Here's the latest 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.
Starting off, as we usually do, with a couple of items about Miles Davis, it seems that Kind of Blue drummer Jimmy Cobb's So What band played last week at the Gem Theater in Kansas City, and the show was reviewed for the Kansas City Star by Bill "Plastic Sax" Brownlee here, for Pitch Weekly by Jason Harper here, and by local music blogger Joel Francis here.
In other Davis-related news, Monster, the company that makes premium-priced audio cables and similar products, is coming out with Miles Davis special edition headphones. The 'phones, which feature a silhouetted image of the trumpeter, have a "pre-sale price" of $399 (!) and go on sale in November.
* Turning to news of other St. Louis natives and former denizens, the late trumpeter Lester Bowie's first recordings as a leader, made in 1967 for the Nessa label, have been reissued on a two-CD set. All The Numbers: Complete Numbers 1 & 2 Sessions features Bowie, saxophonists Roscoe Mitchell and Joseph Jarman, and bassist Malachi Favors in the first documentation of what would soon become the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and includes everything from the original LP plus much previously unreleased material and outtakes.
* Baritone saxophonist Hamiet Bluiett performed with percussionist Kahil El’Zabar last weekend at Sista’s Place in Brooklyn, NY.
* Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet with James Zollar on trumpet, Erik Friedlander on cello and Pheeroan akLaff on drums, just played a concert at NYC's Miller Theater.
* And way out West, we learn via LeRoy "The JazzCat" Downs that saxophonist Eric Person and Meta Four West just performed this past weekend at Santa Monica College.
* Saxophonist David Sanborn will be featured in January by the jazz series at the South Orange Performing Arts Center in New Jersey. Sanborn just wrapped a four-night stand at Yoshi’s Jazz Club in San Francisco.
* Saxophonist Greg Osby (pictured) will lead a group of Berklee College of Music students on Monday for a gig in NYC at Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola as part of the Lincoln Center Upstarts! program, where up-and-comers and veteran musicians jam together on one bandstand. Osby also is blogging now for the Web site Indaba Music, and his recent entry on the sartorial choices and mistakes of jazz musicians has attracted some attention and sparked some conversations among musicians and fans.
* Here's a review of saxophonist John Zorn's new Masada CD, which feature tenor saxophonist Joe Lovano.
* Electronic/experimental/noise composer and former St. Louisan Andy Ortmann is now doing a podcast called "The Eternal Now" for NYC's eclectic public radio station WFMU. Get more info, subscribe to the podcast feed, or listen online here.
* Opening up the "recent visitors" file, tenor saxophonist Sonny Rollins and his band will perform a special benefit concert for Hudson River Sloop Clearwater in December at the Tarrytown Music Hall in Tarrytown, NY. Rollins played here last month at the Touhill Performing Arts Center under the auspices of Jazz St. Louis.
* New photos from DowntownMusic.net include shots of a recent concert by Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core at NYC's Roulette. The pics were taken just four days after their St. Louis performance, presented by New Music Circle at the Sheldon Concert Hall. And here's a review of Och's show, written for AllAboutJazz.com by Martin Longley and bundled with three other live reviews, including one of a Kenny Garrett set two weeks ago at NYC's Iridium. Garrett was in St. Louis this weekend to play at Jazz at the Bistro.
*Singer DeeDee Bridgewater, who also was here earlier this month at the Sheldon Concert Hall, is in Shanghai, China to perform with an international big band
* Catching up with the "coming attractions" file: From the Huffington Post, here's an interview with Nellie McKay about her new CD, which is a tribute to singer and actress Doris Day. McKay will be St. Louis on November 18 and 19 to perform for Cabaret St. Louis at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
* Here's a review by the New York Times' Stephen Holden of the new duet show featuring singer/guitarist John Pizzarelli and his wife, singer Jessica Molaskey, at the Carlyle in NYC. Pizzarelli will be back in St. Louis in April to play at the Bistro.
* Also from the NYT, here's a feature story about bassist John Patitucci, who will follow Pizzarelli at the Bistro next spring.
*Singer Kurt Elling and pianist Bill Charlap were among the musicians featured on the recent 30th anniversary celebration of NPR's "Piano Jazz" program, hosted by Marian McPartland. Elling will be in St. Louis the first week in December to perform at Jazz at the Bistro, while Charlap comes to town the following week for four nights at the Kranzberg backing singer Sandy Stewart (who's also his mom).
* Our fave avant-jazz blog Destination: Out just featured a guest post from pianist Vijay Iyer with two tracks from his new CD. Iyer also recently performed live on the radio program "Studio Session," broadcast by WBGO radio in Newark NJ and available online here. And here's a review of Iyer's latest CD from Music and More's Tim Niland. Iyer will be here in January to play at the Bistro.
* In an interesting little review/essay, Popmatters' Will Layman muses about virtuosity in jazz as it applies to saxophonists Chris Potter and James Carter. Carter returns to St. Louis in May, bringing his organ trio to Jazz at the Bistro.
* Singer/pianist John Proulx, who has a new CD on the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ label, just kicked off a new "After Hours" series at Feinstein's at Loews Regeny is NYC. performance Sunday, October 18 at 10:00PM. Meanwhile, another MAXJAZZ artist, singer and pianist Dena DeRose, was among the performers at the just-concluded Seasons Festival in Seattle.
*And finally, last week's "Hearing Voices" program on NPR featured excerpts from “The Bushy Wushy Rag,” a new composition by Phillip Kent Bimstein that combines sounds from a St. Louis Cardinals’ baseball game, motifs from Scott Joplin’s "Maple Leaf Rag," and the distinctive calls of veteran Busch Stadium beer vendor Robert Logan, a.k.a. "Bushy Wushy the Beer Man." Bimstein's piece was performed by the Equinox Chamber Players, who premiered the work here in St. Louis. Although "Hearing Voices" isn't broadcast over the air here - it runs on KWMU-2, a digital subchannel of the local NPR affiliate - you can hear the broadcast with "The Bushy Wushy Rag" online at the program's Web site.
(Updated on 10/26/09 to correct the price of the Miles Davis headphones.)