Friday, August 5, 2011

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, August 5-11

© Andrea Canter

There seems to be some improvement in the weather which makes it easier to think about going out and hearing great jazz, indoors and out. And this weekend, the music will be indoors and out.

Highlights This Week
Two visiting talents will present decision quandaries Friday night (8/5). At the Loring Theater, the very hip Love Electric band led by guitarist Todd Clouser will open for the virtuosic keyboardist/composer Marco Benevento. Clouser, formerly of the Twin Cities, has been touring with this band (including Adam Meckler, Chris Bates, Greg Schutte) since releasing its first self-titled recording last fall. Benevento, part of the New York electronic music scene for the past decade, takes acoustic piano and electric keyboards to new dimensions with circuits and Mellotran, and was a co-founder of Garage a Trois.

Across the river at the Artists Quarter, the “jazz priest” of Chicago, guitarist John Moulder, will play in a quartet featuring Dan Musselman on piano, Billy Peterson on bass and Alex Young on drums. Monder’s music credentials include the Paul Wertico Trio (12 years), Kurt Elling, Jackie Allen, Eddie Harris, Bob Mintzer, Paul McCandless, Lyle Mays, Gary Burton, and Niels Orsted Pederson. The AQ gig will undoubtedly go on past midnight so it might work to hit the Loring early and then come east.

Pianist/composer Laura Caviani has not appeared with her trio much of late, so the AQ gig on Saturday night (8/6) should be extra special. Also extra special will be her cohorts on this gig, bassist/Prairie Home Companion musician Gary Raynor and versatile drummer Nathan Norman.

It’s a festival of big bands as the annual Bloomington Jazz Festival gets underway at noon Saturday (8/7) at the Normandale Lake Bandshell. Charts start flying at noon with the Rum River Brass Band, and continue with Vic Volare and the Volare Lounge Orchestra, ending with the fabulous Wolverines Big Band featuring vocalist Judi Donaghy. Perfect for a summer Sunday afternoon.

Bettye LaVette is not really a jazz singer—she’s the Great Lady of Soul, and she can out-blues any blues singer on the planet. But there’s plenty of jazz roots in her voice and her shows are always filled with a great storyteller’s passion and audience interaction. She’s in town for three nights at the Dakota starting Monday (8/8-10).

One of the best brass bands around, and surely one of the most inventive, Snowblind brings together five busy musicians. Their shows are few and far between these days and always a treat for the year, with Shilad Sen (sax), Scott Agster (trombone), Adam Rossmiller (trumpet), Graydon Peterson (bass) and Reid Kennedy (drums). Catch them Wednesday (8/10) at the AQ.

More Jazz Around Town
Check out the jazz calendar on the KBEM website for club and other listings. Some recommendations:

Friday, August 5: The Great River Jazz Fest in LaCrosse (August 5-7) featuring the Torff/Wertico Quintet, Christine Rosholt; annual Bix Biederbecke Memorial Jazz Fest in Davenport, IA (August 5-11); Maxine Souse' at Mendoberri’s; Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at the West Bank School of Music; George Duke, Marcus Miller and Dave Sandborn at the Minnesota Zoo

Saturday, August 6: Nichola Miller at the Mill City Farmers Market; Jack Brass, Anthony Main Courtyard; Vicky Mountain and James Allen at First Course Bistro; Jazz Front@Winehaven (August 6-7) --two days of jazz, food and winery tours in Chisago City, with music from Jeffrey Dunitz, Chris Bates, Lee Blaske and Chris Lomheim

Sunday, August 7: Sunday brunch with Tony Baluff at the Aster Café; Jazz in the Vineyard with Lee Engele at the Alexis Bailey Vineyards

Monday, August 8: Dave Brittain at Jazz Central; Head Space at the Artists Quarter; Musique Mystique at the Loring Pasta Bar

Tuesday, August 9: Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the Artists Quarter

Wednesday, August 10: Steve Kenny and the Bastids at the Artists Quarter; Arne Fogel with the Wolverines Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Patrick Harrison and James Buckley at Café Maude; David Seru, Nathan Hanson and Casey O’Brien at Nomad World Pub

Thursday, August 11: Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter; “Coloring Time” improvised music and art at The Cedar (Martin Dosh, JT Bates, Jeremy Ylvisaker, Maya Ylvisaker, Jacob Hanson, Michelle Kinney, Chris Cunningham, Mike Rossetto, Benson Ramsey, David Huckfelt, Chastity Brown, Adam Svec, Christopher Keller and Alexei Casselle)

Coming Soon!
• August 12-13, Atlantis Quartet at the AQ
• August 13, Freedom Jazz Festival at Minnehaha Park
• August 17-18, Freddy Cole at the Dakota
• August 19-20, Miguel Hurtado Quintet at the Artists Quarter
• August 20, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival
• August 21, Jeanne Arland Peterson 90th Birthday Celebration at the Old Log Theater
• August 22, Ben Sidran with Irv Williams at the Dakota
• August 24, Return to Forever at the Orpheum
• August 26-27, Jeanne Arland Peterson/Cliff Brunzell 90th Birthday Celebration at the Artists Quarter
• September 2, Last Days of Summer Riverboat Cruise (KBEM)
• September 2-4, Chicago Jazz Festival
• September 2-5, Detroit Jazz Festival
• September 5, Ivan Lins at the Dakota
• September 10, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival featuring Gerald Albright
• September 20-21, James Farm (with Joshua Redman) at the Dakota
• September 26-27, Lionel Hampton Tribute with Jason Marsalis, Dianne Schurr at the Dakota
• September 29-October 1, Minnesota Orchestra Season Opener with Fat Kid Wednesdays
• October 1, JazzMN Orchestra with John Clayton at the Hopkins High School Arts Center
• October 2, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis at Orchestra Hall
• October 4, Esperanza Spalding’s Chamber Music Society at O’Shaughnessy
• October 22, Joe Lovano and Us Five at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
• October 28, Herbie Hancock Solo Piano at Orchestra Hall
• November 13, Al Jarreau at the Pantages Theater
• March 1-2, Vijay Iyer at the Walker Art Center (McGuire Theater)

Photos: (top to bottom), Todd Clouser (A Love Electric) opens at the Loring; Laura Caviani brings her trio to the AQ; Bettye LaVette returns to the Dakota (all photos by Andrea Canter)