Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, August 13-19









© Andrea Canter

I always have mixed feelings writing about the music I will miss when on vacation. On the one hand, it’s always gratifying to realize what a rich jazz community we have here; on the other hand, why does Kelly Rossum have to return the one summer weekend I am out of town?

Just about a year ago, Kelly moved to New York to expand his musical horizons, and if you look at his website and blog, you know that he has done exactly that. It’s not something that happens overnight in the Big Apple, but in the past year, Kelly has been sitting in, subbing, and finding his way, as well as launching a new project or two of his own. This summer he took a break from the Big Apple Hassle and taught at the Shell Lake and MacPhail jazz camps and went Down Under to Sidney, Australia as a guest artist and adjudicator for the International Trumpet Guild. After winding up the MacPhail camp, he’ll bring his long-standing quartet to the Artists Quarter on Friday (8/13) and a new quartet on Saturday (8/14), definitely gigs worth the nuisance of another weekend of highway construction! Friday’s band will be pianist Bryan Nichols, bassist Chris Bates and drummer JT Bates; on Saturday, Kelly and Chris will join up with the Atlantis Quartet’s Brandon Wozniak on sax and Pete Hennig on drums, each a stellar talent in his own right and in ensemble, it will be a monster mash of improvisation.

You only have a few more chances to hear Nancy Harms before she moves to New York. After her official farewell last weekend at the Artists Quarter, she still has a few smaller venues lined up, including Sunday night (8/15) at the Red Stag.

I’ll be back in time for the start of Guitar Hero Week at the Artists Quarter, featuring New York guitarist (and AQ favorite) Greg Skaff Wednesday through Friday (8/18-20) in three different configurations: On Wednesday (8/18), Greg bops and weaves with the great Billy Peterson on bass and AQ owner Kenny Horst on drums; on Thursday night (8/19), make it an organ trio with “Downtown” Bill Brown and Kenny Horst; on Friday ( night (8/20), Greg launches the Guitar Hero Weekend gigs with fellow six-stringers Chris Olson and Loren “Wally” Walstad. (Come back Saturday night for a local line up of Dean Granros, Cory Wong and Billy Grazcyk.)

And what about our future guitar and otherwise jazz heroes? Come down to the AQ for the free early show on Thursday (8/19) for a set with Three-Way Stop, a trio of just-out-of-high school musicians performing via the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s Young Artists Series. The band features Keefe Tarnow on guitar, Ted Olsen on bass and Lars Johnson on drums.

The Dakota this week presents a wide range of music, from the second night of Dr. John (8/13) and the New Orleans rockers The Radiators (8/14-15) to a night with pianist Benny Weinbeck (8/16), New York-based Twin Citian/trumpeter Charlie Caranicus (8/17) and a pair of Petersons, Linda and Jason (8/18). But the Dakota’s jazz act of the week will be the CD release party for young songstress Sophia Shorai and keyboard monster Tommy Barbarella. I hear a lot of the qualities I love about Karrin Allyson in Sophia, and pared down with just piano, this recording (As Long as You're Living) highlights both talents as performers and arrangers. (See www.jazzpolice.com for a CD review.)

More jazz around town: Vocals from Erin Schwab at Hell’s Kitchen (8/13); Roxy Cruz with Joe Cruz at Ingredients Café (8/13); Arne Fogel at Ingredients Café (8/14) and with the Acme Jazz Company at the Shorewood (8/17); Charmin Michelle at Crave in the West End Shops with Rick Carlson and at Cinema Ballroom (8/15); and with Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza on Monday (8/16) and Wednesday (8/18); Lee Engele at Lowell Park in Stillwater (8/17); Paula Lammers with the River City Jazz Orchestra at the South St Paul VFW on Tuesday (8/17); Dan and Reuben Ristrom at Sawatdee Maple Grove on Wednesday (8/18); the Women’s City Cabaret (presented by MPR) at the Fitzgerald Theater with host Jearlyn Steele, featuring Audra Suchy, Connie Evingson, Debbie Duncan and Carol Connelly (8/18).

And more instrumental jazz: Fantastic Fridays at the Black Dog (8/13); Joann Funk at Luna Rossa (8/14); Alicia Wiley at Hell’s Kitchen for Sunday Brunch (8/15); Dixieland with the Dick Ramberg Five at the Old Log Theater (8/16); Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Clown Lounge (8/16); Tuesdays at the Clown (8/17); Jack Brass Band at Favor Café (8/17); Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the AQ (8/17); Dan Newton’s Café Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar (8/17); the Wolverines at Hell’s Kitchen (8/18).

Coming Soon!
• August 20-21, Guitar Hero Weekend at the AQ (Greg Skaff on 8/20)
• August 21, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz at Nicollet Commons
• August 21, Los Hombres Caliente at Orchestra Hall
• August 22, Benefit for Dean Magraw at Celtic Junction
• August 22, Summer Samba with Connie Evingson at the Jungle Theater
• August 27-28, Jeanne Arland Peterson 89th Birthday at the AQ
• August 29-30, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota

Photos (top to bottom): Sophia Shorai and Tommy Barbarella; Kelly Rossum (with his NY haircut) at the AQ last August; Greg Skaff at the AQ; Three-Way Stop--(from left), Ted Olsen, Lars Johnson, Keefe Tarnow. (Rossum and Skaff photos by Andrea Canter; Three-Way Stop amd Shorai/Barbarella courtesy of the musicians.)