Thursday, November 08, 2012

Jazz this week: Jim Manley, Christopher McBride CD release tour, "ArtSounds" with Sylvia McNair, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the debut of a St. Louis trumpeter's new band; a mini-tour through the area from a Chicago saxophonist; tributes to the music of Nancy Wilson, Miles Davis and Jimi Hendrix; and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, singer Denise Thimes will take the stage at the Sheldon Concert Hall with the aforementioned "Tribute to Nancy Wilson" (meaning the Nancy Wilson who recorded jazz for Capitol and Blue Note, and not the lead singer of rock band Heart). Proceeds from the event benefit the Mildred Thimes Foundation for Pancreatic Cancer Research.

Also tonight, saxophonist Christopher McBride will showcase music from the new CD by his band Quatuor de Force in a gig at Robbie's House of Jazz. McBride, who studied under Ronald Carter at Northern Illinois University and now lives in the Chicago area, also will be playing at the Cigar Inn in Belleville on Friday and at Bugsy's in Union on Saturday.

And if that's not enough for one evening, guitarist William Lenihan on Thursday night will front a event billed as "Turning Point: Electric Miles and Hendrix Confluence" for a free concert presented by the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

On Friday, trumpeter Jim Manley will play the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, presenting the debut performance of his new group Mad Brass & Rhythm. In addition to Manley, the lineup of musicians includes Larry Johnson on saxophones, Jim Owens on trombone, Chris Miller on trumpet and flugelhorn, and a rhythm section of Arthur Toney (piano), Jeremy Pffefer (bass), and Joe Weber (drums). Manley hasn't released a lot of details on what they'll be playing, though he's said the band has all-new arrangements, and the Bistro is touting the gig as "straight-ahead jazz."

Update - 11/9/12, 10:30 a.m.: Manley checked in via email with details on the songlist, which will include new takes on familiar standards including "Take The 'A' Train," "In a Mellow Tone," "Angel Eyes," "Tin Tin Deo," "Softly as a Morning Sunrise," and "Caravan" as well as some blues.

Also Friday, the Sheldon presents its annual ArtSounds benefit, raising money for its educational programs with a cabaret-style performance from singer Sylvia McNair; and guitarist Tom Byrne and singer John Robinson will be at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Saturday, Sandy Weltman and Hot Club Caravan will play Gypsy jazz and swing at Robbie's, and funk/fusion band Soul Cafe is at Jazz on Broadway in Alton.

Then on Sunday evening, saxophonist Tim Cunningham will perform at the Signature Room; and guitarist John Farrar will be playing solo at the Schlafly St. Louis Brewery & Tap Room.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band will be back for their monthly gig at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups; and the Webster University student jazz combos will perform at Webster's Community Music School.

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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