The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, November 9-15
Edvard Munch's The Scream" comes to mind when I look at this weekend's options for live jazz. Help!!! Too much, too many choices. Ah, well, maybe there can never be too much of a good thing. And there is no end to the good things for all tastes this weekend, and more going into the week. Really, we are lucky to live here. And with Give to the Max Day coming (November 15), remember to support your favorite music organizations so we can continue to enjoy one of the most jazz-friendly cities in the country.
Big Gigs This WeekNovember 9-10. A couple weeks ago, vocalist Patty Peterson officially released her latest recording, The Very Thought of You, sharing a double bill at the Dakota with Bobby Lyle. Now Patty celebrates in St Paulit's her birthday, toowith a weekend all her own at the Artists Quarter. That means a terrific band featuring a few more Petersons (brother Paul on drums and nephew Jason DeLaire on sax), guitarist Billy Franze, keyboardist Bobby Vandell, and who knows, more Petersons and more friends are likely to appear. The line between jazz and R&B gets pretty fuzzy with Patty and the band, and with these musicians, that is a good thing.
The new Café Maude at Loring Park, like it's sister spot in southwest Minneapolis, is quickly becoming a haven for modern jazz. This weekend enjoy a Tribute to Steve Lacy with the very talented ensemble of Scott Fultz (sax), Luke Polipnick (guitar) and Alden Ikeda (drums). Not the usual fare for downtown cafes.
November 10. The lockouts of both major orchestras has caused a lot of disappointment already with concert cancelations now through December. One of the early casualties was the Minnesota Orchestra's Clarinet Festival, which this weekend was to feature Anat Cohen and Evan Christopher. Enter Lowell Picket, who figured both clarinet stars might be available for a gig at the Dakota. The Anat Cohen Quartet with Special Guest, Evan Christopher, promises to be one of the top shows of the fall season. And in the smaller space, perhaps a lot more engaging than the originally scheduled concert.
Jazz at Studio Z continues its season in Lowertown St Paul with the Dave Karr Quartet (Dave Karr, Dave Graf, Adam Linz, Phil Hey). The JASZ series starts out at 5 pm with a free public workshop presented by the musicians, and tonight Dave leads the session on Building A Be-bop Vocabulary." Who better to present on bebop than the 82-year-old bop master himself? Come for the workshop and get $2 off on your ticket to the 7 pm concert.
November 11. For a terrific overview of the future of local jazz, you can't top tonight's PipJazz Youth All-Star Night at Landmark Center. Since last November, PipJazz has presented student artists at each monthly concert, and tonight Pippi Ardennia has gathered her youth guests for a night showcasing their exceptional talents. The young musicians will play with the PipJazz house band (including Pippi, Peter Schimke, Billy Peterson, Jay Young, Dean Magraw, Marcus Wise, Glenn Swanson) in varying combinations. Close your eyes, you won't believe these are teenagers.
Down the street, and starting a couple hours later, it's a 20th Anniversary Party for the acclaimed Nova Classic Jazz Orchestra at the Artists Quarter. This big band has built its repertoire via member compositions and commissions, meaning they play a unique book of music as well as new arrangements of the great jazz orchestras. There's no cover, making this the best jazz bargain of the week. And across town, Jazz Central hosts a unique pairing of vocalists celebrating the unique contributions of a pair of legends - Vicky Mountain and Maryann Sullivan salute the music of Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie ("Dearie and O'Day").
November 12. Jazz Central's Monday nights have proven to be terrific opportunities to bring musicians together for some fun and experimentation that might not get bookings I more commercial spaces. Tonight it's trombonist Jeff Rinear and drummer Matt Edlund, with pianist Tanner Taylor and bassist Graydon Peterson. November 12-13. Bettye LaVette is truly a soul singer, not a jazz artist, but count a lot of jazzers among her fans in the Twin Cities. She's an emotive storyteller, constantly bringing new material to the stage as well as the favorites her fans demand. She's at the Dakota for two nights of brilliant soul. Move over, Aretha.
November 13. Three consecutive Tuesdays featuring Dean Magraw launch tonight at the Artists Quarter, with the Dean Magraw/Bryan Nichols Quartet. The eclectic guitarist and inventive pianist have collaborated many times and the results are always magical. And the Jazz Central Big Band night continues, this week featuring the Cedar Avenue Big Band. No, the sound is not overwhelming in this small spacevery little amplification needed so you hear what is really going on inside a big band. It's a unique experience and maybe the best setting to really enjoy big band music. Just don't try to dance.
November 14. A duo I would love to hear (drat, I am out of town tonight) at Café Maude (Penn Ave)saxman Chris Thomson and bassist James Buckley. Please go and tell me about it.
November 15. Jazz Central continues its new vocal series with the Phil Mattson Singers. Phil moved here a few years ago after a long and distinguished career leading vocal ensembles, teaching, and arranging. Now he just continues his work in the Twin Cities as well as continuing his leadership of some major choral events and festivals around the country. One of his local projects is the Phil Mattson Singers, a sextet of vocalists drawn from some of the top voices in the region. And of course Phil accompanies the group on piano. An intimate space for some very savvy vocal music.
More Jazz, Every NightFor the most complete picture of live jazz around town, you might need to read two calendarsJazz Police and KBEM. More suggestions for the coming week:Friday, November 9. Lee Engele at Pardon My French; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D'Amico Kitchen (Le Meridien); Community Pool/Deep End with Erik Fratzke, Brian Roessler, Peter Leggett at the Black Dog; Vital Organ at Hell's Kitchen; James Buckley and Bryan Nichols at the Icehouse (dinner sets); Charmin Michelle at House of Pizza (Sartell, MN)
Saturday, November 10. Samba Meu at the Black Dog (2 pm);Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at D'Amico Kitchen (Le Meridien); James Buckley and Bryan Nichols at the Icehouse (dinner sets); Maryann Sullivan at Parma; Mississippi Peace/Jello Slave/James Patrick at the Icehouse (late sets)
Sunday, November 11. Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar
Monday, November 12. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter, JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag; Josh Granowski and Patrick Harrison at Barbette
Tuesday, November 13. Frankhouse at Hell's Kitchen; Cory Wong Quartet at the Artists Quarter (7 pm); Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog
Wednesday, November 14. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; The Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by the Graydon Peterson Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Caravan of Thieves at the Dakota Thursday, November 15. Illicit Sextet at the Artists Quarter; Gypsy Mania at Barbette; Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret (through November 18) with Flying Forms, Zeitgeist, and Atlantis Quartet.