Sunday, July 23, 2017

Sunday Session: July 23, 2017

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

* This conch shell trumpet would be heard far and wide in the ancient world (Science)
* Portrait of a jazz player: Remembering John Coltrane (Greensboro News-Record)
* John Coltrane: Beyond the Holy Mountain (Jazzwise)
* Marking the Death of John Coltrane, Through the Poetry of Amiri Baraka (WBGO)
* John Coltrane's 'A Love Supreme' Is Still a Masterpiece After 50 Years (Newsweek)
* Alice Coltrane: “The Gifts God Gave Him” (Jazz Times)
* The John Coltrane Record That Made Modern Music (GQ)
* Where To Start... John Coltrane - Celebrating the work of a saxophone and spiritual giant (ClashMusic.com)
* Spotify Is Accused Of Creating Fake Artists — But What Is A Fake Artist? (NPR)
* Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival "Big Band Spectacular" 2017, Part 1-4 (AllAboutJazz.com)
* In New Orleans, There's A Piece Of Music History Around Every Corner (NPR)
* SoundCloud tries to allay fears, but streaming needs a business model (CDM.link)
* On a scale of Monkees-to-Gorillaz, how should we evaluate fictional music? (Washington Post)
* Take a Cruise With Music’s Uncoolest People (TheDailyBeast.com)
* Can't Prog Rock Get Any Respect Around Here? (NPR)
* Fireside Chat: Wadada Leo Smith (RedBullRadio.com)
* 'It's like a Miles Davis trumpet solo': 'Swinging' birds are caught singing off-beat like jazz musicians (Daily Mail)
* Bill Laswell: Four Strings, Zero Limits (Premier Guitar)
* REPORT: Val Wilmer - The Wire Salon at Cafe Oto (London Jazz News)
* A Water Tank Turned Music Venue (The New Yorker)
* These super cool pictures show Frank Sinatra at his best in 1960s Miami (Timeline.com)
* Thelonious Monk's surreally strange and spartan genius gets its due (The Guardian)
* UCSD jazz haters prompt Brian Ross to move on (San Diego Reader)
* The Poetics of Jazz (The Nation)
* The Nels Cline Show (ForGuitarPlayersOnly.com)
* Jazz Legend Herbie Hancock Tells Us How He Wound Up In the Sci-Fi Epic 'Valerian' (Thrillist.com)
* Art Ensemble of Chicago Reunites in Norway (DownBeat)
* The 75 Moments That Defined the Decade in Music (So Far) (Billboard)
* 'Here Come The Girls'... Again (NPR)
* Editorial: Kansas City government can’t keep bailing out American Jazz Museum (Kansas City Star)
* Welcome to Moonlight Rollerway, Where Nothing Has Changed Since 1956 (Narrative.ly)

Saturday, July 22, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Previewing the Gateway Jazz Festival



When commercial radio abandoned smooth jazz as a format a few years back, the audience for the music played on those stations didn't just disappear, and neither did the musicians who played it.

And while St. Louis never had what you'd call a surfeit of live smooth jazz shows, even when the format was at its peak, the limited number of such bookings that previously existed - at the Pageant, at local casinos, and occasionally at other venues like long-departed Finale - has dwindled off in recent years to almost nothing. That would seem to represent a potential business opportunity for someone able to reunite an under-served audience with the musicians they enjoy.

Enter Summerset Jazz LLC, an Alabama-based production company that is presenting the Gateway Jazz Festival* next Saturday, July 29 at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Apparently modeling their St. Louis event on the Music City Jazz Festival, which they've presented for the past two years in Nashville, the company has put together a day-long bill of acts, headed by saxophonist Najee and singer Maysa, and featuring a number of other names familiar to smooth jazz fans.

To help give you an idea of what to expect, today StLJN has compiled videos of all the featured performers. They're presented here in alphabetical order, starting up above with a set from saxophonist Steve Cole and guitarist Nick Colionne, recorded when they teamed up for a gig in May of this year at Pizza Express in London.

After the jump, you can see Maysa performing "Inside My Dream" in May 2016 at the KSBR Birthday Bash Jazz Festival in Mission Viejo, CA.

Next it's guitarist Chieli Minucci with his band Special EFX in 2016 at Long Beach Jazz Fest, delivering a surprisingly faithful version of the Allman Brothers Band's "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed."

That's followed by a full set of Najee, recorded in July 2016 in Riviera Beach, FL; and then a clip of guitarist Steve Oliver doing "Soul Deep" in a performance recorded at the Carvin guitar factory in San Diego.

The veteran duo Pieces of a Dream is next, seen here performing "Fo-Fi-Fo" in October 2016 at the Catalina JazzTrax Festival in California.

Then it's keyboardist Brian Simpson, performing his song "WWonderland" at the 2017 Mallorca Smooth Jazz Festival in Spain; guitarist Chris Standring, playing "Oliver's Twist" in February 2017 at Pizza Express; and last, but not least, bassist and Kansas City native Julian Vaughn doing his showcase "Ju Ju's Groove" at a show in May in Houston, TX.

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

*Not to be confused with the identically named event presented in recent years over the Labor Day weekend by the St. Louis Jazz Club.

Friday, July 21, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Drummer Montez Coleman (pictured) was interviewed by St. Louis magazine's Erin Williams in advance of his performances tonight and Saturday night at Jazz at the Bistro.

* Saxophonist Karl Denson talked with the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson for a brief feature story. Denson and his band Tiny Universe perform tonight at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Emanuel Harrold, who's been part of singer Gregory Porter's band for the past few years, is set to release his first recording as a leader this fall, and is getting advance promotion from TheUrbanMusicScene.com and Afropunk.com for his song "Luv Hurt" and from SoulTracks.com for "Special Time."

* The website Sound of StL has a review with photos of The People's Key's recent performance at The Stage at KDHX.

* Euclid Records is looking to hire a "tech savvy music fan" who is "familiar with the workings of Excel, web design, E-Commerce as well as eBay, Amazon and Discogs." They're accepting resumes dropped off at the store or by email at store@euclidrecords.com.

* Pianist Peter Martin has a new post up at Medium.com, advising aspiring keyboard players on "The One Scale You Should Be Practicing Every Day."

* Trumpeter and Webster Groves native Ally Hany, who recently completed a master's degree at the Manhattan School of Music, announced in a post on Facebook that she's joining the Air Force Band of the Golden West. After completing basic training, Hany will be stationed at Travis Air Force Base in the San Francisco Bay area.

* The musical instrument and accessories manufacturer D'Addario has announced a free support program for instrumental music teachers called the D’Addario Education Collective, offering discounts on products, access to educational resources, and more. You can get details and sign up here.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Jazz this week: Samora Pinderhughes,
Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the local debut of a much-talked-about young pianist and composer, the return of one of the jam-band circuit's funk-jazz favorites, and more.

Let's go to the highlights....

Wednesday, July 19
Drummer Kevin Bowers will reconvene the large cast of his Brazilian-influenced, imaginary-movie-soundtrack project NOVA in a free concert for the Missouri Botanical Garden's Whitaker Music Festival

Elsewhere around town, though the Curtain Call Lounge has withdrawn from the "Grand Center Jazz Crawl," - apparently permanently, according to StLJN's source - the event goes on as usual, with live jazz and no cover charge at three locations in the district. 

This week, you can hear guitarist Tom Byrne and keyboardist Nathan Jatcko this week at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe; the jam session with bassist Bob DeBoo and friends at Kranzberg Arts Center; and two separate shows at The Dark Room at the Grandel Theatre, with saxophonist Lew Winer playing from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and trumpeter Kasimu Taylor from 9:00 p.m. to midnight.

Thursday July 20
Pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes (pictured, top left) with special guest trumpeter Christian Scott will perform at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

NPR devoted an episode of "Jazz Night in America" earlier this year to Pinderhughes' debut recording The Transformations Suite, and this will be his first St. Louis gig as a bandleader, playing music "inspired by" the soundtrack he wrote for the documentary film Whose Streets?. For more about Pinderhughes, and his socially-conscious brand of jazz, plus the complete Transformations Suite and some other performances on video, see this post from last Saturday

Also in the Grand Center district, Cabaret Project St. Louis presents their monthly "Broadway Open Mic," temporarily relocated to The Stage at KDHX; and saxophonist Ben Reece’s Unity Quartet will perform at The Dark Room.

Elsewhere around town, the Funky Butt Brass Band will play a free show outside the St. Louis Public Library downtown, and drummer Maurice Carnes leads a group featuring Dallas pianist Myles Tate in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University.

Friday, July 21
Saxophonist Karl Denson's Tiny Universe returns for an early-evening outdoor show at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion. Though the heat is expected to be stifling, expect a big audience of young fans ready to party with Denson's crowd-friendly grooves.

For a look at what Denson and Tiny Universe (pictured, bottom left) have been up to since they were in St. Louis a year ago, check out this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also on Friday, drummer Montez Coleman celebrates his birthday with the first of two nights of shows at Jazz at the Bistro. He'll be joined by a band including Adaron Pops Jackson (organ), Adam Maness (piano), Eric Slaughter (guitar), Jason Swagler (alto sax), and Ben Wheeler (bass), with Anita Jackson singing on Friday night and Brian Owens on Saturday.

Elsewhere around town, guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran will play a free show at Ritz Park on South Grand; singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Dave Black return to The Wolf in Ballwin; and Wack-A-Doo will play swing, vintage jazz and Americana at Evangeline's.

Saturday, July 22
Dizzy Atmosphere returns to Missouri Botanical Garden for another "Garden of Glass" event; The WirePilots will have multi-instrumentalist Sandy Weltman as their special guest for a performance at the Webster Groves Concert Hall; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes return to the Venice Cafe.

Sunday, July 23
The St. Louis Jazz Club presents the St. Louis Stompers in a matinee performance at the Moolah Shrine Center, and Community Women Against Hardship's summer benefit at Ferring Jazz Bistro will feature Detroit-based saxophonist Yancyy with an ensemble including singer Anita Jackson, pianist Tony Suggs, bassist Jeff Anderson, and drummer Montez Coleman.

Monday, July 24
Trumpeter Jim Manley will play for diners and drinkers at Momo's Greek Restaurant.

Tuesday, July 25
Pianist Pat Joyce returns to Evangeline's, and saxophonist "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective will be back for their monthly gig 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, July 16, 2017

Sunday Session: July 16, 2017

Tony Allen
Here's the weekly roundup of various music-related items of interest that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Stream-ripping is 'fastest growing' music piracy (BBC)
* Record Rendezvous: Cleveland cradle of rock 'n' roll sits empty, awaits new life (photos) (Cleveland.com)
* Mulatu Astatke’s “Ethiopia” Is A Love Letter To His Homeland (Bandcamp.com)
* Here’s what happened the last time audio producers got better data (NiemanLab.org)
* Ornette Coleman Takes Flight Again, in Music and Film, This Week at Lincoln Center (WBGO)
* Esperanza Spalding: Jazz Musician, Grammy Award Winner and Now Museum Curator (Smithsonian)
* Kansas City's American Jazz Museum Should Belong To The Entire City, Officials Say (KCUR)
* Lady Gaga's Trumpet Player on 'Insane' Gig With Stevie Wonder, Rose Bar Residency & 'Making It' in NYC (Billboard)
* No Heroes: Lester Bangs on Stage (NoSuchThingAsWas.com)
* Producers Rejoice: Legal Sampling Is Now As Easy As Online Shopping (Video) (AmbrosiaForHeads.com)
* Newark Sings a New Tune on Road To Revival (Wall Street Journal)
* Original Dixie Dregs Announce Reunion (NoTreble.com)
* 6 Nina Simone Songs Brilliantly Sampled by Rappers (Pitchfork.com)
* Spotify denies it’s playlisting fake artists. So why are all these fake artists on its playlists? (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* So… who’s actually behind Spotify’s fake artists? (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* Why Spotify’s fake artists problem is an Epidemic. Literally. (MusicBusinessWorldwide.com)
* A Lot of Noise on Spotify (IllusionOfMore.com)
* Women of Jazz: Stream a Playlist of 91 Recordings by Great Female Jazz Musicians (OpenCulture.com)
* This Woman Has Engineered Pop’s Biggest Recent Hits, from ‘Melodrama’ to ‘1989’ (Vice.com)
* For Chamber Music in Silicon Valley, Hoodies and Haydn Don’t Mix (KQED)
* The Crate Crisis: How the Used Vinyl Market is Changing (GetItOnVinyl.com)
* Is the threat of a copyright lawsuit stifling music? (BBC)
* NEW AGE: jazz in 2017 (M-Magazine.com)
* Diminuendo: Is Classical Music Journalism Fading to Silence? (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Afrobeat Drummer Allen’s Quartet Pays Tribute to Blakey at Poisson Rouge (DownBeat)
* What Can Listening to Nature Teach Us? (EarthEasy.com)
* Mary Halvorson Pushes Jazz Guitar Into New Territory (Village Voice)
* SoundCloud sinks as leaks say layoffs buy little time (TechCrunch.com)
* The avant-garde jazz of Griot Galaxy (Detroit Metro Times)
* Rochester Jazz Fest Emphasizes Jazz at the Fascinating Fringes (DownBeat)
* Bria Skonberg: 5 songs that changed my life (CBCMusic.ca)
* 'A Pocketful Of Blues': Charles Lloyd On 'Passin' Thru' (NPR)
* Photos: 2017 North Sea Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* Q&A with Ethan Iverson: Addition through Subtraction (DownBeat)
* Power of the Mind: You Can Play This Instrument Using Just Your Thoughts (Newsweek)
* Van Morrison will salute his blues heroes on new album, 'Roll With the Punches' (Los Angeles Times)
* Robert Mugge’s 1986 film Sonny Rollins: Saxophone Colossus to be rereleased (The Wire)
* The Emergence of A New Black Avant-Garde: Experimental Music and Text (BrooklynRail.org)
* Vijay Iyer: Taking Stock of the Ojai Music Festival Experience (TheLogJournal.com)
* The Story Behind the Surge in Vinyl Film Soundtracks (Paste)

Saturday, July 15, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Samora Pinderhughes, jazz, and justice



This week, StLJN's video spotlight is focused on pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes, who will be here in St. Louis to perform next Thursday, July 20 at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

A 25-year-old Juilliard graduate who grew up in Berkeley, CA and now lives in Harlem, Pinderhughes has toured with jazz artists including Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah and Branford Marsalis.

For his performance here, the pianist will lead a quartet with Scott, bassist Luques Curtis, and percussionist Mark Whitfield, Jr, playing music inspired by his soundtrack for the documentary Whose Streets?, which was co-directed and produced by St. Louis artist and activist Damon Davis (aka FarFetched).

Writing the soundtrack for a film about the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson and the subsequent protests would seem to fit neatly with Pinderhughes' ongoing interest in multidisciplinary projects that address social issues, as exemplified by "The Transformations Suite," which has brought him to wide public attention since the release last November of his album of the same name.

A multi-media event combining music, words and visuals that took the composer/pianist five years to complete, "Transformations Suite" examines the history of oppression and protest throughout the African-American diaspora, connecting contemporary issues like social justice and prison reform with the history of "revolutionary movements of color."

"Transformations Suite" was the subject earlier this year of an episode of NPR's "Jazz Night in America," and you can see that recording, made at the Way Christian Center in Berkeley, in the first embedded window up above.

In addition to Pinderhughes, the ensemble includes his key collaborators Jeremie Harris, who performs the spoken word parts, and Jehbreal Muhammad Jackson, who sings lead vocals, along with Riley Mulherkar (trumpet), Lucas Pino (tenor sax), Joshua Crumbly (bass), and Jimmy Macbride (drums).

After the jump, you can see an earlier performance of "Cycles," one segment of the "The Transformations Suite," recorded in May, 2016 at Joe's Pub in New York City. The ensemble features Pinderhughes, Jackson, Harris, Mulkerhar, Pino, and Macbride, plus the leader's younger sister Elena Pinderhughes on flute and vocals, Tony Lustig on baritone sax, and Clovis Nicolas on bass.

After that, there are a couple more videos demonstrating Pinderhughes' penchant for collaboration and socially relevant topics, as he performs "Black is the Color" with poet Jules Latimer and "For Those Lost" with singer Lalah Hathaway.

Finally, you can see a couple of clips of Pinderhughes playing other peoples' music. The penultimate video is a medley of "Cosmia" by Joanna Newsom and "Over There" by Derrick Hodge, recorded in 2013 at La Peña in Berkeley and featuring the Pinderhughes siblings, Jackson, Crumbly, and Macbride.

And for something completely different, the last video shows Pinderhughes as part of a group backing singer Claudia Acuna, recorded in 2015 as part of the NYC club Jazz Gallery's "Mentoring Series."

For more about Samora Pinderhughes, check out the recent coverage of him and his work from Salon.com, CBC, and the Village Voice.

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

Friday, July 14, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* The Regional Arts Commission is holding a workshop on how to apply for one of their Artist Fellowships at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, August 1 at RAC headquarters, 6128 Delmar Blvd.

Awarded annually, the fellowships recognize ten individuals with grants of $25,000 each, and are open to visual and performing artists from all disciplines.The workshop is free and open to the public; the application period for next year's fellowships ends on Thursday, August 10. For details or to RSVP, go here.

* The latest issue of the St. Louis Blues Society's Bluesletter includes writer Michael Kuelker's remembrances of Mark O'Shaughnessey, the late co-founder/owner of BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

* Pianist and composer Samora Pinderhughes is the subject of a brief interview/feature written by musician Lamar Harris for St. Louis magazine.

Pinderhughes (pictured) will perform (with trumpeter Christian Scott aTunde Adjuah as his special guest) next Thursday, July 20 at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.

* DownBeat magazine has opened the voting in their 82nd annual Readers Poll. You can cast a vote for your favorites online here.

* Saxquest is posting to their YouTube channel more videos from their free monthly Saturday afternoon performance series, including the shows by Ben Reece's Unity Quartet in April and Hugh Jones in May.

* Pianist Jim Hegarty has posted another new free improv recording to his "Secret Sessions" BandCamp page, this time featuring clarinetist Eric Paul Mandat, pianist Greg Mills, trumpeter George Sams, and flute player Fred Tompkins.

* A couple of off-the-beaten-path items about Miles Davis showed up this past week in the media, as a story in Autoweek recounted the trumpeter's opinion on Ferraris, while OpenCulture.com compiled some of the insults hurled by Davis over the years at fellow musicians.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Jazz this week: Ptah Williams, Erika Johnson, a salute to the Nat "King" Cole Trio, and more

Summer definitely is sizzling in St. Louis this week, but if you're brave enough to venture out in the steamy weather, there are a number of  noteworthy jazz and creative music shows happening this weekend, including several free concerts.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, 
July 12
Pianist Ptah Williams (pictured, top left) will perform in a free outdoor concert for the Missouri Botanical Garden's Whitaker Music Festival.

Also on Wednesday, the weekly "Grand Center Jazz Crawl" proceeds as usual, featuring live jazz with no cover or admission charge at The Stage at KDHX's Magnolia Cafe, Kranzberg Arts Center, Curtain Call Lounge and The Dark Room.

Thursday, July 13
Pianist Kara Baldus will lead her trio in a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes "Jazz in July" series at Washington University; saxophonist Harvey Lockhart and The Collective will take the stage at The Dark Room; and vibraphonist Tom Rickard and guitarist Dave Black will perform at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, July 14
Singer Erika Johnson (pictured, center left) will return to Jazz at the Bistro for the first two nights.

Well-grounded in the tradition thanks to jazz studies at East St. Louis HS (with noted educator Ronald Carter) and at SIU Edwardsville, and an early apprenticeship with the late Willie Akins, Johnson has a repertoire that ranges from Bird to the Beatles, and is one of the better scat singers among St. Louis female vocalists.

She often works in a duo format, but she'll have a full band at the Bistro, making these dates especially attractive for fans both old and new.

Also on Friday, there will be free concerts featuring singer Erin Bode at Ferguson CityWalk; singer Joe Mancuso's organ trio at Lakeside 370 Park in St. Peters; and drummer Steve Davis' "Super Band," featuring singer Feyza Eren at the Webster Groves Concert Hall

Elsewhere around town, the Funky Butt Brass Band will be back for their monthly appearance at the Broadway Oyster Bar, and Miss Jubilee will perform for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, July 15
The Jazz Troubadours will perform for brunch at Evangeline's, serving as the first half of a jazz double-bill there that also will feature an evening performance from the Joe Bozzi Band.

Also on Saturday night, singer Chuck Flowers (pictured, bottom left) will salute the music of the Nat 'King' Cole Trio at The Monocle; and trumpeter Jim Manley returns to One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, July 16
Guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran plays for brunch at The Dark Room.

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.)