Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Notes from the Net: Still more Miles to cover; Brubeck 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 with some Miles Davis news, here's a recent article by's Will Layman that asks, "How much Miles Davis is enough?" Well, for us, not just one item, that's for sure - so here's a review of the deluxe 40th anniversary collectors' edition of Bitches Brew, written for by Chris M. Slawecki. Meanwhile, yet another Davis-related book, Miles: The Companion Guide to the Autobiography, is currently scheduled for a February 2011 release date.

Also, via Miles Davis Online, there's news that hip-hop star/actor Q-Tip is working on a play about Davis (pictured) with author and filmmaker Nelson George. Also, there's another documentary film about Davis in the works, and the magazine The Revivalist just ran several stories on the Bitches Brew anniversary in their inaugural issue. The package includes interviews with saxophonist Bennie Maupin and drummer Lenny White, who played on the sessions for the album, and Davis' nephew Vince Wilburn, as well as a never-before-released live recording of “Directions.”

* Turning to news of other former St. Louisans, saxophonist Oliver Lake has just opened a show of his visual art in the galleries of radio station WBGO in Newark. The exhibit runs through January 28.

* Here's a review of guitarist Grant Green's CD Retrospective from Tim Niland of Music and More.

* In news of recent visitors, guitarist Russell Malone, who played Jazz at the Bistro in October and has a new CD on the St. Louis-based label MAXJAZZ, just did an interview on WBGO's The Checkout.

* And here's a review of drummer/keyboardist Gary Husband's latest, Dirty and Beautiful Volume 1, from's Ian Patterson. Husband was in St. Louis last month at The Sheldon with guitarist John McLaughlin's band 4th Dimension.

* The Rebirth Brass Band, who played at The Gramophone in October, have just released Rebirth Revisited, a collection of remixes by the band and various contributing producers. You can check out a sample track, "Do Whatcha Wanna (Jazzhouse SPD Remix)," by clicking on the embedded audio player below.

* Dave Brubeck is on the mend from the health difficulties that forced him to cancel his appearance here in October at the Sheldon. Here's a review of Brubeck's return to the stage at the Blue Note in NYC, courtesy of the Times' Nate Chinen, and a recent feature story on the venerable pianist and composer written by Marc Myers for the Wall Street Journal.

* Wrapping up with some items of more general interest, a recent story from the New York Times' Daniel J. Wakin chronicles the shrinking amount of work available to NYC freelance classical musicians, while another recent Times piece from A.G. Sulzberger looks at the ambivalent relationship that many working musicians have with holiday music.

* The first season of the HBO series Treme will be released on DVD in March. Pianist and former St. Louisan Tom McDermott is just one of many jazz and blues musicians who appeared earlier this year in the HBO series about New Orleans residents recovering from the devastation of Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent flooding of the city.

* Nominees for the 2001 Grammy Awards were announced last week, and though no St. Louis jazz musicians were nominated this year, a number of the jazz nominees have played here recently, as you can see if you check out the complete list here.

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