Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Jazz this week: Max Weinberg Big Band, Russell Malone, Straight Ahead, and more

It looks to be another nice fall weekend in St. Louis, with a number of opportunities to get out and hear some jazz and creative music. Here's what's going on over the next few days:

Tonight, the versatile guitarist Russell Malone (pictured) opens a four night stand at Jazz at the Bistro in support of his upcoming CD Triple Play, which will be released November 2 by the St. Louis-based label MAXJAZZ.

Malone, who has played with Diana Krall, Ron Carter, Dianne Reeves, and many others, just did a Jazz St. Louis podcast interview in anticipation of his Bistro gig and CD release, and you also can see some a sampling of his playing over the years on video here.

On Thursday, drummer Max Weinberg's Big Band will perform at the Argosy Alton Casino. Weinberg seems to be bringing lots of energy and enthusiasm to the project, and judging from the video clips we featured in this post on Saturday, the 15-piece group is drawing enthusiastic crowds as well.

UPDATE - 12:30 p.m., 10/21/10 - Riverfront Times freelancer Matt Wardlaw yaks with Max about the Big Band, Weinberg's recent heart surgery, and more for an article available online here and here.

Also on Thursday night, pianist Ptah Williams, bassist Eric Stiller and drummer Miles Vandiver will play a free concert featuring the music of Herbie Hancock for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and electronic musician Christopher Willits will be performing “An Evening of Neuroscience and Music” at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis.

The event begins with "a lively conversation about art, perception and the human experience" with associate curator Laura Fried and neuro-psychiatrist Abhilash Desai, followed by a live performance from Willits, who blends live instrumentation with electronic sounds created using custom software.

On Friday, singer Wendy Gordon will perform at Robbie's House of Jazz, backed by pianist Arthur Toney, bassist Jeff Anderson and drummer Marty Morrison; and singer Kim Massie does a show for the "Encore!" music series at the JCC's Mirowitz Performing Arts Center.

UPDATE - 12:35 p.m., 10/21/10 - Just got word that Florida-based flute player Galen Abdur-Razzaq will play an informal concert at 6:30 p.m. Friday at the Maryville University Student Center. Abdur-Razzaq will be backed by pianist Matt Scotty Villinger, drummer Marty Morrison Drummer and bassist Willem von Hombracht, and the event is free and open to the general public.

(A parenthetical note about Saturday: The concert by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band and the Del McCoury Band that had been scheduled for October 23 at the Family Arena in St. Charles has been postponed until April 13, 2011.)

On Sunday, the Detroit-based, all-female group Straight Ahead will play at the Sheldon Concert Hall in a benefit performance for Community Women Against Hardship (CWAH), while Good 4 The Soul does an early evening set at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

UPDATE - 12:40 p.m., 10/21/10 - Also on Sunday, there's a benefit for radio station WSIE from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. at Sharky's, 601 N. Shore Dr. in St. Charles county. The event will feature music from guitarist Tom Byrne, pianist Reggie Thomas, the SIUE Student Jazz Combo and the Eric Slaughter Trio. Suggested donation at the door is $20, and for more information, call 636-250-3300, or go to

Then on Monday, the music department at Webster University presents its annual TKT Scholarship concert, featuring members of the jazz faculty and special guests performing at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster campus.

Proceeds benefit a scholarship established in memory of former Webster music students Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello and Tony Saputo, who in 1991 were killed in a plane crash while on tour with country singer Reba McIntyre.

Afterward, if you're up for still more music on Monday evening, bassist David Certain's free-form/funk outfit CertainBeat WorldBop is playing at BB's.

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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