Saturday, May 26, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Happy birthday, Miles Davis!



Today is the 92nd anniversary of the birth of Miles Davis, and so it's time once again for StLJN's annual tribute to the most famous and influential jazz musician ever to come from this area.

Here are nine videos from throughout Davis' career, selected as personal favorites of yr. editor and first posted here with annotations in 2016.
The first, embedded up above the text, is the by-now-at-least semi-famous live version of "So What," the leadoff track from Kind of Blue, seen here as recorded by Davis and his quintet for the 1959 TV special The Sound of Miles Davis.

After the jump, you can see Davis and the Gil Evans Orchestra performing "The Duke" and "Blues for Pablo" from that same TV special.

The next two clips show Davis' so-called "Second Great Quintet" - with Wayne Shorter (tenor saxophone), Herbie Hancock (piano), Tony Williams (drums) and Ron Carter (bass) - in 1967, performing "I Fall In Love Too Easily" in Karlsruhe, Germany, and then doing "Footprints" in Stockholm, Sweden.

Davis was on the precipice of his "electric period" at that point, and in the next clip, a full set recorded in 1969 in Copenhagen, you can see him taking the leap with help from Shorter plus Chick Corea (keyboards), Dave Holland (bass), and Jack DeJohnette (drums).

This relatively short-lived band, which years later was dubbed the "Lost Quintet," led directly to the group seen in the next video, an entire set recorded on August 18, 1970 at the Berkshire Music Center, Tanglewood, MA. The band here is Davis, Corea, Holland and DeJohnette along with Gary Bartz (alto and soprano sax), Keith Jarrett on organ, and Airto Moreira on percussion, and at this point, Miles has gone full-on electric.

By the time the seventh clip was recorded, in 1973 at the Montreux Jazz Festival, Davis had changed the entire band again, and the version of "Ife" offers an even more jagged soundscape than the previous clip, courtesy of David Liebman (soprano sax), Pete Cosey (guitar, percussion), Reggie Lucas (guitar), Michael Henderson (bass), Mtume (congas, percussion), and Al Foster (drums).

The final two videos are both from the 1980s, well after Davis' comeback from the period of self-imposed exile in which Don Cheadle's film Miles Ahead is set. "Time After Time," Davis' cover of a hit originally recorded by Cyndi Lauper, was a staple of his live sets for several years, and is heard here in a version recorded in 1985 in Tokyo, Japan.

The last clip is a version of "Tutu," recorded in 1988 in Stuttgart, Germany, which unfortunately does not feature Marcus Miller, the song's composer and producer of the album of the same name. But it does show off one of Davis' more interesting and idiosyncratic late-period bands, with Kenny Garrett on saxophone and flute, Robert Irving III and Adam Holzmann on keyboards, Joseph "Foley" McCreary on six-string "lead bass" plus Benjamin Rietveld on electric bass, percussionist Marilyn Mazur, and the great drummer Ricky Wellman, who Davis plucked from Washington DC go-go godfather Chuck Brown's band, the Soul Searchers.

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

Friday, May 25, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* A feature story by the Alton Telegraph's Jill Moon offers an update on the House of Miles East St. Louis, a not-for-profit organization that has renovated Miles Davis' childhood home (pictured) and will officially open it to the public with the inaugural "Miles Fest" on Saturday, June 2.

* Demonstrating Davis' influence from coast to coast, Curbed.com offers a look at "12 iconic landmarks from Miles Davis’s New York," while SFJAZZ.org has published a playlist of favorite Davis tracks in advance of their Miles Davis Festival this weekend in San Francisco.

* Two newly released live recordings of guitarist and St. Louis native Grant Green were reviewed by The New Yorker's Richard Brody.

* The National Saxophone Museum at Saxquest was the subject of a feature story by St. Louis Public Radio's new arts reporter Jeremy Goodwin.

* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STLtoday has published a set of photos from trumpeter Terence Blanchard's concert last Sunday at the Grandel Theatre.

* Saxophonist Oliver Lake's Big Band will headline the grand finale of this year's Vision Festival, which wraps up on Monday at Roulette in NYC.

* The Dark Room is now open and featuring live music seven days a week, and recently added a new patio seating area. Hours are 4:00 p.m to midnight Monday through Thursday; 4:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. Friday; 10:30 a.m. to 1:00 a.m. Saturday; and 10:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Sunday.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Jazz this week: Poncho Sanchez; Cooper-Moore, Abrams & Drake; Glendale Jazz Festival; Willie Akins Jazz Festival; and more

The busy Memorial Day weekend schedule of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes the return of a leading light of Latin jazz; an all-star assembly of creative improvisors; a benefit raising funds for scholarships in the name of the late St. Louis saxophonist Willie Akins, and more.

Let's go the highlights....

Wednesday, May 23
Percussionist Poncho Sanchez (pictured, top left) and his band, who are pretty much the gold standard these days for small combo Latin jazz, perform for the first of four nights at Jazz St. Louis

For some samples of what you might expect to hear, check out Sanchez and company in action via video in this post from 2014.

Also on Wednesday, this week's "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features the St. Louis Steady Grinders at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's quartet at The Dark Room.

Elsewhere around town, the Ambassadors of Swing return for another "Shake and Shout Wednesday" at Tin Roof St. Louis; and The 442s and Erin Bode will perform for the monthly concert series at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Thursday, May 24
Percussionist Joe Pastor's trio returns to The Dark Room; pianist Adam Maness' trio is back at Thurman's in Shaw; and bassist Willem von Hombracht duets with violinist Abbie Steiling at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, May 25
The Glendale Jazzfest, now in its 19th year, has moved from City Hall to Glendale Lutheran Church, but still is free and open to the public. This year's fest will feature trumpeter Randy Holmes and his Hard Bop 7 playing music by Horace Silver, plus Chicago saxophonist Shawn Maxwell and singers Anita Rosamond and Coco Soul.

Elsewhere around town, the Funky Butt Brass Band performs for the the St. Louis Zoo's free "Jungle Boogie" event; and Miss Jubilee plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, May 26
New Music Circle closes out their 2017-18 presenting season with a show featuring a collaboration among multi-instrumentalists Cooper-Moore, Joshua Abrams, and Hamid Drake (pictured, bottom left) at Off Broadway.

All three are veterans of the international creative music scene, performing together for the first time here in St. Louis. You can find out more about them and see videos of all three in action (albeit individually) in this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, singers Jeanne Trevor and Joe Mancuso will be backed by guitarist Dave Black and bassist Willem von Hombracht for a show at Focal Point; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to the Venice Cafe; and singer Tony Viviano performs at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, May 27
The second annual Willie Akins Jazz Festival will take place at the Grandel Theatre, with a post-concert jam session at The Dark Room. 

The event, which is raising money for scholarships in Akins' name at Webster University, will feature music from Ben Reece's Unity Quartet; trumpeter Danny Campbell's quartet; a specially assembled band fronted by saxophonists Freddie Washington, Paul DeMarinis, and Kendrick Smith; singers Erika Johnson and Joe Mancuso; and more.

Monday, May 28
Dizzy Atmosphere plays Swing and Gypsy jazz at The Shaved Duck, and singer and guitarist Tommy Halloran is back at Yaquis on Cherokee.

Tuesday, May 29
"Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups, and pianist Pat Joyce will play at Evangeline's.

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, May 20, 2018

Sunday Session: May 20, 2018

Shabaka Hutchings
Here's a roundup of various music-related items of interest that have shown up in one of StLJN's various inboxes or feeds over the past week:

* New Orleans Celebrates Itself at Jazz Fest (Jazz Times)
* A Lifetime of Carla Bley (The New Yorker)
* Blanchard's trumpet sounds a call of protest (Minnesota Public Radio)
* Matt Marks, Versatile Composer And Musician, Dies At 38 (NPR)
* Guitarist & Composer Glenn Branca Dies at 69 (Billboard)
* Wynton Marsalis & Ethan Iverson: A Conversation on Jazz & Race (Jazz Times)
* Inside Cumbia's New Wave: How Raymix, Becky G Are Updating a Classic Genre (Rolling Stone)
* New Orleans Festival Hosts Generations (DownBeat)
* Spelman College Quietly Eliminates One Of The Country's Few Jazz Programs For Women (WBGO)
* 'The Jazz Ambassadors': When Dizzy and Satchmo Diplomacy Swung the Cold War (PopMatters.com)
* Checking In With Bob Ciano (NostalgiaKing.com)
* 'Isn't This Amazing?': Brian Eno's Boundless Curiosity (Rolling Stone)
* JazzFest Bonn Tinged by Air of Classical (DownBeat)
* The World of Cecil Taylor (New York Review of Books)
* Now TIDAL is accused of failing to pay record labels on time (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* Interview \\ Shabaka Hutchings on taking up space and his account on an unjust police arrest (EZHMag.com)
* YouTube Expanding Music Credits on Videos (Pitchfork.com)
* Why Psychological Analysis Shows We're Right To Worry For Musicians' Mental Health (TheQuietus.com)
* Dweezil Zappa Shares ‘Good News’ Post About Resolving Family Issues (Jambase.com)
* What Artists Get Wrong With Their Vinyl Releases: A Conversation with Masterdisk’s Scott Hull (Reverb.com)
* First Listen: Joshua Redman, 'Still Dreaming' (NPR)
* Someone called 911, but this man’s maple instrument wasn’t a gun. It was a bassoon (Springfield News Sun)
* Mojos Working: A History Of Recorded Blues (UDiscoverMusic.com)
* Cecil Taylor (1929-2018), Frank O’Hara, Amiri Baraka (Locus Solus: The New York School of Poets)
* Pianist Ahmad Jamal charted a new popularity for jazz (Wax Poetics)
* Reggie Lucas, Miles Davis Guitarist and Madonna Producer, Dead at 65 (Rolling Stone)

Saturday, May 19, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Cooper-Moore, Joshua Abrams & Hamid Drake



This week, let's check out some videos featuring multi-instrumentalists Cooper-Moore, Joshua Abrams, and Hamid Drake, who will be teaming up for a show presented by New Music Circle next Saturday, May 26 at Off Broadway.

All three are veterans of the international creative music scene who have performed in St. Louis previously in different ensembles.

Most recently, Drake played here with violinist Iva Bittová last year; with fellow percussionist Adam Rudolph in 2016; and, along with Cooper-Moore, as part of bassist William Parker's band In Order To Survive in 2013. For his part, Abrams - who, like Drake, is based in Chicago - played a show here for New Music Circle in 2014 with his band Natural Information Society.

NMC has brought them together specifically for this concert, so there's really no video available of the three of them as an ensemble. Instead, today's collection of clips features performances from each of them that may provide some insights into their individual styles and potential ways of interacting.

The first video up above features Cooper-Moore playing solo piano for just short of half an hour, recorded in December 2017 in NYC.

After the jump, you can see him speaking briefly and then playing balafon on a piece called "Emancipation," recorded in May 2017 in the studios of WBGO in Newark, NJ.

A larger version of the same instrument turns up in the third video, which features Hamid Drake on drums and percussion and Aly Keita on balafon in an excerpt from a set at the 2017 Sant'Anna Arresi Jazz Festival 2017.

Below that, you can see an entire solo set by Drake, recorded in September 2013 at the Festival Isole che Parlano in the island nation Palau.

The fifth video is a brief clip of Joshua Abrams recorded solo in 2012 on a Chicago rooftop, in which he's playing guimbri, a West African lute that's his go-to instrument when he's not playing bass. 

The sixth and final video shows him playing both guimbri and bass in a scaled-down, touring version of Natural Information Society, with Lisa Alvarado on harmonium and Frank Rosaly on drums. It's a a full set of music, recorded in April 2015 at the Tarcento Jazz Festival in Italy.

For more about these three musicians, you can read Cooper-Moore's 2017 interview with the Free Jazz Blog; Abrams' interview with Bandcamp.com, also from 2017, and the interview with Drake published in 2015 by a site called The Attic.

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

Friday, May 18, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Pianist Adam Maness' trio is profiled as another of the Riverfront Times' "STL 77" for 2018.

* WSIE 88.7 FM "The Sound" will have a new boss as of next Monday, May 21, as Jason Church is leaving his job as news director at talk radio station KFTK-FM to become the new general manager of WSIE, which is based on the campus of SIU Edwardsville.

Church has been involved in various jazz radio ventures in St. Louis for more than a decade, including doing on-air and program development work at smooth jazz station WSSM, internet radio station The Oasis, and Hip 96.3 HD-3; and hosting Radio Arts Foundation's "The Jazz Collective" on Saturday nights, a job he'll continue along with his new duties at WSIE.

* The Young Friends of Jazz St. Louis are accepting applications from individuals who would like to serve next season on their board of directors. Board members plan and lead the group's various activities and events to support the mission of Jazz St. Louis.

For more information, go to http://www.jazzstl.org/support/young-friends, or email youngfriends@jazzstl.org for an application.

* Pianist and St. Louis native Lawrence Fields (pictured) can be seen with the band Sound Prints, co-led by trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Joe Lovano, in a new video of Wayne Shorter's composition "Juju," recorded earlier this month at New Morning in Paris.

* Pianist Peter Martin has posted to Facebook a video of a full set from his shows with bassist Chris Thomas and drummer Brian Blade two weekends ago at Jazz St. Louis. (The music starts at approximately 17:40 into the video, which is an unedited recording of a live stream from that night.)

* Saxophonist Eric Person has posted to YouTube a video clip of "Juicy Lucy," recorded during his team-up with fellow saxophonist Houston Person in March 2017 at Dizzy's in NYC.

* Also just up on YouTube, the STL Free Jazz Collective's complete first set from last Saturday's performance at the 14th St. Artists Community.

* The latest dispatch from the St. Louis American's Delores Shante offers her impressions of a recent performance by singer Anita Jackson at The Dark Room.

* The St. Louis Post-Dispatch/STLtoday has put online a gallery of photos from singer Denise Thimes' Mothers' Day show at the Touhill. 

* Trumpeter Terence Blanchard talked about his new album Live and his gig this Sunday at the Grandel Theatre for a story by the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson.

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Jazz St. Louis announces 2018-19 season

Chick Corea
Jazz St. Louis has announced its schedule for the 2018-19 season.

The biggest "get" for the year would seem to be pianist Chick Corea, who will kick off the fall season with performances on Tuesday, September 11 and Wednesday, September 12 at the Ferring Jazz Bistro (as it is now officially known since Jazz St. Louis apparently has retired their long-running "Jazz at the Bistro" branding).

Robert Glasper
Other notable return appearances will include teenage piano phenom Joey Alexander (October 12 & 13), keyboardist Robert Glasper (December 12-16), saxophonist and singer Grace Kelly (February 13-17), saxophonist Branford Marsalis (April 2-4), pianist Brad Mehldau (April 10-14), back for his first St. Louis trio shows since 2011, and pianist Chucho Valdes (February 5-7), who's playing the Bistro for the first time since 2001.

Making their Bistro debuts will be the acclaimed young singer Jazzmeia Horn (May 8-12), who has enjoyed a meteoric rise since winning the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Competition in 2015; singer Nicole Henry (November 7 & 8); and drummer Mark Giuliana's quartet (March 27-31).

Jazzmeia Horn
In a significant change to past scheduling practices, shows featuring touring artists that are part of JSL's main subscription series now will run for five nights instead of four, with two additional performances added on Sundays.

Jazz St. Louis also will continue the collaboration they began this year with Cabaret Project St. Louis, teaming up to present a series of shows that will include appearances by local favorites Ann Hampton Callaway and Liz Callaway, Marilyn Maye, and Belleville native Lea DeLaria.

Here's the schedule of announced shows in chronological order:

Tuesday, September 11 & Wednesday, September 12: Chick Corea Trio
Wednesday, September 19 - Sunday, September 23: Byron Stripling
Wednesday, September 26 & Thursday, September 27: Ann Hampton Callaway & Liz Callaway
Friday, September 28 & Saturday, September 29: Dave Venn Trio with Jeanne Trevor

Wednesday, October 3 - Sunday, October 7: Kenny Barron Trio
Thursday, October 11: Jim Widner Big Band
Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13: Joey Alexander
Wednesday, October 17 - Sunday, October 21: Dr. Lonnie Smith
Wednesday, October 24 & Thursday, October 25: Darius de Haas
Friday, October 26 & Saturday, October 27: Reuben Rogers, Ulysses Owens Jr. & John Ellis

Wednesday, October 31 - Sunday, November 4: Stefon Harris & Blackout
Wednesday, November 7 & Thursday, November 8: Nicole Henry
Friday, November 9 & Saturday, November 10: Dave Grelle’s Playadors
Wednesday, November 14 - Sunday, November 18: Jeff Lorber Fusion
Friday, November 23 & Saturday, November 24: Jeremy Davenport
Wednesday, November 28 - Saturday, December 1: Christian McBride’s New Jawn

Wednesday, December 5 & Thursday, December 6: Christine Ebersole & Billy Stritch
Friday, December 7 & Saturday, December 8: Adam Larson: The Music of Sonny Rollins
Wednesday, December 12 - Sunday, December 16: Robert Glasper
Tuesday, December 18 - Thursday, December 20: Jazz St. Louis Big Band plays Ellington’s “Nutcracker”
Friday, December 21 & Saturday, December 22: Jim Manley's "A Very Manley Christmas"
Friday, December 28 & Saturday, December 29: Good 4 The Soul

2019
Wednesday, January 2 - Sunday, January 6: The Bad Plus
Friday, January 11 & Saturday, January 12: Falling Fences
Wednesday, January 16 - Sunday, January 20: Donny McCaslin
Wednesday, January 23 & Thursday, January 24: Cyrus Chestnut Trio
Friday, January 25 & Saturday, January 26: Lea DeLaria

Wednesday, January 30 - Sunday, February 3: Bistro All-Stars
Tuesday, February 5 - Thursday, February 7: Chucho Valdes: Jazz Bata
Friday, February 8 & Saturday, February 9: Melissa Aldana, Emmet Cohen & Marquis Hill
Wednesday, February 13 - Sunday, February 17: Grace Kelly

Wednesday, February 27 - Sunday, March 3: Anat Cohen Quartet
Wednesday, March 13 - Sunday, March 17: Kurt Elling
Friday, March 22 & Saturday, March 23: Funky Butt Brass Band & Friends
Wednesday, March 27 - Sunday, March 31: Mark Guiliana Quartet

Tuesday, April 2 - Thursday, April 4: Branford Marsalis Quartet
Friday, April 5 & Saturday, April 6: Matt Wilson, Ron Miles & Jeff Coffin
Wednesday, April 10 - Sunday, April 14: Brad Mehldau Trio
Wednesday, April 24 - Sunday, April 28: Pedrito Martinez Group

Wednesday, May 1 & Thursday, May 2: Arturo O'Farrill
Monday, May 6 & Tuesday, May 7: Marilyn Maye
Wednesday, May 8 - Sunday, May 12: Jazzmeia Horn
Wednesday, May 15 & Thursday, May 16: Shoshana Bean
Wednesday, May 22 - Sunday, May 26: John Pizzarelli Trio with Catherine Russell

Various season subscription packages can be purchased via the Jazz St. Louis website or by calling 314-571-6000, with single tickets scheduled to go on sale on Wednesday, August 8.

Edited 5/18/18 to correct information about the last St. Louis appearances of Chick Corea, Brad Mehldau and Chucho Valdes.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Jazz this week: Dawn Weber, Terence Blanchard and the E-Collective, "Honoring Our Own" with Wycliffe Gordon, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features plenty of brass, with performances headlined by one local trumpeter and singer; one visiting trumpeter who's become quite familiar to local listeners; one star trombonist who's helping pay tribute to some St. Louisans; and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 16
Cabaret Project St. Louis has found a new home for their monthly "Broadway Open Mic," which starting this week will take place at Sophie's Artist Lounge & Cocktail Club on the second floor of the .ZACK building at 3224 Locust St.

Also on Wednesday, the weekly "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" features Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at The Stage at KDHX, the jam session led by bassist Bob Deboo at the Kranzberg Arts Center, and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor and his band at The Dark Room.

Thursday, May 17
The Route 66 Jazz Orchestra with singers Valerie Tichacek and Dean Christopher performs at Jazz at the Bistro; saxophonist Ben Reece's Unity Quartet returns to The Dark Room; and singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black will celebrate Mancuso's birthday with a show at Parkside Grille in West County.

Friday, May 18
Trumpeter and singer Dawn Weber and friends will perform for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro, and the St. Louis Big Band plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Also on Friday, saxophonist Kendrick Smith's trio continues at Thurman's in Shaw, and bassist Darrell Mixon leads a trio at Cigar Inn in Belleville.

Saturday, May 19
The Friends of Scott Joplin present the string band Mound City Slickers in a matinee concert at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site's Rosebud Cafe.

Then on Saturday evening, percussionist Herman Semidey and Orquesta Son Montuno will play salsa, latin jazz, and more at the Webster Groves Concert Hall, and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, May 20
Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and his band, the E-Collective (pictured, top left), will perform at the Grandel Theatre.

Blanchard and company currently are touring in support of their most recent album Live, which came out earlier this year. For more about that, and Blanchard's ongoing relationship with St. Louis, see this post from last Saturday

Also on Sunday, singer Wendy Gordon and friends -  including special guest star, trombonist Wycliffe Gordon (pictured, bottom left) - will present "Honoring Our Own," a tribute to St. Louis trombonist and educator Robert Edwards and actor/singer J. Samuel Davis, at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

That same evening, saxophonist Rev. Cliff Aerie and the Oikos Ensemble are offering another of their "Inner Jazz" programs at the First Congregational Church in Webster Groves.

Monday, May 21
While we haven't heard the band yet and thus cannot offer an informed recommendation, this seems like as good a place as any to note that The Dark Room has started offering live music on Mondays, presenting a quartet led by the young drummer Keith Bowman, a recent graduate of Webster University. 

Tuesday, May 22
Pianist "Ragtime" Jack Radcliffe, a specialist in pre-war jazz, blues, and, yes, ragtime, who's from Massachusetts, performs at Evangeline's.

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.)