Here's this week's compilation of assorted news briefs and links related to jazz, improvisation, and creative music in St. Louis, including news of musicians originally from the Gateway City, recent visitors, and coming attractions, plus assorted other items of interest:
* For our obligatory weekly Miles Davis-related links, there's a story in the San Jose Mercury News with more on this weekend's tribute to Davis at Stanford University. Also, for the latest news on the proposed film biography of the trumpeter, check out the blog The Miles Davis Movie, which this week noted that although the Internet Movie Database still lists the Davis biopic starring Don Cheadle as a "go" for the year 2011, Cheadle's schedule looks awfully jam-packed with other flicks between now and then.
* Here's a review of Street of Dreams, a recently reissued-on-CD session cut for Blue Note back in 1964 by guitarist and St. Louis native Grant Green (pictured).
* The widely respected new music critic Kyle Gann (The New Yorker, Village Voice) has an interesting blog post in which he uses the new biography of John Zorn as a jumping-off point to wonder if the saxophonist, composer and former student at our town's Webster University is truly a post-modernist, or simply "a modernist by any other name"
* Opening the "coming attractions" file, here's an interview with Yellowjackets keyboard player Russell Ferrante, done before a gig this past week at the Daytona Beach International Festival. The Yellowjackets (with guitarist Mike Stern also on hand) will play at Jazz at the Bistro April 29 - May 2.
* And speaking of the Daytona Beach festival, here's a review of Chris Botti's performance at the same event. Botti will back in St. Louis in September to play the Fox Theatre.
* Next, let's catch up with a few recent visitors to St. Louis. Keeping in mind The Bad Plus 's penchant for unexpected cover versions, the Madison, WI weekly the Decider interviewed pianist Ethan Iverson before a show there this past week, and asked him "to analyze how they could potentially wash away the shame from a handful of so-called "guilty pleasure" songs," yielding some interesting answers. TBP were the opening act of 2009 at the Bistro.
* Here's a very detailed review of the recent Bela Fleck/Africa Project at Duke University, courtesy of the blog Re:Harmonized and its proprietor, Robert Zimmerman. Fleck and the Africa Project played the Sheldon Concert Hall earlier this month.
* The New York Times' Nate Chinen reviews last week's show by the Blue Note 7 at NYC's Birdland: "upholds an extremely clear agenda with crisp results...Beginning and ending strong, with just a momentary lull in between, the Blue Note 7 fulfilled its mandate with precision and more than a whiff of style." The BN7 played the Sheldon back in February.
* Here's a review of trumpeter Sean Jones' new CD The Search Within. Jones just wrapped up a four-night stand this weekend at the Bistro.
* Finally, to close out this week's parade o' links, here are a couple of different viewpoints on the subject of music education, starting with an essay for AllAboutJazz.com by Mickey Bass, in which the veteran hard-bop bassist laments the passing of the old-school method of on-the-bandstand instruction: "Throughout the '50s, '60s and '70s, apprenticeship programs were readily available in this country; in order to learn, a musician could come up through the ranks with Art Blakey and The Jazz Messengers, Horace Silver, JJ Johnson, The Jazztet or Miles Davis. This type of incubator was the tradition, the road to learning and developing your own sound and voice."
Meanwhile, in another blog post, Kyle Gann recognizes a related problem, and poses a partial solution: "As opportunities have diminished for musicians, the role of college becomes more crucial. We have to compensate for the wider performance world in which composers could have once gained more experience."