Friday, March 26, 2010

Notes from the Net: Marsalises on tour, Buble at MSG, 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, Miles Davis Online recaps a series of posts on Davis-related art, and has more photos of Davis, including a nice early 1960s pic of the trumpeter and film star/fellow icon of cool Steve McQueen, and a link to a gallery of photos of Davis by famed music photographer Jim Marshall, who died this week at age 74.

And in this week's Davis-tribute-related news, drummer Gerry Gibbs and his Electric Thrasher Orchestra have a new 2-CD set featuring interpretations of music from Miles Davis' early electric period (1967-1975). The discs include 26 selections taken from Bitches Brew, Nefertiti, Sorcerer, Live Evil, Dark Magus, Big Fun, several live Fillmore recordings and others, with liner note commentary from Davis alumni including Bennie Maupin, Gary Bartz, Dave Liebman, Billy Hart and Airto Moreira.

* You'd think he'd have played there at some point before this, but saxophonist/composer John Zorn finally is making his debut in Cleveland this weekend with his Masada Sextet, performing at the Cleveland Museum of Art. (Which raises the question: Given that Zorn hasn't played in St. Louis in something like 15 years, when will someone here invite the former Webster University student back to perform? )

* St. Louis music journalist, DJ and record store guy Steve Pick has a review of bassist Dave Holland's latest CD Pathways online now at

* Turning to news of recent visitors, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who were here two weeks ago to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall, are still on tour, and their stop in Buffalo prompted an assessment of Marsalis' impact on jazz by Buffalo News arts editor Jeff Simon. Meanwhile, the JaLCO will be headed to England in June for a residency at London's Barbican Centre (home of the London Symphony), and Marsalis has signed to be one of the headliners at this year's Newport Jazz Festival.

* Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, another member of the famous New Orleans family, played in St. Louis last month at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. Since then, he's been to New Zealand, where his concert closing the 2010 NZ International Arts Festival earned rave reviews. It also was announced this week that Marsalis (pictured) will headline the sixth anniversary fundraiser for Canada's JazzFM91 in Toronto.

* Singer Sutton Foster, who headlined a benefit for Cabaret St. Louis in February at the Sheldon, has a couple of concerts coming up in Los Angeles.

* Opening the "coming attractions" file, bassist John Clayton is offering a free online bass lesson at the website The Clayton Brothers Quartet, which features John and his brother, saxophonist Jeff Clayton, will be in St. Louis to perform April 9 & 10 at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Singer-guitarist John Pizzarelli is performing this weekend in Clayton, NC, and was profiled by the local paper here. Pizzarelli will be in St. Louis from April 14 -17 to play the Bistro.

* Singer Michael Buble, who's coming to St. Louis' Scottrade Center on June 25, just played NYC's Madison Square Garden to good notices from both the New York Times' Stephen Holden and the NY Post.

* Pianist Dave Brubeck is one of the latest subjects of blogger Steve Cerra's Jazz Profiles. Brubeck is scheduled to return to St. Louis in October to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of the first American Arts Experience-St. Louis festival.

* Last but not least, in the nearly five years StLJN has been online, there hasn't been a week go by without at least a few hits from people searching for the sheet music (or "jazz notes," if you will) for W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues."

Well, the search is over, because a lead sheet with melody and chord changes for "St. Louis Blues" is freely available online at Wikifonia, which also has similar sheets for hundreds more well-known tunes ranging from public domain classical themes and folk songs to jazz standards and pop hits.

The site also lets you transpose the music into any key at the click of a mouse, which certainly is a handy feature. You'll find the music for "St. Louis Blues" here, and you can browse the rest of Wikifonia's lead sheet collection here.

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