Jazz This Week: Jazz Attack, Greg Osby with Willie Akins, Wee Trio, Gutbucket, Niu Jazz Ensemble with Benny Golson, and More


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It's the beginning of a couple of busy weeks for jazz and creative music in St. Louis, with plenty of competition for the time, attention and dollars of music fans from a number of touring musicians as well as local acts. In particular, this weekend's lineup features several stellar saxophonists playing in a variety of musical contexts, from smooth jazz and R&B to post-bop to big band. Let's go to the highlights:

Tonight, the 2009 edition of the popular Jazz Attack smooth jazz tour, featuring saxophonist Richard Elliot, trumpeter Rick Braun and singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler, stops at the Ameristar Casino St. Charles' Bottleneck Blues Bar.

Also this evening, The Wee Trio, a Brooklyn, NY-based group that features St. Louis expat Dan Loomis on bass and has drawn comparisons to The Bad Plus and Medeski, Martin and Wood, will do a free concert for the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University, and the St. Louis Jazz Cafe features smooth jazz saxophonist Readus Miller .

In addition, saxophonist and St. Louis native Greg Osby (pictured), who's in town this week for an educational residency and performances for Jazz St. Louis, and JSL education director Phil Dunlap will present “Understanding The Blues," another class in JSL's “Jazz 101" series, at Jazz at the Bistro.

On Friday, Osby's “St. Louis Shoes," a multi-generational project featuring Osby, his band, special guest saxophonist Willie Akins, and student saxophonists recruited from local schools, opens a two-night run at the Bistro. Also on Friday, the NYC-based “punk/jazz" band Gutbucket plays at the Mad Art Gallery, and the St. Louis Jazz Cafe features Trio Tres Bien.

Then on Saturday night, Osby continues at the Bistro; the multi-woodwind playing Bosman Twins will perform at the Jazz Cafe; and singer Kim Massie will be at Brandt's.

Moving on to Sunday afternoon, the Northern Illinois University Jazz Ensemble, directed by saxophonist Ronald Carter and featuring as special guest the legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, will perform in a benefit show at the Sheldon Concert Hall

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the Jazz St. Louis CD Listening Club will have its April meeting, this month featuring singer Jeanne Trevor and JSL executive director Gene Dobbs Bradford in a discussion of the recording The Audience With Betty Carter. Later that evening, the “West Coast" jazz-inspired band Utter Chaos plays at The Gramophone.

As usual, these are just some of the noteworthy shows happening around St. Louis this week, so to see more jazz-related events in St. Louis this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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