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Jazz This Week: "Follow That Star: A Jazz Nativity," Good 4 the Soul, Freddie Washington, Montez Coleman, and More


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This week's offerings of jazz and creative music in St. Louis include a number of shows with a holiday theme, as well as homecomings for a couple of St. Louis musicians who aren't heard performing locally nearly often enough. Let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, saxophonist Dave Stone's trio provides the music for “Buddhism and the Beats," a free event at the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts that also will feature Buddhist art and readings from Beat writers of the 1950s by various St. Louis performers, artists and writers.

Also tonight, saxophonist Jeff Riley and the St. Louis Big Band will be getting in the Christmas spirit at Robbie's House of Jazz, while singer Erin Bode performs at Cyrano's.

On Friday, Good 4 The Soul opens a two-night stand at Jazz at the Bistro, while singer Debby Lennon and pianist Carolbeth True's trio offer another holiday program at Robbie's House of Jazz.

Also on Friday, bassist Bob DeBoo's quartet with Willie Akins and Ptah Williams plays at Jazz on Broadway in Alton; guitarist Dave Black leads a trio at the Cigar Inn in Belleville; and Erin Bode and her group will team up with Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra violinist and concertmaster David Halen and other SLSO members for a holiday concert at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles.

On Saturday afternoon, saxophonist Freddie Washington will lead a group in a matinee at Metropolitan Gallery for the Nu Art Series. Washington, a full-toned modernist seriously influenced by John Coltrane, was a fixture on the local scene from the 1960s through the early 1990s, and has recently returned to St. Louis and to live performing after a hiatus.

On Saturday evening, the holiday theme continues with “Follow That Star: A Jazz Nativity", a jazz version of the Christmas story performed by the Oikos Ensemble, featuring saxophonist Rev. Clifford Aerie (pictured) and pianist Christopher Bakriges, and singer Denise Thimes at Pilgrim United Church of Christ, 826 Union Blvd. in St. Louis. “Follow That Star" will get a second performance on Sunday afternoon.

Also on Saturday night, drummer Montez Coleman, a St. Louis native who's been a regular for several years with trumpeter Roy Hargrove and also has recorded with Russell Malone, Willie Akins, Erin Bode and others, leads a group at Jazz on Broadway

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band plays their final gig of 2011 at BB's Jazz Blues and Soups.

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