Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Notes from the Net: Al Jarreau recovering; JazzReach gets funding; 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 with some recent linkage related to the St. Louis area's most famous jazz musician, the Miles Davis exhibit in Montreal was reviewed by J.D. Considine of the Toronto Globe and Mail here. Meanwhile, JazzOnline's Miles Davis Podcast series, which features interviews with famous folk talking about Davis, in recent weeks has added segments featuring singer, actor and spoken word performer Henry Rollins, trumpeter Mike Metheny, bassist/producer Bill Laswell, trumpeter Randy Brecker, pianist Steve Kuhn and guitarist Nels Cline. You can access the whole series here. Finally, Riffs on Jazz blogger John Anderson muses on Davis' score for Louis Malle’s 1958 film Ascenseur pour l’échafraud (Elevator to the Gallows) here.

* In news of another St. Louis native, multi-instrumentalist J.D Parran was part of two "Jazz Meets Classical" concerts presented last weekend by the Jazz Composers Orchestra Institute at Columbia University's Miller Theater. The performances - reviewed here by Steve Smith of the New York Times, with a photo of Parran accompanying the online version of the story - were the culmination of a weeklong series of seminars bringing together musicians from the jazz and classical worlds.

* Turning to news of coming attractions, bassist Christian McBride is doing a trio tour this summer with pianist Chick Corea and drummer Brian Blade. McBride will be back in St. Louis in September for a duo concert at the Sheldon with pianist Peter Martin, and then again in March for a Ray Brown tribute at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Singer Al Jarreau (pictured) is recovering after being admitted to a hospital in France late last Thursday, July 22. Jarreau, 70, collapsed on stage with respiratory problems during a performance, and was taken to the intensive care unit of a clinic in the southern Alpine town of Gap, where he initially was listed in critical condition. Jarreau's condition subsequently improved enough for him to be moved by helicopter on Sunday to a hospital in Marseilles, where he is expected to continue to rest and undergo tests for several more days. His management is posting updates about Jarreau's condition on the singer's website. Jarreau is scheduled to come to St. Louis in February for a concert at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

* Everything Is Everything, saxophonist Kirk Whalum's CD of the music of singer/songwriter/pianist and St. Louis native Donny Hathaway, is set for release next month. Whalum will be back in St. Louis on August 13 for the Guitars and Saxes concert at the Pageant.

* The Preservation Hall Jazz Band also has a new CD, Preservation, a compilation featuring an eclectic selection of more than 20 guest artists, including Angelique Kidjo, Tom Waits, Del McCoury, Terence Blanchard, Pete Seeger, Dr. John, the Blind Boys of Alabama, Ani DiFranco, Steve Earle, Merle Haggard, Bobby McFerrin and more. The disc was recorded at Preservation Hall, with proceeds to benefit the historic New Orleans venue and its Preservation Hall Music Outreach Program. The PHJB and McCoury will perform in October at the Family Arena in St. Charles.

* JazzReach, Inc. is one of 79 NYC-based arts organizations to receive "a significant infusion of funding" from the Open Society Foundations, which last week announced $11 million in grants to support community and educational arts initiatives. The two-year operating-support grants ranging from $65,000 to $250,000. Founded in 1994 by drummer Hans Schuman, JazzReach is a nationally recognized not-for-profit organization that promotes a greater appreciation, awareness and understanding of jazz music through multi-media educational programs for young audiences. JazzReach's resident ensemble Metta Quintet will return to St. Louis in November to play at the Touhill under the auspices of Jazz St. Louis.

* Guitarist John McLaughlin will be one the headliners at The New Universe Music Festival, an event to be presented by his current record company Abstract Logix on November 20 and 21 in Raleigh, North Carolina. Guitarist Jimmy Herring and drummer Lenny White also will play the fusion-filled fest. McLaughlin will be in St. Louis earlier that same month to play at the Sheldon.

* Here's a review of drummer Stanton Moore's latest CD Groove Alchemy, written by Phillip Booth for his blog Between The Lines (via AllAboutJazz.com). Moore will be in St. Louis with Garage a Trois in September to play at the Old Rock House.

* Finally, a couple of online resources for your further edification and/or amusement during these steamy dog days: The venerable jazz mag Cadence recently beefed up its online presence considerably, and the BBC's Radio 3 has just put online much of their extensive archive of "world music" programming.

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