Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Jazz this week: Dan White Sextet, Willie Akins-Montez Coleman Quartet, Freddie Washington's Coltrane tribute, and more

This week's menu of noteworthy jazz and creative music shows around St. Louis includes headlining appearances by two longtime local favorite tenor saxophonists, as well as the local debut of an up-and-coming touring band. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the Dan White Sextet from Columbus, Ohio will be in St. Louis for the first time to perform at Robbie's House of Jazz. Their debut release, New York Sessions, features a tight ensemble sound and some interesting solos in service of an enjoyable selection of original tunes and off-the-beaten-path covers. You can see and hear some samples of their music here.

Also tonight, the Cabaret Project St. Louis will present their monthly "open mic" night at the Tavern of Fine Arts

On Thursday evening, singer Erin Bode and her group will do a free concert at Bluebird Park in Ellisville.

Then on Friday, saxophonist Willie Akins and drummer Montez Coleman will team up to co-lead a quartet for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. Akins has been a St. Louis hard bop/post-bop stalwart since the early 1960s, while Coleman, who's originally from East St. Louis and is roughly half Akins' age, already has made his mark recording and touring with major musicians including Roy Hargrove, Russell Malone and McCoy Tyner.

That same evening, the young saxophonist Kendrick Smith, having recently concluded a month-long run as part of the band for Stages St. Louis' production of Ain't Misbhavin', will lead a trio at the Cigar Inn; and the Ambassadors of Swing will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

On Saturday, the Funky Butt Brass Band plays at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

On Sunday afternoon, there are several shows on tap, starting with the St. Louis Jazz Club presenting trad jazz and swing band Cornet Chop Suey in a matinee concert at Bel Air Bowl in Belleville.

Also on Sunday afternoon, saxophonist Freddie Washington will headline a concert that's being billed as "a tribute to John Coltrane" at the Bistro at Grand Center. A benefit for Community Women Against Hardship, the event includes brunch plus music from Washington, bassist Jeff Anderson, drummer Jerome "Scrooge" Harris, pianist Matt Villinger and singer Anita Jackson.

Then early Sunday evening, you can choose between two big band performances, as saxophonist Stan Coleman leads the STL Metro Youth Jazz Band in a free concert at Ivory Perry Park, 800 Belt Ave., while at the same time trombonist Dave Dickey's big band does their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday pianist Dave Becherer's trio will be at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, 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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