Saturday, February 14, 2009

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on the Blue Note 7

We've super-sized this week's video post to bring you a preview of the Blue Note 7, who will be in St. Louis next Sunday, February 22 to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall under the combined auspices of Jazz St. Louis and the Sheldon.

Because the band is an all-star group assembled specifically for a tribute album and 50-city tour commemorating the 70th anniversary of Blue Note Records, there's no video available online of them all playing together. However, someone did make a short clip to promote the album and tour, and you can see that in the embedded video window up above.

Down below, we've got videos of the various Blue Note 7 members in action, with the exception of tenor saxophonist Ravi Coltrane, who previously was the subject of a video post here when he brought his quartet to Jazz at the Bistro last year. You can check out that post for some samples of Coltrane's playing; below, you'll find the other members of the Blue Note 7 in this order:

* Trumpeter Nicholas Payton playing Milt Jackson's bebop standard "Bags' Groove."
* Guitarist Peter Bernstein playing a tune called "Bobblehead" at the NYC club Smoke.
* Alto saxophonist Steve Wilson doing a version of "But Not For Me," apparently with some substitute chord changes, during a show at the Artists' Quarter in St. Paul, MN.
* Pianist Bill Charlap and bassist Peter Washington playing "In The Still Of The Night" in a clip recorded at the Village Vanguard. (That's Kenny Washington, no relation to Peter, on drums.)
* Drummer Lewis Nash, as part of saxophonist Joe Lovano's quartet with bassist George Mraz and the legendary pianist Hank Jones, playing Lovano's "Bird's Eye View" at the Jazz Baltica festival.

The band's repertoire for the tour includes new arrangements of music associated with a number of jazz greats who recorded for Blue Note over the years, including Art Blakey, Thelonious Monk, Herbie Hancock, Horace Silver, Joe Henderson and others. The Blue Note 7 have been on the road since the first week of January, so they should definitely have their arrangements together and be firing on all cylinders when they get to St. Louis next week.

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