There are a number of notable shows from visiting jazz and creative music performers coming up this week in St. Louis, offering something for fans of genres ranging from straight-ahead swing to fusion to experimental, free improv, and more. Let's go to the highlights...
Wednesday, May 25
Pianist and singer Freddy Cole and his band, teamed once again with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, return to Jazz at the Bistro for the first evening of a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday.
Cole (pictured top left, with Allen) shares a number of musical virtues with his older brother, the late Nat "King" Cole, including a relaxed vocal style, a sure sense of swing as a pianist, and an appreciation of classic popular songs, but he's managed to chart his own course as a musician, acknowledging his brother's influence without being dominated by it.
Add in the saxophone stylings of Allen, whose playing has been influenced by Swing Era giants like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Paul Gonsalves, and the result should be four nights of satisfying old-school sounds.
Also on Thursday, the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound closes out their St. Louis season with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall, featuring music from their "Alarm System" collaborations with Medeski, Martin and Wood, composers Tyondai Braxton and Mira Calix, and others.
Friday, May 27
The annual Glendale Jazz Festival will feature sets from the St. Louis Big Band with singer Joe Scalzitti plus singer and pianist Anita Rosamond and R&B vocalist Coco Soul on an outdoor stage at Glendale City Hall. The event is free and open to the public.
Saturday, May 28
In what's being billed as a dual display of "extreme saxophone," the saxophonists PedroSaxo and Derek Brown will show off their extensive repertoires of extended techniques in a free afternoon performance and workshop at Saxquest.
The British funk/jazz quartet is touring in support of The Nashville Sessions, their latest album that was released last month. For more about that, plus some video samples of them in action, see this post from last Saturday.
Sunday, May 29
As often happens on major holidays, the live music offerings around town thin out quite a bit in the latter half of the Memorial Day weekend, but you can still hear some jazz for Sunday brunch, courtesy of trumpeterJim Manley at Nathalie's and/or Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at Evangeline's.
(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.)