Friday, July 30, 2010

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, July 30 - August 4




© Andrea Canter

Maybe we should just dub this Reynold Philipsek Week—you have three opportunities to see/hear one of the area’s premiere guitar talents, including his CD Release Party on Saturday night and in the company of two of his primary outlets, Sidewalk Café and East Side.

Philipsek is a veteran acoustic guitarist and composer, and sometimes vocalist as well. His latest recording (I lost count, maybe this is number 36? 37?) brings diverse elements of his personal and ancestral journey together—the folk traditions of his central European heritage, his alter boy days growing up in central Minnesota, his discovery of the music of Django Reinhardt and studies with Joe Pass and Mike Elliott, his affinity for the poetry of Edgar Allen Poe. It’s all wrapped in Philipsek’s multi-lingual guitar on his All the Things You Are, which he celebrates at the 318 Café in Excelsior tomorrow night (7/31). First, tonight (7/30), he is on the Lake Harriet Bandshell stage with vocalist Rhonda Laurie and Sidewalk Café—violinist Gary Schulte, bassist Jeff Brueske. Later this week, at Hell’s Kitchen, catch Reynold with East Side (8/5), a quartet bridging the music of Astor Piazzola and Miles Davis, featuring chromatic harmonica whiz Clint Hoover, bassist Matt Senjem, and percussionist Michael Bissonnette. Expect many of his cohorts to turn up for the CD release party.

There’s more great guitar from all ends of the jazz spectrum this weekend, with David Roos out in White Bear at the Ingredients Café (7/30); Joel Shapira on the Brunch gig at Hell’s Kitchen on Saturday (7/31); James Allen weaving lines for vocalist Vicky Mountain at First Course Bistro (7/31); Zacc Harris and his trio at the Riverview on Sunday (8/1); Robert Bell with the elegant French 75 supporting the riveting charm of singer Maud Hixson at the Dakota on Tuesday (8/3); and singer/guitarist Robert Everest brings his “world on seven strings” to the Dakota on Wednesday (8/4).

More bright spots of song on the calendar – the always entertaining Debbie Duncan holds the weekend spotlight at the Artists Quarter (7/30-31); songstar Patty Peterson makes the last night of jazz at Crave in the Galleria memorable (7/30); new singer Jackie Moen sweetens things at Honey with the Old House Quartet (7/30); sassy Nichola Miller swings with Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal at Mill City Farmers’ Market (7/31); Charmin Michelle joins Rick Carlson for brunch at Crave in the West End Shops (8/1), holds her usual gigs with Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza in Richfield (8/2 & 8/4), and joins up with the Twin Cities Seven in Hopkins Downtown Park (8/5); Arne Fogel croons with the Acme Jazz Company Big Band at the Shorewood (8/3); Dan and Reuben Ristrom keep the northwest burbs swinging at Sawatdee in Maple Grove (8/4).

With the Artists Quarter hosting the National Poetry Slam all week, there’s less instrumental options than usual, but still, good jazz happens all around us. Coming north from Iowa (before relocating to St. Louis), young saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden and Koplant No perform at the Fine Line (8/4). This edgy ensemble played last winter at the Artists Quarter and just released an exciting CD of all original music. They’ll be joined at the Fine Line by Lulu’s Playground, featuring trumpeter Adam Meckler, and rock band Unsound Logic, headed by Joel’s cousin Nick. Other good bets around the metro this week include Fantastic Fridays at the Black Dog, presenting Nathan Hanson, Rahjta Ren & Brian Roessler with Lisa Brimmer (7/30); JoAnn Funk on the keys at Luna Rossa (7/31); two nights with the contemporary grooves of Acoustic Alchemy at the Dakota (8/1-2); avant garde experiments at the Clown Lounge (Fat Kid Wednesdays this week?) (8/2-3); Jack Brass Band at Favor Café (8/3); the Wolverines Trio roars at Hell’s Kitchen (8/4); Alicia Wiley entertains at Barbette (8/5).

Coming Soon!
• August 7, Nancy Harms with Bryan Nichols, Anthony Cox and Jay Epstein, Nancy’s farewell gig at the Artists Quarter
• August 8, Bloomington Jazz Festival (Normandale Lake Bandshell)
• August 9-10, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota
• August 12-13, Dr. John and the Lower 911 at the Dakota
• August 11, Zacc Harris Quartet at the Artists Quarter
• August 13-14, Kelly Rossum Quartet at the Artists Quarter
• August 18-20, Greg Skaff at the Artists Quarter
• August 20-21, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival (Nicollet Commons Park)
• August 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz at the Jungle
• August 29-30, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
Photos (top to bottom): Reynold Philipsek with Sidewalk Cafe cohort Jeff Brueske; Maud Hixson sings with French 75; Joel Vanderheyden leads the band Koplant No. (Photos by Andrea Canter)