Sunday, February 28, 2010

Notes from the Net: Pizzarelli does Ellington; Don Cheadle on the Miles movie; plus news, reviews, interviews, and more

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:

* In this week's Miles Davis news, is giving readers a chance to win a free copy of the boxed 70-CD set The Complete Columbia Album Collection. (This is a different giveaway than the one mentioned here earlier.) For details on how to enter, go here.

Meanwhile, as part of an ongoing series reviewing specific jazz tracks (as opposed to entire albums), recently featured a review/analysis by Thomas Cuniffe of Miles' famous rendition of "Bye Bye Blackbird".

The website of GQ magazine just featured Davis as one of "20 Black Style Pioneers," a list that also included jazz musicians such as Johnny Hodges and Duke Ellington as well as St. Louis native, comedian, author and activist Dick Gregory.

And, via Miles Davis Online, there's news that actor Don Cheadle, who's set to play Davis in a proposed film bio of the trumpeter, has spoken out on the movie's prospects, saying the recession has slowed the pace of development and production.

* Turning to news of other former St. Louisans, saxophonist David Sanborn will be one of the headliners at the Ottawa International Jazz Festival in June.

* Here's a review of last weekend's John Zorn retrospective at NYC's Abrons Arts Center from Nate Chinen of the New York Times. (Though he doesn't talk about it much, the tireless saxophonist/composer/producer attended Webster University here, back in the 1970s when it was still called Webster College.)

* Speaking of reviews, a glance at the "coming attractions" files shows that the critics are beginning to weigh in on John Pizzarelli's new CD Rockin' in Rhythm: A Tribute to Duke Ellington. Here's a review from PopMatters' David Gassmann, and another from the Massachusetts local news site Pizzarelli returns to St. Louis from Wednesday, April 14 through Saturday, April 17 to play at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Jeff Beck continues to attract media attention with his impending CD release and tour plans. Here's a interview with t he guitarist from the London Times, and a review of his recent NYC concert with Eric Clapton from the the New York Times' Ben Ratliff. Beck will be in St. Louis on Thursday, April 29 to play the Fox Theatre.

* As if he weren't busy enough already with a new album, tour, and his recent marriage to model Sophie Dahl, pianist and singer Jamie Cullum has announced that he'll host a weekly jazz program on BBC Radio 2. Also, in conjunction with his upcoming tour - which hits St. Louis' Roberts Orpheum Theatre on Sunday, March 14 - Cullum's record company is sponsoring a contest offering fans the chance to win free concert tickets. The grand prize is a private living room performance from Cullum, plus the winner gets to keep the piano (assuming it's not in splinters by the time he gets done with it) . The contest starts this Thursday, March 4, and you can get the details on how to enter here.

* Catching up with a couple of recent visitors, here's an interesting interview with Galactic bassist Robert Mercurio by Slava Kuperstein of the website Mercurio and his bandmates were in St. Louis last week to play The Pageant.

* Singer Dianne Reeves is among the vocalists booked for the 2010-11 season at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Reeves was here earlier this month for a duo performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall with pianist Peter Martin.

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