Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Music for Lifelong Achievement seeks
instrument donations for local students

If you have an old, unused, or extra musical instrument taking up space in the basement, garage or spare room, consider donating it to Music for Lifelong Achievement (MFLA).

MFLA is a local not-for-profit organization based at the Sheldon Concert Hall that collects used and new musical instruments and donates them to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people. Since its inception, MFLA has provided nearly 600 instruments to music students all over the St. Louis area.

MFLA's annual instrument drive began this past Monday, September 26 and will continue through Sunday, October 30.

There are two ways to help: by giving a musical instrument, or giving cash. Selected St. Louis-area Starbucks stores once again will serve as drop-off locations for used and new musical instruments during the drive. The donated instruments then will be repaired, if needed, and distributed to students who otherwise would not be able to afford an instrument. Donors get a letter documenting the value of the instrument for tax deduction purposes.

If you don’t have an instrument to donate, MFLA gladly accepts cash contributions, which are used to help pay for necessary repairs of donated instruments and provide accessories such as strings, reeds, and sheet music. These donations also are tax deductible. For more information or to make a donation, call The Sheldon at 314-533-9900 or visit www.supportmfla.org.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Sunday Session: September 25, 2016

Kenny Barron
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Don't mention the J-word: how Spotify gifted my jazz tune two million hits (The Guardian UK)
* Brainfeeder Showcase Fuses Enlightened Funk, Innovative Jazz (DownBeat)
* Words and Music: Why Liner Notes Matter (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Metheny Leads New Quartet on Nostalgic Trip at Lobero Theatre (DownBeat)
* Building a better electronic trumpet (Phys.org)
* The 'Fifth Beatle', an unpublished will and a family being torn apart (The Telegraph UK)
* T Bone Burnett: Treading on Hallowed Ground – Google, the Ryman, and The Future of Nashville Music (Nashville Tennessean)
* Rock'n'roll suicide: is TV's bromance with rock nostalgia finally over? (The Guardian UK)
* In 'Latin American Songbook,' Edward Simon Rethinks The American Jazz Standard (NPR)
* 'The Jazz Loft' Is a Fleeting, Marvelous Look at Lost Bohemia (Village Voice)
* A Tribe Called Quest Sparked Hip-Hop’s Love Affair With Jazz on ‘Low End Theory’ (Observer.com)
* The New Classical: how the next generation of composers and labels is challenging classical music’s status quo (The Independent UK)
* A Tribute to Bernie Worrell in Words and Images (Keyboard)
* Monterey Jazz Festival Offers Bounty of Youthful Talent (DownBeat)
* Massive digital archiving project means these unique musical recordings will live forever (DigitalTrends.com)
* Interview: Kenny Barron (Keyboard)
* Fish recorded singing dawn chorus on reefs just like birds (New Scientist)
* Why Marvel and Other Hollywood Films Have Such Bland Music: Every Frame a Painting Explains the Perils of the “Temp Score” (OpenCulture.com)
* Q&A: Vocalist Al Jarreau - A no-holds-barred conversation (Jazz Times)

Saturday, September 24, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet

This week, let's take a look at some videos of percussionist Jason Marsalis and his quartet, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Saturday, October 1 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

The youngest of the four brothers in the famous New Orleans musical family, Jason Marsalis may not be quite as well known to the general public as his siblings Wynton, Branford, and Delfeayo or his dad Ellis, but over the past 20 years he's had quite a busy career, working steadily both as a drummer (most notably backing pianist Marcus Roberts) and, more recently, as a vibraphonist leading his own quartet and playing with a big band reviving the music of the legendary Lionel Hampton.

You can check out some samples of Marsalis' quartet in today's videos, starting up above with "Didn't Monk Ramble," which was recorded in February of this year for the local TV program New Orleans Live.

After the jump, there are three selections that all were recorded in November 2014 in the studios of radio station KPLU (now KNKX) in Seattle, featuring Marsalis, Will Goble (bass), Austin Johnson (piano), and David Potter (drums). First up is the title track from Marsalis' first album as a leader, "The 21st Century Trad Band," followed by "The Man with Two Left Feet" and "18th Letter of Silence."

Below that, you can see a performance of Marsalis' tune "Blues Can Be Abstract, Too" recorded in 2014 at Louisiana Music Factory in New Orleans, and finally, a song called "Ballet Class" recorded in 2011 at the Festival Internacional de Jazz de Barquisimeto in Spain.

For more about Jason Marsalis, check out this review of his show in August at Ronnie Scott's in London, and the interview that he, his dad, and his brother Delfeayo did in April with Offbeat magazine.

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

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Jazz this week: Dr. Lonnie Smith's Evolution, Pat Metheny Quartet, and more

With the official start of fall this week, the local presenting season is kicking into gear with two major jazz headliners bringing new ensembles to town this week to perform, plus a variety of shows from St. Louis' own musicians. Let's go to the highlights....

Wednesday, September 21
Dr. Lonnie Smith's Evolution, an augmented version of the organist's usual trio, opens a four-night engagement to begin the fall season at Jazz at the Bistro.

Smith, the current eminence grise of jazz organ, reliably delivers the funky goods, and although the touring version of Evolution doesn't include the intriguing two-drummer configuration featured on several tracks on Smith's album of the same name, it does feature saxophonist John Ellis, plus a trumpeter whose identity still had not been revealed at press time, to help realize the album's arrangements in a live setting.

Also on Wednesday, Cabaret Project St. Louis has revived their open mic night, formerly presented at the now-closed Tavern of Fine Arts, as a weekly event at The Emerald Room at The Monocle; and the Big Little Big Band will play a free concert at Alton Senior HS Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, September 22
The Jazz at Holmes series presents three free events in a row, starting with guitarist and bassist William Lenihan and pianist Jay Oliver's quartet performing a late-afternoon concert at the Missouri History Museum.

That's followed by a presentation on "History of the Piano Trio and St. Louis Pianists" by educator and drummer Henry Ettman at Goldberg Formal Lounge in the Danforth University Center on campus, and a performance by pianist Dave Venn's trio at Holmes Lounge.

Friday, September 23
Singer Jonathan Karrant performs at the Kranzberg Arts Center; singer Joe Mancuso and his quartet return to Nathalie's; and dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom will be swinging to a double bill featuring St. Louis' own Miss Jubilee plus Chicago's Bailey Dee and the Late Night Bait.

Saturday, September 24
Singer Danita Mumphard will offer "A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton; trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi and band return to Evangeline's; and trumpeter Jim Manley and keyboardist Arthur Toney will play at Thurman's in Shaw.

September 25
Guitarist Pat Metheny will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of his fall tour with a new quartet, featuring drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh, and British pianist Gwilym Symcock.

Though they've not yet recorded, reviews of early shows are promising, with the group playing music ranging from Metheny's "earliest days all the way up through the 2014 Unity Group album."

Also on Sunday, the student musicians from the Webster Groves High School Jazz I and Jazz II Bands will show their stuff in a fundraising concert at Jazz at the Bistro.

Monday, September 26
Guitarist Dave Black, violinist Asako Kuboki, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and bassist Ben Wheeler will play original compositions in a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

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, September 18, 2016

Sunday Session: September 18, 2016

George Coleman
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Jazz pioneer Buddy Bolden and the Louisiana mental asylum band (NOLA.com)
* Record Bin: How Muddy Waters fused folk music and the blues on "Folk Singer" (Nooga.com)
* TIFF Review: ‘I Called Him Morgan’ is a Moody, Melancholic Study of the Late Trumpeter, Lee Morgan (ShadowAndAct.com)
* From 'Stairway to Heaven' to 'Damn Girl': 'Raging Bull' Remains Center Stage in Copyright Fights (Billboard)
* Metheny Quartet Plays SFJAZZ, Extends Guitarist’s Reach (DownBeat)
* Defeating The Jazz Zombies: America’s Music Is Alive & Well — These 7 Artists Are Proof (Stereogum.com)
* Interview: Sun Ra Commander Marshall Allen (Austin Chronicle)
* How Afrobeats Became Pop Music’s Next Big Thing (Buzzfeed)
* Artifact / Diagramming: An Interview with Mark Fell (Avant.org)
* Music with a Capital "M" - An Interview with Ethan Iverson of the Bad Plus (PopMatters.com)
* Donny McCaslin Takes 'Blackstar' Collaborators Beyond Bowie on New Album 'Beyond Now' (Billboard)
* Steve Buscemi and Elliott Sharp Talk William S. Burroughs, the 80s New York Scene, and the Creative Influence of Exhaustion (BlouinArtInfo.com)
* Fresh Pairings, Familiar Faces Delight at Chicago Jazz Fest (DownBeat)
* The Link Between Whitney Houston and the Rise of Auto-Tune in North Africa (Pitchfork.com)
* Why Apple is anything but the future of music (EricGarland.co)
* Heath, Weston, DeJohnette Shine in NYC Salute to Keepnews (DownBeat)
* The Summer in Jazz Releases (Bandcamp.com)
* Harmolodics: the truth at last (TheBlueMoment.com)
* ‘Play something they can enjoy,’ says jazz saxophone great George Coleman (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
* Q&A: Nels Cline - The guitarist and sonic provocateur invents a new brand of mood music on his Blue Note Records debut (Jazz Times)
* Hidden in plain sight: a global underground dance music scene with millions of fans (Medium.com)
* How Blockchain Startups Are Disrupting The $15 Billion Music Industry (Forbes)
* 8 Artists Exploding the Concept of Native American Music (Paste)
* Don Buchla, modular synthesizer pioneer, dies aged 79 (The Guardian UK)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2016 jazz preview, part 4

This week, it's part four of StLJN's Fall 2016 jazz preview, featuring videos of the jazz and creative music performers who will be playing here at various venues over the next several months. (You can see part one here, part two here, and part three here.)

Continuing in chronological order from where we left off last time, today's first video features singer Catherine Russell, who's set to perform Wednesday, November 16 through Saturday, November 19 at Jazz at the Bistro. Russell, who is known particularly for her takes on vintage material from the 1920s and '30s, can be seen in the clip up above singing "Aged and Mellow" back in July 2016 in the studios of KPLU radio in Tacoma, WA.

After the jump, you can see singer Dianne Reeves, who will be in town for a concert on Friday, December 2 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The video shows Reeves' set at the 2014 Lotos Jazz Festival in Poland, backed by a band featuring two St. Louisans - her longtime pianist and music director Peter Martin, who's from U. City, and drummer Terreon Gully, from East St. Louis - along with guitarist Peter Sprague and bassist James Genus.

The second clip after the jump features cellist Tomeka Reid, who's coming here from Chicago for a performance presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, December 3 at Joe's Cafe. Reid will lead a trio featuring two other notable Chicago musicians, drummer Mike Reed and flute player Nicole Mitchell, both composers and bandleaders in their own right. Although they released an collaborative album called Artifacts in 2015, there doesn't seem to be any video footage of them together available online, so instead, you can check out clips of each of them on their own.

Reid can be seen presenting a performance for cello and electronics in October 2013 as part of a gallery exhibition called "Unfurling: Five Explorations in Art, Activism, and Archiving," followed by Mitchell's solo flute concert in November 2014 for the New York Flute Club, and "Wilbur's Tune" from Reed's band People, Places & Things, recorded in 2010 in Paris with Greg Ward (alto sax), Tim Haldeman (tenor sax), and Jason Roebke (bass).

Next up is drummer Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O, who will be returning to spread a bit of holiday cheer in shows on Wednesday, December 7 and Thursday, December 8 at Jazz at the Bistro. The version of
"Hark! The Herald Angels Sing" seen here was recorded in the studios of KDHX during the Tree-O's last visit to St. Louis in December 2015.

The final group of videos features the musicians who will be involved in saxophonist Tim Warfield's "All-Star Jazzy Christmas," which will be the featured attraction from Wednesday, December 14 through Saturday, December 17 at the Bistro. In addition to Warfield, the band will feature pianist Cyrus Chestnut, trumpeter Terell Stafford, vibraphonist Stefon Harris, bassist Rodney Whitaker, drummer Clarence Penn and singer Joanna Pascale.

Chestnut can be seen doing a brief solo set recorded earlier this year in the studios of Kansas Public Radio, followed a set from Whitaker's quartet with Warfield, Penn and pianist Bruce Barth recorded in 2015 at Dizzy's in NYC's Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Next up is Stafford, playing "I'll Remember April" in the studios of KPLU (which recently changed its call letters to KNKX), and Harris and pianist Alex Brown playing “I Fall in Love Too Easily” in a 2015 concert in Ridgewood, NJ. Last but not least is Pascale, a staple of the Philadelphia jazz scene who will be making her St. Louis debut with this gig, singing "Them There Eyes" in 2010 at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philly.

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Jazz this week: "Music at the Intersection," Tammy McCann, Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival, Koplant No, and more

While this weekend's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis offers a number of noteworthy events, yr. StLJN editor's efforts remain hampered by my recent hand injury, which means today's post once again will be rather short and to the point.

Let's go to the highlights....

Thursday, September 15
Guitarist Todd Mosby (pictured, top left) plays a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and the Young Friends of Jazz St. Louis host their first event of the season, "The Jazz Age," at Jazz at the Bistro, featuring music from the Phil Dunlap Quintet and one of the JazzU student ensembles

Also on Thursday, trumpeter Alan Hood presents a master class at Fazio's Music in Ellisville, and guitarist Dave Black, singer Feyza Eren and friends perform at Nathalie’s.

Friday, September 16
Grand Center will present the final installment of this year's "Music at the Intersection" series, featuring local jazz and blues acts performing in various venues located near the intersection of Grand and Washington. The Funky Butt Brass Band gets thing started with a happy-hour set at Strauss Park, with more music from Montez Coleman, Anita Jackson, Bob DeBoo Trio, Miss Jubilee, Cafe Danza with Farshid Etniko, Jesse Gannon and the Dark Room All-Stars at venues including Jazz at the Bistro, Kranzberg Arts Center, Lucha, Curtain Call Lounge, Vito's, and The Dark Room.

Also on Friday, singer Tony Viviano returns to serenade diners at Fortel's, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham plays at Troy's Jazz Gallery
Saturday, September 17
The Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival will feature nearly 12 hours of music on two outdoor stages in the Old Webster Business District, centered at the intersection of Lockwood & Gore.

This year's lineup for the free, "family friendly" event leans heavily toward the jazz side, with "Old Webster’s Got Talent" contest winner Liberation Organ Trio kicking things off at mid-day, followed by sets from Scott A.F.B's Shades Of Blue, Anita Rosamond, the Webster University Jazz Ensemble's “Tribute To Verve Records,” Bach To The Future, Hipjaz Quintet, Matthew Von Doran Trio, the Webster Groves High School Jazz Band, Feyza Eren, Alan Oxenhandler, and Tracer, plus the Green McDonough Band and guitarist and singer Marquise Knox leading a "Blues Revue".

Also on Saturday, Chicago-based singer Tammy McCann (pictured, bottom left) is back with a show called "Ella Loves Gershwin" at The Emerald Room at The Monocle; jazz/fusion band Koplant No will make their debut at Jazz at the Bistro; and new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound will present a full staging of Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's "The Hunger" at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Sunday, September 18
Trumpeter Jim Manley plays for brunch at Nathalie's, while Miss Jubilee returns to Evangeline's.

Monday, September 19
Saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, singer Debby Lennon and keyboardist Nick Schlueter will perform at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium, and the St. Louis Legacy Ensemble plays at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soup. 

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, September 11, 2016

Sunday Session: September 11, 2016

Rahsaan Roland Kirk
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Terry Riley - A Rainbow in Curved Air (Pitchfork)
* The Many Lives of "The House of the Rising Sun" (MusicAficionado.com)
* Does the Music Business Need Musicianship? (TheSmartSet.com)
* The streaming music war is getting ugly (Money/CNN)
* New Rahsaan Roland Kirk Documentary - “The Case of the Three Sided Dream” goes inside the multi-instrumentalist's artistic brilliance (Jazz Times)
* Saxophonist Benny Golson, an “elder statesman of jazz” (WHYY)
* Pat Martino honors Wes Montgomery - The Indy Jazz Fest artist tells the story of his friendship with the Indy great (NUVO.net)
* Pinball machine featuring the Stones, Elton John, The Who, AC/DC, KISS and many more (DangerousMinds.net)
* Tracing the Rock and Roll Race Problem (Pitchfork)
* Q&A with Steve Gadd: Leader Disc Documents Hometown Concert (DownBeat)
* How Beyoncé and Kendrick Lamar Reflected Black Lives Matter (Vulture.com)
* An Interview with Trumpeter Randy Brecker (NotesOnJazz.blogspot.de)
* Before & After With Fred Hersch - The pianist-composer on Jarrett, singers, the “Vanguard sound” and more (Jazz Times)
* The Bad Plus Tests Jazz’s Boundaries by Exploding the Art of the Cover Song (Observer.com)
* Black Classical - History of Spiritual Jazz (NTS.live)
* Projecting Trends: Do Streaming Services Now Compete with Labels? (SynchTank.com)
* Willie Bobo: An Appreciation And A New Album (NPR)
* Careless whisker: Universal to release album for cats (The Guardian UK)
* Angela Davis: Nina Simone's music was so much more than the soundtrack to a movement (The Mail and Globe NZ)
* The Beat Don’t Stop - How “The Get Down” and “Atlanta” break down hip-hop’s past and future (The New Republic)
* 15 samplers that shaped modern music – and the musicians who use them (FactMag.com)
* A photographer’s incredible journey in 1960 to capture jazz in America (Washington Post)
* 5 audiophile myths, totally busted (CNET.com)