Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Jazz this week: Benny Green Trio, "Superheroes of Blackness," Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe, and more

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes a visit from a stellar straight-ahead jazz pianist, some adventurous electronic sounds, shows mixing music with poetry and video animations, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, February 21
Pianist Benny Green (pictured, top left) returns with his trio for the first of four nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Notably influenced by Bud Powell and especially Oscar Peterson, Green (like Cyrus Chestnut, who played the Bistro earlier this year) is something of a traditionalist in terms of his stylistic antecedents.

Like Peterson, he can muster showy technique when the mood strikes, but Green also swings hard - a tendency that no doubt was encouraged during his time playing in the trio of one of Peterson's favorite bassists, the legendary Ray Brown. 

Elsewhere around town, the Ambassadors of Swing perform for the monthly "Shake and Shout Wednesday" event at Tin Roof St. Louis.

Thursday, February 22
The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents a free concert featuring poet Eileen G'Sell giving a spoken word performance with improvisational music from keyboardist Jay Oliver, guitarist/bassist William Lenihan, and drummer Steve Davis.

Also on Thursday, the monthly Bruxism expermental music series will present Chris Smentowski,  Vernacular Pulse Quintet, and Nebulosa at the Schlafly Tap Room; drummer Stephen Haake's trio plays at The Pat Connolly Tavern; and saxophonist Ben Reece’s Unity Quartet returns to The Dark Room

Friday, February 23
Multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris presents "Superheroes of Blackness" for the first of two nights at .ZACK in Grand Center. The multi-media production is described as "a live computer-animated journey of epic proportions," with visuals by illustrator David Gordon and an eight-piece live band led by Harris.

Also on Friday, Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to Evangeline's; Second Generation Swing plays for dancers at Casa Loma Ballroom; and The People’s Key perform at The Dark Room.

February 24
Multi-instrumentalist and vocalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe will perform in a concert presented by New Music Circle at Urb Arts in the Old North neighborhood. 

Lowe (pictured, bottom left) combines his voice with modular synthesizers and, in many performances including this one, video or film projections to create soundscapes that can range from ethereal to industrial. For more about him, plus some video samples of previous live performances, check out this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, the Gaslight Squares perform in concert at Focal Point; pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True with saxophonist Larry Johnson play at the KindaBlue Club; and the Funky Butt Brass Band are back at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, February 25
Drummer Montez Coleman and friends will play for brunch at The Dark Room, while Miss Jubilee returns to Evangeline's.

Also on Sunday afternoon, the touring show "In the Mood," a nostalgic look at the big band era featuring a 13-piece band and six singer/dancers, returns to the Touhill Performing Arts Center; and the Folk School at KDHX hosts their monthly "Traditional Jazz Jam".

Monday, February 26
Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz at The Shaved Duck, and guitarist Dave Black will lead a quartet in a concert featuring his original music at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus.

Tuesday, February 27
Trumpeter Jim Manley returns to Evangeline's.

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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