Sunday, August 22, 2021

Sunday Session: August 22, 2021

John Coltrane
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Former Police Guitarist Andy Summers Reminisces On Montserrat Sessions In ‘Under The Volcano’ (
* Angry concert-goer files complaint with Ohio Attorney General after missing James Taylor-Jackson Browne show at Blossom (Cleveland Plain Dealer)
* Highest Trane: John Coltrane’s World-Building Ascension (Jazz Times)
* Under The Volcano Review: Inside George Martin’s Musical Paradise (
* The Bad Plus Reformulates Again, Now as a Quartet with Ben Monder and Chris Speed (WBGO)
* A Guide to Free Jazz Drumming on Bandcamp (
* At an Old Juke Joint in Mississippi, the Blues Are Alive (Smithsonian)
* If you take all the world’s emotions and put them into one sound, it’s Sérgio Mendes (San Diego Union Tribune)
* The Most Influential Pop-Rock Band Ever? The Monkees! (Vanity Fair)
* The history of electronic music is inside a warehouse in Harleysville, Pa. (WHYY)
* The Light At The End of The Tunnel is Fading (Offbeat)
* Meet the archivist who saved the historic footage that became ‘Summer of Soul’ (Los Angeles Times)
* How Respect Uses Design to Illuminate the Story of Aretha Franklin (Architechtural Digest)
* Marc Ribot Makes the Case for Loud Music (
* Larry Harlow, Iconic Salsa Musician And Producer, Has Died At 82 (NPR)
* First Live Steely Dan Album in 25 Years Just Days Away (Guitar Player)
* Frank Zappa: ”I think my playing is probably more derived from folk music – Middle Eastern music, Indian music, stuff like that” (Guitar World)
* My musician friends in Afghanistan are hiding their musical instruments in fear of the Taliban: Young Afghan composer Arson Fahim (
* Country singer Tom T. Hall dies; wrote ‘Harper Valley PTA’ (Associated Press)
* ‘They deserve a place in history’: music teacher makes map of female composers (The Guardian)
* White out! Tony Herrington calls time on the monoculture that is the experimental sound and music industry (The Wire)
* The World's Most Famous Violins Were Treated With a Secret Chemical Mix, Study Shows (
* Philip Glass on Artificial Intelligence and Art (

Saturday, August 21, 2021

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
More "Rising Stars" in concert

This week, let's take a look at some more performances of video by musicians who topped the "Rising Star" categories in this year's DownBeat Critics Poll. As with any article or feature based on poll results, readers are encouraged not to view those results too seriously in terms of who's the "best" on a given instrument, but rather to use them as a starting point for conversation and exploration of artists you may not have heard before.

The first video up above is is from singer and mukti-instrumentalist Jacob Collier, who's become a sensation on YouTube on the way to winning "Rising Star" award for both keyboard and male vocalist. He's seen here doing a solo show in March 2020 on the campus of USC in Los Angeles.

After the jump, you can see a set from Nir Felder, who was named "Rising Star - Guitar" in this year's poll. Felder, who may be familiar to St. Louis fans for his work in recent years with trumpeter Keyon Harrold, is fronting a trio with bassist Matt Penman and drummer Jimmy Macbride for a set recorded in January 2021 at Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning (JCAL) in New York.

Next up, it's Samuel Blaser, this year's "Rising Star - Trombone" leading a trio for a show in June 2018 at Bop Shop Records in Rochester, NY.

That's followed by a set from Alex Harding, the "Rising Star - Baritone Sax" for 2021, who earlier in his career did time in large ensembles led by former St. Louisans Hamiet Bluiett and Julius Hemphill. Here, Harding is fronting his band Organ Nation for a set recorded in June of this year at The Block in Muskegon, MI.

Today's penultimate video features Cory Henry, this year's winner for "Rising Star - Organ" who's known for his work with Snarky Puppy before launching his solo career. In this video, Henry, guitarist Isaiah Sharkey, and drummer TaRon Lockett are playing a full set recorded on July 3 of this year at Dillon Ampitheater in Dillon, CO.

The final video showcases Tomoko Omura, this year's winner in the "Rising Star - Violin" category, seen here in a solo show recorded in November 2020 in New York City for the WereSoCool Concerts series.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, August 20, 2021

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Singer and bassist Janet Evra will provide the musical entertainment for “Wine and Jazz Under the Stars,” a benefit for Classic 107.3 (Radio Arts Foundation) to be held starting at 5:00 p.m. Sunday, September 12 at The Public School House in St. Charles.

The ticket price of $95 per person also includes appetizers by Russo’s Catering, wines from A. Bommarito Wines, free on-site parking, and the chance to participate in a silent auction of items including Cardinals baseball tickets, a wine-tasting package, gift certificates, and more. For details or to reserve a spot, go to

* In an effort to "ensure the future of the music economy is sustainable, profitable, and inclusive," the Regional Arts Commission is conducting a survey of the St. Louis music scene, inviting participation from musicians, venues, festivals and fans. If you're in one of those categories, you're encouraged to complete the online survey form before October 10 at

* More St. Louis venues are setting admission policies regarding COVID vaccinations and testing, as the new Chesterfield concert club The Factory and the Hollywood Casino Amphtheatre (aka Riverport) this week announced that patrons will be required to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test to be admitted.

* Saxophonist Lisella Martin (pictured) was profiled in a feature story on Bloomington, IL's WGLT radio.

* Trumpeter and Webster Groves native Ally Hany Albrecht will transfer from the Air Force to the U.S. Navy and relocate from California to Washington DC to join the United States Navy Band Commodores, the premier jazz band of the Navy.

Albrecht, a graduate of North Texas State University and the Manhattan School of Music, has spent the past four years with the USAF Band of the Golden West at Travis Air Force Base, California.

* DownBeat magazine is conducting their annual readers poll, with voting continuing through Tuesday, September 14. If you're a subscriber to the print magazine, digital edition, or free email newsletter, you can cast a vote at

Sunday, August 15, 2021

Sunday Session: August 15, 2021

Gerald Cleaver
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Gerald Cleaver about Griots, Ghost Orbits and Modular Synthesis (
* De La Soul Have Finally Acquired Their Masters, According to Talib Kweli (
* Inside look: How Sun Studio's music and magic have carried on for almost 70 years (Memphis Commercial Appeal)
* Staunchly Original: Marking 20 Years of Pi Recordings (WBGO)
* Chronology: Quincy Jones in the 1950s (Jazz Times)
* Jazz Fest Canceled; New Orleans Reacts (DownBeat)
* This Musician's Unlikely Duet Partner? The Golden Gate Bridge (NPR)
* Famous Harlem Block Renamed Art Kane Harlem 1958 Place (Jazz Times)
* SFJAZZ Collective: Reflecting the Moment (
* Chops: Min Xiao-Fen on the Pipa (Jazz Times)
* Tony Bennett Cancels Fall 2021 Tour (Variety)
* Tony Bennett retires from performing (
* The New York Jazz Museum: 1972-1977 (
* Living Spaces: Preserving Jazz Homes (Jazz Times)
* AEG To Require Proof Of Full Vaccination At All U.S. Venues Beginning October 1st (
* Sonic Temples - The resurgence of Memphis’ classic recording studios. (
* Historic St. Louis Church Could Become National Center For Gospel Music (
* Are NFTs The New Napster? This Time The Music Industry Isn’t Taking Chances (

Saturday, August 14, 2021

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
"Rising Stars" in concert

This week, let's take a look at some live performances from some of the musicians who won awards in the "Rising Star" categories in this year's DownBeat Critic's Poll. As with any poll, the results may make for interesting conversation and provide a snapshot of who's in the news at a given time, but they shouldn't be taken to heart or regarded as definitive.

First up is pianist Gerald Clayton, who was the winner in two categories, "Rising Star - Jazz Artist" and (with his trio) "Rising Star - Jazz Group." He's seen here doing a duet performance with guitarist Peter Bernstein, recorded earlier this past Sunday night at Mezzrow in New York City.

After the jump, it's the UK's Nubya Garcia. this year's winner in the "Rising Star - Tenor Sax" category, performing a song called "Source" during the 6 Music Festival earlier this year at the BBC Radio Theatre.
That's followed by a video of Adam O'Farrill, named the top "Rising Star - Trumpet" in this year's poll. He's seen here doing a duo gig with his dad, the fine pianist and bandleader Arturo O'Farrill, last August at the The Greene Space in Brooklyn, NY.

The poll's "Rising Star - Piano" this year is Nik Bärtsch, who's featured in the next video with his band RONIN at a gig in October 2019 at the Opera Concert Club in Saint Petersburg, Russia.

Next is "Rising Star - Clarinet" winner Angel Bat Dawid, doing a solo show in January 2020 at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

Finally, the sixth video features Immanuel Wilkins, a repeat winner of rhe "Rising Star - Alto Sax" category. Wulkins is shown in a set he recorded in Feburary 2021 for NPR's "Tiny Desk (Home) Concert" series with Micah Thomas (piano), Daryl Johns (bass), and Kweku Sumbry (drums).

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, August 13, 2021

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* St. Louis music venues this week continued to adjust their admission policies to cope with the regional resurgence of COVID and proliferation of the Delta variant. As reported by the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson, Blue Strawberry made the first move, announcing that it would require patrons to provice proof of vaccination. The Pageant, Delmar Hall, and Off Broadway quickly followed by announcing that they too will require proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID-19 test for entry.

* Nine PBS on Tuesday presented the broadcast premiere of Show Me the Music: A Celebration of the Missouri Bicentennial, a special program featuring Missouri musicians that was recorded in May at The Sheldon.

The lineup of performers includes pianist Peter Martin and his trio plus saxophonist Bobby Watson and trumpeter Keyon Harrold; singer Anita Jackson (pictured); pianist Royce Martin; bluegrass star Rhonda Vincent; a faculty ensemble from the University of Missouri playing a new piece composed specifically for the bicentennial; and more. The special will air multiple times on all four PBS affiliates in the state, and also can be seen on YouTube.

* Miles Davis was known as a sharp dresser, so perhaps it's fitting that the late trumpeter's estate recently added licensed neckties to his online store. You can see the three available designs, including "Bitches Brew," that are available for $59.99 each at

* Drummer, educator and U City native Ronnie Burrage now is co-hosting a weekly podcast produced by City Jazz Sessions, for which he already has interviewed St. Louis expats including Russell Gunn, Kelvyn Bell, and Eric Person, as well as musicians working here locally. New episodes are webcast at 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, and can been seen (along with all the previous episodes) on the City Jazz Sessions YouTube channel.

* Guitarist Charles "Chip" Katz, a four-decade veteran of the St. Louis music scene, passed away on Sunday, August 8. He was 63 years old; no cause of death has been disclosed.

Katz performed across the area as a solo act, with a trio, and as accompanist to singers Anita Rosamond, Alan Ox, and numerous others. He also taught guitar in private lessons and through local music stores including Fazio's Frets and Friends and McMurray Music. Katz is survived by two sisters, two nieces, and two nephews. Funeral services will be private, and the family has requested that any memorial contributions be made in Katz's name to the charity of the donor's choice.

Sunday, August 08, 2021

Sunday Session: August 8, 2021

Stevie Wonder
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Snug Harbor canceling performances due to rising Covid cases (Offbeat)
* Don Marquis, esteemed jazz author and New Orleans Jazz Museum founder, has died at 88 (
* At Lollapalooza 2021, there's one question hanging over everything (
* Musical artist Suzanne Ciani feeds deepfake program below Morrison Hall (
* Anatomy Of A Bad Gig: Recalling A Show 40 Years Ago Where Virtually Nothing Went Right (
* Labels are going to become more like VCs than they probably want to be (Music Industry Blog)
* Study: Consumption of music streaming declined significantly during COVID-19 lockdowns worldwide (
* Alan Rubin: Mr. Fabulous in Every Way (
* End of an era: Trumpets owners reminisce after developers buy legendary jazz club (
* NC jazz musician releases album via legendary record label (Durham Herald Sun)
* Rolling Stones’ Charlie Watts Drops Out of U.S. Tour After Medical Procedure (Rolling Stone)
* Steve Vai reflects on working with Frank Zappa: "If you didn’t have the goods, you didn’t last. Frank expected everybody to rise to the occasion" (Guitar World)
* Interns Turned Engineers Take the Reins at SF’s Historic Different Fur Studios (KQED)
* Eddie Palmieri On Pioneering Latin Jazz & His Blue Note Residency: "We're Talking About The Greatest Jazz Room In The World" (
* Blues Great Buddy Guy on His ‘American Masters’ Documentary, Hitting the Road Again at 85, and Why the Blues Is Like Golf (Variety)
* As Delta Variant Spreads, Artists and Venues Scramble to Keep Concerts Safe (Yahoo News)
* When Stevie Wonder Blended Funk, Soul And Social Commentary On ‘Innervisions’ (Yahoo News)
* George Harrison’s Son Dhani on the “Pandora’s Box” Process of Remastering All Things Must Pass at 50 (

Saturday, August 07, 2021

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Critics Poll winners in concert, part 2

This week, let's continue with a look at live performances from some of the winners in this year's DownBeat Critics Poll. (You can see music from some of the other top vote-getters in part one, posted a coupld of weeks ago.)

The first video features the late Chick Corea, who was the poll winner in three different categories this year, "Piano," "Keyboard" and "Jazz Artist." Remarkably prolific and busy with a variety of projects until shortly before he passed away in February of this year, Corea is seen here with two of his closest musical associates, bassist John Patitucci and drummer Dave Weckl, performing in 2018 at the Heineken Jazzaldia festival in San Sebastian, Spain.

After the jump, you can see a set from Dr. Lonnie Smith, this year's winner as best organist. He's seen here in a trio set from April 2018 at Ronnie Scott's in London, with Jonathan Kreisberg on guitar and Xavier Breaker on drums.

Next up, it's Mary Halvorson, selected by the critics as this year's winning guitarist. She's seen here in a trio date, nominally led by drummer Tom Rainey and featuring Ingrid Laubrock on saxophones, recorded in January 2020 at Galerie Maerz in Linz, Austria.

That's followed by a set from this year's top percussionist, tabla player Zakir Hussain, that was recorded in April 2021 right here in St. Louis at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Hussein's "Masters of Percussion" tour also featured Marcus Gilmore on drum kit, Pezhham Akhavass on the tombak, and Anantha Krishnan on mridangam

The fifth video features Joel Ross, the winner in the "Vibraphone" category. in a show from June of this year at the Ars Center at Duck Creek in East Hampton, New York. In addition to the leader, Ross' octet includes Immanuel Wilkins (alto sax), Maria Grand (tenor sax), Marquis Hill (trumpet), Kalia Vandever(trombone), Sean Mason (piano_, Rick Rosato (bass), and Craig Weinrib (drums).

Today's sixth and final video showcases this year's winner in the "Miscellaneous Instrument" category, cellist Tomeka Reid. Reid is seen here performing a concert of six original works in May 2021 at the UCLA Herb Alpert School of Music in Los Angeles. She's accompanied by bassist Jason Roebke, and drummer Tomas Fujiwara, and Mary Halvorson on guitar.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...