Saturday, July 05, 2008

StLJN Saturday at the Movies:
Algernon's "Transmission Received," plus
Bennett Wood & friends play "Henry"

This week, let's take a look at a couple of videos featuring musicians who will be playing this month in the Tuesday night jazz series at The Gramophone, for which the club is partnering with Jazz St. Louis. One of the precepts of the Tuesday night series seems to be the presentation of new talent, such as the Chicago-based band Algernon and saxophonist Bennett Wood.

Algernon, led by guitarist Dave Miller, plays instrumental music that draws on a number of influences, including jazz, rock, and contemporary classical. They've been placed by some critics into the "post-rock" category, evoking comparisons to their fellow Chicagoans in the band Tortoise, but since forming four years ago, they have performed in settings ranging from jazz festivals to indie rock clubs.

Algernon have put out two independently released CDs, and they'll be playing at The Gramophone on Tuesday, July 15 with their current lineup, which includes Miller and fellow guitarist Nick Fryer, Katie Wiegman on vibraphone, Cory Healey on drums and Tom Perona on bass. The video clip above was recorded in February 2007 at the House Cafe in DeKalb, IL, and shows the band playing Miller's composition "Transmission Received."

As for Bennett Wood, who will be performing at The Gramophone this Tuesday, July 8, he's a native of Hannibal, MO who was schooled at SIU-Edwardsville and now resides in St. Louis. The video clip below was recorded at SIU-E in April of this year, and it features Wood on alto sax, bassist Nick Jost and drummer Sean Mullins performing an original composition by Jost called "Henry." I have no idea if what's depicted in this video has anything to do with what Wood's going to play on Tuesday, but it sounds good to these ears, and at the very least shows that the young saxophonist has a nice even tone and good facility on his chosen instrument.

There's no cover charge for the Tuesday night jazz shows at The Gramophone, and the music starts at 9:00 p.m. For more information or directions, see their Web site.

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