Friday, October 7, 2011

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, October 7-13

© Andrea Canter

My own jazz week is short as I leave town Wednesday for California wine country. And probably no jazz. So I’ll have to cram in some good music this weekend and drool just a bit over what I’m going to miss.

Highlights This Week

Anytime we hear Red Planet, it’s going to be fun and serious. Dean Magraw, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein have been orbiting Planet Jazz for about a decade, and the music just gets more interesting. Check out their CD Space Dust for a good sampling of their interpretations and inventions. A little Coltrane, a little Ornette, a lot of cosmic magic at the Artists Quarter this weekend (10/7-8).

At 91 (or is it 92?), you’d think saxophonist Irv Williams would just take the easy gigs. But on Sunday (10/9), Irv performs on a concert hall stage as guest artist of singer Pippi Ardennia and her PipJazz house band at Landmark Center, the October installment of the PipJazz concert series. Ever see Irv in a concert halls setting? Me either. The master of tasteful bebop and balladry, Irv makes it all seem easy. And lovely. And the rest of the show will be well worth it as well, with Pippi on stage to entertain with her original music and multi-mood covers.

Rondi Charleston heard jazz as a youngster, gravitated to theater and classical voice at Juilliard, and ended up an award-winning investigative reporter for ABC Prime Time Live. No wonder her new career as a jazz singer is based on her ability to find and then tell a story (often with original lyrics) with the intimacy of a small club no matter where she performs. Monday night (10/10), she comes back to the Dakota with a band that would be the envy of any singer—Lynne Arriale on piano, Dave Stryker on guitar, Ed Howard on bass, Anthony Pinciotti on drums.

Lucia Newell tells her stories in three languages, singing this Wednesday (10/12) at the Artists Quarter. Lucia can swing, she can samba, she can collaborate with her bandmates on improvisations that would challenge many instrumentalists.

Just added! A special night of double trouble, double fun at the Dakota! Wedneseday (10/12), hear Nichola Miller and Maud Hixson, together! Two of the area's most popular voices, Nichola known for her stinging swing and Maud for her cooly intimate storytelling, join together with favorite accompanist Rick Carlson. Hard to predict the outcome, except it will be very musical and very entertaining.

A storyteller with a totally different perspective and voice, Patricia Barber returns to the Dakota on Thursday (10/13), bringing along her often dark, often witty, always clever songbook. She’s tackled Ovid and Cole Porter recently, but the best is from her own imagination. Also on Thursday, if your tastes run to more bebop and less dark humor, the U of M Jazz Ensembles present their annual fall concert at Ted Mann Concert Hall, cosponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society (“Jazz From J to Z”), honoring the music of Art Blakey with special guest, drummer Phil Hey. You won’t find better free music this week!

More Jazz!
The most complete Twin Cities jazz calendar is just a click away on the KBEM website. More recommendations:

Friday, October 7: Community Pool: Deep End at the Black Dog Café with Nathan Hanson, Douglas Ewart and Pete Hennig; the Graydon Peterson Quartet at Shanghai Bistro; JazzZen at the Riverview Wine Bar; Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at the West Bank School of Music

Saturday, October 8: Sidewalk Cafe at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Free workshop for high school /college rhythm players with Butch Miles at Jazz Central (1 pm); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Reynold Philipsek with Matt Senjem at Mendoberri Café; Charmin and Shapira and the 318 Café; Five by Design at the Burnsville Performing Arts Center

Sunday, October 9: Wolverines Big Band with Butch Miles and Judi Donaghy at the Bloomington Center for the Arts

Monday, October 10: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Madeleine Peyroux and Nellie McKay at the Guthrie Theater; Zach Lozier at Jazz Central

Tuesday, October 11: Big Band Tuesdays at the Shorewood with the Acme Jazz Company and Arne Fogel; Cory Wong Quartet followed by the Tuesday Night Band at the Artists Quarter; Jack Brass Band at the Driftwood; Dorothy Doring, Roxy Cruz and Ann Marie Michel at Jazz Central ; Charmin Michelle with Phil Mattson at the Dakota

Wednesday, October 12: Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early show at the Artists Quarter; Firebell at Café Maude; James Buckley Trio at the Nomad; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza

Thursday, October 13: Gary Berg Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Jana Nyberg Group at Aux (Republic); Sophia Shorai at Barbette

Coming Soon!
• October 14-15, Good Life at the Artists Quarter
• October 16, Soul Café at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church
• October 17-18, Jazz Crusaders at the Dakota
• October 19, Wallace Roney Quintet at the Artists Quarter
• October 20, REEL Jazz at the Trylon Cinema, films by Bob DeFlores
• 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 22, Seven Steps to Havana at Studio Z
• October 24, Dead Cat Bounce at Studio Z
• October 26, Bryan Nichols at Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music
• October 28, Herbie Hancock Solo Piano at Orchestra Hall
• November 1, John Scofield Quartet at the Dakota
• November 12, Insurgent (Pat Moriarty, Ellen Lease, Phil Hey) at Studio Z
• November 16, Al Jarreau at the Pantages Theater
• November 19, JazzMN Orchestra, Tribute to Miles Davis at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
• November 19, Zacc Harris Quartet at Studio Z
• November 25-26, Pat Mallinger at the Artists Quarter
• December 25-26, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
• March 1-2, Vijay Iyer at the Walker Art Center (McGuire Theater)

Photos: (top to bottom ) Dean Magraw of Red Planet; Pippi Ardennia (PipJazz); Irv Williams; Rondi Charleston (all photos by Andrea Canter)