Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Jazz this week: Count Basie Orchestra, John Patitucci, Jeff Beck, Curtis Roads & Bryan O'Reilly, Steve Tyrell, and more

It's going to be another busy weekend for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with shows on tap ranging from classic big-band swing to experimental electronics, along with several stops in between. Let's go to the highlights:

Starting tonight, bassist John Patitucci (pictured) leads his trio for two sets per night through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Considered one of the top bass players in jazz since the mid-1980s, Patitucci has played St. Louis before, most recently as part of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra's Guitar Festival in the fall of 2008, but the chance to see him up close and leading his own band undoubtedly will bring out legions of fellow bass players and music students, so advance reservations are suggested.

On Thursday, guitarist Jeff Beck brings his current tour to the Fox Theatre. While I don't care for some of the material Beck chooses to do, and wish he'd spar a bit more with his band instead of just using them as a backdrop, there's no denying the man's skills. Since it's the first time he's been to St. Louis is something like 15 years, expect a packed house.

On Friday, there are three noteworthy free concerts featuring St. Louis-based musicians. Over at Washington University, bassist Tom Kennedy and guitarist William Lenihan will co-lead a group in a free performance at the Danforth Center. Meanwhile, that same evening keyboardist Jim Hegarty, bassist Willem von Hombracht and drummer Kyle Honeycutt will give a free performance at Three Sinks Gallery in Webster Groves in conjunction with the opening of a show of paintings by Firmin Puricelli. Also on Friday, guitarist Matthew Von Doran, bassist Bob Deboo and drummer Steve Davis will play a free show at the Broadway Bean coffeehouse in the Carondelet neighborhood.

On Saturday morning, former St. Louisan Bob Koester, proprietor of Chicago's Delmark Records label and Jazz Record Mart, will speak about Delmark's history at the Sheldon Art Galleries. For more on Koester, see this post.

Then on Saturday evening, the Count Basie Orchestra, which features former East St. Louisan Tony Suggs on piano, will perform at SIUE's Meridian Ballroom for the university's "Arts & Issues" series. Though the Basie band certainly needs no extended introduction here, StLJN had some choice 1960s video footage of them a post last Saturday, which serves as a pretty good primer on their sound and style.

Also on Saturday, singer Steve Tyrell will appear at the Sheldon Concert Hall in a show that's been sold out for at least a couple of weeks now. (If you're really desperate to get a ticket, I suppose you could go to the Sheldon and hope someone cancels and turns their tix back in to the box office. Otherwise, given the Sheldon's propensity for re-booking acts that do well there, you can take solace in knowing that it likely won't be long until Tyrell is back again.)

For something completely different on Saturday, check out electronic composer Curtis Roads and multi-media artist and musician Brian O'Reilly, who will perform "Flicker Tone Pulse" at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park's Mildred E. Bastian Center for the Performing Arts.

Presented by New Music Circle, the performance will consist of "a set of new electronic compositions with visual accompaniment. These works explore a multiscale approach to composition, and are designed to be spatialized live by the composer, with simultaneous video projection on multiple screens." Roads is considered a leading practitioner of granular synthesis, and you can find out more about him and his techniques in a video profile done a couple of years ago for a Dell Computers promotion, available in three parts here, here and here.

For more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon 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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