Sunday, October 14, 2018

Sunday Session: October 14, 2018

Esperanza Spalding
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:

* BBC 'to make classical music archive available' (BBC)
* Quincy Jones, From A to Z (Rolling Stone)
* From Studio to Screen: Becoming a Composer (FactMag.com)
* Roy Orbison hologram concert in L.A. invites awe and debate (Los Angeles Times)
* Barcelona’s Jazz Festival Thrives at 50 (DownBeat)
* Visualizing 40 Years of Music Industry Sales (VisualCapitalist.com)
* Women Run the Show at Monterey Jazz Fest (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Louis Armstrong's unseen artifacts almost ready for public view (AMNY.com)
* Radiohead, the Cure, Rage, Janet Jackson Nominated for Rock Hall of Fame 2019 (Pitchfork)
* Esperanza Spalding Casts First of “12 Little Spells” Online (Jazz Times)
* Shelved: Bill Evans’ Loose Blues (LongReads.com)
* “Automation Divine”: Early Computer Music and the Selling of the Cold War (New Music Box)
* Ahmad Jamal at 88: Still playing hard and on his way to Chicago (Chicago Tribune)
* A Labor of Love Supreme: Saving John Coltrane's Home Studio (Pro Sound News)
* Elvis Costello Explains His Great New Album, ‘Look Now’ (Rolling Stone)
* Into the Vault: Erroll Garner Uncovered (NPR)
* Key Music Modernization Act Proponents Disinvited to White House Signing Ceremony (Billboard)
* Marc Ribot Leads a Musical Army Protesting Against Trump (The Daily Beast)
* Lindsey Buckingham sues Fleetwood Mac for kicking him out (Associated Press)
* Famed jazz saxophonist accused of sexual misconduct by former protégé now suing for defamation (New York Daily News)
* Ben Wendel Takes ‘The Seasons’ from Video Project to Album (DownBeat)
* Tony Bennett & Diana Krall: They Like a Gershwin Tune (Jazz Times)
* Berklee to Launch Institute of Jazz and Gender Justice (Jazz Times)
* Maxine Gordon Ended Up Married to the Music (Publishers Weekly)
* The Unearthing of Thelonious Monk’s Lost Live Classic (Bandcamp.com)

Saturday, October 13, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Remembering Hamiet Bluiett



The jazz world and the St. Louis area both suffered a big loss last week with the death of Hamiet Bluiett, one of the greatest baritone saxophonists of all time and a co-founder of both the Black Artists Group and the World Saxophone Quartet.

While StLJN's obituary for Bluiett, published last week shortly after his death, covered the broad outline of Bluiett's career, there's much more to say, and media, fans, and fellow musicians have all paid tribute to the saxophonist in recent days.

Here in St. Louis, Bluiett's passing was noted by the St. Louis Post Dispatch, St. Louis Public Radio and the St. Louis American.

Nationally and internationally, coverage included obits and/or tributes from the New York Times, NPR, Jazz Times, London Jazz News, and DownBeat - the latter penned by St. Louis' own Terry Perkins, who's preparing a more extensive article about Bluiett for an upcoming issue of the magazine.

In addition to the piece that aired on NPR, veteran jazz writer and radio host Gene Seymour wrote a tribute to Bluiett specifically for NYC public radio station WBGO.

Also, a number of musicians weighed in about Bluiett on social media and on their personal sites, including bassist Melvin Gibbs, with a good story about playing a blues gig early in his career with Bluiett; saxophonists Sam Newsome, Jaleel Shaw and Tony Kofi, bassists Dave Holland and Christian McBride, and guitarist Vernon Reid.

Perhaps the best way to remember Hamiet Bluiett, though, is through his music, and toward that end, StLJN has assembled some favorite online video clips of live performances featuring him, starting up above with a complete set of of the World Saxophone Quartet, recorded at near the height of their collective powers in 1987 at Jazzfest Berlin.

This is the original WSQ lineup, with Bluiett, Julius Hemphill (alto sax, soprano sax), Oliver Lake (alto sax, soprano sax) and David Murray (tenor sax), and the set contains several arrangements from their then-current album of arrangements of music by Duke Ellington.

After the jump, we leap back in time to July 1974, when Bluiett was part of Charles Mingus's band for a performance at the Umbria Jazz Festival in Todi, Italy.

The song is called "Flowers For A Lady," and after tenor saxophonist George Adams and pianist Don Pullen play their solos, at about the six-minute mark it's Bluiett's turn, and he comes in hard, shredding in the altissimo register while Mingus and drummer Dannie Richmond stoke the rhythm.

After that, there's a full concert of Bluiett's band Clarinet Family from 1984 in Berlin, featuring fellow St. Louisan J.D. Parran in the ensemble along with clarinetists Buddy Collette, Edward "Kidd" Jordan, John Purcell, Dwight Andrews, Don Byron, and bassist Fred Hopkins.

Next up is a video apparently shot in 2000 in Ghana, featuring Bluiett with some local players. There's not a whole lot of other information available about this clip, but Bluiett sounds good on it, and it's an interesting groove.

The fifth video documents a performance by Bluiett's Bio-Electric Ensemble in June 2013 as part of the Vision Festival at Roulette in New York City. Along with the leader, the group features Matthew Whittaker on electric keyboards, D.D. Jackson on piano, Harrison Bankhead on bass and Hamid Drake on drums.

That's followed by another set of music by Bluiett, Drake, and bassist William Parker, recorded in January 2016 in NYC.

Finally, you can view the profile of Bluiett done in 2008 by KETC's Living St. Louis program, and a nearly hour-long interview with Bluiett, conducted by saxophonist and latter-day WSQ member Bruce Williams in October 2016 at the National Jazz Museum in Harlem.

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

Friday, October 12, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Saxophonist Ben Reece, keyboardist Mo Egeston, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor were interviewed on a recent episode of Rock Paper Podcast

* Bassist and singer Janet Evra appeared Tuesday on KTVI/Fox 2's morning newscast.

* In advance of his debut later this month at SFJAZZ in San Francisco, trumpeter Keyon Harrold's past collaborations are the subject of an article on SFJAZZ.org's website

* Cabaret singer and pianist Rick Jensen's performance last Saturday at the Kranzberg Arts Center was reviewed by KDHX's Chuck Lavazzi.

* The family of the late Hamiet Bluiett (pictured) is trying to raise money via crowd-funding for burial and memorial expenses, as the baritone sax great died last week without life insurance. If you'd like to contribute, go to https://www.gofundme.com/683jk7k. (You also can help by sharing the GoFundMe page URL on social media and elsewhere.)

A funeral service for Bluiett will be held at 10:00 a.m. today (Friday, October 12) at Lovejoy Temple Church of God, 511 Canal Street in Brooklyn, IL, followed by burial at 12:30 p.m. at Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery in St. Louis.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Storm Large's "Holiday Ordeal" set for Tuesday, December 11 at Sun Theatre

Singer Storm Large is returning to St. Louis to present her show "Holiday Ordeal" at 8:00 p.m. Tuesday, December 11 at the Sun Theatre in Grand Center.

Described as "a night of music, stories, gags, and gifts," the show includes songs such as "2000 Miles," "O Holy Night," "Hallelujah," "Sock It to Me Santa," "I'll Be Home For Christmas" and "Somebody To Love," which Large calls in the show's promotional material "the greatest holiday song never written for the holidays."

Large (pictured) has performed here several times in recent years, both with the band Pink Martini and as a solo act, most recently as part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival's winter series earlier this year.

Tickets for "Holiday Ordeal," which is produced by the Presenters Dolan, are $25 and $35 for regular seating, $85 for a package that includes "premium seating" and a post-concert reception, and are on sale now.

Boney James returning to perform
Friday, April 26 at The Pageant

Saxophonist Boney James (pictured) is returning to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m. Friday, April 26 at The Pageant.

James' most recent album is Honestly, which came out in September 2017. He last played in St. Louis in July of this year as part of the Gateway Jazz Festival at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Tickets for Boney James at The Pageant are priced from $35 to $50 and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. this Friday, October 12 via Ticketmaster.

Nu-Art Series to present performances by Eddie Henderson, Quincy Troupe, and more

The Nu-Art Series, founded and run by trumpeter and impresario George Sams, is returning with a concert featuring trumpeter Eddie Henderson (pictured) and pianist Ptah Williams at 8;00 p.m. Friday, October 26 at Xavier Hall on the campus of St. Louis University.

Poet Lyah LeFlore, the daughter of trumpeter and original Black Arts Group member Floyd LeFlore, also will perform, and Sams will be sitting in for a tune or two as well.

The Nu-Art Series previously presented concerts from 2010 to 2012 at the now-closed Metropolitan Gallery downtown, and in 2014 at the Scott Joplin State Historic Site's Rosebud Cafe.

The October concert with Henderson and Williams is the first event of "Jazz-N-Tongues: The Art of Music and Poetry," a series of co-productions with St. Louis University.

The series will continue the following week when poet Quincy Troupe headlines an event also featuring Sams and his quartet at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2 at Xavier Hall.

Sams tells StLJN that he's working on two more concerts for early 2019, one to feature multi-instrumentalist and St. Louis native J.D. Parran, the other presenting poet, playwright and author Ntozake Shange, with details to come.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Jazz this week: Ghost Note, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, Joey Alexander, Lettuce, Cornet Chop Suey, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features a nice mix of headlining performers, offering styles from funk to big band to vintage jazz to mainstream and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, October 10
Ghost Note, the instrumental funk band founded by Snarky Puppy percussionists Robert “Sput” Searight and Nate Werth (pictured, top left), will perform at the Old Rock House.

Incorporating influences from Afrobeat, hip-hop, and more, they're touring in support of their second album Swagism, which was released in April of this year.

Also on Wednesday, Jazz St. Louis' "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series of free lecture/discussions with music continues with Marc Myers, who writes about jazz for the Wall Street Journal and other publications, expounding on "1950: The Year Jazz Changed on Two Coasts."

Myers' presentation will be paired with performances of music associated with Dave Brubeck, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Gerry Mulligan, plus Miles Davis’s complete Birth of the Cool.

Thursday, October 11
Saxophonist Paul DeMarinis leads a trio in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and the Jim Widner Big Band will play a one-nighter at Jazz St. Louis. 

Also on Thursday, singer Joe Mancuso continues his weekly gig featuring different special guests at  50/Fifty Kitchen, and guitarist Dave Black performs at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, October 12
Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (pictured, bottom left) to provide the music for the annual fundraiser at the Sheldon Concert Hall. (Some concert-only tickets still may be available; contact the Sheldon's box office for the latest information.)

This year marks the 30th anniversary of JaLCO's founding, and they've released two recordings in 2018 - one documenting various guest star performances with the orchestra over the years, and the other capturing an evening backing singer/actor Ruben Blades. While those guest stars won't be at the Sheldon, the band's deep catalog of original and historic arrangements, developed over the last three decades, should offer the gala-goers ample possibilities for enjoyable listening.

Also on Friday, Grammy-nominated, teenage piano phenom Joey Alexander returns for the first of two nights of performances at Jazz St. Louis; funk/jazz band Lettuce is in town to play at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion; and singer Anita Jackson will do the late show at The Dark Room

Saturday, October 13
Singer Wendy Gordon and friends, including singer Renee Smith and singer/bassist Eugene Johnson will present a matinee performance of "Different Shades Of The Blues" at the Ozark Theatre.

Later that night, keyboardist Mo Egeston will be at The Dark Room leading his trio, which will be joined this week by guest vocalist Chrissy Renick.

Sunday, October 14
Singer and bassist Janet Evra plays for brunch at The Dark Room, while Miss Jubilee will entertain at Evangeline's.

Also on Sunday, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents Cornet Chop Suey playing traditional jazz and swing in a matinee concert at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis - Westport

Tuesday, October 16
Trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Rick Haydon play at Evangeline's.

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, October 07, 2018

Sunday Session: October 7, 2018

Jerry González
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:

* This Record Label Is What The Future Of Music Business Looks Like (Forbes)
* Wynton Marsalis on his animal ballet, teen funk band days, kazoos and Jazz at Lincoln Center's 31 years (San Diego Union Tribune)
* Q&A: Betty Davis looks back at her fiery funk legacy (Now Toronto)
* It’s Still Not Betty Davis Time, But We’re Getting There (Jazz Times)
* Guggenheim Says Spotify’s Major Label Renegotiations Will Significantly Lower Royalty Obligations (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* Tony Bennett & Diana Krall: Streetwise, Yet Sophisticated (DownBeat)
* Jerry González Dies After Fire in His Madrid Home: Report (Billboard)
* Jerry González, Latin Jazz Visionary, Dies After House Fire (NPR)
* Jerry González Dies at 69 (Jazz Times)
* New Doc ‘Fire Music’ Sets the Record Straight on Free Jazz (Rolling Stone)
* Quincy Jones: Celebrating Seven Decades of Music (Billboard)
* Dizzy Gillespie Documentary in the Works (Jazz Times)
* Review: One Note At A Time (Jazz Journal)
* Monterey Jazz Festival Features Highly Charged Performances (DownBeat)
* Tom Petty’s Biographer on the Story He Didn’t Tell (Rolling Stone)
* Jazz Needs A "LeBron James Mentality": A Conversation With The West Coast Get Down's Cameron Graves (SFJAZZ.org)
* How the Music Modernization Act will help artists get paid more from streaming (TheVerge.com)
* How Geoff Emerick Helped the Beatles Reinvent Music (Rolling Stone)
* Geoff Emerick threw himself into the Beatles' experiments (The Guardian)
* Joey Baron’s Deep Listening Manifesto (DownBeat)
* New York Hot Jazz Festival Celebrates Music of New Orleans and Paris (DownBeat)
* Jaimie Branch on International Anthem Fostering Community (DownBeat)
* Hear the Earliest Surviving Radio Broadcast by Duke Ellington, A Historic Find, in Deep Dive (WBGO)
* The 40 Greatest Movie Soundtracks of All Time (Vulture.com)
* Guest Blog: Musicians Deserve More (Offbeat)
* Do Not Seek For Things Outside Yourself: The Compositional Journey of Tyshawn Sorey (BrooklynRail.org)
* Ethan Iverson: At the Crossroads of Jazz and Classical Music (DownBeat)
* The Art Ensemble of Chicago Celebrates 50 Years Of Channeling And Challenging History (NPR)
* Kamasi Washington on Igor Stravinsky, Art Blakey, and a Certain Vintage Arcade Game (WBGO)
* A Look Back At How Virtuoso Jimmy Blanton Changed The Bass Forever (NPR)