Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Jazz this week: Freddy Cole & Harry Allen,
Eric Person, On Fillmore, John Abercrombie, and more

The first week of April brings a nice selection of jazz and creative music headliners to St. Louis, and that's no foolin'. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 1
Pianist and singer Freddy Cole (pictured, top left) and his quintet featuring guest saxophonist Harry Allen will begin a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro.

Cole and Allen worked together here previously in May 2013 at the Bistro, and though they are of different generations - Allen's in his late 40s, while Cole is 83 - both are on the same musical wavelength, emphasizing straight-ahead swing, jazz standards, and vintage repertoire from the Great American Songbook. Both men also previously have been the subjects of StLJN's Saturday video posts, so you can check out some samples of Cole in action here, and see and hear Allen performing here.

Thursday, April 2
Saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person (pictured, center left) returns home to lead a trio with bassist Bob Deboo and drummer DeMarius Hicks in a free show for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. It's Person's first St. Louis performance in five years, and you can catch up on some of what he's been doing in the interim via this video post from last Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, guitarist Stuart Johnson returns to Thurman Grill. 

(Update, 4/2/15: The original version of this post had mentioned a Thursday night show at The Dark Room, but despite announcing last week on social media that they'd feature live music five nights a week starting in April, now it turns out that the Thursday gigs don't actually start until April 23. As Daffy Duck once said, "Thanks for the sour persimmons, cousin."  Yr. humble editor will regard any such reports in the future with a greater degree of skepticism.)

Friday, April 3
New Music Circle presents On Fillmore, the duo project of percussionist Glenn Kotche and bassist Darin Gray, at The Stage at KDHX. While both men (pictured, lower left) share an association with singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy and his alt-rock band Wilco, On Fillmore is something very different musically, described by NMC as "stretching the very definition of the term “rhythm section” by their use of upright bass, exotic percussion, vibraphone, various small instruments and the superimposition of field recordings."

Also on Friday, saxophonist Freddie Washington leads a trio at Cigar Inn; saxophonist Tim Cunningham returns to Troy's Jazz Gallery; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will be playing swing and hot jazz at Thurman Grill.

Saturday, April 4
Singer Erin Bode will perform in concert at Jacoby Arts Center in Alton; singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will duet at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; and pianist Matt Villinger leads a trio at Thurman Grill.

Sunday, April 5
Good 4 The Soul will play their monthly gig at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

Monday, April 6
Webster University's student jazz combos will perform at the Community Music School on the Webster campus; and singer Erika Johnson and guitarist Tom Byrne are at BB's.

Tuesday, April 7
Guitarist John Abercrombie (pictured, lower left) will make a rare St. Louis appearance to lead a quartet in a special ticketed show for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University. One of the most distinctive guitarists to arise in the 1970s, Abercrombie has been a key artist on the ECM label for 40 years, recording more than 30 albums for them as a leader over that time.

While he incorporates aspects of fusion and free improv into his playing, ultimately Abercrombie's sound is hard to pigeonhole, and that somewhat elusive quality has served him well in his work with iconic musicians including Jack DeJohnnette, Dave Holland, Charles Lloyd, the Brecker Brothers, and many others. For this date, Abercrombie's group will include his longtime collaborator, pianist Marc Copeland, along with bassist Drew Gress and the outstanding Joey Baron on drums.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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