Friday, March 07, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* With the wrecking ball poised to swing at the historic Castle Ballroom, site of performances by many important jazz musicians, Nicholas J. C. Pistor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that much of the recent deterioration of the building came while it was owned by groups that included some St. Louis city officials.

* Also on the historic preservation front, Steve Smith, owner of the south side tavern The Royale, has recorded a video in support of the effort to save the Palladium, aka Club Plantation, another building in the Grand Center district with a musically significant history that also is threatened with demolition. The effort to raise awareness and save the building is being led by artist and author Kevin Belford, who created the collage of musicians who played at Club Plantation used to illustrate this post.

* In this week's Miles Davis-related news, Peter Bacon of the UK blog The Jazz Breakfast wonders if the number of Davis CD box sets has reached the saturation point.

* Meanwhile, an article in Audiophile Review critiques the quality of various reissues of Davis' landmark album Kind of Blue.

* The Presenters Dolan have posted to their Facebook page an album of pictures from last weekend's Gaslight Cabaret Festival performances by singer Marissa Mulder.

* Singer Connie Fairchild, whose Gaslight Cabaret Festival performance on Saturday night is sold out, was interviewed by Terry Perkins for the St. Louis Public Radio website.

* Guitarist Pat Metheny was interviewed by Calvin Wilson of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for a preview story about Metheny's Unity Group concert this Sunday at The Pageant

* Trumpeter Roger Ingram has posted to his Facebook page a photo album from his workshops and performances at last week's Mineral Area College Jazz Festival

* The St. Louis Big Band's Ryan Sheehan was profiled by the Webster University Journal.

* Guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran was interviewed by Liz Schranck of KDHX.

* The New Orleans-style cuisine at Evangeline's, the new Central West End spot that features live music several nights a week, was reviewed by the Riverfront Times' Cheryl Baeh.

* St. Louis writers K. Curtis Lyle and Quincy Troupe spoke on the program New Day Jazz about the late author, poet and critic Amiri Baraka.

* Jazz St. Louis reports via this week's email newsletter that their 2014 fundraising gala held last Friday at the Ritz-Carlton raised more than $260,000 for the organization's education programs, making it the second most successful gala in JSL's history. You can see photos from the gala, which featured music from saxophonist Maceo Parker, on Jazz St. Louis' Facebook page.

* Jazz radio update: This Saturday night on Radio Arts Foundation-St. Louis' "Somethin' Else," host Calvin Wilson will feature jazz interpretations of the music of composer Stephen Sondheim by clarinetist Don Byron, saxophonist Grover Washington Jr., singer Sarah Vaughan, and others. Listen in at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays via 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

Then, this Sunday evening on KWMU's "Jazz Unlimited," host Dennis Owsley continues his exploration of music recorded live in New York, ranging from vintage tracks featuring Art Tatum, Sarah Vaughan with Lester Young, Dizzy Gillespie, Don Byas with Thelonious Monk, and many others to more recent recordings by Chucho Valdes, the Gil Evans Orchestra, the Dave Holland Quintet, the World Saxophone Quartet, Medeski, Martin & Wood, the Anthony Braxton Quartet with Marty Ehrlich, and Hamiet Bluiett.

The program can be heard at 9:00 p.m. Sundays over the air on KWMU (90.7 FM) or online at (This is a "pledge week" for KWMU, so if you're so inclined, you can show your support for "Jazz Unlimited" by calling in during the program with a membership contribution.)

Also on Sunday nights: While Josh Weinstein presents avant-jazz, improvised music and more each week on "All Soul, No Borders", airing at 10:30 p.m. KDHX (88.1 FM), he rarely tips his playlists in advance. However, we have been remiss in not noting in this space that once the show has aired, you can see the ASNB playlists, and more importantly, access an audio stream of the previous two weeks' shows, via the KDHX website.

(Edited after posting to add the link to the Pat Metheny interview.)

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