Saturday, January 05, 2013
Today, it's the fourth and final part of our preview of touring jazz musicians who will be coming to St. Louis during the first few months of 2013. (Here's part 1, part 2 and part 3.)
The first clip up top is a short promotional video for the Monterey Jazz Festival 55th Anniversary All-Stars, who will perform on Friday, April 19 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center as part of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.
The group, which includes singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, bassist Christian McBride, pianist Benny Green, drummer Lewis Nash, saxophonist Chris Potter and trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, is seen here doing Horace Silver's tune "Filthy McNasty" at Monterey Jazz Festival last September. Next week, they'll begin a 40-city tour through the USA that continues until the end of April, which means they'll have had three months of playing together - plenty of time to gel - before they get here.
Down below, it's the Doc Severinsen Big Band, who will play the final night of the Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival on Saturday, April 20 at the Touhill. Most of the video of Severinsen that's available online is either quite old, dating from his days as bandleader for The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, or shows him playing with groups other than his own big band.
However, yr. humble editor was able to find a clip of Doc and his own large ensemble playing fellow Tonight Show alum Tommy Newsome's arrangement of "Sing, Sing, Sing" from a concert in March, 2012 concert in Alma, AR. This excerpt happens to spotlight the contribution of drummer Stockton Helbing, but if you'd like further demonstrations of Severinsen's prowess on the trumpet, just go here and start clicking.
Next, it's organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, who will team up with saxophonist James Carter to play Wednesday, April 24 through Saturday, April 27 at Jazz at the Bistro. Both men have played the Bistro before separately, and since one of Carter's preferred ensembles is an organ trio, it certainly seems like a logical and musically promising pairing.
This video of Smith shows him with his trio performing "Play It Back" during a gig last June in Delray Beach, FL. Just below that, there's a excerpt from the performance by Carter and his organ trio at the 2012 Newport Jazz Festival. It's a bootleg, shot clandestinely by an audience member, so the camera work is all over the place, but audio quality is good.
Carter and Smith will have a bit of competition for the final night of their gig at the Bistro, for that Saturday, April 27 is when singer Dianne Reeves will be back in town to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Reeves sang at The Sheldon most recently back in 2010 in a duo with her pianist and music director, St. Louis' Peter Martin, as part of Martin's concert series at the venue. This time, she'll be performing with her full band as part of the Sheldon's jazz series, as she did in 2008.
Reeves is seen here in a excerpt from the 2012 TD Victoria Jazzfest, in which she performs a new addition to her live repertoire, an as-yet unnamed Spanish-flavored piece that features a wordless vocal and improvised account of the inspiration for the tune. Martin is on piano, and that's East St. Louis' own Terreon Gully on drums.
The next clip features guitarist and singer Lionel Loueke, who will be making his St. Louis debut as a leader Wednesday, May 8 through Saturday, May 11 at Jazz at the Bistro. Loueke, who's originally from the west African country Benin, first played here back in 2005 with Herbie Hancock at The Pageant. Though he was little-known in this country at that time, his solo career since then has really taken off around the world, thanks to three critically acclaimed albums on Blue Note Records. This video shows him performing "Freedom Dance" at an October 2012 show in Denver.
Jazz St. Louis will close out the Bistro's spring 2013 schedule of touring acts with another custom-assembled collaboration, bringing together singer/pianist Freddy Cole and saxophonist Harry Allen for a week of shows starting Wednesday, May 22 and continuing through Saturday, May 25. Cole, who turned 81 last year, has been a popular draw at the Bistro for years, and Allen, who's in his mid-40s but plays in a style that recalls the swing era, should be a fitting complement to his sound.
This latest clip of Cole shows him performing "It's Only A Paper Moon," a song closely associated with his brother Nat "King" Cole. Below that, today's final video features Allen playing "I'm In The Mood For Love" with pianist Rossano Sportiello, bassist Richard Simon and drummer Ed Metz in April, 2012 at the Atlanta Jazz Party.