Thursday, October 31, 2013

Jazz this week: Martin & Bernstein play Blue Note, the Bosman Twins, Noisefest turns 10, Oleta Adams, and more

As if what happened to the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series this week wasn't scary enough, it's also Halloween - but fortunately, there will be plenty of spirited jazz and creative music on local stages over the next few days to chase away any lingering bad vibes. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, Miss Jubilee will be doing double duty, swinging an early evening gig at the Blues City Deli, then heading down to Thaxton Speakeasy for the late shift.

Tomorrow night, longtime local favorites the Bosman Twins (pictured) open a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. For more about the saxophone-playing brothers, check out Terry Perkins' preview story for the St. Louis Beacon. Word is that the early shows are near sellouts, so if you're planning on attending, it'd be best to call ahead for reservations.

Also on Friday, Noisefest, the annual celebration of things that go skronk, boom, hum, and bleep, kicks off its tenth anniversary with the first of three nights of concerts at Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center. In addition to the evening concerts, this year's event also includes a program on Sunday afternoon devoted to experimental video. For more on the schedule and the extensive roster of performers, see this post from earlier in the week.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, members of Dizzy Atmosphere, Hot Club Caravan and Swing Set will convene for a "Hot Club Gypsy Jazz Summit" at the Kranzberg Arts Center; and Lindy Hop St. Louis presents their monthly "West End Stomp" swing dance at the Mahler Ballroom with live music from Coco Rico.

On Saturday, pianist Peter Martin resumes his eponymous series at the Sheldon Concert Hall, this time presenting a "Blue Note Records Celebration" featuring guitarist Peter Bernstein. Bernstein has played with Diana Krall, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Sonny Rollins and many others, and, appropriately, toured with the all-star ensemble Blue Note 7 a few years back to promote the label's 70th anniversary. For more about Bernstein and some video samples of his playing, consult this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, trombonist and singer Doug Burns and band will perform at Robbie's House of Jazz; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes play at Thurman Grill; singer Feyza Eren fronts a quartet at the house concert venue KindaBlue; and the Funky Butt Brass Band, depraved sugar fiends all*, will be eagerly soliciting leftover Halloween candy at the Broadway Oyster Bar

On Sunday, the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show has their last event of the year at the American Czech Hall, 4690 Lansdowne; and singer Joe Mancuso teams up with pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True for a concert at First Presbyterian Church, 100 E Adams Ave in Kirkwood.

Also on Sunday, the Community Women Against Hardship will hold a gala event at the Sheldon celebrating their 25th Anniversary, featuring a performance by singer Oleta Adams. Any remaining tickets will be available online until Friday, and then at the Fox Theatre box office until Sunday afternoon.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Webster University's student jazz combos will present a free performance at the Community Music School, 535 Garden Ave; and guitarist Tom Byrne plays at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, guitarist Dave Black will be at BB's, and vocal group Java Jived and the Midwest Jazz-tette perform in a "Notes From Home" show at the Sheldon.

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.)

*This writer has no actual knowledge of specific amounts of sugar, measured either by weight or volume, consumed by members of the Funky Butt Brass Band.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

2013 SLIFF schedule includes music documentaries, live performances

The 2013 St. Louis International Film Festival has released its complete schedule for this year, and once again it includes several programs of potential interest to jazz fans.

Now in its 22nd year and billed as "one of the largest international film festivals in the Midwest," SLIFF this year will present more than 350 films from November 14 through November 24 at venues including the Tivoli Theatre, Plaza Frontenac Cinema, Webster University’s Winifred Moore Auditorium, Washington University's Brown Hall Auditorium, the Wildey Theatre, and the new KDHX headquarters in Grand Center.

As part of the festival, New Music Circle will present composer Olivia Block and filmmakers Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder (pictured) in a performance at 8:00 p.m. Friday, November 15 at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. The event will include "Dissolution," a solo piece for 4-channel sound by Block, and "Untitled," a collaborative work of "live cinema" for dual 16mm film projectors and electronic sound.

Tickets are $20 for regular admission. $10 for CAM members, students, and "struggling music lovers," and can be purchased in advance from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.

Block, Gibson and Recoder also will present a free workshop and talk at 1:00 p.m. the next day, Saturday November 16, at CAM, at which they'll demonstrate their extended techniques and approaches to film and sound. This event is free and open to the public.

Other offerings of potential interest to jazz fans include:

* Bayou Maharaja: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, a biography of New Orleans pianist James Booker, will be screened at 6:30 p.m., Saturday, November 16 at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium. Tickets are $12.

Booker, who seems inevitably described as an eccentric genius, was a virtuoso performer who was widely respected on the New Orleans music scene during the 1960s and 70s. The film, lauded by the Hollywood Reporter as "a must-see for aficionados of New Orleans jazz," explores the his life and the reasons why he never achieved breakout stardom.

Director Lily Keber will participate in a post-film Q&A, and the screening also will include an hour-long, Booker-inspired performance by pianist and St. Louis native Tom McDermott, who's become known as something of a New Orleans music scholar since moving there in the mid-1980s.

* The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, which looks at the life and work of journalist, author and critic Nat Hentoff, will play at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, November 17 and again at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, November 24, both times at KDHX, 3524 Washington Blvd. Tickets are $12.

Hentoff has written prolifically over the past 60 years about jazz, civil liberties, and other subjects for the Village Voice, the New Yorker, DownBeat, Jazz Times and many other publications, and has authored many books, both non-fiction and novels. He also has a St. Louis connection, as his daughter Jessica Hentoff lives here and runs the Circus Harmony foundation and school. She will in attendance at both screenings, and the film's director David L. Lewid also will be on hand on November 24.

Other music-related films showing during the festival include Harlem Street Singer, about the late blues and gospel performer Rev. Gary Davis; Something in the Water, a locally produced documentary recounting the "Real Rock Radio" glory days of St. Louis mainstay KSHE (94.7 FM); and more. You can see a listing of all the festival's music-related films here.

Tickets are now on sale for all shows, with direct links to buy tickets on each film page. For more about purchasing tickets and all-access passes, see the site's "venues and tickets" page.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Noisefest celebrates 10th anniversary

Experimental music fans from St. Louis and throughout the Midwest will be heading this weekend to Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, as LNAC celebrates the 10th anniversary of Noisefest starting on Friday, November 1 and continuing through Sunday, November 3.

"This year we will expand the focus of the Festival to include workshops on electronics and the aesthetics and social impact of noise," said LNAC's Tom Hill in an email. "We also for the first time are including video artists whose work exemplify an experimental orientation and skill."

Billed as "the premiere Midwest experimental electronic noise Festival," Noisefest X kicks off with a concert at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 1 at the LNAC, 3301 Lemp. Another concert will take place at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, November 2, followed by a presentation of video art at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 3; and the final concert at 7:00 p.m. Sunday evening.

Admission is $7 per concert; weekend passes also are available for $20 at LNAC and Apop Records.

The annual "noise meeting," a free event, will take place at 1:00 p.m. Sunday, also at LNAC.

The full list of performers for the weekend includes Dear Satan, Nightgrinder, Within, Tony Renner, Noiseman433, Charlie, Sigulda, John Beabout, Eric Hall, Dan Wamhoff, Coppice, Mykel Boyd, Instinct Control, Peter Woods, Dave Stone, Kingston, Family Singers, John Tamm-Buckle, Jason Zeh (pictured), Of Course You Realize..., Rick Weaver, Chad Eivens, Kevin Harris, Brain Transplant, Josh Oberman, Clusterfuck, Ghost Ice, The Fluff of Murder, Lonely Procession, epicycle, Greg Farough, NNN Cook, and Matt Reis.

Noisefest organizers also have release a short promotional video for the event, which you can see and hear in all its static- and glitch-filled glory in the embedded window below...

Saturday, October 26, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
A Peter Bernstein sampler

Today, we're serving up some video clips showcasing guitarist Peter Bernstein, who will be performing with pianist Peter Martin at 8:00 p.m. next Saturday, November 2 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

The concert, the first this season in Martin's ongoing series at the Sheldon, is billed as a performance of music associated with Blue Note Records, which seems fitting since Bernstein was part of the Blue Note 7, a group formed in 2008 by the label for an album and tour celebrating its 70th anniversary. The Blue Note 7's stop at the Sheldon in February 2009 was Bernstein's last featured appearance in St. Louis, but many jazz fans here nevertheless may be familiar with his work from his frequent appearances on record with other artists.

Now 46 years old, the NYC native studied music at Rutgers University and The New School, where one of his teachers was the legendary guitarist Jim Hall. Bernstein and Hall have gone on to perform together many times as a duo, and Bernstein has become a prolific collaborator with many other musicians as well, forging notable associations with saxophonist Lou Donaldson, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith. pianist Brad Mehldau, and singer and pianist Diana Krall, to name just a few. More recently, Bernstein had been performing with Sonny Rollins' new quintet until health issues sidelined the great tenor man earlier this year.

These six videos, recorded at various times over the past decade, show Bernstein in a featured role in several different groups. The first clip up above, a song called "Dragonfly" recorded in 2004 at Smoke in NYC, features the guitarist in one of his regular formats, a trio with organist Larry Goldings and drummer Bill Stewart.

Down below, you can see Bernstein, tenor saxophonist Eric Alexander, bassist Chuck Deardorf, and drummer Matt Jorgensen playing "Bones" in 2006 at the Ballard Jazz Festival in Washington. Below that, it's a version of "Monk's Mood," also from 2006, featuring Bernstein and Brad Mehldau.

The fourth and fifth clips feature Bernstein's own quartet, recorded during a tour of Italy in 2010. "Jive Coffee" is from July at a festival in Scalea, with Bernstein, Sam Yahel on piano, Marco Panascia on bass, and Willie Jones III on drums. "Love Walked In," recorded a couple of months later in Salerno, features the same band except with Doug Weiss on bass instead of Panascia.

Today's final video is another Thelonious Monk tune, a version of "Pannonica" featuring Bernstein and pianist Michael Kanan that was recorded in March 2011 at Smalls in NYC.

For more about Peter Bernstein, check out the interview he did earlier this year with the Ottawa Citizen; this 2009 article from Jazz Times; and this 2009 piece from the blog Jazz Profiles.

Friday, October 25, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Pianist and St. Louis native Tom McDermott's latest album is the subject of a feature in New Orleans' Offbeat magazine.

* The Route 66 Jazz Orchestra has posted on Facebook a photo set from Tuesday's recent "Notes From Home" performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

* On a related note, the Rt66JO's re-organization after budget cuts forced them to leave their longtime home at St. Louis Community College - Meramec was the subject of a St. Louis Beacon feature story written by Terry Perkins.

* Also in the Beacon, readers wax nostalgic about the Goldenrod Showboat, which served for many years as a live music venue on the St. Louis riverfront but now finally may be headed for the scrap heap.

* Trombonist William Cepeda's concert last Friday at the Sheldon was briefly reviewed (en Espanol) and photographed by the website Diario Digital. (Google translation of the text to English is here.)

* Organizers of the Miles Davis Memorial Project seeking to put up a statue of the trumpeter in downtown Alton have put online a new promotional video for their fund-raising campaign.

* Speaking of videos, Trombone Shorty (pictured), who will play here in St. Louis on November 11 at the Old Rock House, has released a clip of the song "Fire and Brimstone" from his new album Say That To Say This.

* And speaking of new releases, Vintage Vinyl will hold a "listening party" (complete with free pizza and beverages) to check out Black Radio 2, the new album from pianist Robert Glasper, at 7:00 p.m. next Wednesday, October 30.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Jazz this week: "A Night In Treme," William Parker's In Order To Survive, Harry Connick Jr., TKT Scholarships Benefit, and more

No doubt about it, St. Louis this week definitely is in the grip of World Series fever. And with the first game of the fall baseball classic tonight, StLJN is getting word of some gigs featuring local jazz musicians being canceled or postponed to avoid conflicts with either the televised games tonight and tomorrow or this weekend's home games at Busch Stadium.

Touring acts seem unaffected so far, and any cancellations we get here at StLJN HQ will be noted on the calendar. But if you're planning to go hear a local band this weekend at a time when the Series is happening, you may want to call ahead first. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, saxophonist Donald Harrison brings his "A Night In Treme" tour to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of four evenings, continuing through Saturday. Harrison, a New Orleans native who's a Big Chief for the Congo Square Nation of Mardi Gras "Indians," made his reputation playing more-or-less straight-up hard bop, first with Art Blakey and then with his own bands.

In recent years, however, he's incorporated a more direct influence from the traditional sounds of his hometown, resulting in his records being used by the HBO series Treme to represent the old-meets-new music of its fictional trumpeter Delmond Lambreaux, played by actor Rob Brown. While Harrison likely won't be busting out his Big Chief outfit, which customarily is seen only once a year at Carnival time, it seems a safe bet that he'll be playing some of his original numbers that have been featured on Treme as well as some traditional sounds.

Tomorrow night, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents a tribute to the late St. Louis drummer Joe Charles, featuring saxophonist Freddie Washington, bassist Bob DeBoo and drummer Maurice Carnes. The concert is free and open to the public.

Also on Thursday, New Music Circle will present two free events featuring multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore. He'll be at Northside Workshop, 1306 St. Louis Ave, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. to present a free community workshop about instrument-building, and then head south for an  hour-long solo performance  at Foam, 3359 S. Jefferson, starting at 7:30 p.m.. Both events are free and open to the public.

On Friday, New Music Circle will present bassist William Parker's In Order To Survive quintet, featuring Cooper-Moore on piano, at Mad Art Gallery. For more about Parker (pictured) and In Order To Survive, and some video samples of the band members in action, see this post from last Saturday. Also, Parker was interviewed for a preview story about the concert by the St. Louis American's Chris King.

Also Friday, singer Joe Mancuso's quintet, with special guests singer Sarah Jane and trumpeter Jim Manley will perform at The Deco Fortress, 3622 S. Broadway near the Lemp Brewery.  Elsewhere around town, pianist Tony Suggs, back in town briefly after concluding a long stint as pianist with the Count Basie Orchestra, leads a trio at the Cigar Inn; and Miss Jubliee plays at the Wine Press.

On Saturday, singers Mary Dyson and Diane Vaughn return to Troy's Jazz Gallery; singer Danita Mumphard performs at Jazz on Broadway; and Bob DeBoo continues his new late-night series at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Then on Sunday, singer and pianist Harry Connick Jr. returns to St. Louis for the first time since 2010 to perform at the Fox Theatre. Connick Jr., who's touring in support of his new album Every Man Should Know, did talk to the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson for a story, which, unfortunately turns out to be more about his being a judge for the upcoming season of American Idol than his own music.

Also on Sunday, BB's Jazz Blues and Soups has jump blues and swing from Minneapolis' Davina and The Vagabonds; and Troy's Jazz Gallery will present a combination "grand opening" and birthday celebration for owner Troy Williams. The event will feature music from drummer Montez Coleman, pianist Tony Suggs, guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Darell Mixon, plus guest performers including pianist Ptah Williams, saxophonist Kendrick Smith, trumpeter Delano Redmond and singer Denise Thimes.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the jazz department at Webster University will present their annual TKT Scholarship Benefit Concert, raising money for music scholarships in memory of Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello and Tony Saputo, three former Webster students who in 1991 were killed in a plane crash while touring with country singer Reba McIntyre.

This year's theme is "Jazz Interpretations of the Music of Irving Berlin,” and the featured performers will include vocalists Erin Bode, Debby Lennon, Peter Ayres and the Webster University Jazz Singers; 2013 TKT Scholars Juan Acosta, Dre Concepcion and Jacob Stergos; and a backing band drawn from the Webster jazz faculty.

On Tuesday,  The 442s will perform in a "Notes From Home" concert at the Sheldon. The concert also will begin the band's Kickstarter campaign to fund production of an album.

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.)

(Edited after posting to correct the information about The 442s' performance on Tuesday.)  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Troy's Jazz Gallery "grand opening"
set for October 25 - 27

The Central West End venue Troy's Jazz Gallery will hold a "grand opening" celebration this weekend featuring a Sunday night performance from a specially assembled band of local jazz performers.

The weekend also will serve as an extended birthday celebration for club owner Troy Williams, with keyboardist Matt Villinger's trio getting it started with a performance at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, October 25.

Next up are singers Mary Dyson and Diane Vaughn, who will reprise their "Ladies Sing The Bluezz" show with a 5:00 p.m. performance on Saturday, October 26. After Dyson and Vaughn, saxophonist Tim Cunningham (pictured) and his band will take the stage at 8:00 p.m.

The main event is Sunday, October 27. The group for that evening, dubbed "Troy's All-Star Jazz Ensemble," will feature drummer Montez Coleman, pianist Tony Suggs, guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Darell Mixon, along with guest performers including pianist Ptah Williams, saxophonist Kendrick Smith, trumpeter Delano Redmond and singer Denise Thimes. They'll play from 6:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., with tickets priced at $20 each.

The club first had its "soft opening" nearly 11 month ago. Williams, who formerly operated Filter and Troy's on the Park, says that the long interval between opening and "grand opening" wasn't necessarily planned that way, but he's happy with the result. "I'm glad I'm doing it like this, because I've learned a lot," he said.

As for future plans, Williams says he's re-booked Ptah Williams' trio for Thursday, October 30 - his actual birthday - with the "All-Star Jazz Ensemble" set to return (but without the special guests) on Sunday, November 3.

He said he hopes to bring back Dyson and Vaughn as a recurring act, probably twice a month, and also will presenting a series of "Jazz Sunday Funk' shows featuring Mixon, Slaughter and drummer Chuck Smothers. Finally, Williams said he wants to establish a recurring Saturday afternoon jam session in the near future, and is looking for a musician to serve as organizer and host.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on William Parker

This week we feature some video clips of bassist William Parker, who will be here with his In Order To Survive quintet to perform in a concert presented by New Music Circle next Friday, October 25 at Mad Art Gallery.

A 61-year-old native of the Bronx, NYC, Parker first gained wide attention in the 1980s with pianist Cecil Taylor, and has been a longtime band member for saxophonists David S. Ware and Peter Brötzmann. As organizer of the annual Vision Festival and a frequent collaborator with many different jazz and improvising musicians both in the USA and in Europe, Parker is considered an significant player in the NYC experimental music scene.

As a bandleader, Parker has been involved with many musical projects, and the In Order To Survive quintet is a direct outgrowth of his long-running quartet, adding pianist and multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore to that band's existing lineup of Parker, drummer Hamid Drake, alto saxophonist Rob Brown and trumpeter Lewis Barnes.

Unfortunately, there's not a lot of footage online of the In Order To Survive quintet, though we did include what seems to be the best clip, an excerpt from their set at the 2012 Vision Festival, here last month in part three of StLJN's fall jazz preview.

So today, as the next best thing, let's check out some videos featuring Parker in some other musical configurations that also include the members of In Order To Survive.

The first clip up top is from a gig in January 2008 in Moscow, Russia, and features the quartet of Parker, Drake, Brown and Barnes performing Parker's composition "Corn Meal Dance."

Down below, they're joined by vocalist and dancer Leena Conquest for a clip recorded in 2004 for the Hungarian public television network Duna, and another made by an audience member in June, 2005 at the Museum Of Art in Norrköping, Sweden.

The fourth and fifth videos take us back to Moscow, and feature excerpts from a duo performance in February 2012 by Parker and Drake. In clip #4, Drake plays frame drum and Parker plays a wood flute; in #5, they're working out on drum kit and bass, respectively.

The sixth and final video is an excerpt from a benefit concert for the NYC venue The Under_Line, recorded last December. It features Parker on bass and Cooper-Moore on drums, plus St. Louis Hamiet Bluiett on baritone sax, Charles Gayle on tenor sax, Jason Kao Hwang on violin, and, somewhat surprisingly, Christian McBride on a second bass.

For more about William Parker, check out this interview he did in 2011 with Capital, and this interview with him and Hamid Drake from the May 2010 issue of Jazz Times.

Friday, October 18, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Jazz St. Louis announced this week that a newly formed group to be known as the Jazz St. Louis Big Band will perform Duke Ellington’s "Nutcracker Suite" on Wednesday, December 11 at Jazz at the Bistro. The holiday favorite, based on Tchaikovsky's "The Nutcracker," originally was recorded by Ellington's orchestra for Columbia Records and released in 1960, and was last performed locally in November 2011 by the St. Louis Symphony.

Prominently featuring alumni of the jazz program at SIUE, the Jazz St. Louis Big Band will include JSL's education director Phil Dunlap on piano, with Eric Warren on bass and Kevin Gianino on drums, providing the rhythmic underpinning for Jason Swagler, Harvey Lockhart, Ben Reece, Kristian Baarsvik, and Aaron Lehde (saxophones); Andy Tichenor, Adam Hucke, Danny Campbell, and Matt Bittles (trumpets); and Cody Henry and Jordin Gouge (trombones).

They'll perform "Nutcracker Suite" for one set only, starting at 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $25, $10 for students, and are on sale now via Metrotix and the Jazz St. Louis box office.

* New Music Circle has posted to their Facebook page photo sets of the concert by Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet two weeks ago at Kranzberg Arts Center, and of Ehrlich's discussion with local jazz fans and his workshop at his alma mater, University City HS.

* A new CD by bassist Jim Widner's big band, And the Beat Goes On, was reviewed by Jack Bowers for (The album, Widner's sixth for the Chase Music Group, features mostly faculty members from Widner's summer jazz camps, but at least some the musicians, including trombonist Brett Stamps and pianist Ken Kehner, will be familiar to local listeners.)

* In this week's Miles Davis news, the trumpeter's classic album Sketches of Spain is being reissued once again, this time as a "Superdisc DVD."

* Also hitting store shelves is a new book, Miles Davis: The Collected Artwork (pictured), that showcases Davis' sketches and paintings, along with analysis of his visual art, an interview with him, and more. Davis' youngest son Erin Davis and nephew Vince Wilburn, Jr. were interviewed about the book last week by Tavis Smiley for Smiley's radio program.

* WSIE (88.7 FM) has begun posting playlists online in real time, and now has a detailed program schedule on their website as well.

* DiscMakers, CDBaby and music gear retailer Sweetwater have teamed up for a promotion called the Independent Musician Sweepstakes, offering a grand prize package of products and services worth more than $20,000. The winner will get "guitar and bass amps, a bass guitar, a stage piano, an electric drum kit, a digital mixer, a pair of powered PA speakers, microphones and stands, CDs, a design and mastering package, posters, worldwide distribution," and more - "everything you need to outfit an entire band to record and sell a CD," as the promo puts it. To enter, go to

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Jazz this week: Bill Watrous, Wynton Marsalis & Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, William Cepeda, "Jazz Heaven," and more

This week's menu of jazz and creative music in St. Louis features visits from two very different touring trombonists, plus a traveling extravaganza featuring Wynton Marsalis fronting a cast of 85 musicians and singers, and as usual, plenty of homegrown talent, too.

Let's go the highlights...

Tonight, trombonist Bill Watrous will be at Mineral Area College in Park Hills for a concert at the college's Fine Arts Theater, backed by the MAC Kicks Band. Watrous performed early in his career with the likes of Woody Herman, Roy Eldridge and Count Basie, later going on to be a featured guest soloist on recordings by Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles, Arturo Sandoval and many others. He was voted best trombonist seven times in the DownBeat reader's poll, and his Manhattan Wildlife Refuge big band was a touchstone of the 1970s, showing off Watrous' virtuoso technique in a way analogous to how Maynard Ferguson's band displayed its leader's skills as a high-note specialist.

And speaking of Maynard Ferguson, his friend and fellow trumpeter Jim Manley also is playing tonight, at Joyia Tapas in the Grove neighborhood; while further downtown, Miss Jubilee will play jump blues and swing at the Thaxton Speakeasy.

Tomorrow night, Jazz St. Louis presents the touring production of "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration" at the Touhill Performing Arts Center. The extended work by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis was created in 2008 for the 200th anniversary of the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, and now is getting a touring production (pictured) featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and the 70-voice Chorale de Chateau.

For much more about "Abyssinian," including interviews with Marsalis and choir director Damien Sneed and some video footage shot during the current tour, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday night, trombonist William Cepeda, who combines Latin jazz with traditional music from his home territory of Puerto Rico, will be in town to play at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Cepeda's colorful show includes folk dancers as well as musicians, so you can bet they'll be using every square inch of the Sheldon's stage, and maybe a bit more besides.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; singer/pianist Anita Rosamond and her band will be at Robbie's House of Jazz; singer Feyza Eren performs at the the Wine Press; and guitarist Tom Byrne will lead a trio at Thurman Grill.

On Saturday night, pianist Dave Venn will be featured in a one-nighter at Jazz at the Bistro; singer Tony Viviano performs at Talayna's in Chesterfield; and the Dixie Dudes will play traditional New Orleans style and swing at Jazz on Broadway. Also on Saturday, pianist Tim Garcia leads a quartet at Robbie's; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes perform at Venice Cafe.

On Sunday, singer Wendy Gordon will present the latest show in her "Jazz Heaven" series at the Ethical Society, featuring a dozen musicians and singers performing songs made famous by various legends of jazz and blues. Also on Sunday, singer/guitarist Elliott Ranney will support the release of his new CD Bellevue Shuffle with a performance at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the SIUE Concert Jazz Band performs at Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus; and trumpeter Keith Moyer brings his quartet back to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra will play a "Notes From Home" concert at the Sheldon, while keyboardist Jim Hegarty will lead a trio in some experimental sounds at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

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.)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

New Music Circle presenting free events
next week with Cooper-Moore

New Music Circle has announced two free events next week featuring multi-instrumentalist Cooper-Moore.

Known variously in the creative music community as a composer, performer, instrument builder/designer, storyteller, teacher, mentor, and organizer, Cooper-Moore (pictured) will be in town to perform as pianist with bassist William Parker's In Order To Survive quintet in an NMC-sponsored concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, October 25 at Mad Art Gallery.

Before that, though, he'll be at Northside Workshop, 1306 St. Louis Ave, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 24 to present a free community workshop about instrument-building.

Then at 7:30 p.m. that same evening, Cooper-Moore will appear for a special hour-long solo performance  at Foam, 3359 S. Jefferson.

Both events are free and open to the public, with no advance reservations needed.

WSIE seeks money for
new transmitter via IndieGoGo

WSIE (88.7 FM), which broadcasts jazz to the St. Louis metropolitan area and online from its home on the campus of Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville, has launched a campaign to raise money for a new transmitter.

The station hopes to raise a total of $350,000 to replace its transmitter, which is the same one they've had since first going on the air 43 years ago in 1970. (The usual life of a transmitter is around 30 years, according to the campaign materials.)

Although WSIE historically has been funded by the state of Illinois, the state's own financial struggles in recent years not only have prevented investment in the station, they actually have resulted in serious funding cuts, leaving them with no budget for new equipment. And although WSIE in the last couple of years has begun conducting on-air pledge drives to raise money from listeners, their development operation isn't nearly as well established as those of other St. Louis area public broadcasters like KETC and KDHX.

As a result, station management now has turned to an IndieGoGo campaign to try to raise money for the new transmitter. Unlike KickStarter and some other crowd-funding services, donations to IndieGoGo are not contingent on whether or not the campaign meets its overall goal.

Instead, any money donated through this campaign will go to WSIE, regardless of how much is collected between now and the campaign's official ending at 11:59 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3. According to the campaign page at IndieGoGo, "If this goal is not reached in totality, we will continue our fund raising efforts until the transmitter can be replaced."

To contribute to WSIE's transmitter fund, go to

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Elliott Ranney releasing new CD
Bellevue Shuffle this Sunday, October 20

St. Louis singer, songwriter and guitarist Elliot Ranney is putting out a new CD titled Bellevue Shuffle, and will perform to celebrate the release at 2:00 p.m. this Sunday, October 20 at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company.

The album (pictured) includes 15 original songs, all written and arranged by Ranney, with help from his wife Ellen Ranney on one track, "Without You."

It features the leader on vocals and finger-style classical guitar, backed by Stephen Ranney on upright bass and Joe Winters, plus an extensive lineup of guest musicians including guitarists Jon Ferber, Dave Black and Tom Byrne, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis, trumpeter Randy Holmes, and numerous others. Many of the musicians from the recording will be joining Ranney for Sunday's gig at Kirkwood Station, he said.

Ranney describes the sound of Bellevue Shuffle as "an acoustic jazz hybrid with undertones of Latin and Swing." There are tracks paying tribute to Antonio Carlos Jobim and Tom Waits, and in further describing the album, the composer also name-checks Miles, Trane, Steely Dan and Stéphane Grappelli.

More than three years in the making, Bellevue Shuffle was recorded, mixed and mastered by Billy Engel at his EAR Studios in Wildwood. "The rhythm tracks only three months," said Ranney via email. "Getting the session players took a little longer. Ultimately, I'm glad I took my time to get it as right as I could."

Ranney, who grew up in Kirkwood, performs around town at spots including Venice Cafe, Picasso's, Van Gogh's, and various Missouri and Illinois wineries. His previous CD, An Aging Sailor's Dream, came out in 2001 on the local Wildstone Media label, and in 2012 was re-released overseas by the Japanese label Rip Curl Records.

Bellevue Shuffle will be issued on Ranney's own label, Rope Yarn Records, with CDs available for purchase at live gigs, and both CDs and digital downloads available via CD Baby. Admission to Sunday's performanceis $5 at the door, and copies of the CD will be on sale for $15 each.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Fund-raising campaign launched
to help Clark Terry with medical expenses

Legendary trumpeter, jazz Hall-of-Famer, and St. Louis native Clark Terry is in need of help from his many fans and friends.

As regular readers of this site may know, Terry, 92, has had serious health problems in recent years, including the loss of both legs to diabetes. Despite this, the venerable jazz master remains upbeat and still is able to enjoy a good quality of life with his wife Gwen at their home in Pine Bluff, AR.

On good days, he's able to see visitors, and he continues to keep in touch with friends and fans and even give music lessons to students, old and new, via Skype.

However, staying in his home means that Terry (pictured) needs attention from a skilled home health care worker, and that's costly, to the tune of $72,000 per year, or about $200 a day.

That cost and other medical expenses are not covered by Terry's insurance, and are more than he and his family can afford, for while the trumpeter's long career has brought many honors and vast amounts of friendship and love, it unfortunately has not yielded a level of financial remuneration commensurate with his vast contributions to music and culture. In a truly just cosmos, someone like Clark Terry would never have to worry about money, but that's not the universe we live in.

As a result, a fund-raising campaign has been launched to help with the costs of his care, so that Terry can remain in his home and, as he puts it, "keep on keepin' on."

The donation page on Terry's website offers several ways that fans and friends can help, including tax-deductible donations to a fund designated for Terry at the Jazz Foundation of America, and direct donations to Terry via PayPal or mail.

Earlier this year, StLJN's readers made their voices heard, joining jazz fans from all over the world to help elect Clark Terry to Jazz at Lincoln Center's Nesuhi Ertegun Hall of Fame.

Now, there's another chance to step up and show our gratitude and support for one of the greatest musicians ever to come from our town. If you can't make a financial contribution, you still can help, simply by spreading the word about the fund-raising campaign and the link:

Sunday, October 13, 2013

"Jazz Heaven" cast grows for new production on Sunday, October 20 at Ethical Society

For singer Wendy Gordon, jazz heaven keeps getting bigger all the time.

What began for Gordon (pictured) as a way to fulfill assignments for a couple of college classes has turned into a full-fledged musical revue now in its fourth edition, "A Jazz Heaven: Entertaining Around Heaven All Day," which will be performed at 4:00 p.m. next Sunday, October 20 at the Ethical Society.

Like previous versions of the show, "Entertaining Around Heaven..." features songs originally made famous by a roster of iconic performers, backed by a live band and held together by a storyline and Gordon's original poetry. First presented in August 2009, the "Jazz Heaven" series was conceived when Gordon retired from the postal service and began taking some college classes.

After writing about about Billie Holiday for a poetry class and then performing the biographical work for her acting class, Gordon realized she might done have something more than just completed her class projects. "From there, I thought 'This would be a good little play,'" she recalled. She expanded the poem into a script that also included material about Ella Fitzgerald, and the staged the first version of the show, "When Billie Met Ella," with a three-piece band at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Since then, the concept has continued to grow as Gordon has added new material and cast members for each subsequent staging. This time, she'll sing songs associated with Holiday and Nina Simone, with longtime St. Louis favorite Jeanne Trevor once again playing the role of Ella Fitzgerald.

They'll be joined by singers including Joe Mancuso (Frank Sinatra), Kecia Davis (Phyllis Hyman), Jeff Hardin (Marvin Gaye), and Eugene Johnson (Bobby "Blue" Bland/Albert King), with Sheila Reed as the narrator. The band will feature Arthur Toney (keyboards), Al Barnes (drums), Willem von Hombracht (bass), Adrian Bowers (trumpet), and saxophonist Kendrick Smith, who also has a speaking role as Charlie Parker.

While the "Jazz Heaven" series has provided Gordon with her first experiences as a head writer and impresario, she did get some useful preparation working with the late Mae Wheeler, aka "Lady Jazz," who devoted much time and energy in the latter part of her career to organizing showcases for an eclectic range of local talent.

"I was on six of Mae Wheeler's 'Diva' shows, and from that I learned a lot about how she was trying to promote local artists in St. Louis. It's so hard to get recognition, and this is something to showcase our talent in St. Louis," said Gordon, who helped Wheeler behind the scenes with ticketing and promotion as well as performing on stage.

Gordon said she also admired Wheeler's devotion to young talent, and now is consciously following her example by adding a bit of youth to the "Jazz Heaven" roster of veteran performers. "Kendrick Smith is the first of the young artists we are presenting, and I plan to have at least one in every future production," she said.

Tickets for "A Jazz Heaven: Entertaining Around Heaven All Day" are $27.50 in advance, $30 at the door, and are on sale via Metrotix and Afroworld. For special rates for groups of 10 or more, call 314-838-9198.

Photo of Wendy Gordon as Billie Holiday from the "Jazz Heaven" Facebook page.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
"Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration"

This week, let's take a look at "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration," the extended work composed by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis that currently is on tour and scheduled for a St. Louis stop next Friday, October 18 at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

Premiered in 2008 to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Harlem's Abyssinian Baptist Church, "Abyssinian" incorporates a range of musical styles, from spirituals to hard bop, and has been re-staged this year as a traveling production featuring the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chorale Le Chateau, a 70-voice gospel choir.

The production's stop here, presented by Jazz St. Louis, is part of a tour that began October 3 in North Carolina and will conclude on October 27 in Boston. The touring version of "Abyssinian" reportedly is costing an estimated $2 million to mount and requires four buses just to transport the cast, plus a separate truck for equipment.

With so much at stake, it's no surprise that Jazz at Lincoln Center is putting considerable effort and resources into promoting the tour, including the creation of a short promotional video, which you can see in the first embedded window up above.

Down below, there's an interview with Marsalis and choir director Damien Sneed, in which they discuss the tour and the musical and historical significance of "Abysssinian." Below that, there's another short clip featuring Sneed, one of several he made explaining some of the gospel traditions and tropes incorporated into the work. (You can view all the clips in a playlist on Jazz at Lincoln Center's YouTube page.)

The remaining three videos offer a sneak peek at the actual touring production of "Abyssinian." Totaling slightly more than 14 minutes running time, they were recorded by an audience member on October 6 at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and posted to YouTube.

While there's a noticeable lack of bass that renders the audio in these clips somewhat compromised, the fidelity otherwise is reasonably good, and they're the best examples of actual performances from the tour currently available online.

For more about "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration," check out the interview that Marsalis and Jazz St. Louis' Gene Dobbs Bradford did this past Friday on KWMU's program "Cityscape," which can be heard online here.

Friday, October 11, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Happy birthday wishes go out to drummer and St. Louis native Marcus Baylor, who turns 37 today. The Baylor Project, his new band with his spouse, singer Jean Baylor, is set for NYC dates this month at Smoke and Zinc Bar.

* Today's also the anniversary of the birth of the legendary trumpeter and former St. Louisan Lester Bowie (pictured), who was born on this date in 1941. Bowie, who died in 1999, gained worldwide fame for his work with the Art Ensemble of Chicago and as a composer and bandleader in his own right. To celebrate his memory, check out this clip of a live show by his "From The Root to the Source" band, featuring his former wife Fontella Bass, her mother Martha Bass and brother David Peaston, posted last month to StLJN's sibling site Heliocentric Worlds.

* In an announcement posted last Saturday night on their Facebook page and website, organizers of St. Louis Jazz and Blues Vespers said they've ended the series and will produce no further concerts this year or in the future. The free concerts presented at Second Baptist Church in Richmond Heights began in the fall of 2008 under the church's former pastor, Rev. Dr. Stephen Jones.

* Jazz St. Louis has posted to their Facebook page an album of photos from saxophonist Lou Donaldson's opening night Wednesday at Jazz at the Bistro. Donaldson continues at the club through tomorrow night.

* Meanwhile, saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake has posted online a video excerpt from his show last week at NYC's Roulette, which featured guest pianist Vijay Iyer and a string ensemble.

* As the tour of "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration" winds its way towards St. Louis, where trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and a 70-voice choir will perform the extended work next Friday at the Touhill, Marsalis has been posting updates from the tour to the JALC Facebook page.

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts is exhorting us to remind all area musicians that they're sponsoring a free workshop called "Navigating Health Care Reform" at 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 21 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar.

The event is part of a campaign that VLAA is calling "Every Artist Insured."  Ryan Barker, vice president of Health Policy at the Missouri Foundation for Health, will explain the Affordable Care Act; define terms and answer questions;, and provide strategies to help freelancers and the self-employed get quality and affordable health care coverage. This workshop is open to artists of all disciplines and their guests, but seating is limited, so you must register in advance here. The program will be repeated on Tuesday, November 19.

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Jazz this week: Lou Donaldson, Alarm Will Sound, Three Tenors of St. Louis, David Grisman, St. Louis Stompers, and more

Though Cardinal baseball may be preoccupying large segments of the populace in St. Louis, the fall jazz and creative music presenting season nevertheless continues this week with a full slate of performances in a wide variety of styles.

Music fans who care to venture forth into clubs and concert halls over the next few days will find everything from traditional New Orleans jazz  to bluesy, bop-inflected saxophone from an old-school jazz master to top touring groups showcasing recombinant genres rooted in classical and bluegrass. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the veteran alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson will begin a four-night gig continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Performing with an organ trio, the 86-year-old Donaldson mixes blues, bop, ballads, and backbeats in a crowd-pleasing fashion, and usually adds additional entertainment with some wry, between-song quips along the way. For more about Donaldson (pictured) and some video samples of what you're likely to hear this weekend, see this post from last Saturday.

Also tonight, the 20-member new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound begins their second St. Louis season at the Sheldon Concert Hall, previewing the program they'll play this weekend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Elsewhere around town, the 442s play at the Tavern of Fine Arts; singer Joe Mancuso leads a trio at EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery in Chesterfield; and vibraphonist Peter Schlamb's group performs at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Tomorrow night, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents a free concert featuring "Three Tenors of St. Louis," namely Freddie Washington, Willie Akins and Paul DeMarinis. While Washington and Akins have performed together occasionally in the past, the three-tenor format adds a new wrinkle and should make for some friendly but spirited competition. Also on Thursday, funk/R&B/jazz group Good 4 The Soul plays their monthly show at BB's.

On Friday, mandolinist David Grisman, inventor of the acoustic swing/folk/rock/bluegrass hybrid style he calls "dawg music," brings his FolkJazz Trio to the Sheldon Concert Hall. Also on Friday, saxophonist Jay Hutson and Da Wolvez are at Robbie's House of Jazz; and pianist Ptah Williams leads a trio at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday afternoon, guitarist Corey Christiansen will present a jazz improvisation workshop at Mozingo Music. Christensen, who lived in St. Louis for several years before moving back to Utah in 2007, also will lead a trio in a Saturday night performance at Robbie's.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, the Bosman Twins and friends from several different locales are teaming up for one of their periodic "Reunion Jazz Band' gigs at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes trio perform at Thurman Grill.

On Sunday, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents the St. Louis Stompers at the Doubletree Hotel in Westport.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Robben Ford, who's played with jazz stars including Tom Scott, Jimmy Witherspoon and Miles Davis, will present a guitar clinic sponsored by Mozingo Music at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin. Also on Monday,  the Sessions Big Band plays at BB's Jazz, Blues & 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.)

Monday, October 07, 2013

Galactic returning to The Pageant
on Thursday, March 6

The New Orleans funk/jazz/hip-hop band Galactic will return to St. Louis next year to perform at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, March 6 at The Pageant.

Galactic (pictured) have been regular visitors to St. Louis and The Pageant in recent years; their last appearance at the venue was on Valentine's Day of 2013. The group's most recent album Carnivale Electricos was released in 2012.

Tickets for Galactic at The Pageant are $22.50 in advance, $25 day of show, with a $2 surcharge for minors under 21.

Tickets go sale at 5:00 p.m. this Friday, October 11. The Pageant also is conducting a presale for users of their mobile app from 10:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. this Thursday; for more about that, go here.

Saturday, October 05, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Lou Donaldson

Once upon a time, just about every major city in the USA had at least a couple of guys who played in a similar style, if not with the same amount of skill, as alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson, who's coming back to St. Louis next week to perform Wednesday, October 9 through Saturday, October 12 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Fronting a trio of organ, guitar and drums, Donaldson offers a mix of bebop, blues and ballads that evokes the very center of the jazz mainstream of the post-WWII era, with the influence of Charlie Parker predominant. Back then, the North Carolina native, who cut his first record in 1952, was just one of a host of players working in that style. Today, still remarkably spry and sly at age 86, Donaldson is one of the last remaining veterans of that era still touring.

Donaldson worked with many leading musicians of the 1950s, including Milt Jackson, Thelonious Monk, Horace Silver, Art Blakey and Clifford Brown, before settling in during the 1960s with Blue Note Records for a long tenure as one of their most popular artists. That's also when he began adding to his repertoire more backbeat-driven numbers like "Alligator Boogaloo," which proved to be the final ingredients in the musical recipe that sustains him and a legion of fans to this day.

Last featured in this space back in 2010, Donaldson has been a regular visitor to St. Louis in recent years. Those who are already fans don't need any more convincing to go catch him at the Bistro, but for those who aren't familiar with him, these six videos offer a preview of the sort of things you're likely to hear at a typical Lou Donaldson performance.

In the first clip up above, Donaldson plays the swinging blues "Gravy Train," and in the second down below, a slow blues called "It Was A Dream." Both clips feature him with his frequent collaborator, organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, who unfortunately will not be along for this trip to St. Louis.

Below that, there are four more videos featuring Donaldson with the musicians who perform with him most frequently on dates when Smith is not involved: guitarist Randy Johnston, organist Akiko Tsuruga and drummer Fukushi Tainaka.

The first of those clips, recorded earlier this year in Madrid, shows them working out on the Donaldson staple "Midnight Creeper." Below that, Donaldson pays homage to Louis Armstrong with a version of Armstrong's 1960s pop hit "What A Wonderful World," recorded in Vancouver with Johnston, Tsuruga, and Rudy Petschauer subbing on drums.

The remaining two videos feature Donaldson's versions of evergreen standards, the ballad "Body And Soul," recorded in 2010 at Dizzy's in NYC, and "Cherokee," in a clip that's undated but probably from the mid 2000s.

There is at least one thing new since Donaldson's last visit, though, as he was named an NEA Jazz Master in 2013. For more about Lou Donaldson, check out this interview he did in 2010 with blogger Mark Myers of JazzWax, and this podcast he recorded with Jazz St. Louis' Bob Bennett before his appearance in 2010 at the Bistro.

Friday, October 04, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's the latest wrap-up of assorted links and short local news items of interest:

* Marty Ehrlich's concert with his Rites Quartet tonight at the Kranzberg Arts Center is previewed in articles by Terry Perkins for the St. Louis Beacon, Calvin Wilson for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, and Joseph Hess for the Riverfront Times.

Ehrlich (pictured) also was interviewed by Dennis Owsley on last Sunday's "Jazz Unlimited" program on KWMU (90.7 FM), which can be heard online here.

* Diana Krall's concert last Friday at the Fox Theatre also was reviewed by Wilson for the Post-Dispatch.

* Here's a video excerpt of experimental duo Ahluechatistas' performance last Saturday at the Schlafly Tap Room.

* Trombonist Dave Dickey has put on Facebook a photo album from last Sunday's Missouri Association of Jazz Educators (MOAJE) jam session at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company

* The August 2012 episode of HEC-TV’s of I Love Jazz has taken first place in the Arts and Entertainment category of this year's National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA) awards. The award-winning episode of the program, hosted by Don Wolff, featured interviews with and music from former St. Louisans Reggie and Mardra Thomas.

* The annual musical instrument donation drive sponsored by Music for Lifelong Achievement is underway from now through Sunday, October 27. New or used musical instruments can be dropped off at any area Starbucks location, and will be distributed to music students in St. Louis who otherwise might not be able to afford an instrument of their own.

* The St. Louis Symphony and guest soloist Timothy McAllister will perform a new saxophone concerto by composer John Adams on Saturday and Sunday at Powell Hall, and Saxquest is offering a special two-for-one deal on tickets to the concerts. The performances will be recorded for Nonesuch Records. McAllister also will do a free workshop and clinic from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. today at the Saxquest shop.

* A couple of new videos promoting "Abyssinian: A Gospel Celebration Tour" went online this week - one showing the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra and Chorale le Chateau in rehearsal, the other featuring composer Wynton Marsalis and choral director Damien Sneed talking about the production, which plays here in St. Louis on Friday, October 18 at the Touhill.

* The Affordable Care Act took effect in the USA on October 1, and St. Louis Volunteer Accountants and Attorneys for the Arts has put online information about how the ACA can help artists obtain reasonably priced health insurance coverage. VLAA also will sponsor a free presentation on "Navigating Health Care Reform" at 7:00 p.m. Monday, October 21 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar.

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jazz this week: The Bad Plus plays Stravinsky, Marty Ehrlich's Rites Quartet, the Brubeck Brothers, Laurence Hobgood & Ernie Watts, and more

The good news is that it's another busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, including some very attractive free events.

The bad news is that, absent time travel, cloning or some other fictional technology that doesn't exist, it's probably impossible for one person to hear it all. Nevertheless, to help you decide which shows are worth checking out, here are StLJN's picks for the week.

Tonight, Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at The Shaved Duck, and trumpeter Jim Manley performs at Sasha's Wine Bar.

On Thursday night, Jazz St. Louis presents "Stravinsky: Real & Imagined" with The Bad Plus at Viragh Center for the Arts, on the campus of Chaminade College Prep, 425 S. Lindbergh Blvd. In addition to The Bad Plus' performance of their version of Igor Stravinsky's "The Rites of Spring," which they've named "On Sacred Ground," the free concert also will feature members of the St. Louis Symphony performing several other works composed by Stravinsky.

Also on Thursday, the Eric Slaughter/Tom Byrne Quartet will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and "Jazz Unlimited" host Dennis Owsley will serve as moderator for a live interview and discussion with multi-instrumentalist, composer and former St. Louisan Marty Ehrlich at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar Blvd. The free event is sponsored by New Music Circle.

Ehrlich, who's now based in NYC, has returned to his old hometown to perform with his Rites Quartet in a concert on Friday at the Kranzberg Arts Center, 501 N. Grand, also presented by New Music Circle. For more about Ehrlich, and some video samples of him performing with different groups including the Rites Quartet, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Friday, pianist Laurence Hobgood's quintet with special guest tenor saxophonist Ernie Watts (pictured) opens a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. Although the two headliners don't work together regularly, Hobgood, who's the longtime pianist and musical director for singer Kurt Elling, teamed up with the vastly underrated Watts for a one-off date last year at the Bistro, and it went so well they decided to double down this season.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, pianist Ptah Williams plays a free early evening set as part the monthly "First Friday" program at the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University; Lindy Hop St. Louis presents their monthly West End Stomp swing dance at the Mahler Ballroom, with Miss Jubilee as October's featured performer; and saxophonist Tim Cunningham returns to The Precinct, formerly known as Jim Edmonds 15 Steakhouse, at 1900 Locust downtown.

UPDATE: 11:00 a.m., 10/4/13 - Lindy Hop St. Louis has announced via Facebook that tonight's "West End Stomp" is cancelled, due to a booking conflict at the venue. 

On Saturday, pianist Carolbeth True and friends will play a free early afternoon set as part of the Rock Hill Fall Festival, and singers Mary Dyson and Diane Vaughn will join forces for a late afternoon show at Troy's Jazz Gallery.

Then on Saturday evening, the Brubeck Brothers Quartet, led by Dave Brubeck's sons Chris, a bassist and trombonist, and Dan, a drummer, will perform what's billed as a "Tribute to Dave Brubeck" at Sheldon Concert Hall. The remaining tickets for this show have been discounted to $25 for online buyers; for information on how to get the discount, see this post.

Also on Saturday, singer Feyza Eren returns to the Wine Press; the Sidemen play swing at Schlafly Bottleworks; and bassist Bob Deboo begins a new weekly gig at the Kranzberg Arts Center, in which he'll lead a rhythm section that's joined by a different special guest each month. This month's guest is saxophonist Dave Stone.

On Sunday, the Friends of Scott Joplin present their monthly "Ragtime Rendezvous" at Dressel's, 419 N Euclid Ave in the Central West End.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday trumpeter and former Webster University faculty member Mike Parkinson, who's now director of the school of music at Middle Tennessee State University, will be back in town for a visit, teaming up with guitarist Steve Schenkel, bassist Willem von Hombracht and drummer Kevin Gianino to play at BB's Jazz, Blues & 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.)

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

The Sheldon, Metrotix offering discount on tickets for Brubeck Brothers Quartet this Saturday, October 5

The Sheldon Concert Hall and Metrotix are offering a discount to online buyers of tickets for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet performance at 8:00 p.m. this Saturday at The Sheldon.

The quartet (pictured), led by Dave Brubeck's sons Dan Brubeck (drums) and Chris Brubeck (bass and trombone), will perform a program of music featuring some of the elder Brubeck's best-known compositions, including "Take Five" and "Blue Rondo A La Turk."

Along with the Brubecks and guitarist Mike DeMicco, the quartet also includes the fine pianist Chuck Lamb, who St. Louisans of a certain age may remember as the keyboard player in the regionally popular 1970s fusion band Dry Jack. Their most recent album LifeTimes, released in July, features their versions of some of  Dave Brubeck's songs as well as their own original compositions.

With the online discount, tickets for the Brubeck Brothers Quartet that had been $45 and $40 now are available for $25 each. To access the offer, go to the Metrotix site and enter the promo code "TAKEFIVE." The discount offer ends at 5:00 p.m. Saturday, October 5.