The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 31-February 6


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While the loss of the Artists Quarter still leaves many fans wondering where to get their jazz fix, the sheer number of venues help generate a good range of options most any day of the week. Some local veterans keep us on the “sunny side of the street" despite the windchills this week.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, January 31. If you have not had a recent opportunity to hear the cross-generation duo of Irv Williams and Peter Schimke at their happy hour gig at the Dakota, check it out tonight! Sometimes joined by Billy Peterson, there is no local duo with as much empathy and mutual admiration than Irv and Peter, as their recording Duo testifies. And when he is taking a weekend away from studies at Luther College, young saxman Joshua Jones is often on hand to sit-in — like tonight. That makes this ensemble at least 3 generations wide.

Tommy Bruce came to his calling as a jazz singer later than most, but he's made up for lost time. Not only does he claim a prime time gig at Parma tonight, the bar/lounge tables were reserved weeks ago. But come on the early side— the bar seating is open and you can order off the very reasonable menu and have a good vantage point to see and hear Tommy take off on ballads and swinging standards in the general mode of Chet Baker.  With Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson, no less. Friday-Saturday, January 31-February 1. Always hosting something new and exciting, Studio Z presents the annual Keys Please concert this weekend. Now in its 12th season, pianist composers Carei Thomas, Todd Harper and Paul Cantrell bring new and old compositions to the stage, this time with special guest, flautist Julie Johnson who is know to defy all rules relevant to her instrument. Flue with loop pedals and beatboxing? Only at Studio Z.  

Monday, February 3. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is always worthwhile, but the first Mondays gig is unique meeting of bebop vet Dave Karr and avant-garde acolytes Adam Linz and host JT Bates. There's no mismatch here — saxman Dave more than holds his own with the “youngsters."

Tuesday, February 4. Top-notch big band, the Bill Simonsen Orchestra, holds its monthly gig at Jazz Central, where the big ensembles can be observed and enjoyed up-close and personal (that is intimate, not loud!); across town at the Black Dog, in another intimate space, enjoy the first Tuesday offering from guitarist Dean Magraw and percussionist Davu Seru, a sublimely inventive duo if there ever was one.

Wednesday, February 5. Hard to imagine putting together a more vibrant pair of guitars than Joel Shapira and Dean Granros. Dean steps in to help Joel celebrate the release of Inherence, recorded with guitarist Jack Desalvo in New Jersey and paying homage to Wayne Shorter, along with a couple other covers and some new tunes from Desalvo and some spontaneous works with Shapira. Jack couldn't get to Minnesota for this celebration but try to imagine a better “sub" than Dean Granros? At the Black Dog where intimacy is the rule.

Thursday, February 6. A few weeks ago, The Twin Cities Latin Jazz Orchestralaunched a monthly series of open rehearsals for this new large ensemble headed by Geoff Senn and Mac Santiago. Hard to imagine a better space for experimentation and audience involvement than Jazz Central!

More Jazz Every Night

Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Policeand KBEM sites. Also find a growing number of events on the Jazz Near You site, a service of All About Jazz. A few more gigs of note: Friday, January 31. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Patrick Harison and Keith Boyles, dinner sets at the Icehouse; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at the Medina Ballroom; Dennis Spears at the Dakota; Eastside at Hell's Kitchen; Gypsy Mania at the Red Stag   Saturday, February 1. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Nick Haas Trio at Loring Pasta Bar   Sunday, February 2. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's Cafe; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra with Charmin Michelle at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Winebar; Doug Little Quartet at Eat Street Social

Monday, February 3. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Southside Aces at Famous Dave's (Uptown); Joe Mayo at Jazz Central

Tuesday, February 4. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Beasley's Big Band at O'Gara's

Wednesday, February 5. Seven Half Trio at Tangiers; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Anthony Cox (improv night) at Jazz Central; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Gypsy Mania at Barbette

Thursday, February 6. Moonlight Serenaders at Wabasha Street Caves

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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