Jazz this week: Freddy Cole & Harry Allen, Eric Marienthal, The New Mastersounds, and more


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There are a number of notable shows from visiting jazz and creative music performers coming up this week in St. Louis, offering something for fans of genres ranging from straight-ahead swing to fusion to experimental, free improv, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, May 25

Pianist and singer Freddy Cole and his band, teamed once again with tenor saxophonist Harry Allen, return to Jazz at the Bistro for the first evening of a four-night engagement continuing through Saturday.

Cole shares a number of musical virtues with his older brother, the late Nat “King" Cole, including a relaxed vocal style, a sure sense of swing as a pianist, and an appreciation of classic popular songs, but he's managed to chart his own course as a musician, acknowledging his brother's influence without being dominated by it.

Add in the saxophone stylings of Allen, whose playing has been influenced by Swing Era giants like Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, and Paul Gonsalves, and the result should be four nights of satisfying old-school sounds.

Also on Wednesday, pianist Phil Dunlap and his quintet will play for the monthly music series at the World Chess Hall of Fame.

Thursday, May 26

Saxophonist Eric Marienthal will join St. Louis' own Bach to the Future for a free concert at the Chesterfield Amphitheater.

Also on Thursday, the new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound closes out their St. Louis season with a performance at the Sheldon Concert Hall, featuring music from their “Alarm System" collaborations with Medeski, Martin and Wood, composers Tyondai Braxton and Mira Calix, and others.

Elsewhere around town, the Tavern of Fine Arts will host their monthly “Experimental Arts Open Improv Night" with live improvised music; the Saint Boogie Brass Band plays an early evening show at Taze Mediterranean Street Food downtown; and guitarist Vincent Varvel lead a trio at Evangeline's.

Friday, May 27

The annual Glendale Jazz Festival will feature sets from the St. Louis Big Band with singer Joe Scalzitti plus singer and pianist Anita Rosamond and R&B vocalist Coco Soul on an outdoor stage at Glendale City Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Meanwhile, downtown on the riverfront, percussionist and composer Eli Keszler will headline a multi-artist bill of experimental and improvising musicians including Marissa Anderson, 18&Counting with Charles “Bobo" Shaw, Demonlover, Ghost Ice, and more at the William A Kerr Foundation on Laclede's Landing.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Kasimu Taylor leads a quartet at Bossanova Martini Lounge and Restaurant in Alton, and guitarist Tom Byrne and Have U Heard? will play music inspired by Pat Metheny at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Saturday, May 28

In what's being billed as a dual display of “extreme saxophone," the saxophonists PedroSaxo and Derek Brown will show off their extensive repertoires of extended techniques in a free afternoon performance and workshop at Saxquest.

Saturday evening, The New Mastersounds will perform at The Bootleg at the Atomic Cowboy.

The British funk/jazz quartet is touring in support of The Nashville Sessions, their latest album that was released last month. For more about that, plus some video samples of them in action, see this post from last Saturday.

Also on Saturday, singer Erin Bode will celebrate the release of her new album with a concert at Lindenwood University's J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts; singer Joe Mancuso brings his organ trio to The Dark Room; The Wire Pilots play original fusion music at the Tavern of Fine Arts; and saxophonist Rhoda G and singer Ralph Williams will be the featured performers for “Jazz in Paris" at the Jones Banquet Plaza in Fairview Heights.

Sunday, May 29

As often happens on major holidays, the live music offerings around town thin out quite a bit in the latter half of the Memorial Day weekend, but you can still hear some jazz for Sunday brunch, courtesy of trumpeter Jim Manley at Nathalie's and/or Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes at Evangeline's.

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