Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 28-September 3



Tanner Taylor, coming to Crooners Lounge on September 1

 © Andrea Canter
Summer might be waning but the jazz calendars are anything but. Outdoor music and festivals are winding down, but tickets are on sale for the new Eight O'Clock Jump Series at Walker West (starting September 6) and Crooners Lounge is jump-starting its new Tuesday Night series on September 1 with a long-overdue visit from Tanner Taylor. The coming weekend and week also feature a CD release at the Black Dog from trombonist and master educator Dean Sorenson, a series debut for No Room for Squares at The Nicollet, back to back nights at the Dakota with Tootie Heath and Terence Blanchard, Maud Hixson back at Parma 8200, music of all sorts on various stages at the Stage Fair..... and the beat goes on.

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, August 28. Heading out to the Fair? The swinging Parisota Hot Club (Robb Henry, Matt Senjem, Jay Epstein and Erin Livingstone) are on the stage at the Ramberg Senior Center for three sets starting at 10:30 am.

Maud Hixson
The patio might be nice this evening but come inside to the bar/lounge at Parma 8200 for songbird Maud Hixson and her intrepid trio with husband Rick Carlson on keys and one of his favorite partners, bassist Steve Pikal. Count on Maud to throw in a few curveballs -- forgotten songs or forgotten songwriters. Clever lyrics are always in her set list.

Bill Stieger
A favorite among local jazz hounds at the 2015 Twin Cities Jazz Festival, No Room for Squares is as old fashioned as it sounds-- this is good ol' bebop at its best, presented by a veteran crew who swing through the best of the era: Drummer Bill Stieger in the driver's seat, Jon Pemberton on trumpet, Jimmie Wallace on sax, Mikkel Romstad on piano and Adam Tucker on bass. They make their debut on the Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet series.

Jeremy Walker
Start up north in Fridley at Crooners with Katia Cardenas singing her way through happy hour (and again tomorrow night), then head south to St. Paul for the double-header at Vieux Carré. The night kicks off in sublime mode with the Jeremy Walker/Jeff Brueske duo, then turns around and swings the night away with Patty and the Buttons. Come early and chill out, just long enough to energize your ears for some old time swing.

Javi Santiago
A little bit different tonight at Jazz Central: Hard core jazzers Javi Santiago (piano) and Miguel Hurtado (drums) join up with the funky soulful vocalist Taylor Johnson (aka Proper-T) for a new project, dubbed Murkury. The ensemble is described as "an experimental, jazz and electro-soul band."

Sam Miltich
Vocalist Charmin Michelle and guitarist Sam Miltich sound like a heavenly pairing, and tonight they bring their magic to "Take Love Easy," the music of Ella Fitzgerald and Joe Pass, at the Third Place Gallery in south Minneapolis. Normally this is not a music venue but a gallery run by photographer Wing Young Huie, but it will surely be an artful setting for these two musical treasures.

Dean Sorenson
Saturday, August 29.  Dean Sorenson has been long associated with the jazz program at the U of Minnesota, which he has directed for 15+ years, yielding some of the top young jazzers on the Twin Cities scene (aka, Joe Strachan, Nelson Devereaux, Adam Meckler). But Sorenson is also a well respected arranger, composer and trombonist, skills on full display in his Dean Sorenson Sextet. A band of Twin Cities heavyweights (David Milne, Steve Kenny, Chris Lomheim, Tom Lewis, Phil Hey), the sextet will celebrate its first recording (Colors of the Soul) on the Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series tonight. The music soars with the colors and energy of a big band, yet still retains the intimate collaboration of a chamber ensemble. The opening act, appropriately, features a trio of Dean's past students -- Ryan Christianson (trombone), Matt McIntyre (bass) and Andres Crovetti (drums).

Patty Peterson
At the Dakota, Patty Peterson and Friends returns for a night of soulful jazz and R&B, with Paul Peterson, Billy Franze, Bobby Vandell, Sean Turner and Ronny Loew.

Sunday, August 30. Singer/songwriter and a great jazz interpreter, Barbara Meyer joins Imaginary Numbers ("cool jazz") for an afternoon of music at the Alexis Bailly Vineyard in Hastings, the closing act on the summer's jazz series.

Tootie Heath Trio*
Tonight the Dakota presents a real treat for jazz fans, with a trio led by the great drummer, Albert "Tootie" Heath, in the red hot company of Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and bassist Ben Street. One of the famed Heath Brothers, Tootie's resume covers six decades and includes stints with the likes of John Coltrane. With his much younger cohorts Iverson and Street, Heath recently released Philadelphia Beat, a celebration of his home town.

Chris Thomson Quartet
Over at the Icehouse, there's an early evening show for singer-songwriter Paul Spring's vinyl release, with the Chris Thomson Quartet as the opening act. Saxophonist Thomson always engages a creative group, with his most recent quartet featuring accordionist Patrick Harison, bassist James Buckley and drummer, Dosh.

Explosion Big Band
Monday, August 31. If this is your night at the Fair, check out the AFL/CIO Pavilion at 5 pm for a free gig from the Doug Haining/Scott Agster Explosion Big Band (to be repeated tomorrow night). Another accomplished big band, the Acme Jazz Company, fills their monthly slot at Crooners Lounge.

Terence Blanchard
A major force in jazz trumpet and composition, Terence Blanchard returns to the Dakota with a new "plugged in" project, E-Collective, described as the intersection of jazz, R& B, funk, and fusion. The ensemble features outstanding young pianist Fabian Almazon who has been with Blanchard since 2007. The rest of the band includes guitarist Charles Altura (Chick Corea's Vigil), bassist Donald Ramsey (Dr. John, Irma Thomas), and drummer Oscar Seaton (Ramsey Lewis, Lee Ritenour).

James Buckley
Tonight's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is essentially the James Buckley Trio + 1, with guitar wizard Jacob Hanson joining bassist Buckley, pianist Bryan Nichols and drummer/host, JT Bates. Their debut at Studio Z on the All Originals series last month was too good to be an isolated gig.

Tuesday, September 1. It's been about a year since piano monster Tanner Taylor pulled up his Minnesota stakes and returned to his native central Iowa. It's a brief return but a welcome one, and a perfect way to launch the new Tuesday Night instrumental series at Crooners Lounge. Joining Tanner will be Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein, making it a triple play.

Maryann Sullivan
Making her Vieux Carré debut, vocalist Maryann Sullivan brings her Corner Jazz band to downtown St. Paul for an evening of old-fashioned swing and standards. Her band is a bit different from its usual tonight-- with Doug Haining at the State Fair, the sub on horn is son/trumpeter Preston Haining, visiting from southern California; Javi Santiago takes over the piano bench, with Steve Pikal on bass and older son Trevor Haining on drums.

It's First Tuesdays at the Black Dog, and tonight guitarist Joseph Damman sits in for Dean Magraw with Davu Seru handling percussion.

Robert Everest
Wednesday, September 2. Brazilian-style guitarist Robert Everest and his Expedition play today and tomorrow at the International Bazaar at the State Fair (3 sets starting at 10:45 am). 

Jon Weber
A very special Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club tonight -- host vocalist Connie Evingson welcomes pianist Jon Weber along with frequent guest, saxophonist Dave Karr. (Jon is in town for his Sunday gig with Connie at the Jungle Theater.)

Rhonda Laurie
Thursday, September 3. Vocal Jazz night continues at Jazz Central, now curated by Sarah Greer. Tonight she hosts Vicky Mountain "and Friends"....and her friends are always fabulous-- Phil Aaron on piano and Jim Chenoweth on bass. And vocal jazz rules the evening at Crooners with the Rhonda Laurie Quartet.

Coming Soon!
. September 4, Joel Shapira Trio at Parma 8200
. September 4, Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carré
. September 4, Phil Aaron/Zacc Harris Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 5, Adam Booker Sextet CD Release at Vieux Carré
. September 5, Jana Nyberg Group at Crooners Lounge
. September 5, What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog
. September 6, Nichole Mitchell at Walker West Music Academy
. September 6, Connie Evingson with Jon Weber, Music of David Frishberg at the Jungle Theater
. September 7, Convergence Trio (Michael O'Brien, Joel Shapira, Eric Gravatt) at the Black Dog
. September 7, Dave King Trucking Company at the Icehouse
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 8, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 9, Dean Magraw solo guitar, American Swedish Institute Ballroom Series
. September 10, Kamasi Washington at the Icehouse
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 11, Ron Carter and Golden Striker Trio at Walker West Music Academy
. September 11, Michael O'Brien Trio at The Nicollet
. September 12, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Walter Chancellor, Salsa del Soul, Source Code)
. September 12, Peterson Family Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson at Vieux Carré
. September 12, Jon Pemberton's Tribute to Lee Morgan at the Black Dog
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 18, Bryan Nichols (Chicago) Quartet at Vieux Carré
. September 18, Seru/Bates/Wozniak at The Nicollet
. September 19, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Falls Park
. September 19, Laura Caviani and Dave Milne, Jazz at St Barneys
. September 19, Jay Young and Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. September 19, Paul Harper's Show and Tell at the Black Dog
. September 20, Clarice Assad at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Lucia Sarmiento Quartet at The Nicollet
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 26, John Penny Trio followed by CD Release "Night Together" at the Black Dog
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota

The Dave King Trucking Company, at the Icehouse on September 7


*All photos by Andrea Canter except Tootie Heath Trio (courtesy Chicago Jazz Festival)





Thursday, August 20, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 20-27



 
Cyrus Chestnut at the Dakota, August 25
© Andrea Canter

Lots of special events on the jazz scene this week, from the final two nights of Adam Meckler Quintet's live recording sessions and the season finale of the All Originals Jazz Series to the jazz components of the Bridge Chamber Music Festival in Northfield, and a stellar line-up of visiting artists from Kansas City bassist Bob Bowman and former Minnesotan Nancy Harms to hard-swinging pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the Rabbi of jazz, Ben Sidran.

Big Gigs This Week
Friday, August 21. Start the evening with Irv Williams. Just a few days past his 96th birthday, Mr. Smooth continues to hold down Happy Hour at the Dakota every Friday.

Bob Bowman
Kansas City bassist Bob Bowman has been a frequent visitor lately, and he's back in town for a gig at Jazz Central, playing in a trio with pianist Dan Leahy and drummer Mac Santiago.

Across town at the Black Dog, saxophonist Donald Washington hosts his monthly meeting of improvisational minds, featuring a trio tonight with bassist Yohannes Tona and drummer/son Kevin Washington. Come down early for Todd Harper's Possibilities, with drummer Bill Stieger, bassist Mike Leipold,  trumpeter Todd Baer, saxophonist Chris Hagedorn, and of course Harper--pianist, composer, and "traffic director." 

 
Patty Peterson
In downtown St Paul, Vieux Carré presents the early show with the Zacc Harris Duo, while the swinging Southside Aces will turn up the heat a couple hours later.

In the north 'burbs, the ever-expanding palette of music at Crooners features Patty Peterson and Friends, and the friends tonight include pianist Sean Turner, bassist Billy Franze and drummer Bobby Vandell. Turner is playing more and more visibly these days, which is a very good thing for local jazz. Or head south to Bloomington for an evening at Parma 8200 with Arne Fogel, channeling Bing, Frank, and more.

David Milne
Further south in Northfield, its the Bridge Chamber Music Festival which spreads across venues over several days. Tonight's treat is offered by the piano/sax duo of Laura Caviani and Dave Milne at the Carleton College Concert Hall, performing "jazz impressions” of classical repertoire, featuring special arrangements of music by Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Bill Dobbins, Claude Debussy, Manuel de Falla, Gabriel Faure, Carlos Guastavino, and Maurice Ravel. Definitely worth the 40-minute drive.

Adam Meckler
Friday-Saturday, August 21-22. On Thursday, the Adam Meckler Quintet launched an unusual three-night, three-venue live recording series of gigs at Studio Z, and this weekend they finish up at The Nicollet (Friday) and Black Dog (Saturday), each session sponsored by Steve Kenny's Illicit Productions. With Zacc Harris, Nelson Devereaux, Graydon Peterson and Greg Schutte filling out the ensemble, we'll hear all new compositions written with these artists in mind. And while the music intended for the album will be played each night, the nature of the set, and the additional tunes to fill out the set lists, will vary with the moment.

Zacc Harris
Saturday, August 22. The ever-creative Zacc Harris launches a new ensemble tonight at the Black Dog, opening for the Adam Meckler Quintet. Dubbed American Reverie, Zacc notes that "It won't always be trio, and the 'American' part is key, as we'll be doing all arrangements and re-imaginations of songs that evoke imagery of an America gone by," including "Tennessee Waltz," "Shenandoah," and "Be My Baby." It is a trio tonight with bassist Matt Peterson and drummer Lars-Erik Larson.

Jeremy Siskind Trio
In the wake of their superb new recording, Housewarming (BJU Records), the Jeremy Siskind Trio is on a Midwest tour that brings the band to Vieux Carré tonight. And this "housewarming" is also a homecoming for vocalist Nancy Harms, a Minnesota native who spent about five years charming vocal jazz fans in the Twin Cities before relocating to New York in 2010. Her star is on a fast rise in the Big Apple, in part due to her role in projects like Housewarming. Pianist Siskind is also a prolific composer who tends to set poetry to the music; rounding out the trio is multi-reed specialist Lucas Pino, with whom Nancy creates two-voice harmonies that sometimes leave the listener wondering what's human, what's reed.

Robert Everest
Brazilian-style guitarist Robert Everest brings samba outside at Powderhorn Park tonight, and Andrew Walesch brings his big band to Crooners for his salute to Frank Sinatra.

Sunday, August 23. Want a little jazz with Sunday brunch?  Most every Sunday, you can find good food and good music around the metro, from the soothing piano and vocals of Andrew Walesch at Crooners (with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) to the "New Orleans Traditional Jazz, Western Swing, Gypsy melodies, Ragtime piano blues, jug music and 1930′s popular song" melange of Patty and the Buttons at the Aster to the south of the border vibe of Robert Everest at Maria's Cafe.

Dave Hagedorn
Monday, August 24. Saxophonist Joe Mayo brings his quartet (Zacc Harris, guitar; Andrew Foreman, bass; Lars-Erik Larson, drums) to Jazz Central tonight, while down in Northfield, vibes master Dave Hagedorn "and friends" continue the jazz trend of the Bridge Chamber Music Festival at the Grand Event Center.  JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse tonight features a trio of innovative multi-instrumentalists-- Tom Reichert, Tim Glenn, and Atlanta artist Stephen Roach.

Cyrus Chestnut
Tuesday, August 25. Swinging pianist Cyrus Chestnut headlined the Twin Cities Jazz Festival two years ago, but it has been a very long time since he's played here in an appropriately intimate space like the Dakota. The Baltimore native is considered one of the most beloved ambassadors of jazz for his swinging and accessible style as well as his warm persona. His background includes two years with Betty Carter and appearing in Robert Altman's film, Kansas City. Joining Chestnut at the Dakota will be bassist Michael Hawkins and drummer Neal Smith.

Byan Nichols
At Vieux Carré tonight, modern jazz takes the stage as Nichols/Bates/Bates returns to St. Paul, having performed last month on the All Originals Jazz series at Studio Z. Pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates and drummer JT Bates will challenge listeners while remaining accessible, and pretty darn fun to watch as well as hear.

It's big band night at Jazz Central, and the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra likes to refer to their fourth Tuesday gig as an "open rehearsal." This band features the metro's best, with Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago leading the likes of Pete Whitman, Doug Little, Dave Graf, Jeff Rinear, Pete Enblom, Jake Baldwin, Joe Strachan, Dave Martin and Graydon Peterson.

Joe Strachan
Wednesday, August 26. New music night at Jazz Central will feature young pianist Joe Strachan. Just two years out of the jazz program at the U of M, Joe has become a first-call musician, performing in a wide variety of contexts but often in the company of the finest of the new generation-- Jake Baldwin, Nelson Devereaux, Miguel Hurtado, Andrew Foreman, Lars-Erik Larson and more, as well as holding the piano chair for the Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestra.

Tonight at the Black Dog, percussionist Davu Seru brings in a trio featuring visiting multi-instrumentalist Stephen Roach and local guitar wizard Tom Reichert.

Ben Sidran
Wednesday-Thursday, August 26-27. We always look forward to the return of pianist/composer/producer/you-name-it Ben Sidran, and he's back for two nights at the Dakota with his latest "jazz and philosophy" class, Blue Camu. It's a double family affair with son Leo on drums and long-time associates Billy (bass) and Ricky (keys) Peterson.

Mike Lewis
Thursday, August 27. The Bryan Nichols Quintet has been one of the most popular modern ensembles in the metro, but since saxophonist Mike Lewis relocated to the East Coast, their gigs have been few and far between. Tonight they reunite to close out the second summer All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z. Joining pianist Bryan and saxophonist Mike will be Brandon Wozniak (sax), James Buckley (bass) and JT Bates (drums). All original compositions, of course.

Rhonda Laurie
At Jazz Central, vocal night features Melody Mendis, an eclectic talent who takes her listeners "on a journey into love and madness." Vocals also are on the menu tonight in the lounge at Public Kitchen in St. Paul, with Rhonda Laurie providing the songs and guitarist Reuben Ristrom providing the strings.

George Cartwright
The little avant garde series that keeps a low profile in St Paul continues on Thursday nights at Khyber Pass. But it's hard to consider George Cartwright and Dave King "low profile" within the jazz community! Khyber Pass brings some amazing music to its tiny space with help from curators Adam Linz, Paul Metzger and Davu Seru, and tonight George and Dave will no doubt blow the roof off... for a $5 cover. Run and grab a chair.

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly metro jazz highlights. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excerpts rebroadcast at 7:40 am on Fridays. (Special guest August 27-- Dean Sorenson re his new CD!) Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. August 28, No Room for Squares at The Nicollet
. August 28, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. August 28, Jeremy Walker Duo/Patty and the Buttons at Vieux Carré
. August 29, Dean Sorenson Sextet, CD Release at the Black Dog
. August 29, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. August 30, Tootie Heath Trio with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. August 31, Explosion Big Band at Minnesota State Fair, AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion (5 pm)
. August 31, Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. September 1, Explosion Big Band at Minnesota Stage Fair, AFL-CIO Labor Pavilion (5 pm)
. September 1, Tanner Taylor at Crooners Lounge
. September 1, Maryann Sullivan and Corner Jazz at Vieux Carré
. September 1, Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog
. September 1, Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central
. September 2-3, Robert Everest at the Minnesota State Fair, International Bazaar Stage
. September 3, Rhonda Laurie Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 3, Vicky Mountain at Jazz Central
. September 4, Last Days of Summer KBEM Cruise
. September 4, Joel Shapira Trio at Parma 8200
. September 4, Katia Cardenas at Vieux Carré
. September 5, Adam Booker Sextet CD Release at Vieux Carré
. September 6, Nichole Mitchell at Walker West Music Academy
. September 7, Shapira/O'Brien/Gravatt Trio at the Black Dog
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 8, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 10, Kamasi Washington at the Icehouse
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 11, Ron Carter and Golden Striker Trio at Walker West Music Academy
. September 12, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival (Walter Chancellor, Salsa del Soul, Source Code)
. September 12, Peterson Family Tribute to Jeanne Arland Peterson at Vieux Carré
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 18, Bryan Nichols (Chicago) Quartet at Vieux Carré
. September 19, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Falls Park
. September 19, Laura Caviani and Dave Milne, Jazz at St Barneys
. September 19, Jay Young and Lyric Factory at the Dakota
. September 20, Clarice Assad at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 24, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. September 25, Javi Santiago Sextet at Vieux Carré
. September 26, Patty Peterson and Friends with Steve Cole at the Dakota
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. September 29, Red Planet at Vieux Carré
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners
. October 16, JT Bates Organ Trio at Vieux Carré
. October 16, Yolande Bruce Group at Walker West Music Academy
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota




Tanner Taylor visits at Crooners Lounge on September 1, starting the Tuesday Night Jazz series

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 14-20



The Adam Meckler Quintet starts a three-night, three-venue run of live recording sessions, August 20-22

 © Andrea Canter
 Another week featuring our youngest jazzers as well as our elders, sometimes together on the same gig. All Originals at Studio Z welcomes a native son; two cross-generational ensembles play one more time before going on hiatus --at least til college winter break; the Peterson Family celebrates Linda's CD release; another favorite vocalist returns from maternity "leave," and Adam Meckler starts a three-night, three-venue live recording project. That's the tip of the Twin Cities' jazz iceberg.

Big Gigs This Week
Group 47
Friday, August 14. Steve Kenny's Group 47 has had a surprisingly long run given that three of the five musicians have been engaged in college (or pre-college) studies since the band formed at the Artists Quarter in 2013. Gigs are now tied to pianist Will Kjeer's college schedule, as he starts his first classes at Cal Arts in September, making tonight's Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet show the last for a while. The band plays an all-original repertoire, and each time out the tunes seem to have been re-examined and given new twists.

Connie Evingson
Also inclined to give crowd favorites new twists and nuances, vocalist Connie Evingson will be in the lounge at Parma 8200 in Bloomington, while original compositions and inside-out arrangements are the norm for bassist Anthony Cox, who brings a trio into Jazz Central.

Debbie Duncan
It's perhaps not the first venue you think of for modern improvising bands, but the SW Crafthouse (aka Senor Wong) in St Paul hosts three young inventors-- Cory Healey, Chris Bates and Jake Baldwin. On the other hand, Patty Peterson and Friends, seem like a perfect fit to Crooner's Lounge where they land tonight, as does Debbie Duncan who makes her first appearance at Vieux Carré. She's likely to be a fixture there as she was at the Artists Quarter -- it's just a room that screams for Debbie! Plan to arrive early as the free dinner hour sets feature guitarist Zacc Harris and visiting bassist, Michael Janisch, hot off his quartet gig at Studio Z last night.

Will Kjeer
Saturday, August 15. Leaving town in style, Will Kjeer has another "farewell" gig, this time leading the Will Kjeer Summer Band as the opening act for Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog. His cohorts include fellow college freshman-to-be Charlie Lincoln on bass (Charlie is off to the Berklee College of Music in a few weeks), Steve Kenny on Flumpet™, Uncle Kenny Horst on drums, and special guests. 

Larry McDonough
It's a tough act to follow but the Larry McDonough Quartet is up to the task. Pianist (and attorney) Larry always includes some original tunes (in very original time signatures) as well as crafty arrangements, and his band featuring Richard Terrill (sax), Greg Stinson (bass) and Dean White (drums) has developed a musical telepathy.

At Vieux Carré, pianist Chris Lomheim plays (free!) for the dinner hour sets, and if you peruse the venue calendar, you will see his name on a number of early evenings. Seems he is the house pianist this month!

Charmin Michelle
Over at the Normandy Kitchen in downtown Minneapolis, the "Third Saturday" jazz program is expanding, at least in its scope of musicians. These monthly nights have often presented singer Maurice Jacox; now they're adding some other area favorites. Tonight, Charmin Michelle brings in a formidable quartet with Laura Caviani, Jay Young and Eric Gravatt. This band  would rate Birdland or the Blue Note in New York.

Andrew Walesch
Sunday, August 16. Crooners Lounge hosts jazz brunch every Sunday, and this month (and beyond?) that means singer/pianist Andrew Walesch with Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein, and usually a guest horn player. Walesch brings his own touch of Sinatra to the band stand, and has also taken on curatorial duties for a large part of Crooner's daily schedule. (Watch for news of a Tuesday night instrumental jazz series-- serious jazz with such guests as Tanner Taylor, Laura Caviani, and-- a special two-night gig with Bill Carrothers, all coming this fall.)

Linda Peterson
The long awaited CD release from Linda Peterson is finally here -- with an early evening bash at the Icehouse. Vocalist/pianist Linda has at least partially relocated to the Twin Cities after living and working in southern California. Much of the Peterson family will be on hand to help celebrate this unique compilation of Linda's international releases (You Gotta Be Somewhere).

Monday, August 17. We've seen drummer Eric Harland in many configurations recently, with Joshua Redman's quartet, Charles Lloyd's quartet, SF Jazz Collective and just six weeks ago with Dave Holland, Chris Potter and Lionel Loueke at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival. But with his new Rude Unkal ensemble, it's "garage jazz" funk all the way, tonight at the Dakota.

Jana Nyberg
Tuesday, August 18. Nice double header at Vieux Carré tonight. Start out early evening (no cover!) with the always magnificent piano of Chris Lomheim, easing you into Jana Nyberg's "comeback" kickoff gig following her maternity leave. Now in the role of Augie's mom as well as talented singer/songwriter/flautist/educator, Jana brings back the Jana Nyberg Group featuring husband (Augie's dad!) Adam on trumpet and, often, companion vocals. The rest of the team is back too-- Thomas Nordlund on guitar, Matt Peterson on bass and Andres Crovetti on drums. Standards, originals, jazzy pop, always a lot of energy flowing among these musicians.

Jack Brass Band
Wednesday, August 19. So where does a New Orleans style brass band go after opening for Dr. John in the first-ever concert at the new CHS Field? To the Icehouse, of course. Tonight, Jack Brass Band, directed by Mike Olander and featuring a cast of top Twin Cities brass artists, brings their funky Crescent City swing to south Minneapolis.

At Jazz Central, hear back-to-back bands featuring young talents with connections to McNally Smith College of Music. Saxophonist Lucia Sarmiento, a former student of Andres Prado in her native Peru, leads an ensemble of like-minded pals, including, yet again, another opportunity to hear pianist Will Kjeer. A late set features another young gun, saxophonist Adrian Larkin and his band, The Blue. Both bands include guitarist Trevor Wiest.

Katia Cardenas
Vocalist Katia Cardenas returns to the Dakota with a young lion line up of Ted Godbout (piano), Andrew Foreman (bass), and Zach Schmidt (percussion).

Adam Meckler
Thursday, August 20. For the past two years, trumpeter Adam Meckler has focused his composing and bandleading talents on his Adam Meckler Orchestra, with breathtaking results (e.g., the AMO's debut recording, When Clouds Look Like This). Now Meckler turns his attention back to his quintet and three consecutive nights of live recording at three venues. Things kick-off tonight on the All Originals jazz series at Studio Z, where Adam leads pals Zacc Harris, Nelson Devereaux, Graydon Peterson and Greg Schutte. Notes Adam of his return to writing for the quintet, "Writing for the big band has forced me to think about each musician differently, and to consider all of the various orchestration options each instrument provides, so my new quintet music definitely has some of that happening." (He's back in the "live studio" Friday at The Nicollet and Saturday at the Black Dog.)

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. Jazz Police also posts monthly metro jazz highlights. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excertps rebroadcast at 7:40 am on Fridays. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com)

Coming Soon!
. August 20-27, Bridge Chamber Music Festival, Northfield (Laura Caviani and Dave Milne on 8/21; Dave Hagedorn on 8/24)
. August 21, Bob Bowman at Jazz Central
. August 21, Arne Fogel at Parma 8200
. August 21, Adam Meckler Quintet, Live Recording at The Nicollet
. August 22, Zacc Harris American Reverie Trio (debut) followed by Adam Meckler Quintet,  Live Recording at the Black Dog
. August 22, Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms at Vieux Carré
. August 25, Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Dakota
Cyrus Chestnut
. August 26-27, Ben Sidran at the Dakota
. August 28, No Room for Squares at The Nicollet
. August 28, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. August 29, Dean Sorenson Sextet, CD Release at the Black Dog
. August 29, Patty Peterson and Friends at the Dakota
. August 30, Tootie Heath Trio with Ethan Iverson and Ben Street at the Dakota
. August 31, Terence Blanchard and E-Collective at the Dakota
. September 1, Tanner Taylor at Crooners Lounge
. September 7-8, Victor Wooten at the Dakota
. September 8, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners
. September 11, Christian Scott and Stretch Music at the Dakota
. September 13-14, Bill Carrothers Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 15, Tommy O'Donnell Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 17, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. September 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at Crooners Lounge
. September 22-23, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. September 29, Dave Graf Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. October 4, Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra at the Dakota
. October 8, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), with Wessell Anderson
. October 13, Phil Hey Quartet at Crooners
. October 20, Laura Caviani Trio with Bob Bowman and Todd Straight at Crooners
. October 25, Benny Green Trio at the Dakota
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota


Jeremy Siskind Trio with Nancy Harms, at Vieux Carre' August 22 (photo courtesy of the artists)