The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, September 2-8

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Labor Day Weekend— and I will be making my (9th) annual trek to Detroit for the largest free jazz festival in the world, with the legendary Ron Carter appearing in four configurations as this year's Artist in Residence. Another nearly as big (and free) jazz festival takes place this weekend in Chicago. But you do not have to leave the Twin Cities to get world-class jazz. Just check out the many music venues around the metro, and you can easily find some great jazz to schedule around that barbecue or day at the fair. And it doesn't end with the weekend, our jazz scene remains vibrant throughout the week, with visits from Davell Crawford, Jose Feliciano, Ben Sidran and Mindi Abair at the Dakota, First Tuesday madness at the Black Dog, and double bass fun at Khyber Pass. And more.

Big Gigs This Week

Friday, September 2. It's a second night at the Dakota for swinging vocalist Barbara Morrison and living sax legend Houston Person, and a pairing that dates back locally to their Live at the Dakota release in 2005. It's been a while since either performed in town, and you can't ask for a better start to a holiday weekend. At Vieux Carré, former Minnesota Orchestra timpanist Peter Kogan returns with his jazz chops and his stellar quintet— featuring Pete Whitman, Solomon Parham, Phil Aaron, and Anthony Cox. Come early for some piano magic from Jon Pemberton. />At Jazz Central, the Masters Series presents a JCS favorite, drummer Eric Gravatt and Source Code. The Weather Report alum is usually joined by Dean Magraw, Lucia Sarmiento and Ron Evaniuk. Always more— Jason and the Q, sax and vocals at Hell's Kitchen; sublime string duo of Tim Sparks and James Buckley for dinner sets at the Icehouse; the swinging Parisota Hot Club at Minnehaha Falls Park.

Saturday, September 3. Now getting into a third year of weekly, blazing jazz double-headers, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog celebrates the holiday with two hot ensembles: The opening set belongs to the Lars- Erik Larson Trio, featuring the agile drummer with Augsburg professor Kam Mackworth on bass and Aaron Hedenstrom on sax, with curator Steve Kenny joining in as a guest on trumpet. Paul Harper leads the headline band with his Bardo Quartet, a fluid ensemble featuring, for this gig, Phil Aaron on piano, Tom Lewis on bass and Nathan Norman on drums. Pippi Ardennia and her multi-generation ensemble of women jazzers, now redubbed the PipJazz SX, bring swing, blues, and original music to The Bedlam in “A Labor of Love," featuring Pippi on vocals, Marilyn Parker on sax, Maureen Seibert on clarinet, Faye Washington on flute, Be Alford on mandolin, Margo Breivik on bass, Cymphony Jaxon on keys and Glory Yard on drums. />Elsewhere, enjoy brunch at Golden's Deli in Lowertown with the scat-singers of Jazz Alley;  Pavel Jany's Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar, Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200, Bryan Nichols and James Buckley at the Icehouse, Arne Fogel in White Bear Lake at Ingredients Cafe, and Maud Hixson and friends hosting a swing dance at the 301 NE Main event center.

Sunday, September 4. The NOLA heir apparent to Allen Toussaint, pianist Davell Crawfordreturns to the Dakota (third or fourth time in 2016?) for just one night.  And its another installment of the new Sunday Jam Sessions at Jazz Central, hosted by young guitarist Cole Mahlum, with music highlighting the Hammond B3, this afternoon played by Abebi Stafford, with Jesse Simon (MN Hard Bop Collective) on drums. At the Aster, it's the inventive Post Atomic Trio, re-creating standards, with drummer Derrin Pinto, Zack Rouse (sax), and David Hamilton (piano). And the Bedlam hosts Chomksy, an edgy trio with Thomas Nordlund (guitar), Andrew Foreman (bass) and Zach Schmidt (drums).

Monday, September 5. It's rather quiet for the holiday, but you can kick up your Latin with the great guitar of José Feliciano, one night at the Dakota.

Tuesday, September 6. Moving beyond jazz over the past few years, guitarist and Minnesota native Todd Clouser brings his new trio “dance project," Future Dance, to the lounge at Crooners, taking jazz back to its roots as dance music combined with a Jimi Hendrix groove and Clouser's own spirit of innovation. French saxophonist Warren Walker and local pal, drummer Greg Schutte round out the trio. (See also September 8 at the Black Dog) Earlier in the lounge, swinging and savvy vocalist Rhonda Laurie takes over the Happy Hour slot tonight through Thursday. Innovation always prevails when guitar genie Dean Magraw joins forces with drum legend Eric Gravatt, as they do tonight at the Black Dog for “First Tuesday" magic. Over at Vieux Carré, it's Mary Louise Knutson's monthly solo sets over happy hour, while the Bill Simenson Orchestra takes their usual Big Band Tuesday slot at Jazz Central.

Wednesday, September 7. Billed as “Two Families, One Groove," the Dakota welcomes back pianist, composer, producer and all- around hipster, Ben Sidran, sharing the stage with son Leoon drums and two of the Peterson siblings, Ricky on organ and Billy on keys, both long-time associates of Sidran. At Vieux Carré, songbird Katia Cardenas brings her person blend of standards and pop to the stage, likely including tunes from her debut recording, I'll Be Seeing You. At Hell's Kitchen, it's the Wolverines Trio, creating their own satantic fun.

Thursday, September 8. Smooth and silky saxophonist Mindi Abair returns to the Dakota, while the double feature at Vieux Carré includes the creative guitar of Joel Shapira for the early sets, followed by the dynamic and soulful Jazzland Wonderband—with Cameron Kinghorn on trumpet and vocals, Nelson Devereaux on reeds, Keith Hilson on trombone, Evan Clark on tuba and Andres Crovetti on drums. At Reverie, Jesse Simon leads the Minnesota Hard Bop Collective on the Thursday Night Jazz series. The cast is somewhat fluid, and tonight drummer Simon is joined by Omar Abdul Karim on trumpet, Clay Pufahl and Jo Mayo on saxophones, Javi Santiago on piano, and Ted Olsen on bass.  Khyber Pass hosts a don't-miss double header: The first set features incendiary bassists Adam Linz and Chris Bates; the second set finds Bates with his Red Planet cohorts—Dean Magraw and Jay Epstein. All that and some terrific Khyber Pass munchies! A veteran singer getting back onto the scene, Suzanne Paris takes the spotlight on the Vocal Jazz series at Jazz Central. And at the Black Dog, Todd Clouser reprises his Crooners trio gig (see Tuesday, September 6).

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This story appears courtesy of JazzINK by Andrea Canter.
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