Friday, April 20, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, April 20-26

© Andrea Canter

So are you doing something special to mark Jazz Appreciation Month? Of course there is something special going on in the jazz community here most any day of the week. This weekend and following week are no exception. Just try to decide.

Highlights This Week
The weekend boasts quite an array of jazz – a young guitar whiz hosts a CD release party, an acclaimed veteran trumpeter guests with the JazzMN Orchestra, a local sax hero honors the music of Cannonball Adderley, and another young phenom makes her first Dakota appearance as an adult (but don’t offer her a drink yet!).

April 20-21. Cory Wong has already proven himself to be both skillful and versatile, a guitarist who seems as comfortable with Afro Peruvian grooves as with post bop ensembles and more rock-driven fusion. His quartet is a regular fixture on the Tuesday schedule at the Artists Quarter, holding down the early evening slot. With Pena, he explores the music of Peru’s African traditions, particularly centered on the cajon. For his latest release, he has taken two sides of his musical personality in Quartet and Quintet variations, making it a double album and doubly delightful. This weekend’s celebration at the AQ pares down the personnel from the recording to a core quartet of Wong, Dan Musselman, Andy Schuster and Zach Schmidt.

April 21. I first heard trumpeter Terell Stafford some years ago at the Iowa City Jazz Festival, and soon again with Matt Wilson’s Arts and Crafts and his own quintet at the Dakota. Since the mid 00s, he’s been back in town a couple times with each of those bands, including a live recording session at the Dakota released on MaxJazz. Saturday night, he’s the special guest with the JazzMN Orchestra for their season finale at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center, and he’s bringing some original charts. As mellow as fine brandy on flugelhorn and an assertive yet highly melodic player on trumpet, Stafford’s latest recording beautifully covers This Side of Strayhorn.

April 22. Early in the day, you can support jazz education at the Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education fundraiser brunch at the Dakota Jazz Club and enjoy a cross-generational experience with sax veteran Dave Karr and the high school ensemble, Dakota Combo. (A few tickets can still be purchased at the door at 11:30 am.) Come back in the evening when the benefit’s keynote speaker turns headline performer on the Dakota stage. When she was about 15, alto saxophonist/vocalist Grace Kelly blew us away at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival, and later in the evening when she joined legends Frank Morgan and Irv Williams on the club stage. Now she is all of 19 and a recent graduate of Berklee College of Music as well as an alum of seven recordings as leader. Some of finest local talents provide the rhythm section. But this is not the only sax gig in town tonight.

Across the river at the Artists Quarter, Doug Haining pays homage to the great Cannonball Adderley in the season finale of TCJ’s Jazz From J to Z concert series. He’s bringing along some great pals—Tanner Taylor, Keith Boyles and Mac Santiago.

And in between, for the most mellow evening, the Riverview Wine Bar hosts a guitarist for all seasons, Dean Magraw, in a solo performance. I heard Dean go solo a couple months ago at a little library gig in south Minneapolis, and it was as magical as it gets, a showcase of Dean’s many musical personalities, from bop to fusion to global encounters of the best kind.

April 23. You’ve probably heard him on any given Wednesday night at the Artists Quarter, opening the evening early with his Bebop Bastids, a core of young lions and frequent guests. Or maybe you just take for granted that you can “always” hear trumpeter Steve Kenny, cuz he is at the AQ every week. Whatever, Monday night brings an opportunity to hear one of the area’s trumpet kings in a more intimate, more free-wheeling session with veteran saxman Jimmy Wallace at Jazz Central. If nothing else, you’ll realize you need to start more Wednesday evenings at the AQ.

An unusual pairing of film and music across two venues? Remember a couple years ago when Walker hosted Dave King for Two Days? It was a two-night whirl-wind “tour” through the music of Dave King, bringing to town The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Buffalo Collision, Golden Valley Is Now and the newly formed Dave King Trucking Company. It was all captured on film with interviews and more, to be screened at St Anthony Main tonight (part of the Minneapolis-St Paul Film Festival) and followed by the DKTC at the Aster Café across the street. No cover if you bring your movie stub.

April 24. When the 15-year run of the Tuesday Night Band ended at the Artists Quarter in January, we figured Tuesday nights would just never be the same. For one night, we can relive the funky joy of B-3 Organ Night, with B-3 master “Downtown” Bill Brown, guitarist and chief jokester Billy Franze, and AQ owner/drummer Kenny Horst. Another popular (and ongoing) feature of Tuesday nights, Westside Tacos, makes it a complete reunion. (Save room for cake! At $5 cover, $2/taco and $1/cake chunk, this is the world’s cheapest night on the town… and one of the best.)

April 25. Patty Peterson sings everywhere and often, but it’s not easy to find her fronting a small rhythm section. As one of a flock of Petersons and many talented friends, Patty mostly appears with a hip group of horns and keyboards. So consider this a rare opportunity when Patty joins brother Billy on bass and pal Phil Aaron on keys at Café Maude.

April 26. Take two musicians who individually belong in intimate surroundings, and fly them to the moon for an evening. That’s the gist of  “The Moon Belongs to Everyone,” a night at the Como Park Planetarium with other-worldly music from Maud Hixson and Dean Magraw. This “journey in space and song” will feature popular songs associated in some way with the moon. And there will be plenty of “moonglow” as Maud and Dean turn the planetarium into a very special cabaret.

More Jazz Every Night
Not just during Jazz Appreciation Month, you can hear the best of this music everyday. Check listings for your favorite musicians and venues on the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar at Bebopified or Jazz Police. And tune in to KBEM (88.5) and KFAI (90.3) for interviews with this week’s performers (and of course, great radio). Some more recommendations for the week:

·         Friday, April 20:  Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Zacc Harris Group at Hell’s Kitchen; Rob Henry Trio at Shanghai Bistro (Stillwater); JazZen at Riverview Wine Bar; LP release for Selenographia (Nathan Hansen, Brian Roessler, Paul Metzger) at the Black Dog.

·         Saturday, April 21: Charmin & Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30 pm); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Zach Lozier Super Band at Harriet Brewing (Sol Bock Revival); Judi Donaghy at Jazz@ St Barney’s; Lee Engele and Reynold Philipsek at Pardon My French; Joel Shapira Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Cabaret Night at Jazz Central

·         Sunday, April 22: Patty and the Buttons at the Aster Café; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Milo Fine Assemblage at Homewood Studios; JT Bates at Barbette

·         Monday, April 23: Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza

·         Tuesday, April 24: Cory Wong Quartet, early show at the Artists Quarter; John Penny and Rey Rivera at The Nicollet; Arne Fogel at Hell’s Kitchen; Patrick Harrison and Kip Jones at Café Maude; Jack Brass at the Driftwood Charbar

·         Wednesday, April 25: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Steve Kenny & the Bebop Bastids followed by the Galactic Soul Arkestra at the Artists Quarter; Jim Anton/Tommy Barbarella/Eric Gravatt at the Nomad World Pub

·         Thursday, April 26: Pete Whitman’s X-Tet at the Artists Quarter; Arne Fogel at The Lexington

Coming Soon
·         April 27-28, Dave Karr & Brian Grivna at the Artists Quarter
. April 27-28, Parisota Hot Club at the Black Dog
·         April 28, Bruce Henry “Tribute to Marvin Gaye” at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
·         April 29, Soul Café at Hennepin Avenue Methodist Church, Art Gallery
·         April 29-30, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
·         May 4, Tortoise and Twin Cities Jazz All-Stars at the Walker Art Center
·         May 4-5, Magraw/Nichols/Peterson/Horst at the Artists Quarter
·         May 8-9, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
·         May 10, Dakota Combo at MacPhail (Antonello Hall)
·         May 11, Evan Christopher, free public workshop at MacPhail (4 pm)
·         May 11-12, Zacc Harris Group CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         May 12, Evan Christopher with Lee Engele & Trad All-Stars at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
·         May 13, Jeanne and Patty Peterson, Mothers’ Day Brunch at the Dakota
·         May 13, Debbie Duncan with PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center
·         May 13, Nancy Harms at the Dakota
·         May 20-21, Ramsey Lewis Trio at the Dakota
·         May 25-27, Eric Alexander at the Artists Quarter
·         May 26, Preservation Hall Jazz Band at Orchestra Hall
·         June 3, Sophie Millman at the Dakota
·         June 18-19, Stanley Clarke and George Duke at the Dakota
·         June 22, A Love Electric/Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Ritz Theater
·         June 28-30, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (headliners Bad Plus with Joshua Redman; Delfeayo Marsalis; Francisco Mela’s Cuban Safari)
·         July 1-2, Bill Frisell at the Dakota
·         September 4-5, Pat Metheny Unity Band at the Dakota
·         September 26-27, Chick Corea and Gary Burton at the Dakota
·         October 30-31, Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Dakota

Photos (top to bottom): Terell Stafford; Cory Wong and Andy Schuster; Dean Magraw; the Tuesday Night Band; Maud Hixson (all photos by Andrea Canter)