Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, December 30 - January 5

© Andrea Canter

The joy of celebrating and anticipating the New Year is tempered this week with the loss of our dear friend and jazz chanteuse Christine Rosholt. But she would be the first one to tell us to get out and share some good music with friends and family. So let’s do it, there’s enough to keep us in good spirits every day.

Highlights This Week
With a Saturday night of New Year’s Eve special gigs, it might be easy to overlook some fine options for Friday night. But don’t! For starters, enjoy New York-based pianist and one of our favorite visitors, Rick Germanson, playing in trio at the Artists Quarter (12/30) as a warm-up to the annual AQ New Year’s Eve Party with vocalist Carole Martin. In trio, you can readily hear the lyricism, the layers of harmony, the eclectic approach to improvisation that has marked Germanson’s performances and recordings over the past decade. And of course, New Year’s Eve at the AQ means Carole Martin and a great band, this year anchored by Rick on piano, with Graydon Peterson, Kenny Horst, Dave Karr and surprise guests. Carole has been headlining the year-end bash for a number of years now, and there are a few predictables—great torch songs and feisty blues, a down-home light buffet and noise makers, a champagne toast, and a club full of people who love jazz and the AQ. (Reservations still available.)

Of course there’s more for New Year’s Eve, and with some gigs scheduled early in the evening, you can enjoy some good music and still get home early, or make it a double-header. Among those early options, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson gently chase away 2011 at Honey; Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor swing the Hell out of Hell’s Kitchen; Lee Engele and Pietro Benso sway at Nonna Rosa’s. A bit later, catch Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar of the St Paul Hotel; the Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen at the Meridien/Chambers; or the first New Year’s Eve Jam at Jazz Central.

Save some energy for 2012! Charmin Michelle is off to a busy start, not only with her usual Sunday (1/1) gig with the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom and her Monday (1/2) and Wednesday (1/4) nights with Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza, but also on stage at the Dakota for “Foodie Night” at the Dakota on Tuesday (1/3), swinging hard with Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal and Nathan Norman. Another area favorite, Lucia Newell is back at the Artists Quarter Wednesday night (1/4), and there’s no brighter way to start the new year than with some south-of-the-border fare sung in the original language.

A few months ago, I heard a young band of jazzers from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, dubbed The Coriolis Effect. It was pretty sophisticated stuff for college musicians, and now they are taking their compositions and arrangements on a Midwest tour during January, starting off at Jazz Central on Thursday night (1/5). Leader Tyler Anderson blows a mean saxophone, and his cohorts (Cody Peterson on piano, Jordan Jenkins on bass, Mike Malone on drums) contribute their own works. We’ll be hearing a lot more from them.

More Jazz!
A lot of venues are a bit slow transitioning to 2012, so look for updates online, particularly on the KBEM jazz calendar. A few more recommendations:

Friday, December 30: Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota followed by The New Standards; Sophia Shorai at Hell’s Kitchen; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen (Meridien/Chambers Hotel); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Big Band Christmas at St. Barnabas Church with the KC Gospel Orchestra; Ikeda-Smith-Wildenauer at the Black Dog.
Saturday, December 31: Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek, 12:30-2:30 pm in the atrium of the Midtown Global Market; New Year’s Eve with Davina and the Vagabonds at the Dakota
Sunday, January 1: Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe'; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar
Monday, January 2: Soapboxing at the Artists Quarter
Tuesday, January 3: Cory Wong Quartet at the Artists Quarter; no B-3 organ night at the AQ (schedule TBA); Dean Magraw and David Seru at the Black Dog; Jack Brass at the Driftwood; Acme Jazz Company at the Shorewood; Doug Haining and Dave "Cool Breeze" Brown at Nicollet Coffee
Wednesday, January 4: Steve Kenny and the Bastids at the Artists Quarter (7 pm show); Zacc Harris Quartet at the Black Dog; George Maurer at the Dakota; Nomad Jazz Series at Nomad World Pub (TBA)
Thursday, January 5: Dave Brattain Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Nick Haas Trio at Hell’s Kitchen; Yemen Blues at The Cedar

Coming Soon!
• January 6, Jake Baldwin Quartet at the Dakota (Late Night)
• January 13, Jon Weber at the Artists Quarter
• January 14, Richard Johnson Trio at the Artists Quarter
• January 14, Roseville Winter Jazz Blast with Mike Stern at Maranantha Hall, Northwestern College
• January 15, Bryan Nichols “Keith Jarrett’s American Quartet” at the Artists Quarter (Jazz From J to Z)
• January 22-23, M’Shell Ndgeocello at the Dakota
• January 25-26, Nellie McKay at the Dakota
• January 27-28, Bryan Nichols Quintet at the Artists Quarter
• January 28-29, Great Guitars (Joan Griffith, Sam Miltich) with Connie Evingson at the Bloomington Center for the Arts (Jazz From J to Z)
• February 3, Matt Haimovitz at Macalester
• February 8-9, Jeff Lorber Fusion (with Randy Brecker) at the Dakota
• February 15-16, Hugh Masekela at the Dakota
• February 16, Kurt Elling and Lizz Wright at Orchestra Hall
• February 17, A Love Electric at the Artists Quarter
• March 2-3, Vijay Iyer at the Walker Art Center (McGuire Theater)
• March 9-10, Manhattan Transfer at the Dakota
• March 10, Caswell Sisters with JazzMN Orchestra at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
• March 20, Toots Thielmans and Kenny Werner at the Dakota
• March 21-22, Al DiMeolo and Gonzalo Rubacalba at the Dakota

Photos (top to bottom): Rick Germanson; Charmin Michelle with the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra; Lucia Newell; The Coriolis Effect (L-R), Cody Peterson, Jordan Jenkins, Tyler Anderson, Mike Malone) (all photos by Andrea Canter)