Monday, July 25, 2016

Music Education Monday: Master classes
with bassist Abraham Laboriel

This week for Music Education Monday, you can check out a couple of master classes with the veteran bassist Abraham Laboriel.

Since graduating from Berklee and beginning his career in the early 1970s, the 69-year-old Laboriel (pictured) has played thousands of sessions, working on TV and film soundtracks and with top names in jazz, rock, pop, and contemporary Christian music including Al Jarreau, George Benson, Andy Summers, Barbra Streisand, Billy Cobham, Dave Grusin, Dolly Parton, Donald Fagen, Elton John, Freddie Hubbard, Herb Alpert, Herbie Hancock, Lalo Schifrin, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and many others.

The first video, titled "Beginning Funk Bass," was recorded in 1994 and is pretty much what you'd expect from the title, with Laboriel demonstrating various funk grooves and licks and discussing the concepts and techniques used in them.

The second video is from 2014 and captures a relatively informal session, in which Laboriel plays, talks a bit, and takes questions. Although this class was presented originally for an audience made up primarily of church musicians and does feature some discussion specific to that context, many of the bassist's insights nevertheless can be applied to any genre.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Session: July 24, 2016

Irma Thomas
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* A Visit to the Pops Home (Stereophile)
* Chas Chandler: The man who discovered Jimi Hendrix (BBC)
* …But I Hate Modern Music (New Music Box)
* Solving the Mystery of 'Heartbreak Hotel' (Rolling Stone)
* How a little mathematics can help create some beautiful music (
* How Do Music Preferences Differ Place To Place? Pandora Shares State By State Data (
* Just Three Albums Have Sold Over 1 Million Units This Year (
* The Surprising Musical Preferences of an Amazon Tribe (The Atlantic)
* How Composer Howard Shore Brought the Sounds of Tangier to William S. Burroughs' ‘Naked Lunch’ (
* Hersch, Sanchez, Porter Delve Deep at Portugal’s Funchal Jazz Festival (DownBeat)
* Pokemon Go Invades Pro Audio (Pro Sound News)
* Interview: Fred Hersch (Stereophile)
* Billboard's First Hitmakers Roundtable: 7 of Music's Top Creatives and Influencers on the State of Pop, 10-Second Attention Spans and the Song of the Summer (Billboard)
* One of the nation’s most successful musicians dies (Antigua Observer)
* New Orleans 'Soul Queen' Irma Thomas: ' I can't choose a song that doesn't make sense to me' (KPCC)
* Where have the great composers gone? (The Guardian UK)
* Jazz Museum in New Orleans gains a new director (New Orleans Advocate)
* The Mad Scientists Of Vinyl Record Design (Fast Company)
* More Bird With Strings (
* Composing in the Entrepreneurial Era (Van magazine)
* Richard Corsello, Sonny Rollins' Go-To Engineer - How he transformed subpar source recordings into Rollins' triumphant "Road Shows" series (Jazz Times)
* Q&A with Guillermo Klein: The Sound of Symmetry (DownBeat)
* Composers seek new definition of greatness in a digital age (The Guardian UK)
* New Orleans jazz drummer Jason Marsalis and his family move to France (New Orleans Advocate)
* Coming to Grips with Dead & Bro: John Mayer and the Improbable Live Rebirth of the Grateful Dead (Pitchfork)
* An Exhibition of Japanese Portable Record Players (Spoon & Tamogo)
* North Beach History: When Bebop Filled The Night (
* Enter Brian Wilson’s Creative Process While Making The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Ago: A Fly-on-the Wall View (
* Looking for the great composers? They’re all around us (San Francisco Chronicle)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Giants of jazz in concert

Since this feature is still employing a non-topical, summer-vacation protocol, today's post is simply a sort of video jazz festival, for which yr. editor has selected full sets from six of the all-time giants of jazz, recorded at various locations around the world in the middle of the last century.

In order, the videos are:

* Louis Armstrong in 1959 in Antwerp, Belgium
* Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1965 in Montreal
* Count Basie Orchestra in 1972 in Copenhagen, Denmark
* Thelonious Monk Quartet in 1963 in Japan
* Charles Mingus Sextet in 1964 in Oslo, Norway
* Miles Davis Quintet in 1964 in Milan, Italy

The Armstrong video is at the top of this post; the others can be seen after the jump. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Wee Trio, which includes St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, has launched a crowd-funding campaign raising money to record their fifth album. The recording, titled WEE + 3, will feature guest appearances from pianist Fabian Almazán, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and guitarist Nir Felder.

* Jazz St. Louis' program last week pairing a performance of music from drummer Max Roach's We Insist! The Freedom Now Suite with a discussion of jazz, race, and social justice issues was the subject of a feature story by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn.

* New Music Circle will promote their upcoming 58th season with "an evening of drinks and DJs" from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 3 at the Tick Tock Tavern, 3459 Magnolia in the Tower Grove East neighborhood. The free event will feature Josh Weinstein and Jeremy Kannapell spinning records, plus raffles for various prizes including CDs, LPs, and tickets to upcoming NMC concerts. Proceeds from drinks purchased during the event will go to support NMC's various programs.

* Pianist Peter Martin's company Open Studio Network has started a new podcast, "The Process," which will feature "interviews with the best players in jazz and beyond." The first episode, with Martin and drummer Gregory Hutchinson (pictured), is online now.

* Saxophonist and educator Harvey Lockhart and the other winners of the 2017 St. Louis Arts Awards were profiled on the website of the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

* Legendary singer, dancer and St. Louis native Josephine Baker's favorite places in France were the subject of an article in the New York Times travel section.

* The Regional Arts Commission is accepting applications for the next round of their $20,000 Artist Fellowships through Wednesday, August 10. A total of ten $20,000 fellowships will be awarded to individual St. Louis artists in any discipline as selected by an advisory committee of arts professionals, peers and RAC commissioners. RAC also is offering a workshop on how to apply for the fellowships on Tuesday, August 2 at the Vaughn Cultural Center.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Jazz this week: St. Louis Cabaret Festival, Houston Person & Montez Coleman, New Orleans Jazz Vipers, and more

As yr. humble StLJN editor this week has been both swamped with paying-gig-type work and plagued by various equipment malfunctions, and this post is already late, this intro will be both mercifully brief and without embellishment.

Here are some of the more noteworthy jazz and creative music performances happening in and around St. Louis over the next few days: 

Wednesday, July 20
Saxophonist and East St. Louis native Andre Delano, now based on the West Coast, is back in town for a visit and will perform with Good 4 The Soul at The Lux.

Also tonight, the St. Louis Cabaret Festival gets underway with Broadway star Faith Prince and actor/singer Jason Graae performing at the Sheldon Concert Hall. For more about the festival and video samples of the headling performers, see this Saturday video post from a couple of weeks ago.

Elsewhere around town, singer Erin Bode will perform a free concert (weather permitting) for the Whitaker Music Festival at the Missouri Botanical Garden; the Liberation Organ Trio plays at Evangeline's; and the New Orleans Jazz Vipers, featuring former St. Louisans Charlie Halloran on trombone and Chloe Feoranzo on clarinet will perform on a double-bill with Feoranzo's old band, the Sidney Street Shakers, at Foam.

The Vipers' gig is the first of four this week in St. Louis for the band, with shows to follow on Thursday at Joe's Cafe, Friday at Focal Point, and Saturday afternoon at the Blues City Deli. For more about that, see Terry Perkins' article about Halloran, Feorenzo and the band posted yesterday on the website of Alive! magazine.

Thursday, July 21
The St. Louis Cabaret Festival continues with singer Marilyn Maye (pictured, top left), her special guest Ann Hampton Callaway, and pianists Billy Stritch and Tedd Firth at the Sheldon Concert Hall. For more on  what the four of them have planned, listen to Maye and Callaway's interview from yesterday on St. Louis Public Radio.

Also on Thursday, trumpeter Danny Campbell leads a quartet in a free "Jazz in July" show for the Jazz at Holmes series at the Tisch Commons of Danforth University Center on the Washington University campus; and guitarist Brian Vaccaro and his trio will play at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, July 22
The St. Louis Cabaret Festival continues with pianist and singer Tony DeSare at the Sheldon, while over on the other side of Grand Ave, the veteran tenor saxophonist Houston Person (pictured, lower left) will be in town as a special guest soloist with drummer Montez Coleman's band as they undertake two nights of performances at Jazz at the Bistro. You can find out more about Coleman's shows in a preview story written by the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson

Also on Friday, Second Generation Swing will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber performs in a free outdoor concert as part of the summer series at 370 Lakeside Park in St. Peters.

Saturday, July 23
Singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will celebrate the release of their new duo CD with a performance at the Kranzberg Arts Center; bassist Bob DeBoo brings his trio to The Dark Room; saxophonist Tim Cunningham will be playing soul jazz and R&B at @Nesby's; and Miss Jubilee will offer up danceable swing, jump blues and more at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Sunday, July 24
The Coleman Hughes Project will play an early evening show at The Rustic Goat; the Ambassadors of Swing return to Kirkwood Station Brewing Company; and the St. Louis Cabaret Festival wraps up with a final celebration and showcase of students from the coterminous St. Louis Cabaret Conference at the Ferring Jazz Bistro.

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.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Branford Marsalis, Kurt Elling to perform January 24 & 25 at Jazz at the Bistro

In an addition to the previously announced 2016-17 schedule for Jazz at the Bistro, Jazz St. Louis has announced that saxophonist Branford Marsalis and his quartet will be joining forces with singer Kurt Elling and returning to St. Louis for performances at the Bistro on Tuesday, January 24 and Wednesday, January 25, 2017.

Elling and Marsalis (pictured) recently collaborated on the album Upward Spiral, which was released in June on the Marsalis Music label via OKeh Records.

The recording features a mix of standards, off-the-beaten-path covers and originals, and generally has been well-received by fans and by critics such as's Dan Bilewsky, who praised it as being "suffused with graciousness, beauty, and, on occasion, heartbreak." (You can see a promotional video for Upward Spiral in the embedded player at the bottom of this post.)

Tickets for the Branford Marsalis Quartet with special guest Kurt Elling and are on sale now to Jazz at the Bistro subscribers only, with the JSL website currently saying that prices "start at $45; $10 students." Single tickets will go on sale to the general public at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, August 10.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Miles on Monday: Miles Ahead released
on DVD and Blu-Ray, and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* Don Cheadle's film Miles Ahead, which tells the trumpeter's story beginning with a fictionalized incident set during his late-1970s career hiatus, is being released tomorrow on DVD (pictured) and Blu-Ray.

* Speaking of Miles Ahead, an article published last week in Hollywood Reporter mentions Cheadle's performance in the film as one that "merit(ed) attention" for a potential Academy Award nomination.

* Everything's Beautiful, the tribute/remix album by pianist Robert Glasper issued in conjunction with the theatrical release of Miles Ahead, was reviewed by Croco magazine and by's Asher Wolf.

* An article by's Mark Werlin evaluates the remastered SACD reissues of several albums from Miles Davis "Second Great Quintet"

* Somewhat unsurprisingly, given that it's the best-selling jazz album of all time, Davis' landmark recording Kind of Blue figures prominently in Paste magazine's list of "10 Jazz Albums for People Who Don’t Like Jazz."

* The London revival of Robert LePage's Needles and Opium, a performance piece about Miles Davis, Jean Cocteau and various forms of addition, was reviewed by The Telegraph.

Moon Hooch to perform Thursday,
October 20 at Old Rock House

Moon Hooch, the saxophones-and-drums trio that in the past couple of years has gone from busking at NYC subway stations to performing at major festivals across the USA and Europe, is returning to St. Louis to play at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 20 at the Old Rock House.

The trio (pictured) released their third album Red Sky in June to favorable reviews, and will be touring throughout the summer and fall in the USA, the UK and Germany in support of the recording.

Tickets for the all-ages Moon Hooch performance at the Old Rock House are $13 in advance, $15 day of show, and will go on sale at 5:00 p.m. this Friday, July 22 via Metrotix.