It's one of the busiest weeks of the year for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with enough activity and musical variety to test both the stamina and the financial resources of even the most devoted music lovers.
There's so much going on that the week defies easy summary, so instead, let's go to the highlights....
Thursday, October 20
The reunited British jazz/fusion band Brand X will play at the Wildey Theatre, featuring three key members from the band's original run - guitarist John Goodsall, bassist Percy Jones, and drummer Kenwood Dennard - plus keyboardist Chris Clark and percussionist Scott Weinberger. This show will be only the second of the group's reunion tour, so even if there are a few rough spots, the energy should be high.
Also on Thursday, trumpeter George Sams and friends will play a free show of improvised music for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University; and the funky saxophones-and-drums trio Moon Hoochreturns for a gig at the Old Rock House.
Saturday, October 22
Saxophonist James Carter(pictured, bottom left) and his organ trio will provide the music for the annual "ArtSounds" benefit at the Sheldon Concert Hall.
Carter, a free-spirited yet technically accomplished improviser who can play soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes with near-equal facility, is always worth hearing, and if you need an extra incentive, The Sheldon yesterday announced a "buy one, get one free" offer for concert-only tickets bought in pairs. To purchase online and take advantage of the offer, go here and enter the promo code CARTER16.
The group, which includes Hélary, Antonin Rayon (piano, synthesizer), Hugues Mayot (saxophones, clarinets), and Sylvain Lemêtre (vibraphone, percussion), offers "thematically dense surrealist arrangements with percussive counterpoint" which incorporate "a span of styles in an almost collage-like manner."
Also on Sunday afternoon, the US Navy Band Commodores, the Navy's top jazz big band, plays a free concert at the 560 Music Center. The group features two area natives - Petty Officer 1st Class David M. Perkel of St. Louis on lead trombone, and Chief Petty Officer Timothy D. Stanley, who grew up in Belleville, on trumpet.
Monday, October 24
To mark the event's silver anniversary, the Webster University TKT Scholarship Fund 25th Anniversary Concertwill take place off-campus this year at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The concert features Webster jazz faculty and students performing to raise money for music scholarships at Webster in memory of Terry Jackson, Kirk Cappello, and Tony Saputo, three Webster alumni who were among the members of singer Reba McEntire’s road band killed in a 1991 airplane crash.
(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.)