Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Session: October 22, 2017

Abdullah Ibrahim
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Why are foreign bands being denied entry into the United States? (Alternative Press)
* Q&A with Don Was: Capturing the Blue Note Vibe (DownBeat)
* The Top Uses of Billie Holiday Songs in Movies or TV (
* When Prince Asked Miles Davis to Play With Him (
* Charnett Moffett: On Loss, Love & Vibrational Healing (Jazz Times)
* Critic's Notebook: Bill Murray, Classical Music's Unlikeliest Star (Hollywood Reporter)
* No alternative: how brands bought out underground music (The Guardian)
* Wadada Leo Smith continues to tinker with his masterpiece (Houston Chronicle)
* MacArthur Fellow Tyshawn Sorey stretches musical definitions (Chicago Tribune)
* Who Are the Best-Selling Artists of All Time? (
* Star-Studded Concerts Planned in NYC to Aid Puerto Rico (DownBeat)
* Jazz Legend James “Blood” Ulmer Walks the Line Between Melody and Improv (
* Why Is Sun Ra Suddenly Having His Moment? (Rolling Stone)
* Uber, But for Millennials Who Want Orchestras in Their Living Rooms (Wired)
* Thelonious Monk's Quiet, Slow Conquest of the World (The Atlantic)
* Which Sounds Better, Analog or Digital Music? (Scientific American)
* Abdullah Ibrahim: How Improvisation Saved My Life (NPR)
* Shaping the ’70s: Simon Draper and the Story of Virgin Records (
* David Torn: Making Records, Film Composition, and Working With David Bowie (
* Could city takeover of embattled American Jazz Museum improve its fortunes? (Kansas City Star)
* Two months before the American Jazz Museum bounced checks to artists, it spent how much on a Learjet flight? (Pitch Weekly)
* Meet the Artist Single-Handedly Reviving a Dying Form of Music (
* Herbie Hancock riffs on the ‘ethics of jazz’ (Wisconsin Gazette)
* Philip Glass Reveals His Love for the Cello (The New Yorker)
* What’s actually going on when people talk about digital vs. analogue masters (
* Sexism in Jazz, From the Conservatory to the Club: One Saxophonist Shares Her Story (WBGO)
* Perfect Pandemonium: The Art Ensemble Of Chicago At Cafe Oto (

Saturday, October 21, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Sammy Miller and the Congregation

This week, let's get acquainted via video with drummer Sammy Miller and his band, the Congregation.

The NYC-based group will make their St. Louis debut next week as part of an educational residency for Jazz St. Louis, wrapping up their time here with performances on Friday, October 27 and Saturday, October 28 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Along with Miller on drums and vocals, the Congregation includes Alphonso Horne (trumpet), Ben Flocks (tenor sax), Sam Crittenden (trombone), David Linard (piano), and John Snow (bass).

Their debut album The Mixtape, released earlier this year, contains a mix of originals and covers, including several familiar standards. "It isn’t traditional jazz, but perhaps there’s this idea of joyful jazz: music that’s medicinal and can uplift people,” Miller said in an interview with Jewish Journal.

You can see for yourself what that's like in today's videos, starting with the first clip up above, which features Miller and the Congregation performing Duke Ellington and Bubber Miley's "Black and Tan Fantasy" in 2015 at Ginny's Supper Club in Harlem.

After the jump, there's a video of them doing the New Orleans standard "Li'l Liza Jane," recorded in 2017 at Live at The Woods in Brooklyn, New York.

That's followed by two tracks recorded in April of this year at the studios of KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma, WA, "Swing Low Sweet Chariot" and "Antonio," and “Blues Don’t Bother I,” recorded in January 2016 at Sofar New York.

The final video shows a full set of Miller and the Congregation recorded in April 2016 at the Millennium Stage of the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC.

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Singer and actor Alice Ripley's cabaret show  was previewed by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson.  Ripley performs here tonight and Saturday night for the Gaslight Cabaret Festival.

* Electronic musician and composer John Wiese will present a free, public composition workshop at 3:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 8 in Room 4 of Tietjens Hall on the Washington University campus. Wiese (pictured) will be in St. Louis for a concert presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, November 11 at St. Louis University's Xavier Hall theater.

* The 2018 St. Louis International Film Festival, which will take place November 2-12 at various venues around town, includes a number of films with musical subjects, notably the local premiere of Mr. Handy's Blues, a documentary about "St. Louis Blues" composer W.C. Handy.

The festival's screening of the Handy bio at The Stage at KDHX will be paired with a live performance by singer Valerie "Miss Jubilee" Kirchoff, cornetist TJ Muller, and pianist Ethan Leinwand. You can see the entire festival schedule here.

* Drummer Dave Weckl and bassist Tom Kennedy are headed for Europe next month, touring with guitarist Mike Stern and saxophonist Bob Malach as the Mike Stern/Dave Weckl Band. The group will play dates in Germany, Austria, Italy, Lithuania, Norway, The Netherlands, Switzerland, England, Slovakia and Poland, and then return to the USA for a half-dozen shows in December on the West Coast.

* Pianist Peter Martin's music education video company Open Studio Network was featured in an article on

* Saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby was interviewed on Philadelphia radio station WRTI's program "The Bridge"

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Jazz this week: Harold López-Nussa, Filippo Cosentino, Alice Ripley, and more

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a pianist from Cuba, a guitarist from Italy, a cabaret show from a singer and actress who has earned Broadway's highest honor, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, October 18
Cuban-born pianist Harold López-Nussa makes his St. Louis debut in the first of four evenings at Jazz at the Bistro. For more about López-Nussa (pictured, top left) and some video samples of him and his trio in action, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Wednesday, Bach to the Future and guitarist Dave Black will perform for the Webster Arts series at Cyrano's, and this week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, the jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's quartet at The Dark Room.

Thursday, October 19
The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present "From Torino - Music of Italian Film Composers," a free concert featuring Italian guitarist Filippo Cosentino, guitarist and bassist William Lenihan, and the Sogni D'Alba String Trio.

Elsewhere around town, violinist Christopher Voelker's trio plays The Pat Connolly Tavern, drummer Kaleb Kirby’s Animal Children returns to The Dark Room, and Cabaret Project St. Louis will present their monthly "Broadway Open Mic" at the Curtain Call Lounge.

Friday, October 20
The Gaslight Cabaret Festival's fall series resumes with Tony Award-winning actress and singer Alice Ripley (pictured, bottom left) performing for the first of two nights at the Gaslight Theater.

Also on Friday, singer Feyza Eren returns to the Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Saturday, October 21
Saxophonist Dave Stone will play a free matinee show at Saxquest, and trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi and his band return to Evangeline's

Sunday, October 22
Miss Jubilee will play for brunch at Evangeline's, and singer Chuck Flowers will perform a late-afternoon show BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups

Monday, October 23
Trumpeter Jim Manley plays for diners and drinkers at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, October 24
Bassist, educator and author Paul Steinbeck will discuss his book Message to Our Folks: The Art Ensemble of Chicago in Room 142 of Olin Library on the Washington University campus. The free, public event is part of the Washington University Library Faculty Book Talk series.

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, October 16, 2017

New Orleans funk/jazz band Galactic to perform Thursday, March 15 at Delmar Hall

The New Orleans-based funk/jazz band Galactic (pictured) is returning to St. Louis to perform on Thursday, March 15 at Delmar Hall.

Over the last few years, they've played here several times at Delmar Hall's sibling venue The Pageant, most recently in March 2014. Their most recent recording is Into the Deep, which came out in 2015 on the Provogue label.

Tickets for Galactic at Delmar Hall are $25 in advance, $30 day of show, with a $2 surcharge for minors, and will go on sale at 10:00 this Friday, October 20.

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Sunday Session: October 15, 2017

Thelonious Monk
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Black Musicians on Being Boxed in by R&B and Rap Expectations: “We Fit in So Many Things” (
* Interview: A coworking space for musicians, and artists as startups (
* Composer Philip Glass Says Scoring Jane Goodall Doc Was 'Challenge': Interview (Billboard)
* Magic in the method: The Art Ensemble of Chicago live in New York (Dark Forces Swing Blind Punches)
* How Karaoke Secretly Became a Major Driver of Innovation (
* Homages and Tributes for the Thelonious Monk Centennial, But No Competition (For Now) (WBGO)
* 10 Things You Didn't Know About Thelonious Monk, by His Son T.S. Monk (
* Think of Thelonious Monk (The New Yorker)
* A Century Of Song: Monk At 100 (
* After Midnight: Thelonious Monk At 100 (NPR)
* The Met and the Philharmonic Look Backward (The New Yorker)
* An Interview With Louis Armstrong House’s Research Director, Ricky Riccardi (Offbeat)
* Grady Tate, Prodigious Jazz Drummer And Noted Vocalist, Dies At 85 (NPR)
* Drummer and Singer Grady Tate Dies (Jazz Times)
* Tyshawn Sorey, A Musical Shapeshifter, Wins MacArthur 'Genius' Prize (NPR)
* The Man Who Forgot He Was a Rap Legend (GQ)
* Hallelujah! The Songs We Should Retire (NPR)
* Live Review: October Revolution of Jazz & Contemporary Music (Jazz Times)
* The Boston Public Library Owns 200,000 Vinyl Records — And It’s Putting Them All Online (WBUR)
* Will Recent Court Rulings Endanger the Future of Biopics and Documentaries? (Hollywood Reporter)
* Can Atlanta Become the Music Industry's Next Business Hub? (Billboard)
* Fear and the Future of Live Music (
* In Detroit, Artists Rebuild with the City or Get Squeezed Out (Paste)
* How Dan Deacon Collaborated With Rats To Make His Latest Film Score (NPR)
* Human speech, jazz and whale song (
* The Devaluation of Music: It’s Worse Than You Think (
* Classical music's biggest problem is that no one cares (

Saturday, October 14, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Harold López-Nussa

This week, StLJN's video spotlight shines on pianist Harold López-Nussa, who will make his St. Louis debut with performances starting this coming Wednesday, October 18 and continuing through Saturday, October 21 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Now 34 years old, López-Nussa grew up as part of a musical family in Havana, Cuba. His father, drummer Ruy Francisco López-Nussa, and uncle Ernán, a pianist, both were working musicians; his mother Mayra Torres was a piano teacher; and his younger brother Ruy López-Nussa is the drummer in Harold's trio.

Following that family tradition, López-Nussa began playing piano in grade school, and studied classical music through his teenage years and into his twenties, ultimately earning a degree in classical piano from the Instituto Superior de Artes (ISA) in Havana.

He first gained wide attention outside Cuba in 2005 by winning the jazz solo piano competition at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Since then, López-Nussa has led his trio in performances at major jazz festivals including Montreux, Monterey, Montreal, Tokyo, and many others, and at major venues in Europe, Asia and the USA, including the Kennedy Center, Jazz at Lincoln Center, and SFJAZZ.

Thanks to the relaxation of trade restrictions between the United States and Cuba, he was able to release his most recent album, 2016's El Viaje, via the Detroit-based Mack Avenue label. You can hear López-Nussa's trio and some of the material from El Viaje in the first video up above, which documents their set at the 2016 Moers Festival in Germany.

After the jump, there are two more full sets, one from a show in 2015 at la Fabrica de Arte Cubano in Havana, and one recorded in 2014 at the Cosmo Jazz Festival in Chamonix, France.

Next, you can see the trio in a couple of informal clips, shot close-up by audience members in relatively small venues. The first is a song called "Paseo," recorded in February 2016 at La Zorra y el Cuervo in Havana, Cuba, and the second is "New Day," recorded in October 2015 at the SideDoor Jazz Club in Olde Lyme, CT.

The final video is a brief interview with Harold López-Nussa, produced by the website Havana Cultura.

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

Friday, October 13, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Italian guitarist and composer Filippo Cosentino will present a free, public lecture and discussion at 4:30 p.m. next Wednesday, October 18 in the Grand Room at the Washington University Alumni House (located behind the music department on Forsyth). Cosentino (pictured) will perform the following night (Thursday, October 19) for the Jazz at Holmes series at Wash U.

* Having wrapped up his duties as artistic director of the 2017 Sopot Jazz Festival in Poland, saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby will be back in the USA for a Thanksgiving week tribute to the electric music of Miles Davis at the NYC club Iridium. Other members of the tribute ensemble include trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Steve Smith (of Journey and Vital Information), and bassist Lonnie Plaxico.

* If you've ever wondered whether the arts are a moneymaker for the local economy, a study released this month by Americans for the Arts shows that in 2015, the not-for-profit arts and culture industry in the St. Louis area generated $591 million in annual economic activity, supporting 19,129 full-time equivalent jobs and yielding $57.7 million in local and state government revenue.

(Note that this figure doesn't include for-profit ventures in theater, visual arts, or the music industry - ranging from big arena shows and concert clubs, to one-person gigs at neighborhood venues, to support services like music stores and recording studios - so if anything, it probably understates the total economic impact of arts-related businesses.)

* St. Louis-based publishers Worship Jazz have released two new "jazz nativity" scripts for the holiday season, "What Child is This?" and "Angels from the Realms." Both include full staging instructions and music suggestions from the company's book Jazz Christmas Carols, Volume 2. For details, samples from the scripts, and pricing information, see the Worship Jazz website.

* Missouri student composers in grades K-12 can win awards and cash prizes for their original music in a variety of genres, via the University of Missouri School of Music's Creating Original Music Project (COMP). Entries for the 2018 competition are being accepted now; for more information, visit the COMP website.