Sunday, February 22, 2009

Notes from the Net: A Miles Davis tribute in Scotland, David Sanborn on DVD, and more

Here's this week's compilation of news and links related to jazz in St. Louis, including musicians from the Gateway City, recent visitors, and coming attractions, plus assorted other items of interest:

* For this week's supply of mandatory Miles Davis-related linkage, we note that Scottish trumpeter Colin Steele will salute Davis with a Kind of Blue tribute concert on March 2 at the Lot Jazz Centre in Edinburgh. Also, for some Miles-related anecdotes, check out part three of's extended bio of the late pianist/percussionist Victor Feldman, who performed and recorded with Davis in the early 1960s.

* As mentioned here last week, alto saxophonist and St. Louis native David Sanborn has a new DVD, Live at Montreux 1984. Most of the tracks feature Sanborn with Larry Willis (keyboards), Hiram Bullock (guitar), Tom Barney (bass) and Buddy Williams (drums), but there's also bonus footage from Sanborn's 1981 show at Montreux, for which he was backed by an all-star group including Marcus Miller (bass), Mike Mainieri (vibraphone), Neil Larsen (keyboards), Robben Ford (guitar), Ricky Lawson (drums) and Lenny Castro (percussion).

Now, a Sanborn rep has alerted StLJN to the availability of some preview clips of the DVD on YouTube, and you can see one of them, a 1984 version of Sanborn's tune "Hideaway," in the embedded video window at the bottom of this post.

* The always busy alto saxophonist, composer, music presenter and record label owner John Zorn, who once attended out town's Webster University, has scored a new experimental theater piece for NYC avant garde director Richard Foreman. You can read the New York Times review here, the Village Voice review here, and an interview with Foreman here.

* Opening the "coming attractions" file, trumpeter Terence Blanchard (pictured), who will appear at Jazz at the Bistro in May, was the headliner for the opening night of this year's Portland Jazz Festival. Here's an interesting account from the local paper of Blanchard's show and the "Jazz Conversation" that preceded it, and another view from Rifftides' Doug Ramsey. Blanchard also recently did a live performance that was broadcast by NPR from NYC's Village Vanguard; you can hear the show archived online here.

* Turning to recent visitors: For All I Care, the new CD from The Bad Plus (who were in St. Louis at the Bistro last month, just before the disc was released) gets another review here from, of all places, the campus newspaper at MIT. And for more Bad Plus, see this video interview from, via

* According to the New York Times, singer and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway, a favorite with St. Louis listeners who has performed here numerous times in recent years, showed off a new, more assertive musical persona in a recent gig at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola in Lincoln Center. Read the review here.

* Finally, though Terence Blanchard may have gotten the Portland jazz fest off to a good start, other developments in the Pacific Northwest city were less promising - specifically, the event's promoters were forced to cancel a scheduled concert by Cassandra Wilson and Jason Moran after only 400 tickets were sold for a 3000-seat hall. Noting that "as the first major jazz festival of 2009, it may be the canary in the coalmine regarding effects of the economic downturn," Howard Mandel has more on the Portland fest's trials and tribulations here.

(Edited 3/1/09 to correctly attribute a link to Howard Mandel's blog Jazz Beyond Jazz.)

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