Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Jazz this week: Catherine Russell & John Pizzarelli, Natural Information Society, Glendale Jazz Festival, two tributes to Miles Davis, and more

The calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis for this week leading up to Memorial Day features two shows celebrating the birthday of the most influential jazz musician ever to come from this area, plus a tribute to two of the most enduring vocalists in American music; the end of an important anniversary season for a local presenter; and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 22
Singer Catherine Russell teams up with guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli (pictured, top left) and his trio to present their show "Billie & Blue Eyes" for the first of five nights at Jazz St. Louis.

The show spotlights Russell and Pizzarelli's contemporary interpretations of songs associated with Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra. You can find out more and see some video from previous performances, plus songs from both of their latest recordings, in this post from last Saturday.

Thursday, May 23
Saxophonist Ben Reece's Unity Quartet returns to The Dark Room, and pianist Adam Maness' trio plays at Thurman's in Shaw.

Friday, May 24
The Glendale Jazzfest celebrates its 20th year with Miss Jubilee, the Funky Butt Brass Band, and Dean Christopher providing the music for the free, public outdoor event at Glendale City Hall.

Saturday, May 25
New Music Circle wraps up their 60th season with a concert featuring Natural Information Society, augmented by keyboardist Cooper Crain of Bitchin' Bajas, at Off Broadway.

Also on Saturday, trumpeter Jim Manley brings his band to Evangeline's, and pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True with saxophonist Larry Johnson return to Parkside Grille.

Sunday, May 26
Sunday marks 93 years since the birth of the late, legendary trumpeter Miles Davis, and two current St. Louis trumpeters are presenting tributes to him, as Randy Holmes headlines a "Double Tribute to Miles Davis & Kind of Blue" at the Ozark Theatre while Kasimu Taylor leads a "Tribute to Miles Davis" at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Tuesday May 28
Guitarist Steve Schenkel's trio plus guest vocalist Kim Fuller will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

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, May 19, 2019

Sunday Session: May 19, 2019

Kenny Burrell
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest, drawn from StLJN's inboxes, newsfeeds, and assorted other sources:

* Rhiannon Giddens and What Folk Music Means (The New Yorker)
* The Japanese reissue phenomenon: a view from the inside (ResidentAdvisor.com)
* Payola 2.0: The native ad model for streaming music? (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* Why Aldi Doesn’t Play Music (Southern Living)
* Playlist Malfeasance Will Create a Streaming Crisis (Music Industry Blog)
* Preserving The House Of A Pioneering Musician — Who We Will Never Hear (NPR)
* Brian May: Queen haven’t earned a penny from Bohemian Rhapsody (LouderSound.com)
* As A Crowdfunding Platform Implodes, A Legendary Composer Rebounds (NPR)
* Whose Is Bigger? ASCAP and BMI Are Holding Their Film & TV Awards Dinners on the Exact Same Night (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* New Orleans Jazz Fest at 50: Keep on Rolling (Without the Stones) (Jazz Times)
* Facing Homelessness And Crushing Medical Debt, A Renowned Jazz Guitarist Reaches Out (NPR)
* Matthew Shipp and Simplicity Itself (Jazz Times)
* Mulligan memories (Jazz Journal)
* Feature Doc to Chronicle Legendary London Jazz Club Ronnie Scott’s (Variety)
* New film seeks funds to realise Marshall Allen's dream (The Wire)
* Cleveland's Joe Lovano Comes Home (NPR)
* JazzTimes 10: Landmark ECM Albums (Jazz Times)
* Google I/O showcases a cross-platform future for music-makers (MusicTech.net)
* A Beginner’s Guide to the interstellar music of Sun Ra (TrebleZine.com)
* Brecker Bonds with Big Bands Over Fusion (DownBeat)
* The Apostle of Now-ness (New York Review of Books)
* Horror buffs, meet music nerds (TheOutline.com)
* Patitucci Juggles ‘All the Elements of Music’ (DownBeat)
* End to End: An Interview with Barre Phillips (NoTreble.com)

Saturday, May 18, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Catherine Russell & John Pizzarelli
pay tribute to "Billie & Blue Eyes"



Today, StLJN's video spotlight shines on singer Catherine Russell and singer and guitarist John Pizzarelli, who are coming to St. Louis to present their show "Billie & Blue Eyes" starting Wednesday, May 22 through Sunday, May 26 at Jazz St. Louis.

Both Russell and Pizzarelli are well-known as headliners in their own right, with Pizzarelli being a particular local favorite thanks to multiple St. Louis appearances over the last couple of decades. They first joined forces last year to create the "Billie & Blue Eyes" show, with the idea of offering their own contemporary interpretations of classic material associated with Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.

Pizzarelli has included songs associated with Sinatra in his repertoire throughout his career, and even has devoted two albums specifically to paying tribute to him. The first, in 2006, was Dear Mr. Sinatra, for which he was accompanied by The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra, followed in 2017 by Sinatra & Jobim @ 50, which contained Pizzarelli's interpretations of songs from the famed 1967 collaboration between Sinatra and Brazilian singer-songwriter Antonio Carlos Jobim.

Meanwhile, since starting her solo career Russell has earned a reputation as a top interpreter of vintage jazz material from the 1920s, 30s and 40s, making her something of an expert in the songs and styles Holiday likely would have heard during her formative years. Though many singers have attempted to pay tribute to Holiday over the years, some more successfully than others, few have had the musical roots and specific experience that Russell brings to this project.

Though there's been no album (yet) documenting the collaboration, there are a few videos online from when they toured the presentation in 2018, starting with a promotional clip that explains the concept along with some very brief musical excerpts, which you can see up above.

After the jump, there's a clip from one of their 2018 dates showing Russell and Pizzarelli performing "I Thought About You."

That's followed by a video from 2017 of Pizzarelli performing "Baubles, Bangles and Beads," as recorded for the Sinatra & Jobim @50 album.

That's followed by a version of "All of Me," also from last year's "Bilie & Blue Eyes" tour.

Next up is a song recorded by Pizzarelli for his latest album For Centennial Reasons: 100 Year Salute to Nat King Cole, a version of "Straighten Up And Fly Right" in which he's accompanied by the members of his current working trio, Mike Karn on bass and Konrad Paszkudzki on piano.

After that, you can see Russell in the studios last month at radio station KNKX in Tacoma, WA, singing "You Can’t Pull the Wool Over My Eyes," a song included on her latest album Alone Together, which came out in March.

The final video showcases Pizzarelli doing another number from his Nat Cole tribute album, the venerable standard "Route 66."

For more about the "Billie & Blue Eyes" project, read the interview that Russell did last year with the Santa Fe New Mexican, and this brief review of a concert performance last year in Brooklyn.

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

Friday, May 17, 2019

Rebirth Brass Band, The New Mastersounds returning this fall to Atomic Cowboy

Atomic Cowboy today announced two bookings of interest of StLJN readers.

New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band (pictured) will return to St. Louis to perform at 7:00 p.m. Friday, September 6 at the venue's outdoor pavilion.

Their most recent recording, which was boosted considerably by the group's appearances in the HBO series Treme, is 2014's Move Your Body. They last played here in September 2017, also at the Atomic Cowboy.

Tickets for Rebirth Brass Band at the Atomic Cowboy are $20 in advance, $23 day of show, and are on sale now.

The following month, the British instrumental funk/jazz quartet The New Mastersounds will be back in town to play at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, October 19, also at the outdoor pavilion.

The group will be touring in celebration of their 20th year as a band, with singer Lamar Williams Jr., -  son of late Allman Brothers Band bassist Lamar Williams and featured vocalist on their 2018 single "Trouble" - along as a guest performer.

The New Mastersounds put out two albums last year, Renewable Energy and The Nashville Session 2, the latter being a followup to 2016's The Nashville Session using the same live-in-the-studio format. Their last St. Louis appearance was in May 2016 at Atomic Cowboy.

Tickets for The New Mastersounds at Atomic Cowboy are $20 in advance, $25 day of show, and also are on sale now.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Shirley Bradley LeFlore, St. Louis poet laureate and member of the Black Artists Group who performed throughout her career with the city's jazz and creative musicians, died this past Sunday, May 12. She was 79 years old.

Formerly married to the late trumpeter Floyd LeFlore, she performed and/or recorded at various times with musicians including her ex-husband, saxophonists Oliver Lake, Hamiet Bluiett, J.D. Parran and Don Byron, pianist Ptah Williams, trumpeter George Sams, and more. Ms. Bradley LeFlore's funeral will take place today (Friday, May 17), with a visitation at 11:00 a.m. followed by services at noon at Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust St. downtown.

* Drummer Dave Weckl (pictured) was interviewed by AllAboutJazz.com's Jim Worsley.

* Singer and multi-instrumentalist Tonina Saputo is releasing a new album, St. Lost, that comes out today, and was interviewed Monday about the recording and her career by KSDK's Art Holliday.

* The new documentary Miles Davis: Birth of the Cool was the subject of a review/reminiscence by FYIMusicNews' Bill King.

* Speaking of Miles Davis, a 1979 interview with pianist Bill Evans unheard for 40 years has re-surfaced online, in which Evans discusses his work with Davis and the recording sessions for the trumpeter's landmark album Kind of Blue.

* And speaking of Birth of the Cool, an article in DownBeat has more details on the new LP box set Complete Birth of the Cool Sessions, which will be released on Friday, June 7.

* Multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris' shows this weekend at Jazz St. Louis are previewed in an article by Kevin Johnson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and in an interview with Harris published on the Jazz St. Louis website.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Jazz this week: Shoshana Bean, Snarky Puppy, James Carter, Lamar Harris, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features some cabaret vocals from a Broadway star; a couple of stand-out saxophonists; a genre-straddling, Grammy Award winning fusion band; and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 15
Jazz St. Louis closes out their cabaret series co-produced this season with Cabaret Project of St. Louis, presenting the first of two nights of performances by singer Shoshana Bean.

In addition to her work in cabaret, Bean is well-known as the star of several Broadway musicals, including the current hit Waitress, from which she's taking a brief break for her cabaret shows here.

Also on Wednesday, the aforementioned Cabaret Project of St. Louis presents their monthly "Singers Open Mic" at Sophie's Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club;  guitarist Brian Vaccaro plays at Evangeline's; and Miss Jubilee performs at Schlafly Bottleworks.

Thursday, May 16
NYC-based saxophonist Brian Krock, who went to music school up the road at the University of Illinois in Champaign/Urbana, performs in an early show at The Dark Room with his band Liddle, a subset of his big band Big Heart Machine.

Also on Thursday, singer Cheri Evans and CEEJazzSoul return to the Chase Club and Jon Thomas & Friends play at the The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, May 17
Multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris performs for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis.

Also on Friday, the Original Knights of Swing play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, trumpeter Jim Manley returns to One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar, and drummer Kyle Honeycutt leads a trio for the late-night (actually early morning) gig at Mangia Italiano.

Saturday, May 18
The Funky Butt Brass Band plays their monthly show at the Broadway Oyster Bar, and keyboardist Mo Egeston delivers the late night grooves at The Dark Room.

Sunday, May 19
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents Cornet Chop Suey playing traditional jazz and vintage swing at the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel St. Louis - Westport.

Also on Sunday afternoon, saxophonist James Carter (pictured, bottom left) will perform with some help from pianist Peter Martin's at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Then on Sunday night, the jazz/funk/world fusion band
Snarky Puppy (pictured, top left) will play an outdoor show at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

They're touring in support of their latest album Immigrance, which came out in March. For more about that, and some video footage of recent performances including material from the new album, see this post from last Saturday.

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, May 12, 2019

Sunday Session: May 12, 2019

Pharoah Sanders
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest, drawn from StLJN's inboxes, newsfeeds, and assorted other sources:

* The Resurrection of Buddy Bolden (DownBeat)
* Music Sermon: The Quiet Storm Is Still Brewing (Vibe.com)
* Frank Zappa: making a jazz noise (Jazz Journal)
* Bill Frisell is on the hunt for the next musical epiphany (Guitar.com)
* Preserving The House Of A Pioneering Musician — Who We Will Never Hear (NPR)
* The Blues Trail Is A Soulful Sojourn Into Mississippi’s Past (Uproxx.com)
* Wynton Marsalis Chooses His Top 50 Essential Jazz Recordings (Jazz.org)
* ‘New Bottle Old Wine’: The Gil Evans Classic That Gets Better With Age (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* There’s a Musician’s Union. Many Musicians Are Unaware — or Unable to Join (Rolling Stone)
* Herbie Hancock Aims Jazz Day All-Star Concert Towards A World In 'Turmoil' (NPR)
* David Crosby Doubles Down (Shepherd Express)
* Sly and The Family Stone’s ‘Stand!’ Turns 50 | Anniversary Retrospective (Albumism.com)
* Tucked away in Southwest Baltimore: The low-key cool jazz club of your dreams (BaltimoreBrew.com)
* Drummer Terri Lyne Carrington Talks Berklee Institute of Jazz, Gender Justice: 'Gender Equity Is Everybody's Work' (Billboard)
* Barkan, Wiedmaier Team for Keystone Korner Baltimore (DownBeat)
* Joey DeFrancesco and Pharoah Sanders: Meeting of the Spirits (Jazz Times)
* After 50 Years, Inclusive, Locally Focused Spirit of NOLA Festival Persists (DownBeat)
* New Study Finds 73% of Independent Musicians Suffer From Symptoms of Mental Illness (Billboard)
* Before & After: Lewis Porter (Jazz Times)
* Hearing the “Bo Diddley Beat” in Everything (Soundfly.com)
* 50 Years of Jazz Fest: Mickey Hart’s Ghosts of Congo Square (Relix)
* My father recorded young Bob Dylan: How the historic "Minneapolis Party Tape" was made (Salon.com)

Saturday, May 11, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Snarky Puppy's eclectic collective



This week, it's time to check out some videos of jazz/funk/world/fusion band Snarky Puppy, who will be returning to St. Louis to perform Sunday, May 19 at Atomic Cowboy's outdoor pavilion.

Sometimes described as "a loose collective" under the leadership of bassist and founder Michael League, with a lineup that can range in size from seven or eight musicians up to 25, Snarky Puppy draws on an eclectic mix of influences - most notably jazz and funk, but also a variety of other musics from around the world.

Thanks in part to relentless touring and in part to winning Grammy Awards in 2014, 2016 and 2017, their fortunes have risen rapidly in recent years. They've gone from playing small-to-medium-sized clubs to headlining major venues and festivals around the world, and in 2017 even started their own annual event, the GroundUP Music Festival in Miami Beach, FL.

Snarky Puppy currently are touring in support of their most recent album Immigrance, which came out in March. You can hear some of the music from the album starting up above with the "official" video for "Bad Kids to the Back," which was done to promote the song's release as a single.

After the jump, you can see the first live performance ever of "Xavi," another tune from Immigrance, as recorded in February at the band's GroundUp Music Festival. That's followed by another performance from this year's GroundUP event, "Thing of Gold," which was originally recorded for their 2012 album GroundUP.

Next, it's "Grown Folks," as recorded in July 2018 at the Festival Django Reinhardt in France, and then "Go," as captured in November 2018 at Sol de Sants Studios in Barcelona, Spain for the web series "The Furious Sessions."

Last but not least, you can see a full set from a show in June 2018 at The Fillmore in Philadelphia.

For more about Snarky Puppy and Immigrance, check out the interview and performances featured on this week's episode of NPR's "World Cafe", and Michael League's interviews from March of this year with Rolling Stone and Qwest.tv.

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