Saturday, November 30, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Drums along the Mississippi, or City of Raijins



When Dennis Owsley wrote a history of jazz in St. Louis a few years ago, he titled his book City of Gabriels in recognition of the trumpeters from the area, including Miles Davis, Clark Terry and Lester Bowie, who have had a significant impact on jazz music, both here and around the globe.

While that trumpet tradition continues through the work of nationally and internationally recognized musicians like Jeremy Davenport, Russell Gunn, Keyon Harrold, Jim Manley, and others, in recent years St. Louis area drummers from both sides of the Mississippi have made their mark as well - so much so that if Owsley were to write a history of the last decade, it might be tempting to name it after the drumming equivalent of the Biblical trumpeter who blew down the walls of Jericho.

For that, one might nominate Raijin, "a god of lightning, thunder and storms in the Shinto religion and in Japanese mythology." According to Wikipedia, his name is derived from the Japanese words for "thunder" and "god," and he typically is depicted as "a demon-looking spirit beating drums to create thunder, usually with the symbol tomoe drawn on the drums."

While we're certainly not suggesting that any of the St. Louis drummers featured in today's videos are demonic, they definitely can bring the thunder. So with that in mind, today let's take a quick look at some of the most noteworthy drummers from our "City of Rajins" who currently are making noise on the national and international scene. 

Dave Weckl, who grew up in St. Charles and is seen in the first clip above performing a solo at Montreal Drumfest 2012, likely is the best known of the bunch, thanks to his high-profile stint with the Chick Corea Elektrik Band and successful career as a bandleader in his own right. Weckl also has worked frequently with guitarist Mike Stern, and has appeared on record with Paul Simon, Madonna, George Benson, Robert Plant, the GRP Big Band, and many others.

Next is Marcus Baylor, seen in the first clip below playing a solo in a show last December here at Jazz at the Bistro. Baylor was a member of the popular fusion band Yellowjackets for nearly ten years, and also has worked with trumpeters Roy Hargrove and Nicholas Payton, saxophonists Greg Tardy and Kenny Garrett, and others. He and his wife, singer Jean Baylor, recently launched a new band called, appropriately enough, The Baylor Project.

In the third clip, there's an interview with Mark Colenburg, who currently drums with the talked-about pianist Robert Glasper and is featured on Glasper's new album Black Radio, Volume 2. Colenburg also has worked with hip-hop and R&B performers such as Common, Lauryn Hill, Mos Def, and Erykah Badu as well as jazz players including Chico Freeman, Stefon Harris, George Coleman, and more.

Then in video number four, Kimberly Thompson plays a solo as part of her appearance at the 2011 Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC). Thompson first came to wide attention as a member of pop singer Beyonce's all-female band, and subsequently has branched out into songwriting and production as well as working with Mike Stern, Jay-Z, Wallace Roney, Meshell N'Degeocello, Richard Bona, Jason Moran, and numerous others.

The fifth clip features Terreon Gully, who was part of the acclaimed music program at East St. Louis High School and has gone on to play with singer Dianne Reeves, bassist Christian McBride, saxophonist Ron Blake, vibraphonists Stefon Harris and Joe Locke, and many others. Gully is seen here in a gig a couple of years ago with Locke's band in Italy, trading fours with the leader and pianist Robert Rodriguez.

Montez Coleman, who's seen in the sixth clip, can still be heard performing  in St. Louis with some regularity, as the East St. Louis HS grad lives here when not on the road with the likes of trumpeter Roy Hargrove (with whom he spent nearly five years) or the legendary pianist McCoy Tyner. Coleman is seen here during a gig with Hargrove's quintet in October 2010 at Macc Jazz Maastricht in the Netherlands.You can catch him around town working with saxophonist Willie Akins and guitarist Eric Slaughter and sometimes leading Tuesday night jam sessions at Herbie's Vintage 72 in the Central West End.

Last but not least, we'd be remiss not to mention Charles "Bobo" Shaw, whose work was foundational to the funky yet free sounds of Black Artists Group, Human Arts Ensemble, Lester Bowie and others. After recording and touring prolifically during the 1970s and 1980s, Shaw has maintained a much lower public profile in recent years, but turned up in St. Louis a couple of years ago for a performance for the Nu-Art Series at the Metropolitan Gallery. That concert, with fellow drummers Jerome "Scrooge" Harris, Gary Sykes, and Johnny Johnson, is excerpted in the seventh and final clip.

One last thing: As the presence of Harris, Sykes and Johnson in the last clip suggests, the pool of drumming talent from St. Louis is by no means limited to the seven musicians featured today. For example, there's U. City native Ronnie Burrage, who certainly belongs on any list of notable St. Louis drummers thanks to his work with Tyner, Wayne Shorter, Joe Zawinul, Archie Shepp, Bowie, Hamiet Bluiett, and many others. He was featured here previously in a video showcase post of his own back in 2011. Which St. Louis drummers will be the next to step into the national spotlight? Please use the comments to share your opinion.











Friday, November 29, 2013

Tickets on sale Monday for
new shows at Jazz at the Bistro

Although there's been no announcement yet from Jazz St. Louis, Metrotix today sent out an email including on-sale dates for a number of new shows in 2014 at Jazz at the Bistro.

According to said email, The Wee Trio, with St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, will be coming back to town in April to celebrate the release of their album recorded earlier this year at the Bistro, and trumpeter Terell Stafford (pictured) will close out the 2013-14 season in May by serving as special guest for a weekend of perofrmances with students from Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program.

As for local players, bassist Jahmal Nichols and singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran have been booked to make their Bistro debuts as bandleaders, and several other hometown favorites will make return appearances there during the winter and spring. Here's the schedule of additional concerts as currently listed by Metrotix.

Friday, January 17 & Saturday, January 18:  Jahmal Nichols CD Release
Saturday, March 1:  Willie Akins & Dave Venn
Friday, March 14 & Saturday, March 15:  Phil Dunlap Quintet plays the music of Miles Davis
Friday, March 28 & Saturday, March 29:  Jim Stevens & Good 4 the Soul play the music of David Sanborn
Friday, April 11 & Saturday, April 12:  The Wee Trio CD Release Event celebrating Live at the Bistro
Tuesday, April 22:  SIUE Concert Jazz Band/Alumni
Friday, April 25 & Saturday, April 26:  Tommy Halloran's Guerilla Swing
Friday, May 9 & Saturday, May 10:  "Great Guitars 2014" with Shaun Robinson & Eric Slaughter
Friday, May 23 & Saturday, May 24:  JazzU with Terrell Stafford

All the performers will play sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., except for the SIUE Concert Jazz Band, who will play one show at 7:30 p.m. 

Ticket prices are $5 for Terell Stafford and JazzU; $15 for the SIUE Concert Jazz Band; $25 for The Wee Trio, Akins & Venn, and Jim Stevens' Sanborn tribute; and $20 for all other performances. Tickets for all shows go on sale at 10:00 a.m. next Monday, December 2 via Metrotix.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* News comes this week of a fund-raising campaign on behalf of pianist and Maplewood native Ray Kennedy (pictured), brother of bassist Tom Kennedy and formerly part of John Pizzarelli's band.

After being diagnosed with the neuro-muscular disease MS a few years ago, Ray Kennedy's condition now has progressed to the point where he no longer is able to perform and earn a living. As a result, friends and fans have set up a fund to assist with medical expenses and support for his family, which includes two young daughters. You can find out more about Ray Kennedy and make a contribution here.

* On a similar note, today's St. Louis Beacon has an article by Terry Perkins about the efforts to help another former St. Louisan, nonagenarian trumpeter Clark Terry, remain in his home by assisting with the cost of his daily home care visits.

* In happier news, The Baylor Project, the new band co-led by St. Louis native and drummer Marcus Baylor and his wife, singer Jean Baylor, has just released an official music video for their debut single "More in Love."

* Meanwhile, drummer and St. Louis native Kimberly Thompson will bring her band to the Kennedy Center in Washington DC for the first time in February.

* Pianist Peter Martin spent this Thanksgiving in Germany, performing yesterday with singer Dianne Reeves and the WDR Big Band in a nationwide broadcast from the Köln Philharmonie.

* Trumpeter Jim Manley's new album Short Stories & Tall Tales was reviewed for AllABoutJazz.com by Nicholas F. Mondello.

* The Wee Trio's recent release Live at the Bistro, recorded here in St. Louis by the group featuring native son Dan Loomis on bass, was reviewed by Jazz Weekly blogger George W. Harris.

* Dennis Owsley has a new post up on St. Louis magazine's Look/Listen blog, about seeing a performance by John Coltrane in Los Angeles the night after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated.

* In this week's Miles Davis news, the CD box-set reissue of Davis' Original Mono Recordings for Columbia/Legacy was reviewed by Music and More blogger Tim Niland, and an article by Sonia Saraiya for the AV Club examines the contrast between Davis' musical excellence and his history of spousal abuse.

* If you're a musician or artist looking for help getting health insurance and understanding the Affordable Care Act, the St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts (VLAA) and the Community Action Agency of St. Louis (CAASTL) will be offering free, in-person guidance from trained certified application counselors from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, December 11 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar.

The one-on-one sessions are designed to provide unbiased information and de-mystify the Healthcare.gov enrollment process so you can compare plan prices and coverage details and see if you qualify for subsidies. Appointments will be made on a first -come, first-served basis, and reservations are required. To make an appointment, please send an email including your name and phone number to vlaa at stlrac dot org.

* Jazz radio update:  The weekend lineup on WSIE (88.7 FM) now includes "Saturday Night at The Chase Park-Plaza," a weekly broadcast of music from singers of the 1960s and 1970s featuring selections drawn from vinyl albums in the WSIE vault. The program, hosted by Evan Johnson, Kelly Hoffman and John Uzell, airs from 7:00 p.m to 10:00 p.m..

This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" delves into the Cole Porter songbook with tracks from singer Dianne Reeves, saxophonist Sonny Rollins, and trumpeter Wallace Roney. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at http://www.rafstl.org/listen.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Jazz this week: Jeremy Davenport comes home, the Miles Davis Memorial Project moves forward, and more

Though the holiday means fewer touring jazz and creative musicians than usual will be passing through town over the next few days, this weekend will bring at least one significant musical visitor to St. Louis, as well as some noteworthy performances from local jazz players and a public meeting about an important jazz-related project. Let's go the the highlights...

If you're in the mood for some jazz today along with your Thanksgiving Day meal, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Randy Bahr will be spending a good part of the day serenading diners at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel's Starlight Roof. (As for other bars and/or restaurants featuring live music, some may be open today or tonight, but as always on major holidays, we suggest you call ahead first before venturing out.)

Tomorrow night, trumpeter, singer and University City native Jeremy Davenport returns home for his annual post-Thanksgiving weekend at Jazz at the Bistro. Davenport (pictured), who now lives in New Orleans and leads the house band at the Ritz Carlton hotel there, has been coming home to play the Bistro at this time of year for nearly a decade now, and remains a popular attraction in his hometown.

Given that continued popularity, and the "homecoming" aspect of the gig, reservations would be a must if you're planning to go to the Bistro this weekend. For more about Davenport, and some video samples of his playing, check out these two posts presented in conjunction with a couple of his previous appearances here.

Also on Friday, brothers Dan Rubright (guitar) and Ted Rubright (percussion) bring their new band the Wire Pilots to the Kranzberg Arts Center; saxophonist Willie Akins leads a quartet at Cigar Inn; singer Tony Viviano performs at Talayna's in Chesterfield, saxophonist Tim Cunningham continues his string of Friday night gigs downtown at The Precinct; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes play at Venice Cafe.

On Saturday afternoon, the Miles Davis Memorial Project will hold an open public meeting at Alton Museum of History & Art, 2809 College Ave, to discuss the current status of the project to build a statue of Davis in Alton. (For more about the project, see this story.)

Then on Saturday night, Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom; trumpeter and vibraphonist Joe Bozzi performs at Thurman Grill; saxophonist Jim Stevens plays at the River City Casino's 1904 Steakhouse; and bassist Bob Deboo and Friends continue their Saturday night session at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

On Sunday, singer Denise Thimes will perform at a benefit event for East St. Louis' Katherine Dunham Center for the Arts And Humanities to be held at the Grand Marias Golf Club, 5802 Lake Drive in Centreville.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Dave Black returns to 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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, November 27, 2013

LNAC to present Quiet Music Series, plus return of Nakatani's Gong Orchestra

Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center has announced two concerts next month that may be of interest to local fans of jazz and creative music:

* LNAC's new "Quiet Music Series" will debut at 7:00 p.m. Saturday, December 7, featuring all new electronic compositions by LNAC director Mark Sarich, Greg Farough and Nathan Cook.

According to an email from Sarich, "The Quiet Music Series seeks to bring to the St Louis artistic landscape (the) most recent investigations into the interface of silence, resonance, barely audible sound, and non-directionality in music." The series is inspired by the "largely European avant-garde musical initiative commonly known as the Wandelweiser composers...Strongly influenced by Morton Feldman, the music focuses on static sonic constructions with ample use of silence and the extreme quiet as compositional elements. The sometimes articulated, but ever present, desire is to place the listener more consciously within their environment."

"Quiet Music" events will occur on roughly a monthly basis, Sarich said. "We will be bringing at first regional artists from out of town and eventually include international composers of significance working along side our own local composers," he added. Admission to the December 7 "Quiet Music" concert is $5 at the door.

* A couple of weeks later, LNAC will present the return of improvising percussionist Tatsuya Nakatani's Gong Orchestra, at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, December 20. The group is composed of 10 musicians from the area who have been coached on Nakatani's percussion and conducting techniques and will present "an improvised performance demonstrating the versatility of the gong as an expressive instrument."

Nakatani (pictured) is an active participant on the international improv scene whose collaborators have included Eugene Chadbourne, Jack Wright and St. Louis’ own Darin Gray. His previous performances at LNAC include a date in April 2011 featuring an earlier incarnation of the Gong Orchestra, and his most recent gig there, a solo performance in October of last year.

Tickets for the Gong Orchestra performance will be $8. Because of the size of the ensemble, seating will be limited with tickets sold in advance via PayPal. Advance ticket purchasers will be asked to provide ID so they can be identified upon entry as the buyer, and names on the ID must match the names on the PayPal purchase. For more information, email LNAC's Tom Hill at tomhill.tch at gmail dot com.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

WSIE to hold on-air fund-raiser Friday, December 13 through Sunday, December 15

WSIE (88.7 FM) will be conducting an on-air fund drive next month starting at 4:00 p.m. Friday, December 13 and continuing with occasional scheduled breaks until 4:00 p.m. Sunday, December 15.

The station, which broadcasts jazz to the St. Louis metropolitan area and online from its home on the campus of Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, will offer premium items for pledges at various levels. This time, the premiums will include WSIE-branded items such as beverage tumblers and desk clocks, as well as CDs from the St. Louis-based MAXJAZZ label, plus Miles Davis and Herbie Hancock releases from the Legacy label.

Various special guests also will be on air during the weekend, encouraging listeners to pledge and visiting with host Dick Ulett, news coordinator Peter Bradley, and station general manager Greg Conroy. Those scheduled to check in so far include MAXJAZZ head Rich McDonnell, musicians and concert promoters Mike and Rob Silverman; jazz photographer Roscoe Crenshaw; and SIUE Chancellor Julie Furst-Bowe, with more being booked at this writing.

Proceeds from the fund drive will benefit the station’s equipment and operating funds. Though undisclosed concerns caused the station to shut down a recent Indie-Go-Go campaign that had been intended to raise funds for a new transmitter, that need remains pressing, as the current transmitter is the original unit deployed when the station debuted back in 1970. Other potential uses for the funds include audio system component upgrades and music library enhancements.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Pat Martino



This week, we spotlight the stylings of guitarist Pat Martino, who will be back in St. Louis next month to perform Wednesday, December 4 through Saturday, December 7 at Jazz at the Bistro.

The Philadelphia native, now 69 years old, has played here numerous times over the years, most recently in December 2010 at the Bistro. StLJN featured Martino in a video showcase post then, and also recounted some of his fascinating back story in another video post before he played here in 2009. So today, we're just going to check out a selection of video clips, featuring Martino with his usual organ trio and with a couple of special collaborators.

The first video up above was recorded in 2010 at New Morning in Paris, France, and shows Martino, organist Tony Monaco and drummer Shawn Hill playing the swinging blues-with-a-bridge "On The Midnight Special." Below, you can see another clip from the same gig of the trio playing the bossa nova "The Island."

Next, we've got two samples of Martino's occasional work with the talented young pianist Eldar Djangirov. Clip number three, recorded in 2009 at the Iridium in NYC, shows Martino and Eldar playing John Coltrane's "Impressions"; number four is a version of Wes Montgomery's "Four on Six" recorded in September of this year before a rather chatty audience at Chris' Jazz Cafe in Philadelphia.

The fifth video, recoded in October of this year at KPLU radio in Seattle, features Martino, organist Pat Bianchi, drummer Carmen Intorre and special guest saxophonist James Carter on a very uptempo version of "Seven Come Eleven," the venerable swing standard made famous by Benny Goodman and Charlie Christian.

And today's final clip is an interview with Martino from 2012, in which he discusses his appearance at the Berks Jazz Fest, his autobiographical book Here and Now, and various other topics.

For more about Martino and Here and Now, check out this interview he did with WHYY in Philadelphia. You might also be interested in this review of the Martino-Eldar gig at Chris' Jazz Cafe, and this interview from July of this year, published on the Philadelphia music website JUMPPhilly.com.









Friday, November 22, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Saxquest has posted to their Facebook page a photo album from last Saturday's workshop and performance featuring saxophonist Frank Catalano.

* The Schlafly St. Louis Brewery and Tap Room downtown has expanded its performing space and likely will be presenting more live music, according to this article from the RFT's Mabel Suen.

* Writing for the St. Louis Beacon, Terry Perkins previews this Sunday's performance by the Tony Suggs/Montez Coleman quartet at the Bistro at Grand Center. 

* This week's performance by saxophonist David Sanborn and keyboardist Bob James (pictured) at the London Jazz Festival was reviewed by London Jazz News.

* Seven of saxophonist Oliver Lake's albums for the Black Saint and Soul Note labels have been remastered and reissued as a new CD box set.

* There's still time to vote in Jazz Times' magazine's annual readers poll; balloting ends on Tuesday, December 3.

* Jazz radio update: For this Saturday's edition of "Somethin' Else" on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, host Calvin Wilson will spin tracks featuring collaborations between Thelonious Monk and John Coltrane, including a live recording from a Thanksgiving weekend concert in the 1950s. The program can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at http://www.rafstl.org/listen.

(Edited after posting to add the St. Louis Beacon link.)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Jazz this week: Regina Carter, a trio of big bands, a benefit for Tony Simmons, and more

This week's notable jazz and creative music performances in St. Louis include the return of the premier violinist in jazz; concerts by three different local big bands; and more. Let's go to the highlights...

The violinist in question is, as you might suspect,  Regina Carter, who opens a four-night engagement this evening continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Carter (pictured) was here last in 2010, touring with a band that included accordion and kora players in support of her album Reverse Thread, which featured compositions by musicians from Kenya, Mali, and Senegal. This time, she'll be accompanied by a more conventionally configured trio, including Xavier Davis on piano, Gayelynn McKinney on drums, and Jesse Murphy on bass, and presumably will be drawing on her repertoire of straight-ahead, swing and funk tunes as well. For more about Carter plus a video sample of her current band and some retrospective clips, please see this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also tonight, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly Open Mic Night at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Tomorrow night, pianist Carolbeth True and her trio will play a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and pianist/singer Jesse Gannon performs in a showcase at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

On Friday, pianist and Jazz St. Louis education director Phil Dunlap finally gets to bring his new quintet to the Saint Louis Art Museum, playing a free concert for their "Art After 5" series to make up for an outdoor show back in June that was canceled due to bad weather. In addition to Dunlap, the group features Danny Campbell (trumpet), Ben Reece (tenor sax), Jahmal Nichols (bass), and Montez Coleman (drums).

Also on Friday, singer and actress Liz Murphy will present the first of two performances of her cabaret show "The Best Is Yet To Come" at the Kranzberg Arts Center; Miss Jubilee performs at The Wine Press; bassist Darrell Mixon leads a trio at Cigar Inn; and drummer Chuck Kennedy will debut a new ensemble featuring saxophonist Jerry Greene, pianist Arthur Toney and bassist Marc Torlina, plus some special guest performers, at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Saturday, trumpeter Randy Holmes brings his quintet to Robbie's, while a couple of blocks away, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play at C.J. Muggs. Also on Saturday, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Candicci’s Italian Restaurant in Ballwin, and singer Ann Dueren's trio performs at Il Bel Lago.

Then on Sunday afternoon, a number of local musicians and singers will team up to present a benefit performance for keyboardist Tony Simmons at Union Memorial United Methodist Church, 1141 Belt Ave. The show will raise money toward Simmons' medical expenses, incurred earlier this year when his legs had to be amputated due to complications from diabetes. Scheduled performers announced so far include Denise Thimes, Joe Mancuso, Anita Jackson, Tim Cunningham, Jeremiah Allen, Cheryl Brown and Joy Bryant.

On Sunday evening, the Dave Dickey Big Band plays their monthly gig at Kirkwood Station Brewing Company, with an intermission performance by the Lindbergh High School jazz band; and pianist Tony Suggs and drummer Montez Coleman will co-lead a quartet for two sets at the Bistro at Grand Center, the first of which already is sold out.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday Dizzy Atmosphere will play at The Shaved Duck, and saxophonist "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Then on Tuesday, there's a double dose of big band action, as the St. Louis Jazz Orchestra, directed by Jim Widner, performs as part of the "Notes From Home" series at the  Sheldon Concert Hall, while the Genesis Jazz Project, under the baton of Bob Waggoner, will play a concert at Midwest Music in Ballwin. 

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, November 19, 2013

Hegarty, Steinbeck & Del Robles
explore Time Space on new album

Keyboardist Jim Hegarty has teamed with bassist Paul Steinbeck and drummer Shane Del Robles to release a new collaborative album titled Time Space.

The album (pictured) features 12 tracks of improvised music, recorded at Hegarty's home studio in June of this year. "We basically set up and played," Hegarty told StLJN via email. "I changed the order of the tracks a little but there is no editing except trimming up the openings."

"The music is completely free improv, no plan, no scores, just going for it," he said. "The interaction and ideas are really what inspire me about this group."

Hegarty is associate professor of music and department chair at Principia College in Elsah, IL, and also has served on the board of directors and as music committee chair for St. Louis' New Music Circle. He previously has recorded and produced albums including the dance-oriented Leaving Venice; Off Topic, a live experimental quartet recording made in conjunction with New Music Circle, and two solo piano albums, Antithesis Reflex and Cut It/Out.

Steinbeck, a professor of music at Washington University in St. Louis, worked with the late Chicago saxophonist Fred Anderson to co-author Exercises for the Creative Musician, an instructional book for improvisers that now is in its second edition. His previous recordings include three CDs as a leader: Nine Ways (2004), Three Fifths (2005), and Sun Set (2007).

Del Robles, a native of El Paso, TX, is a former student of Hegarty's at Principia who also has studied drums with Mark Guiliana, Jason Marsalis, and Matt Wilson, and played with the pop-rock band The Royalty.

You can listen to and download the individual tracks from Time Space for free from Hegarty's website, or purchase a digital download of the entire album from Amazon, iTunes, or CD Baby. Hegarty said that while there are physical CDs, too, they'll be used mostly for promotional purposes. He hopes to book some live dates for the trio in the near future; for details, stay tuned.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Clark Terry still needs help



With the pace of touring acts coming to St. Louis slowing a bit for the next couple of weeks, today we'd like to use this space to remind you that the legendary trumpeter, jazz Hall-of-Famer, and St. Louis native Clark Terry still is in need of help from his many fans and friends.

To recap: Terry, who turns 93 next month, has had serious health problems in recent years, including the loss of both legs to diabetes. He remains in good spirits and still is able to enjoy a good quality of life with his wife Gwen at their home in Pine Bluff, AR. However, to remain at home, Terry needs daily help from a skilled home health care worker, which costs nearly $6,000 per month and is not covered by insurance.

So, earlier this year friends and fans launched a fund-raising campaign to help pay for Terry's care. There's a donation page on Terry's website that 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.

One might say that it's time for some "Pennies from Heaven," which just happens to be the song in the first video window up above. Recorded in 1977 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, it features Terry on fluegelhorn with an all-star ensemble including Ronnie Scott (tenor sax), Joe Pass (guitar), Oscar Peterson (piano), Milt Jackson (vibes), Niels-Henning Orsted Pedersen (bass), and Bobby Durham (drums).

Down below, we've got several more examples of Clark Terry doing what he does best, starting with a 1978 recording from his Big Bad Band called "Tee Pee Time." While the post on YouTube doesn't specify the video's origin, the lineup of musicians in addition to Terry includes Greg Bobulinski, Willy Cook, Mike Vax, and Willy Singleton (trumpets); Sonny Costanzo, John Gordon, Dee-Dee Shirley, and Chuck Connors (trombones); Chris Woods, Charles Williams, Bill Saxton, Hermann Bell, and Charles Davis (saxophones); Hilton Ruiz (piano), Victor Sproles (bass), and Ed Soph (drums).

Below that, we go back to 1959 to see Terry teaming up with Phil Woods to play "Straight No Chaser" for a TV broadcast in the Netherlands. Also on hand are Sahib Shihab (flute, tenor sax), Quentin "Butter" Jackson (trombone), Patty Bown (piano), Buddy Catlett (bass), and Joe Morris (drums).

Next are Terry and bassist Red Mitchell, dueting on the Duke Ellington standard "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" in a clip that looks to be from sometime in the 1990s.

Exploring Terry's Ducal connection a bit further, the fifth clip features the Ellington orchestra in a 1958 Italian TV broadcast playing the trumpet section feature "El Gato." And it's quite a trumpet section, too: Terry, William "Cat" Anderson (for whom the piece was named), Ray Nance, and another St. Louis native, Harold "Shorty" Baker.

The sixth clip is another version of Terry's signature song "Mumbles," in which he sings to and gets sassed by no less a personage than the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin. While Aretha seems a little unclear on the concept of "trading fours," she and Terry clearly are having fun in this performance from 2001 that also features Herbie Hancock, Russell Malone, Ron Carter, Roy Haynes, and James Carter.

To wrap up, we've got a bonus lucky seventh video of a master class that Terry gave in 2004 at New York University, in which he talks, plays, teaches, and shows once again why he's a national treasure.

For more about Clark Terry, check out his website, linked above, and StLJN's extensive past coverage here. You also may enjoy this audio interview with Terry, retrieved from the vaults by jazz journalist Chip Stern and published this past week on his new website Radio Free Chip.

If you're able to help, now's the time to step up and show some support for one of the greatest musicians ever to come from St. Louis. If you can't make a financial contribution, please spread the word about the fund-raising campaign and the link: http://clarkterry.com/#/donate/.











Friday, November 15, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Pianist Tom McDermott had a few words with Terry Perkins for a St. Louis Beacon article about the St. Louis International Film Festival's presentation tomorrow of the film biography of New Orleans pianist James Booker. McDermott will perform a Booker-inspired solo set following the screening at Webster University.

* Meanwhile, KPLR had a short feature on The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, the biography of writer and jazz critic Nat Hentoff that's also being shown during this year's SLIFF.

* Trumpeter Jim Manley talks about his shows this weekend at Jazz at the Bistro in an article by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson.

* There's lots of Miles Davis news this week, starting with the release of a nine-CD box set of original mono versions of albums recorded by the trumpeter's first "great quintet" and with the arranger Gil Evans, and a review, via the Daily Beast, of the new book of Davis' artwork.

Meanwhile, the New York Times had a feature story on how Davis' heirs continue to promote his legacy more than 20 years after his death, which prompted blogger Jeffrey Hyatt of Miles Davis Online to assess the estate's official Internet presence.

But the biggest Davis-related news of the week is that actor Don Cheadle appears to have found financing for his long-awaited feature film about Davis, now titled Kill The Trumpet Player, with filming scheduled to begin next summer.

* Saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby (pictured) has helped design and is endorsing a new line of signature saxophones made by P. Mauriat and distributed by St. Louis Music.

* KDHX has put online some new audio recordings of saxophonist C. Felton "Raven Wolf" Jennings and poet Dwight Bitikofer.

* If you missed the tenth anniversary of Noisefest a couple of weeks ago at the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center, you can check out excerpts from a number of the performances via the YouTube channel of "izzythepusher."

* Singer-songwriter Al Hammerman was interviewed by the website Pop Goes The Week.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" expounds on the theme of "talent deserving wider recognition" with tracks from pianists Myra Melford and Kenny Barron, vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, and more. Next up, Jason Church's "The Jazz Collective" will spotlight trumpeters including Miles Davis, Freddie Hubbard, Roy Hargrove, Dizzy Gillespie, Donald Byrd, Herb Alpert and Maynard Ferguson, as well as music from locals such as Jim Manley, Dawn Weber and the Funky Butt Brass Band. Wilson's program can be heard at 8:00 p.m., followed by Church's show at 9:00 p.m., via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at http://www.rafstl.org/listen.

Down the dial at KWMU (90.7 FM), "Jazz Unlimited" host Dennis Owsley this Sunday will present the second part of his historic survey of live jazz from Carnegie Hall, plus a tribute to the recently deceased saxophonist and flute player Frank Wess. The program airs from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and also can be heard online at http://www.news.stlpublicradio.org/.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Jazz this week: Block, Gibson & Recoder, Jim Manley, Frank Catalano, Tom McDermott, Cornet Chop Suey, and more

It's potentially another very busy weekend for fans for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with so many performances, workshops and film screenings going on that yr. humble StLJN editor got a bit behind schedule and worn out just assembling the basic info for all the events of interest. So, assuming you're willing to forgive this week's relative lack of description and/or commentary, let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents "Freedom Jazz Dance," a free concert featuring dancers from choreographer Ashley Tate's Ashleyliane Dance Company performing with live music.

Also tonight, Good 4 The Soul checks in for their monthly gig at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; Dizzy Atmosphere plays at The Shaved Duck; the Dixie Dudes perform at Jazz on Broadway; and The 442s are at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

On Friday, New Music Circle and the St. Louis International Film Festival (SLIFF) will present a "live cinema" performance of music and film by Olivia Block, Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. For more about that, check out Stef Russell's interview with the artists published on St. Louis magazine's Look/Listen blog.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Jim Manley (pictured) opens a two-night engagement with his Mad Brass and Rhythm ensemble at Jazz at the Bistro. For more about Manley's latest CD release, and why you won't be hearing any of the tunes from it this weekend, check out this post from last week. And for still more about about the CD and this weekend's shows, see Terry Perkins' article about Manley for the St. Louis Beacon.

Elsewhere around town on Friday, guitarist Rick Haydon will lead a quartet in concert at the Wildey Theatre; guitarist Tom Byrne plays solo at the Big Sky Cafe; singer Tony Viviano returns to Talayna's in Chesterfield; and singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Randy Bahr play the first of two nights this weekend at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel.

On Saturday afternoon, the fine Chicago saxophonist Frank Catalano will be in town to present a free clinic and performance at Saxquest.

Then on Saturday evening, SLIFF will present a screening of Bayou Maharaja: The Tragic Genius of James Booker, a biography of the New Orleans pianist, at Winifred Moore Auditorium at Webster University. The screening will be accompanied by a Booker-inspired piano performance by former St. Louisan Tom McDermott.

Also on Saturday, electronic music legend Morton Subotnick will be at the Kranzberg Arts Center; the Chicago-based piano/drums duo The Claudettes, aka Johnny Iguana and Michael Caskey, perform at Pop's Blue Moon; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes trio play at The Wine Press; and guitarist Farshid Soltanshahi and pianist/singer Curt Landes are doing a duo show at the house concert venue KindaBlue, 6101½ Idaho.

On Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents the traditional jazz and swing sounds of Cornet Chop Suey at the Doubletree Hotel-Westport; and SLIFF will offer a screening of The Pleasures of Being Out of Step, which looks at the life and work of journalist, author and jazz critic Nat Hentoff, at the new KDHX headquarters on Washington Ave. in Grand Center. Hentoff's daughter Jessica Hentoff, who lives in St. Louis, will be present for the screening. 

Later on Sunday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will team up with members of the St. Louis Low Brass Collective for a free concert and jam session at the J.C. Penney Auditorium on the UMSL campus.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday members of the Webster University jazz faculty, performing as the Webster Jazz Collective, will play a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium; and trumpeter Keith Moyer's quartet returns to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

On Tuesday morning, the St. Louis Ragtimers will play the first of two "Coffee Concerts" this week at the Sheldon Concert Hall, with a repeat performance on Wednesday morning.

Then on Tuesday night, the SIUE Concert Jazz Band - featuring alumni of school's jazz program and the return of former director Brett Stamps, who retired last year - will play at Jazz at the Bistro; Lindy Hop St. Louis presents their Tuesday night swing dance at the Grandel Theatre with music from Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes; and Robbie's House of Jazz will pre-empt their usual weekly jam session for an evening of blues from Nashville-based Andy T and the Nick Nixon Band.  

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, November 13, 2013

Arturo Sandoval, Count Basie Orchestra to headline 2014 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival

Trumpeter Arturo Sandoval and the Count Basie Orchestra will be the headliners for the 2014 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 24 through Saturday, April 26 at Jazz at the Bistro and the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

The GSLJF begins Thursday night at the Bistro with music from a quartet co-led by pianist and former St. Louisan Reggie Thomas and his fellow faculty member at Michigan State University, bassist Rodney Whitaker. Drummer Montez Coleman and saxophonist Willie Akins round out the group, which will play sets at 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m.

Sandoval, who last played in St. Louis in October 2012 at the Sheldon Concert Hall, will headline Friday's concert at 8:00 p.m. at the Touhill.

The Basie band (pictured), which last visited the St. Louis area in April 2010 for a gig at SIUE, will perform at 8:00 p.m. on Saturday at the Touhill. They recently had a change in leadership and now are under the direction of trumpeter Scotty Barnhart, a 20-year veteran of the band who nevertheless also is the first leader who never actually worked for the Count himself.

The UMSL Jazz Band, under the baton of bassist and GSLJF director Jim Widner, will open both shows at the Touhill. The GSLJF also includes a significant educational component, with high school and college jazz ensembles from around the area scheduled during the daytime hours for performances and coaching sessions at the Touhill and UMSL's student center.

Tickets for all performances go on sale at 10:00 a.m. this coming Monday, November 18. Tickets for the Thomas/Whitaker quartet are $33 via Metrotix or by calling the Jazz St. Louis box office at 314-289-4030. Tickets for Arturo Sandoval and the Count Basie Orchestra range in price from $20 to $40 each, and will be available through the Touhill website and box office or by calling 314-516-4949.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Miles Davis Memorial Project schedules
public meeting for Saturday, November 30

Organizers of the Miles Davis Memorial Project have scheduled a public meeting for 2:00 p.m., Saturday, November 30 at the Alton Museum of History & Art, 2809 College Ave in Alton.

Anyone interested in finding out more about the project is invited to attend and see a short presentation and video.

The meeting is free and open to the public, and refreshments will be served.

(You can see the online version of the video, released late last month, in the embedded window below.)

Announced in 2012, the Miles Davis Memorial Project seeks to put a statue of Davis in downtown Alton, the late trumpeter's birthplace.

Earlier this year, a location on Third St. in downtown Alton was identified as the site for the statue, and artist Preston Jackson was commissioned to create it, using one of the most famous and iconic photos of Davis (pictured, left) as inspiration for the pose.

To fund the creation, production and installation of the statue, the organizers of the Miles Davis Memorial Project are soliciting contributions from the public, offering donors a chance to purchase inscribed commemorative bricks to be placed near the statue's site, and also are selling t-shirts (pictured, right), posters and other items to raise money.



(Edited after posting to fix a garbled sentence.)

Saturday, November 09, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Welcome back, Carter



Today, let's look at some videos of violinist Regina Carter, who's coming back to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, November 20 through Saturday, November 23 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Carter was last seen in these parts in October, 2010 at the Bistro, touring in support of her then-new album Reverse Thread, which included compositions by musicians from Kenya, Mali, and Senegal. You can see video of that project, and get more background on Carter, in this post that ran here on StLJN before that engagement.

Since then, Carter has not issued any new recordings, but has kept busy with live dates; serving as a resident artistic director for SFJAZZ in San Francisco; and working on a new project, Southern Comfort. That group has been described in promotional material as "a transition from the exploration of her African ancestry to her family history. Trading the West African kora for a slide guitar, she has collected songs redolent of her father’s roots in Alabama for a celebration of the joyous music that infused her early childhood."

Carter has done live dates this year with Southern Comfort, and recorded with the band back in the spring for an album set for release in March 2014 as part of her just-inked deal with Sony Masterworks. But while those gigs and Reverse Thread both had her working with specifically configured bands, this fall Carter also is doing some dates with a more standard piano-bass-drums quartet, which, we are given to understand, is the group that will be appearing with her in St. Louis.

You can see one version of that band, featuring Xavier Davis on piano, Gayelynn McKinney on drums, and Jesse Murphy on bass, performing in the first video clip up above, which was recorded last month at a gig at Jamboree Jazz in Barcelona, Spain.

Down below, you can see a couple of samples of the Reverse Thread group (in addition to the ones previously featured here) - a music video version of "Artistya," and a take of "N'teri" recorded in 2011 at KPLU radio in Seattle.

Below that, there's a more vintage clip demonstrating Carter's take on a swinging standard. This version of "I Can't Believe You're In Love With Me" was recorded in 2003 at the Bern Jazz Festival by Carter with the George Wein Newport All Stars, featuring Wein on piano, Rodney Jones (guitar), James King (bass) and Alvin Queen (drums).

Video number five is from a 2006 appearance on the program Aqui Y Ajazz, and shows Carter getting funky with an instrumental rendition of the Chaka Khan hit "Ain't Nobody." She's accompanied by Vana Gierig (piano), Lonnie Plaxico (bass), Jeff Haynes (percussion, vocals), Jeff "Tain" Watts (drums), and two singers (unidentified on the YouTube post).

Last but not least, we've got a short video of Carter produced by the violin maker RS Berkeley, for which she is an endorser, that shows her talking about her violin line, introduced in 2010; her preferences in instruments; and how to choose a violin.

For more about Regina Carter, check out the interview she did last month with the Oakland County (MI) Prosper, and this radio interview, also from last month, with Michigan public radio station WMUK, in which she discusses her recent interest in music therapy.









Friday, November 08, 2013

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Tomorrow's Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl was previewed in a segment on Fox 2's Thursday morning newscast that included a performance from singer-guitarist Tommy Halloran.

* There's a new interview with saxophonist Oliver Lake featured on Do The Math, the blog of The Bad Plus' pianist Ethan Iverson.

* Trumpeter and former East St. Louisan Russell Gunn (pictured) is the subject of an interview with the online program When We Speak TV.

* Miles Davis Online has news about the plot of Don Cheadle's proposed Miles Davis movie, which now seems to be more of a mystery/thriller than a straight-up musical biography.

* The Riverfront Times offers an overview of St. Louis' best noise and experimental bands.

* Jazz St. Louis and Webster Groves High School are teaming up with Jazz at Lincoln Center to host a regional Essentially Ellington high school jazz band festival on Thursday, January 30 at WGHS, 100 Selma Ave. The free, all-day festival will feature 10 local high school groups performing and getting critiques from visiting clinicians.  JSL education director Phil Dunlap is looking for participating bands now; for more details, go here. The deadline to register is Friday, January 3.

* Multi-instrumentalist and former St. Louisan Marty Ehrlich's newest album A Trumpet in the Morning, set for release next Tuesday, was reviewed by jazz radio host and blogger Richard Kamins. Erhlich will celebrate the release with a week-long residency at The Stone in NYC.

* In conjunction with its current exhibit of works by artist Rashid Johnson, the Kemper Art Museum at Washington University will present a lecture on Monday, November 18 examining the influence of legendary jazz bandleader and pianist Sun Ra on Johnson and other visual artists. The free event, featuring Huey Copeland, associate professor of art history at Northwestern University, begins with a reception at 6:00 p.m. in the museum and continue with the lecture at 6:30 in the museum's Steinberg Auditorium.

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts continues their series of Business Edge workshops with "Your Art, Your Brand: An Artist's Guide to Being Noticeable and Getting Noticed" at 7:00 p.m. next Monday, November 11 at the Regional Arts Commission, 6128 Delmar. The cost to attend is $10 in advance, $15 at the door.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday's episode of Calvin Wilson's "Somethin' Else" on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis will feature the music of George and Ira Gershwin, as recorded by Sarah Vaughan, Wynton Marsalis, Joshua Redman and others.

Immediately after that on The Jazz Collective, host Jason Church will have new music from B.D. Lenz, Juris featuring Marcus Johnson, U-Nam featuring Nivo Deux, David Jones, The Brand New Heavies, and Herb Alpert; vintage tracks from Grover Washington Jr., Michael Franks, The Ramsey Lewis Trio, Chick Corea and Miles Davis; and local music from Dawn Weber, Jesse Gannon, Jim Manley and Elliott Ranney.

Wilson's program can be heard at 8:00 p.m., followed by Church's show at 9:00 p.m., via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2 and online at http://www.rafstl.org/listen.

Then Sunday night on KWMU (90.7 FM), "Jazz Unlimited" host Dennis Owsley will present "Live Jazz From Carnegie Hall-Part 1," featuring performances from a variety of jazz greats that were recorded at the famed NYC venue. The program airs from 9:00 p.m. to midnight and also can be heard online at http://www.news.stlpublicradio.org/.

Wednesday, November 06, 2013

Jazz this week: Ann Hampton Callaway, Nevermore Jazz Ball, Trombone Shorty, and more

This week's highlights in jazz and creative music include the return to St. Louis of a singer, songwriter and pianist who's been a longtime local favorite, and a funky New Orleans trombonist who's rapidly becoming one, plus a weekend-long event that attracts swing dancers from around the country, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

On Wednesday, the aforementioned singer, songwriter and pianist Ann Hampton Callaway opens a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Callaway (pictured) has played St. Louis many times before, most recently in March 2011 at the Bistro, and has a substantial and loyal fan base here. This time, she'll be showcasing material from her forthcoming CD From Sassy to Divine: A Celebration of Sarah Vaughan, which is scheduled for release next year. Given Callaway's continued popularity in St. Louis, advance reservations are strongly suggested.

Tomorrow night, the weekend-long Nevermore Jazz Ball kicks off with a "welcome" evening of music from Wack-A-Doo at the Schlafly Brewery & Tap Room. The ball continues with more dances, classes, contests and other activities through Sunday; read on for more about the other musical performances.

Also on Thursday, singer Denise Thimes will present her annual benefit for the Mildred Thimes Foundation, performing the music of the late Phyllis Hyman at the Sheldon Concert Hall; multi-instrumentalist Jeff Anderson, concentrating on tenor sax for the evening, leads a quartet in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and Sandy Weltman will showcase his virtuoso skills in a harmonica workshop at Mozingo Music in O'Fallon.

On Friday, the Nevermore Jazz Ball gets going in earnest with an afternoon performance from singer-guitarist Tommy Halloran at City Museum and an evening of dancing to music from Miss Jubliee at the Casa Loma Ballroom. Also on Friday, singer Wendy Gordon performs at DeLeo's Café & Deli, 2782 N. Lindbergh; drummer Robert Tucker leads a quartet at Robbie's House of Jazz; guitarist Tom Byrne brings his trio to Thurman Grill; and singer Zena Star will hold forth at the Cigar Inn.

On Saturday afternoon, the Nevermore Jazz Ball will present the Cherokee Street Jazz Crawl, a free, open-to-the-public event featuring nine different St. Louis bands and soloists playing at venues and businesses along a stretch of Cherokee St, from roughly the 2300 block up to the 2800 block. Participating performers and locations this year include Saxquest’s nine-piece jazz orchestra at Saxquest; Tommy Halloran’s Guerrilla Swing at Retro 101; Miss Jubilee at Foam; Tom Hall at Scarlett Garnet Jewelry; Wack-A-Doo at Black Bear Bakery; Devil’s Dream at I Scream Cakes; Swing Deville at MELT; the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars at Blank Space; plus the Saint Boogie Brass Band, who presumably will be roaming about. 

The ball continues on Saturday evening with another dance featuring trumpeter and pianist Ben Polcer’s Nevermore Jazz Band at Casa Loma, plus a late night event at the Grandel Theatre featuring banjo player Jake Sanders' Arcadian Serenaders.

Elsewhere around town on Saturday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will play swing, traditional jazz and jump blues at Malle's, 3506 Hampton Ave; and pianist Carolbeth True brings the quartet version of her band Two Times True to Robbie's House of Jazz. That same evening, singer Ann Dueren's trio is at Il Bel Lago; and saxophonist and percussionist "Raven Wolf" C. Felton Jennings II will team up with poet Dwight Bitikofer and some other friends to play the Stone Spiral Coffee House.

On Sunday, Kirkwood United Church of Christ continues its monthly "Inner Jazz" series with the Oikos Ensemble, led by saxophonist Rev. Cliff Aerie and this month featuring guest singer Kim Fuller. Later that evening, the Nevermore Jazz Ball concludes with a final performance from Ben Polcer and band at 2720 Cherokee.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday New Orleans' own Trombone Shorty (aka Troy Andrews) will be back in town with his band Orleans Avenue to play at the Old Rock House. For more about Shorty and lots of video of him and the band in action, please see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Monday, percussionist Joe Pastor's trio returns to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; and music students from Webster University will be doubly busy, as the student jazz combos present another free performance at the Community Music School, while the singers involved in the cabaret program will have their annual showcase and benefit at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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, November 05, 2013

Jim Manley releases new album
Short Stories & Tall Tales

Though trumpeter Jim Manley has just released a new CD, Short Stories & Tall Tales, don't look for him to play any of the music from it when he headlines next week at Jazz at the Bistro.

That's because this latest offering, following up on 2011's Brass Poison Too, represents a significant musical departure for Manley. The trumpeter's recent releases have included rock and funk backbeats and electronic instruments, but mostly have remained rooted in traditional recording methods, live jazz instrumentation and song forms, with a mix of standards, contemporary covers and occasional originals.

Manley's gig at the Bistro, meanwhile, is with Mad Brass and Rhythm, a horns-plus-rhythm-section grouping certainly capable of reproducing some of those recorded arrangements, but, if live clips on YouTube are any indication, arguably leaning a bit more toward a straight-ahead sound.

Short Stories & Tall Tales, however, is something different entirely - a true solo effort, created by Manley alone, with a major assist from technology. "I did the CD using all professional loops," he explained in an email to StLJN, "like a building block of compositions and then added my trumpet, valve bone and various keyboard parts to the mixes - then mixed and mastered the whole thing." The project took four months "and way too many hours," said Manley, "but I love doing it."

Given the rather radical departure from his previous working methods, "We won't be playing any of the music from the CD, as it is a total different vibe then Mad Brass & Rhythm," said Manley.

You can hear some audio excerpts from Short Stories & Tall Tales (pictured) in the embedded video window below. And although Manley won't be playing any music from the CD at the Bistro, he will have copies on sale there. Online buyers can get a physical CD from Manley's website, and it will be available to download from iTunes in about a week.

Saturday, November 02, 2013

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Saying this 'n that with Trombone Shorty



Stepping into our video spotlight today is Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty, who will be in St. Louis with his band Orleans Avenue on Monday, November 11 to play at the Old Rock House.

Mixing New Orleans jazz and funk with hip-hop and rock, Shorty's energetic live performances have made him a rising star in the jazz world and beyond. He's been to St. Louis several times in the last few years, most recently in May 2013 to perform at the Bluesweek festival, and is touring this fall in support of his third major-label album Say This To Say That, which came out on the Verve label in September. The record was produced by Raphael Saadiq of the neo-soul group Tony Toni Tone, and features a reunion of the original Meters on a cover of their song "By My Lady."

Still just 27 years old, Trombone Shorty grew up in New Orleans' Treme neighborhood, and first gained national attention while still a teenager, touring as part of the horn section for rocker Lenny Kravitz; performing with U2 and Green Day on Monday Night Football; and memorably playing "O Holy Night" with a group of displaced New Orleans musicians on a post-Katrina, pre-Christmas episode of NBC's Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip.

Since then, he's also been a semi-regular on the HBO series Treme, appearing in six episodes that he somehow squeezed into an increasingly busy schedule of live shows throughout the US and Europe. Given that prolific touring activity, there's a lot of video footage of Trombone Shorty online, and so today we are able to bring you a hefty sample of his music, including four complete shows.

The first of those full sets is up above, and was recorded in New Orleans in 2012, just after the release of Shorty's second Verve album For True.

Down below is a more recent show, recorded in June of this year at the famed Red Rocks outdoor amphitheater in Colorado. Unfortunately, this video has been heavily "monetized" by its producers, resulting in frequent commercial interruptions, but it's a high quality recording and the most recent full show available online.

For who don't want to watch a whole set, you can get a smaller sample of Trombone Shorty in the thrid clip, which includes just three songs - "Dumaine St.", "Lagniappe" and "Do To Me" - and was recorded in 2011 as part of NPR's "Tiny Desk Concert" series.

The fourth and fifth videos are of two more complete concerts, recorded in 2011 at Jazz Baltica and the Montreux Jazz Festival. While there's obviously some overlap in material between these two shows and with the other full sets, they're not identical by any means, and for those who are really into it, it can be interesting to note the differences in song selection, pacing and so on.

To close things out, we set the controls of the "wayback machine" for the year 2000 to retrieve the sixth and final clip, which shows a 13-year-old Trombone Shorty soloing on the NOLA standard "Second Line" with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra.

For more about Trombone Shorty and Say That To Say This, check out this video interview he did earlier this month with the UK's Jazz FM, and this interview published in September on the website Complex.









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