It's potentially a very busy week for fans of jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with plenty of noteworthy performances happening over the next few days. Let's look at some of the highlights:
This evening, veteran pianist Cedar Walton begins a four-night run with his trio at Jazz at the Bistro. Arriving on the scene in the late 1950s, Walton has worked with heavyweight musicians such as Art Blakey, John Coltrane, Art Farmer, Benny Golson, Abbey Lincoln, J.J. Johnson, Charles McPherson and Lee Morgan in addition to leading his own groups. Though he began by playing hard bop and still is closely identified with that style, Walton is a fine all-around jazz pianist and even made some funk-oriented records back in the 1970s. You can see some video of Walton in action in this previous StLJN post, and listen to him being interviewed in a Jazz St. Louis podcast here.
On Thursday evening, Two Times True, featuring pianist Carolbeth True and her son, drummer David True, will do a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.
Then on Friday, alto saxophonist and St. Louis native David Sanborn (pictured) comes home for the first time in a couple of years to perform at The Pageant. Sanborn is touring in support of his latest CD, Here and Gone, which is a tribute to the music of Ray Charles and to saxophonists David "Fathead" Newman and Hank Crawford, who sparked Charles' bands of the 1950s and early 1960s and were key early influences on Sanborn. Given his affection for the material, expect several numbers from Here and Gone included in the show along with the customary mix of tunes from Sanborn's extensive catalog.
UPDATE, 3:00 p.m., 9/25/08: Local music journalist Dan Durcholz did an interview with Sanborn for the online publication the St. Louis Beacon. You can read it here.
Also on Friday, Cincinnati saxophonist Bruce Menefield begins a two-night stand at Brandt's. This is, as far as I know, Menefield's first trip to St. Louis; he'll be working Friday night with bassist Jeff Anderson and drummer James Jackson, and on Saturday night with guitarist Dave Black and Jackson. You can see some video of Menefield in this previous StLJN post, as well as here.
Moving on to Saturday, Los Angeles-based multi-woodwind player and composer Vinny Golia will instantiate a St. Louis version of his Large Ensemble for a concert at Webster University Community Music School. The event, presented by New Music Circle as the kickoff to their 50th season, will feature a 27-piece group (21 students and six professionals, according to the promotional email from NMC) of local and regional players performing some of Golia's large-scale works, which include both composed and improvised materials and incorporate influences from a number of musical genres as well as some unconventional playing techniques.
Also on Saturday, radio station KMOX (1120 AM) presents their third annual Jazz and Wine Festival starting at 1:00 p.m. at Faust Park in Chesterfield. This year's musical lineup consists entirely of groups led by vocalists, with Kim Massie, Anita Rosamond and Jeanne Trevor serving as the featured attractions. If your tastes run more toward the instrumental and/or freely improvisational, Saturday afternoon also is when the BAG Trio, featuring bassist Zimbabwe Nkenya, drummer Gary Sykes and trumpeter/percussionist Mike Nelson, kicks off this fall's series of free concerts at the Kemper Museum on the Washington University campus.
On Sunday night, the Todd Mosby Group and Orange, featuring members of the Erin Bode Group, provide a double bill of electrified jazz at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups, and on Monday, the Sessions Big Band takes the stage at BB's. And as if all that weren't enough for one week, on Tuesday the energetic saxophonist Frank Catalano visits from Chicago to perform a free show at The Gramophone, and pianist/singer and longtime local favorite Hugh "Peanuts" Whalum plays at Brandt's. (You can see a couple of video clips of Catalano in performance here.)
To see listings of more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar.
(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.