Friday, September 04, 2015

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Euclid Records has acquired the vinyl collection of the late St. Louis jazz DJ Leo Chears, and will be offering 6000 items from it this weekend in what they're calling "The Red Vest Sale" in a nod to Chears' signature apparel.

Chears (pictured), who died in 2006, had jazz programs on WAMV, KADI, KSD, WESL and WRTH over the course of a career than spanned five decades. Euclid's sale runs Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at their store in Webster Groves.

* Tim Schall, performer, producer and faculty member of the St. Louis Cabaret Conference, and Carol Schmidt, pianist and music director for a number of St. Louis performers, will be teaching two classes for aspiring cabaret singers this fall. "Cabaret 101" begins Monday, September 21 and runs for four weeks, followed directly by "Cabaret 201," which begins on Monday, October 19 and concludes on November 9

* Also on the education beat, multi-instrumentalist Adam Rugo will be teaching an African Drum Ensemble course starting Wednesday, September 16 at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park. No previous experience is required, and drums are provided. To sign up, go to and use the self-service system to register for MUS 144.

* Pianist Peter Martin is a partner in a new startup, Open Studio Network, which will offer online music lessons from Martin and other well-known musicians, so far including guitarist Romero Lumbabo and drummer Greg Hutchinson.

* Saxophonist Eric Person has posted to Facebook a photo album of a recent gig with trumpeter Wallace Roney.

* Drummer Dave Weckl's Acoustic Band will be touring Asia this month, starting September 15 in Seoul, South Korea. The group which also features St. Louis native Tom Kennedy on bass along with pianist Makoto Ozone and saxophonist Gary Meek, will go on to play multiple dates in Japan before finishing up September 27 in Taiwan.

* The late trumpeter and St. Louis native Clark Terry figures prominently in an archival article about jazz on television in 1965 that was reposted this week by DownBeat.

* Saxophonist Oliver Lake has posted to YouTube a video from his residency last fall at The Stone in NYC - specifically, an excerpt from a set with drummers Bill McClellan and Ed Nicholson.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

Jazz this week: Dave King Trucking Company, Gateway Jazz Festival, a benefit for Willie Akins, Dave Easley, and more

Though it's still before Labor Day, the fall presenting season would seem to be already getting underway this week, with several noteworthy touring musicians visiting St. Louis, plus the customary variety of jazz and creative music from local performers.

Let's go to the highlights...

Thursday, September 3
Erin Bode concludes her two-night engagement singing standards at Jazz at the Bistro, and guitarist Dave Black and friends will perform at Nathalie's.

Friday, September 4
The Dave King Trucking Company will make their St. Louis debut in the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro. Drummer and leader King (pictured, top left), who St. Louisans know from his many performances here with The Bad Plus, has described the Trucking Company's sound as "Americana meets avant-garde." Given TBP's popularity here, odds are that King's side project will draw an enthusiastic audience as well, so advance reservations are recommended.

Also on Friday, Second Generation Swing plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will return to the Venice Cafe; and singer Joe Mancuso will perform in a benefit concert for saxophonist Willie Akins at Kranzberg Arts Center.

The show will feature Mancuso's quintet plus special guests raising funds to help with medical and living expenses for Akins (pictured, center left), who's facing serious health problems related to heart disease and had to be admitted to the hospital this week. (If you can't attend the show but would like to help, you can donate at a GoFundMe page that's been set up for Akins here.)

Saturday, September 5
New-Orleans based steel guitarist Dave Easley will be in town to perform at Pop's Blue Moon, 5249 Pattison Ave on the Hill. Easley, who's played with drummer Brian Blade's group, Dave Liebman, Kenny Garrett, Cyril Neville, Dr. John and many other well-known bands and musicians, will be backed by fellow New Orleans resident Tom Chute on drums and St' Louis' Bob DeBoo on bass.

Also on Saturday, Miss Jubilee and The Sidemen will team up on a double bill at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Sunday, September 6
The first day of the St. Louis Jazz Club's Gateway Jazz Festival at the DoubleTree Hotel at Westport will feature performances from Michael Lacey's New Orleans Swing, the piano duo of Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, pianist Pat Joyce, the St. Louis Stompers, Red Lehr's Powerhouse 5, and Cornet Chop Suey, with the Funky Butt Brass Band joining in when the festival continues on Monday.

Also on Sunday, Good 4 The Soul returns to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Monday, September 7
Guitarist Tom Byrne and singer Erika Johnson will perform at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Tuesday, September 8
Trumpeter Jim Manley adds another recurring gig to his weekly schedule, as he and pianist Chris Swan now are playing every Tuesday at Riverbend Restaurant and Bar, 1059 S. Big Bend Blvd in Richmond Heights.

Also on Tuesday, Miss Jubilee will perform in a free outdoor concert for the "Twilight Tuesdays" series at the  Missouri History Museum; and the Saxquest Jazz Orchestra will hold an open rehearsal at Tavern of Fine Arts.

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.)

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

Fall festivals spotlight diverse styles

While St. Louis currently may lack a large-scale annual jazz festival with the scope and diversity of those found in Chicago, Detroit, Rochester, or even Indianapolis, over the past decade a number of smaller events have come along to at least partially fill the void.

This fall, three of those smaller-scale festivals will spotlight three different sub-genres from within the jazz and improvised music universe:

* This coming Sunday, September 6 and Monday, September 7, the St. Louis Jazz Club's Gateway Jazz Festival will feature a variety of local acts playing traditional, pre-WWII jazz and swing at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westport.

Performers will include Cornet Chop Suey (pictured, top left)Michael Lacey's New Orleans Swing, Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi, Pat Joyce and Friends, the St. Louis Stompers, Red Lehr's Powerhouse 5, and the Funky Butt Brass Band. Bands will play in three separate sessions, on Sunday afternoon, Sunday night, and Monday afternoon, with every group except the Funky Butt Brass Band playing at least two sets over the two days.

Tickets are $35 per session or $80 for an all-events pass. For more details, call 314-972-8298 or visit

* Later this month, the Tavern of Fine Arts will host "Three Days in September," an event organized by cellist Tracy Andreotti that will feature St. Louis musicians presenting free improv and experimental sounds on Tuesday, September 22; Wednesday, September 23; and Thursday, September 24.

Tuesday's scheduled performers include Brain Transplant, NNN Cook, Michael Williams, and the Hess/Cunningham Duo. Wednesday's concert will feature Ghost Ice & Mister Ben; Dave Stone with Henry Claude, Glenn "Papa" Wright & Joe Hess; and the Perhelion Ensemble. The Experimental Arts Ensemble STL, Vernacular String Trio, and the STL Free Jazz Collective (pictured, center left) will wrap things up on Thursday.

Admission to "Three Days in September" is just $5 per night, payable in cash only, at the door.

* Last but not least, singer Eve Seltzer and her husband, guitarist Ben Wood - both of the Gypsy jazz band Franglais - have organized a Gypsy Jazz Festival that's scheduled to take place Friday, October 23 through Sunday, October 25 at Evangeline's.

All three nights will feature evening performances and late-night jam sessions, with brunch-time performances also set for Saturday and Sunday.

In addition to Franglais (pictured, lower left) the musical lineup will include accordionist Dallas Vietty, singer Miles Griffith, bands Swing '39, Bedlam Swing, and Coco Rico, and more.

Admission prices and ticket info for the event are TBA; watch this space for more details.

Edited 9-3-15 to fix a typo.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Recently on Heliocentric Worlds

It's the first of the month, so it's time once again to see what's been going on over at StLJN's sibling site Heliocentric Worlds, where every day there's a different online music video posted, drawing on genres including jazz, blues, soul, funk, classic rock, prog rock, experimental and more.

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

Joni Mitchell - Shadows and Light
Count Basie - Live on Jazz Casual
Mississippi Fred McDowell - "Louise"
Duke Ellington - Live in Paris
Robert Glasper - "Golden Lady"

Other new posts in August contained videos featuring Louis Jordan, Darcy James Argue's Secret Society, Terry Riley & Friends, Jim Hall & Attila Zoller, Curved Air, Art Ensemble Of Chicago, George Coleman, Solomon Burke, Ginger Baker Trio, Joey DeFrancesco, Sun Ra Arkestra, Humble Pie, Derek Bailey & Evan Parker, Muddy Waters and The Rolling Stones, Steve Coleman and Five Elements, David "Fathead" Newman, Hank Crawford & Kenny Burrell, Steps Ahead, Lonnie Liston Smith, Can, George Adams/Don Pullen Quartet, Chick Corea's Three Quartets Band, Greg Osby, Randy Newman, Robert Cray, Bennie Maupin Quartet, and Eddie Palmieri.

If you've somehow missed out so far, it's OK - you still can catch all these clips, plus thousands more from the archives, by visiting

Monday, August 31, 2015

Music Education Monday:
Exploring world music

The phrase "world music" may be problematic, most notably in its lack of specificity in lumping together a whole bunch of unrelated non-Western musical traditions and concepts, but it's also a useful reminder for musicians that there are a lot of sounds out there beyond what gets covered in a traditional conservatory education or bandstand apprenticeship here in the USA.

Moreover, since jazz tends to absorb influences from whatever it rubs up against, jazz musicians in particular may benefit from broadening their horizons to include the entire globe. But where to begin?

This week for "Music Education Monday," here are three suggestions for places online where you can start your trip:

* 50 Great Moments in World Music may have a click-bait title, but the editors at parent site Songlines have done a good job assembling a list of highlights, along with audio and video clips, from musicians, bands and composers from around the world that have crossed over into Western popular and concert music over the past few decades.

*'s "Guide to World Music" offers a more systematic overview and reference for various musical styles and traditions, with new articles also added periodically to the parent site.

* And for a deeper dive, Coursera has a free online class in "Listening to World Music" that offers a guided tour of sorts in the company of other like-minded travelers.

Miles on Monday: The latest on the Miles Davis memorial statue, and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* In anticipation of the unveiling of the Miles Davis memorial statue in downtown Alton, IL - now less than two weeks away - the statue's sculptor Preston Jackson was the subject of a feature story in the Alton Telegraph.

* Meanwhile, Alton's Miles Davis Jazz Festival has posted to Facebook some new photos from the memorial statue site on Third Street.

* After a recent gig with singer D'Angelo at the FYF Festival in Los Angeles, St. Louis-born trumpeter Keyon Harrold got a chance to hang out with actor/director Don Cheadle and Miles Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn Jr (pictured). Harrold performs on the soundtrack of Cheadle's upcoming film Miles Ahead, for which Wilburn is a co-producer.

* In an interview recorded earlier this month at the Newport Jazz Festival, popular trumpeter Chris Botti talks about Miles Davis and his influence on subsequent generations of musicians.

* The recently unearthed "unofficial release" Miles Davis Live in Tokyo 1975 was reviewed by Tim Niland at his blog Music and More.

* Does Miles Davis belong in the St. Louis Classic Rock Hall of Fame? If you think so, you can cast your ballot for Davis (and various other St. Louis musicians of note) here. Voting ends on September 15.

Sunday, August 30, 2015

Sunday Session: August 30, 2015

Michael White
For your Sunday reading, here are some interesting music-related items that have hit StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* The Soulful Genius of Stevie Wonder: How ‘Songs in the Key of Life’ Changed Music Forever (The Daily Beast)
* “It’s not just a party, it’s our life”: Jazz musicians led the way back to the city after Katrina — but what is this “new” New Orleans? (
* Dr. Michael White lost everything in Hurricane Katrina except what mattered most: New Orleans jazz (New Orleans Times-Picayune)
* It Was New Orleans’ Musicians—Not Its Politicians—Who Saved The City Post-Katrina (The Daily Beast)
* Review: Jason Moran in Edinburgh (Jazz Journal UK)
* The invisible instrument: the theremin (The Guardian UK)
* Electronic Sturm und Atonal Drang in Berlin (Counterpunch)
* Music, paid fairly (
* The One Real Problem With Rolling Stone's 'Greatest Songwriters Of All Time' (NPR)
* How Can Frank Zappa's Colorful Life Possibly Fit in a Documentary? (Rolling Stone)
* ‘For Those Who Are, Still’ Review: Jazz Bassist William Parker Expands His Vision (Wall Street Journal)
* Hackers Are Sabotaging My Spotify Playlists With Awful Ambient Music (
* Inaugural Rhodes Fest Celebrates Great American Keyboard (DownBeat)
* Carlos Santana Talks Reuniting Santana IV, New Band With Wayne Shorter & Herbie Hancock (Billboard)
* The Birthplace of American Music Has Been Handed Over to Real-Estate Speculators (Alternet)
* Kamasi Washington Talks Jazz in the 21st Century (The Talk House)
* Complete edition of John Cage's Diary to be published (The Wire UK)
* How Flying Lotus Built Brainfeeder, His Spiritual Little Empire (
* How The 'Kung Fu Fighting' Melody Came To Represent Asia (NPR)
* A memorial for Paul Jeffrey, Duke's late jazz champion (Indy Week)
* George Walker: the great American composer you've never heard of (The Guardian UK)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2015 jazz preview, part 3

Today, it's the third part of StLJN's video preview of jazz and creative music performers coming to St. Louis this fall. (You can see part 1 here, and part 2 here.)

Continuing from last time in chronological order, we resume in mid-October with the New Mastersounds, who will be here Tuesday, October 20 to play at the Old Rock House. You can see them at the top of this post jamming on the tune "Dusty Groove" in a video recorded in June of this year at a gig in Oakland, CA.

After the jump, there's a video featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks, who will perform with his trio Wednesday, October 21 through Saturday, October 24 at Jazz at the Bistro. It's an episode of the Voice of America's program "Beyond Category" that features footage of Eubanks playing with his trio as well as an interview with former "Tonight Show" bandleader.

Next up is singer Banu Gibson, who will perform a program of Randy Newman songs in a matinee on Sunday, October 25 at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The video shows Gibson singing "It's A Jungle Out There" - written by Newman as the theme for the TV show "Monk" - earlier this year at The Mint, in New Orleans, accompanied by former St. Louisan Tom McDermott on piano and Matt Perrine on sousaphone.

The next two clips feature performers from the Gaslight Cabaret Festival, starting with singer Lina Koutrakos and singer/pianist Rick Jensen, who will return to St. Louis to perform Sunday, October 25 at the Gaslight Theater. The first clip features Koutrakos singing "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)" with Jensen on piano, and was recorded in 2013 at the Metropolitan Room in NYC.

Then it's singer Kat Edmonson, who's booked to appear on Thursday, October 29 and Friday, October 30 at the Gaslight Theater. This version of her singing "Rainy Day Woman" was recorded in March 2015 for radio station WNRN in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Last but certainly not least, it's the veteran tenor saxophonist Houston Person, who will be coming back to town for gigs on Friday, October 30 and Saturday, October 31 at Jazz at the Bistro. In this clip, Person and pianist Joe Alterman's trio, with James Cammack on bass and Gregory Hutchinson on drums, work out on "Kelly's Blues" at a gig back in August 2012 at Jazz At Lincoln Center's Dizzy's Club Coca-Cola.

Look for part 4 of StLJN's Fall 2015 jazz preview here next week. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...
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