Thursday, January 26, 2012

Jazz this week: The Wee Trio, Chris Corsano, "Jazz Under The Stars," Freddie Washington, and more

If there's a theme to this week, it would seem to be "youth," as the next few days' worth of jazz and creative music in St. Louis will feature a number of fresh faces (plus a few relatively grizzled veterans) performing in a variety of styles ranging from the traditional to the experimental. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, vibraphonist Peter Schlamb and his group will kick off the winter/spring 2012 Jazz at Holmes series of free concerts at Washington University.

Also tonight, up-and-coming young pianists Stephanie Trick and Paolo Alderighi will team up for a performance at Robbie's House of Jazz; and the Young Friends groups of Jazz St. Louis and the St. Louis Science Center will present their second "Jazz Under The Stars" event at the McDonnell Planetarium in Forest Park, featuring music from drummer Marty Morrison and Friends with guest vocalist Erin Bode.

On Friday, the Wee Trio (pictured) opens a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. The group, which features St. Louis native Dan Loomis on bass, New Yorker Jared Schonig on drums, and New Orleans' James Westfall on vibraphone, last played the Bistro in 2009. This time around, they're touring behind a new CD, Ashes to Ashes: A David Bowie Intraspective, which, as the name suggests, features their interpretations of six songs written by iconic rocker David Bowie.

Yr. humble StLJN editor spoke with Loomis last week about the project for an article that should go up on the Riverfront Times' RFT Music Blog some time on Thursday. Once it's online, we'll add a link here; in the meantime, for more about the Wee Trio and some video footage of them in action, see this post, which preceded their last visit here. UPDATE - 10:15 a.m., 1/26/12: The interview with Dan Loomis is online here.

Also on Friday, saxophonist Greg Lewis and his group Press Play return to Robbie's House of Jazz, and guitarist Tom Byrne's trio will be back at the Cigar Inn.

Then on Saturday night, the improvising percussionist Chris Corsano will be in town to perform with bassist Darin Gray and saxophonist Dave Stone in a concert presented by New Music Circle at Kranzberg Arts Center. For more about Corsano, including links to a couple of extended interviews and more than an hour of live performance video, check out this post from last Saturday. UPDATE - 10:30 p.m., 1/26/12: You can read my Critic's Pick about Corsano written for this week's print edition of the RFT here. (Musicians and music students take note: Corsano and Gray also will lead a free public workshop on improvisation and extended techniques from noon to 2:00 p.m. Saturday at Luminary Center for the Arts, 2900 Reber Pl.)

On Sunday afternoon, the St. Louis Jazz Club will present a stylistically diverse double bill featuring the traditional jazz sound of Banjos & Brass, plus Utter Chaos, a quartet of young musicians featuring a front line of baritone sax and trombone and drawing inspiration from 1950s cool jazz, at the Doubletree Hotel St. Louis at Westport.

That evening, saxophonist Freddie Washington will open a series of Sunday night shows presented by the Black Rep at the Grandel Theater.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday evening Dave Black and Bridge will perform at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium. The eclectic ensemble features Black on guitar along with violinist Asako Kuboki, cellist Tracy Andreotti, bassist Syd Rodway and percussionist Henry Claude, performing original compositions that draw on jazz, classical, world music and more.

Then on Tuesday, the St. Louis MetroBones, a new group that features 14 trombonists from area high schools and colleges under the direction of veteran trombonist and educator Dave Dickey, will play a concert at the Black Cat Theatre.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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