Friday, November 26, 2010

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, November 26-December 2

© Andrea Canter

Highlights, last week
: Doug Little’s Seven Steps to Havana, with a couple extra steps (violins from his Charanga Tropicale), turned Studio Z into a mostly Latin hot spot, with a raft of new compositions supported by a recent Jerome Foundation grant that sent Little back to Cuba for inspiration; the JazzMN Orchestra hosted vocalist Stephanie Nakasian, who helped launch a 100th birthday celebration of the great Stan Kenton; Rhonda Laurie, Connie Olson and Tommy Bruce didn’t let an icy Sunday and thin audience dampen their lively banter and “vo-cool” songfest at the Woman’s Club; Jazz Central’s “underground” stage boasted saxman Doug Haining, proving to be as elegantly satisfying in bebop mode as his usual swing.

Don’t Miss This Week!
It’s family reunion time with a Peterson weekend at the Artists Quarter (11/26-27), this time spotlighting keyboardist/vocalist/producer Ricky Peterson, hitting the stage with brothers Billy and Paul, sister Patty, nephew Jason DeLaire and Prince drummer Michael Bland. Remember, every time there’s a Peterson reunion, the line is out the door. Arrive early!

Homecomings continue with Seattle-based pianist Josh Rawlings making his debut at the Dakota (Late Night) on Saturday (11/27) with a quartet of local talents (Adam Meckler, Graydon Petereson, Pete Hennig), and at the Clown Lounge on Tuesday (11/30) with the sublime addition of Zacc Harris. Rawlings grew up in the Twin Cities, moving west as a teenager and landing in the jazz program at Cornish College. Now he’s touring, recording, composing, producing… all things music.

Two of the week’s big gigs fall on Thursday (12/2). Violinist/vocalist/composer Jenny Scheinman brings her Mischief and Mayhem band to the Walker. Described as a “folk/country/rock/jazz musician,” Scheinman has worked with such diverse artists as Lucinda Williams, Bill Frisell, Norah Jones and Lou Reed. Her aptly named band includes Wilco guitarist Nels Cline, Ani DeFranco’s bassist Todd Sickafoose, and futuristic drummer Jim Black. Genre-bending in her own right, singer Mina Agossi returns to the Dakota. Using her voice (or is it her entire body?) as an instrument in ways that most innovative singers have never imagined, Agossi made an undeliable impression on her previous visits to the Twin Cities, returning now for two sets of mesmerizing interpretations of standards and exciting original compositions.

And a smaller gig or two, also on Thursday (12/2) at the Artists Quarter, help remind us that jazz is alive and well in the hands of students at all levels. The early show (7 pm) features a sextet from St Paul Central High School’s renowned jazz band, headed by young trumpeter Alex Grothe, part of the TCJS Young Artists Series. They will be followed by the annual McNally Smith Showcase.

Friday, 11/26: Fantastic Fridays at the Black Dog; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar of the St Paul Hotel (and again Saturday); Arne Fogel with the Tanner Taylor Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Firebell (Park Evans, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein) at Café Maude.

Saturday, 11/27: Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira (Charmin & Shapira) entertain in the artrium of the Midtown Global Market early afternoon; Rahjta Ren for brunch at the Black Dog; East Side for brunch at Hell’s Kitchen; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota; “Free Music Society” nights at the Acadia Café (again on Sunday); Arne Fogel and Rick Carlson at Ingredients Café.

Sunday, 11/28: Charmin Michelle with the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Roxy and Joe Cruz at Washington Square

Monday, 11/29: Jana Anderson at the Dakota; Head Space at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza (Richfield) and again Wednesday; Milo Fine and Erkki Huovinin at Homewood Studios; U of M Jazz Combos at Lloyd Ultan Hall (West Bank campus); weekly jazz jam headed by Tanner Taylor and Mac Santiago at Jazz Central.

Tuesday, 11/30: Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the Artists Quarter; Dan Newton’s Café Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar.

Wednesday, 12/1: The Wolverines at Hell’s Kitchen; TEFSA Combo jam followed by the Joe Smith Quartet at the Artists Quarter.

Coming Soon!
• December 3-4, Jon Pemberton CD release at the Artists’ Quarter
• December 4, Dakota Combo with Johnathan Blake at the Dakota
• December 6-7, Ravi Coltrane Quartet at the Dakota
• December 8-9, McCoy Tyner at the Dakota
• December 9, Jason Price, CD Release at the Artists Quarter
• December 10-11, Bryan Nichols Quintet at the Artists Quarter
• December 17, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Irvin Mayfield at Orchestra Hall
• December 17-18, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter
• December 25-27, Bad Plus at the Dakota
• December 29, Dave Hagedorn and Dan Cavanagh CD Release at the Artists Quarter
• December 31, New Year’s Eve with Carole Martin at the Artists Quarter

Photos: (Top to bottom) Ricky, Billy, Patty Peterson and Jason Peterson DeLaire; Jenny Scheinman; Mina Agossi; Alex Grothe (left) and members of his sextet. (All photos by Andrea Canter except press photo of Ricky Peterson and Jenny Scheinman by Sarah Krulwich)