Jazz This Week: Bruce Barth Quintet, Sometime then and Again, and More


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After a couple of very busy weeks, it looks like there's a bit of a post-Mardi Gras lull with regard to jazz and creative music in St. Louis, at least in terms of the number of shows this weekend.

Still, in addition to the various ongoing weekly gigs by local musicians (which you can find listed on the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar), there are a few other noteworthy events happening over the next few days, starting with three nights of performances by the Bruce Barth Quintet.

Barth (pictured) and his group, which also features the well-regarded trumpeter Terell Stafford, have been in town since Monday for an educational residency under the auspices of Jazz St. Louis. Tonight, they'll play at The Gramophone as part of a Young Friends of Jazz St. Louis benefit for JSL's educational programs, an event that also will include an opening set from the Jazz St. Louis All-Stars student ensemble. Then on Friday and Saturday, Barth and band will be at Jazz at the Bistro, where they'll play the customary two shows each night. For more on this versatile pianist and some video samples of his playing, see this post from last Saturday.

Also this evening, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present a free concert by Sometime Then and Again, a quartet featuring a couple of well-known local musicians, guitarist William Lenihan and saxophonist Dave Stone. Though Lenihan and Stone are both known quantities, this particular configuration seems to be a comparatively recent development, and Wash U. hasn't provided a lot of information about what sort of music they'll be playing. Given Stone and Lenihan's respective ranges of experience, it could be anything from completely composed music to totally free improv, but, considering the known level of talent there, the gig seems worth checking out regardless.

On Friday, you can catch some Latin jazz at Brandt's courtesy of Clave De Sol, featuring Farshid Etniko on guitar plus the pianist Phil Gomez, an interesting and accomplished player I've always liked for his ability to consistently do the unexpected. And on Sunday night, the crowd-pleasing soul/jazz/funk band Good 4 the Soul plays the early shift at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

UPDATE, 2:30 p.m. 2/26/09 - Two more events worth mentioning, gleaned from late night/early morning emails: My esteemed colleague Terry Perkins dropped a note to say that trumpeter and East St. Louis expat Russell Gunn will be in the backup band for pop/R&B singer Ne-Yo's concert at the Fox Theatre on Sunday. I don't know how much solo space there is for Gunn in the show - probably not that much, I'd suspect - but he's doing the entire tour with Ne-Yo and presumably making some nice money in the process.

Also, the SIU-Edwardsville jazz program will present its annual concert Tuesday night at The Sheldon, featuring the University's big band and vocal jazz ensembles as well as appearances from faculty members and alumni including Rick Haydon, Reggie Thomas, Jason Swagler, Miles Vandiver, Andy Tichenor, Brett and Kim Stamps, Bennett Wood and Zeb Briskovich. The program will include two compositions from Brett Stamps, “Cajun Cookin'" and “Let's Samba," as well as Thomas' arrangements for the vocal jazz ensemble on “Revelation" (done in the style of Take 6), Lambert, Hendricks and Ross' “Centerpiece" and “Smilin' Faces."

Of course, as mentioned above, these are just a few select highlights of the weekend's musical offerings. For more jazz-related events this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar. As usually happens at the beginning of a month, there will be a series of updates to the Calendar over the next several days as band and club information trickles and/or straggles in, so stay tuned.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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