Friday, November 28, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Jazz on Broadway, which featured first weekly and later only occasional live jazz at 554 East Broadway in downtown Alton, has closed after a three-year run.

A message sent to the club's email list by manager Jimmie Small said in part, "I do not have the liberty to divulge the overwhelming circumstances that led to this sad event. I would like to, on behalf or all who worked hard during these last 3 years to make the establishment a fine upscale venue for live entertainment, thank each and everyone for all their support, their time, and their encouragement."

* In happier news, favorable reviews keep coming in for Keep On Keepin' On, the new documentary about trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry. Media outlets weighing in recently include the Philadelphia Inquirer, Arizona Republic, Toronto Globe and Mail, and DVD Talk.

* Drummer and St. Charles' own Dave Weckl is the subject of the cover feature in the January 2015 issue of Modern Drummer magazine (pictured), coming soon to subscribers' mailboxes and to booksellers and newsstands everywhere.

* Saxophonist Greg Osby has posted a new blog entry in which he opines that critics might gain some much needed empathy from experiencing first-hand the rigors of the road and the effects they have on musicians.

* And speaking of critics, here another review of Osby's new CD with fellow saxophonist Tineke Postma, via's Dan Bilawsky.

* Saxophonist Oliver Lake was interviewed by Revive Music's Natalie Weiner.

* Meanwhile, (R)anthems, the latest album from Wee Trio bassist and St. Louis native Dan Loomis' "other" band Spoke, was reviewed by AAJ's Ernest Barteldes.

* The Toronto Star has a feature on trumpeter Eugene Gillis, who's been playing his horn at the protests in Ferguson.

* The weekend's best local music-related long read, though, though is "The 100 Greatest St. Louis Songs," compiled and written for the Riverfront Times by Roy Kasten, Christian Schaeffer and assorted RFT colleagues.

The list covers all musical genres, including entries representing a number of St. Louis jazz musicians, and better yet, the article contains YouTube audio for nearly all the listed songs so readers can easily hear them. (Full disclosure: Although I didn't write any of the entries, yr. humble StLJN editor is one of a number of people ostensibly knowledgeable about local music who were solicited for their input and are name-checked in the piece.)

* New music ensemble Alarm Will Sound's recent performance at the Public Media Commons in Grand Center was the subject of a feature story on Nine Network's program Arts America. You can view the segment online here.

* Un Grand Bonheur (A Great Happiness), the first album from recent-transplants-to-St. Louis Franglais, was reviewed by the website The Noise Beneath The Apple. The Django Reinhardt-inspired Gypsy jazz group, fronted by St. Louis-born singer Eve Seltzer and her husband, guitarist Ben Wood, will make their official local debut on Thursday, December 11 at Evangeline's.

* The Bosman Twins were featured last week on the website Jazz For A Saturday Night.

* Chris Limber's show for the just-concluded Gaslight Cabaret Festival was reviewed by Chuck Lavazzi of KDHX.

* Saxquest has posted on Facebook photo albums from recent appearances at the shop by Jeff Coffin and the Mu'tet and Frank Catalano.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday night on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, “Somethin’ Else” host Calvin Wilson will be breaking out the Blue Note, featuring recordings made for the legenday label by the likes of Lee Morgan, Jackie McLean and Bobby Hutcherson. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

Edited after to posting to the link to the Alarm Will Sound video. As noted any time AWS is mentioned here, I've been working with the firm Slay & Associates since 2010 providing publicity help to them for their performances in St. Louis and Columbia.

Jazz this week: Jeremy Davenport returns to the Bistro, Cactus Truck, and more

A few quick suggestions for some post-Turkey Day jazz and creative music in and around St. Louis...

Tonight, trumpeter, singer and U City native Jeremy Davenport returns from his current home in New Orleans to play his annual post-Thanksgiving weekend gig at Jazz at the Bistro.

Though he's been leader of the house band in the lounge at the Ritz Carlton in New Orleans for more than 10 years now, these annual visits have helped ensure that Davenport still has a strong following here in St. Louis. As a result, the 7:30 shows on both nights are sold out in advance, and though tickets for the 9:30 shows still may be available, advance reservations would seem to be a must.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, singer Feyza Eren and guitarist Tom Byrne will duet at Tavern of Fine Arts; singer Joe Mancuso brings a quartet to Nathalie's; trumpeter Jim Manley plays at Thurman Grill; and saxophonist Willie Akins leads a quartet at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday, bassist John King and friends will present another of his "My Life In Music" shows at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; singer Wendy Gordon and pianist Carolbeth True will team up at Tavern of Fine Arts;
Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play swing and jump blues at Evangeline's; and Miss Jubilee will perform at 612 Kitchen and Cocktails, a relatively new spot at 612 W Woodbine Ave in Kirkwood.

Then on Sunday, the Amsterdam-based free jazz trio Cactus Truck will be in town for a performance at  Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, with saxophonist Dave Stone opening the show. For a video preview of Cactus Truck's high-energy, wall-of-skronk sound, check out this post from last week.

Also on Sunday, singer Erin Bode will present "An Evening of Holiday Music" to benefit Promise Christan Academy at the Purser Center at Logan University; and the Coleman-Hughes Project with singer Adrianne Felton will perform at Troy's Jazz Gallery.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Tom Byrne will lead a trio at BB's Jazz Blues & Soups.

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.)

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Webster Groves HS jazz bands playing with Matt Wilson on December 12, at the Pageant on January 23

Photo of Matt Wilson from
Webster Groves High School jazz band director Kevin Cole sends word of two upcoming events involving the WGHS bands:

* Drummer Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O will take part in a week-long residency at WGHS starting Monday, December 8. They'll work with students on big band adaptations of the Tree-O material as arranged by the group's saxophonist Jeff Lederer, WGHS freshman Jack Snelling, and Cole.

The Tree-O and students from the school's Jazz I ensemble will "tour" Webster Groves schools during the day on Friday, December 12, followed by a public concert that evening with all the school's jazz bands at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium at WGHS, 100 Selma Ave. Admission is $10 at the door.

While they're in town, the Christmas Tree-O, which includes bassist Paul Sikivie along with Wilson (pictured) and Lederer, also will play a concert without their student accomplices on Monday, December 8 at Joe's Cafe.

* The WGHS bands will play their annual concert at The Pageant at 7:00 p.m. Friday, January 23. Also on the bill will be the jazz ensemble from Hixson Middle School and "special guests" the WGHS Alumni Jazz band, with a roster of musicians including Dan Smith, Ally Hany, Ben Steger, Isaac Helton, Kevin Killeen, Andrew Meyer, Jamie Burchett, Will Patton, Tara Bray, Robert Frye, Michael Neu, Dirk Downing, Blake Deibel, Michael Powers, Jack Popper, Bo Bray, Sam Fruend, Andrew Gurney, Holly Mead, Gus Knobbe, Jharis Yokley, Joseph Winstein-Hibbs, and Eric Grumke.

"The band will be playing original compositions by members, new arrangements, and even a commission for the occasion," writes Cole. "I don't even have to tell you how proud I'll be to see all of these guys again." Tickets will be priced at $15 for adults, $10 for children.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Music Education Monday: Saxophonists speak out, and a musician's guide to copyright

This week for Music Education Monday, an overview of the laws protecting musicians' intellectual property, and two famous saxophonists raise questions about the current state of music education...

* Composers, arrangers and musicians should always protect themselves by copyrighting original works, but first, you have to understand how the law functions; what's protected and what's not; and what paperwork needs to be completed to register your authorship.

You can get an handy overview of all that and more via this tutorial about copyright written especially for musicians and composers and published by

* Meanwhile, in the spirit of "questioning our premises," here's a brief video featuring Gary Bartz wondering about how young jazz musicians are being educated these days, and a slightly older, more infamous clip from the documentary Before the Music Dies, in which Branford Marsalis has some rather harsh words for students who have an excessive sense of entitlement.

Miles on Monday: The Sound of Miles Davis

For this week's "Miles on Monday," we reach back all the way to April, 1959 for some truly historic footage of the Miles Davis Quintet (with John Coltrane, Wynton Kelly, Paul Chambers and Jimmy Cobb) augmented by an big band arranged by Gil Evans performing for a TV special called The Sound of Miles Davis.

Recorded the same year Davis released Kind of Blue, this is some of the only footage of the core group of musicians (less Bill Evans and Cannonball Adderley) featured on that landmark album. As such, it's the sort of thing that really should be seen by pretty much anyone claiming to be a Miles Davis fan. The four tunes in the half-hour special are "So What," "The Duke," "Blues for Pablo," and "New Rhumba."

Musicians in addition to Davis and the quintet are Ernie Royal, Clyde Reasinger, Louis Mucci, Johnny Coles, and Emmett Berry (trumpets); Frank Rehak, Jimmy Cleveland, Bill Elton, and Rod Levitt (trombones); Julius Watkins and Bob Northern (French horns); Bill Barber (tuba); Danny Bank (bass clarinet); and Romeo Penque and Eddie Caine (woodwinds).

Saturday, November 22, 2014

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Cactus Truck hitting Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center on Sunday, November 30

Prickly and persistent, loud and as unsubtle as an 18-wheeler careening down a stretch of bad road at 70 miles an hour, the music of Cactus Truck certainly fits their name. Their balls-to-the-wall skronk also seems like an appropriate soundtrack for a state of emergency, either real or imagined, and so the upcoming visit by the Amsterdam-based trio on Sunday, November 30 to Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center seems rather timely.

Comprised of saxophonist John Dikeman (who's originally from the USA, born in Wyoming), guitarist/bassist Jasper Stadhouders, and drummer Onno Govaert, Cactus Truck was named "discovery of the year" in 2011 by the UK music magazine The Wire. Their first album Brand New For China! was called "brutal, furious and uncompromising" by's Eyal Hareuveni, and has evoked repeated comparisons to the electric music of saxophonist Peter Brötzmann with Last Exit, Hairy Bones and Trio Roma, and to experimental/noise groups such as The Thing and Zu.

You can sample their sonic mayhem in the first track up above, an excerpt from a performance in April 2014 at the alternative music venue Occii in Amsterdam.

After the jump, there are three excerpts from a 2013 show at Autonoom Centrum, which translates as "autonomous center," a sort of collectively managed community gathering place, performance space, and bookstore. (There are several venues in the Netherlands using the designation, including in one in Amsterdam, but it's not clear which one this is from the notes on the video.)

After that, it's a piece called "Magnum Eyebrow," recorded in 2013 at 12 Points, a festival in Dublin, Ireland for young European jazz artists.

Last but not least, the connection with 1960s free jazz is made a bit more explicit by a clip of Dikeman and Govaert performing Albert Ayler's "Ghosts" in 2012 at the Muziekgebouw in Amsterdam.

Tickets for Cactus Truck at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center will be $7 at the door. Saxophonist Dave Stone's Free Jazz Unit will open the show.

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

Friday, November 21, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Bosman Twins (pictured) were interviewed for a short feature in St. Louis magazine by the mag's culture editor Stef Russell.

* The opening of Jazz St. Louis' new HQ was covered in the December issue of DownBeat magazine by St. Louis' own Terry Perkins.

* Cabaret singer Meghan Kirk performed Thursday on Fox 2's morning newscast. Kirk will do her show "The Story Goes On" tonight for a sold-out house at the Gaslight Theater as part of the final weekend of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival.

* Quincy Jones was interviewed by The Dinner Party Download about trumpeter Clark Terry and Keep On Keepin' On, the the new documentary about Terry that Jones co-produced.

* The Funky Butt Brass Band has posted on Facebook an album of photos from their performance last Sunday for the St. Louis Jazz Club.

* Saxquest has posted on Facebook an album of photos from saxophonist Tia Fuller's performance and workshop there last Thursday.

* The U City High School jazz band has put online some photos from their workshop last week with pianist Peter Martin and trumpeter Sean Jones.

* In this week's Miles Davis-related news, Los Angeles-based apparel company Worn Free has launched a new line of Miles Davis t-shirts, with eight different designs priced from $35 to $50.

* Meanwhile, Prestige Records is looking for producers and DJs to do remixes of Davis' version of "Doxy." Prizes for the winners include $500 cash, a "large merch package from Prestige," an official release on a Spotify EP, and more.

* Jazz radio update: Saturday night on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis' “Somethin’ Else”, host Calvin Wilson will feature music from trios led by pianist Chick Corea, including tracks from his new album with Christian McBride and Brian Blade. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Roscoe Mitchell to lecture Friday, December 5 at Washington University

While he's in town next month to play a concert for New Music Circle, multi-instrumentalist and composer Roscoe Mitchell (pictured) also will present a special guest lecture at Washington University to discuss the evolution of one of his best-known compositions.

Mitchell's talk "NONAAH: From Solo to Full Orchestra" will take place at 2:00 p.m., Friday, December 5 in Wash U's Music Classroom Building, Room 102, 6500 Forsyth Blvd at Wallace Dr. The event is free and open to the public.

Known as one of the founders of the Art Ensemble of Chicago and the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, Mitchell now serves as Distinguished Darius Milhaud Professor of Music at Mills College in Oakland, CA. He will perform with keyboardist Craig Taborn in a concert that same evening at 7:30 p.m. at The Stage at KDHX.

Update: Mitchell also will be participating in a Q&A session at 7:30 p.m. the previous evening, Thursday, December 4, at Tavern of Fine Arts. This event, moderated by Dennis Owsley of KWMU and Paul Steinbeck of Wash U, also is free and open to the public.
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