Jazz This Week: David Sanborn, Rebirth Brass Band, Chick Corea, Ku-Umba Frank Lacy, Stanley Clarke Band, and More


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It's the busiest week for jazz and creative music so far this fall in St. Louis, with a half- dozen touring headliners passing through town in the next seven days. Let's go to the highlights....

Tonight, alto saxophonist and Kirkwood's own David Sanborn returns home to begin a four- night run continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro.

Sanborn will be accompanied on this visit by an all-St. Louis rhythm section, with Eric Slaughter on guitar, U City's Peter Martin on piano and Chris Thomas on bass, plus East St. Louis' Montez Coleman on drums. As you might guess, advance reservations are a must; at last report, tickets were scarce for the 7:30 p.m. shows but some seats still may be available for the 9:30 p.m. sets.

Also tonight, The 442s will be joined by pianist Peter Henderson for a free concert that's part of Powell Symphony Hall's “On Stage" series, which, as the name implies, puts the musicians and audience together on the hall's ample stage. 

Tomorrow, New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band will be back to perform at The Gramophone. Along with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Rebirth are one of the standard-bearers for their hometown's brass band tradition, adding their own contemporary twists and over the the years serving as a launching pad for several solo careers, including that of trumpeter Kermit Ruffins. If you like New Orleans music, they're definitely a must-see.

Also tomorrow, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University will present “Freedom Summer '64: A Love Supreme," a free concert featuring the music of John Coltrane as performed by a group including saxophonists Freddie Washington and Paul DeMarinis, guitarist William Lenihan, drummers Maurice Carnes and Steve Davis, and pianist Kara Baldus.The concert will be preceded by panel discussion let by Wash U professor Patrick Burke, author of the 2008 book Come In And Hear the Truth: Jazz and Race on 52nd Street.

Other Thursday night possibilities include jazz-fusion group Common Time, who will perform at The Engine Room; and singer Erika Johnson and guitarist Tom Byrne's trio at Venice Cafe.

On Friday, singer Feyza Eren will perform at the Ozark Theatre; Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes will return to Nathalie's; the St. Louis Big Band will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom; and saxophonist Kendrick Smith leads a trio at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday, pianist Chick Corea will play a solo piano concert at the Sheldon Concert Hall. Though Corea has performed here in various contexts over the last couple of decades - with his Elektrik Band, the reunited Return to Forever, and most recently in a duo with banjo player Bela Fleck - this will be the first time he's ever played here solo. For some video samples of Corea alone at the piano, check out this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, trombonist Ku- umba Frank Lacy will be in town to perform at the Ozark Theatre. The Houston native, once called “the baddest sideman in jazz" by Down Beat magazine, served as music director for Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, has been a member of the Mingus Big Band, and has a long list of collaborators that includes St. Louis musicians such as Greg Osby, Oliver Lake, Julius Hemphill, and Lester Bowie, as well as Henry Threadgill, Carla Bley, Dizzy Gillespie, Abdullah Ibrahim, Bobby Watson, David Murray, McCoy Tyner, and numerous R&B and hip-hop performers.

Elsewhere around town that evening, Miss Jubilee will be swinging the Casa Loma Ballroom, and the Gaslight Cabaret Festival resumes with singer Katie McGrath performing her show “Love in the Desert: Romance in an Age of Scarcity" at the Gaslight Theater.  And still more local vocal talent will be on offer Saturday in the form of  Joe Mancuso at EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery; the Ann Dueren Trio at Il Bel Lago; and Mary Dyson and Diane Vaughn at Troy's Jazz Gallery

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday drummer and St. Charles native Dave Weckl, who first gained wide recognition as part of Corea's Elektrik Band, will be in town to present a clinic sponsored by the Fred Pierce Studio Drum Shop at the Hilton St. Louis Airport

Also on Monday, percussionist Joe Pastor will bring his group to BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups; and guitarist John Farrar and the Park Avenue Trio will be at Evangeline's, which now serves as the lone outpost for their weekly sessions after they recently wrapped up a 16-year run (!) of Wednesdays at Hammerstone's.

Then on Tuesday, bassist Stanley Clarke, yet another former compatriot of Corea's, will lead his electric band in a concert at The Pageant. Clarke's latest album Up was released on September 30 by Mack Avenue Records, and features members of his touring group as well as an all-star roster of guest musicians. St. Louis' Bach to the Future will open the show, which is a benefit for the not-for-profit adoption agency Dillon International.

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