Tuesday, August 22, 2017

New Music Circle announces 2017-18 season

New Music Circle has announced their 2017-18 season of concerts.

The venerable presenting organization for experimental and contemporary music will open their 59th season with a concert by trombonist Steve Swell's quintet on Saturday, October 7 at The Stage at KDHX.

Swell's band (pictured) is something of an all-star aggregation of veteran avant-jazz musicians, with William Parker on bass, Dave Burrell on piano, Jemeel Moondoc on saxophones, and Chad Taylor on drums.

Next up is electronic musician, composer, and former St. Louisan John Wiese, who will perform on Saturday, November 11 at the University Theatre in Saint Louis University's Xavier Hall. Wiese will create "a site-specific composition that includes over 20 local musicians, utilizing both traditional and non-traditional instrumentation."

NMC will close out 2017 with a performance by Battle Trance, a quartet featuring tenor saxophonists Travis Laplante, Patrick Breiner, Matthew Nelson, and Jeremy Viner, on Saturday, December 2 at The Luminary.

The new year then will begin with a concert by flute player and composer Claire Chase's International Contemporary Ensemble on Saturday, January 13 at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

The performance will feature a trio version of ICE with Chase, drummer Tyshawn Sorey, and pianist Cory Smythe presenting works by Pauline Oliveros and Morton Feldman, plus a new Smythe/Sorey duet and another new composition by Sorey for drums and contrabass flute.

NMC's season will continue with a performance by electronic musician and vocalist Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe on Saturday, February 24 at Urb Arts in the Old North neighborhood.

The final two shows in the series have some details yet to be confirmed, but they will feature saxophonist Mats Gustafsson's free-jazz power trio The Thing sometime in March at Off Broadway
and Chicago-based saxophonist Matana Roberts ina solo performance on Saturday, May 19 at a venue TBA.

The season also will include public workshops and other events featuring some of the visiting musicians, the specifics of which will be announced at a later date.

Unless otherwise noted, tickets for all NMC shows are $20 general admission, $10 for students or "struggling music supporters," and can be purchased online or at the door.

A reunited Brand X to perform Wednesday, September 13 at Old Rock House

The reunited British jazz-fusion band Brand X will return to the St. Louis area to perform at 8:00 p.m., Wednesday, September 13 at the Old Rock House.

The current edition of the band features founding members John Goodsall (pictured) on guitar and Percy Jones on bass, plus recent additions Chris Clark (keyboards), Scott Weinberger (percussion), and Kenny Grohowski (drums).

They're touring in support of But Wait, There's More/Live 2017, a two-CD set of live performances that is their first official release since a previous reunion in the 1990s produced two albums, the last being 1997's Manifest Destiny.

Originally active from the mid-1970s into the early '80s, Brand X made six albums and performed with 11 different lineups of musicians (including, for a couple of albums, drummer Phil Collins) in a six-year period. After their mid-90s reunion, they had another hiatus of 20 years before reuniting again in 2016 for a tour that included a show in October at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.

Tickets for Brand X at the Old Rock House are $30 general admission for all ages, and are on sale now.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Site news: StLJN on vacation

After 12 and a half years of blogging without a real break, yr. humble StLJN editor is taking a brief vacation. Back soon with more...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Session: August 13, 2017

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

* Kamasi Washington: An Opinion of Difference (Jazz Times)
* Neither bills nor advancing age can dim the glow of a drummer's dream (Los Angeles Times)
* Was Elvis a thief? Yes! No! Maybe? Music stars weigh in on Presley's legacy (San Diego Union Tribune)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day One - Cécile McLorin Salvant and more at the fest's first McBride-led edition (Jazz Times)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day Two - A touching tribute to Geri Allen highlights Saturday at Fort Adams (Jazz Times)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day Three - The fest wraps with plenty of sun and groove (Jazz Times)
* The Power of Sound: Using the Shepard Tone In Filmmaking (PremiumBeat.com)
* Suzanne Ciani and the Subliminal Property of Being Human (The Paris Review)
* 'The Green Book' Guided Black Travelers to L.A.'s Central Avenue Jazz Scene (KCET)
* Interim Thoughts on the Life and Career of Chubby Checker (PopMatters.com)
* Grammys boss knuckles under China censors as show readies tour (Japan Times)
* Anything is possible when jazz master Henry Threadgill plays at Newport (Boston Globe)
* AI and music: will we be slaves to the algorithm? (The Guardian)
* Southern Exposure: Searching for clues to the death of a bandleader (Daily Astorian)
* Jimmy Webb, Writer of Glen Campbell Classics, Remembers ‘My Big Brother, My Co-Culprit’ (Variety)
* Creating the world’s largest cat sound effects library – with Yarron Katz (ASoundEffect.com)
* Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice? (The Guardian)
* Forebears: The Mercurial And Majestic Dinah Washington (NPR)
* Q&A with Rudresh Mahanthappa: Connected Spaces (DownBeat)
* The Internet Doesn’t Matter, You’re Making Music in L.A. (Vulture.com)
* Know your customers: Costa Pilavachi on the classical recording industry (Rhinegold.co.uk)
* Steve Martin Explains His Love of Banjo Music: 'It Rivals Any Specialized Genre' (Billboard)
* The Rich History—and Present—of Latin American Prog (Bandcamp.com)
* SoundCloud Saved By The Bell Of A Big Chunk Of Financing (NPR)
* Eagle Saloon unveils historical plaques, window displays (Offbeat)
* Party Over Here: An Oral History of Kool Herc’s Historic Back-to-School Jam (MassAppeal.com)
* When Mistakes/Studio Glitches Give Famous Songs Their Personality: Pink Floyd, Metallica, The Breeders, Steely Dan & More (OpenCulture.com)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Rebirth Brass Band

This week, let's take a look at some videos of New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band, who will be coming back to St. Louis to perform on Friday, September 1 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

Formed in 1983 by brothers Keith and Phillip Frazier, Rebirth Brass Band is, along with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the longest running of the contemporary groups re-inventing the New Orleans brass band tradition. Their most recent recording is 2014’s Move Your Body on the Basin Street Records label, which was the follow-up to their 2012 Grammy Award-winning album Rebirth of New Orleans, and they were here in St. Louis last in September 2016 for a show at the same venue.

Today, you can see a half-dozen videos featuring some fan favorites from RBB's repertoire, starting up above with a version of one of their signature songs, "Do Whatcha Wanna," recorded in 2014 in New Orleans for the web series Jam in the Van.

After the jump, there's a video of "Move Your Body" recorded at the same session, followed by a full set of music recorded in 2012 at the Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans.

The fourth video shows the RBB doing their version of the New Orleans standard "Big Chief," recorded in 2011 at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.

Next is a medley of two more of their best-known tunes,  "Rebirth Groove" and "Feel Like Funkin It Up," recorded in February 2014 at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL.

The final clip is a riff on another New Orleans classic, "I Like It Like That," recorded in 2011 for the radio program "Soundcheck" on WNYC in New York City.

For more about the Rebirth Brass Band, check out Keith Frazier's 2015 interview with HollywoodSoapbox.com and this 2012 feature from Gambit.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Saxquest will celebrate the grand opening of their new second location in Maryland Heights from noon to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, August 12).

The free event will include guided tours of the new facility, free food, giveaways and door prizes, and live music from the Pyle Driver Saxophone Quartet, Renegade Saxophone Quartet, and Al Holliday and The East Side Rhythm Band. The original Saxquest store on Cherokee St. will close for the day so all staff members can help out with the grand opening.

* Trumpeter and Ferguson native Keyon Harrold (pictured) this week released two new songs commemorating the anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown three years ago in his hometown. You can hear “MB Lament” and “When Will It Stop” and see the accompanying videos via this YouTube playlist.

* Thurman's in Shaw was the subject of a short article on the website NearSay.com, highlighting the bar's weekly Thursday night jazz gigs featuring pianist Adam Maness' trio.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Marcus Baylor and his wife, singer Jean Baylor will bring their group The Baylor Project to NYC's Jazz Standard for the first time on Sunday, August 20 in support of their album The Journey. Along with the Baylors, the Project includes trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, tenor saxophonist Keith Loftis, pianist Terry Brewer, and bassist Corcoran Holt.

* Singer and former St. Louisan Marcella Hooks, now living in California, was the subject of a feature story in the Solano Daily Republic newspaper.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jazz this week: Herbie Hancock, Louis Armstrong Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the return of one of the most important living jazz musicians for one night only, a two-night tribute to the first superstar soloist in jazz, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

August 10
Keyboardist Herbie Hancock will perform in a concert presented by Jazz St. Louis at Powell Hall.

With a new album reportedly in the works, Hancock (pictured) also has a new addition to his live band, with saxophonist/keyboardist Terrace Martin joining guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist James Genus and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta in the group.

Some tickets for the concert still remained on sale as of end of business on Wednesday, but if you haven't gotten seats yet and want to go, you'll probably want to call ahead rather than just walk up to the box office.

To promote his St. Louis show, Hancock did brief interviews with St. Louis magazine's Erin Williams, St. Louis Public Radio's David Cazares, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson. Also, you can see some videos spanning Hancock's 50+ years in the music business in this StLJN post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also on Thursday night, bassist and singer Tonina Saputo leads a quartet at The Dark Room, and guitarist Dave Black and singer Tony Vivano will perform at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, August 11
The second annual "Louis Armstrong Festival of St. Louis" will be presented for the first of two nights at the Webster Groves Concert Hall, featuring music associated with Armstrong performed by a band featuring trumpeters Randy Holmes and Robert Souza, trombonist Brett Stamps, clarinetist Scott Alberici, pianist Mary Ann Schulte, drummer Kevin Gianino, bassist Bob Lowe and guitarist/banjoist Dan Stevens. 

You can see StLJN's video tribute to the 116th anniversary of Armstrong's birth in this post from last Saturday.  

Also on Friday, guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith will duet at Parkside Grille in Ballwin, and the Ambassadors of Swing will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, August 12 
Guitarist Stuart Johnson will play a matinee show at The Shaved Duck, and then on Saturday evening, Dizzy Atmosphere will perform for the "Garden of Glass" event at Missouri Botanical Garden, singer Joe Mancuso returns to Bartolino's South and trumpeter Jim Manley is back at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, August 13
Miss Jubilee returns for the weekly jazz brunch at Evangeline's, Red Lehr and the Rivermen will play a matinee for the St. Louis Jazz Club at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westport, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham will perform at Mount Pleasant Winery.

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, August 06, 2017

Sunday Session: August 6, 2017

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

* Concert Review: Umbria Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* SZA: ‘The record company took my hard drive from me’ (The Guardian)
* Did Meek Mill and TIDAL Just Scam the Billboard 200? (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* Is Schlager Music The Most Embarrassing Thing Germany Has Ever Produced?
Deutschland über us. (TheAwl.com)
* Sax Greats Remember Coltrane on 50 Year Anniversary of His Death (Observer.com)
* July '67 altered the sound, sensibilities of Detroit musicians — and those yet to be born (Detroit Free Press)
* The Inside Story Of SoundCloud's Collapse (Buzzfeed)
* Kamasi Washington: An Opinion of Difference (Jazz Times)
* The Best Band Nobody Can Sign (TheFader.com)
* An Archive of Iconic Photos from the Golden Age of Jazz: William Gottlieb’s Portraits of Dizzy, Thelonious, Billie, Satchmo & More (OpenCulture.com)
* Concert Security's New Frontier (Rolling Stone)
* Seeing Aretha Franklin Sing For The Last Time (NPR)
* Meet The Kenyan Collective Bridging The Gap Between Traditional And Electronic Music (TheFader.com)
* Kamasi Washington Announces New Tour, Reveals 'Harmony of Difference' EP Release Date (OkayPlayer.com)
* BANFF | Q&A: 29 Questions For Vijay Iyer (MusicalToronto.org)
* Sad Songs, Artificial Intelligence and Gracenote’s Quest to Unlock the World’s Music (Variety)
* Who Was Bix? Beiderbecke Museum Has Answers (DownBeat)
* Why Are So Many Heritage Artists on the Road Again? This Explains Everything. (AJournalOfMusicalThings.com)
* Brian Wilson review – frail Beach Boy isn't made for these times (The Guardian)
* This music production tool is the reason why all new music sounds the same (Qz.com)
* Review: Warsaw Summer Jazz (Jazz Journal)
* The Problem with NPR's '150 Greatest Albums Made by Women' List (The Stranger)
* Satellites Are Spinning: Notes on a Sun Ra Poem (The Paris Review)
* Metheny Goes Nordic at Molde Fest (DownBeat)
* Time Machines: The Life and Music of Conlon Nancarrow (RedBullMusicAcademy.com)
* Jazz Pianist Jason Moran on Artistic Self-Determination (Bandcamp.com)
* Inside the Music Publishing World's Epic Struggle to Build a Single Song Database (Billboard)
* The Swampers return to their sweet home thanks to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine (AlabamaNewsCenter.com)
* The Brief Career and Self-Imposed Exile of Jutta Hipp, Jazz Pianist (Longreads.com)
* This Map Shows The Top-Selling Musician Born In Each State (CraveOnline.com)