Friday, February 26, 2021

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was the featured guest on this past Tuesday's episode of musician and producer Adrian Younge's “Invisible Blackness” podcast. (You may need an Amazon Music ID or Amazon Prime account to listen.)

* In tribute to the late pianist and composer Chick Corea, pianist Dred Scott has recorded and released on SoundCloud a one-man-band version of Corea's tune "Captain Marvel."

* A feature story from the San Jose Mercury News' Andrew Gilbert looks at how Miles Davis helped pianist and singer Shirley Horn achieve late-career stardom.

* Also on the Miles Davis beat, some previously unheard excerpts from a 1978 recording session of his surfaced this week on YouTube. Coming right in the middle of the trumpeter's five-year hiatus from music in the late 70s, the session at Columbia Studio in NYC was set up initially at the urging of guitarist Larry Coryell, who plays on the tracks along with drummer Al Foster, bassist T.M. Stevens, and keyboardists George Pavlis and Masabumi Kikuchi.

Significantly, Davis does not perform on trumpet during the session, choosing instead to play Pavlis' ARP Odyssey keyboard. You can listen to nearly 35 minutes of the group's takes on "Miss Last Summer" here. (An interview with Pavlis, done for the 2005 book The Last Miles, provides more perspective on the session and can be read here.)

* Saxophonist Eric Person has teamed with keyboardist Neil Alexander to create a new online performance series called "Night Flight Music Live." Taking place on the last Friday of every month, the series will feature performers from New York's Hudson Valley and is donation-driven, with 100% of the proceeds going to the artists after operating costs.

Person, Alexander and drummer Jeff Siegel will perform at 7:30 p.m. tonight from Cassandra Studios in Beacon, NY, and can be seen on the series' YouTube channel.

* St. Louis artist and musician Damon Davis (pictured) is one of three recipients of 2021 grants from Alarm Will Sound's Matt Marks Impact Fund, which was started by members of the new music ensemble to honor a founding member who passed away in 2018. You can find out more about Davis' project with AWS, a science-fiction opera called Ligeia Mare, in his interview with the web publication I Care If You Listen.

* Funky Butt Brass Band drummer Ron Sikes has started "The Jazz Chat Podcast" and his guest on the first episode released this week is saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden.

*"Keep Live Alive Saint Louis" is a 90-minute online video special produced locally to raise money for workers here in the music and events industries - ushers, ticket takers, bartenders, wait staff, sound & lighting technicians, stagehands, backstage crews, and more - who have lost income and jobs because of the pandemic.

Scheduled for 7:00 p.m. Friday, March 12, the special will include appearances from some well-known classic rock musicians and comedians, as well as St. Louis performers and radio personalities. Find out more or tune in via the group's Facebook page.

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Sunday Session: February 21, 2021

Phatoah Sanders
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Can Caroline Shaw Make Classical Cool? (The Atlantic)
* Remembering Rupert Neve, Console Creator, 1926-2021 (SonicScoop.com)
* 'He was the Steve Jobs of audio': how Rupert Neve changed the sound of music (The Guardian)
* Memories of Chick Corea – by Tim Garland (London Jazz News)
* Herbie Hancock on Chick Corea: ‘He Always Wanted to Share Whatever He Had’ (Rolling Stone)
* Pharoah Sanders Announces First Album in a Decade With Floating Points (Rolling Stone)
* Milford Graves, Visionary Drummer Who Mapped The Music Of The Heart, Dead At 79 (NPR)
* Rock-Star Journalist Lisa Robinson Has Lived in Her Apartment for 45 Years Even her sofa has an interesting backstory. (Curbed.com)
* The Best Books About Billie Holiday (Rolling Stone)
* Joe Chambers Heads Back To Blue Note (DownBeat)
* Don't Make Her Over: Dionne Warwick Is Still Crushing It at 80 (Billboard)
* New Music Decolonization in Eight Difficult Steps (Van-Outernational.com)
* SoundCloud Fan-Artist Payment System: Too Little, Too Late? (Variety)
* Raymond Hill: Remembering Clarksdale’s Unsung Reed Man (Memphis Flyer)
* Six East Coast Jazz Clubs Band Together for One-Day Virtual Festival (Jazz Times)
* Beach Boys Sell Rights to Intellectual Property, Including Name, Likeness, Masters (ConsequenceOfSound.net)
* Sonny Rollins interview: “I love music of course, but I don’t listen any more... It’s too frustrating to listen to music when I can’t participate” (Jazzwise)
* Gary Bartz Bridges Generations (DownBeat)
* I Pay $9.99 a Month for Spotify Premium. So Why Am I Listening to Podcast Ads? (DigitalMusicnews.com)
* Her saxophonist neighbour wouldn’t stop playing ‘Pink Panther’, so she chronicled her nightmare (ClassicFM.com)
* Irma Thomas, Soul Queen of New Orleans, at 80: 'I'm living fine, as far as I'm concerned' (NOLA.com)
* Milford Graves (1941–2021) (Art Forum)
* Roy McCurdy: From Cannonball to the Rochester Music Hall of Fame (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Livestream Community Survey: What We Learned from the Field (New Music Box)
* The Jazzy Score of "Judas and the Black Messiah" (WBGO)
* Faced with the cold, SMU professor slept with his 331-year-old violin to protect it (Dallas Morning News)

Saturday, February 20, 2021

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Jazz St. Louis continues "Season of Stream"



With most live music events still shut down due to the COVID pandemic in the new year, Jazz St. Louis has continued their "Season of Stream," presenting free online concerts featuring various local musicians most Thursday nights.

This week, let's take a look at some of the most recent of those shows, starting up above with a set from a group led by drummer Demarius Hicks that was recorded on January 27 and streamed for the first time this past Thursday. Along with the leader, the group includes his brother David Hicks on keyboards, Jason Swagler on alto sax, and Eric Slaughter on guitar

After the jump, you can see a set by Two Times True, recorded on February 4. Led by pianist Carolbeth True, the band also includes her son David True on drums, Glen Smith on bass, and Larry Johnson on saxophones.

That's followed by a set from keyboardist and vocalist Ryan Marquez, who's joined by David Gomez (tenor sax), Josiah Joyce (guitar), Jahmal Nichols (bass), and Tim Moore (drums). This show was recorded on January 25, 2021.

Nichols is back in the next video, this time fronting his own group Black Frequencies in a set recorded on January 8. Along with the leader on bass, the band includes Scooter Brown (alto sax), Antonio Foster (piano, electric piano), and Montez Coleman (drums).

The fifth video depicts a set by singer Erika Johnson, recorded on January 13. Demarius Hicks and Jahmal Nichols supplied the drums and bass, with Pete Ruthenburg on keyboards and Eric Slaughter on guitar.

Finally, the sixth clip features a set from Dhoruba Collective, led by drummer Jeffery Dhoruba Hill and also including David Gomez on sax, guitarist Josiah Joyce, and bassist Teddy Brookins. It was recorded on January 5.

Jazz St. Louis' "Season of Stream" continues next week with a performance on Thursday, February 25 by the electro-jazz trio Vehachi. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, February 19, 2021

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Drummer and St. Louis native Marcus Baylor (pictured) and his wife, singer Jean Baylor, are among the musicians featured last week in an NPR story, "Alone Together: Jazz Couples (Stuck) at Home"

* Actor Ruth Negga will star as St. Louis native Josephine Baker in an upcoming limited series for television being produced by ABC Signature that will offer "a raw and unflinching look at the force of nature that was Josephine Baker, the biggest Black female artist of her time."

* St. Louis Volunteer Lawyers and Accountants for the Arts will present "Anatomy of a Contract," another in their ongoing series of business seminars for artists, at 6:30 p.m. next Monday, February 22. The online event will feature attorney David Kim of Stinson LLP and will "provide negotiation tips and cover contract basics." Get more info or sign up at STLVLAA's website.

* Jazz Times is showcasing on their website a track from drummer Dave Weckl's forthcoming album. "Big B, Little B" was recorded as part of the Weckl band's reunion gig in June 2019 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater, and the album, titled Live In St. Louis, will be released on Friday, April 9 by the Autumn Hill label.

* Students at Webster University affiliated with the Audio Engineering Society will present the university's annual Central Region Audio Student Summit from Friday, March 19 through Sunday, March 21. The online event will include guest speakers, panels, and demonstrations covering topics such as recording, mixing, and mastering; audio for film and visual; live sound; and more. It's open to industry professionals, high school and college students and teachers, and "others interested in the subject of Sound."

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Sunday Session: February 14, 2021

Chick Corea
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* Show's over for British roadies as Brexit blocks European music tours (MSN.com)
* Trane '63: A Classic, A Challenge, A Change (WFIU)
* Mary Wilson, longest-reigning original Supreme, dies at 76 (Associated Press)
* Music wars on Valentine’s Day: when your partner hates your record collection (London Jazz News)
* The Idea of the Blues: It’s Time for Chicago to Capitalize on the Heritage that Changed the Course of Music (NewCity.com)
* Ivo Perelman’s Massive Oeuvre (DownBeat)
* Harvey Brooks: View From The Bottom (Blues.gr)
* Sonny Rollins: “Musicians can live a charmed life” (Uncut.co.uk)
* International Anthem's Celebratory Approach Is Breaking Boundaries (ClashMusic.com)
* New Orleans avant-jazz saxophonist Kidd Jordan improvises his way to $50K fellowship (NOLA.com)
* Composer Anthony Davis Imagines His Freedom (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* The Hidden Legacy Of The Pointer Sisters, Genre-Busting Pioneers Of Message Music (NPR)
* Ancient shell horn can still play a tune after 18,000 years (Associated Press)
* Terri Lyne Carrington is the definition of Black Girl Magic (Associated Press)
* Trumpeter Rob Mazurek May Have Made Marfa’s Great Cosmic Jazz Album (Texas Monthly)
* Arbors Records Puts Art First (DownBeat)
* Black Women Who Shaped Rock & Roll (Rolling Stone)
* Chick Corea, Jazz Fusion Pioneer, Has Died Of Cancer At 79 (NPR)
* Impulse! Records Marks a 60th Anniversary, and a Creative Legacy, with Music Old and New (WBGO)
* Chronology: McCoy Tyner, Sideman (Jazz Times)
* Gretchen Parlato In Bloom (DownBeat)
* Todd Rundgren Reacts to Latest Rock Hall Nomination: 'I Don't Care About It' (Billboard)
* Nubiyan Twist: Real Life Stories (Jazz Times)
* Brexit is destroying music. Why has the government let this happen? (The Guardian)
* Brilliant, broke and wilfully annoying: the sad legacy of Frank Zappa (Sydney Morning Herald)
* Milford Graves: jazz drummer dies aged 79 (The Guardian)
* The Checkout: Steve Gadd Remembers When Chick Corea Gave Him a Lesson On the Drums (WBGO)
* Milford Graves, Pioneering Jazz Drummer and Polymath, Dies at 79 (Pitchfork.com)

Saturday, February 13, 2021

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: "Open Air" streaming shows from The Grandel



Continuing with our ongoing look at streaming performances from various St. Louis musicians and venues during the pandemic, this week let's check out some videos from The Dark Room's "Open Air" series, which since last year has been playing to both in-person and streaming audiences from a heated tent outside the Grandel Theatre.

Although the exceptionally cold weather forced the postponement of shows scheduled for this weekend, the "Open Air" series has been running on Friday and Saturday nights and for Sunday brunch, featuring local musicians from a number of different genres including jazz, blues,, Americana, folk, and more.

This week's post compiles a half-dozen shows from the series so far, starting up above with keyboardist Mo Egeston and his All-Stars in a performance recorded on August 22 of last year.

After the jump, you can see a set from singer and bassist Janet Evra (with a guest appearance by pianist Ptah Williams) that was recorded on September 4.

Williams also appears in the third video, which features him, bassist Darrell Mixon and drummer Gary Sikes backing singer Debby Lennon in a show on October 16.

Next up is singer Denise Thimes, recorded on October 24, followed by singer and guitarist Tommy Halloran and his band Guerrilla Swing in a show from November 13.

The final video spotlights singer Robert Nelson and was recorded on January 9.

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

Friday, February 12, 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 Chuck Flowers (pictured) was interviewed on the webcast "Jazz in the AM."

* Saxophonist David Sanborn has released a clip from his most recent "Online Sessions" video, a version of "Georgia On My Mind" recorded with organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Billy Kilson.

* In a new video for Rhythm magazine, drummer Dave Weckl reveals the details of his home studio setup for playing and teaching online.

* Also on the Weckl beat, he and fellow drummer Rob Silverman were the guests on last week's Modern Drummer podcast, discussing their most recent recordings and the drumming contest being sponsored by the magazine and their label Autumn Hill Records.

* The Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson this week reported that Atomic Cowboy, the long-running bar, restaurant and music venue in The Grove neighborhood, has closed permanently and put all its equipment and fixtures up for auction.

* Also from Kevin Johnson in the Post, a look at how cabaret venue Blue Strawberry has adapted to present different types of live music during the pandemic.

* An article at UDiscoverMusic.com takes a retrospective look at Miles Davis' classic 1950s album Steamin' with the Miles Davis Quintet.

* In more Miles Davis-related news, tattoo artist Kat Von D is being sued by a Los Angeles photographer who alleges that a tattooed image of Davis rendered by Von D for one of her customers infringes on his copyrighted photo of the trumpeter.

* And finally, a short feature in Far Out magazine recounts the story of the time in 1969 when Davis was asked by guitarist Jimi Hendrix to form a "supergroup" that also would have included drummer Tony Williams and Beatles bassist Paul McCartney.

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Sunday Session: February 7, 2021

Femi Kuti
Here's this week's roundup of various music-related items of interest:

* The Autobiography of Phil Woods: April in Paris 1968 (Jazz Times)
* Spotify’s latest invention monitors your speech, determines your emotional state… and suggests music based on it (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* YouTube says music artists' income could fall if it must pay more for streams (The Guardian)
* Tony Bennett's Battle With Alzheimer's (AARP.org)
* Mississippi Delta: The root of the blues in photos (Nashville Tennessean)
* Playlist: Haitian Rhythms And The Music Of New Orleans (NPR)
* The Velvet Mafia: the gay men who helped shape music in the 60s (The Guardian)
* Different beat: how Fela Kuti’s son and grandson are modernising the dynasty (The Guardian)
* A Time For The Blues (DownBeat)
* The Greatest and Yacht-iest of the Doobie Brothers, According to Michael McDonald (Vulture.com)
* Got the blues? Listen to these 25 essential Mississippi Delta blues songs (Beauregard Daily News)
* Revisiting the Tender Sounds of Dusty Springfield (The New Yorker)
* Mozart did not consider himself a tortured genius (Christian Science Monitor)
* Ben Sidran: The Ballad of Tommy LiPuma (Nardis) (Jazz Times)
* Here’s Where You Can Donate to Help Struggling Music Industry Workers (Rolling Stone)
* How pianist Jason Moran is exploring art and Black influences to get through the pandemic (NBC News)
* The Last Remaining Juke Joints in America (SPIN)
* Planning for the Future of Van Gelder Studio (Jazz Times)
* Danny Ray, James Brown’s Longtime ‘Cape Man’ and Emcee, Dead at 85 (Rolling Stone)
* STEAL THIS PLAN (AntiGravityMagazine.com)
* Ma Rainey’s Blues Power (Tidal.com)
* Hermosa Beach’s Lighthouse Cafe plans to reopen in March under new ownership (Hermosa Beach Daily Breeze)
* Music Venue Owners And Artists Reflect On How The Pandemic Changed Their Industry (NPR)
* How Black Composers Shaped the Sound of American Classical Music (NPR)
* You might know the Bakersfield Sound, but how well do you know the Lakeview Sound? (KGET)
* Béla Fleck’s Journey To Find Truth In Origins Of The Banjo (WBUR)
* How the US Civil War Influenced Music (History.com)
* While Hollywood Had the Sunset Strip, East L.A. Had the ‘Latin Strip’ (LATaco.com)