Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Jazz this week: The Thing, Denise Thimes, Charlie Hunter, Victor Wooten Trio, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features several stellar singers; the local debut of an esteemed free jazz trio; some straight-up bebop; funky sounds from New Orleans, California, and beyond; and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, March 21
Singer Brian Owens performs for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, revisiting some of the jazz material he did earlier in his career, with backing from pianist Adam Maness' trio.

(Thursday's show will features Owens' current working band, the Deacons of Soul, with an emphasis on songs recorded for his most recent album The Soul of Cash, an R&B-flavored re-imagining of songs associated with country music legend Johnny Cash.)

Also on Wednesday, the Ambassadors of Swing return to Tin Roof St. Louis downtown; and singer Joe Mancuso is back at Taha'a Twisted Tiki in The Grove.

Thursday, March 22
New Music Circle presents the Scandinavian free-jazz trio The Thing (pictured, top left) at Off Broadway. Saxophonist Mats Gustafsson, bassist Ingebrigt Håker Flaten, and drummer Paal Nilssen-Love have been working together since the turn of the century, touring and recording frequently as a trio and also playing with musicians such as Peter Brötzmann, Ken Vandermark, Thurston Moore, Joe McPhee, James "Blood" Ulmer, and singer Nenah Cherry.

This is their St. Louis debut, and there seems to be a good deal of interest in the show, so if you're planning on going, don't be late. For more about The Thing and some videos of their live performances, see this post from Saturday before last.

Also on Thursday, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present a free concert featuring trumpeter Randy Holmes' quintet playing 1940s and '50s bop in the style of Dizzy Gillespie and Charlie Parker, and guitarist/violinist Christopher Voelker of Dizzy Atmosphere leads a trio at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, March 23
Singer Denise Thimes (pictured, center left) who recently moved from St. Louis to Chicago and got a rave review from the Chicago Tribune for her first shows there, will be back home to present a tribute to Nina Simone in the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

A few blocks away, Jeanne Trevor - another longtime favorite St. Louis female vocalist who, unfortunately, gigs infrequently these days - will perform with guitarist Dave Black and bassist Willem von Hombracht at The Judson House.

Also on Friday, pianist Ptah Williams will be in his usual spot at The Dark Room; the Gateway City Big Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran does the penultimate gig in his winter residency at Das Bevo Underground.

Saturday, March 24
Guitarist Charlie Hunter (pictured, bottom left) returns to lead a trio with singer Dara Tucker and drummer Damon Grant at Off Broadway; the New Orleans Suspects are back for another performance at the Broadway Oyster Bar; and trumpeter Jim Manley is playing at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, March 25
Miss Jubilee performs for brunch at Evangeline's; pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True with singer Kim Fuller and saxophonist Larry Johnson play a late-afternoon concert at St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, and singer Mary Dyson is back with an early evening show at Troy's Jazz Gallery.

Monday, March 26
Webster University's Student Jazz Combos will show off what they've learned this semester with a concert at the Community Music School.

Tuesday, March 27
Bassist Victor Wooten and his trio with drummer Dennis Chambers and saxophonist Bob Franceschini will perform at the Old Rock House.  Wooten, who played the Chesterfield Jazz Festival here last summer with his family band, the Wooten Brothers, currently is touring in support of his most recent album Trypnotyx, which was released last fall and features Chambers and Franceschini.  For more about that, and some videos of recent live performances of material from the album, see this post from last Saturday.

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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