Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, July 13-19

John Raymond with Jeremy Boettcher and Miguel Hurtado, CD release at the Dakota

© Andrea Canter

Another steamy weekend heading our way – of course I mean the jazz, not the weather, although the Dog Days of July can’t be ignored. Find a cool club or concert space and chill out this week with some great music.

Highlights This Week
July 13-14. Speaking of hot, one of the hottest young musicians in New York these days is Twin Cities native John Raymond, blowing his trumpet at such revered spaces as Cornelia Street Café and Smalls in the wake of his spring release of Strength and Song, his first full-length recording.  The fact that it was produced by mentor Jon Faddis tells you something about the quality of this effort, largely filled with John’s own compositions. This weekend John celebrates his first prime time gig as leader at the Artists Quarter, and he has a band of local hotshots at his disposal---pianist Bryan Nichols, guitarist Vincent Rose, bassist Jeremy Boettcher, and drummer Miguel Hurtado. Don’t miss the sophistication of the compositions as well as the virtuosity of these musicians.

Chris Lomheim
It’s a fine weekend for jazz piano. Downtown, Benny Weinbeck and cohorts Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey continue (through July) their back-to-back nights of inspiring straight-ahead fare at D’Amico Kitchen; in south Minneapolis,  Chris Lomheim and James Buckley offer highly sophisticated “dinner music” at the new Ice House. Maybe entrée downtown, dessert south on Nicollet? Or vice versa?

And it’s a fine weekend for vocal jazz, with Charmin Michelle commanding attention Friday and Saturday nights at The Lexington. Phil Mattson handles the keys.

July 15. Drummer and teacher Elliot Fine passed away in May, and his art and legacy will be celebrated at the Artists Quarter. Music and comments will be provided by colleagues at McNally Smith College of Music, long-time cohort Marv Dahlgren, son Milo Fine, student and colleague Dave Stanoch and more. Dave is coordinating the event, and posted a personal and informative commentary on Pamela Espeland’s blog. In closing, Dave noted that Elliot’s “legacy will live on through the countless number of drummers worldwide he influenced through his life’s work. It is a group that includes masters of the art from right here in our own Twin Cities and worldwide as well. Those of us fortunate to have shared in his many gifts personally are all better for it. He was one of a kind.”

Fat Kid Wednesdays at a Jazz Implosion gig
July 16.  Both Jazz Central and the Ice House continue to offer cutting edge jazz on Monday nights. Really, you can do both clubs—music starts earlier at Jazz Central (8:30 pm) while the Ice House boasts later sets (9:30 and 11:30). Mondays at the Ice House are reserved for “JT’s Jazz Implosion” – a revival of JT Bates’ Clown Lounge bookings and featuring the area’s top improvisers. This week, bassist Adam Linz figures into two different sets of music, starting with a sax trio. The late set introduces his new Quintet, featuring young lions Joe Strachan (piano) and Noah Ophoven Baldwin (trumpet)  with veterans Brandon Wozniak (sax) and JT himself on drums. 

Mondays at Jazz Central generally feature one of the area’s top musicians in a new context—with new or seldom affiliated collaborators. This week’s featured artist is trumpeter Geoff Senn, often seen with such large ensembles as the Cedar Ave Big Band. Catch Geoff in a chamber jazz setting tonight, followed by the weekly jam session.

Maud Hixson
It’s not a new pairing but a new venue as Maud Hixson joins Robert Bell at Barbette for a late night serenade. They’ve worked together before, particularly with the French 75 ensemble, but tonight it’s just voice and guitar. And that little French touch of Barbette.

July 17. Café Maude continues to book the top jazz artists in the region, and tonight is no exception with the Zacc Harris Quartet (Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, JT Bates). Reserve for dinner, ask to be seated in the “music area” and enjoy innovations from the stage and the kitchen. For a night cap, cross the river to the AQ and enjoy another new collaboration—this time trumpeter Zack Lozier teams with the Chris Lomheim Trio. Most anything can happen with that combination!

Brad Bellows (Valve)
July 18. Vacationing from her home base in LA, pianist/vocalist Linda Peterson makes a rare club appearance in the Twin Cities, tonight at School II Bistro in Chanhassen. We don’t get many chances to hear this member of the Peterson clan outside of family holiday shows!  Downtown at the Dakota, the Jana Nyberg Group brings its fresh takes on jazz and pop classics to “Foodie Night.” They’re hot off their annual Door County tour. Over at the AQ, the popular Valve Meets Slide ensemble demonstrates the versatility and depth of the trombone, be it slide (Dave Graf) or valve (Brad Bellows).

Todd Clouser, Chris Bates (A Love Electric)
July 19. A grand double header for club-hoppers in St Paul. Start at the Amsterdam Bar early evening for the exciting, rock-infused vibe of Todd Clouser and A Love Electric (Adam Meckler, Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates, Greg Schutte), then head down the street to the Artists Quarter for a more sublime encounter with visiting pianist Dan Cavanagh and his former teacher, vibes master Dave Hagedorn. The pair have an elegant recording to their credit (Horizon), while Cavanagh just released a masterful trio date (Heart of the Geyser). Clouser will rev your engine, Cavanagh and Hagedorn will make it sing.

Rhonda Laurie
Back at Barbette, Robert Bell returns for another night with another songbird, this time Rhonda Laurie. Rhonda and Robert have teamed many times before, particularly through Rhonda’s “Happy Days Are Here Again” project, still touring Minnesota libraries and concert halls.

More Music!
Through July, you can find a comprehensive listing of area jazz gigs on Pamela’s calendar, posted on Bebopified and on Jazz Police. Also check out KBEM and KFAI radio, the Friday edition of the Strib, and TCJS’s CODA for gig listings. Some more recommendations:

Friday, July 13. Nachito Herrera at the Dakota; sHorn hortZ (Larry McDonough Quintet) at The Art Preserve (Woodbury); Altimar Coelho, Josh Alfaro and Dan Musselman at Rodizio Grill (Maple Grove)

Saturday, July 14. Willie August Project at the Red Stag

Sunday, July 15. TBP Organ Trio (Tanner Taylor, James Buckley, Joey Van Phillips), brunch at the Ice House; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Viva Brasil at the Dakota

Monday, July 16. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Head Space at the Artists Quarter; George Cartwright with Michelle Kinney and Andrew Broder at the Black Dog

Jack Brass Band
Tuesday, July 17. Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Jack Brass Band at the Driftwood Charbar; Stew Frog (Scott Fultz, Dean Granros, Steve Goldstein) at the Black Dog; Lee Engele with Reynold Philipsek, Matt Senjem at the Band Shell in the Commons (Excelsior)

Wednesday, July 18. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Connie Evingson with Reynold Philipsek, Jeff Brueske and Michael Bissonnette at the Village (Mendota Heights); Steve Kenny and the Bastids, early show at the Artists Quarter; Leisure Valley at the Nomad World Pub

Thursday, July 19. Debbie Duncan at Hell’s Kitchen; Tony London at The Lexington

Coming Soon!
·         July 20, Matt Turner at the Black Dog
·         July 20-21, Pete Whitman & Laura Caviani at the Artists Quarter
·         July 21, Jeremy Siskind with Nancy Harms and Lucas Pino at Jazz Central
·         July 22, Nachito Herrera and Friends at the Watertown Art Center
·         July 23, Minnesota Jazz All-Stars at the Old Log Theater (led by Cliff Brunzell, Jeanne Arland Peterson)
·         July 23, Michael Nelson at Jazz Central
·         July 26, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter
·         July 27-28, Jay Young & the Lyric Factory at the Artists Quarter
·         July 29, James Carter Organ Trio at the Dakota
·         July 30, Brandon Wozniak at Jazz Central
·         July 31, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central
·         August 1-2, Tribute to Jimmy Smith & Wes Montgomery with Joey D’Francesco, Larry Coryell & Jimmy Cobb at the Dakota
.         August 2, Bloomington Jazz Festival (Normandale Lake Park)
·         August 3, Pat Mallinger at the Artists Quarter
·         August 8, Tribute to Blossom Dearie with Joann Funk at the Artists Quarter
·         August 11, PipJazz Sundays with Yolande Bruce at Landmark Center
·         August 18, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival
·         September 4-5, Pat Metheny Unity Band at the Dakota
·         September 8, Selby Avenue Jazz Festival
·         September 9, Dakota Combo Auditions at MacPhail Center for Music
·         September 11-12, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
·         September 14-15, Chris Bates Quintet CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         September 18, John Scofield Trio at the Dakota
·         September 26-27, Chick Corea and Gary Burton at the Dakota
·         September 30, Esperanza Spalding’s Radio Society at the State Theater
·         October 30-31, Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Dakota

John Scofield comes to the Dakota September 18th

All photos by Andrea Canter