The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, October 11-24


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The jazz community is reeling from the announcement that the Artists Quarter will close at the end of the year, rent increases far outpacing revenue in a market that, if anything, suffers from too much music relative to the number of listeners on any given night. Still I hear people complain that they just don't know what's out there. If you know someone interested in jazz but more inclined to stay home listening to their record collection or i-Pods, give them the heads up on the live attractions in the metro area. There's bound to be something of interest close to home, and there is always something special worth traveling across town to hear. Recordings and broadcasts are of course vital to the survival of jazz, but it's live music that keeps both musicians and audiences moving forward.  We need some of that forward motion right now! Due to a California vacation, this blog covers the upcoming two weeks of live jazz.  So plan for now, and plan ahead.

Big Gigs, This Week and NextFriday, October 11. The Community Pool/Deep End series at the Black Dog is a treasure chest of cool music trending on the avant-garde, and tonight is no exception— but it is exceptional! Ellen Lease and Pat Moriarty have been leaders on the free and experimental edges for several decades, working in various combinations with like-minded spirits. Tonight they premiere a new trio, adding young but wise bassist Brian Courage to an evening of new and spontaneous compositions.

Friday-Saturday, October 11-12.Over the past year, we have heard pianist Bill Carrothers more often, and that is always a good thing. He's back on his “home" stage at the Artists Quarter this weekend, which only reinforces the need to keep this or a similar venue alive and well. Bill shares the stage with Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst, a combination that has proven to be as simpatico as any working in modern jazz. Anywhere else, this would be a $30+ ticket. In true AQ fashion, the cover is half that. Saturday, October 12. Vocalist Vicky Mountainand former mentee Maryann Sullivanchannel two of the most interesting women in vocal jazz history—Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie. Their “Dearie and O'Day" tribute is live on the Jazz @ St. Barney's series at the St Barnabas Lutheran Church Art Center in Plymouth. Hats off to Jeff Whitmill who curates this growing series of early Saturday night jazz.

In Lowertown, Studio Z will host the smoldering genius of the Atlantis Quartet, hot off their new CD release — Expansion. Come early (6 pm) for an informative presentation, followed at 7 by a couple sets of stunning and provocative original music by Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig.

Sunday, October 13.If one vibraphone is fun, then two must be illegal! PipJazz Sundays (at Landmark Center) continues its monthly concert season with a double vibes night, featuring local artist/entrepreneur Steve Kimmel on one set, and student guest artist Levi Schwartzberg on another. There's to be one vibes duet  in addition to the solo spots for each musician, and of course the splendid fare from vocalist/host Pippi Ardennia and her PipJazz Experience band. You will not have many opportunities to see a teenager going all out with four mallets!

Monday, October 14. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is a sure bet each week, be it Fat Kid Wednesdays, Atlantis Quartet or a double drum clinic with JT and Dave King. Tonight, it's Chris Bates' Red Five, the acclaimed ensemble that recorded what many dubbed the best local jazz release of 2012. Stick around for the late set with the new Fall of the House of Usher,a world music experience with Chris Cunningham, Chris Thomson, Elliot Wachs, Adrian Larkin, Jon Davis and Greg Schutte. Tuesday, October 15. A double dose of dynamic guitar tonight, starting at Hell's Kitchen with Vinnie Rose and Triosé and then Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter. At both gigs you will enjoy some cutting-edge arrangements of original music and sophisticated covers.

Tuesday-Wednesday, October 15-16. It's been fusion drummer month at the Dakota, starting with Billy Cobham on 10/1 and now two nights with Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion. The timekeeper for Cream and Blind Faith, native Brit Baker has been known to incorporate a variety of styles, from rock, jazz and even African rhythms. On his current tour, Baker keeps company with  saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.

Wednesday, October 16. Yet more guitar with the Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude. Since music was shut down at the Riverview Wine Bar, Zacc has been busy lining up gigs across the metro area for this ensemble with Matt Peterson and Pete Hennig. And down at the Artists Quarter, note scheduling change— following Steve Kenny's Group 47 will be Lucia Newell, one of the few vocalists who appears there regularly. Given the fate of the club, this gig is extra special.

Thursday, October 17. A doubleheader at the Artists Quarter tonight features the young talents of the McNally X-Tet, directed by Pete Whitman, followed by the grand old man of bebop, Dave Karr and his Quartet.

Friday, October 18. It might be too cool to sit on the patio at Parma 8200— more reason to come inside and enjoy jazz in the bar, tonight with crooner Arne Fogel! Nice piano, affordable menu, a great relaxing way to start the weekend. For more adventurous tastes, head to the Black Dog for the Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet, trombone and sax leading the way. Friday-Saturday, October 18-19. A new ensemble for Cory Wong, Foreign Motion, holds a CD release party at the Artists Quarter for their new In Flight. The band includes Kevin Gastonguay on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, and Peter Janjic on drums. Each member of the band contributes at least one tune to the set list, Wong writing about half. Some of this suggests The Bad Plus Meets Return to Forever, some of the rhythms will push you onto the dance floor while others will just make you turn somersaults.

Saturday, October 19. Former coordinator of jazz for MacPhail and well-respected trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kelly Rossum returns for one day! He's conducting a brass master class at MacPhail in the afternoon, and joining former colleagues in the Antonello Hall stage in the evening. The concert is billed as the Kelly Rossum Quartet + Marimba, featuring classical marimba specialist Annie Stevens and Rossum's old quartet with Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates and JT Bates. The program promises all new music from Rossum that highlights the marimba.

Tuesday, October 22.  It's been a while so it is all the more exciting to have Framework return to the Artists Quarter. Chris Olson, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein offer original music and inventive arrangements for this stellar guitar trio.

Thursday, October 24. After teasing us for a couple years with an EP of a handful of songs, Pippi Ardennia finally releases the full-length Love So Good with a release party at FACES Mears Park in Lowertown St. Paul. The original title track is just the tip of the iceberg — this is  a diverse set of vocals that reflect the power, energy and soul of a singer deserving much wider recognition.

Chris Lomheim, one of our most sublime pianists, brings his trio into the Artists Quarter tonight. And as much as he is known for his Bill Evans-ish touch,  Chris can really spin around bebop and post bop covers as well, and his originals deserve full attention as well.

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, October 11. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Patty Peterson Trio at Parma 8200; Maurice Jacox at Hell's Kitchen; John Penny, Rey Rivera and Pippi Ardennia at Senor Wong; Robert Robinson CD Release at the Dakota

Saturday, October 12. Mill City Hot Club at Harriet Brewing (3 pm); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Joan Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); The New Standards at the Dakota; East Side at Hell's Kitchen; Paul Harper Trio at Loring Pasta Bar

Sunday, October 13. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Century Jazz Ensemble at Central Park Indoor Amphitheater (Woodbury); Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, October 14. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; HeadSpace at the Artists Quarter; Adam Meckler at Jazz Central

Tuesday, October 15. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central

Wednesday, October 16. Steve Kenny Group 47 followed by the Graydon Peterson Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; St Peter Street Stompers at Minnesota Music Cafe; Pete Whitman at Jazz Central

Thursday, October 17. Vocal Night at Jazz Central; Beasley's Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Tommy and the Liebermen at the Dakota

Friday, October 18. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Sophia Shorai at Hell's Kitchen; Luke Polopnik and James Buckley at the Icehouse

Saturday, October 19. Dean Brewington at Loring Pasta Bar; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Lila Ammons Quintet at Honey; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200

Sunday, October 20. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Mike Lewis/Jeremy Ylvisaker/Adrian Suarez at the Icehouse

Monday, October 21. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; HeadSpace at the Artists Quarter; Featured Artist Night at Jazz Central; U of M Jazz Ensemble II at Ted Mann

Tuesday, October 22. Jack Jones at the Dakota; Nova Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

Wednesday, October 23. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jack Jones at the Dakota

Thursday, October 24. Vocal Night at Jazz Central; Connie and Herb at the Bean

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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