Sunday, August 19, 2018

Sunday Session: August 19, 2018

Aretha Franklin
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:

* How Much Does It REALLY Cost To Be A Classical Musician? (
* Live Review: 45th Umbria Jazz Festival (DownBeat)
* Review: Warsaw Summer Jazz Days (Jazz Journal)
* A Listener’s Guide to “Loud Jazz” (Jazz Times)
* Chicago Jazz Festival to Mark 40th Anniversary (DownBeat)
* Jazz In The 21st Century Is All About 'Playing Changes' (NPR)
* “You Haven’t Done Enough To Be The Way You Are.” Robert Glasper Speaks On Lauryn Hill’s Mistreatment of Artists (
* Top 10 Moments of the 2018 Newport Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* The American guitar industry is making a serious comeback (
* Warner Music Buying Uproxx Is a Depressing Look Into the Music Industry’s Monolithic Future (SPIN)
* We Shall Overcome publisher handed $352,000 legal bill after song declared public domain (
* Ronnie Foster's "Mystic Brew" (
* Inhabiting Sound: Matana Roberts Speaks (
* A Miraculous Field Recording: The Guitar Playing of Joseph Spence (The New Yorker)
* 'It's a code for living': Gregory Porter and José James on the music of their heroes (Los Angeles Times)
* Nate Chinen on ’70s and ’80s Jazz (Jazz Times)
* Jimmy Page and the Grouses of the Holy (GQ)
* When Music Was Bigger Than Life: Sonny Rollins in New York City (
* Why Are Record Companies Dumping Their Spotify Stock? (
* Thank god for the return of the generation gap in pop (The Spectator)
* In Memoriam: Aretha Franklin (DownBeat)
* Aretha Franklin Was America's Truest Voice (NPR)
* 'She doesn't just move you, she shakes you': all-star tributes to Aretha Franklin (The Guardian)
* Aretha Franklin, a 'performer without peers' (Detroit News)
* How Aretha Franklin’s Jazz Beginnings Predicted Her Genre-Transcending Career (Rolling Stone)
* Tyshawn Sorey Travels Further Out on New Works (DownBeat)
* "The Sleeping Bear" Awakens: The Revival of the Hammond B-3 Organ (
* Musicians only received 12% of the music industry’s $43 billion revenue in 2017 (
* William Parker’s Late-Career Bloom (The Nation)
* Pop Songs in English, Written by Native Speakers of Swedish (The Paris Review)
* Ulysses Owens’ Delivers Poignant Messages on Freedom (DownBeat)
* Prince Estate and Sony Release 23 Long-Unavailable Albums Digitally (Variety)
* This Black Woman Was Once the Biggest Star in Jazz. Here’s Why You’ve Never Heard of Her (

Saturday, August 18, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2018 jazz preview, part one

With the start of the season just a few weeks away, it's time once again for StLJN's fall jazz preview, presenting videos featuring the jazz and creative music performers and bands who will be visiting St. Louis in the next few months.

The Fall 2018 presenting season opens with a big name, as pianist Chick Corea will be bringing his latest trio, featuring Carlitos Del Puerto on bass and Marcus Gilmore on drums, to town to perform on Tuesday, September 11 and Wednesday, September 12 at Jazz St. Louis.

You can see and hear them in the first video up above, performing Corea's signature song "Spain" last year as the encore to a set at the Blue Note Hawaii in Honolulu.

After the jump, you can see a clip featuring another talented pianist, Cuban-born Harold Lopez-Nussa, who will be here for a one-night-only show on Thursday, September 13 at Jazz St. Louis. The video captures Lopez-Nussa performance's in December 2017 at the studios of WGBH in Boston, accompanied by with his brother, Ruy López-Nussa on drums, and Gastón Joya on bass.

Next up is Big Sam's Funky Nation, who will be bringing their New Orleans funk on Friday, September 14 to the Old Rock House. Big Sam and company can be seen here performing "We Gon' Do It/Gimme Dat" in May of this year at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL.

The following week, trumpeter and vocalist Byron Stripling will return to perform starting Wednesday, September 19 through Sunday, September 23 at Jazz St. Louis. He's shown in the third video after the jump, a recording of a set from May 2016 that has Stripling backed by a local rhythm section in Havana, Cuba.

That same week, another New Orleans favorite, Bonerama, will return for a show on Friday, September 21 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion, with St. Louis' own Funky Butt Brass Band opening. Bonerama can be seen in the next video, offering their take on the Allman Brothers Band's "Whipping Post" in March of this year, also at The Funky Biscuit.

The last three clips feature musicians who will be performing as part of New Music Circle's first event of the season. NMC will kick off their 60th anniversary year with a weekend of shows featuring four improvising musicians - cellist Okkyung Lee, multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee, percussionist Chris Corsano, and guitarist Bill Orcutt - combined in different duo pairings on Friday, September 21 at Joe's Cafe and Saturday, September 22 at Off Broadway.

The antepenultimate clip shows a solo performance by Lee, recorded in February 2017 at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, CA. That's followed by a video documenting a duo set by McPhee and percussionist Paal Nilssen-Love during a residency in December 2017 at Cafe Oto in London. The final video captures a duo performance by Corsano and Orcutt in January 2018 at the Hemlock Tavern in San Francisco.

Look for part two of StLJN's Fall 2018 jazz preview next week in this space. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, August 17, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold this week was on NPR as a guest performer on singer Erykah Badu's Tiny Desk Concert.

* The latest episode of the cable TV series STL Live previewed Saturday's Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival.

* Saxophonist and educator Harvey Lockhart's HEAL Center for the Arts is one of several local organizations getting a grant for 2018-19 from the Arts and Education Council's Monsanto Creative Impact Fund.

* Singer and producer Wendy Gordon (pictured), saxophonist Kendrick Smith, and other cast members appeared on FOX 2's Thursday morning newscast to promote the latest installment of Gordon's "Jazz Heaven" series, happening this Saturday at the Florissant Civic Center Theater.

* Flute player and composer Fred Tompkins has reissued his late 1970s album Cécile on CD. The re-release includes all the tunes from the LP version, which feature performances from notable musicians such as bassist Anthony Jackson, guitarist Chuck Loeb, and others, plus some bonus tracks of more recent material.

* Thurman's in Shaw is adding a Sunday brunch, which will debut with a "soft opening" on Sunday, August 26. The venue also will celebrate two years of operations under the current ownership with an all-day event on Saturday, September 1 featuring live music, drink specials, and more.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Jazz this week: Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a diverse lineup of shows featuring female vocalists, plus a free festival out in Missouri wine country, a return appearance from saxophonist/vocalist Karl Denson and band, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, August 15
Cabaret Project St. Louis presents this month's edition of what they're now calling the "Singers Open Mic" at Sophie's Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club in the .ZACK building in Grand Center.

Also on Wednesday, guitarist Joe Park leads a trio at Yaquis on Cherokee; Wright's Project returns to Al's Lounge; and the weekly, free "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features guitarist Travis Lewis leading a trio at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session hosted by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter  Kasimu Taylor's band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, August 16
Singer Anita Jackson performs at 50/Fifty Kitchen; singer Cheri Evans and CEEJazzSoul are back at the Chase Club, and bassist Chano Cruz leads a trio at The Dark Room.

Friday, August 17
Saxophonist and singer Karl Denson brings his band Tiny Universe (pictured, top left) back to the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion, with opening sets from locals The Grooveliner and Brother Francis & The Soultones.

In addition to some funky favorites from their back catalog, you can expect to hear some material from KDTU's soon-to-be-released next album, as well as a few Allman Brothers covers. For more about the Allmans connection and some video samples from recent shows, check out this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday, singer Denise Thimes, who relocated to Chicago earlier this year, is back home for the weekend and will sing the music of Roberta Flack for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis.

Elsewhere around town, the Hard Bop Messengers will spread the gospel of Art Blakey at Evangeline's; trumpeter Jim Manley returns to One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar; and Focal Point begins a several-weeks-long slate of vintage jazz shows with at "Django Reinhardt Tribute" featuring guitarists Joe Park, Eric Slaughter, Gary Hunt, Paul Davis and John Miller.

Saturday, August 18
Singer and impresario Wendy Gordon presents "Jazz Heaven: Under The Rainbow II," the latest installment in her long-running series of tribute shows, with a cast including Jeanne Trevor (pictured, bottom left), Kim Fuller-Barnes, Dean Christopher, Eugene Johnson, and more, at the Florissant Civic Center Theater.

Also on Saturday, you can head west to wine country for the annual Hermann Wine & Jazz Festival, a free, day-long event featuring music from drummer Montez Coleman's quartet, SpaceShip, Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7, the Joe Mancuso Organ Trio, Bach to the Future and more at the Hermann Amphitheater.

Elsewhere around town, singer Feyza Eren will perform at Evangeline's; singer Mary Dyson returns to Troy's Jazz Gallery; and the Chicago Cellar Boys will be in town to play their brand of traditional jazz and swing at the Focal Point.

Sunday, August 19
Although Sunday's concert by trumpeter Herb Alpert and his wife, singer Lani Hall, at the Grandel Theatre has been sold out for several weeks now, you can catch guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran playing for brunch at The Dark Room, then check out an exhibit of some of Alpert's visual art in the Grandel lobby.

Elsewhere on Sunday, the Genesis Jazz Project returns to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; or if you're on the east side (or can get there), Miss Jubilee is playing a free, all-ages show at Bobby's Frozen Custard in Maryville.

Monday, August 20
Drummer Keith Bowman and his quartet continue their Monday night residency at The Dark Room.

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 12, 2018

Sunday Session: August 12, 2018

Jason Moran
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:

* Randy Weston: Music is Life Itself (New Music Box)
* Houston celebrates jazz legend Arnette Cobb’s 100th birthday with music (Houston Chronicle)
* The Weirdest Musical Instruments Ever (
* Alice Coltrane Concluded Trilogy with ‘Lord Of Lords’ (DownBeat)
* John Cage's ten rules for students and teachers (
* Wisdom from a Master (
* How music has responded to a decade of economic inequality (
* An Interview with Jason Moran (The Believer)
* Four Pro Tips For Touring With Paul Simon (Billboard)
* These tiny, stretchy speakers and microphones let your skin play music (Science)
* These LA Artists Are Keeping Jazz Raw as Hell (
* The Rise and Decline of Guitarist Emily Remler (Jazz Times)
* Musicians Only Get 12 Percent of the Money the Music Industry Makes (Rolling Stone)
* 2018 Newport Jazz Festival: Special Recap (Jazz Times)
* Warner Music Group Sells Its Entire Stake in Spotify (Variety)
* Henry Threadgill’s sonic worlds (
* 'Hipster kryptonite': will CDs ever have a resurgence? (The Guardian)
* The Band's Robbie Robertson Looks Back On 50 Years Of 'Music From Big Pink' (NPR)
* This Band Launched a Business Writing Theme Songs for Tech Companies (Time)
* The Strange David and Goliath Saga of Radio Frequencies (Wired)
* Coming of Age in the Loft Jazz Scene (New York Times)
* In Various Constructs: Remembering Cecil Taylor (Viewpoint)
* The 50 most influential dance music albums of all time (
* Ghost Man at the Player Piano (
* Delayed Trane: John Coltrane’s Lost Album (Jazz Times)
* Jazz em Agosto Spotlights Zorn’s Panoramic Work (DownBeat)
* Q&A with Chris Potter: Crossing Currents with Dave Holland and Zakir Hussain (Jazziz)

Saturday, August 11, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Karl Denson's Tiny Universe

This week, let's check out some videos featuring saxophonist and vocalist Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Friday, August 17 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

KDTU, as they're known to fans, last played here in July 2017 at the same venue. Since then, Denson went to Europe with the Rolling Stones - he's been part of their touring band since 2016 - and KDTU did a series of shows paying tribute to the Allman Brothers Band under the name "Karl Denson's Tiny Universe presents Eat A Bunch of Peaches."

Here in St. Louis, KDTU will be playing material from their forthcoming studio album, plus some music from their back catalog and, more than likely, a few tunes from the Allman tribute as well.

You can see them perform some of those songs today's collection of videos, though the first clip up above is of "Everybody Knows That," a tune from their 2014 album New Ammo, as performed in April of this year on Adult Swim's FishCenter. (Why KDTU appeared on what's billed as "the world’s only LIVE marine-themed, call-in show" is an exercise left to the reader.)

After the jump, you can see some examples of their tribute to the Allmans, in the form of covers of "One Way Out," recorded last November, and "Whipping Post," from this year's Telluride Jazz Festival, followed by a full set of ABB songs recorded in April of this year at the Buckhead Theater in Atlanta.

If you're in the mood for more after that, you can check two more full sets from 2017, recorded at Levitt Pavilion in Denver and Ardmore Music Hall in Philadephia.

For more about Karl Denson and Tiny Universe, read Denson's interview with the Telluride News and a feature story about the band published on

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

Friday, August 10, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Veteran drummer Gary Sykes, who currently plays with pianist Ptah Williams' trio, the STL Free Jazz Collective, and others, continues to face some serious health issues, most recently making a trip this week to St. Mary's Hospital to have two stents installed.

While Sykes said in a Facebook post that he's feeling better post-surgery, the GoFundMe page to raise money to help with expenses while he's unable to work is still active. Find out more and, if you wish, donate here.

* Singer Valerie Kirchhoff and pianist Ethan Leinwand of Miss Jubilee (pictured) were guests on a recent episode of Rock Paper Podcast.

* The Dark Room has begun live-streaming video of performances on their Facebook page, and archiving the streamed videos on a new YouTube channel.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was interviewed about his musical influences by Jamie Cullum for BBC Radio Two's "Take Five."

* Get It How You Live, the new album by trumpeter Russell Gunn's Royal Krunk Jazz Orkestra, was reviewed by DownBeat magazine.

* Guitarist Nels Cline was interviewed about his show tonight at Delmar Hall by the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson. (Link is to Google cache.)

* Also in the Post, Tower of Power saxophonist and bandleader Emilio Castillo was interviewed by P-D freelancer Daniel Durchholz. (Link is to Google cache.) TOP performs this Saturday, August 11 at River City Casino.

* Grant Green Jr. talks about his dad, St. Louis-born guitarist Grant Green, on the latest episode of the web series The Pace Report.

* Trumpeter and philanthropist Herb Alpert was interviewed by St. Louis Public Radio. While Alpert's concert with his wife, singer Lani Hall, on Sunday, August 19 at the Grandel Theatre already is sold out, some of his visual art will be on display at the Grandel from Friday, August 17 through Sunday, August 19.

An opening reception will be held from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, August 17. The public also can view Alpert's abstract mixed-media paintings and large and small-scale bronze sculptures from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, August 18, and from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Sunday, August 19 before the concert and for 30 minutes after the show.

Thursday, August 09, 2018

Jazz St. Louis expands Whitaker Jazz Speaks series for 2018-19 season

Clockwise from top left: Blackburn, Gioia, Kahn, Riccardi
Jazz St. Louis has expanded their "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series for the 2018-19 season, and will present seven different free programs during the year featuring an impressive lineup of authors and scholars.

Four of the events will be co-produced with local libraries, with the other three taking place at Jazz St. Louis' headquarters in Grand Center.

The series begins on Wednesday, September 12 downtown at the St. Louis Public Library's Central Branch auditorium with "The Crisis in Music," featuring author and critic Ted Gioia.

Gioia, whose books include The History of Jazz and Delta Blues, will discuss "disruptions that are changing -- and perhaps destroying -- the fragile music infrastructure in America" and "will provide predictions on how our songs and performances might change over the next ten years."

Next up is "1950: The Year Jazz Changed on Two Coasts," which will be presented by Marc Myers on Wednesday, October 10 at the Ferring Jazz Bistro in Grand Center. Myers, who blogs at, is a Wall Street Journal contributor, and the author of Why Jazz Happened, will discuss the development of West Coast and cool jazz, followed by a performance of Miles Davis’s complete Birth of the Cool and music from Dave Brubeck, the Modern Jazz Quartet, and Gerry Mulligan.

The final program of 2018 will feature author and NPR jazz critic Kevin Whitehead previewing his book Play the Way You Feel on Wednesday, November 14 at the St. Louis County Library's Grant's View Branch. The book "examines how fiction and biographical films from 1927 to 2016 tell stories about jazz music and musicians," with Whitehead’s talk focused on "screen representations of early jazz in such films, illustrated with clips from Birth of the Blues (1941) and Syncopation (1942)."

The new year starts with a program featuring Julia Blackburn, author of With Billie: A New Look at the Unforgettable Lady Day on Wednesday, February 13 at the St. Louis County Library headquarters. Blackburn will discuss her biography of Billie Holiday, which was compiled entirely from interviews with people who knew the singer, including "piano players and dancers, pimps and junkies, lovers and narcs, producers and critics, each recalling intimate stories of the great Lady Day."

The following month, the Jazz St. Louis Big Band and pianist Reggie Thomas will honor the 100th anniversary of the birth of Nat "King" Cole with a performance of music associated with the pianist and vocalist on Wednesday, March 20 at the Bistro.

Then in April, author Ashley Kahn will present "A Love Supreme: The Music and Message in John Coltrane's Magnum Opus" on Wednesday, April 10 at the St. Louis Public Library's Schlafly Branch auditorium. Kahn, who has written books about both A Love Supreme and Miles Davis' Kind of Blue, will conduct "a deep dive into the mind and process of the man that gave us one of the most important recordings in jazz."

The final program of the 2018-19 season will feature Ricky Riccardi, author and director of research collections for the Louis Armstrong House Museum, on Wednesday, April 17 at the Bistro. Riccardi will discuss Armstrong's early works, focusing on his Hot 5 and Hot 7 ensembles, followed by a performance of some of the most famous material from those two bands.

All the Whitaker Jazz Speaks programs begin at 7:00 p.m. and are free and open to the public, but because of limited seating capacity, RSVPs are requested for the three programs held at the Bistro. For more information or to reserve a spot, visit the series page on the JSL website