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The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, February 1-7


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The weekend is off to an icy start but steamy hot jazz should warm you inside and out, with a glow to last through the week.

Highlights This Week

Friday-Saturday, February 1-2. One of the most lauded pianists of her generation and leader on 13 critically acclaimed recordings, Lynne Arrialemakes a welcome return to the Twin Cities. The Motema recording artist (and one of my long-time favorites) played the AQ years back on Jackson Street and since has performed several gigs at the Dakota. After a decade heading one of the most telepathic trios since Bill Evans, Arriale set off in new directions, adding horns (including the great Randy Brecker) as well as going solo. Long-known for her melodicism and songful compositions, her more recent work has included inventive arrangements of pop and rock hits as well as intriguing originals. On both nights at the AQ, Lynne will be joined by dazzling bassist Adam Linz, with drum masters Jay Epstein (Friday) and Dave Schmalenberger (Saturday). 

Tuesday, February 5. “First Tuesdays" at the Black Dog continue under the musical leadership of Dean Magraw and Davu Seru, and tonight it's an extra-special night with free-improvising Milo Fine on marimba. Fine plays just about everything, it seems, but I have yet to enjoy him on marimba which seems particularly well-suited for the free movements of his improvising heart. And in such inventive company as Magraw and Seru, this might be a major midwinter meltdown.

Over at the Artists Quarter, we can ponder, “What Would Monk Do?" What would have happened if eccentric genius Thelonious Monk had encountered four of the best Twin Cities jazzmen on the stage of one of the premiere jazz clubs in the Midwest? Trumpeter Steve Kenny, pianist Peter Schimke, bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst first asked that question in 2010, and will give us some idea of the answer when they reunite tonight.

Wednesday, February 6. Brazilian rhythms can insulate us from the next winter blast, particularly when the leader of the pack is world music guru, guitarist Robert Everest. The new trio, Choro Borealis, promises to bring us music rooted in Africa and Europe, with clarinetist Pat O'Keefe and percussionist/Brazilian string specialist Tim O'Keefe joining Everest at the most logical venue for Brazilian music - the Jewish Community Center of St. Louis Park.

Thursday, February 7. Always filled with inventive energy and new twists on the greatest jazz improvisers, the Phil Hey Quartet fills its almost-monthly slot at the Artists Quarter. With such talents as Dave Hagedorn, Phil Aaron and Tom Lewis as his long-time collaborators, Hey's gigs keep the Twin Cities jazz scene nipping at the heels of the Big Apple in terms of innovation and savvy.

More Jazz Every Night (and Day) Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Policeand KBEM sites. A few more gigs of note:

Friday, February 1. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Todd Harper at the Black Dog; Steven Hobert and Brian Courage, dinner set at the Icehouse; Ticket to Brasil at Faces Mears Park; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen; Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at the West Bank School of Music

Saturday, February 2. Lila Ammons at Club Saratoga; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Keys Please (Carei Thomas, Todd Harper and Paul Cantrell) at Studio Z; John Devine at the Red Stag

Sunday, February 3. Patty and the Buttons at the Aster Café (brunch); Robert Everest at Maria's Café (brunch); Mouldy Figs at Shamrocks (1 pm);  Keys Please at Studio Z (2 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, February 4. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Southside Aces at Famous Dave's (Uptown); Neighborhood Trio at Barbette

Tuesday, February 5. Cory Wong Quartet, early show at the Artists Quarter; Café Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Capri Big Band at Edinborough Indoor Park; Bill Simenson Orchestra at Jazz Central; Triose at Café Maude (Penn Av)

Wednesdsay, February 6. Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny and the Bastids, followed by Dave Brattain Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Connie Evingson with Tanner Taylor and Dave Karr, Jazz in the Lounge at the Minneapolis Woman's Club

Thursday, February 7. Lee Engele with the Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves; Sophia Shorai at the Icehouse; Josh Granowski and Patrick Harison at Barbette

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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