namesake, and though the estate and Beneke parted ways in 1950, the Miller orchestra was relaunched in 1956 under the leadership of Ray McKinley, and that version of the group has continued to tour under a succession of bandleaders ever since.

The idea of a "ghost band" also subsequently caught on with various other musicians' estates, but other than the Count Basie Orchestra, which continues to tour and record today, the Miller band remains perhaps the most successful of its type. (There also are sanctioned versions of the band that tour in the UK and Europe.)

So how well does the current version of the World Famous Glenn Miller Orchestra, as they are officially known, reproduce the classic sound of the 1930s and '40s? Judge for yourself by checking out the current version of the band, now under the leadership of vocalist Nick Hilscher, performing "The Song of the Bayou" in the first clip up above.

That's followed after the jump by performances of "You Stepped Out of a Dream" and "Blue Evening," recorded in 2018 at the annual Glenn Miller Festival in Clarinda, IA.

After that, there's something a little different: a version of Jimmy Forrest's bluesy standard "Night Train," recorded in February 2014 at Strange Brew in Austin, TX.

Finally, you can check out not one but two different arrangements of Miller's signature song "In The Mood," first in its original arrangement, as replicated by the current band at the 2018 Miller fest, and then in the version edited by Miller into the familiar hit known around the world for the past 79 years.

For more about the Glenn Miller Orchestra, listen to this 2018 interview with bandleader Nick Hilscher. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...