Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Session: February 14, 2016

Thad Jones
For your Sunday reading, some interesting music-related items that have turned up recently in StLJN's inbox:

* Jazz Record Mart Owner Reaches Deal to Sell All His Records, Closing Soon (
* After Seven Years, Maxwell Will Release The Sequel To ‘BLACKsummers’night’ This Year (Vibe)
* Thad Jones: 50 years of big band jazz in present tense (Detroit Free Press)
* Jazz Night In America At The DC Jazz Loft (NPR)
* 5 Production Lessons from Dave Stewart’s New Autobiography (Pro Sound News)
* The .00005¢ Handshake: More Reasons Why No Talent Buyer Cares About Streaming (MusicTechPolicy)
* Brian Eno and David Byrne’s cultural appropriation – 35 years of My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (Get Into This)
* Why Branford Marsalis is the man (
* Mark Mullins of Bonerama Keeps Trombones Hummin’ & Rockin’ (INTERVIEW) (Glide Magazine)
* The Sound Of Film To Come: how jazz fell in love with the movies (The Guardian UK)
* How skateboarders and jazz musicians make the same moves (
* Jarrett Thrills the Faithful at Sold-Out Carnegie Hall (DownBeat)
* Five reasons why SoundCloud might be doomed (
* The Creative Imperative and FONT Music - Dave Douglas’ “Solo” presentation at the 2016 Jazz Connect Conference (Jazz Times)
* The International Electronic Music Association and the Cassette Underground (Percorsi Musicali)
* Coltrane Church Says It’s Under Threat of Being Priced Out of San Francisco (KQED)
* Interview: Bassist/Producer Bill Laswell (
* How “Vinyl" and Lee Ranaldo Turned a Lost ’70s Act Into TV's Next Great Fictional Band (Pitchfork)
* Leading independent record shop shuns Record Store Day (

Saturday, February 13, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The world fusion of Danilo Pérez' Panama 500

Today, our video spotlight shines on pianist Danilo Pérez, who will be in St.. Louis to perform on Saturday, February 27 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Pérez, 50, first came to the US from his native Panama in the mid-1980s to study at Berklee College of Music. He initially gained wide attention in this country for his work with the late trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie, and since 2000 has been a member of Wayne Shorter's long-running quartet, recording four albums and touring with the sometimes-enigmatic saxophonist.

As a bandleader, Pérez has released 11 albums under his own name, the most recent being Panama 500, which came out in 2014. He'll be featuring music from that recording during his performance at the Sheldon, and the first video up above, produced for promotional purposes by Pérez' label Mack Avenue Records, provides a brief introduction to the album's concept, which involves combining musical influences from a variety of cultures. 

After the jump, you can see some live performances from Pérez' 2014 tour supporting the release of Panama 500 with a band including bassist Ben Street and drummer Adam Cruz, both longtime associates, plus harmonica player Roni Eytan, a nimble melodist who helps give the ensemble a distinctive sound.

From their gig on March 18, 2014 at New Morning in Paris, you can see versions of the album's title composition "Panama 500", "The Canal Suite: Melting Pot", and "Body and Soul", the latter done as a duet between Eytan and Pérez.

After that, there's an excerpt from their gig the following week on March 25, 2014 at Tbilisi Event Hall in Tbilisi, Georgia (the republic that formerly was part of the Soviet Union, not the US state).

The final video is an interview that Pérez did with Detroit jazz broadcaster Brian Pace in 2013, when the pianist premiered some of the music from Panama 500 at the Detroit Jazz Festival.

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

Friday, February 12, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* One of singer of singer Cyrille Aimée's performances last week at Jazz at the Bistro was reviewed for DownBeat magazine by St. Louis writer Terry Perkins.

* Writing for the Post-Dispatch a couple of days later, Perkins then covered singer Gregory Porter's show on Saturday at the Touhill, an event also reviewed by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn.

* Saxophonist Jim Stevens (pictured) announced this week via Facebook that he, drummer James Jackson and bassist John King will go to Jakarta, Indonesia the first week of March to perform with guitarist Larry Coryell and keyboardist and former St. Louisan David Garfield at the Java Jazz Festival.

Described as "one of the largest jazz festivals in the world and arguably the biggest in the Southern Hemisphere," the event also will feature performances this year from Chris Botti with Sting, the jazz-fusion band Yellowjackets, singers Patti Austin and Kurt Elling, saxophonist Candy Dulfer, and more.

* Multi-instrumentalist Adam Maness of The 442s (and several other bands) has joined pianist Peter Martin's company Open Studio Network as "creative content manager." The firm produces and sells online video music lessons featuring Martin, drummer Gregory Hutchinson, guitarist Romero Lubambo, and others.

* In an interview with San Francisco Classical Voice, trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard talked about developing and premiering his opera Champion in St Louis with support from Opera Theatre St. Louis and Jazz St. Louis. A new production of Champion being mounted this month by SFJAZZ and Opera Parallèle features a revised orchestration for fewer musicians.

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts will present a workshop on crowdfunding for artists at 7:00 p.m. this coming Monday, February 15 at the Regional Arts Commission. Attendees will hear from the author of a book on crowdfunding, a panel of artists who have used crowdfunding, and an attorney who will talk about related legal issues. Admission is $10 in advance; $15 at the door.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Jazz this week: STL Free Jazz Collective, Erin Bode, a tribute to Charlie Christian, and more

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis offers an eclectic selection of shows for Valentine's Day weekend, from free jazz to smooth romantic balladry.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, February 10
As of this writing late on Wednesday afternoon, the 7:30 set of Branford Marsalis' third and final night at Jazz at the Bistro is sold out, but some tickets remain for the 9:30 set and will be available at the door.

If you're shut out of the Marsalis show, you can watch on video in the Bistro's adjoining first floor lounge, which has no cover charge.

Also in the Grand Center neighborhood and with no cover, you can check out the regular weekly gigs featuring bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at the Kranzberg Arts Center or trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's trio at The Dark Room; or head a little farther west to hear pianist Brad Ellebrecht and drummer Kyle Honeycutt at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Thursday, February 11
The STL Free Jazz Collective (pictured, top left) will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; singer Erika Johnson and guitarist Tom Byrne return to Evangeline's; and the Ptah Williams/Eric Slaughter band will pay tribute to the late Maurice White by interpreting some Earth, Wind & Fire songs during their weekly gig at The Dark Room.

Friday, February 12
Continuing the annual Valentine's Day weekend tradition she inherited from former St. Louisans Mardra and Reggie Thomas, singer Erin Bode (pictured, center left) will perform for the first of three nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Also on Friday, New Orleans funk/R&B band Big Sam's Funky Nation will return to the Broadway Oyster Bar; new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound will perform a program focusing on the life and music of composer György Ligeti at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, February 13
Singer Tony Viviano will perform the first of two Valentine's Day-themed shows at Patrick's Westport Grill, with another on Sunday; and guitarist Brian Vaccaro and keyboardist Ryan Marquez will play for diners at Grapeseed.

Sunday, February 14
Singer Craig Pomranz, back home from NYC for the weekend, will present his cabaret show "Spend The Night With Craig" at The Boom Boom Room; singer Truenessia Combs and saxophonist Tim Cunningham team up for a Valentine's show at Troy's Jazz Gallery; and Coco Rico will play Gypsy jazz and swing at Nathalie's.

February 15

Guitarists Dave Black, Tom Byrne, and Steve Schenkel (pictured, bottom left) will join forces for "The Musical Legacy of Charlie Christian, A Centennial Celebration" at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium; and Chicago-based jazz/rock band Marbin returns to 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.)

Monday, February 08, 2016

Music Education Monday: A master
class with pianist Bill Charlap

Bill Charlap has won wide acclaim as one of the most accomplished and tasteful pianists of his generation. Charlap (pictured) who turns 50 this year, has recorded seven albums as a leader or co-leader for the Blue Note label, including two Grammy-nominated CDs.

He also was a member of Blue Note Seven, the all-star group assembled in 2008 to mark the label's 70th anniversary, and as a sideman has performed or recorded with many well-known singers and musicians, including Tony Bennett, Phil Woods, Harry Allen, Ruby Braff, Scott Hamilton, Gerry Mulligan, Warren Vaché, Jim Hall, Benny Carter, Clark Terry, and more.

More recently, Charlap last year was named director of jazz studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, and today for Music Education Monday, you can see a video of a master class Charlap presented in 2013 at the Jazz Philharmonic Hall in Saint Petersburg, Russia. While the quality of the video (shot by an audience member) isn't particularly good, and there are occasional interjections from a translator, it's listenable and watchable enough to spend 50 minutes with Charlap as he shares the story of his career and some musical perspectives, with accompanying musical examples. 

You can see the video after the jump...

Miles on Monday: News, reviews, and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* The box set Miles Davis at Newport 1955-1975 has won an NAACP Image Award as 2015's "Outstanding Jazz Album."

* The Hi-Hat label will release Miles Davis - Sun Palace, Fukuoka, Japan October '81 next month on vinyl as a two-LP set. Originally recorded for FM radio broadcast and issued last year on CD, the digitally remastered album (pictured) features Davis, Bill Evans (sax, flute), Mike Stern (guitar), Marcus Miller (bass), Al Foster (drums), and Mino Cinelu (percussion) in a set of material from Davis' comeback album The Man With The Horn.

* Davis' classic album Bitches Brew was the subject of a "Listening Diary" feature from writer David Leone on the website Musica Kaleidoskopea.

* The recently reissued eight-CD box set Miles Davis: The Last Word – The Warner Bros Years was reviewed on the website UK Vibe.

* Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle's film about Davis, has been booked for screenings at the Pan African Film Festival and SXSW.

* Meanwhile, blogger CocoaFab asked "Will New Miles Davis Movie Erase Abuse of Black Women Like Straight Outta Compton?", and the New York Daily News has taken the film's impending release on April 1 as an opportunity to look at "the best music biopic portrayals"

* Finally, the past seven days also yielded a couple of media references to Davis in non-musical contexts, as the website Delancey Place used his style of bandleading as an exemplar in "To Delegate or Not To Delegate," while GQ name-checked the trumpeter's sartorial style in "What Miles Davis Can Teach You About Your Suit Game."

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Sunday Session: February 7, 2016

Maurice White
For your Sunday reading, some interesting music-related items that have turned up recently in StLJN's inbox:

* Esperanza Spalding on Her Alter Ego and Being Inspired 'By Stuff People in Suits Don't Give a Shit About' (Billboard)
* For the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra, Monday Becomes an All-Week Affair (New York Times)
* Who Should Pay for the Arts in America? (The Atlantic)
* Inside the Strange, Hidden World of Offstage Touring Musicians (LA Weekly)
* The Riffs And Rhythms That Led To Jazz As We Know It (NPR)
* Five Questions With Jason Kao Hwang (
* Cash-Strapped Spotify Is Desperately Seeking a $500 Million Loan (
* All On A Mardi Gras Day: New Orleans’ unique carnival traditions (Offbeat)
* Interview: Trombone Shorty on refining Supafunkrock, the future of jazz, and playing for Obama (
* If Rihanna Can Go Platinum Giving ANTI Away For Free, What Does Platinum Even Mean? (Stereogum)
* The Art of Blue Note (
* SFX Entertainment files for bankruptcy in the US (
* A Conversation with Randy Weston - The African connection (Jazz Times)
* Pianist Aaron Goldberg Tells the Story of How Expatriate Drummer Leon Parker Returns and Begins His Next Chapter at National Sawdust (
* Maurice White, Earth, Wind & Fire Singer and Co-Founder, Dead at 74 (Rolling Stone)
* Maurice White: The Audacity Of Uplift (NPR)
* Good time: the greatest moments of Maurice White and Earth, Wind & Fire (The Guardian UK)
* How David Liebman got the keys to the jazz kingdom (Irish Times)
* Hear the Experimental Music of the Dada Movement: Avant-Garde Sounds from a Century Ago (
* Vinyl revival: Canadian company reinvents the record pressing plant (The Globe and Mail)
* The Biggest Session Drummer Of All Time Is Ready For The Spotlight (
* Marshall Allen Spreads Enlightenment with Arkestra (DownBeat)
* Bowie: follow the changes (Jazz Journal)
* A Fearless Soprano's Case For Contemporary Music (NPR)

Saturday, February 06, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Branford Marsalis, in the tradition

Although he's known as a thoroughly modern musician, saxophonist Branford Marsalis also is the second-eldest son of one of New Orleans' most famous musical families. So it's no surprise that he's demonstrated an affinity for classic jazz tunes throughout his career, mixing interpretations of well-known standards with his own original compositions both on stage and on record.

Marsalis will be returning to St. Louis to perform here for the first time since 2011 starting next Monday, February 8 through Wednesday, February 10 at Jazz at the Bistro.When he and his quartet take the stage at the Bistro, the leader's proclivities suggest that they're likely to play a few of those songs "in the tradition" as well as their own material. So, today's video showcase post is intended to show how Marsalis approaches some of those classics, via various performances recorded during the past year.

In the first clip up top, Marsalis plays a solo version of "Stardust" in April of last year at the ECHO Jazz awards ceremony in Germany. He recorded the song for his 2014 album In My Solitude: Live at Grace Cathedral, and this version explores a similar territory.

After the jump, you can see Marsalis and his dad, the veteran pianist Ellis Marsalis, performing an impromptu duo version of "Sweet Lorraine" in April of last year in New Orleans. (Note that this video, as well as the rest of today's clips, was shot by an audience member using non-professional gear. That means that while the audio is listenable across the board, the video quality may vary from pretty good, as in the clip of Marsalis and his dad, to not-so-good.)

The third clip shows Marsalis and his long-running quartet - pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer Justin Faulkner - doing Duke Ellington's "It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" in July 2015 at the Ravello Festival in Italy.

In the fourth video, shot in November 2015 during a master class at La Usina del Arte in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Marsalis and bassist Russell Hall play a duo version of "Tea For Two". The fifth video is from that same trip to South America, and features Marsalis, Hall, Faulkner and pianist Samora Pinderhugues doing Ellington's "In a Mellow Tone" in concert at the Teatro Colon de Buenos Aires.

Last but not least, the sixth and final clip shows Marsalis, Calderazzo, Revis, Faulkner, and guest saxophonist Ponder East playing the venerable NOLA standard "St James Infirmary" at a gig last year in Austin, TX.

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