The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, October 19-25
This is the weekend of CD releases in the Twin Cities, and you could not ask for a more diverse selection, from gypsy swing to R&B flavored jazz to the spontaneous combustion of out there" post bop experiments. Vocal talents abound this week, as well, from hometown heroine Patty Peterson to the vocal blend of Five by Design to the cutting edge interpretations of Kurt Elling. And more. And more.
Big Gigs, This Week Friday, October 19. Where to start? If you start in Excelsior, specifically at the 318 Café, you can be among the first to hear selections from Reynold Philipsek'slatest retrospective, Rara Avis. Possibly the most prolific recording artist among Minnesota musicians, Philipsek set about making a recording every year, and has pretty much met that goal over the past three decades. This new release brings together his favorite acoustic guitar compositions, many which have appeared previously and most often in trio format, now presented as solo arrangements (with a couple guest appearances from percussionist Michael Bissonnette). But now Reynold hints that he might take a break from the studio. If so, this is a good placeholder. Celebrate tonight at the 318 and get a copy of the CD with your $10 cover.
Downtown in Minneapolis at the Dakota, veteran vocalist and radio personality Patty Peterson celebrates her fourth recording, The Very Thought of You, produced by brother Billy and featuring a stellar cast of.... lots of Petersons and folks like David Hazeltine, Jim Rotondi and Bobby Lyle. It's a rather curious dual CD celebration, with Patty sharing the spotlight with native son Bobby Lyleand his trio, alternating mini sets over two ticketed shows. Patty will have her CD for sale tonight, apparently Bobby's is still in production. Tickets remain for the 10 pm show.
At the Black Dog in St Paul, Brad Bellows (trombone) and Dean Granros (guitar) reunite for an evening of mayhem, reproducing their alliance of the 90s. Drawing inspiration from the interplay of such great pairs as Bob Brookmeyer and Jim Hall, Brad and Dean take apart jazz standards as well as performing their trademark free improv.
Across the river in the new Cafe Maude at Loring Park, enjoy a trio featuring percussionist Babatunde Leaand his two much younger cohorts, guitarist Zacc Harris and bassist Adam Linz. Lea and Harris recently brought down the house at the Artists Quarter with Lea's quartet; mixing in Linz with these guys is a promise of excitement
Sunday, October 21. Feel like a trip back in time to the great nightclubs of the 30s and 40s? That's the vacation" offered at Club Swing, a fictitious club built on the stage of the Burnsville Performing Arts Center starring vocal ensemble Five by Design and the Robert Baca Big Band. It's a 2 pm matinee, but you will feel like you've been inside a glitzy swing-era club by the time you leave. Enjoy the best of swing times with tunes from the Gershwins, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin and more.
Monday, October 22. Hang out tonight in Minneapolis. At Jazz Central, it's bassist Graydon Peterson dueling with saxman Doug Haining; and you never know who will turn up for the late set jam. On Eat Street (Nicollet), check the action at the Icehouse, as JT's Jazz Implosion tonight brings together a volcanic trio -Bryan Nichols, Anthony Cox and JT Bates.Yes you can definitely do both - Jazz Central starts at 8:30; Icehouse boasts a late show at 11:30. Sleep is optional.
Tuesday, October 23. Certainly one of the most eagerly anticipated gigs of the month, Kurt Elling returns to the Dakota. On the heels of his latest release, 1619 Broadway: The Brill Building Project, the modern era's premier male vocalist will do what he always doesdeliver covers and original material with uncanny interpretations and vocal prowess, making every tune a new work of art. Down the street at Jazz Central, the usual Big Band night is turned over to Scott Agster to explore the iconic Birth of the Cool from new angles, aka Rebirth of the Cool." At the AQ in St Paul, it's the first of two consecutive Tuesday nights with a quartet including Dean Magraw, Bryan Nichols, Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst. Can't go wrong with that. Wednesday, October 24. A terrific midweek line-up around town: The Atlantis Quartet takes on Foodie Night at the Dakota; Todd Clouser's A Love Electric plays the music of Brian Eno at Café Maude (southwest Minneapolis location); and the Phil Hey Quartet take all comers at the Artists Quarter. Yeah, you can do two of three since Hey and company get underway a couple hours later than the other bands. (Check Clouser's website for his very busy Twin Cities schedule this month!) Thursday, October 25. The new Third Floor (579 Selby) in St Paul had a promising start last week, and tonight the Thursday night jazz schedule features Charmin and Shapira along with some dazzling chocolate-inspired desserts from the lower level Doctor Chocolate's Chocolate Chateau" and a well stocked bar. Oh, and all those very cool Victorian-era design features in one of St Paul's historic mansions near Cathedral Hill.
Follow meI am starting on the Third Floor and moving down to the Artists Quarter for the nearly monthly blast with the Pete Whitman X-Tet. From sublime swing to hard-hitting post-bop charts, all within about 2 miles. And I might just stop in at Barbette for the last call, and catch the last set with Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek. Sleep is optional.
More Jazz! Yes, there is more, all over town. Every night and sometimes earlier. Find what you need on the local online calendars on the Jazz Police and KBEM websites. More suggestions:
Friday, October 19. Bryan Nichols and Chris Bates, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Joyce Lyons at Three Crows (Delano) Saturday, October 20. Charmin and Shapira, Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Memorial Tribute to Bruce Nerase at the Artists Quarter (4 pm); Bryan Nichols and Brandon Wozniak, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Lucia Newell with Laura Caviani and Kevin Clements at Parma; Sophia Shorai at the Red Stag Sunday, October 21. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's Café; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom Monday, October 22. Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Todd Clouser's A Love Electric Plays Elliott Smith at the Red Stag Tuesday, October 23. Cory Wong Quartet at the Artists Quarter (7 pm); Nick Haas at Hell's Kitchen Wednesday, October 24. Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson at The Lexington; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids at the Artists Quarter (7 pm); Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag; International Novelty Gamelan with Milo Fine and Paul Metzger at the Icehouse Thursday, October 25. Sophia Shorai at the Dakota