Thursday, October 29, 2009

Jazz this week: Reggie Thomas and OGD, Lamar Harris and Tribal Funk, Kim Portnoy Trio, and more

Though ghosts, goblins and ghouls may reign supreme this Halloween weekend, it should still be possible for interested listeners to scare up some good jazz in St. Louis.

Tonight, singer Erin Bode and her group will help inaugurate a new "special events" room at Cyrano's in Webster Groves. There's no word yet if Cyrano's plans to make this new addition a regular venue for live music, but fans who in the past have packed in to see Bode perform in the main part of the restaurant no doubt will enjoy the extra elbow room.

On Friday and Saturday, keyboardist Reggie Thomas and his organ trio OGD will take the stage at Robbie's House of Jazz, augmented for the weekend by special guests Ronald Carter (pictured) on saxophone and Anthony Wiggins on trumpet. Thomas is one of the top keyboard talents in the area, and adding Carter and Wiggins to the mix will expand the band's sonic pallette considerably.

Also on Friday and Saturday, trombonist Lamar Harris and Tribal Funk will perform at Jazz at the Bistro. Harris' music blends jazz, funk, R&B and hip-hop, and though I haven't heard his newest project yet, given the name I'd expect an emphasis on beats and grooves.

On Sunday evening, pianist Kim Portnoy and his trio will team up with virtuoso harmonica player Sandy Weltman for a concert at 7:30 p.m. at Eliot Unitarian Chapel, 100 S. Taylor (at Argonne) in Kirkwood. Weltman's work on the chromatic harp is both technically impressive and emotionally expressive, and Portnoy is a thoughtful pianist and composer whose playing ranges from swinging to impressionistic. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door and can be purchased by calling 314- 662-2947.

As usually happens with the first of a new month coming up, some schedule information for November is still arriving at StLJN HQ. So, for updated information on more jazz and creative music events this weekend and beyond, check out the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, available for viewing on the left sidebar, or by clicking here. Also, you can now follow St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at and/or become a "fan" by signing up on the StLJN Facebook page.

(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.)

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