Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Jazz this week: Terence Blanchard and E-Collective, Michael Rosen, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the return of a New Orleans trumpeter who has become a local favorite here, a free concert featuring a multi-national ensemble of players, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, November 20
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard (pictured, top left) is back in town with his band, the E-Collective, to perform for the first of five nights continuing through Sunday at Jazz St. Louis.

Blanchard already has spent a fair amount of time in St. Louis this year, as Opera Theater of St. Louis premiered his second opera Fire Shut Up in My Bones in June. Since then, the trumpeter has moved from his native New Orleans to Los Angeles to accept a job as the first Kenny Burrell Chairman in Jazz Studies at UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music.

Though he hasn't released any new recordings since 2018's Live, Blanchard is always writing new music, so don't be surprised to hear a few new compositions mixed in with pieces from the E-Collective's three albums.

Also on Wednesday, vocal group Java Jived teams up with pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall, and guitarist Brian Vaccaro's organ group Spiral Trio plays at Evangeline's.

Thursday, November 21
Keyboardist Jim Hegarty will perform with bassist Paul Steinbeck and drummer Del Robles in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Also on Thursday, The Dark Room has a double-header, with guitarist Dave Black playing at the dinner hour and keyboardist Ryan Marquez and his trio performing the late-evening show.

Friday, November 22
Trumpeter Jim Manley returns to Evangeline's, and saxophonist Stan Coleman will play at The Dark Room.

Saturday, November 23
Saxophonist Michael Rosen, a former New Yorker now living in Italy, will front a multi-national ensemble in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Wash U.

Rosen (pictured, bottom left) will joined by two St. Louisans, guitarist William Lenihan and pianist Jay Oliver, plus British bassist Tony Grey and Italian drummer Lucrezio De Seta.

Also on Saturday, percussionist Herman Semidey and Orquestra son Montuno play salsa, Latin jazz and more at Club Viva; and fusion/funk band Wright's Project returns to Troy's Listening Room.

Monday, November 25
The Webster University Jazz Singers perform at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus, and singer and impressionist Dean Christopher returns with his "Rat Pack and More" show to One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Tuesday, November 26
The Big Little Big Band with vocalist Steve Shininger performs at the Gaslight Theater.

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, November 17, 2019

Sunday Session: November 17, 2019

Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Christopher Hollyday’s Vanishing Act (Jazz Times)
* Artemis, the All-Female Jazz Supergroup, Joins the Roster of Blue Note Records (WBGO)
* Earshot Serves as Platform for Thriving Seattle Scene (DownBeat)
* Why Hundreds of Music Stars Are Giving Fans Their Phone Numbers (Billboard)
* The Internet Archive Is Digitizing & Preserving Over 100,000 Vinyl Records: Hear 750 Full Albums Now (
* Jaimie Branch :: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview (
* 'When you're black, being alive is a success': Angel Bat Dawid, 2019's brightest new jazz star (The Guardian)
* Sun Ra: Our 1989 Interview (SPIN)
* A Jazz Musician’s guide to the EFG London Jazz Festival 2019 (
* Ralph Peterson takes all his musical lessons to heart (Philadelphia Tribune)
* Any tips? A body language expert puts the spotlight on orchestra conductors (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)
* Sun Ra & the Classical Undertones of Afrofuturism (
* Blue Note Documentary a Jazz Film with a Hip-Hop Heart (DownBeat)
* Check out the first playable record made from recycled ocean plastic (
* Chops: Jamison Ross on Singing Behind the Kit (Jazz Times)
* Audio Files: Darn That Stream (Jazz Times)
* The Wild Story of How Mary Steenburgen Wrote the Best Original Movie Song of the Year (
* Mapping Music's Evolution: 23 Breakthroughs That Changed How We Listen (Billboard)
* How Musicians Are Evolving the Legacy of Resistance (DownBeat)
* Live Review: ECM 50 in New York (Jazz Times)
* Turning Over - Why Page Turners Matter (
* London Calling at 40: How The Clash shattered punk orthodoxy and created a masterpiece (The Independent)
* Joe Henry's Next Second Chance (NPR)
* Mary Ann Topper, Manager of Noted Jazz Artists, Dies at 79 (Jazz Times)

Saturday, November 16, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Jeanette Harris & Althea René

This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on saxophonist Jeanette Harris and flute player Althea René, who will be performing on a double bill on Saturday, November 30 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Billed as the "Queens of Soul Jazz," the two are touring together after teaming up to release the single "We Are One" in January of this year.

Harris, who's originally from Fresno, California, grew up playing both saxophone and piano and graduated from Berklee College of Music with a degree in music performance. She then built a local following in her hometown through live gigs and a series of self-released CDs. Harris gained further recognition as an opening act for Kirk Whalum, Najee, The Rippingtons, Babyface, Phil Perry and others, and working in the bands of singers Howard Hewett, Deniece Williams and Teena Marie, with her 2013 album Summer Rain helping her secure national attention as a solo artist.

René, a Detroit native, studied music at Howard University, but subsequently wound up working as a police officer in her hometown for 11 years while moonlighting as a musician. Her debut album Flute Talk was released in 2000, helping her transition to a full-time music career.

Since then she's released seven more studio albums, the most recent being 2019's Flawsome, as well as one in-concert recording, Live in Detroit, which came out last year. René's festival appearances include dates at the North Sea Jazz Festival, Austin Jazz Festival, Norman Brown All-Star Jazz Cruise, and others. She's also the author of a book, Becoming Chocolate Barbie: A Guide for Professional Women in the Music Business, published last year.

While Harris and Rene did make a music video for "We Are One," there doesn't seem to be any video online of the two performing live together. So instead, today's collection of clips features them individually, starting up above with Harris performing her version of Stevie Wonder's "All I Do" in a recording made at a gig last year.

After the jump, you can see her take on the 1979 dance floor smash "Ain't No Stopping Us Now," followed by a live version of the title track from her album Summer Rain.

Next up, there are videos of two tracks from René's Live in Detroit album, "Deja Vu" and "In the Moment." The final video is a full set of her music recorded in June 2019 at an outdoor festival in Winston-Salem, NC.

For more about Jeanette Harris, read her Q&A with and listen to her being interviewed on the podcast "Talking Smooth Jazz" in 2016. For more about Althea René, check out the review of Flawsome from and listen to her being interviewed earlier this year on the podcast "Smooth Jazz Global."

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

Friday, November 15, 2019

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Guitarist Matt Sewell this week was announced as one of 12 semifinalists in the Herbie Hancock Institute of Jazz's International Guitar Competition, which will be held next month in Washington, DC.

Sewell (pictured), a graduate of Ladue High School and a former member of the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars student ensemble, received his degree from Berklee College of Music in May.

* Saxophonist David Sanborn has released a video trailer for his new web video series "Sanborn Sessions," which draws inspiration from NBC's Night Music, the eclectic live music program hosted by Sanborn at the turn of the 90s. You can see the trailer here, and read more about it in this interview with Sanborn on and this short feature in Jazz Times. "Sanborn Sessions" launches on Tuesday, December 3.

* In additional Sanborn news, the saxophonist now is endorsing a new custom model from Drake Mouthpieces.

* The Sheldon Concert Hall has posted to Facebook an album of photos from last Saturday's performance by Mwenso and The Shakes.

* Singer and impressionist Dean Christopher's "Rat Pack and More" show this Sunday at Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey was previewed in an article by the Alton Telegraph's Vicki Bennington.

* A new photo exhibit opening next Wednesday, November 20 at The Dark Room focuses on Jazz St. Louis instructors and students in the JazzU program. "Modulation – Establishing the New Key in the Culture of Jazz St. Louis" features work by St. Louis photographers Collin Elliott, Tyler Small, & Justin Mikhail Soloman and was curated and designed by multi-disciplinary artist Hayveyah McGowan.

* The recently released "lost" Miles Davis album Rubberband was reviewed by's Rob Shepherd.

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Jazz this week: Marco Benevento, Ken Page, Joey DeFrancesco, Adrian Legg, Damon Smith & Friends, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a couple of inventive keyboardists, an internationally acclaimed guitarist, a multi-national group of free improvisers, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, November 13
Keyboardist Marco Benevento (pictured, top left) will perform at the Old Rock House, with the jazz duo of twin brothers The Mattson 2 opening.

Benevento has gone through some changes since the last time he played in St. Louis nearly five years ago, steering his expansive sound toward danceable beats and pop song forms. You can find out more about that, and see some videos from recent performances in this post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, singer and St. Louis native Ken Page will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis as part of their series co-presented with Cabaret Project of St. Louis; and journalist and author Nate Chinen will give a talk for JSL's "Whitaker Jazz Speaks" series, based on his recent book Playing Changes: Jazz for the New Century, at the St Louis Public Library's Schlafly branch in the Central West End. For a preview of the latter, read Chinen's interview with the Post-Dispatch's Daniel Duchholz.

Thursday, November 14
Washington University's Jazz at Holmes series moves for one night to the 560 Music Center for  "The Bridge #2.2," a free concert teaming Chicago saxophonist Mai Sugimoto and Wash U faculty member Paul Steinbeck on electric bass with two French musicians, guitarist Raymond Boni and acoustic bassist Paul Rogers.

Also on Thursday, guitarist Dave Black will team up with singer Wendy Gordon at The Pat Connolly Tavern; and singer Cheri Evans and CEEJazzSoul return to the Chase Club.

Friday, November 15
Organist Joey DeFrancesco (pictured, center left) will perform with the Jazz St. Louis Big Band for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis.

DeFrancesco, who also plays trumpet and recently has taken up tenor sax as well, reportedly will play big band arrangements of music from his latest album In The Key Of The Universe, which was released in March on Mack Avenue Records.

Elsewhere around town, British guitarist Adrian Legg will perform at Focal Point. Cited for his “astonishing virtuosity" by Q magazine and called “simply the best acoustic guitar player I’ve ever heard” by guitarist Joe Satriani, Legg also has been described as “kind of cross between Robert Fripp and Garrison Keillor” for his combination of expert musicianship and sly storytelling.

Also on Friday, Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at Urban Chestnut Midtown Brewery and Biergarten, and keyboardist Mark Harris II returns to The Dark Room.

Saturday, November 16
Saxquest presents their free, all-day Woodwind Musical Instrument Expo at St. Charles Community College's Donald D Shook Fine Arts Bldg, with instruments and accessories from many different manufacturers, educational programs, and more.

Then on Saturday evening, saxophonist Tim Cunningham will play at Troy's Listening Room; singer and actor KT Sullivan presents her cabaret show "I Can Cook" at Blue Strawberry; and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, November 17
Your jazz brunch music options for Sunday include Miss Jubilee at Evangeline's and guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran at The Dark Room.

Later in the afternoon, singer and impressionist Dean Christopher brings his "Rat Pack and More" show to the Hatheway Cultural Center on the campus of Lewis and Clark Community College in Godfrey.

Monday, November 18
Bassist Damon Smith, a recent transplant to St. Louis, will be joined by an ensemble of improvisers including Chicago trombonist Jeb Bishop (pictured, bottom left), Dutch composer and performance artist Jaap Blonk, and drummer Weasel Walter of Flying Luttenbachers fame for a show at the Cherokee Street art gallery Flood Plain.

Also on Monday, the Webster University Jazz Collective, featuring members of the university's jazz faculty, will perform in a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Tuesday, November 19
Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Singers Open Mic" at Sophie's Artist Lounge, and singer Joe Mancuso plus guest vocalists Kim Fuller-Barnes and Robert Nelson will perform music from "The Great American Songbook" at the Gaslight Theater.

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, November 10, 2019

Sunday Session: November 10, 2019

Sonny Rollins
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* How streaming killed underground micro-labels (
* Rock legends The Bonzo Dog Band win legal ding-dong to put the Doo Dah back into their name (Daily Mail)
* The 2010s: A Jazz Revival In Black Music (NPR)
* Selling Your Record Collection To Move On In Life The Focus Of New Documentary Based At Dusty Groove (
* The Range, Breadth and Development of Keb’ Mo’ (DownBeat)
* Sonny Rollins in the ’70s: Part 1 (Burning Ambulance)
* Sonny Rollins in the ’70s: Part 2 (Burning Ambulance)
* Manfred Eicher: "You Can't Record Everybody" (Stereophile)
* A New World for Coltrane’s ‘Blue World' (DownBeat)
* Jazzrausch Bigband Moves Beyond Tradition (DownBeat)
* Spinal Tap Creators and Universal Music Settle Copyright Dispute (Variety)
* Reissue Captures Nat King Cole Before He Broke Through To Mainstream (NPR)
* Gerry Teekens, Founder of Criss Cross Jazz Label, Dies at 83 (DownBeat)
* On 'Mellotron Variations,' A 1960s-Era Instrument Makes A Comeback (NPR)
* Major Swing: Django Reinhardt, His Disciples, and Their Hot Brand of Acoustic Jazz Guitar (Acoustic Guitar)
* A Detroit homecoming for the illustrious drummer Doug Hammond (Detroit Metro Times)
* 400 Years of slavery and inequality, set to music: Bassist Avery Sharpe’s African American Musical Portrait (Valley Advocate)
* Terri Lyne Carrington Shores Up Her Legacy In New Album Centered On Social Justice (WBUR)
* Photos: 2019 BRIC JazzFest (Jazz Times)
* The Focused Energy of Saxophonist David S. Ware (DownBeat)
* Angel City Festival Strings Together Sets of Innovative Jazz (DownBeat)
* The Curious Case of Keiko Yamada (New Music Box)
* 'Hittin' The Ramp' Traces Nat King Cole's Early Artistic Development (NPR)
* David Byrne Teases New Immersive, Sensory-Based Production ‘Theater of the Mind’ (Rolling Stone)
* ‘The Lion Sleeps Tonight’: The Ongoing Saga of Pop’s Most Contentious Song (Rolling Stone)
* The Secret Jewish History of Joni Mitchell (The Forward)
* Landmark ECM Anniversary Celebrated at Jazz at Lincoln Center (DownBeat)
* In Lead Up to Disney Plus Launch, Musicians Rally For Fair Pay (
* Ken Vandermark convenes a fresh group of old and new collaborators (Chicago Reader)

Saturday, November 09, 2019

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Marco Benevento

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring keyboardist Marco Benevento, who will be in St. Louis to perform next Wednesday, November 13 at the Old Rock House.

Benevento, who last played here in November 2014 at 2720 Cherokee, is touring in support of Let It Slide, his new album released in September. While he initially made his reputation playing mostly instrumental music on the jam band circuit, in recent years Benevento has turned more toward pop song forms and danceable grooves, and added his own vocals to the mix.

Those features are clearly in evidence on Let It Slide, which was produced by Leon Michels, who has worked with artists including Dr. John and soul singers Charles Bradley and Lee Fields. And so one challenge now for Benevento - and, arguably, for every artist whose sound evolves significantly over the course of their career - is being able to please current fans while also bringing new ones into the fold.

How well does he succeed? Well, you can decide for yourself by checking out these videos, all recorded in the last year, starting up above with a clip of Benevento performing "Greenpoint" in February 2019 at the Telluride Blues & Brews Festival in Colorado.

After the jump, you can see Benevento playing "Oh Baby Can't You See" in July 2019 on Adult Swim's "FishCenter," followed by a video of four tunes recorded in September at Paste Studio in New York City.

For a deeper dive, there then are three full shows, recorded in August at the "Alive at 5" outdoor concert series in Albany, NY; in May at Ardmore Music Hall in Philadelphia; and in July at the Levitate Music & Arts Festival in Marshfield, MA.

For more about Marco Benevento and Let It Slide, read his recent interview with the alt-weekly Maine Edge and the feature about him published earlier this year on, and listen to him on an episode of the podcast from last month.

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

Friday, November 08, 2019

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Kranzberg Arts Foundation this week announced the St. Louis Music Initiative, consisting of three related projects intended to promote the local music scene.

St. Louis Music Week, set for September 4 through September 13, 2020, will "actively market and promote music events at participating music showcase the depth and breadth of music offerings available throughout the region."

The week will conclude with Music at the Intersection, a three-day event featuring more than 60 local acts performing at various venues in Grand Center. Then in 2021, the foundation will present the Midwest Music Summit, which is "designed to build music industry infrastructure in St. Louis through panels, workshops, exhibitions and classes."

* Singer and St. Louis native Alicia Olatuja was the featured guest on last week's episode of Montana Public Radio's "Musician's Spotlight."

* Bassist, instrument inventor, and former St. Louisan Mark Deutsch (pictured) was the subject of a short Riverfront Times feature story by Thomas Crone. Deutsch will perform a solo concert on his instrument, the Bazantar, tonight at the Judson House.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was interviewed by Harrold is visiting the "land down under" this week, performing at the club Bird's Basement at Melbourne.

* Dizzy Atmosphere has posted to YouTube a playlist of videos from their concert last Saturday at the Focal Point.

* Cabaret singer and former St. Louisan Katie McGrath's appearance on Saturday in the show "Immigrant Song" at .ZACK was touted in a brief item by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Joe Holleman.

* Keyboardist Jim Hegarty has posted a video of his solo piano concert last month at Principia College on YouTube and the audio from the show as a free download on Bandcamp.

* In the latest development regarding the financial troubles of community radio station KDHX, the Riverfront Times' Daniel Hill reports that the Kranzberg Arts Foundation will take over the first floor of the KDHX building, which includes a performance space, The Stage at KDHX, and a bar/cafe that has gone through several iterations and operators since opening in 2014.

* More than a year after the last-minute cancellation of the Loufest music festival, St. Louis Public Radio's Jeremy Goodwin reports that the festival's former sound and lighting contractor Logic Systems is suing LouFest promoter Listen Live Entertainment and its managing partner Mike Van Hee for defamation, malicious prosecution, and abuse of process.