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:
* Starting, as we usually do, with the most famous jazz musician ever to come from the St. Louis area, Miles Davis Online has news of a jazz festival named after Davis that takes place this week at the University of North Carolina - Greenville. The university also named its jazz studies program after the trumpeter and owns the horn Davis used on Kind of Blue.
Meanwhile, the "Night Lights" program on Indiana public radio station WFIU recently devoted a broadcast to “The Birth of the Cool Songbook,” featuring recordings by other artists of the music used for Davis' historic Birth of the Cool album. The program features tracks from Charlie Parker, Claude Thornhill, Bud Powell, Red Norvo, Bill Evans, Mark Murphy, Ahmad Jamal, the Modern Jazz Quartet, Gerry Mulligan and others. Read more and access the archived audio stream here
For more Miles, check out AOL Radio's list of their top 10 Miles Davis songs, and this review of Gerry Gibbs and the Electric Thrasher Orchestra's new CD Play the Music of Miles Davis 1967-1975, written for AllAboutJazz.com by "Pico."
* Via Plastic Sax, Kansas City's American Jazz Museum later this month will pay tribute to the legacy of Duke Ellington while honoring Ellington alumni and St. Louis native Clark Terry and KC's Ahmad Alaadeen. Events will include panel discussions on Thursday, April 29 (the 111th anniversary of Ellington’s birth) and Friday, April 30; an open rehearsal of the Ellington Alumni All-Stars; and a concert featuring Terry, Alaadeen, the Ellington All-Star Big Band and several student ensembles from the KC area.
* Saxophonist David Sanborn will receive the George Benson Lifetime Achievement Award at the Canadian Smooth Jazz Awards ceremony Friday, April 23 at the Living Arts Centre in Mississauga, Ontario. Sanborn also will be one of the headliners this June at the seventh annual West Oak Lane Jazz Festival in Philadelphia.
* After being pushed back a couple of weeks, trumpeter and East St. Louis native Russell Gunn's new CD Ethnomusicology Vol. 6: Return of Gunn Fu is scheduled to be released this Friday, April 16. Gunn (pictured) will be in St. Louis to perform on Sunday at the Sheldon Concert Hall as a guest artist with Ronald Carter and the NIU Jazz Ensemble.
* Here's another review of The Wee Trio's new CD Capitol Diner #2, written by J. Parker for AllAboutJazz.com. Former St. Louisan Dan Loomis plays bass for the Wee Trio.
* Opening the "coming attractions" file, here's a review of guitarist John McLaughlin and The 4th Dimension's new CD To The One, written by John Kelman for AllAboutJazz.com. McLaughlin and 4D will perform at the Sheldon on November 19.
* Via Doug Ramsey's Rifftides, the 2010 Brubeck Festival happened last weekend at the University of the Pacific in Stockton, California, and Paul Conley of Capitol Public Radio in Sacramento interviewed Dave Brubeck and his wife Iola about the history of the institute. To hear the conversation, go here and click on "Listen." Brubeck is scheduled to return to St. Louis on October 17 to perform at the Sheldon.
* Guitarist Pat Metheny continues to tour with his Orchestrion project and is getting plenty of press coverage. Here's an interview he did with writer Philip Booth for the St. Petersburg Times (the link is to an extended version on Booth's blog) and another feature story about Metheny from Jordan Levin of the Miami Herald. Also, Metheny and speaker company Martin Logan are offering fans a chance to win a pair of Purity loudspeakers and an IPod filled with a collection of Metheny’s most popular tracks. The giveaway continues through April 30; for more information, go here. Metheny will be in St. Louis on May 8 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.
* Turning to news of recent visitors, Galactic drummer Stanton Moore, who played here in St. Louis in February at The Pageant, has a new CD, DVD and instructional book on New Orleans-style grooves. Moore talked about the project with the Huffington Post's Sal Nunziato here, and also recently did a podcast interview with The Jazz Session, which you can access here.
* Saxophonist Branford Marsalis, who played at the Touhill in February, has written the score for the first Broadway revival of Fences, the 1987 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award winning play by August Wilson. The production stars Denzel Washington and opens later this month at the Cort Theatre in New York.
* Pianist Cyrus Chestnut, who performed at the Sheldon last Saturday, will headline the Billy Taylor Jazz Festival next weekend in Greenville, NC.
* Dave Samuels of the Caribbean Jazz Project, who played in St. Louis last month at Jazz at the Bistro, was interviewed by the local paper before a concert in his hometown of Fairfield, CT.
* Pianist and singer Jamie Cullum, who played here last month at the Roberts Orpheum Theatre, now is touring on the other side of the world, with recent stops (and accompanying interviews) in Singapore and Sydney, Australia.
* Lastly, the eclectic multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore, who played a couple of St. Louis shows last year, now has several albums online as free downloads via the Free Music Archive. Read more about it here, and see listings of the available tracks here.
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