Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, August 3-9

Pat Mallinger Comes Home to the Artists Quarter

© Andrea Canter

Had a nice “Roman Holiday” at Guthrie and ready for my own Twin Cities Jazz Holiday!

 Highlights This Week

Tanner Taylor at Jazz Central
August 3. Typically in town for the Thanksgiving holiday, former St Paul resident Pat Mallinger is now a major force on the Chicago jazz scene, leading the organ band Saber Tooth and his own quartet, blowing his saxophones throughout the Windy City. Pat gives us a rare summer visit, coming to the Artists Quarter Friday night. His Home on Richmond was one of my favorite CDs of 2011.  Across town, a B-3 Organ Night at Jazz Central featuring keyboard wonder Tanner Taylor with Dave Brattain, Tom Krochock and Miguel Hurtado. They start relatively early (7 pm), making a double header with the AQ really easy.

August 4. Another return visit to the AQ, this time with our home town heroes the Atlantis Quartet, named Best Jazz Band by City Pages for 2011. It’s a title well earned, with an ensemble that boasts four of the busiest, most eclectic jazzers in the area—Zacc Harris (Zacc Harris Trio and Quartet, Vital Organ, Counterclockwise, Monk in Motian); Brandon Wozniak (Bryan Nichols Quintet, Dave King Trucking Company); Chris Bates (Zacc Harris Quartet, How Birds Work, Good Vibes Trio, Chris Bates Quintet); and Pete Hennig (Zacc Harris Quartet; Fantastic Merlins; Adam Meckler Orchestra). Music that grabs onto the edge and holds on.

Maud Hixson
Fresh off her Shanghai Jazz gig with Warren Vaché on the East Coast, songbird Maud Hixson returns to The Lexington with her favorite pianist Rick Carlson and first-call bassist Jeff Brueske, on break from his usual Saturday night with Joann Funk at the St Paul Hotel. Call him the elegant venue bass man! (For a truly jazzy evening, start with Dinner and Maude at The Lex and have a night cap at the AQ with Atlantis!)

"Beastly" pianist Joe Strachan
August 6. Hard to resist a gig with an ensemble dubbed The Young Beasts! And they are young and beastly, at least in a musical sense. At Jazz Central, hear a new collaboration featuring trumpeter/NEC student Jake Baldwin; pianist/UM student Joe Strachan; saxophonist/recent UW-EC grad Tyler Anderson; saxophonist/UW-EC student Jerod Kaszynski; bassist/Luther College student Ted Olsen; and percussionist/U of M student Andres Crovetti. Tyler has been heard a lot lately with his ensemble, The Coriolis Effect and with the Adam Meckler Orchestra. Jake is also getting more notice with his ensemble on the Dakota Stage for Late Night several times in the past year and leading the Dakota Combo Alumni Band at the 2012 Twin Cities Jazz Festival.  Joe is often on the bandstand with Jake as well as with U of M Jazz Ensemble I. Already, these “young beasts” are piling up some impressive credentials.

August 7. Among the regularly rotating big bands at Jazz Central every Tuesday is the Bill Simonsen Big Band. Simonsen may have one of the most eclectic resumes in the Twin Cities –from studying and leading bands in Norway to playing locally with the Wolverines Classic Jazz Orchestra, JazzMN Orchestra and Cedar Ave Big Band, from leading a band for the North Stars hockey team to backing such notables as Cab Calloway, Joan Rivers, Mitzi Gaynor, the Temptations, and the Four Tops. At Jazz Central, you can hear big band charts as never before—from just a few inches away!

Joann Funk
August 8. Finally Joann Funk has assembled a full-throttled tribute to one of her favorite muses, Blossom Dearie. With her trio, she takes the stage at the Artists Quarter for a special evening (note early start at 8 pm) to pay homage to the singer whose “intelligent and understated blend of jazz and cabaret, sense of time, dry wit, choice of song material, piano style, and recognizable sweet voice made her truly a unique musical presence.” Joann brings along her usual cohorts, bassist Jeff Brueske and drummer Nathan Norman.

August 9. Harriet Brewing is one of several new music venues offering up some exciting jazz combinations where least expected. Trumpeter Zack Lozier is back with his trio (pianist Tanner Taylor and bassist Keith Boyles) to offer a perfect accompaniment to a browse through the microbrews.

More Jazz Every Night (and Day)
The transition is complete—the live Twin Cities Jazz Calendar has moved from Bebopified to the Jazz Police site, easy to find on the right side of the home page. If you have gigs, be sure to send to Don Berryman at There’s always multiple options on any given night. And to add even more music to your planning, don’t forget the current Guthrie Theater production of Roman Holiday, complete with a raft of Cole Porter tunes. Other recommendations:

Lila Ammons
·         Friday, August 3: Lila Ammons with Reuben Ristrom at The Lexington; Arne Fogel at Hell’s Kitchen; Dan Musselman/Altimar Coelho/Josh Alfaro at Rodizio Grill; James Buckley and Bryan Nichols at Icehouse; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; River Falls Cultural Project with Steve Kenny at Veterans Park (River Falls, WI)

·         Saturday, August 4: Adam Linz and Tommy O’Donnell at Icehouse; Jon Pemberton at Loring Pasta Bar; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Glen Helgeson and Michael Bissonnette at Three Crows Café in Delano

·         Sunday, August 5: River Falls Cultural Project at  Veterans Park (River Falls, WI); Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; Alicia Wiley and James Buckley at the Icehouse

·         Monday, August 6: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Firebell at the Red Stag; Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse

Dean Magraw
·         Tuesday, August 7: Dean Magraw and Davu Seru at the Black Dog; Cory Wong Quartet (early show) at the Artists Quarter; Jack Brass Band at the Driftwood CharBar

·         Wednesday, August 8: Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio with Maude Hixson at Hell’s Kitchen; Robb Henry Trio at Barbette; Tommy and the Liebermans at the Dakota; Sophia Shorai at the Red Stag

·         Thursday, August 9: McNally Smith Venue Night at the Artists Quarter; Sophia Shorai at the Dakota; Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag

Coming Soon!
·         August 10-11, Anthony Cox Group at the Artists Quarter
·         August 10, Thomas Bruce at The Lexington
·         August 11, Dave King Trucking Company at the Dakota
·         August 11, Jeanne Arland Peterson and Friends at The Lexington
·         August 12, PipJazz Sundays with Yolande Bruce at Landmark Center
·         August 13, Dave Hagedorn at Jazz Central
·         August 16, Chris Lomheim Tribute to Bill Evans at the Artists Quarter
·         August 17-18, Brandon Wozniak, Adam Linz, Eric Gravatt at the Artists Quarter
·         August 18, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival (Nicollet Commons Park)
·         August 18, Jake Baldwin Quartet at the Dakota (late night)
·         August 18, Dorothy Doring at The Lexington
·         August 20, Erin Bode at the Dakota
·         August 24, Media Addicts CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         August 24, Nichola Miller at The Lexington
·         August 24, Boot Camp (Jeremy Walker) at the Dakota (late night)
·         August 25, Whitman/Schimke/Lewis/Horst at the Artists Quarter
·         August 25, Lucia Newell at The Lexington
·         August 30, Birthday Bash with Jeanne Arland Peterson, Irv Williams and Cliff Brunzell at the Artists Quarter
·         August 31, Arne Fogel at The Lexington
·         August 31-September 1, Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter
·         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 9, Ben Sidran at the Dakota
·         September 11-12, Marcus Miller at the Dakota
·         September 14-15, Chris Bates’ Red 5 CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         September 15, Arne Fogel, Jazz @St. Barney’s (St. Barnabas Arts Center, Plymouth)
·         September 18, John Scofield Trio at the Dakota
·         September 19, Delfeayo Marsalis 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
·         September 30, Men With Mics (Gregg Marquardt, Reeves Carey, Dan Ristrom) at the Artists Quarter (TCJS, Jazz From J to Z)
·         October 13, Connie Evingson, Jazz @St. Barney’s (St. Barnabas Arts Center, Plymouth)
·         October 14-15, Cassandra Wilson at the Dakota
·         October 30-31, Maria Schneider Orchestra at the Dakota
·         November 4, Spiral Visions (Milne, Hagedorn, Aaron, Lewis, Hey) at Landmark Center (TCJS Jazz From J to Z)

Gary Burton, coming with Chick Corea September 26-27