Friday, January 14, 2011

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, January 14-20

© Andrea Canter

Snow might have postponed gigs in New York this past week, but we’re intrepid in Minnesota! The jazz must go on!

Highlights, Last Week
For Love of Annie (Dakota): It wasn’t a jazz gig per se, but some of the area’s heavy hitters joined forces with musicians and entertainers of all ilks for a benefit for Ann Marsden, photographer of a wide range of performers and an amazing fine arts photographer as well. Aiding her battle against cervical cancer were impassioned performances from Connie Evingson, Laura Caviani, Dean Magraw, Gary Raynor, JT Bates, Regina Williams, Dennis Spears, T. Mychal Rambo, The New Standards, Kevin Kling and many more.

Stanley Jordan (Dakota). See January 12th blog. The inventive guitarist performed solo, and evoked duo, trio and orchestral scenarios tethered together by an underlying thread of baroque improvisation.

Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio (Hell’s Kitchen). The weekly Wolverines gig was augmented by Maud Hixson, back with her frequent cohorts (Rick Carlson, Jendeen Forberg) and, this week, with Steve Pikal on bass. Steve has been in Texas doing a few months duty with River Walk’s Jim Cullum in San Antonio. Steve will be back for good in March. Maud is always adding to her songbook, and tonight for the first time I heard her sing a personal favorite, “So Many Stars.”

Oleta Adams (Dakota). OK, this was not a jazz gig. But any fan of jazz, R&B, soul or gospel—or any music-- had to be moved by that voice…

Highlights, This Week
For fans of modern jazz and experimental music, I can’t think of a better gig than Pat Moriarty and Phil Hey. The sax/drum duo had a regular thing going in the 70s but these days their performances are very few and very far between. It’s been years! They’ll be mixing music and mayhem at the Black Dog Café tonight (1/14). Less than a mile away, more mischief will be on stage at the Artists Quarter with internationally renowned drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt and his Source Code ensemble (1/14-15).

Across town, you have one more night (1/14) to catch smooth-as-bourbon vocalist Bruce Henry, “home” from Chicago to raise the roof at Hell’s Kitchen with his usual band of local heroes, tonight with Zacc Harris, Bryan Nichols, Jay Young and—a special attraction—acclaimed drummer Babatunde Lea, recently transplanted from the Bay Area to western Wisconsin. Stay downtown and head to the Dakota for the late (11 pm) set with Harris, Nichols, Lea and Adam Linz.

Saturday night (1/15) brings volcanic activity to the Cedar, with the Dave King Trucking Company. Joining the imaginative anchor of the Bad Plus will be guitarist Erik Fratzke (a partner in Happy Apple) and New York reedman Chris Speed. Sunday night (1/16) offers a rare opportunity to hear the lucious Lucia Newell on the Dakota stage with the dazzling Debbie Duncan, joined by Tony Axtell and Mac Santiago.

Jazz Central continues its exciting Monday night series of music and jam sessions, this week (1/16) featuring trombone master Jeff Rinear. We usually get to hear Jeff only in the context of a large ensemble (X-Tet), but at this little underground (literally) club in Northeast, Jeff will have plenty of space with just Tanner Taylor and Mac Santiago.

NEA Jazz Master Ramsey Lewis typically plays bigger spaces than the Dakota Jazz Club, but only a few months past his Labor Day gig he’s back, this time with a new trio and some new original compositions for another two-night stand (1/18-19). Over at the Artists Quarter, a veteran guitarist (Dean Granros on 1/19) goes back to back with a young upstart pianist (Dan Musselman on 1/20). Also on Thursday (1/20), Barbette hosts and outstanding edgy trio led by bassist James Buckley, with Bryan Nichols and JT Bates.

And the week will close out in fun style with the return of Nellie McKay to the Dakota (1/20-21). Yes, she was just here in October with the Prairie Home Companion band, but now she’s bringing her own touring ensemble. On vocalist and piano or ukulele, she’s irreverent and irresistible.

More Jazz This Week!
Friday, January 14: Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota; Tampered Seals at Café Maude

Saturday, January 15: Joel Shapira Trio, brunch at Hell’s Kitchen; Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek, early afternoon at Midtown Global Market; Dorothy Doring with the Curtis Marlaat Trio at Roman Anthony’s; Roseville Jazz Blast (8-5 pm) followed by the JazzMN Orchestra evening concert with guest Wayne Bergeron at Northwestern College; Teresa Manzella and John Hyvarian at the Hat Trick; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar, St Paul Hotel

Sunday, January 16: Reuben and Dan Ristrom, brunch at Tryg’s; Patty and the Buttons (Patrick Harrison), brunch at the Aster Café; Mouldy Figs at Shamrock’s; Charmin Michelle with the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, January 17: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza (Richfield); Christine Rosholt at the Dakota; Headspace at the Artists Quarter

Tuesday, January 18: Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the Artists Quarter; Dan Newton’s Café Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar; Vital Organ with Katie Gearty at Hell’s Kitchen; Kimberly Michaels and Tony Axtel at Sawatdee (Maple Grove); Acme Jazz Company with Arne Fogel at the Shorewood

Wednesday, January 19: TEFSA Jam (early set) at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza (Richfield); Reuben and Dan Ristrom at Sawatdee (Maple Grove); Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen

Thursday, January 20: MacPhail Jazz Faculty, Antonello Hall at MacPhail; Christine Rosholt with Beasley’s Big Band at the Wabasha Street Caves; Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek at Nonna Rosa’s

Coming Soon!
• January 20-21, Nellie McKay at the Dakota
• January 21, Quentin Tschofen Trio at the Dakota (Late Night)
• January 21-22, Billy Peterson’s 60th at the AQ
• January 22, Phil Aaron Trio at St. Barnabas Church (Jazz at St Barneys)
• January 23, East Side at the Bloomington Center for the Arts (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)
• January 24-25, POSTPONED: Dave Holland Quintet at the Dakota
• January 24-25, Roy Hargrove at the Dakota
• January 26, Latin Jazz All Stars (Steve Turre, Claudio Roditi, Pete Escovedo) at the Dakota
• January 27, Pete Whitman’s X-Tet at the AQ
• January 28, Jon Weber Trio at the AQ
• January 29-30, “Hollywood Cabaret, 1930s” with Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson, Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
• January 31- February 1, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota
• February 3, Jazz Thursdays “Something Like a Bird” (Mingus Concert III)
• February 3, TCJS Young Artists Series, Public Newsense at the Artists Quarter
• February 4, John Scofield at the Dakota
• February 9-10, Kurt Elling at the Dakota
• February 11-12, Bobby Peterson Memorial Showcase at the AQ
• February 18-19, Aaron Goldberg Trio at the AQ
• February 20, Laura Caviani’s “Songs of Alec Wilder” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)
• February 25-26, Andres Prado at the AQ
• February 26-27, “Hollywood Cabaret 1940s” with Arne Fogel, Maud Hixson, Jennifer Eckes and Rick Carlson at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
• February 27, Branford Marsalis and Terence Blanchard at Orchestra Hall
• February 27, Benefit for Dave Graf at the Artists Quarter
• March 2-3, Glenn David Andrews at the Dakota
• March 12, Mike Stern with the JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
• March 15, Stanley Clarke Band/Victor Wooten Band at the Dakota
• March 21-22, Jane Monheit at the Dakota

Photos (top to bottom): Pat Moriarty; Dave King; James Buckley; Nellie McKay (photos by Andrea Canter)