Friday, July 11, 2014

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* It's been an eventful week for Miles Ahead, Don Cheadle's movie about Miles Davis, as Cheadle and company began filming on Monday in Cincinnati and last night wrapped up a successful IndieGoGo campaign raising more than $340,000 in additional funding for the movie.

Meanwhile, Cheadle also was interviewed about the movie by Entertainment Weekly (which ran the photo of him as Davis-circa-1969 that accompanies this post), Okay Player, and Uprising Radio.

* In other Davis-related news, the trumpeter also showed up on a list recently published by of the top 10 most-sampled jazz artists of all time. Davis ranks number nine on the list, with 146 samples of his music used in hip-hop records that made the charts. (Incidentally, the musician ranked as "most sampled" is a Missouri native - keyboardist Bob James, who's originally from Marshall, MO and has had his jazz/funk tunes sampled 734 times to date.).

* Drummer Dave Weckl has announced a tour and forthcoming album by his new group, the Dave Weckl Acoustic Band, which features St. Louis native Tom Kennedy on bass along with saxophonist Gary Meek and pianist Makoto Ozone. Though the tour schedule for this summer doesn't include a St. Louis date, you can see a brief preview video of the band, recorded earlier this year at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood, here.

* In conjunction with other merchants in the Old Webster business district, Euclid Records will hold a sidewalk sale next Saturday, July 19, with thousands of LPs, CDs and DVDs for sale at marked-down prices in front, in back, and inside the store, which is located at 19 North Gore in downtown Webster Groves.

* Tavern of Fine Arts co-owner Aaron Johnson got married over the Fourth of July weekend to Melissa Brooks, cellist with the St. Louis Symphony. Congratulations to the happy couple!

* Historian and former St. Louisan Benjamin Cawthra, who wrote the book Blue Notes in Black and White about the history of jazz photography, has a few thoughts about recent developments here concerning Jazz St. Louis and the Palladium, and how the presentation of live jazz continues to evolve.

* Keyboardist Jim Hegarty has published a new ebook, Guts & Soul: Looking for Street Music and Finding Inspiration, which is available now for free on Smashwords and soon via iTunes and other outlets. "Street music has always inspired me and I went looking for more," explained Hegarty in an email touting the book, which contains photos of and conversations with street musicians in New York, Chicago, Boston, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New Orleans.

* Jazz radio update: Coming up this week on Radio Arts Foundation - St. Louis' “Somethin’ Else,”  host Calvin Wilson explores the compositions of saxophonist Ornette Coleman, as recorded by the composer himself, bassist Christian McBride, drummer John Hollenbeck and others.

Following that, on "The Jazz Collective," host Jason Church will offer up tracks from Morgan James, Omar Hakim, Cookin on 3 Burners, Down To The Bone, Ragan Whiteside, Mindi Abair, Lou Donaldson, Wes Montgomery, Junior Walker, Wilton Felder, and Donald Byrd as well as locals including Dawn Webert, Soul Cafe, and Jim Manley.

"Somethin' Else" can be heard at 8:00 p.m. Saturdays, followed by "The Jazz Collective" at 9:00 p.m., on 107.3 FM, 96.3 HD-2, and online at

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