Thursday, August 25, 2016

Jazz this week: A tribute to 1970s fusion,
trad jazz from Red Lehr, and more

With summer winding down and the fall presenting season yet to begin, it's not a particularly busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, but there still are some performances worth noting that are happening over the next few days.

Let's go to the highlights....

Thursday, August 25
Dizzy Atmosphere will play swing and Gypsy jazz as part of the "Sensational Summer Nights" series at Missouri Botanical Garden; and the Bruxism experimental music series continues at the Schlafly Tap Room, this month featuring Wiggpaw, Brett Williams, and UFO vs USA

Friday, August 26
An ad hoc quintet of St. Louis musicians will join forces to present "Weather Forever: The Music of Weather Report & Return to Forever," featuring music from two of the most popular jazz-fusion groups of the 1970s, for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

The ensemble attempting to bridge the disparate styles of these two iconic bands will include bassist Zeb Briskovich, drummer Montez Coleman (pictured, top left), keyboarist Adaron “Pops” Jackson, guitarist Eric Slaughter, and saxophonist Jason Swagler.

Also on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso brings a quartet to Nathalie's, and the Midwest Jazz-tette will play cool jazz in the West Coast style at Cigar Inn

Saturday, August 27 
Pianist Phil Dunlap's trio will play an early evening show at The Dark Room; trumpeter Danny Campbell returns with his Jazz Collective to Troy's Jazz Gallery; and Franglais will perform at Evangeline's

Sunday, August 28
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents sousaphonist Red Lehr's Powerhouse Five (pictured, lower left) playing traditional jazz and swing at the Doubletree Hotel St. Louis at Westport.

Monday, August 29
Trumpeter Jim Manley continues his Monday night residency at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, August 30
The Sidemen return to Evangeline's, and saxophonist Joe Bayer has a new weekly duo gig at Scarlett's Wine Bar in the Central West End, teaming up this week with bassist Glen Smith.

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.)

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Gaslight Cabaret Festival
announces Fall 2016 series

Gaslight Cabaret Festival impresario Jim Dolan has announced the festival's schedule for Fall 2016.

The series will feature six different performers over five weekends in October and November at the Gaslight Theatre, starting with the return of Marilyn Maye (pictured), the "grand dame of cabaret," on Friday, October 14 and Saturday, October 15.

Next up will be singer Storm Large, who will present her third festival performance here in as many years on Friday, October 21, followed by Broadway actress and singer Tova Feldshuh and her show "Aging Is Optional" on Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29.

After that, singer Karen Irwin will present "A Janis Joplin Tribute" on Friday, November 4 and Saturday, November 5, followed by singer and pianist Judy Carmichael on Friday, November 11 and closing out the series, St. Louis' own Ken Haller on Saturday, November 12.

Ticket for the Gaslight Cabaret Festival Fall 2016 series are priced from $30 to $55, depending on the performer and the date, and are on sale now.

Brand X reunion tour includes show on Thursday, October 20 at Wildey Theatre

The British jazz-fusion band Brand X has announced a reunion tour for Fall 2016 that includes a performance at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, October 20 at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.

Originally active from the mid-1970s into the early '80s, Brand X made six recordings and fielded 11 different lineups of musicians in a six-year period, including for a couple of albums Phil Collins, then the drummer for prog-rock band Genesis and subsequently a major pop star.

A reunion in the 1990s, featuring founding members Percy Jones on bass and John Goodsall on guitar, yielded two more albums, the last of which was Manifest Destiny in 1997.

The 2016 edition of Brand X (pictured) includes Jones and Goodsall, as well as drummer Kenwood Dennard, who wasn't an original member but played on the band's second album and subsequent tours.

Playing music from the first three Brand X albums, they'll be joined for the reunion tour by keyboardist Chris Clark, whose credits include the John Entwistle Band, and percussionist Scott Weinberger, who's played with Adrian Belew and King Crimson's Trey Gunn. To promote the tour, the band has made a short video, which you can see in the embedded player below.

Tickets for Brand X at the Wildey Theatre are $35, and are on sale now.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Miles on Monday: New "Bootleg Series" box set to feature "second great quintet," and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* Columbia/Legacy Recordings announced last week the upcoming release of Miles Davis Quintet: Freedom Jazz Dance: The Bootleg Series, Vol 5, a three-CD set featuring more than two hours of previously unreleased studio recordings made from 1966 to 1968 that feature the band known as Davis' "second great quintet," with Wayne Shorter on tenor saxophone, Herbie Hancock on piano, Ron Carter on bass and Tony Williams on drums.

The box set (pictured), which has been "newly mixed and mastered in high resolution audio" will include the complete session reels from Davis' album Miles Smiles, with "rehearsals, partial and alternate takes, studio conversation and more." The set's release is scheduled for Friday, October 21 to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the original release of Miles Smiles.

* Rolling Stone magazine published a feature story titled "Miles Davis: 15 Essential Albums".

* In a new interview with Jazz Times, guitarist John McLaughlin recalls his work with Davis, along with other highlights of his career.

* The latest episode of the podcast To My Future Vinyl Collectors features an extended discussion of Davis' landmark album Bitches Brew.

Music Education Monday: A master
class with pianist Oscar Peterson

This week for Music Education Monday, you can sit in via video on a master class with the late, great pianist Oscar Peterson (pictured).

One of the most acclaimed and popular jazz pianists of his generation. Peterson, who died at age 72 in 2007, was known as a technical master in the tradition of Art Tatum, capable of executing elaborate flights of pianistic fancy while still retaining the essential elements of blues and swing.

He was best known for working in a trio format, most notably with bassist Ray Brown and drummer Ed Thigpen, and later in his career with guitarist Joe Pass and bassist Niels-Henning Ørsted Pedersen. Peterson also recorded and performed with many of the major jazz musicians active during his lifetime, including St. Louis' own Clark Terry, Count Basie, Ella Fitzgerald, Dizzy Gillespie, Lester Young, Ben Webster, and numerous others.

He gave this presentation in 1997 in Marciac, France, accompanied by Ørsted Pedersen, drummer Martin Drew, and guitarist Ulf Wakenius. The video, shot by an audience member, isn't exactly professional quality, but if you have some interest in the subject matter, it's worth the effort of adjusting the volume control from time to time to hear what Peterson has to say about developing solos, ensemble playing, arranging, and more.

For those who'd like a little more OP, after the jump you can see a bonus video, a 1995 biographical documentary about Peterson titled Music in the Key of Oscar.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Sunday Session: August 21, 2016

Bobby Hutcherson
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* British Airways stops musician from flying with cello as 'it didn't have a visa' (The Independent UK)
* Hancock & Martin Explore Fusion Frontier in Brooklyn (DownBeat)
* Archivists Grapple With Problems Of Preserving Recent Culture Held On Tape Cassettes And Floppy Drives (
* Mashup Weaves Together 57 Famous Classical Pieces by 33 Composers: From Bach to Wagner (
* Bobby Hutcherson: 1941-2016 (
* Bay Area jazz legend Bobby Hutcherson dies at 75 (San Jose Mercury News)
* Appreciation: Bobby Hutcherson connected some of the highest points in jazz (Los Angeles Times)
* A not so mixed music - What kind of culture allows composers to flourish and what kind of composers do flourish? (
* Henry Kaiser - Clouds of colored light (
* Algorithm and blues: Putting a Google-written song to the test (Toronto Star)
* Inside Carlos Santana's New Jazz-Rock Supergroup (Rolling Stone)
* First Listen: The Bad Plus, 'It's Hard' (NPR)
* The new wave of new age: How music’s most maligned genre finally became cool (
* OP-ED: (not just) White Boy Music — the very punk rock history of Bad Brains, Fishbone and Living Colour (
* Life With Bird, By Charlie Parker’s Stepdaughter (
* Tomorrow's Musical Instruments Look Like Lightsabers and Metal Detectors (
* Is Bandcamp the Holy Grail of Online Record Stores? (New York Times)
* How Bad Urban Planning Led To The Birth Of A Billion-Dollar Genre (
* I Am The Blues Documents America’s Last Generation of Blues Legends (DownBeat)

Monday, August 15, 2016

Site news: On vacation...

For the first time in 11+ years of running this site, yr. humble editor is taking a few scheduled days off from blogging. During the hiatus, new syndicated content from around the web and will appear daily on the left sidebar, and regular posting will resume some time next week...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Sunday Session: August 14, 2016

"A Great Day In Harlem"
Some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* We’ve Passed Peak Vinyl – Here Comes The Collapse (Stereogum)
* What It Takes for an Independent Record Store to Survive Now (Pitchfork)
* Twang Time: Scofield Explores Country Music on New Album (DownBeat)
* A Conversation With ... Norah Jones (
* Norah Jones Teams with Jazz Icons for Day Breaks (DownBeat)
* Kittens, Kisses, And Razorblades: Behind Star Trek's Iconic Sounds (
* 5 Musicians Pick Their Favorite Herbie Hancock Recordings (NPR)
* The Collapse of Music Dealers and Music Licensing’s “Race to the Bottom” (
* Harry Connick Jr. joining daytime talk world and all that jazz (Fresno Bee)
* Herman Leonard’s intimate portraits of jazz greats draw viewers into smoky clubs (Washington Post)
* Paul McCartney Looks Back: The Rolling Stone Interview (Rolling Stone)
* SoundGirls Go To Camp (Pro Sound News)
* Bonerama Sends Love to Roswell Rudd (
* Reviving a Detroit jazz legacy: Terry Jean Pollard was queen of the vibes (Detroit Metro Times)
* Tunisia’s Dying Jazz (Foreign Policy)
* From Gladiators to Bog Bodies: How inventive, evocative museum sound design is created today (
* Epic Records Whips Up Hit Album Out of Thin Air (and Online Streams)(New York Times)
* Tony Bennett's Season of Celebration: At 90, the Singer Reflects On A Life Rich with Collaborations, from Frank Sinatra to Lady Gaga (Billboard)
* Randy Weston Archive Provides Glimpse Into the History of Jazz in America and Africa (
* A visual chronicle of Tokyo’s disappearing jazz bars (
* 12 Sound Artists Changing Your Perception of Art (
* Cruisin’: Vintage photos of cars tricked out with record players (
* Stoop Summit - How a Harlem brownstone was immortalized when the living legends of jazz assembled there for an iconic photograph (New York Daily News)
* Inside Elvis Presley's Legendary Man-Cave Studio (Rolling Stone)
* Review: Herbie Hancock, Basking in a Boundless Legacy of Fusion (New York Times)
* Saving American Music: Heather West (
* Robert Glasper Experiment Returns with Eclectic ArtScience (DownBeat)