Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Lead Sheet, Twin Cities Jazz--September 18-24

© Andrea Canter

There’s great music this weekend and beyond, and I am missing most of it to spend some time with family in northern California. (Not close enough to Monterey, where the jazz festival will produce the best vibes in the nation.)

So what I will miss this weekend: The Tuesday Night Band on Friday and Saturday nights, with special guest Pete Whitman. One of the funkiest and longest-running jazz acts in town, it’s a treat to see TNB as SNL.....

Then there’s a rare national gig for Dakota Late Night when Dave King invites buddies Tim Berne, Ethan Iverson and Hank Roberts to commit various acts of mayhem as Buffalo Collision, Friday and Saturday at 11:30 pm. That’s a lot of talent for $10. And as they say on the Dakota website, “not for the faint of heart.” Also leaning toward the far side, Alden Ikeda, Bryan Nichols and Chris Bates salute free jazz drummer Rashad Ali at Cafe Maude on Friday night... best listening after 10 pm.

For the light of heart, there’s a reprise of Sisters in Song... Sing the Songs of Ella, Sarah and Carmen, on Friday at the MacPhail Center for Music in the Minneapolis “arts district.” Vicky Mountain, Lila Ammons and Dorothy Doring do their legendary “sisters” proud. And Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson continue their weekly Friday night serenade at the Downtowner Woodfire Grill.

Sunday brings two special treats and it is possible to take in both. Connie Evingson, last week on stage with the Hot Club of Detroit, reaches back to her Peggy Lee tribute and comes up with some new tunes and a new venue which she presents “Happy With the Blues: Singer/Songwriter Peggy Lee” at the Jungle Theater, her first of three Jazz at the Jungle shows this season. And she does it twice in Sunday, at 4:30 and 7:30. So if you got to the early show, make it a double and head over to the Dakota to hear Minnesota native singer Sony Holland, the diva of the Bay Area and now relocated to Los Angeles. She’s been at Catalina’s, Yoshi’s, the Blue Note and all over Asian venues.

Next week (9/22-23) brings Marcus Roberts back to the Dakota this time with his long-standing trio with Roland Guerin and Jason Marsalis. Roberts performed sublime solo sets last May, but built his reputation around this 14-year partnership. And at the AQ, two great ensembles, the Atlantis Quartet (9/23) and Pete Whitman's X-Tet (9/24).

Sure, there’s a lot more... and coming soon there’s New Orleans hottest modern jazz band, Astral Project, at the Artists Quarter (9/25-26); Alan Toussaint at the Dakota (9/27); the opening concert for the JazzMN Big band with Ernie Watts (9/26); Arne Fogel and company in “Have Mercer On Us” in Bloomington (9/26); the JAZZAX Saxophone Quartet and Laura Caviani Trio saluting Lester Young (9/27) ... the list goes on.

Photos: Tim Berne with Buffalo Collision; Sisters in Song; Marcus Roberts. (Photos by Andrea Canter)