Friday, July 01, 2016

Recently on Heliocentric Worlds

It's the start of a new month, and that means it's time once again to check in on StLJN's sibling site Heliocentric Worlds, which every day offers a different online music video, drawing on genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk, classic rock, prog rock, experimental, and more.

The five most-watched videos added to the site last month were:

Ray Barretto - "Quitate la Mascara"
Albert Collins - Live at the Montreux Jazz Festival
Duke Ellington Orchestra - "Just Squeeze Me"
Jefferson Airplane - Live at the Fillmore East
Little Feat - Live on Austin City Limits

Other recent posts have featured video performances from Dr. John & The Lower 911, David Sanborn, The Rolling Stones, Art Pepper Quartet, Fela Kuti, Dave Holland Quartet, Thad Jones/Mel Lewis Orchestra, Rebirth Brass Band, Sir Roland Hanna, Mongo Santamaría, Kid Creole and the Coconuts, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Rahsaan Roland Kirk, Geri Allen Trio, Illinois Jacquet, Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet, Los Lobos, J.J. Johnson Quintet, Little Richard, Tom Harrell Quintet, Jason Moran, Buddy Rich, Oregon, Gato Barbieri, and the Cuong Vu Trio.

If you've somehow missed out on all this before now, you still can see all of the videos referenced above plus thousands more from the carefully curated archives by going to http://heliocentricworlds.blogspot.com/.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's this week's wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby recently took part in a "Before and After" listening session for Jazz Times magazine, published in their June issue and now available online. Osby last week also sat in with the Dave Matthews Band as they began their summer tour with a show in Camden, NJ.

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold co-wrote, produced, and is featured along with hip-hop emcee Common and singers Gregory Porter and Andrea Pizziconi on "Running (Refugee Song)," a new single aimed at raising funds and awareness of the plight of more than 60 million displaced persons around the world.

* Saxophonist Harvey Lockhart has been named "Arts Educator of the Year" as part of the annual St. Louis Arts Awards presented by the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis. Lockhart is being lauded for his work as director of bands and performing arts with the Riverview Gardens school district, and for forming and directing the North County Big Band, a jazz group based at the Sheldon Concert Hall that includes students from several area high schools.

* A photo set from last Saturday's Chesterfield Jazz Festival has been posted to Facebook.

* Also now online: a Flickr gallery of pics from last Thursday's edition of the Bruxism experimental music series at the Schlafly Tap Room.

* Guitarist Horace Bray, a St. Louis native and alumni of Jazz St. Louis' JazzU program who recently released his debut album, was profiled by Aarik Daneilsen of the Columbia Daily Tribune.

* The Grand Center district, home to jazz venues including Jazz at the Bistro, the Sheldon Concert Hall, The Dark Room, and the Kranzberg Arts Center, was featured in a special edition of KETC's program Living St. Louis.

* Local NBC affiliate KSDK reported this week that the late blues pianist Johnnie Johnson (pictured), whose work with Chuck Berry helped define the sound of early rock & roll, will receive a posthumous Congressional Gold Medal for his service in World War II with the Montford Point Marines, an all-African-American unit that integrated the Marine Corps.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

"New Music/Free Improv" CD release event reset for Tuesday, July 12 at Jackson Pianos

The release party for New Music/Free Improv Live at the Tavern of Fine Arts, a new CD collecting improvised performances by 14 different St. Louis musicians, has been rescheduled for 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, July 12 at Jackson Pianos, 4354 Olive St in the Central West End.

(The event originally was scheduled to take place at the album's titular Tavern of Fine Arts, but had to be moved after that venue closed on Saturday, June 25.)

Produced by flute player/composer Fred Tompkins and pianist Greg Mills, the album (pictured) contains ten tracks recorded at a half-dozen different events held between March 2014 and March 2016 at the now-shuttered tavern. Performers include Tompkins, Mills, cellist Tracy Andreotti, poet Michael Castro, percussionist Henry Claude, violinist Alex Cunningham, keyboardist James Hegarty, clarinetist Eric Mandat, trombonist Jeremy Melsha, guitarist Lee Scott Price, trumpeter George Sams, saxophonist Dave Stone, bassist Josh Weinstein, and percussionist Thomas Zirkle.

Pressed in a limited edition of 100 CDs, the album will be available to buy for $10 at the CD release event, and also is now on sale at local retailers Euclid Records and Vintage Vinyl.

The CD release event is free and open to the public, and will feature performances from most of the musicians who appear on the album, plus "free drinks and snacks."

Jazz this week: Some picks for
Independence Day weekend

To be candid, it's a relatively thin week for live jazz and creative music in St. Louis.

But even with no major touring artists visiting our town; venues including Jazz at the Bistro, The Sheldon, and Casa Loma Ballroom going dark for the holiday weekend; and the recent demises of a couple of smaller neighborhood spots (Tavern of Fine Arts and Thurman Grill) that regularly featured live jazz, there still are a few options for those who'd like celebrate Independence Day with one of the USA's great indigenous art forms.

Here's what's happening...

Friday, July 1
Singer Joe Mancuso brings a quartet to Nathalie's, bassist Darrell Mixon leads a trio at Cigar Inn, and saxophonist Dave Stone will be in his customary Friday night spot at Mangia Italiano.

Also on Friday, the apparently-ironically-named Johnny Cilantro & The Well-Seasoned Sextet, a young band from Peoria, IL that, based on music samples they've put online, seems to have some promise, will be performing at Evangeline's.

Saturday, July 2
On Saturday afternoon, pianist David Parker will lead his group Spiritual Revolution Ensemble in a free, "child-friendly" performance of his original work “In the Beginning, God created Xochitl/ En el principio creó Diós Xochitl” at the Yeyo Arts Collective. With an ensemble including percussionists Charles "Bobo" Shaw and Glenn "Papa" Wright, guitarist Dave Black, poet Shirley LeFlore, and several other musicians, this show definitely ranks as the intriguing "sleeper" pick of the weekend.

On Saturday evening, the Funky Butt Brass Band (pictured) plays a free outdoor show at Lafayette Park, and guitarist Todd Mosby will bring his New Horizons Ensemble to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, with bassist Ben Wheeler's group Sketchbook opening.

Sunday, July 3
Multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman will join guitarist Dave Black to provide some music for the jazz brunch at Nathalie's.

Monday, July 4
If you're in St. Charles and are resolute enough to deal with the crowds and traffic, you can catch the Funky Butt Brass Band playing a free outdoor set as part of the St. Charles Riverfest 4th of July Celebration in Frontier Park.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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.)

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Jazz at Holmes series announces
2016 "Jazz in July" schedule

The Jazz at Holmes series of free concerts at Washington University has announced the schedule for this year's "Jazz in July" performances.

The Liberation Organ Trio will kick things off with a concert on Thursday, July 7, followed by performances by singer Feyza Eren (pictured) on Thursday, July 14; a quartet led by trumpeter Danny Campbell on Thursday, July 21; and a trio featuring guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith on Thursday, July 28.

Admission to the "Jazz in July" concerts is free and open to the public.

In a change from previous years, all the concerts this summer will begin at 6:00 p.m., and will be held in the Tisch Commons of the Danforth University Center on the Wash U campus.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Pat Metheny to perform Sunday,
September 25 at The Sheldon

Guitarist Pat Metheny is returning to St. Louis this fall to perform at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, September 25 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Metheny (pictured) will play with a quartet including drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh, and pianist Gwilym Simcock, and according to the tour announcement on his website, will perform "a range of music from throughout his career."

He last played in St. Louis with his Unity Group (Sanchez, saxophonist Chris Potter, bassist Ben Williams, and multi-instrumentalist Giulio Carmassi) in March 2014 at The Pageant. Metheny's most recent album releases, The Unity Sessions and Cuong Vu Trio Meets Pat Metheny, both came out in May of this year.

Tickets for Pat Metheny at The Sheldon are priced at $100 and $75 for orchestra seating, $65 and $55 for the balcony, and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Friday, July 8 via MetroTix and The Sheldon's box office.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Miles on Monday: Miles Electric Band
at SFJAZZ Festival reviewed, and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* The Miles Electric Band's performance at the San Francisco Jazz Festival got dual reviews from AllAboutJazz.com's Walter Atkins and Harry S. Pariser.

* In the wake of that show, Monterey International announced that they've signed the Miles Electric Band to an exclusive booking contract. The group (pictured) includes Davis' nephew Vincent Wilburn and several other veterans of the trumpeter's band.

* Keeping with this week's developing "electric" theme, an article published last week by The Atlantic examined "The Electric Surge of Miles Davis."

* On another related note, the music sharing site RoiO has posted online a free download of a 1972 performance by Miles Davis recorded live at Paul’s Mall in Boston for a radio broadcast. The set features music from Davis' then-recent-and-controversial album On The Corner, performed by many of the musicians who helped make the record.

* Barnes and Noble has re-released Davis' classic album Sketches of Spain on exclusive yellow and red marbled vinyl.

* Keyboardist Robert Glasper last week released a music video to help promote Everything's Beautiful, his album remixing music from and paying tribute to Miles Davis. The clip for "Maiysha (So Long)" was directed by and also stars singer Erykah Badu, and you can see it in the embedded video window at the bottom of this post.

* Everything's Beautiful was reviewed by London Jazz News.

Music Education Monday:
A trumpet course with Clark Terry

This week for Music Education Monday, here's something that will have special meaning for a lot of St. Louis jazz fans: a short video course in how to play the trumpet from Clark Terry.

Terry, who died last year, was a St. Louis native who spent more than 70 years as a working professional trumpet player, and generally is considered one of the greatest jazz musicians ever to come from this area.

Terry (pictured) also was of the first well-known jazz players to recognize the importance of jazz education for high school and college students, and from the 1970s on, he spent a great deal of time teaching and mentoring young musicians in both formal and informal settings.

Beyond that, summarizing his long and distinguished career in a paragraph or two would be a Herculean task, so if for some reason you are not already familiar with Terry's many accomplishments, please check out StLJN's extensive coverage of him over the past decade.

Today's featured material seen in the embedded window below was recorded in 1981 under the auspices of an organization called The Video Classroom, and is titled simply "Trumpet Course: Beginner - Intermediate with Clark Terry."

It includes nine separate mini-lessons totaling nearly 52 minutes of material, in which Terry is supported by the veteran bassist Major Holly and also interacts with fellow trumpeter Marc Chase Weinstein.

While it definitely is geared toward less experienced players - Terry starts with the basics, identifying the parts of the instrument and the function of each - even veteran trumpeters may find a useful tidbit or two, and just about anyone who likes jazz may enjoy an hour spent with Clark Terry talking about music.