Tonight, the Frank Zappa repertory group Zappa Plays Zappa, led by FZ's younger, guitar-playing son Dweezil Zappa, returns to St. Louis play at The Pageant. In case you're keeping track, this will be ZPZ's fourth stop at that particular venue since the band was formed in 2006. Along with Dweezil, only drummer Joe Travers and saxophonist/keyboardist Scheila Gonzalez remain from that first tour, and the band has become a bit more focused on DZ's guitar playing, for the most part now eschewing the guest appearances by former FZ sidemen that marked their first outings.
According to Dweezil's website, on this tour they're playing a selection of material from 3 different decades, 60s, 70s, 80s" as well as premiering some more new material we have never performed before including an orchestral piece that I have wanted to play I started this project."
At around the same time this evening and just a few miles to the east, saxophonist Chris Potter (pictured) will be back in town to open a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.
Potter, who continues to be one of the most in-demand and critically acclaimed saxophonists in jazz, played last year at the Bistro with his electric group Underground. This time, he'll be fronting a trio with bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Adam Cruz, which should provide ample opportunity for the players to stretch out and for the audience to hear every detail of Potter's playing. For more about what Potter's been up to since his last visit here, and some recent video clips of him in action, check out this Saturday video post from a couple of weeks ago.
Also tonight, the Webster Groves HS Jazz I ensemble will play Stan Kenton's A Merry Christmas in its entirety in a free concert (donations accepted) at Webster Groves Presbyterian Church; and the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra (formerly the Meramec Jazz Band) will perform at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin.
On Thursday, pianist Peter Martin resumes his eponymous music series by teaming up with guitarist Romero Lubambo for a show at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The two men have worked together behind singer Dianne Reeves, and also teamed up to play at the Sheldon a couple of years ago. The theme of this concert is New Orleans meets Brazil," which alluded to the city where Martin made his professional breakthrough and to Lubambo's place of birth, and also should give them plenty of potential musical territory to explore.
Also on Thursday, funk/jazz/R&B ensemble Good 4 The Soul will do their monthly early evening show at BB's Jazz Blues & Soup,
On Friday, guitarist Dave Black leads a trio at Cigar Inn, and there four different female vocalists in action at various spots around town. Debbie Lennon will team with pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True for a holiday themed show at Robbie's House of Jazz; Feyza Eren, backed by guitarist Tom Byrne and drummer Steve Davis, will be at the south side house-concert venue KindaBlue; Erin Bode and her group, with guest violinist David Halen of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra, will play at the Foundry Arts Centre; and Miss Jubilee and the Humdingers will perform in the Sheldon's upstairs ballroom.
Then on Saturday, trombonist/composer/electronic musician George Lewis and sound artist" Marina Rosenfeld will perform their duet piece Sour Mash" in a concert presented by New Music Circle at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis. Lewis, who grew up in Chicago and gained early experience with that city's Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians, recently spoke with the Post-Dispatch's Calvin Wilson about Sour Mash" for an article published online here, and you can see and hear a previous, relatively short version of the work here.
Also on Saturday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will present their annual Holiday Brasstravaganza" at Off Broadway; and guitarists Teddy Presberg and Brian Vaccaro will share a bill at Broadway Oyster Bar, leading their respective organ trios in tributes to the music of Led Zeppelin and the Beatles.