Thursday, November 29, 2007

Jazz this week: Waverly Seven, Laetitia Sonami, Corey Christiansen, and more

Although the the jazz calendar this weekend isn't exactly packed, there are definitely a few shows happening that are worthy of attention, starting with Waverly Seven (pictured), who are performing at Jazz at the Bistro through Saturday.

The NYC-based septet, which features two keyboard players, bass and drums in its rhythm section behind a front line of saxophonist/clarinetist Anat Cohen, her brother Avishai Cohen on trumpet and Joel Frahm on tenor sax. They're a relatively new band that made their public debut earlier this year and, since the members are all bandleaders and/or in-demand side players in their own right, has played only a half-dozen gigs so far. As a result, they don't have much of a track record yet as a group, but given the considerable talents of the individual members, they seem worth checking out. Part of each set will be a quartet performance fronted by Anat Cohen, hopefully providing an opportunity to spotlight her very fine clarinet work.

Also making a debut this weekend is a new St. Louis jazz trio featuring pianist James Hegarty, drummer Tom Zirkle and bassist Luis-Michael Zayas. They'll perform a program of original compositions in a free concert on Friday night at the Mildred E. Bastian Performing Arts Center at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park.

On Sunday afternoon, guitarist Corey Christiansen returns to the St. Louis area to perform a concert in the Donald D. Shook Fine Arts Building of at St. Charles Community College. Before moving back to his home state of Utah earlier this year, Christiansen lived in St. Louis for several years while working for Mel Bay Publications. He's a very solid player in the mainstream jazz guitar style, and definitely worth a listen if you enjoy that genre.

On Sunday night, New Music Circle presents mixed-media performance artist Laetitia Sonami in a concert at SLCC-Forest Park. Born in France and now a resident of Oakland, California, Sonami is a composer, dancer, and sound installation artist who uses technology in combination with text, dance, and “found sounds" to create works the Los Angeles Times has called "visceral and engaging.” One of the pieces she will perform is called “The Appearance of Silence (The Invention of Perspective),” and it incorporates her instrument “the lady’s glove,” a sensor-studded controller made of black lycra that is worn on the hand to allow movements to control sounds, mechanical devices, and lights in real time.

For more, please consult the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, with the caveat that since the new month arrives over weekend, schedule updates from clubs and bands likely will be ongoing for the next several days.

(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.)

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