Jazz This Week: Sax for Stax with Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum, All That Tap Xviii, Dr. John, and More


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As we head toward August and what's usually the slow time of the year for live jazz in St. Louis, there are still some noteworthy performances happening, including a couple of touring acts that are passing through town in the next few days.

On Thursday, saxophonists Gerald Albright and Kirk Whalum (pictured) bring their “Sax for Stax" tour to the Ameristar Casino St Charles' Bottleneck Blues Bar. Named after Albright's recent CD that paid tribute to the hitmaking Memphis R&B label of the 1960s and 1970s, the tour also features some material from each man's back catalog, setting up the potential for some friendly jousting between the two old friends.

As an aside, it's my understanding that a number of the tour dates have also featured Kirk Whalum's sax-playing nephew, Kenneth Whalum. If Kirk's uncle - our town's Hugh “Peanuts" Whalum, a fine pianist, singer and saxophonist - should happen make it out to St. Charles that night to sit in, there could be three generations of musical Whalums on one stage, which would be pretty cool. (Not to mention the possibly of a four-way tenor “battle"...) You can see some video excerpts from an earlier show in the Sax for Stax tour in this post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Then on Saturday night, the 18th annual All That Tap concert will take place at the Touhill Performing Arts Center, culminating the week-long St. Louis Tap Festival that began on Monday. The concert will feature the festival's founder and director, tap guru Robert L. Reed, and a stellar roster of dancers with credits from film, TV and Broadway performing with live musical accompaniment from pianist Carolbeth True and her trio. (For a bit of history and insight about the connection between tap dance and jazz music, go here and here.)

Looking beyond the weekend, on Tuesday the New Orleans pianist and singer Dr. John and his band, the Lower 911, will perform at The Pageant. In keeping with our town's general affinity for the sounds of the Crescent City, Dr. John is always a popular attraction in St. Louis, but good tickets still may be available since this show was a relatively late addition to the calendar.

For more listings of 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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