Jazz This Week: Dave Holland Quintet, Jeremy Davenport, "Funky Dog Gumbo Ball," Bosman Twins, and More


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This week's picks in live jazz and creative music around St. Louis include a multi-night gig featuring one of the top small groups in modern jazz, the return of a local “favorite son" to headline at one of our town's most prestigious concert venues, and much more. Let's go to the highlights....

Tonight, bassist Dave Holland and his quintet open a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Generally acknowledged as one of the best working bands in jazz today, as well as one of the longest lived, Holland's group this week will feature three regular members - trombonist Robin Eubanks, vibraphonist Steve Nelson and drummer Nate Smith - plus saxophonist Mark Turner subbing for Chris Potter, who's on tour with the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars.

While Potter no doubt will be missed by his many fans here, Turner is an excellent musician, too, and historically, Holland's judgment in picking great players as collaborators seems beyond reproach. It'll be interesting to hear what sort of changes in the group dynamic and sound result from Turner's presence in Potter's stead. For more about Dave Holland, including videos of some of what he's been up to since his last visit here, plus links to reviews of the Quintet's last two appearances in St. Louis, check out this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Tomorrow night, you can choose between two gigs with an emphasis on free improv. The Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present “At Once: Improvisation Ensemble and the Art of Improvisation" a free concert featuring William Lenihan (guitar and keyboards), Steve Davis (drums) and Vince Varvel (guitar), while the Tavern of Fine Arts will have its monthly “Avant-Garde Arts Night" featuring live improvised music from an ad hoc ensemble that often includes musicians such as keyboardist Jim Hegarty, flautist Fred Tompkins, and others associated with New Music Circle.

Also tomorrow night, swing revivalists Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are in town to play at the Lumiere Place Casino Theatre; and saxophonist Jim Stevens will have a couple of guest msucians from Nashville - singer/guitarist Andy Westcott and singer Leslie Craig - performing with his band at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups. (A former St. Louisan, Craig was known as Leslie White when she lived here and sang with local groups including trumpeter Jim Manley's dance band Fantasy and the rock cover band Trixie Delight.)

On Friday,  the Funky Butt Brass Band, the Dogtown All-Stars and Gumbohead will team up for a pre-Mardi Gras fete dubbed the “Funky Dog Gumbo Ball" at the Sheldon Concert Hall's upstairs ballroom, and Lindy Hop St. Louis will present their monthly “West End Stomp" swing dance with live music by The Sidemen at the Mahler Ballroom.

Also on Friday, pianist Brad Ellebrecht leads a group at Robbie's House of Jazz; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes play at Highway 61 Roadhouse; and guitarist Mason Baran's trio performs at the Cigar Inn.

Then on Saturday night, trumpeter, singer and St. Louis native Jeremy Davenport returns to St. Louis from his current home in New Orleans to perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Of course, since moving away Davenport has come back numerous times to play just a couple of blocks away at Jazz at the Bistro, and he was a guest artist on one of pianist Peter Martin's shows at the Sheldon a couple of years ago. But surprisingly, this will be the first time he's headlined with his own band at the venerable concert hall, which should prove to be a good match for his straight-ahead, acoustic jazz sound.

Also on Saturday, singer Miss Jubilee and her band will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and singer Joe Mancuso and guitarist Randy Bahr will duet at Mojo Tapas.  

On Sunday afternoon, those saxophone-playing siblings the Bosman Twins will present a free concert at Second Presbyterian Church, 4501 Westminster Place (at Taylor) in the Central West End.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarists Eric Slaughter and Tom Byrne will co-lead a quartet offering a tribute to Wes Montgomery at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

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