Friday, June 12, 2015

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Guitarist and singer John Pizzarelli chatted with KMOX's Charlie Brennan about the concert next month paying tribute to and raising money for the family of the late St. Louis pianist Ray Kennedy.

* While in town to perform at Jazz at the Bistro, trumpeter Terence Blanchard on Thursday also visited bassist Jim Widner's jazz camp at UMSL to teach and perform for the students there.

* In Denmark, a 2-CD set issued last year featuring the late saxophonist and former St. Louisan Luther Thomas (pictured) performing with various Danish musicians, was reviewed by's Jakob Baekgaard.

* Multi-instrumentalist and St. Louis expat J.D. Parran recently played on a new recording with Marshall Allen and Danny Thompson of the Sun Ra Arkestra, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Sun Ra's Heliocentric Worlds, Volume 2 using same instrumentation, and even the exact same bass marimba, and recording at the same studio used at Ra's session a half-century ago.

* The Friends of Scott Joplin now have a YouTube channel, featuring clips of ragtime performances from a variety of pianists.

* The latest episode of HEC-TV's I Love Jazz features singer Feyza Eren and her quartet, plus a segment on host Don Wolff's recent "Jazz Hero" award from the Jazz Journalists Association, and more. Unfortunately, the newly redesigned HEC website makes it very difficult to find out when the show airs, so you'll have to consult your TV provider's program guide for airdates and times, or just watch online here.

* LaVerne Holliday, a former on-air personality for radio station WSIE in the 1990s and early 2000s, has died of complications from breast cancer. She was 60.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis, Calvin Wilson's program “Somethin’ Else” features the jazz-influenced works of composer and conductor Leonard Bernstein, as interpreted by Linda Oh, Jason Moran, Paula West, and more.

Immediately following on "The Jazz Collective," host Jason Church will spin tracks from George Benson, Junior Walker and the All Stars, Simply Red, Nathan East, Soul Ballet, John Coltrane, Common Time, the Bosman Twins, Jesse Gannon, Beth Bombara, and more.

"Somethin' Else" airs at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays, followed by "The Jazz Collective" at 9:00 p.m., on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

Then on Sunday, Dennis Owsley's "Jazz Unlimited" program on St. Louis Public Radio will present the second part of a special devoted to the "cool school" of West Coast jazz. Tune in from 9:00 pm to midnight Sundays on KWMU (90.7 FM) or listen online at

No comments: