Jazz This Week: Bill Frisell, Houston Person, Tower of Power, Steve Tyrell, Marvin Horne, Reptet, St. Louis Jazz Club Picnic, and More


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It's going to be a busy few days for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, and time is short, so let's go to the highlights without further preamble...

Tonight, tenor saxophonist Houston Person is back to open a four-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro. Equally adepts at blues, bop and ballads, Person has played in St. Louis several times in recent years, most recently at Jazz St. Louis' benefit gala in February 2010, and before that, at the Bistro and at Harris-Stowe State University in 2009. In conjunction with those 2009 gigs, Person did an interview for Jazz St. Louis' now-defunct podcast series, which you can still listen to online here. (.MP3 file)

Tomorrow night, guitarist Bill Frisell makes a rare St. Louis appearance at Old Rock House. He'll be playing with a quartet including bassist Tony Scherr, drummer Kenny Wollesen, and trumpeter Ron Miles. You can read more about Frisell and see some video clips of him in this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

On Friday, drummer Paul Shaw's trio with pianist Ptah Williams and bassist Bob Deboo will play at the Cigar Inn in Belleville, while yr. humble StLJN editor will be playing some blues piano at Robbie's House of Jazz with drummer Stan Hale's band, featuring singer Renee Smith and bassist Phil Burton.

On Saturday afternoon, guitarist and St. Louis native Marvin Horne returns home to wrap up this spring's schedule of concerts from the Nu-Art Series, performing the music of Grant Green at Metropolitan Gallery.

Also on Saturday, the St. Louis Jazz Club will hold their annual picnic at the Concord Farmers Club, with music from Red Lehr & the St. Louis Rivermen in the afternoon and the Michael Lacey Band in the evening.

That same night, a little bit of Oakland comes to downtown St. Louis, as the legendary funk band Tower of Power is back here for the first time in five years to play at Lumiere Place Casino. (I've got a Critic's Pick on the TOP show in this week's Riverfront Times; look for the link here as soon as it's online.)

Meanwhile, for those in the mood from something a bit more intimate on Saturday evening, Robbie's will present pianist Carolbeth True's trio with singer Christi John Bye.

Last but not least on Saturday, Trio Kinsella, featuring flautist Jonathan Borja, cellist Ben Gitter and pianist Brendan Kinsella, performs at the Kranzberg Arts Center for New Music Circle. The program will include music by George Crumb, John Corigliano, Thailand's Narong Prangcharoen and former St. Louis Symphony composer in residence Joseph Schwantner, as well as the world premiere of “Falling Through Infinity" by Nicholas Omiccioli.

On Sunday, singer Steve Tyrell returns to the Sheldon Concert Hall for a performance benefiting education programs at the Sheldon. Tyrell's previous show at the same venue sold out, and at last word tickets for this one were almost gone, but if you're interested in going it may be worth a call to the Sheldon to see if any seats are released at the last minute.

Also on Sunday, the clever, eclectic Seattle sextet known as Reptet (pictured) will be here to play at 2720 Cherokee. I've enjoyed their most recent CD At The Cabin and was prompted to write more about them in this video post from last Saturday.

That same evening, there will be a benefit for bassist Gus Thornton at Beale on Broadway. Thornton is an East St. Louis native who's best known for playing blues with Albert King, Katie Webster and others, but also has done his share of local jazz gigs. He recently had a heart transplant and although his prognosis is said to be good, the operation has left him with huge medical bills and no income while he recovers.

Sunday's event will help raise some cash to assist the universally well-liked Thornton with those bills and living expenses. There's been no information released on the lineup of performers, but given that Thornton seems to have played with at least half the musicians in town at some point, I'm sure it'll be well worth the $10 requested donation at the door.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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