Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Jazz this week: Bill Charlap and Sandy Stewart, Najee, Erin Bode, Cornet Chop Suey, and more

Holiday hustle-and-bustle may be going into full effect, but over the next few days there are a number of events in St. Louis that you may want to stop and check out if you're a fan of jazz and creative music.

Tonight, singer Erin Bode opens a two-night run at Jazz at the Bistro. If my understanding is correct, this will be a holiday themed show, which means Bode likely will be performing music from her CD A Cold December Night, which was released last year at this time. Word is that Bode and band also have been recording a new CD for release next year, so it's possible that some of those new songs may find their way into her sets as well.

Also this evening, just around the corner from the Bistro, pianist Bill Charlap and singer Sandy Stewart (pictured) will open a four-night stand of performances presented by Cabaret St. Louis at the Kranzberg Art Center. Charlap was here with the Blue Note 7 in February at the Sheldon, and often is ranked among the top piano players in jazz by critics and various jazz polls. For her part, Stewart, who is Charlap's mother, had a thriving career in musical theater, cabaret and jazz before retiring in the 1960s to raise her family; her comeback in the 1990s prompted renewed interest in both her older work and her present day performances, as described in this feature story from the New York Times.

On Thursday, guitarist Matthew Von Doran performs a free show with his trio at Broadway Bean, a new coffee house, art gallery and music venue at 7619 South Broadway in the Carondelet neighborhood.

Moving on to the weekend, on Friday the smooth jazz saxophonist Najee will headline a "Jazz Explosion" show, also featuring unspecified "special guests," at the Ambassador Events Center, 9800 Halls Ferry Rd.

Continuing in that contemporary, electrified vein, the quartet Good 4 The Soul, featuring pianist Adaron "Pops" Jackson, bassist John King, guitarist Shaun Robinson and drummer James Jackson, will bring their mix of jazz, funk, soul and gospel back to the Bistro on Friday and Saturday nights.

On Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents Cornet Chop Suey in a concert of traditional New Orleans style jazz and swing at the Doubletree Hotel in Chesterfield.

For information on more jazz and creative music events this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, available for viewing on the left sidebar, or by clicking here. Also, you can follow St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at and 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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