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:
* There's lots of Miles Davis-related news this time around, starting with a resolution from the U.S. House of Representatives honoring the 50th anniversary of Davis' most famous album, Kind of Blue. Also: Photographer Anthony Barboza shares his memories of shooting Davis here and here; Marc Myers' JazzWax blog has a "PhotoStory" on Davis here; and Jeff Hyatt's Miles Davis Online has a post about the many photos of Davis in the Getty Images archives.
Next, there's more on the Davis exhibit currently running in Paris from Joel Dreyfuss of The Root here, and a review of the CD reissue Miles Davis - In Paris Festival International de Jazz from Tim Niland's blog Music and More here. Also, saxophonist and former Davis sideman Dave Liebman last month headed an ensemble playing music from Davis' On The Corner in a concert at Paris' Cite de la Musique; see some video of the show here.
Finally, I'm sure you'll also be glad to know that in the ongoing competition of personalities, movies and memes at the website Pop Culture Gauntlet, boxing aficionado Miles recently triumphed over The Karate Kid.
* Turning to news of other St. Louis natives, saxophonist David Sanborn is releasing another CD of music influenced by Ray Charles. Only Everything features a stripped down band with Sanborn, Joey DeFrancesco on Hammond B-3 organ and Steve Gadd on drums, plus guest vocals from Joss Stone and James Taylor.
* The World Saxophone Quartet, featuring saxophonists Oliver Lake and Hamiet Bluiett, will team up with percussion ensemble M'boom for a series of performances next week at NYC's Birdland, followed by a world tour. (No indication of any possible St. Louis dates, though.)
* In a new blog post headlined "Freedom of Choice," saxophonist Greg Osby talks about response to his somewhat controversial previous post on dress and presentation among jazz musicians, and clarifies some long-ago opinions about Eric Dolphy.
* There's a new reissue of multi-instrumentalist and composer Anthony Braxton's recording Creative Orchestra Koln 1978, which featured former St. Louisans Marty Ehrlich and J. D. Parran in the woodwind section. Read a review of the CD by Troy Collins of AllAboutJazz.com here.
* Turning to news of recent visitors, singer Sandy Stewart and her son, pianist Bill Charlap are doing their cabaret show at the Algonquin Hotel's Oak Room in NYC. Here's a review by the New York Times' Stephen Holden. Stewart and Charlap were here in St. Louis last month for four performances at the Kranzberg Arts Center.
* Bassist Christian McBride, here last month to perform at Jazz at the Bistro, did an interview with Jazz.com about an important influence, bassist Ray Brown, here, and selected some of his favorite Brown tracks here.
* Opening the "coming attractions" file, bassist John Patitucci's new trio with violinist Mark O'Connor and guitarist Julian Lage performed for the first time this past weekend at the Blue Note in NYC. The bassist also recently did an extended interview with Jazz.com. Patitucci will be in St. Louis in April to play the Bistro.
* Pianist Vijay Iyer, who will be in St. Louis January 20 - 23 to perform at the Bistro, is the subject of "Into The Mainstream," an interview and extended analysis of his new CD Historicity written for AllAboutJazz.com by Simon Jay Harper. Also, here's Iyer himself writing about the record for the Wall Street Journal, and yet another review of the CD, this time from the Free Jazz blog.
* Congrats to singer/pianist Jamie Cullum, who just married his fiancee, model and author Sophie Dahl, last week. Cullum will be in St. Louis in March to play the Roberts Orpehum Theatre.
* Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will release Portrait in Seven Shades, the JaLCO’s first CD of original music in nearly four years, in stores and online on February 2, followed by a tour of the US that will bring them to the Sheldon Concert Hall later that month. The band will perform selections from the suite "Portrait in Seven Shades," which was composed by reedman Ted Nash, as well as tunes by Count Basie, Mary Lou Williams and others. Alas, Marsalis also showed his limitations as an advocate for improvised music when he told the UK newspaper the Guardian that he wanted to give a present to the jazz fan in Spain who complained to the police that the music at a recent gig wasn't 'jazz'.
* Saxophonist Karl Denson (pictured), who will be here in February at 2720 with his band Tiny Universe, recently was featured on NPR's Favorite Sessions.
* The jazz world is abuzz about guitarist Pat Metheny's new CD Orchestrion, and his subsequent tour, which will come to St. Louis' Touhill Performing Arts Center on May 8. Here's a story from the Guardian about the CD, and, via Plastic Sax, a Flickr photostream showing Metheny's Orchestrion gear. The guitarist is also selling limited edition prints of photos of the Orchestrion rig with pre-orders for the CD, and you can see the Rube Goldbergian contraption in action in the embedded video window below.
* Last but not least from the general interest file, USA Today reports that more than four years after Hurricane Katrina, many of New Orleans' venerable jazz joints remain at risk.