Friday, September 12, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Guitarist Mary Halvorson was interviewed for an article on the New Music Circle website. NMC is presenting Thumbscrew, featuring Halvorson, bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, in concert tonight at Joe's Cafe.

* Saxophonist David Sanborn has sold his NYC townhouse for $11 million. The property has been on the market since 2009 as part of a reported effort by Sanborn to downsize to slightly more modest quarters.

* Pianist and St. Louis expat Linda Presgrave (pictured) and her husband, saxophonist Stan Chovnick, have posted online a video of their duo concert recorded last week at Michiko Studios in NYC. The complete show can be seen for free until October 5.

* The reissue of composer/flute player Fred Tompkins' Fanfare 8: The Early Works was reviewed by blogger Grego Applegate Edwards of the blog Gapplegate Music Review, who called Tompkins "one of the greatest, if lesser known, of the so-called "third-stream" composers."

* Last weekend's LouFest set by Trombone Shorty was discussed in reviews of the event from the Riverfront Times and KDHX's Kevin Korinek.

* The Cherokee Street music and art venue Blank Space is expanding, as detailed in this story by the RFT's Joseph Hess.

* St. Louis Volunteer Attorneys and Accountants for the Arts and Missouri Arts Council have put online a video of their "Copyright Basics" workshop.

* The St. Louis swing dance community this week is mourning the death of veteran dancer Tommy Russo, who passed away last week at age 98.

* As part of their 65th anniversary promotion, Prestige Records has released online a short video interview with producer Ira Gitler, who describes what really happened during one of the Miles Davis sessions included among the label's recent reissues.

* Writing for the St. Louis American, James Ingram (not the singer, but rather a columnist for the paper) wonders why Don Cheadle couldn't have filmed his Miles Davis movie in East St. Louis rather than Cincinnati.

(Actually, I think I know the answer to this one. Presumably, one big reason is because ESL lacks sufficient locations that could double for NYC in the 1970s, which was cited as a key reason Cheadle chose Cincinnati. Ingram's essay mentions having room in ESL to construct sets and facades, but the modest budget of Miles Ahead would have precluded that option no matter where it was shot. The film also reportedly received tax incentives from the city and from the state of Ohio, which Illinois and/or ESL may have been unwilling or unable to match.)

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis' “Somethin’ Else,” host Calvin Wilson will feature tracks from saxophonist Sonny Rollins' recent series of “Road Shows” recordings. The program can be heard 8:00 p.m. on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

A bit farther down the dial, this week's edition of "St. Louis Jazz Talk" at 11:00 a.m. Sunday on WSIE (88.7 FM) will feature an interview with drummer Steve Davis.

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