Jazz This Week: Dan Hicks, John Clayton and Gerald Clayton, Lotte Anker Trio, Danny Fox, and More


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With a bit of spring in the air this week in St. Louis, there's also plenty of live jazz and creative music happening around town to get out and enjoy over the next few days. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, singer-guitarist Dan Hicks returns to the St. Louis area for a performance at the Wildey Theatre in Edwardsville.  Hicks' mix of Gyspy jazz, swing, country, blues and folk has been entertaining audiences for nearly fifty years now, and continue to draw appreciative crowds even when he doesn't have a new recording to promote. For more on his colorful career and some video samples of him and the the current edition of his band, the Hot Licks, in action, see this post from last Saturday.

Also tonight, the father-son team of bassist John Clayton and pianist Gerald Clayton (pictured, with drummer Jeff Hamilton) returns to open a four-night stand of duo gigs at Jazz at the Bistro. The two last appeared here in October 2011 as part of Clayton Brothers Quintet, which also includes John's sax-playing sibling Jeff Clayton. Since then, Gerald Clayton's star has continued to rise. He's now signed to Concord Records, and the label will release his debut for them, Life Forum, next month. The younger Clayton also can be heard on Cover Art, Concord's recently released album by the Next Collective, which is an eclectic group of 20-something musicians assembled by label exec Chris Dunn.

Tomorrow night, New Music Circle presents Danish saxophonist Lotte Anker in a concert at 560 Music Center. Teamed for this show with keyboardist Craig Taborn and drummer Gerald Cleaver, Anker is known here in the USA mostly as an improvisor, but also has a compositional sensibility that helps provide a sense of structure to many of her improvised flights. For more about Anker, and some video samples of her performing, check out this post from a couple of weeks ago.

Also tomorrow night, singer Erin Bode and band return to Crave coffeehouse on the south side.

On Friday, saxophonist Tim Cunningham will settle in for what's projected as a recurring weekly gig at Troy's Jazz Gallery,  saxophonist Jay Hutson is at Robbie's House of Jazz; singer Joe Mancuso performs for the first of two nights at Chaser's Lounge in the Chase Park Plaza Hotel; and saxophonist Austin Cebulski's quartet is at the Cigar Inn.

Then on Saturday, the trio of NYC-based pianist Danny Fox will be in town for a performance at Robbie's. Fox, a Harvard grad, has toured with drummer Max Weinberg's big band and the Tommy Dorsey “ghost band," among others. The trio's debut album The One Constant was released in 2011, and you can hear samples on Fox' website.

Also on Saturday, Two Times True with pianist Carolbeth True will perform at the south side house-concert venue Kinda Blue, 6101 1/2 Idaho; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes bring their swing and jump blues sound back to Venice Cafe.

On Sunday, a group billed as the SIUE Jazz Faculty Ensemble, led by guitarist Rick Haydon and saxophonist Jason Swagler, will play a free concert presented by St. Louis Jazz and Blues Vespers series at Second Baptist Church.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday pianist Kim Portnoy's ensemble will perform at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium; and on Tuesday, the weekly swing dance presented by Lindy Hop St. Louis at the Grandel Theatre in Grand Center will feature live music from The Sidemen.

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