The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, November 11-17


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I wonder what would have happened if political candidates had been operating with a “Lead Sheet" like a band? Regardless of your post-election mood, live music is a sure antidote. And there's plenty of that around town this week, including a few CD releases.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, November 11. One of our more prolific composers, Jeremy Walker, debuts five new works as part of “Early Baroque Meets Jazz" at Landmark Center. This is a collaboration between pianist Walker and his trio (with bassist Jeff Brueske and drummer Tim Zhorne) and the baroque ensemble Consortium Carissimi, which will also perform madrigals by Belli, Biagio and Monteverdi. (Matinee on Sunday, November 13)

At Vieux Carre', get ready for Mancrush— that's the band led by drummer Lars-Erik Larson with Bryan Nichols on piano, Brandon Wozniak on sax, and Zacc Harris on guitar, playing mostly original music. You might want to arrive early as this band is always a big draw.

In a different vein and a new pairing, vocalist Jana Nyberg teams up with pianist Sean Turner at Jazz Central in what should be an engaging duo. We seldom hear Nyberg in a configuration smaller than her five-piece Jana Nyberg Group! And speaking of pairings, there's no better duo in the gypsy jazz realm than guitarist Reynold Philipsek and violinist Gary Schulte, performing tonight at the 318 Cafe in Excelsior.

In Lowertown St Paul, Public Kitchen hosts Common Space, a new quartet headed by drummer Alex Burgess, with his UW-River Falls affiliated pals, music professor Eric Graham on keys and former students Thomas Strommen on tenor sax and Dylan Nelson on guitar. They made a big impression last weekend at the Black Dog. Across Mears Park at Golden's, the Kronick Quintetpromises to “cure those blues with our high-energy mix of jazz, blues, and funk." And they will!

Friday-Saturday, November 11-12. JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske now entertain in the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel for two nights each weekend, bringing standards, pop hits and more into the jazz realm with touches of Blossom Dearie, Diana Krall, Peggy Lee and more.

Saturday, November 12.Another engaging duo takes the stage as Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson appear in the Jazz at St Barney's series at St Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth, presenting “Songs Louis Sang"— a tribute to Louis Armstrong the singer. More often noted for his trumpet chops, Armstrong in fact was one of the most influential vocalists of early jazz, and Maud and Rick will remind us why. More vocals tonight— Paula Lammers with pianist John Koziol warm up the southeast burbs at Mendoberri in Mendota Heights; Kate Lynch and Her Most Excellent Fellowsat Vieux Carre'. On Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog, the long-running Illicit Sextetreleases their third album in 25 years—of course it is all original music, titled Addendum (following the albums Chapter One and Chapter Eleven). Opening the evening will be the inventive duo of Chris Olson and Greg Byers—guitar and cello. Another guitar outing— Dean Magraw goes solo (and totally acoustic) in Sundin Hall at Hamline University, sponsored by the Minnesota Guitar Society.

Saturday night regulars— Pavel Janey's Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar and the Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200. Sunday, November 13. Dan Chouinard and his Birthday Club are back in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners, and his guest will be fine vocalist Connie Evingson. Cole Mahlum hosts the weekly B-3 jam at Jazz Central, and the Zacc Harris Triowill be in their weekly position at the Riverview Wine Bar. (Jeremy Walker and Consortium Carissimiat Landmark Center, matinee, see Friday.)

Monday, November 14. Yet another fine vocalist with a flair for soulful swing, Catherine Russell returns to the Dakotawith music from her new album, Harlem on My Mind. Raised in a truly jazzy environment—dad Luis Russell wrote arrangements for Louis Armstrong, and mom Carlene Ray played bass and sang in the International Sweethearts of Rhythm, Russell has a style that takes you back to the 20s and 30s, in a very good way. With a much lower profile, singer Thomas Bruce brings some Brazil to Crooners Lounge.

President Flow led by Joe Mayo takes the Monday spotlight at Jazz Central, and at the Icehouse, JT's Jazz Implosion features two CD release shows involving brother Chris Bates, who will celebrate his birthday with two new albums from two bands— first, his Inventions and Dimensions trio with Joe Strachan and Miguel Hurtado, and next, with Leisure Valley—that's Bruce Thornton, Patrick Harison and Joey Van Phillips with Chris. Tuesday, November 15. In the Dunsmore Room, it's a CD release gig for vocalist Joyce Lyons, and she could not assemble a better band than Phil Aaron, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein, with whom she has performed around the Metro and beyond for the past few years. Her Song for You features 7 diverse and elegantly presented tracks, mostly standards along with a beautiful cover of “Sound of Silence."

Our local queen of hot club music, Connie Evingsonjoins the Mill City Hot Club at Vieux Carre', while the Explosion Big Band, headed by Doug Haining and Scott Agster, fill this week's Big Band slot at Jazz Central.

Wednesday, November 16. The always fun and fabulous duo of Dean Magraw and Butch Thompson hold everyone's attention at Vieux Carre';accordion master Patrick Harison opens the evening.

Thursday, November 17. The Chris Lomheim Quartet with Pete Whitman (sax), Jay Young (bass) and Dave Schmalenberger (drums) is booked on the Thursday Night Jazz at Reverie series, while Adam Linz's Le Percheron returns to Khyber Pass, Joel Shapira plays solo guitar for the early sets at Vieux Carre', and vocalist Dorothy Doring is back at Jazz Central for Vocal Jazz Night.

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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