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Jazz this week: Bill Charlap, Kris Davis & Craig Taborn, Jason Marsalis, and more

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It's a busy week for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with several noteworthy touring performers in town, including three top-flight pianists, two of whom will be performing together as a duo.

Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, September 28

Pianist Bill Charlap returns with his trio for the first of two nights at Jazz at the Bistro.

Charlap was here most recently in February 2014 with saxophonist Houston Person at the Bistro, but this time, the focus is strictly on the him and his band, which the British newspaper The Guardian earlier this year called “one of the best piano trios ever, and certainly as instantly recognisable as any of its great predecessors."

Also on Wednesday, singer Erin Bode returns to Cyrano's, and Elsie Parker and The Poor People of Paris will perform at Nathalie's.

Thursday, September 29

There's no Jazz at Holmes concert this week at Washington University, but pianist Ptah Williams and guitarist Eric Slaughter Quartet will be holding down their usual Thursday night slot at The Dark Room.

Friday, September 30

If you don't already have tickets to see Al Jarreau at Jazz at the Bistro, you're most likely out of luck, as the show, featuring the singer and a pianist in what Jarreau calls “a piano bar setting," has been sold out for a while now. The available options at this point would be to check with the box office for any last minute cancellations or returns; or show up in time to stake out a spot to watch the live video feed of the show in the Bistro's adjacent lounge.

Elsewhere on Friday, The Eren Sisters will perform at the The Chapel, Second Generation Swing plays for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom, guitarist Tom Byrne leads a trio at Cigar Inn, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham plays at Troy's Jazz Gallery.

Saturday, October 1

New Music Circle begins their 2016-17 season with a concert featuring Kris Davis and Craig Taborn at the 560 Music Center.

The joint tour pairing the two intriguing pianists arrives simultaneously with Davis' latest album Duopoly, a series of duets performed with eight different musicians, including Taborn. Both Davis and Taborn are highly capable improvisers, and the rare opportunity to hear them work together should be a real treat for those who enjoy adventurous sounds.

Also on Saturday, the Jason Marsalis Vibes Quartet will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. The youngest brother of four in the famed New Orleans musical family, Jason Marsalis (pictured, bottom left) is perhaps best known as a drummer, thanks to his ongoing work in pianist Marcus Roberts' trio. But he's a legitimate voice on the vibes as well, swinging hard and leading a tight band, as you can see and hear them for yourself in last Saturday's video showcase post.

Elsewhere around town, Franglais plays Gypsy jazz and swing at Evangeline's, and trombonist Kevin Ward leads a quartet at The Dark Room.

Sunday, October 2

Guitarist Dave Black plays for brunch and Nathalie's, and the Friends of Scott Joplin will present their monthly “Ragtime Rendezvous" at the Scott Joplin House State Historic Site.

Monday, October 3

Bassist Willem von Hombracht will lead a quartet in a concert at Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus.

Tuesday, October 4

The Route 66 Jazz Orchestra with singers Valerie Tichacek, Ron Wilkinson, and Dean Christopher will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
Copyright © 2020. All rights reserved.

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