Jazz This Week: Christian Scott, Alarm Will Sound, Wynton Marsalis' "Swing Symphony," Jazz in Pink, Mike Metheny, and More
If you're a fan of jazz trumpet, it's a good week to be in St. Louis, as the calendar of live jazz and creative music performances for the next several days includes visits from three stellar trumpeters. Other concerts this weekend offer a variety of musical textures and styles, ranging from the intimate to the orchestral and from traditional to ultramodern. Let's go to the highlights....
Tonight, trumpeter Christian Scott (pictured) opens a four-night gig with his band at Jazz at the Bistro, with two sets each evening continuing through Saturday. The 29-year-old New Orleans native recently released the most ambitious recording of his still-young career, the 2-CD set Christian aTunde Adjuah, which offers a sprawling 23 tracks worth of varied moods and grooves. For more about Scott and the album, plus video clips of him performing some of the music from it, check out this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.
Tomorrow night, the contemporary chamber ensemble Alarm Will Sound kicks off its first-ever St. Louis season at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The group, whose 20 members live all around the USA, has performed regularly in NYC for a decade and toured across the country and in Europe. They'll play three concerts here this year, starting with a program featuring music by John Adams, Aphex Twin, Conlon Nancarrow, Edgard Varèse, and Charles Wuorinen, plus pieces written specifically for them by Israeli composer Yotam Haber and AWS cellist Stefan Freund. For more, see this interview with the group's artistic director Alan Pierson by the Post-Dispatch's Sarah Bryan Miller.
Then on Friday, the annual Wine, Dine and Jazz Festival in Belleville will get underway with a lineup including the Yard Dawgs Jazz Quartet, the Usual Suspects, and Musica Slesa. The free outdoor festival continues on Saturday with guitarist Tom Byrne and singer Ralph Butler in the Pat Metheny inspired ensemble Have You Heard?, along with singer Zena Bott-Goins, Milwaukee blues guitarist Alex Wilson, and Santana tribute act Stantana.
Also on Friday, guitarist Dave Black leads a trio at the Cigar Inn, just a short distance from the festival site in Belleville; saxophonist Michael Anthony Fitzgerald is at Jazz on Broadway in Alton; and saxophonist Sammy Hag will play at Robbie's House of Jazz.
On Saturday afternoon, saxophonist/clarinetist Victor Goines will do a free workshop and performance at Saxquest. Goines will be in town to play Saturday night with Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, who are teaming with the St. Louis Symphony for a performance of Marsalis' Swing Symphony" at Powell Hall. You can hear Swing Symphony" in its entirety and see Marsalis talk at length about the project in this post from last Saturday. For more, check out Marsalis' brief interview with the P-D's Miller here.
Also on Saturday, singer Feyza Eren performs at Robbie's House of Jazz; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes are at the Wine Press; and the Funky Butt Brass Band returns to the Broadway Oyster Bar.
On Sunday, the St. Louis Jazz Club will present the St. Louis Stompers at the Doubletree Hotel at Westport; the Los Angeles-based, all-female group Jazz In Pink will be at the Sheldon Concert Hall in a benefit performance for Community Women Against Hardship (CWAH); and the St. Louis Jazz and Blues Vespers series at Second Baptist Church begins its 2012-13 season with a free concert featuring saxophonist Ray Vollmar and singer Deborah Sharn.
Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday trumpeter and Electronic Valve Instrument (EVI) player Mike Metheny will make the trip over from Kansas City to perform at Webster University. Metheny is a talented composer and player who sometimes doesn't quite get his due, perhaps simply because his guitarist brother Pat happens to be one of the most famous jazz musicians in the world. For this concert, he'll be backed by a local rhythm section including Kim Portnoy (piano), Nick Savage (drums), Willem von Hombracht (bass), and Steve Schenkel (guitar). Schenkel tells StLJN that the program will include one of Metheny's original tunes as well as interpretations of compositions by Bill Evans, Jimmy Smith, Duke Ellington, Benny Golson, Charlie Parker and more.