Wednesday, January 04, 2017

Jazz this week: The Bad Plus and more

While the first part of January is famously a slow time for the music business in general, and the touring industry in particular, there still are jazz and creative music performances happening this week in St. Louis that should be worth braving the winter chill.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 4
The Bad Plus opens a four-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro, marking the tenth consecutive year that pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson, and drummer Dave King have been the first touring band of the new year to play the Grand Center venue.

After making a return visit to the Bistro last April with saxophonist Joshua Redman, the trio released their most recent album It’s Hard, which came out in August and features a return to the sort of unexpected cover songs, from Prince and Kraftwerk to Johnny Cash and Ornette Coleman, that helped make their early albums distinctive.

In addition to his work with The Bad Plus, Iverson has been involved in some outside projects this year, including a solo album called The Purity of the Turf, a trio effort with bassist Ron Carter and drummer Nasheet Waits that was released in September. Iverson talked about that and The Bad Plus' latest with the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson for a preview story, which you can read online here.

Thursday, January 5
The Schlafly Tap Room will host a bill featuring the improv duo Marble//Wall, Vernacular String Trio, and singer/songwriter Toni Saputo, and pianist Ptah Williams and guitarist Eric Slaughter will play their weekly gig at The Dark Room.

Friday, January 6
Pianist Peter Martin will host "A Conversation With The Bad Plus," a free, public lunchtime event at Jazz at the Bistro featuring a discussion with the members of TBP about the band's history and music that also will be recorded for Martin's podcast "The Process."

Then on Friday evening, singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black return to the Sidecar Lounge at the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; trumpeter Jim Manley leads a trio at Evangeline's; and the quartet Danbury Street plays at The Abbey Espresso Bar and Cafe in Belleville.

Saturday, January 7
Trumpeter and vibraphonist Joe Bozzi brings his band to Evangeline's, and saxophonist/singer Cary Colman's trio plays at Howard's in Soulard.

Sunday, January 8
The First Unitarian Church of St. Louis in the Central West End will offer a special "Jazz Sunday" Service with music from guitarist Rick Haydon and pianist Greg Hoeltzel, and the St. Louis Record Collector and CD Show will present their first event of the year at the American Czech Center.

Also on Sunday, Miss Jubilee will provide music for the jazz brunch at Evangeline's, and trumpeter Keith Moyer returns to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups for a matinee show.

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.)

Updated 6:00 p.m. 1/4/16 with info about "A Conversation With The Bad Plus."

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