Thursday, September 1, 2011

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, September 2-8

© Andrea Canter

I’m keeping my fingers crossed for good flying weather as I am heading back to the Detroit Jazz Festival for my fourth consecutive dose (9/2-5). But our transit is a 4-passenger plane. Last year at the very last minute we ditched the flight plan and drove. Fifteen hours including three hours plowing through Chicago holiday rush hour. We won’t take that option again. If the weather cancels our plans, at least I know I won’t be missing great jazz, as there is plenty of it over the coming week right here in the Twin Cities:

Highly Recommended
Bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst are capping a three-night run in three configurations at the AQ. After gigging with Dean Magraw (8/31) and Dave Hagedorn/ Brian Grivna (9/1), Billy and Kenny meet up on Friday night (9/2) with uber sax master Brandon Wozniak and musically restless pianist Peter Schimke for one more night of maniacal and hip improvisation.

And keep your parking space near the AQ. On Saturday (9/3), St Paul native, Iowa-based saxophonist Joel Vanderheyden comes home with his quartet, Koplant No, for his second appearance at the AQ. Last year he was celebrating the release of his quartet album, Complete Life. Now Koplant No has its own recording. Their understated use of electronica augments rather than takes over the music.

Ginger Commodore goes back to back with herself at the Dakota this weekend (9/2-3), first on Friday with her longstanding swinging quartet, then on Saturday with cohorts Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears to pay tribute to the songwriting teams of Lieber and Stoller and Ashford and Simpson. This team of vocalists could probably make art songs out of the Chipmunks’ songbook, but with such gems as penned by these talents, they will simply turn silver into gold.

It’s a Greek extravaganza at the Black Dog on Saturday (9/3), with Mike McColl’s Mediterranean feast and the Greek and Turkish music of Viv Corringham, Pat O'Keefe, and Tim O'Keefe. The dinner is a very reasonable $17.95 and you’ll want to make reservations (if any spots are left) at this little Lowertown jazz and bar gem. These musicians continue after dinner with their new band, Blue Camel. Also on Saturday (9/3), pianist/vocalist Joanne Funk and bassist Jeff Brueske return (every Saturday) to the Lobby Bar of the St. Paul Hotel, with songs from Nat King Cole, Blossom Dearie and more.

One of the biggest talents to hit the city in late summer, Brazilian superstar Ivan Lins finally settled whatever visa problems kept him away in the past. He’s at the Dakota Monday night (9/5) with a raft of sambas and bossas. And on Tuesday (9/6), Christine Rosholt and a quartet headed by Chris Lomheim will test the stage at the new The Nicollet coffee house (in the old Acadia space at Franklin and Nicollet). Maryann Sullivan is booking jazz on Tuesday nights.

And speaking of new spaces, Connie Evingson launched a new series last month, Jazz in the Lounge at the Woman’s Club of Minneapolis. The idea is to come by for cocktails and jazz, first Wednesdays of every month. Connie will sing, of course, and bring on a special guest—this week (9/7) it’s pianist Adi Yeshaya.

Thursday (9/8) is a big one, with Bill Evans’ bassist Eddie Gomez bringing his touring trio to the Artists Quarter. And the U of M hosts the famed Glenn Miller Orchestra of Today, focusing on the great hits of Miller. Yeah, this is one of those nights when you can do it all, catch the Miller orchestra and the late set at the AQ. That should cover a good deal of jazz from the 40s through today!

Check the jazz calendar on KBEM’s website for a lot more jazz around town. Suggestions:

. Friday, September 2: Last Days of Summer Jazz Cruise, sponsored by KBEM, on the Magnolia Blossom. Music features singer Katie Gearty (tickets still available from KBEM).

Saturday, September 3: Vicky Mountain with guitarist David Martin at First Course Bistro; Maud Hixson with the Wolverines Trio at the Social Dance Studio

Sunday, September 4: Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, September 5: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza

Tuesday, September 6: Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the AQ; First Tuesdays with Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog

Wednesday, September 7: Zacc Harris, Bryan Nichols and the Bates Brothers at Café Maude; Steve Kenny and the Bastids at the AQ followed by the Brian Grivna Quartet; NOLA Night at Fireside Pizza (Charmin Michelle, Denny Malmberg, Bruce Heine); Sample Night Live at the History Center features Maud Hixson and Jason Richards with Rick Carlson.

Coming Soon!
• September 9-10, Christian Howes at the Artists Quarter
. September 9-11, Concrete and Grass Festival at Mears Park
• September 10, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival featuring Gerald Albright
• September 10, Dakota Combo open auditions at MacPhail Center for Music

. September 12, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Musique Mystique at Loring Pasta Bar
• September 15, REEL Jazz, Life After Django Reinhardt at the Trylon Theater
• September 16-17, Bryan Nichols Trio with Anthony Cox and Dave King at the Artists Quarter
• September 18, PipJazz at Landmark Center with special guest Gary Schulte
• September 20-21, James Farm (with Joshua Redman) at the Dakota
• September 23, Theo Blackmann at Macalester
• September 23-24, Jim Snidero at the Artists Quarter
• September 25, Peterson Family “Our Love Is Here to Stay” at the Bloomington Center for the Arts
• September 26, Christine Rosholt, “Songs of the Bard” at Jungle Theater
• 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
• September 30, Nancy Harms at the Artists Quarter
• October 1, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter
• 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 7, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter
• October 9, PipJazz at Landmark Center
• October 10, Rondi Charleston with Lynne Arriale at the Dakota
• October 16, Soul Café at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church
• October 21-22, Matt Slocum Trio at the Artists Quarter
• October 22, Joe Lovano and Us Five at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
• October 28, Herbie Hancock Solo Piano at Orchestra Hall
• November 1, John Scofield Quartet at the Dakota
• November 16, Al Jarreau at the Pantages Theater
• March 1-2, Vijay Iyer at the Walker Art Center (McGuire Theater)

Photos: (Top to Bottom) AQ owner and busy drummer Kenny Horst; Koplant No leader, Joel Vanderheyden; powerhouse vocalist Ginger Commodore; the sublime duo of Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (photos by Andrea Canter)