Sunday, July 15, 2018

Sunday Session: July 15, 2018

Brian Blade
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:

* 'You can't judge a generation's taste': making Now That’s What I Call Music (The Guardian)
* Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band Leaves Michael Bourne Mouth Agape in Montreal (WBGO)
* Kamasi Washington, the wisest man on Earth (
* How did Irvin Mayfield, the man with the golden trumpet, end up in the poorhouse? (New Orleans Advocate)
* The Adventurous World of Brazilian Experimental Music (
* MIT Develops AI That Can Isolate and Edit the Individual Instruments in a Song (
* An AI system for editing music in videos (
* ‘Skyrockets in flight/Afternoon delight’: The story behind Starland Vocal Band’s one big hit (Washington Post)
* In Istanbul, a Display of National Music Culture (DownBeat)
* NEA Announces 2019 Jazz Masters (Jazz Times)
* Coltrane, Kamasi and the art of looking both directions at once (
* Synths may be spared worst of US trade war – for now (
* Global Notation: a new notation system for world music (
* The Jazz Pianist Who Made One Masterpiece And Disappeared (
* Before Björk, There Was the Last Incan Princess (
* How Ads Get Away with *Almost* Plagiarizing Existing Music (
* 10 Essential One-Track Albums (
* “A Band At The Top Of Their Game”: Ravi Coltrane Talks John’s “Classic Quartet” (
* New $50,000 prize in improvised music gives its first awards to Joe McPhee and Susan Alcorn (Chicago Reader)
* Ellis Marsalis Jazz Piano Competition Winners Announced (Jazz Times)
* The GroundUP Festival Brings Even More Heat to Miami, on Jazz Night in America (WBGO)
* Who Is Benefitting From the Nostalgic Vintage Releases in African Music? (
* The Sonic Arts Union’s Handmade Electronic Music, 1966-1976 (
* Chicago label Still Music rescues decades of house history from a south-side storage locker (Chicago Reader)
* A Conversation with La Monte Young, Marian Zazeela and Jung Hee Choi (

Saturday, July 14, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Previewing the Gateway Jazz Festival

This week, let's take a look at some videos of the musicians who will be performing at the Gateway Jazz Festival, which will take place next Saturday, July 21 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater. Now in its second year, the festival will present a day-long program of contemporary jazz and R&B performers.

Here's a collection of recent clips featuring those artists, starting with the headliner, saxophonist Boney James, who can be seen up above performing "Tick Tock" in November 2017 at The Wave/Honda Soundstage in Los Angeles.

After the jump, you can see R&B vocalist Will Downing in an excerpt from his set in May of this year at the ATL Soul Life festival in Atlanta.

Next up is trumpeter Cindy Bradley, performing "Lifted" in January 2018 at the restaurant and music venue South in Philadelphia.

Then it's singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, playing "Living My Dream"  in january at the 2018 National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, CA.

That's followed by a clip of keyboardist Alex Bugnon, performing his version of War's 1970s hit "The World Is A Ghetto," also recorded last year at South.

Finally, there are videos of the two St. Louis musicians who will be opening the show, both recorded by the prolific St. Louis videographer James Ross (aka JRoss-TV).

Saxophonist Tim Cunningham is featured in the sixth clip, performing "That's What I Like" in a show earlier this year at the Sheldon Concert Hall, and pianist Mike Silverman is seen in the seventh and final clip, showing off the new Steinway piano acquired earlier this year by his Clayton Studios facility.

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

Friday, July 13, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & LInks

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

* St. Louis Public Radio will honor broadcaster, author and photographer Dennis Owsley (pictured) for 35 years of service to the station and the local music community with a celebration to be held at 7:00 p.m. next Thursday, July 19 at UMSL at Grand Center, 3651 Olive St.

The event is free and open to the public, and will include live music from saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Steve Davis.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold's recent gig at Ronnie Scott's in London was reviewed by Jazz in Europe.

* Harrold also was profiled briefly as one of "18 New Artists in the SFJAZZ 2018-19 Season."

* Multi-instrumentalist and singer Tonina Saputo was the subject of a feature story by St. Louis Public Radio's Jeremy Goodwin.

* Saxophonist, clarinetist and U City native Marty Ehrlich was interviewed in DownBeat on the occasion of the release of latest album, Trio Exaltation.

* A recent performance by Grant Green’s Evolution of Funk at the Jazz Standard in New York was reviewed by Jazz Times. The group, which features Green's son Grant Green, Jr on guitar, was formed in part to promote Resonance Records' recent release of previously unheard live recordings by the elder Green.

* Multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman has just released a new album titled Ukulele Nuthouse.  The recording features Weltman on ukuleles and harmonica with various accompanists, performing a mix of originals and covers,  and is available now from the usual digital outlets and from CD Baby.

* Keyboardist Ryan Marquez did a brief Q&A about jazz/funk band The People's Key's new album Unlocking Doors with the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* The Regional Arts Commission of St. Louis has announced its grants for the coming presenting season, and some local arts organizations are upset about a new evaluation system that has resulted in 40 groups that previously had received money from RAC getting no funding at all for 2018-19.

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Karl Denson's Tiny Universe to perform Friday, August 17 at Atomic Cowboy Pavilion

Saxophonist and singer Karl Denson and his band Tiny Universe are returning to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m. Friday, August 17 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

Denson (pictured) - who in recent years also has been part of the Rolling Stones' tour band - will be playing songs from the upcoming Tiny Universe studio album and from a recent string of shows paying tribute to the Allman Brothers Band, as well as older material.  His most recent St. Louis performance was in July 2017, also at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

In addition to the leader, the current Tiny Universe lineup includes Chris Littlefield (trumpet), Zak Najor (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), David Veith (keyboards), DJ Williams (guitar) and Seth Freeman (slide & lap steel guitar).

Tickets for Karl Denson and Tiny Universe at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion are $25 in advance, $30 day of show, and are on sale now via TicketWeb.

Jazz this week: Adam Larson, Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Summerset festival, and more

It's a busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with festivals presenting smooth jazz and swing dance; New Orleans music from one of that city's classic bands and from a St. Louis expat; and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, July 11
Saxophonist Adam Larson is in town and will present a free public performance/workshop at Saxquest.

Larson is an up-and-coming young musician who already has headlined and co-headlined shows at Jazz St. Louis' Bistro and other top venues, so the chance to see him for free makes this gig one of the week's top picks.

Also on Wednesday, the free "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" resumes after an Independence Day break with the Jazz Troubadours at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session led by bassist Bob DeBoo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor and band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, July 12
Having celebrated four decades together in 2017,  the Dirty Dozen Brass Band (pictured, top left) will be back in St. Louis for the first time in several years for a show at the Old Rock House. You can see and hear some recent DDBB performances in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Thursday, the Summerset smooth jazz festival presents the first of three concerts this weekend, kicking off with a show from saxophonists Paul Taylor and Pamela Williams at the World's Fair Pavilion in Forest Park. You can find out more and see videos of all the various musicians who will playing the fest in this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Elsewhere around town, pianist and St. Louis native Tom McDermott is back from New Orleans for a visit and a show at Joe's Cafe; and vocal group Java Jived will perform in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Friday, July 13
The Summerset festival continues with a show featuring keyboardist Jeff Lorber, saxophonist Everette Harp and guitarist Paul Jackson Jr; and the annual River City Mess Around, the mid-summer swing dance weekend presented by STL Jitterbugs, officially begins with a dance at City Museum featuring music from singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran and band.

Also on Friday, multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris presents "Headnotic," described as "his newest project, focusing on brand new, original compositions," for the first of two nights at Jazz St. Louis; the Ambassadors of Swing play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and singer Anita Jackson returns to The Dark Room.

Saturday, July 14
The Summerset festival concludes with a performance by singer and St. Louis native Lynne Fiddmont (pictured, bottom left) and singer Howard Hewitt; and the River City Mess Around continues with a dance featuring Miss Jubilee at the Webster Groves Masonic Lodge No 84.

Also on Saturday, The WirePilots play original jazz fusion in a free concert at Kirkwood Park Amphitheatre; The People's Key will perform at The Stage at KDHX; and trumpeter Jim Manley and his band return to Evangeline's.

Sunday, July 15
Singer Jan Shapiro, former head of the vocal department at Berklee College of Music who recently retired and moved back home to St. Louis, will team up with guitarist Tom Byrne for a matinee tribute to Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass at the Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Then on Sunday night, the River City Mess Around concludes with a performance by the Arcadia Dance Orchestra at Off Broadway.

Monday, July 16
"Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Tuesday, July 17
Multi-instrumentalist Tonina Saputo and her band host "The Tuesday Night Hit" 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, July 08, 2018

Sunday Session: July 8, 2018

David Murray
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:

* Julian Lage Takes a ‘Page from the Rock ’n’ Roll Book’ (DownBeat)
* 50 Years On, The Band's 'Music From Big Pink' Haunts Us Still (NPR)
* Rain Can’t Wash Out Saratoga Jazz Fest (DownBeat)
* Ry Cooder ‘Spellbound’ by Gospel Music (DownBeat)
* Trump Tariffs Could Kill U.S. Synth Manufacturing, Says Moog (
* Moog Says Chinese Tariffs May Force A Move Overseas (NPR)
* The Counterfeit Queen of Soul (Smithsonian)
* The Band's 'Music From Big Pink' Turns 50: How Upstate New York Informed the Americana Classic (Billboard)
* The End of Owning Music: How CDs and Downloads Died (Rolling Stone)
* Shabaka Hutchings: Britain’s Best Export (DownBeat)
* How Alan Braufman’s “Valley of Search” Brought Shine to New York’s Loft Jazz Scene (
* Pianist Henry Butler Has Passed Away After Cancer Battle (Offbeat)
* In Chicago, the sound of the blues is fading (The Economist)
* Finding The Light with Bass Icon Dave Holland, on The Checkout (WBGO)
* Radical Transparency: A Review of Jason Moran’s The Last Jazz Fest (
* Public Enemy Talks 'It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back' on Its 30th Anniversary (Billboard)
* Before & After With Nicole Mitchell (Jazz Times)
* Bright Moments with David Murray (Jazz Times)
* Montreal Jazz Festival Cancels Slave Songs Show After Backlash (Hollywood Reporter)
* Trombonist Bill Watrous Dies at 79 (Jazz Times)
* This Artist Reimagined Pop Songs as Beautiful Infographics (
* Pianist Erroll Garner Lights Up Late Night In Amsterdam (WBGO)
* Lalah Hathaway, Questlove, Robert Glasper & More On the Impact of PBS’s ‘Soul!’ (
* Mickey Hart talks music, Grateful Dead, rhythm 'trancing' and giving Tipper Gore drum lessons (San Diego Union Tribune)
* Buster Williams Still is on the Upswing (DownBeat)
* Protest Voices Enrich Montreal Festival (DownBeat)
* How Innovative Jazz Pianist Vince Guaraldi Became the Composer of Beloved Charlie Brown Music (
* What Is the Most Nostalgic Song of All Time? (Village Voice)
* How a Young Lower East Side Jazz Group Became Cult Favorites (
* Billboard’s charts used to be our barometer for music success. Are they meaningless in the streaming age? (Washington Post)
* How George Clinton Made Funk a World View (The New Yorker)

Saturday, July 07, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on the Dirty Dozen Brass Band

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, who will be back in St. Louis to perform next Thursday, July 12 at the Old Rock House.

Founded in 1977 in New Orleans, the DDBB helped reinvigorate the city's brass band tradition by incorporating modern jazz, funk, and other genres, inspiring a new generation of players, bands and fans in the process.

The most recent of DDBB's 14 albums is Twenty Dozen, released back in 2012, but they continue to tour regularly, playing festivals, theaters and concert clubs in the USA and Europe. They were regular visitors to St. Louis in the 1990s and 2000s, playing venues from Mississippi Nights to the Broadway Oyster Bar, but since it's been a few years since their last local appearance, it seems like a good time to share some of their music again via some recent videos of the current lineup.

The first video up above is the DDBB's "Tiny Desk Concert" for NPR, recorded in February 2017, in which they perform four songs: "Use Your Brain," "Best Of All," "Tomorrow" and "My Feet Can't Fail Me Now."

After the jump, you can see an extended excerpt from their show at the Jazz Education Network convention held last January in New Orleans. That's followed by a music video they made in September 2017 for the AV Club's "Undercover" series, a cover of alt-rock singer-songwriter Beck's tune "Debra."

For the fourth clip, it's back to New Orleans for a DDBB staple, "Do It Fluid," recorded at the start of their set at the 2016 Jazzfest. The last two videos are complete sets, from January 2016 in Cambridge, MA and June 2015 in Wayne, NJ.

For more about what the Dirty Dozen Brass Band has been up to recently, read this interview with baritone saxophonist and co-founder Roger Lewis from December 2017, and check out their brief video interview from last year on AV Club.

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

Friday, July 06, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Two new releases of previously unheard live recordings helped guitarist and St. Louis native Grant Green make the cover (pictured) of the July/August 2018 issue of Jazz Times nearly 40 years after his death.

Though the article about Green isn't online (yet), the magazine is on sale now, and they're also conducting an online poll asking readers to name their favorite Grant Green album.

* St. Louis native Mark Colenburg is profiled in the August 2018 issue of Modern Drummer magazine.

* Colenburg also will be one of the featured clinicians at the Australia Ultimate Drummer's Weekend, held August 25 & 26 in Victoria, Australia.

* Singer Denise Thimes, who recently moved from St. Louis to Chicago, is the subject of a brief profile by the Chicago Tribune's Howard Reich

* Here's a review of trumpeter Keyon Harrold's performance at last weekend's Love Supreme festival in England.

* The Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis has posted to YouTube a video of a performance by violinist Regina Carter and pianist Peter Martin at the 2018 St. Louis Arts Awards.

* Bassist Darin Gray has collaborated with Japanese singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Eiko Ishibashi on a new album, Ichida, which will be released on Friday, July 20 by the Black Truffle label.

* St. Louis photographer Tiffany Sutton last week launched a crowd-funding campaign for "Black, Brown and Beige," a series of portraits inspired by the Duke Ellington suite of the same name. Her plans also include an exhibition of the photos with a choir performing Ellington's music for the exhibit's opening. Find out more and, if you wish, donate at the project's GoFundMe page.