Sunday, September 17, 2017

Sunday Session: September 17, 2017

Linda May Han Oh
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Mapping The Vast Influence Of Holger Czukay, Alchemist Of Krautrock Legends Can (NPR)
* Lisa Fischer: From Back to Front (Jazz Times)
* What Would the Next Golden Record Carry? (The Atlantic)
* A Conversation with Mark Turner / Ben Ratliff (MusicAndLiterature.org)
* Walter Becker, Glenn Frey, and a Sobering Realization About Dad Rock (ConsequenceOfSound.net)
* Designing a world of immersive sound (Rochester.edu)
* The Music Industry Bands Together to Finally Get Paid Online (Wired)
* Bokanté: Blues & Roots (Jazz Times)
* Esperanza Spalding's 'Exposure': A Creative Marathon, Live In The Studio (NPR)
* A New Mural Rising to Honor John Coltrane (WRTI)
* Tokyo Jazz Joints: Capturing An Old Love Story (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Blue Note All-Stars Present Their ‘Point Of View’ (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* Toronto: Eric Clapton on Rock Music Now: "Maybe the Guitar Is Over" (Hollywood Reporter)
* Photos: Chicago Jazz Festival 2017 (Jazz Times)
* Inside the Americana Genre's Identity Crisis (Rolling Stone)
* Ambitious Rhode Island music fest ends in chaos (Boston Globe)
* Norah Jones' NYC Residency Reveals the Best Contradictions of the Singer/Songwriter's Career (Paste)
* The Most Expensive Music of Today Is Recorded on Mediums from the Past (Robb Report)
* The Right Music Can Change How Your Date Sees You, Say Scientists (Inverse.com)
* These are the biggest pop songs to sample classical music in the last 25 years (ClassicFM.com)
* Interview: Linda May Han Oh (Monterey County Weekly)
* Sun Ra in Sin City (LaphamsQuarterly.com)
* 38th Annual Detroit Jazz Festival (AllAboutJazz.com)
* Musicals back in vogue, and business, as genre lights up Broadway and TV (The Guardian)
* Musician Fred Hersch Recounts A Life 'In And Out Of Jazz' In His New Memoir (NPR)

Saturday, September 16, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2017 jazz preview, part four



Here's the fourth and final part of of StLJN's Fall 2017 jazz preview, featuring videos of jazz and creative music performers who will be visiting St. Louis in the next several months. (You can see part one here, part two here, and part three here.)

Picking up the chronology at the point when part three left off, today's first video features trumpeter and East St. Louis native Russell Gunn, who will be coming back home to perform Wednesday, November 15 through Saturday, November 18 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Gunn's "Blackhawk Revisited" band celebrates Miles Davis' sound at the turn of the 1960s, as exemplified by the box set In Person Friday and Saturday Night at the Blackhawk, recorded in 1961 at the Black Hawk nightclub in San Francisco.

On hand to lend authenticity to the proceedings will be Jimmy Cobb, the octogenarian drummer who played on the original Blackhawk dates and is the only musician from Davis' landmark album Kind of Blue still living. This video was recorded last October at Dizzy's in New York, and features Gunn, Cobb and bandmates Morgan Guerin (tenor sax), Kevin Bales (piano), and Corcoran Holt (bass) doing a full set of the Blackhawk material.

After the jump, it's singer Jane Monheit, who will perform Wednesday, November 29 though Saturday, December 2 at the Bistro. She's seen here singing "Ev'ry Time We Say Goodbye" in May 2016 at the studios of KNKX Public Radio in Tacoma, WA.

The third clip features Battle Trance, the all-tenor-sax quartet who will be presented by New Music Circle on Saturday, December 2 at The Luminary. It's a video of the title track from their album Blade of Love, as performed in January at the Vandoren Studio in Los Angeles.

Next, it's pianist and singer Freddy Cole, seen here performing "Songs for Lovers" in February 2017 at Dizzy's. Cole and his band, with guest saxophonist Harry Allen, will be in St. Louis starting Wednesday, December 6 through Saturday, December 9 at Jazz at the Bistro.

That same weekend, the Spanish Harlem Orchestra will make their St. Louis debut with a holiday-themed show called "Salsa Navidad" on Friday, December 8 at Sheldon Concert Hall. The sixth video depicts highlights from that show, as performed last year at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles.

The penultimate video features vocal group Take 6, who will be back to perform starting Wednesday, December 13 through Saturday, December 16 at the Bistro. You can see them here singing "Stand By Me" and "Straighten Up and Fly Right," as recorded in August at the studios of Hawaii Public Radio. 

Last but not least, it's actor, singer, and Belleville native Lea DeLaria, who will perform her cabaret show on Wednesday, December 27 and Thursday, December 28 at Jazz at the Bistro. She's seen in the final video doing an impromptu version of "Since I Fell For You" last October at an NYC spot called the Duplex.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, September 15, 2017

MFLA's musical instrument drive for local students starts Monday, September 25

Do you have an old, unused, or extra musical instrument taking up space in the basement, garage or spare room? If so, consider donating it to Music for Lifelong Achievement (MFLA).

MFLA is a local not-for-profit organization based at the Sheldon Concert Hall that collects used and new musical instruments and donates them to school and community music programs serving disadvantaged young people. Since its inception, MFLA has provided nearly 600 instruments to music students all over the St. Louis area.

This year's MFLA instrument drive will begin on Monday, September 25 and continues through Sunday, October 29.

There are two ways to help: by giving a musical instrument, or giving cash. Selected St. Louis-area Starbucks stores once again will serve as drop-off locations for used and new musical instruments during the drive. The donated instruments then will be repaired, if needed, and distributed to students who otherwise would not be able to afford an instrument. Donors get a letter documenting the value of the instrument for tax deduction purposes.

If you don’t have an instrument to donate, MFLA also happily accepts cash contributions, which are used to help pay for necessary repairs of donated instruments and provide accessories such as strings, reeds, and sheet music. These donations also are tax deductible. For more information or to make a donation, call The Sheldon at 314-533-9900 or visit www.supportmfla.org.

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Trumpeter Keyon Harrold was interviewed about his forthcoming album The Mugician by Billboard magazine.

* Last Saturday's Alton Wine and Jazz Festival, which was headlined by Harrold, was the subject of a feature story from the Alton Riverbender's Steven Spencer.

* In other Harrold family news, drummer Emanuel Harrold (pictured), who's Keyon's younger brother, was interviewed by Tony Minvielle of the UK online radio station Jazz FM

* The Brothers Lazaroff promoted their gigs this weekend at Jazz at the Bistro with an appearance on the morning news at KTVI - FOX 2.

* Multi-instrumentalist Lamar Harris was interviewed about his score for Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ presentation of Blow, Winds by the St. Louis American's Kenya Vaughn.

The production, a re-imagining of King Lear written by Nancy Bell, will be performed at 8:00 pm nightly starting Friday, September 15 through Sunday, September 17 outside of the St. Louis Public Library’s Central Library Branch downtown.

* Saxophonist Donny Piela of the St. Louis Big Band was profiled by the Washington Missourian.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Jazz this week: Brand X, Tony Grey, Old Webster Jazz and Blues Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features a bit of a British invasion, with two shows featuring headliners with roots in England's homegrown jazz-rock movement, plus several other noteworthy performances.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, September 13
The reunited British fusion band Brand X, touring in support of a live album recorded on tour last year, will perform at the Old Rock House.

Also on Wednesday, the "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" will feature saxophonist Austin Cebulski at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, plus the weekly jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor and band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, September 14
Bassist Tony Grey will perform in the first concert of the semester for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Born in England and trained at Berklee School of Music, Grey (pictured) probably is best known as the regular touring bassist for the single-named pianist Hiromi, but he's also released five albums as a leader, written several bass instruction books, and even has recorded a bit with famed guitarist John McLaughlin, who's his uncle.

Friday, September 15
The Brothers Lazaroff will play for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, promoting the release of their new live album, which was recorded at the Bistro in the summer of 2016.

Also on Friday, pianist Ptah Williams and his trio continue their weekly gig at The Dark Room, and drummer Steve Davis' "Super Band" featuring singer Feyza Eren will play a free show at Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Saturday, September 16
Trumpeter Jim Manley plays for brunch at Evangeline's, and it's also the date of the annual Old Webster Jazz & Blues Festival, which takes place in what's known as the Old Webster Business District, centered at the intersection of Lockwood and Gore in suburban Webster Groves.

Performers at the free, day-long event will include Miss Jubilee, the Webster University faculty jazz band, SpaceShip, Funky Butt Brass Band, Two Times True, and the Webster Groves HS jazz band, plus blues acts including Marquise Knox, Aaron Griffin, Roland Johnson & Soul Endeavor, and the Green McDonough Band.

Monday, September 18
Saxophonist Paul DeMarinis leads his band in a program of original music at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium, and guitarist and St. Louis native Daryl Darden, back from California for a visit, will play at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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.)

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Sunday Session: September 10, 2017

Art Tatum
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Steely Dan Guitarist Walter Becker Dies at 67 (DownBeat)
* EWS: Walter Becker (1950-2017) R.I.P. (London Jazz News)
* Walter Becker Was A Master Of Musical Understatement (NPR)
* Vijay Iyer On Jazz's 'History Of Defiance,' His Influences And Playing In A Sextet (NPR)
* Gunter Hampel at 80: Still Ahead of Time (JazzDaGama.com)
* Every Night Perfect (Popular Mechanics)
* The Rise And Fall Of Tower Records (Flashbak.com)
* Wadada Leo Smith's Defiant And Fearless Elegy For Emmett Till (In 360˚ VR) (WBGO)
* Roscoe Mitchell, Who Helped Invent New Chicago Jazz Sound, Comes Home (Chicago magazine)
* Chicago Jazz Fest Shines Spotlight on Hometown Talent (DownBeat)
* Holger Czukay, sampling pioneer and co-founder of Can, has died at age 79 (FactMag.com)
* Holger Czukay obituary (The Guardian)
* Tower Of Power Singer Rick Stevens Dies (Pollstar.com)
* BassDrumBone and the New Haven Jazz Renaissance (AllAboutJazz.com)
* In Praise of Art Tatum, Stealth Radical in the Jazz Piano Pantheon (WBGO)
* Looking back at 20 years of neglected promise at 18th and Vine — and forward to 2020 (Pitch Weekly)
* Ella Fitzgerald Sings With London Symphony Orchestra On New Album (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* Berklee To Turn A Legendary Recording Studio Into Its New York City Home Base (WBUR)
* Jimmy’s Blues (Los Angeles Review of Books)
* A Nation of Tinkerers: How a Canadian University Shaped Electronic Music in North America (Vice.com)
* The World’s Largest Music Publishers Just Declared War on Spotify — In No Uncertain Terms (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* We Talked to People at the Largest Free Jazz Festival on the Planet (Vice.com)
* Iggy Pop: Croon & Destroy - From his Stooges days to a surprising recent collaboration, the punk pioneer discusses his jazz past (Jazz Times)
* World’s oldest jazz band in Shanghai a rare constant amid China’s breakneck modernisation (South China Morning Post)
* Should Spotify Try to Become the 'Netflix Of Music'? Not So Fast (Billboard)
* 'Germans Love Their CDs': Universal Music Exec on How Germany's Music Market Is Transforming 'Differently' (Billboard)
* Two Years Later, Is New Music Friday Doing Its Job? (Forbes)
* What if you used synthesizers to emulate nature and reality? (CDM.link)
* Why Esperanza Spalding Is the Most Audacious Innovator in Jazz (Time)
* How We Can Support the World’s Rich Musical Diversity (Smithsonian)
* Review: Detroit Jazz Festival 2017 - Artist-in-residence Wayne Shorter, Herbie Hancock and others impress at this outstanding free fest in the Motor City (Jazz Times)

Saturday, September 09, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Fall 2017 jazz preview, part three



Welcome to part three of StLJN's Fall 2017 jazz preview, presenting videos featuring noteworthy jazz and creative music performers who will be visiting St. Louis over the next few months. (You can see part one here, and part two here.)

Continuing in chronological order from where part two left off, today's first clip features singer and pianist Eric Comstock and singer Barbara Fasano, whose show "Downton Abbey Road: The Best of Britain" will be presented as part of the Gaslight Cabaret Festival on Friday, October 27 at the Gaslight Theater.

Although no excerpts of that show are available on video, you can see them up above performing "When In Rome (I Do As The Romans Do)" as recorded in April 2015 during the weekly "Cast Party" event at Birdland in NYC.

After the jump, there's a clip featuring guitarist, singer and St. Louis favorite John Pizzarelli, who's returning to headline the annual "ArtSounds" benefit on Saturday, October 28 at Sheldon Concert Hall.

Recorded last month at KNKX in Tacoma, WA, it features Pizzarelli and Daniel Jobim, the grandson of Brazilian music legend Antonio Carlos Jobim, performing "The Girl From Ipanema" from Pizzarelli's latest album Sinatra & Jobim @ 50.

The third video features saxophonist Houston Person, who will be back in town to perform Wednesday, November 1 through Saturday, November 4 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Person, who usually works with local rhythm sections on gigs like the one he's doing at the Bistro, is seen here in a video from March of this year that documents his team-up with fellow saxophonist and St. Louis native Eric Person for a gig at Dizzy's Club at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. Along with the two Persons, the band includes pianist Zaccai Curtis, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer McClenty Hunter.

Next, it's singers Farah Alvin and William Michals, who will join forces to present "Broadway's Greatest Hits of All Time" for the Gaslight Cabaret Festival on Friday, November 3 and Saturday, November 4 at the Gaslight Theater.

In their individual clips, Michals is performing "This Nearly Was Mine" from South Pacific, recorded last month at Feinstein's/54 Below in NYC, while Alvin is singing "Infinite Joy" as part of a show last month at the the Cape Playhouse in Dennis, MA.

Today's sixth video features a full set from singer Cécile McLorin Salvant, recorded in December 2016 at Dizzy's with a band including pianist Aaron Diehl, bassist Paul Sikivie, drummer Lawrence Leathers, and guest star Anat Cohen on clarinet.

Salvant has a new album called Dreams and Daggers coming out at the end of this month, and her tour in support of the record will include a performance on Saturday, November 11 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

That same evening, electronic musician John Wiese will be headlining an event for New Music Circle at St. Louis University's Xavier Hall.

Billed as "a site-specific composition that includes over 20 local musicians, utilizing both traditional and non-traditional instrumentation," the performance can't really be previewed here, but you can get an idea of the sort of thing Wiese does in today's penultimate video, which documents a performance in August 2016 at the Artifex Guild in Bloomington, IN.

The final video features actress and singer Emily Skinner, who will perform "Broadway Her Way" for the Gaslight Cabaret Festival on Saturday, November 11 at the Gaslight Theater.

Word came down this week that Skinner already has sold out this single performance, but since this post was mostly written by the time that news reached StLJN HQ, you might as well enjoy a clip of her performing "Could I Leave You" last fall in the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis' production of Follies.

Look for part four of StLJN's Fall 2017 jazz preview next week in this space. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, September 08, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Jazz St. Louis announced this week that they'll be live-streaming online video of selected performances this season at Jazz at the Bistro.

According to a news release, "the series will highlight four artists from the 2017-18 performance season through pre-recorded videos hosted by local jazz pianist Peter Martin and live-streaming activities of the programs which will be available on the Jazz St. Louis website, Facebook page and Ustream".

Featured performances to be streamed include Yellowjackets (pictured) on Friday, September 22; Sammy Miller and the Congregation on Friday, October 27; The Bad Plus on Friday, January 19; and Sean Jones Quartet on Friday, March 2.

* The Alton Jazz and Wine Festival, set for tomorrow at the Riverfront Amphitheater in Alton, is the subject of a preview story in St. Louis magazine.

* Former St. Louisan Mark Deutsch, now living in California, has released The Picasso Tunings, a set of four related albums featuring the Bazantar,  the instrument he invented that combines acoustic bass and sitar. You can hear the new recordings, plus a newly remastered version of Deutsch's first solo album Fool, on his BandCamp page.

* The Gaslight Cabaret Festival was previewed by the West End Word.

* Applications for the latest round of Regional Arts Commission's Artist Support Grants are open now through Thursday, October 12. Grants are available from $500 to $3,000 to artists from all disciplines for a variety of purposes. For more info or to apply, go to https://racstl.org/grant/artists-support-grants/.

* Megan Kirk's cabaret show "Out of My Head," performed last week at The Stage at KDHX, was reviewed for the station by Chuck Lavazzi.

* Wide Open, the forthcoming album from singer, keyboardist and St. Louis native Michael McDonald, features guest performances from several well-known jazz musicians including Robben Ford, Marcus Miller and Branford Marsalis.

It's McDonald's first record of original material since 2000's Blue Obsession and is scheduled for release next Friday, September 15, but you can hear the whole thing now via an online stream from NPR Music’s “First Listen.” McDonald will support the release with a fall tour than includes a stop here on Friday, November 3 at Peabody Opera House.