StLJN Saturday Video Showcase: Kirk Whalum's "Gospel According to Jazz"


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This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring saxophonist Kirk Whalum, who's bringing the seventh annual edition of his “Gospel According to Jazz Christmas" show to St. Louis next Friday, December 14 at the Friendly Temple Missionary Baptist Church.

The show, a spinoff from Whalum's series of “Gospel According to Jazz" albums that began back in 1998, each year features several guest stars, with the 2018 lineup including percussionist and vocalist Sheila E. plus singers Lynn Mabry, John Stoddart, Kevin Whalum (who is Kirk's younger brother), and St. Louis' own Brian Owens.

You can get a feel for the mood of the evening from the first video up above, which features Whalum and fellow saxophonist Gerald Albright on a medley of holiday tunes recorded in 2015 at Molloy College in New York.

After the jump, you can see singer/guitarist Jonathan Butler and Whalum, recorded last year here in St. Louis at the Friendly Temple by videographer James Ross, as Butler offers his interpretation of the seasonal staple “Sleigh Ride."

The remaining four videos offer a sampling of various recent Whalum performances, starting with “Groverworked and Underpaid" as recorded at the 2017 Java Jazz Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.

That's followed by Whalum playing “Sunday's Best," originally released in 2015 on his fourth “Gospel According to Jazz" album; and the saxophonist and his brother Kevin Whalum in 2013 performing “My One and Only Love," from their tribute to the historic album of standards recorded in the 1960s by John Coltrane and vocalist Johnny Hartman.

Last, but not least is a version of a song included on the third album in the “Gospel..." series, “God Has Smiled On Me," featuring on vocals Kirk Whalum's uncle Hugh “Peanuts" Whalum, who's now retired but was a mainstay of the St. Louis jazz scene from the Gaslight Square era through the late 2000s.

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