The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, October 4-10


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Fall is not only in the air, it's in the trees, on the street, along the river and up at the lake. Along with our newly arrived cloak of autumn color and cooler nights, we have a colorful variety of jazz artists in our midst, from talented locals to starbright visitors. It's hard to top a week that brought in Dave Holland, Billy Cobham and Gary Burton, but there really is no let down when you consider the artists coming our way this week— from a rare appearance by pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. with the ever-enticing JazzMN Orchestra to a CD release from jazz hipsters Atlantis Quartet to a solo improv night with Chris Bates.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, October 4.  In town more and more these days, vocalist/pianist Linda Peterson takes over the lounge at Parma 8200.  This cozy venue has been pulling in the area's best vocalists on Friday nights, and with cooler weather, the bar/lounge is likely to be more jammed so make a reservation to ensure good sightlines and a more intimate experience. A popular performer in the LA area, Linda is now building a Twin Cities audience as she appears at more and more area venues, often in the company of one or more of her jazzy siblings.

In the heart of the metro, Ginger Commodorecontinues her Friday night series of duos at the Dakota with R&B crooner Ray Covington. Ginger is equally adept at singing jazz standards, blues, soul and gospel, making her a perfect partner for Covington.

And if you are in the mood for instrumental finery, the cross generational duo of Tanner Taylor and Dave Karr will carry you into the weekend at the Icehouse. There's a century of experience between the two, and you can figure out for yourself how that's distributed.

Friday-Saturday, October 4-5. For their 4th CD, the Atlantis Quartet went into the studio with 9 original tunes, only 2 of which have appeared on an earlier album. Expansion is the subject of this weekend's CD Release Party at the Artists Quarter, and offers a wide range of moods and rhythms, from electro-fusion madness to 21st century balladry. Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig, individually, are at the top of the improvising musician tower, and collectively, they're fully loaded for one heckuva musical shootout.

Saturday, October 5. JazzMN Orchestra launches its 15th season at the Hopkins High School Auditorium with a special guest rarely heard live around here— pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. Splitting his chops among jazz and classical repertoire, the bluesy swinger will join the band in tracing the history of jazz piano from Bill Evans to Herbie Hancock and beyond. Added attraction—vocalist Connie Evingson will be the guest vocalist, a role she has filled numerous times with JazzMN including at last summer's Twin Cities Jazz Festival and last month's JazzMN benefit at the Dakota.

Tuesday, October 8. Brazilian singer/songwriter Vinicius Cantuaria returns to the Dakota with music that is hard to classify but lovely to hear. And across town, it's easier to classify saxophonist Brandon Wozniak as a modern jazz explorer as he bring a group of “friends" into the Artists Quarter for some collaborative mayhem. Everyone's favorite sideman, Brandon should be breaking out as bandleader any minute now.

Wednesday, October 9. Ever since he initiated his monthly improv series at Jazz Central, Chris Bates has enjoyed a wide variety of play dates. But tonight he goes solo, and if you have never heard Bates in a solo performance, don't miss this opportunity. (And if you have heard him, you undoubtedly have marked your calendar already.) How many sounds and how many moods can come from a solo bass? Infinite.

Want to put a little swing in your step? And without paying a cover? It's Foodie Night at the Dakota, and Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira —and Friends— are tonight's show, traveling from swing to bossa and whatever they grab in-between.

Thursday, October 10.  It's the next installment of the Jazz Police-sponsored Young Artists Showcase at the Artists Quarter, starting at 7, no cover, and tonight featuring one of the most active high school combos in the metro— the Cosmic Troubadours from Minneapolis Southwest High School. This sextet has performed on KBEM as well as in various setting around town, and of course on their high school stage. Stick around and for a mere $5 you can enjoy a new trio featuring Pete Hennig, Park Evans and Brian Courage.

On campus, it's the annual Fall Concert for Jazz Iat the University of Minnesota, and tonight it's a celebration of “Home Grown" composers, area and student compositions. This is also the first of this season's Jazz From J to Z concerts sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Free admission at Ted Mann Auditorium on the West Bank.

The Schubert Club is launching a new music series, Cocktails With Culture, a happy hour type event, free with a cash bar in the Landmark Center second floor Art Gallery. First performers will be Laura Caviani and Pete Whitman, who note that “We will be celebrating the renovation of a Wurlitzer piano owned by the Schubert Club that was built in 1935 by playing works composed around that time." 

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 4. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, early evening at the Black Dog; Capri Big Band at Golden's Deli (St Paul); Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers

Saturday, October 5. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Dave Martin at the Icehouse; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

Sunday, October 6. Zacc Harris Trio at Merlins Rest Pub (4 pm); Sounds of Blackness at the Dakota; Robb Henry Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Dr. Mambo's Combo at Bunker's

Monday, October 7. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Featured Artist and Jam Night at Jazz Central

Tuesday, October 8. Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog; Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen

Wednesday, October 9. Steve Kenny's Group 47 Jam followed by Miguel Hurtado and Friends at the Artists Quarter

Thursday, October 10. Debbie Duncan at Hell's Kitchen; Connie and Herb at The Bean (Andover)

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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