Friday, April 6, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, April 6-12

 © Andrea Canter

Seems out of season but this week we find out who’s been naughty or nice (at least in song), hear from one of the true living legends of jazz drumming, salute New Orleans, take a journey through Afro-Peruvian culture, and enjoy one of the masters of the mighty bari sax going head to head with stars of tomorrow.

Highlights This Week

April 6. “Naughty Songs for Nice Girls” finds local singers Rhonda Laurie and Bobbi Miller digging into the “delicious double entendre, innocuous innuendo and subtle sass” of popular songs, …from Mae West to Dinah Washington, Marlene Dietrich to Marilyn Monroe.”  In the theater at Bryant Lake Bowl, this is the first of two Friday nights of stories and songs inspired by “nice girls who loved being a little naughty.”

Nice guys getting a little naughty at Studio Z? Friday evening in St. Paul finds Todd Clouser back in town  after a brief respite in his Baja, Mexico home. He’ll bring the edgy Love Electric band to the stage in tandem with master improviser Tim O’Keefe and his percussion ensemble, Batucada do Norte. Sounds like a lot of naughty mayhem! (Clouser turns up again at Café Maude with some impressive cohorts named Weinbeck and Johnson on Tuesday, 4/10.)

At Orchestra Hall, Minnesota Orchestra’s Artistic Director for Jazz, Irvin Mayfield brings his quintet up the Mississippi to perform with some special guests—Aaron Neville, Bill Summers, Jason Marsalis; host Soledad O’Brien narrates from Mayfield’s “Love Letter to New Orleans,” with accompanying music from the companion suite.

April 6-7. As drummer for Weather Report, Eric Kamau Gravatt drew serious praise from Wayne Shorter. And as drummer for McCoy Tyner, Gravatt has enjoyed a gig spanning the decades. Home in the Twin Cities, his band Source Code has undergone a series of transformation, with the latest edition sporting pianist Gene Rush, vibes man Dave Hagedorn, and bassist Ron Evaniuk. Always an exhibition of volcanic propulsion and nonstop thrills.

April 7. If you are looking for something more relaxing for your Saturday night, how about a west suburban coffee house with a tropical-influenced duo? Prolific composer with a Brazilian bent, guitarist/vocalist John Penny has been bringing folks into Munkabeans in downtown Hopkins, and his frequently cohort is percussionist/conguero Rey Rivera.

April 10. Some have compared Peña to the Buena Vista Social Club but that might be a cultural transgression. Peña, headed by young guitarist Cory Wong and cajón specialist Chico Chavez, is all about Afro-Peruvian culture and the magic of the cajón, the box that serves as the percussive center of the ensemble. What started out as merely a trip to Peru grew into band that brings the music of  Peru’s 16th and 17th century African slaves into the modern era. On the TCJS Jazz From J to Z series, this night at Southwest High School, the band includes Chavez (cajón), Eric Foss (percussion), Andy Schuster (bass), Wong and Chris Olson (guitars), and Gloria Rivera and Geraldine Jerez (vocals). Special treat—a short opening set from the exemplary Southwest Jazz Ensemble. Students will be coming off an afternoon clinic with Peña artists.

In St. Paul at the Artists Quarter, the little big band ensemble from McNally Smith College of Music, the X-Tet (not surprisingly led by Pete Whitman) will perform with the acclaimed bari saxophonist Gary Smulyan, who has been in town conducting clinics at the college. A four-time winner of the DownBeat Readers Poll, he’s also topped the Jazz Journalists Association Award for Baritone Saxophonist of the Year and is a five-time Grammy Award winner for his work with B.B. King, Joe Lovano, Dave Holland, and the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra. Check out his latest release, Smul's Paradise. Better yet, check him out live at the AQ!

More Jazz, All Week
Where can you find live jazz? Everywhere. Visit the live jazz calendar managed by Pamela at Bebopified; you will also find it linked from the Jazz Police Twin Cities page.

·         Friday, April 6: Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen (Le Meridien/Chambers Hotel); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Community Pool/Deep End at the Black Dog with Deric Dickens, Kurt Knuffe, Brian Roessler and Pete Hennig; Milo Fine Free Jazz Ensemble at the West Bank School of Music; Doug Haining’s Twin Cities Seven at Jazz Central

·         Saturday, April 7: Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen (Le Meridien/Chambers Hotel); Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson at The Lexington; JazZen at The Nicollet; Vicky Mountain and Chris Lomheim at First Course Bistro; Roxy and Joe Cruz at Ingredients Café; Le Jazz Cool All-Stars at Vincent’s; Lila Ammons Quintet at the Red Stage; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota

·         Sunday, April 8: Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske, Easter Brunch at the St Paul Hotel; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira at the Red Stage; JT Bates at Barbette

·         Monday, April 9: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Dennis Spears CD Release at the Dakota; Dave Karr and Dave Schmalenberger at Jazz Central

·         Tuesday, April 10: Nick Haas at The Nicollet; Dan Musselman Trio (early set) at the Artists Quarter; Todd Clouser with Benny Weinbeck and Gordy Johnson at Café Maude; Cedar Ave Big Band at the Shorewood; Jack Brass at the Driftwood Charbar

·         Wednesday, April 11: Steve Kenny and the Bebop Bastids at the Artists Quarter; Zacc Harris Quartet at Café Maude; Dan and Reuben Ristrom at School II Bistro

·         Thursday, April 12:  Francois Rabbath master class at the U of M (see coming soon events); Connie Evingson at The Lexington; Southside Aces (Music of Louis Armstrong) at Eagles Aerie Club

·         Coming Soon!
·         April 13-14, Bill Carrothers at the Artists Quarter
·         April 14, Legends at the Capri, tribute to Frank Sinatra with Jason Richards and the Rick Carlson Trio
·         April 14, Francois Rabbath at Antonello Hall, MacPhail Center for Music
·         April 15, PipJazz Sunday with Solomon Parham, Pippi Ardennia at Landmark Center, Weyerhauser Auditorium
·         April 15, MacPhail Center for Music Combo Festival and Spotlight Concert featuring Adam Niewood, the Dakota Combo, and MacPhail Jazz Faculty
·         April 19, KBEM’s REEL Jazz, “An Evening with Both DeFlores” (Louis Armstrong) at the Trylon Microcinema
·         April 20, Dafnis Prieto at McNally Smith College (noon)
·         April 20-21, Cory Wong, CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         April 21, JazzMN Orchestra with Terell Stafford at the Hopkins High School Performing Arts Center
·         April 21, Judi Donaghy, Jazz@ St Barney’s
·         April 22, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fund Raiser Brunch at the Dakota
·         April 22, Grace Kelly at the Dakota
·         April 22, Doug Haining Quintet, Tribute to Cannonball Adderley (TCJS Jazz From J to Z) at the Artists Quarter
·         April 26, Maud Hixson and Dean Magraw at Como Planetarium
·         April 28, Bruce Henry Tribute to Marvin Gaye at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
·         April 29-30, Steve Tyrell at the Dakota
·         May 4, Tortoise and Twin Cities Jazz All-Stars at the Walker Art Center
·         May 8-9, Poncho Sanchez at the Dakota
·         May 10, Dakota Combo at MacPhail
·         May 11-12, Zacc Harris Group CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         May 12, Evan Christopher with Lee Engele at the Hopkins Center for the Arts
·         May 13, Debbie Duncan with PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center
·         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 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): Eric Kamau Gravatt; Rhonda Laurie; John Penny; Gary Smulyan; JT Bates (all photos by Andrea Canter)