Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Jazz this week: Freddy Cole & Harry Allen, Eric Marienthal, The New Mastersounds, and more

There are a number of notable shows from visiting jazz and creative music performers coming up this week in St. Louis, offering something for fans of genres ranging from straight-ahead swing to fusion to experimental, free improv, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 25
Pianist and singer Freddy Cole and his band, teamed once again with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, return to Jazz at the Bistro for the first evening of a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday.

Cole (pictured top left, with Allen) shares a number of musical virtues with his older brother, the late Nat "King" Cole, including a relaxed vocal style, a sure sense of swing as a pianist, and an appreciation of classic popular songs, but he's managed to chart his own course as a musician, acknowledging his brother's influence without being dominated by it.

Add in the saxophone stylings of Allen, whose playing has been influenced by Swing Era giants like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Paul Gonsalves, and the result should be four nights of satisfying old-school sounds.

Also on Wednesday, pianist Phil Dunlap and his quintet will play for the monthly music series at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Thursday, May 26
Saxophonist Eric Marienthal (pictured, center left) will join St. Louis' own Bach to the Future for a free concert at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Also on Thursday, the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound closes out their St. Louis season with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall, featuring music from their "Alarm System" collaborations with Medeski, Martin and Wood, composers Tyondai Braxton and Mira Calix, and others.

Elsewhere around town, the Tavern of Fine Arts will host their monthly "Experimental Arts Open Improv Night" with live improvised music; the Saint Boogie Brass Band plays an early evening show at Taze Mediterranean Street Food downtown; and guitarist Vincent Varvel lead a trio at Evangeline's.

Friday, May 27
The annual Glendale Jazz Festival will feature sets from the St. Louis Big Band with singer Joe Scalzitti plus singer and pianist Anita Rosamond and R&B vocalist Coco Soul on an outdoor stage at Glendale City Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Meanwhile, downtown on the riverfront, percussionist and composer Eli Keszler will headline a multi-artist bill of experimental and improvising musicians including Marissa Anderson, 18&Counting with Charles "Bobo" Shaw, Demonlover, Ghost Ice, and more at the William A Kerr Foundation on Laclede's Landing.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Kasimu Taylor leads a quartet at Bossanova Martini Lounge and Restaurant in Alton, and guitarist Tom Byrne and Have U Heard? will play music inspired by Pat Metheny at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Saturday, May 28
In what's being billed as a dual display of "extreme saxophone," the saxophonists PedroSaxo and Derek Brown will show off their extensive repertoires of extended techniques in a free afternoon performance and workshop at Saxquest.

Saturday evening, The New Mastersounds (pictured, bottom left) will perform at The Bootleg at the Atomic Cowboy.

The British funk/jazz quartet is touring in support of The Nashville Sessions, their latest album that was released last month. For more about that, plus some video samples of them in action, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, singer Erin Bode will celebrate the release of her new album with a concert at Lindenwood University's J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts; singer Joe Mancuso brings his organ trio to The Dark Room; The Wire Pilots play original fusion music at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and saxophonist Rhoda G and singer Ralph Williams will be the featured performers for "Jazz in Paris" at the Jones Banquet Plaza in Fairview Heights.

Sunday, May 29
As often happens on major holidays, the live music offerings around town thin out quite a bit in the latter half of the Memorial Day weekend, but you can still hear some jazz for Sunday brunch, courtesy of trumpeter Jim Manley at Nathalie's and/or Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes 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 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.)

Monday, May 23, 2016

Miles on Monday: The BBC on the
visual art of Miles Davis, and more

"Sugar Rush" by Miles Davis
This week in Miles Davis news:

* To coincide with the 90th anniversary of Davis' birth, the BBC has scheduled "Blue Canvas: The Artist Miles Davis," an  audio documentary about Davis' visual art, for broadcast this Thursday. 

* Also on Thursday, All Music Television Digital Network will release a promotional video for an upcoming broadcast of the "Miles in May" event presented last week in Los Angeles by keyboardist Robert Glasper, saxophonist Terrace Martin, and friends. A full-length program based on the event will be shown Friday, June 24 on All Music Television and the ASPiRE TV network.

* Speaking of Robert Glasper, he talked about the release this week of his Miles Davis tribute/remix album Everything's Beautiful and various other topics in interviews with the Village Voice and Rolling Stone.

* An apartment subdivided from the NYC townhouse where Davis lived for more than 20 years has been listed for sale. The price? $500,000, plus monthly maintenance fee.

* Trumpeter Sean Jones was interviewed about Miles Davis' legacy and his experiences working with former Davis collaborators including Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, and Marcus Miller. Jones will be featured as a special guest with SFJAZZ's "Miles Electric" project at the San Francisco Jazz Festival in June.

* Davis' historic album Bitches Brew served as inspiration for an essay in The Atlantic by the writer Mark Haddon about why "Art Should Be Uncomfortable."

Music Education Monday:
Guitar lessons from Pat Martino

If you had a chance to hear guitarist Pat Martino when he performed in St. Louis a couple of weeks ago, you may have wondered how he does what he does.

Today for Music Education Monday, you may get at least a partial answer to that question, as you can see Martino (pictured) explaining some of his concepts and musical ideas via a series of video lessons.

Excerpted from an "interactive video master class" called The Nature of Guitar, the lessons total more than 70 minutes of material spread across 11 individual videos.

The first clip, "A Compositional Journey," is the longest of the set at nearly 25 minutes, followed by segments titled "The Utensil & The Experience," "Seven Primaries: Triangle," "Chromatic Scale: Octavistics," and "'Stairways' & Chromaticism."

Next up is "Parental Forms Revealed," followed by "G7 Improv: Minor Form," "Diminished Parental Form: Dom7," an overview and breakdown of Martino's original "Welcome to a Prayer," and a performance of an improvised blues.

All 11 clips have been compiled into a YouTube playlist, which you can see in the embedded window below.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sunday Session: May 22, 2016

Dr. Lonnie Smith
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* He's got four million doo-wop 45s for sale, but browsers beware (Philadelphia Inquirer)
* The Current's 893 Essential Albums (Minnesota Public Radio)
* Just How Good a Singer Was Dean Martin? (The Daily Beast)
* I’ve sold all my CDs. Can I live without those cracked plastic cases of magic and memories? (The Guardian UK)
* Our Hero and His Blues: Celebrating Albert Murray (Los Angeles Review of Books)
* The Taboo of Injury and Disability in Music (
* Tape recording was introduced 70 years ago today (
* Listen up: James West forever changed the way we hear the world (
* This Legendary Composer Writes Music for 100-Guitar Ensembles (Esquire)
* Library Of Congress Opens 'Jazz Singers' Exhibition (NPR)
* The Music Industry Buried More Than 150 Startups. Now They Are Left To Dance With The Giants (
* Overdue Ovation for George Lewis - An artistic academic, a soulful technologist (Jazz Times)
* Why a newspaper trashed its own opera review (Washington Post)
* Without Jazz and Blues, There's No Americana (The Atlantic)
* A Blues for Albert Murray (The Nation)
* Interview: Organist & Musician Dr. Lonnie Smith (PBS/The Tavis Smiley Show)
* Rahsaan Roland Kirk Documentary To Be Released May 31 (DownBeat)
* Exclusive Interview: Eddie Palmieri Discusses ‘Harlem River Drive’ + Forthcoming Record (
* Moral Rights for Musicians: A Primer (
* Glenn Branca's Really Experimental Music: Why the Composer Is Still Punk After All These Years (
* Theo Croker Brings the Funk to NYC’s Samsung 837 (DownBeat)
* House of Cards - Why Alaskan musicians are singing the blues (Anchorage Press)
* At 80, Carla Bley Keeps Looking Towards The Next Composition (NPR)
* Tony Bennett’s son is new US head of Universal classics and jazz (
* Miller, Bunnett, Carrington Bring Flair to Mary Lou Williams Festival (DownBeat)
* A Five-Time Grammy Winner Explains Why YouTube are Total Scumbags (
* The inside story of when Run‑DMC met Aerosmith and changed music forever (Washington Post)
* Thirteen Prayers: Kamasi Washington's Favourite Albums (The Quietus)
* Interview: Dr. Cornel West & Afro-Cuban Jazz Musician Arturo O’Farrill Explore Music & Activism (Vibe)
* A Hidden Times Square Sound Installation Returns to Full Hum (
* How Bugs Bunny and ‘Kill the Wabbit’ Inspired a Generation of Opera Stars (Wall Street Journal)

Saturday, May 21, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Back to basics with The New Mastersounds

This week, let's check out some videos of the British funk/jazz quartet The New Mastersounds, who will be performing in St. Louis next Saturday, May 28 at The Bootleg at the Atomic Cowboy.

Known for stripped-down funk in the vein of the Meters, Booker T and the MGs, and St. Louis' own Grant Green, The New Mastersounds - guitarist and bandleader Eddie Roberts, drummer Simon Allen, bassist Pete Shand, and keyboardist Joe Tatton - have played here a couple of times before at the Old Rock House, most recently in October of 2015.

At that time, they were touring in support of their then-new album Made for Pleasure, and now, surprising many observers, they've already released a follow-up, The Nashville Sessions, which came out in April.

Remaking and rearranging songs from their early catalog, this latest album is was recorded live-to-tape in a single session before a small audience at Welcome to 1979 Studios in Nashville, using only the four core members of the band with no guest musicians or singers.

You can get a taste of the music from that recording in the video up above, which documents the performance of "In The Middle" from The Nashville Sessions.

After the jump, you can check out four live performances recorded during the weekend of February 18 & 19 of this year at The Independent in San Francisco, starting with "Give It Up" and continuing with "Afro Metropolis," "This Ain't Work," and "All Wrapped Up."

The final video is a cover of Phish's "Cars Trucks Buses," a song that originally was recorded last year for the website Live For Live Music, and subsequently has found its way into some of The New Mastersounds' recent live sets.

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

Friday, May 20, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Saxophonist Bobby Watson, who's visiting St. Louis to play tonight with the Jazz Edge Orchestra at the Touhill, was interviewed by the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson.

Watson also was interviewed Thursday about the show by KMOX's Charlie Brennan.

* Jazz St. Louis has announced a celebration of National Donut Day at their Grand Center HQ, with tastings of donuts from 15 local bakeries, plus a photo booth, kids' activities, and live music. The event, which is free and open to the public, will take place from 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, June 3.

* Saxophonist David Sanborn announced that he'll be touring North America this summer jointly with saxophonist Dave Koz (pictured, with Sanborn). The tour starts July 30 at Thornton Winery in Temecula, CA and continues through the end of August. No St. Louis show this time around, but you can see the full list of dates at Sanborn's website.

* "Da-Dum-Dun," an event presented tonight by the Eugene B. Redmond Writers Club in celebration of the lives of East St. Louisans Miles Davis, Henry Dumas and Katherine Dunham, was previewed by Kenya Vaughn of the St. Louis American.

* Singer Erin Bode's performance last week at a charity concert for St. Louis Children’s Hospital patients was the subject of a news story on KTVI/Fox 2.

* Saxophonist Greg Osby was the subject of an extended feature story by's Victor Schermer.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Emanuel Harrold performed with singer Gregory Porter last week on PBS's The Tavis Smiley Show, and the performance and interview with Porter now have been posted online.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Jazz St. Louis announces 2016-17
season schedule for Jazz at the Bistro

Jazz St. Louis today announced the 2016-17 season schedule for Jazz at the Bistro, and it's another year full of familiar favorites interspersed with a handful of new acts.

The most notable "get" is singer Al Jarreau (pictured, top left), who normally headlines theaters and concert halls but will make his Bistro debut performing in a duo with a pianist TBA on Friday, September 30 and Saturday, October 1. Jarreau last appeared in St. Louis in 2011 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Making their St. Louis debuts as bandleaders at the Bistro will be drummer Jamison Ross; saxophonist Donny McCaslin (pictured, center left), whose band backed the late David Bowie on his final album Blackstar; saxophonist Jimmy Greene; and harmonica player Gregoire Maret with singer Alicia Olatuja.

Also making Bistro debuts will be singer Catherine Russell, who headlined a concert at The Sheldon a couple of seasons ago; trumpeter Ingrid Jensen and saxophonist Sharyl Cassity, who will be part of the group assembled by Jazz St. Louis for an educational residency in October, and Cuban-born pianist Alfredo Rodriguez, performing in a duo with percussionist Pedrito Martinez, who played a one-nighter at the club last year.

The season's other educational residency in the spring will feature three St. Louis natives - trumpeter Keyon Harrold (pictured, lower left), drummer Kimberly Thompson, and pianist Lawrence Fields - along with saxophonist Adam Larson. Thompson also will appear with guitarist Mike Stern's trio for a week of shows in February.

Returning acts will include organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, this time with his band Evolution instead of a trio; the SFJAZZ Collective, which next season will be performing the music of Miles Davis; singer and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway, organist Joey DeFrancesco; and bassist Christian McBride's latest band, the New Jawn Quartet.

Seasonally speaking, almost the entire month of December will be devoted to holiday-themed shows, starting with singer Dianne Reeves in a Jazz St. Louis-presented concert at the Touhill, and continuing with return appearances from drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O and trumpeter Jim Manley, and wrapping up with an all-star band nominally led by saxophonist Tim Warfield that will include several of the musicians who played in last fall's "Jazz St. Louis at 20" shows.

In addition, trumpeter Jeremy Davenport, The Bad Plus, and singer Erin Bode all will return to their familiar spots on the schedule for, respectively, Thanksgiving, the first week of the New Year, and Valentine's Day.

There is one new scheduling wrinkle this year as, in emulation of The Sheldon's popular "Coffee Concerts," Jazz St. Louis will offer performances at 11:00 a.m. Thursday mornings from selected touring acts.

Here's the complete schedule in chronological order:

Wednesday, September 21 - Saturday, September 24: Dr. Lonnie Smith’s Evolution
Wednesday, September 28 & Thursday, September 29: Bill Charlap Trio
Friday, September 30 & Saturday, October 1: Al Jarreau Duo

Wednesday, October 5 - Saturday, October 8: Jamison Ross
Wednesday, October 12 & Thursday, October 13: The People’s Key
Friday, October 14 & Saturday, October 15: Adaron “Pops” Jackson & Phil Dunlap
Wednesday, October 19 - Saturday, October 22: Donny McCaslin Group
Wednesday, October 26 & Thursday, October 27: The 442s
Friday, October 28 & Saturday, October 30: Sharel Cassity, Ingrid Jensen & Ben Wolfe

Wednesday, November 2 - Saturday, November 5: Jimmy Greene Quartet
Tuesday, November 8: SIUE Concert & Alumni Jazz Bands
Wednesday, November 9 & Thursday, November 10: Adaron “Pops” Jackson & Eric Slaughter
Friday, November 11 & Saturday, November 12: Dawn Weber
Wednesday, November 16 - Saturday, November 19: Catherine Russell
Friday, November 25 & Saturday, November 26: Jeremy Davenport

Friday, December 2: Dianne Reeves (at the Touhill Performing Arts Center)
Wednesday, December 7 & Thursday, December 8: Matt Wilson’s Christmas Tree-O
Friday, December 9 & Saturday, December 10: Jim Manley’s Mad Brass & Rhythm
Wednesday, December 15 - Saturday, December 17: Tim Warfield with Terell Stafford, Stefon Harris, Cyrus Chestnut, Rodney Whitaker, Clarence Penn & Joanna Pascale
Monday, December 19 - Wednesday, December 21: Jazz St. Louis Big Band plays Ellington’s “Nutcracker”
Thursday, December 29 & Friday, December 30: Good 4 the Soul


Wednesday, January 4 - Saturday, January 7: The Bad Plus
Wednesday, January 18 - Saturday, January 18: Regina Carter

Wednesday, February 1 - Saturday, February 4: Alfredo Rodriguez & Pedrito Martinez
Wednesday, February 8 & Saturday, February 9: Bruce Barth Trio
Friday, February 10, Saturday, February 11 & Tuesday, February 14:: Erin Bode
Wednesday, February 15 - Saturday, February 18: Mike Stern, Kimberly Thompson & Teymur Phell

Wednesday, March 1 - Saturday, March 4: Clayton Brothers Quintet
Wednesday, March 15 - Saturday, March 18: Ann Hampton Callaway
Wednesday, March 29 - Saturday, April 1: Kneebody

Wednesday, April 5 & Thursday, April 6: Laurence Hobgood Trio
Friday, April 7 & Saturday, April 8: Keyon Harrold, Lawrence Fields, Adam Larson & Kimberly Thompson
Wednesday, April 12 - Saturday, April 15: Gregoire Maret with Alicia Olatuja
Wednesday, April 26 - Saturday, April 29 SFJAZZ Collective plays the music of Miles Davis

Wednesday, May 10 - Saturday, May 13: Joey DeFrancesco Trio
Wednesday, May 25 - Saturday, May 27: Christian McBride’s New Jawn Quartet

(The new Thursday morning series will include concerts by Charlap, Greene, Russell, Barth, the Clayton Brothers, Callaway,  Hobgood, and DeFrancesco.)

Various season subscription packages can be purchased now via the Jazz St. Louis website or by calling 314-571-6000, with single tickets scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday, August 10.

Jazz this week: Peter Martin, Bobby Watson & Angela Hagenbach, Rhys Chatham, and more

This week's lineup of jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis includes a rare nightclub appearance by a favorite hometown pianist, several noteworthy touring performers, and a rather eclectic selection of tribute shows.

Let's go to the highlights....

Wednesday, May 18
Pianist Peter Martin will lead his trio for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, the first time he's played the room since it was expanded and renovated in 2014.

Martin (pictured, top left) will be joined by bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Gregory Hutchinson, both first-rate players who contributed to his most recent album What Lies Ahead and have been working with him on some touring dates as well, so they should be primed and ready from the first downbeat. Given Martin's local popularity - he grew up in U City, and continues to live in St. Louis while touring internationally as music director for singer Dianne Reeves - tickets may be hard to get, so advance reservations are recommended.

Also tonight, the experimental noise-rock duo Ahleuchatistas return to headline a four-band bill at 2720 Cherokee, and Cabaret Project St. Louis will celebrate the fourth anniversary of their "Open Mic Night" at the Tavern of Fine Arts

Thursday, May 19
The New Orleans-based band Nutrio makes their St. Louis debut at Evangeline's. The group, which includes saxophonist and clarinetist Byron Asher, bassist Trey Boudreaux, and drummer Shawn Myers, is touring the Midwest in support of their self-titled debut EP.

Also on Thursday, singer Feyza Eren and friends will perform at Nathalie’s

Friday, May 20
The Jazz Edge Orchestra will present a concert paying tribute to Kansas City jazz at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, featuring as special guests the veteran alto saxophonist Bobby Watson (pictured, center left), who once was a key part of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers and now co-leads the jazz program at UMKC's conservatory of music; and vocalist and KC native Angela Hagenbach.

Elsewhere on Friday, the funk/jazz quartet Good 4 the Soul will join forces with keyboardist Reggie Thomas for the first of two nights of a tribute to the late keyboardists Joe Sample and George Duke at Jazz at the Bistro; Western swing favorites Asleep At The Wheel will be in town to perform at the Old Rock House, and guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith will play duets at Tavern of Fine Arts.

Saturday, May 21
Saxquest continues their series of free performances and workshops with a matinee from the New Horizon Saxophone Quartet, which features faculty members from the University of Cincinnati, Drake University, and Colorado State University and "combines the rhythmic and improvisatory language of jazz with elements of modern chamber composition."

Then on Saturday night, trumpeter Kasimu Taylor leads a quintet playing the music of Miles Davis at Kranzberg Arts Center, while the Funky Butt Brass Band will turn their monthly show at Broadway Oyster Bar into a tribute to Prince. Also on Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley and guitarist Randy Bahr's All-Star Band returns to Nathalie's, and Wack-A-Doo plays swing, vintage pop and Americana at Evangeline's.

Sunday, May 22
On Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents Cornet Chop Suey in a matinee performance of traditional jazz and swing at the Doubletree Hotel St. Louis at Westport.

Sunday night, composer and multi-instrumentalist Rhys Chatham will be visiting for a rare solo performance at The Luminary, with St. Louis' Vernacular String Trio as opening act.

A seminal figure in NYC's experimental music scene of the 1970s and '80s, Chatham (pictured, bottom left) has lived in France for the past 30 years, and his appearances stateside are infrequent and often confined to the coasts. For more about Chatham and some video samples of his music, see this post from last Saturday

Also on Sunday night, the Dave Dickey Big Band will play their regular monthly show at Jazz at the Bistro, with an intermission performance from the Sperring Middle School Jazz Ensemble.

Monday, May 23
Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at The Shaved Duck.

Tuesday, May 24
Two groups associated with improvising pianist Greg Mills, the Mount Everest Trio and the Perihelion Ensemble, will share an evening at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

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.)