Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Jazz this week: The Bad Plus, Matt Villinger CD release event, and more

As usual for the season, things are a bit slow for live jazz and creative music in St. Louis during the first full week of the new year, but there is at least one notable touring act in town this weekend, along with enough music from local performers to satiate those prepared to venture out against the winter's chill. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 6
The Bad Plus (pictured, top left) return for the tenth consecutive January for a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Since their last visit here, TBP spent a good chunk of 2015 touring with saxophonist Joshua Redman, and, augmented by two saxophonists and a trumpeter, also invested some time revisiting all the music from Ornette Coleman's historic album Science Fiction.. However, having just completed their annual week-long gigs at the Dakota in Minneapolis and Village Vanguard in NYC, the core trio should be fully locked in by the time they hit St. Louis. As usual with The Bad Plus, advance reservations are recommended, as some sets likely will sell out.

Also on Wednesday, the Presenters Dolan resume their production of cabaret shows at The Emerald Room, the newish venue that's part of The Monocle in the Grove neighborhood, with actress and singer Johanna Elkana-Hale's "Starting Here."

Thursday, January 7
Guitarist Dave Black, singer Joe Mancuso and friends return to Nathalie's; guitarist Vincent Varvel performs at the Tavern of Fine Arts and saxophonist Jim Stevens and his band will be back at Hammerstone's

Friday, January 8
For those who can make to the Grand Center area at mid-day, The Bad Plus will be featured in a free, public event at lunchtime, combining performance, discussion, and free pancakes from noted St. Louis artist/chef Dr. Dan the Pancake Man.

That evening, the Midwest Jazz-tette will perform West Coast jazz in the style of Gerry Mulligan, Chet Baker, Shorty Rogers, and more at Evangeline's, while Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, January 9
Matinee-goers can take in an assortment of local free improvisors gathered for "It Takes Two: An Afternoon of Improvised Duets" at the Tavern of Fine Arts.

Then on Saturday evening, Franglais and singer Eve Seltzer (pictured, bottom left) will play Gypsy jazz and swing at Evangeline's, and pianist Matt Villinger returns home from his new digs in Kansas City to promote the release of his first CD with a performance at The Dark Room.

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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