Thursday, June 10, 2010

Notes from the Net: "First times" with Miles; Oliver Lake's new CD; Boney James on the mend; plus news, reviews, interviews and more

Here's the latest compilation of assorted news briefs and links related to jazz, improvisation, and creative music in St. Louis, including news of musicians originally from the Gateway City, recent visitors, and coming attractions, plus assorted other items of interest:

* Starting off, as is our custom, with a Miles Davis item, NPR's A Blog Supreme recently asked readers "What Was Your First Miles Davis Album"? and got "nearly 1,000 replies on NPR's Facebook page; 103 replies here on A Blog Supreme (an astronomical amount for us) and hundreds of tweets and re-tweets." The number one intro-to-Miles album was, unsurprisingly, Kind of Blue, which remains the best selling jazz album of all time; the runner-up was Bitches Brew, which is getting a 40th anniversary re-release this year.

* In news of other St. Louis natives, saxophonist Greg Osby will headline a live webcast for NPR's "Live at the Village Vanguard" program on Tuesday, August 3. (Episodes are archived online for later listening, too.)

* Saxophonist Oliver Lake (pictured) has a new CD called Plan featuring his Organ Trio with keyboardist Jared Gold, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix and drummer Jonathan Blake. Here's a review from Music and More blogger Tim Niland, who calls it "a very exciting and constantly compelling album."

* Turning to news of recent visitors, guitarist Jeff Beck, who played St. Louis' Fox Theatre in April, this week led a tribute to guitarist and inventor Les Paul at the intimate NYC club Iridium, where Paul had a steady Monday night gig for many years right up until his death in 2009. Here's another review, written by Bill Milkowski for Jazz Times.

* Meanwhile, the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, last seen here in March at the Sheldon Concert Hall, have headed across the Atlantic for a tour that includes four concerts in Berlin, three in London, and five in other UK cities.

* Singer and pianist Jamie Cullum, who also was in St. Louis in March to play the Roberts Orpheum Theatre, will be one of the headliners at the Carefusion Newport Jazz Festival in August.

* Saxophonist Peter Brötzmann and percussionist Hamid Drake have a new eponymous duo CD, reviewed here by "Stef" of the blog Free Jazz. Their recent duo tour, the first in more than a decade, included a stop in April at St. Louis' Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center.

* As if he wasn't busy enough already, bassist Christian McBride is producing and playing on vibraphonist Warren Wolf's debut CD for Mack Avenue Records. McBride revealed on his Twitter feed that recent sessions in NYC also included drummer Greg Hutchinson, saxophonist Tim Green and, on piano, St. Louis' own Peter Martin, all of whom also have been associated with McBride's Inside Straight band. Last seen here in November at Jazz at the Bistro, McBride will play a duo concert with Martin in September at the Sheldon, and will return again next year in March for a Ray Brown tribute at the Bistro.

* Speaking of return engagements, trumpeter Chris Botti, who will return to St. Louis in February 2011 for a concert at Powell Hall with the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, will perform next week at NYC's Carnegie Hall for the CareFusion Jazz Festival New York. Botti also will play the CareFusion Newport Jazz Festival in August.

* Singer, pianist and songwriter Ann Hampton Callaway, who's coming back to the Gateway City next March to play at the Bistro, recently did a duo show with her sister, Broadway and cabaret performer Liz Callaway, at Town Hall in NYC. The program featured their interpretations of pop hits from the 1960s and 1970s; here's the review from the New York Times' Stephen Holden.

* Saxophonist Gerald Albright has a new CD, Pushing The Envelope, on sale next week. The funk-flavored release features special guest appearances by Fred Wesley on trombone, Earl Klugh on acoustic guitar and George Duke on acoustic piano, along with keyboardists Tracy Carter and Luther "Mano" Hanes, guitarist Ricky Watford and drummer Ricky Lawson. Albright is out on the road this summer with the Guitars and Saxes tour, which hits The Pageant in St. Louis on Friday, August 13.

* Singer Tierney Sutton was one of the headliners at last week's Isthmus Jazz Festival in Madison, WI, resulting in this interview with the local magazine that sponsored the event. Sutton will be back in St. Louis in October to play the Sheldon.

* Saxophonist Chris Potter has put online some free live music from his band Underground, via the website ArtistShare. Potter and Underground will play Jazz at the Bistro next March.

* Lastly, smooth jazz saxophonist Boney James is on the mend from being rear-ended in a recent car accident, in which he suffered a gash in his chin that resulted in 14 stitches, a fractured maxilla bone, and two broken front teeth. James is taking off several weeks for orthodontic repairs and recovery, but anticipates being able to play again the first week of July, which would be in time for him to make his show scheduled for Thursday, July 8 at the Bottleneck Blues Bar in St. Charles.

Some of James' canceled shows have been rescheduled, but for his date this Saturday in Sacramento, trumpeter Rick Braun and saxophonist Richard Elliot will fill in and co-headline what's being billed as a "Get Well Soon Tribute" as part of their ongoing "RnR" tour, which comes to the Pageant on July 30.

(Edited after posting to clean up some typos.)

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