Sunday, January 21, 2018

Sunday Session: January 21, 2018

Charles Mingus
Here's the 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:

* Interview: Paul McCartney On His Life as a Bassist | Bacon's Archive (
* 25 Essential Jazz Soundtracks You Should Own (
* At Umbria, Multi-Media and Perfect Pitch (DownBeat)
* Johnny Cash's 'At Folsom Prison': Rosanne Cash Recalls Iconic Live Album (Rolling Stone)
* Too Much Music: A Failed Experiment In Dedicated Listening (NPR)
* Jimi Hendrix Collaborators on Assembling Guitarist's Long-Awaited New LP (Rolling Stone)
* Two Views From the Winter Jazzfest Marathon, Where Clamor and Conviction Abound (WBGO)
* Anchorage author chronicles 8-year friendship with Dizzy Gillespie (
* For Wynton Marsalis, forgetting the roots of jazz is forgetting the history of race in America (The
* How Benny Goodman Orchestrated 'The Most Important Concert In Jazz History' (NPR)
* Notations: John Cage Publishes a Book of Graphic Musical Scores, Featuring Visualizations of Works by Leonard Bernstein, Igor Stravinsky, The Beatles & More (
* Winter Jazzfest Gilded With Guitarists and Vocalists (DownBeat)
* Get The Lawyers In! Experts On The Del Rey vs Radiohead vs Hollies Case (
* Interview: Vijay Iyer on Bay Area ties and how he’s not really that famous (San Jose Mercury News)
* 2018 Winter Jazzfest NYC - An overview of the marathon of jazz concerts and events during the 2018 Winter Jazzfest NYC (Jazz Times)
* Marching The Tradition Forward: Celebration of Preservation Hall Jazz Band (
* Swinging Along the Border: Charles Mingus' Album 'Tijuana Moods' Finds New Resonance (WBGO)
* Interview: Milford Graves (
* Where To Start: The Cosmic Genius Of Sun Ra (
* London’s young jazz heroes are crafting their own sound (

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Jazz at Holmes series announces winter/spring 2018 concert schedule

The Jazz at Holmes series of concerts at Washington University has announced their schedule for the winter/spring semester of 2018.

Here's the entire lineup in chronological order:

Thursday, January 25: Richard Deja Quartet

Thursday, February 1: Freddie Washington/Tom Byrne Quartet
Thursday, February 8: Steve Davis Band
Thursday, February 15: Tony Viviano (pictured)
Thursday, February 22: Eileen G'Sell (poet) with Jay Oliver, William Lenihan & Steve Davis

Thursday, March 1: Kara Baldus-Mehrmann Trio
Thursday, March 8: "Women's Voices in Music" with Washington University student musicians & singers
Thursday, March 22: "52nd Street/To Be Or Not To Bop" with Randy Holmes Quintet & a pre-show lecture by Patrick Burke
Thursday, March 29: Washington University jazz studies students

Thursday, April 5: Brianna Black Band

All concerts are free and open to the public. Concerts begin at 8:00 p.m. and are presented in Holmes Lounge, Ridgley Hall, which is located on Washington University’s campus at the west end of the Brookings Quadrangle, near the intersection of Brookings and Hoyt drives.

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Winter/spring 2018 jazz preview, part six

Today, it's the sixth and final part of StLJN's winter/spring 2018 jazz preview, featuring videos of jazz and creative music performers who will be coming to St. Louis in the first few months of the new year. (If you missed the previous installments, you can see part one here, part two here, part three here, part four here, and part five here.)

Resuming in chronological order where we left off last week, today's first video features the John Scofield - Joe Lovano Quartet, who will be returning to St. Louis to perform starting Wednesday, April 25 through Saturday, April 28 at Jazz at the Bistro. They're seen here performing a full set at the 2015 Leverkusener Jazztage festival in Leverkusene, Germany.

The next weekend, trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra will be in town for three performances of Marsalis' “Swing Symphony” with the St. Louis Symphony on Friday, May 4; Saturday, May 5; and Sunday, May 6 at Powell Hall.

Unfortunately, though "Swing Symphony" has been performed a number of times in the USA and Europe, the only good video of the work is stuck behind a paywall. So instead, after the jump, you can see a clip of Marsalis discussing "Swing Symphony" with conductor Simon Rattle, recorded at the Berlin Philharmonie in June 2010.

A couple of days after Marsalis and company leave town, guitarist Dweezil Zappa will be back for a performance on Tuesday, May 8 at The Ready Room.

Given his ongoing legal dispute with the Zappa Family Trust, it's unclear at this time what material DZ will be performing on this year's tour. However, the next clip, a full show recorded in July 2016 at the Capitol Theatre in Port Chester, NY, features material spanning several decades of his dad Frank Zappa's career, and though the video (shot by an audience member) is a bit shaky, the audio is solid and serves as a good demonstration of his touring ensemble's capabilities.

That same week, trumpeter Terell Stafford will be here with his quintet to play Wednesday, May 9 through Saturday, May 12 at the Bistro. Stafford, who at one time recorded for the St. Louis based MAXJAZZ label and has performed frequently here over the last decade, probably needs to introduction to local audiences.

Nevertheless, he and his band can be seen in today's fourth video, performing a tribute to the late Lee Morgan in October 2016 at Dizzy's Club in New York City. Along with the leader on trumpet and his fellow Philadelphian Tim Warfield on tenor sax, this edition of Stafford's group featured another MAXJAZZ alumnus, pianist Bruce Barth, along with bassist Peter Washington and drummer Billy Williams.

Next up, it's multi-instrumentalist Brian Culbertson, who will visit St. Louis on Saturday, May 12 for a show at The Pageant. He's seen here performing "Been Around The World" in October 2016 at the Aliante Casino in Las Vegas.

The following week, trumpeter Terence Blanchard will return for a concert on Sunday, May 20 at the Grandel Theatre. Blanchard will be accompanied by his band The E-Collective, which includes Charles Altura (guitar), Fabian Almazan (keyboards), Donald Ramsey (bass), and Oscar Seaton (drums). They're seen here performing a full set at the 2015 North Sea Jazz Fest in Rotterfam, Netherlands.

Today's final video features another familiar face, percussionist Poncho Sanchez, who's developed a following here over the years and will return for a four-night engagement from Wednesday, May 23 through Saturday, May 26 at the Bistro. The clip shows Sanchez and his band playing what he calls the "Poncho Sanchez Medley" at a show in December 2017 in Las Vegas.

That wraps up StLJN's winter/spring 2018 jazz preview, although if/when any other performers of interest are booked for concerts here in St. Louis, you'll find the latest news here. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, January 19, 2018

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Can't make it to Jazz at the Bistro this week to hear the new lineup of The Bad Plus? You can see a free online video stream of tonight's first set starting at 7:30 p.m. via Jazz St. Louis' Facebook page.

* Saxophonist David Sanborn (pictured) was interviewed last week on NYC public radio station WBGO.

* Metro Theater Company, the long-running local troupe specializing in theater for children, will take over the Grandel Theater for most of February with two jazz-related events.

They'll present a benefit concert with music from Peter Martin, Brian Owens, and Terence Blanchard on Friday, February 3 at the Grandel, followed by a three-week run of Bud, Not Buddy, a "concert play" that is based on a Newbery Medal and Coretta Scott King Award-winning children's novel and will feature a live, 13-piece jazz band on stage.

* The film Django was reviewed for by film critic Diane Carson. In French with English subtitles, the movie dramatizes the life of jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt during World War II, and will play tonight through Sunday, January 21 at 7:30 p.m. each evening at Webster University's Winifred Moore auditorium.

* The death of pianist Nathan Jatcko was covered in stories written by Daniel Hill of the Riverfront Times and Nassim Benchaabane of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Kimberly Thompson has posted to her YouTube channel a video of a full set by the Mike Stern Band recorded live at Jazz at the Bistro during their appearance there in February, 2017. Along with Thompson on drums and Stern on guitar, the band included tenor saxophonist Bob Franceschini and bassist Teymur Phell.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Search for missing pianist Nathan Jatcko
ends with family's announcement

St. Louis jazz pianist Nathan Jatcko, who went missing last week and inspired a search that has received extensive media coverage in the area, has died.

On Wednesday night, family members posted a message to a Facebook group dedicated to the search that read as follows:
"We are heartbroken to announce the passing of Nathan Jatcko on 1/17/2018. He took his life. He leaves behind a loving family and wide community of friends. We are at a loss for words, but appreciate all of the love, kindness, and prayers communicated to us over the past five days. Thank you.

As we are grieving, the family asks for privacy at this difficult time."
Jatcko (pictured) grew up in Highland, IL and studied music at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He moved to St. Louis after graduation, and regularly performed solo as well as with trumpeter Kasimu Taylor's band, singer Christy Coleman, the Liberation Organ Trio, and others.

He was last seen at around 1:30 a.m. Friday, January 12 at his apartment in south St. Louis, and was reported missing after failing to show up for a recording session and performance later on Friday.

Social media posts seeking information about Jatcko's whereabouts were shared thousands of times, and the search for him was covered extensively by local media, including the Riverfront Times, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, KTVI-Fox 2, KSDK, Belleville News-Democrat, KMOX,, KMOV, and

This story will be updated if and when more information becomes available.

Our condolences go out to Nathan Jatcko's family, friends, and musical colleagues.

Jazz this week: The Bad Plus v 2.0, Storm Large, "Winter Jazz Fest," and more

It's a big week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with one performance that's literally drawing international attention, the debut of a new festival, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, January 17
The gig making headlines all over the globe is the live debut of the revised lineup of The Bad Plus, who will be doing their first-ever performances with new pianist Orrin Evans starting Wednesday night and continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Evans, who replaces founding member Ethan Iverson, already has recorded an album with the group, which is being released this week and was spotlighted last week by NPR's "First Listen" feature. (NPR also will be recording The Bad Plus during their stay in St. Louis for a future episode of the network's "Jazz Night In America" program.)

While that live stream of the new album may have expired by the time you read this, those who are curious about The Bad Plus v 2.0 (pictured, top left) but can't make it to the Bistro this week can watch a live online stream of Friday night's first set for free, starting at 7:30 p.m. on Jazz St. Louis' Facebook page.

Also on Wednesday, singer Storm Large returns, this time with her band Le Bonheur, for a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall. While her several previous appearances here in recent years have been in a cabaret setting and with the dance orchestra Pink Martini, this show will offer Large a chance to show off more of her rock-oriented material with a full band.

Thursday, January 18
Guitarist Todd Mosby's New Horizons Ensemble performs at Sky Music Lounge; The People’s Key will play at the Chase Club; and saxophonist Ben Reece‘s Unity Quartet returns to The Dark Room.

Friday, January 19
Saxophonist Kendrick Smith begins a new weekly residency, leading a trio every Friday starting this week at Thurman's in Shaw; and the Ambassadors of Swing play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

January 20

The first-ever "Winter Jazz Fest," headlined by jazz/fusion band Yellowjackets, will take place at the Grandel Theatre.

Unlike the long-established, week-long, multi-venue New York City event with which it shares a name, this fest is a single-night, single-location concert, with an emphasis on electric contemporary jazz.

In addition to Yellowjackets (pictured, bottom left), the show also will feature saxophonist Eric Marienthal, Bach to The Future, Tracer (aka pianist Ptah Williams' trio in fusion mode), pianist Royce Martin, and the adjacent Dark Room's regular Saturday night performer, keyboardist Mo Egeston.

If you're thinking about going but don't yet have tickets, Metrotix is offering a "buy one ticket, get the second at half-price" discount to online buyers. To access the offer, go to this page and enter the promo code WINTERJAZZ.

Also on Saturday, saxophonist Dave Stone's begins a new weekly gig at Thurman's in Shaw; Miss Jubilee returns to the Casa Loma Ballroom; and the Funky Butt Brass Band will do their monthly performance at the Broadway Oyster Bar.

Sunday, January 21
The Dave Dickey Big Band performs in the first of a projected series of gigs this year at the Grandel Theatre, with the Lindbergh HS Jazz Ensemble as opener and intermission act.

Monday, January 22
Dizzy Atmosphere plays swing and Gypsy jazz for diners at The Shaved Duck, and singer and impressionist Dean Christopher will present his "Rat Pack and More" show at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

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 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, January 14, 2018

Sunday Session: January 14, 2018

The Bad Plus
Here's the 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:

* Jazz, but not as you know it (
* Record Bin: How Herbie Hancock subverted jazz traditions and asserted his funk dominance on “Head Hunters” (
* And Look—She’s a Star! (The Nation)
* Music fans bought a lot of cassettes last year (
* Why I Still Buy Music in the Age of Spotify (
* Wes Gets Royal Treatment (DownBeat)
* 'Dock Of The Bay' At 50: Why Otis Redding's Biggest Hit Almost Went Unheard (NPR)
* The musical secrets of FAME Studios legend Rick Hall (Birmingham News)
* A Cabaret Star’s Comeback (Wall Street Journal)
* Ice Music: Building Instruments Out Of Water (NPR)
* White Noise Story Generates White Noise on Copyright (
* Just How Similar Are Radiohead's 'Creep' and Lana Del Rey's 'Get Free'? (Esquire)
* Inside the Amish town that builds U2, Lady Gaga, and Taylor Swift's live shows (Wired)
* Funk Carves Out A Groove At The Funk Music Hall Of Fame In Ohio (NPR)
* Mitchell Takes Homage to Winter Jazzfest (DownBeat)
* Why this awful-sounding album is a masterpiece (
* Surprise! The ‘Music Modernization Act’ Prohibits Litigation Against Streaming Services (
* First Listen: The Bad Plus, 'Never Stop II' (NPR)
* Why music venue closures 'make all of our lives poorer' (BBC)
* Lester Bangs Play 'How to Be a Rock Critic' Captures Writer's Wild Spirit (Rolling Stone)
* At Peabody jazz: discrimination allegations, a forced ouster — and new hope (Baltimore Sun)
* ********, ∆, †‡† ... the most unpronounceable band names ever (The Guardian)
* Spotify Is in the Business of Selling You Spotify, Not Music (
* Q&A: Chick Corea on his regrets, Grammys, future plans and more (Creative Loafing - Tampa)
* Portrait Of: Eddie Palmieri (
* Roy Hargrove’s rousing Showcase residency (DownBeat)
* The “True” Story Of How Brian Eno Invented Ambient Music (
* Chartmania!! I Broke Down Every Song That Reached the Billboard Top 5 in 2017 (
* Life’s Work: An Interview with John Adams (Harvard Business Review)
* Dr. Demento, comedic song hero and unsung punk rock legend, gets his due on new album (Los Angeles Times)
* Preservation Hall’s Musical Mission (Garden and Gun)

Saturday, January 13, 2018

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Winter/spring 2018 jazz preview, part five

This week, StLJN's winter/spring 2018 jazz preview continues with part five in a series of posts featuring videos of jazz and creative music performers who will be coming to St. Louis in the first few months of the new year. (If you missed the previous installments, you can see part one here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.)

Continuing in chronological order from where last week's post left off, the first video up above features singer and St. Louis native Ken Page, the St. Louis native and star of Broadway and film who will bringing his cabaret act to Jazz at the Bistro on Wednesday, April 4 and Thursday, April 5. Page, who's known for his roles in the original casts of musical theater megahits such as Ain't Misbehavin' and Cats, as well as for his voice characterization of Oogie Boogie in Tim Burton's animated film The Nightmare Before Christmas, is seen here in a demo reel compiled to showcase his talents for potential bookings.

Page will be followed on the Bistro stage by drummer Allison Miller, trumpeter Riley Mulherkar and saxophonist Chad Lefkowitz-Brown, who will be in town that week to do an educational residency for Jazz St. Louis and will cap it with performances on Friday, April 6 and Saturday, April 7 at the Bistro.

As with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Group that's here this week at the Bistro, Miller, Mulherkar and Lefkowitz-Brown (and presumably a local support musician or two) will be joining forces specifically for this gig, so the only available footage to show you is of them performing individually.

Miller can be seen in the first video after the jump with her band Boom Tic Boom, performing "Fuster," the opening track from their album Otis Was a Polar Bear, at a gig in May 2016 in Philadelphia. (Along with the leader on drums, Boom Tic Boom includes pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, cornetist Kirk Knuffke, clarinetist Ben Goldberg, and bassist Todd Sickafoose.)

After that, you can see Mulherkar playing Duke Ellington's "Echoes of Harlem" in a jam session last April at the Kranzberg Arts Center right here in St. Louis, accompanied by bassist Bob DeBoo and drummer Montez Coleman, followed by a clip of Lefkowitz-Brown playing Charlie Parker's "Yardbird Suite" with his quartet, which includes Takeshi Ohbayashi on piano, Tamir Shmerling on bass, and Bryan Carter on drums.

Next up at the Bistro will be "Songs of Freedom," a show developed by drummer Ulysses Owens, Jr that will be performed by a group led by him and featuring vocalists Alicia Olatuja and Joanna Majoko starting Wednesday, April 11 and continuing through Saturday, April 14 at the Bistro.

First presented at Jazz at Lincoln Center in New York City, "Songs of Freedom" is based on the music of what the promotional copy calls "three iconic voices of the 1960s--Joni Mitchell, Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone--and the complex ways in which they call out to each other."

Unfortunately, none of the previous performances seem to have been recorded on video and put online, so instead in today's fourth clip you can see a full set of Owens leading a band with bassist Reuben Rogers, vibraphonist Joel Ross, and singer Vuyo Sotashe last August as Dizzy's Club in NYC.

That's followed by a clip of Majoko singing "Bye Bye Blackbird" recorded a couple of years ago at UMFM studios in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, accompanied by Jocelyn Gould (guitar), Carter Graham (keyboard), Karl Kohut (bass), and Curtis Nowosad (drums). (St. Louis native Olatuja can be seen in last week's post, which previewed, among others, her solo shows in February at the Bistro.)

The same night that Owens and company wrap up at the Bistro, pianist Abdullah Ibrahim and his band Ekaya will be in town to perform on Saturday, April 14 at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

Ibrahim originally was scheduled to be joined by trumpeter Hugh Masekela for a program recounting the history of the Jazz Epistles, South Africa's first bebop band, of which both men were members.

However, Masekela's health issues have caused him to cancel all his live shows for the first part of 2018, so as of this writing, the concert is still set to go on, but no replacement trumpeter has been announced yet.

It was announced this past week that the estimable Wadada Leo Smith will be performing with Ibrahim for dates next month at SFJAZZ in San Francisco, which ought to make for a very interesting collaboration. And Ibrahim has worked with some other very capable trumpeters, too, as in the next clip, which shows him and Ekaya plus special guest Terence Blanchard in a full set recorded last July at the Jazzaldia festival in Donosti, Spain.

The final two videos today feature the headliners of the 2018 Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival, which will present the The University of North Texas One O’Clock Lab Band on Friday, April 21 and Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band on Saturday, April 22, both at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.

The One O'Clock Lab Band, which is UNT's top student ensemble, can be seen in the penultimate clip performing "Harlem Nocturne" in a show last November on campus. That's followed by a video of a full show from the Big Phat Band, recorded in November 2015 at the Los Angeles College of Music.

Look for part six of StLJN's winter/spring 2018 jazz preview next week in this space. You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...