Friday, July 29, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* KDHX has put on their Flickr page a photo set from Femi Kuti's performance a couple of weeks ago at the Ready Room.

* St. Louis' own Vintage Vinyl (pictured) is one of a select group of music retailers featured an article in last Friday's USA Today, "Vinyl lives! 10 great record stores for a musical treasure hunt".

* Saxophonist Greg Lewis Jr was profiled by the Belleville News-Democrat.
* The Rustic Goat and The Lux, two downtown nightspots that sometimes present live jazz, were raided and closed this week by St. Louis police this week for liquor license violations

* After eight years as director of marketing and communications for Jazz St. Louis, Devin Rodino has left the the organization, effective yesterday. An email from Rodino said he's moving to Columbia, MO for "personal reasons," and StLJN wishes him all the the best in his future endeavors.

With Rodino's departure, Jazz St. Louis is seeking a new marketing and communications director. They've posted a job description online in PDF format here, and you can find about more about the position, as well as other current job openings at JSL - for a development associate and a part-time box office associate - here.

David Garfield, the Metro East native who serves as touring keyboardist and music director for guitarist George Benson, was singled out for some praise by London Jazz News in their review of Benson's show last month in London.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Jazz this week: A benefit starring Johnny O'Neal, free outdoor concerts, and more

It's mid-summer in St. Louis, and though as usual for this time year, it's mostly another slow week with regard to touring musicians visiting St. Louis, the fine pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal (pictured) will be in town for a benefit show on Sunday.

And of course, St. Louis' hometown musicians keep on keepin' on no matter what, with a variety of jazz and creative music performances happening around town over the next few days.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, July 27
The Grand Center "jazz crawl" starts this week with singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, and continues as usual with bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at the Kranzberg Arts Center and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's trio at The Dark Room.

Thursday, July 28
Singer Erin Bode will perform in a free outdoor concert at Kirkwood Station Plaza in downtown Kirkwood, and bassist Glen Smith will lead a trio in a concert at Tisch Commons in the Danforth University Center at Washington University, wrapping up this year's free "Jazz in July" concerts from Wash U's Jazz at Holmes series.

Also on Thursday, singer/guitarist Tommy Halloran and his Guerrilla Strings will be recording in public view at the Gaslight Lounge; and this month's edition of the Bruxism experimental music series, with Blank Thomas, Alberto Patino, Schievvf, will be presented at the Schlafly Tap Room.

Friday, July 29
Soul-jazz/funk quartet The Service returns for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro; and guitarists Farshid Soltanshahi and Dave Black will team up with multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman for a concert at Focal Point.

Elsewhere around town, the Midwest Jazz-tette performs West Coast-style cool jazz at Evangeline's; Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and trumpeter Jim Manley will be back at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

Also on Friday, singer Ken Haller presents his cabaret performance "The TV Show" at The Emerald Room at The Monocle. Haller will return to the same venue on Saturday night to perform his show "Song by Song by Sondheim".

Saturday, July 30
Take your pick of R&B-influenced saxophonists doing free outdoor concerts, as Tim Cunningham performs at Carondelet Park while Jim Stevens plays at Lafayette Park.

Also on Saturday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will play their monthly gig at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, July 31
The Community Women Against Hardship will present their annual jazz benefit concert at the Ferring Jazz Bistro, this year featuring pianist and singer Johnny O'Neal.

The Detroit native, now based in NYC after many years living in Alabama, has been compared to Oscar Peterson and Art Tatum. Now 59 years old, O'Neal worked early in his career with Clark Terry and Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, but geography, bad health, and bad luck mostly kept him from gaining wider recognition until this decade, when he re-established his presence on the NYC scene with weekly gigs in Manhattan.

For this show, O'Neal will be accompanied by a contingent of St. Louisans including singer Anita Jackson, guitarist Eric Slaughter, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Jerome “Scrooge” Harris.

Monday, August 1
Singer and impresisonist Dean Christopher will present his "Rat Pack & More" show at One 19 North Tapas and Wine Bar.

Tuesday, August 2
The Jazz Troubadours, featuring vibraphonist Tom Rickard, bassist Guy Cantonwine, and drummer Steve Helfand, have begun a weekly Tuesday late-night gig and jam session at Evangeline's, continuing until further notice.

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.)

Monday, July 25, 2016

Miles on Monday: News, reviews and more

This week in Miles Davis news:

* With Don Cheadle's film Miles Ahead now available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and video on demand, the film rating site Rotten Tomatoes has given the flick a 73% score on the "Tomato Meter".

* The video release of the movie also has prompted a few additional reviews from websites and publications that didn't get it to is during its theatrical run, like the ones published last week by and

* Also last week, Glide magazine published a review looking at the video release of Miles Ahead, the film's soundtrack, and Everything's Beautiful, the companion remix/tribute album from keyboardist Robert Glasper.

* From Newport, RI comes news that Roomful of Blues trumpeter Doug Woolverton will pay tribute to Davis' famous set at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, recorded live and released as Miles Davis at Newport 1958, by recreating it this Thursday, July 28, at the Jane Pickens Theater in Newport.

* And from MTV, of all places, there's a surprisingly readable article about the recently released "lost album" of singer Betty Davis (pictured), which was produced by Miles Davis in 1969 for his then-wife and employed many of the same musicians who played on Miles' landmark album Bitches Brew.

James Carter to play benefit concert on Saturday, October 22 at The Sheldon

Saxophonist James Carter and his organ trio are returning to St. Louis to headline the Sheldon Art Galleries' annual "ArtSounds" benefit at 8:00 p.m. Saturday, October 22 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Carter (pictured) and his trio, which includes organist Gerald Gibbs and drummer Leonard King, last performed here in March of this year at Jazz at the Bistro.

As part of his Sheldon concert, Carter will improvise a solo piece inspired by the "Paint for Peace" murals created by St. Louis artists following the death in 2014 of Michael Brown and the subsequent protests in Ferguson.

The murals will be featured in "Outside/In: Paint for Peace," an exhibit opening on Friday, October 7 at the Sheldon Art Galleries. (Additional works from the exhibit will be shown at the Ferguson Youth Initiative, UMSL's Gallery 210, Missouri History Museum, and Vaughn Cultural Center.)

Proceeds from the "ArtSounds" event benefit the exhibits and educational programs of the Sheldon Art Galleries. Patron tickets, which include a pre-concert reception, complimentary parking, preferred seating and a tax deduction, are priced at $500, $300 and $150, and can be purchased now by calling The Sheldon at 314-533-9900.

Remaining tickets for the concert only will cost $35 for orchestra seating, $30 and $25 for the balcony, and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. Friday, September 16 via MetroTix outlets and the Sheldon box office.

Music Education Monday: Master classes
with bassist Abraham Laboriel

This week for Music Education Monday, you can check out a couple of master classes with the veteran bassist Abraham Laboriel.

Since graduating from Berklee and beginning his career in the early 1970s, the 69-year-old Laboriel (pictured) has played thousands of sessions, working on TV and film soundtracks and with top names in jazz, rock, pop, and contemporary Christian music including Al Jarreau, George Benson, Andy Summers, Barbra Streisand, Billy Cobham, Dave Grusin, Dolly Parton, Donald Fagen, Elton John, Freddie Hubbard, Herb Alpert, Herbie Hancock, Lalo Schifrin, Larry Carlton, Lee Ritenour, Michael Jackson, Paul Simon, Quincy Jones, Ray Charles, Stevie Wonder, and many others.

The first video, titled "Beginning Funk Bass," was recorded in 1994 and is pretty much what you'd expect from the title, with Laboriel demonstrating various funk grooves and licks and discussing the concepts and techniques used in them.

The second video is from 2014 and captures a relatively informal session, in which Laboriel plays, talks a bit, and takes questions. Although this class was presented originally for an audience made up primarily of church musicians and does feature some discussion specific to that context, many of the bassist's insights nevertheless can be applied to any genre.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Sunday Session: July 24, 2016

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

* A Visit to the Pops Home (Stereophile)
* Chas Chandler: The man who discovered Jimi Hendrix (BBC)
* …But I Hate Modern Music (New Music Box)
* Solving the Mystery of 'Heartbreak Hotel' (Rolling Stone)
* How a little mathematics can help create some beautiful music (
* How Do Music Preferences Differ Place To Place? Pandora Shares State By State Data (
* Just Three Albums Have Sold Over 1 Million Units This Year (
* The Surprising Musical Preferences of an Amazon Tribe (The Atlantic)
* How Composer Howard Shore Brought the Sounds of Tangier to William S. Burroughs' ‘Naked Lunch’ (
* Hersch, Sanchez, Porter Delve Deep at Portugal’s Funchal Jazz Festival (DownBeat)
* Pokemon Go Invades Pro Audio (Pro Sound News)
* Interview: Fred Hersch (Stereophile)
* Billboard's First Hitmakers Roundtable: 7 of Music's Top Creatives and Influencers on the State of Pop, 10-Second Attention Spans and the Song of the Summer (Billboard)
* One of the nation’s most successful musicians dies (Antigua Observer)
* New Orleans 'Soul Queen' Irma Thomas: ' I can't choose a song that doesn't make sense to me' (KPCC)
* Where have the great composers gone? (The Guardian UK)
* Jazz Museum in New Orleans gains a new director (New Orleans Advocate)
* The Mad Scientists Of Vinyl Record Design (Fast Company)
* More Bird With Strings (
* Composing in the Entrepreneurial Era (Van magazine)
* Richard Corsello, Sonny Rollins' Go-To Engineer - How he transformed subpar source recordings into Rollins' triumphant "Road Shows" series (Jazz Times)
* Q&A with Guillermo Klein: The Sound of Symmetry (DownBeat)
* Composers seek new definition of greatness in a digital age (The Guardian UK)
* New Orleans jazz drummer Jason Marsalis and his family move to France (New Orleans Advocate)
* Coming to Grips with Dead & Bro: John Mayer and the Improbable Live Rebirth of the Grateful Dead (Pitchfork)
* An Exhibition of Japanese Portable Record Players (Spoon & Tamogo)
* North Beach History: When Bebop Filled The Night (
* Enter Brian Wilson’s Creative Process While Making The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds 50 Years Ago: A Fly-on-the Wall View (
* Looking for the great composers? They’re all around us (San Francisco Chronicle)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Giants of jazz in concert

Since this feature is still employing a non-topical, summer-vacation protocol, today's post is simply a sort of video jazz festival, for which yr. editor has selected full sets from six of the all-time giants of jazz, recorded at various locations around the world in the middle of the last century.

In order, the videos are:

* Louis Armstrong in 1959 in Antwerp, Belgium
* Duke Ellington Orchestra in 1965 in Montreal
* Count Basie Orchestra in 1972 in Copenhagen, Denmark
* Thelonious Monk Quartet in 1963 in Japan
* Charles Mingus Sextet in 1964 in Oslo, Norway
* Miles Davis Quintet in 1964 in Milan, Italy

The Armstrong video is at the top of this post; the others can be seen after the jump. Enjoy!

Friday, July 22, 2016

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Wee Trio, which includes St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, has launched a crowd-funding campaign raising money to record their fifth album. The recording, titled WEE + 3, will feature guest appearances from pianist Fabian Almazán, trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and guitarist Nir Felder.

* Jazz St. Louis' program last week pairing a performance of music from drummer Max Roach's We Insist! The Freedom Now Suite with a discussion of jazz, race, and social justice issues was the subject of a feature story by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn.

* New Music Circle will promote their upcoming 58th season with "an evening of drinks and DJs" from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Wednesday, August 3 at the Tick Tock Tavern, 3459 Magnolia in the Tower Grove East neighborhood. The free event will feature Josh Weinstein and Jeremy Kannapell spinning records, plus raffles for various prizes including CDs, LPs, and tickets to upcoming NMC concerts. Proceeds from drinks purchased during the event will go to support NMC's various programs.

* Pianist Peter Martin's company Open Studio Network has started a new podcast, "The Process," which will feature "interviews with the best players in jazz and beyond." The first episode, with Martin and drummer Gregory Hutchinson (pictured), is online now.

* Saxophonist and educator Harvey Lockhart and the other winners of the 2017 St. Louis Arts Awards were profiled on the website of the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis.

* Legendary singer, dancer and St. Louis native Josephine Baker's favorite places in France were the subject of an article in the New York Times travel section.

* The Regional Arts Commission is accepting applications for the next round of their $20,000 Artist Fellowships through Wednesday, August 10. A total of ten $20,000 fellowships will be awarded to individual St. Louis artists in any discipline as selected by an advisory committee of arts professionals, peers and RAC commissioners. RAC also is offering a workshop on how to apply for the fellowships on Tuesday, August 2 at the Vaughn Cultural Center.