Saturday, February 21, 2009

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Bruce Barth

Today our spotlight shines on pianist Bruce Barth, who's in town next week to do an educational residency for Jazz St. Louis, culminating in gigs on Friday, February 27 and Saturday, January 28 at Jazz at the Bistro.

During the residency, Barth and his group will give school performances and work directly with young musicians in JSL's JazzU program and the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars student ensemble. Barth's band and the All-Stars also will be featured in a Young Friends of Jazz St. Louis benefit for JSL's educational programs that will be held Thursday, February 26 at The Gramophone.

Many St. Louis listeners already are familiar with Barth from his recording work as both leader and sideman for the locally based MAXJAZZ label and his previous performances at the Bistro, and today's video clips show off the pianist's versatility in dealing with three different musical settings.

In the first video, Barth is performing in a trio, backed by bassist Doug Weiss and St. Louis' own Montez Coleman on drums. The song is "Wilsonian Alto," and it was recorded in November, 2004 at the Cafe del Teatre in Lleida, Spain during the Lleida Jazz Festival.

Down below, you can see and hear Barth playing a solo medley of "Afternoon in Lleida" - perhaps a reference to the gig excerpted above? - and the Beatles' "Blackbird."

Finally, though there don't seem to be any clips of Barth's own quintet available online, in the last window you can see him playing with the five-piece band of trumpeter Terell Stafford, a close musical associate who will be part of Barth's group for their St. Louis gig. The tune, "Berda's Bounce," was recorded during a concert in February 2008 in Minneapolis.

(Edited 2/25/09 correct the dates of Barth's St. Louis gigs.)

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