Friday, July 27, 2012

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Jazz, July 27-August 2

Lee Engele Quartet at Midtown Global Market
© Andrea Canter

Finally we have some nice summer weather in store for the weekend, although the forecast calls for more sizzle later in the week. Similarly we have some nice summer jazz coming this weekend, but that of course does not preclude steam and sizzle, from Friday right through to the following weekend. We have a new show from the Lyric Factory, the first visit in a few years from sax titan James Carter and his organ trio; another fine line-up early in the week at Jazz Central and the growing list of musicians performing at the Icehouse. And of course, it is still summer in the parks, and jazz is often on the agenda.

Highlights This Week
Jay Young
July 27-28: Since he first put together the Lyric Factory a few years ago, bassist Jay Young has proven himself to be as fine a bandleader as first-call support system. After a few performances saluting the great Stevie Wonder, Jay is back at the Artists Quarter with the music of Herbie Hancock and Earth, Wind and Fire, Friday and Saturday nights. Not sure who will be on the bandstand with him, but count on drummer Kevin Washington and colleagues from the McNally Smith Vocal Music Department among others. It will surely be an amalgam of jazz, soul, R&B and lots of fun.

Back to back bass/piano duos should keep diners at the Icehouse on full alert this weekend. Friday night, it’s Adam Linz and Tommy O’Donnell, a real treat since we rarely hear Tommy in club settings these days, and we rarely get to hear Adam in the spare duo setting that offers extended opportunities for soloing. Come back Saturday night for James Buckley and Bryan Nichols, offering their unique brand of inventive conversation. South Minneapolis has never been so hip!

Dakota Combo at the TC Jazz Festival
Part of the Kelly Park Friday nights of music in Apple Valley, it’s MacPhail Faculty Night from 6-9 pm. Featured musician Vicky Mountain will be singing standards are more with MacPhail colleagues, including the young talents of the Dakota Combo – on their own and backing Vicky on a few tunes. Free, family fun and concessions.

Last year the Midtown Global Market hosted its first jazz festival. This year the festival has expanded to include a wider range of music on Saturday, with jazzters Lee Engele swinging and singing at 2 pm on the inside stage with her trio, Carei Thomas and his cohorts in Ancestor Energy on the outdoor Allina Stage mid afternoon, and headliner Charanga Tropicale, led by globally inspired Doug Little, set on the Allina stage to end the evening. It’s all free with concessions from Midtown marketers.

July 29. The Midtown Global Market Festival will be over, but music continues at 12:30 pm with the Chris Lomheim Trio (Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein). Chances are high that Chris will be warming up for his annual Bill Evans tribute at the AQ in mid August!

James Carter at the Dakota
It’s been a few years since saxophone peacock James Carter came to town. Now he’s back for just one night at the Dakota with his electrifying Organ Trio, featuring B-3 man Gerard Gibbs and drummer Leonard King—all fellow Detroiters. King has been leaving in the Twin Cities for a while, still gigging out and about with Carter and others.

Brandon Wozniak
July 30. I’ve always admired saxophonist Brandon Wozniak’s versatility but it will really be tested tonight as he is scheduled at 8:15 at Jazz Central for two sets, but also at the Icehouse with Adam Linz and Eric Gravatt for two sets at 9:30 and 11:30. Wherever he lands, and when, it will be worth a bit of confusion to hear his spiraling tenor (or alto) and maybe a little bass clarinet as well. At Jazz Central, he jams with Tanner Taylor, Matt Peterson and Mac Santiago, which means the music could go just about anywhere. The Wozniak/Linz/Gravatt partnership was in fine exploratory form last week at Icehouse and we can expect more of their interpretations of such figures as Ellington and Monk, as well as some original fare. The chordless trio format allows plenty of space for soloing from each musician.

Adam Meckler Orchestra
July 31. The new Big Band series continues at Jazz Central, and tonight’s featured ensemble is the sparkling, inventive Adam Meckler Orchestra. In addition to his status as one of the area’s busiest performers (with Jack Brass, X-Tet, Lulu’s Playground, A Love Electric, the Jana Nyberg Group and his own Quintet—and I probably left something out), Adam is making waves as one of the area’s top young composers; his big band arrangements suggest Maria Schneider and his orchestra features a  bevy of the best young jazzers in the metro. Come early to the intimate studio space of Jazz Central or you could find yourself sitting in with the band.

Jimmy Cobb
August 1-2. Three living legends salute two late legends at the Dakota for two nights: A hard-to-beat trio of Joey DeFrancesco, Larry Coryell and Jimmy Cobb pay homage to the great Jimmy Smith and Wes Montgomery. Joey D is barely into his 40s but already he has made an indelible mark as one of the major figures on Hammond B-3, and one of his early idols was the late Jimmy Smith. Similarly, guitar guru Larry Coryell can’t deny the influence of Wes Montgomery. As for Jimmy Cobb, he played with everyone from Miles to Coltrane to Dizzy … and he’s still going full speed. (This must be Organ Trio week at the Dakota!)

Wednesday night (8/1) brings three true explorers to Café Maude –maybe the best jazz and dining experience you’ll find in a metro neighborhood hang. Tonight it’s Peter Schimke, James Buckley and Jay Epstein with a side of lamb skewers, fries, or those great Hoisin ribs?

Tyler Anderson leads the Coriolis Effect
Thursday night (8/2) marks an unplanned salute to young artists at the Artists Quarter as the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s “Young Artists Series” begins a third season with a band of young lions opening for slightly older lions who debuted on the YA Series a year ago. Opening at 7 pm on the YA Series will be the Emerson Hunton Jazz Experience, an ensemble led by recent South High graduate and soon-to-be Oberlin freshman, drummer Emerson Hunton, and featuring 2 former cohorts in the Dakota Combo, saxophonist Brad Allen (Northwestern University) and bassist Caitlin Kelliher (Columbia University), along with guitarist Brett Studer. Following their set, it’s a sort of farewell gig for saxophonist Tyler Anderson who leads the Coriolis Effect. About a year ago, Coriolis Effect was the featured Young Artist ensemble at the AQ; now the band has toured the Midwest and played additional gigs around the metro area. Tyler graduated from UW-Eau Claire this spring and will head out to Durham, NC to study with Branford Marsalis, although he promises some return visits. His colleagues include UW-EC students Cody Peterson (piano) and Jordan Jenkins (bass), and 2011 Manhattan School of Music grad, drummer Miguel Hurtado. You couldn’t ask for a better demonstration of the future of jazz than this double header at the AQ!

More Jazz!
It was a seamless transition for the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar, moving from Pamela Espeland’s Bebopified site to Don Berryman’s Jazz Police. Just visit Jazz Police home page and you will see the same format to the local live jazz calendar. Also hear updates and daily music happenings on KBEM and KFAI radio, and check out the highlights on Jazz Police. More suggestions for the coming week:

Friday, July 27. Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Dan Musselman, Altamir Coehlo and Josh Alfaro at Rodizio Grill; Patty Peterson at the Lexington; Pirates of Possibilities (Todd Harper, Andrew Foreman and Peter Leggett) at the Black Dog

Saturday, July 28. Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Mary Louise Knutson at The Marsh; Maud Hixson and the Wolverines on the plaza of Ted Mann Concert Hall; Arne Fogel at The Lexington

Sunday, July 29. Mary Louise Knutson and Paula Lammers at Como Lakeside Pavillion (3 pm); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; Kari Musil and Friends at the Fine Line; Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O’Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Lucia Newell with Gordy Johnson, Joan Griffith and Mac Santiago (Jazz in July) at All Saints Lutheran Church (Cottage Grove); Jazz on the Prairie Big Band at Staring Lake Park (Eden Prairie)

Monday, July 30: Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Robb Henry Trio at Barbette

Tuesday, July 31: Cory Wong Quartet early set  followed by the Phil Hey Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Jack Brass at the Driftwood CharBar; James Buckley Trio at Hell’s Kitchen

Wednesday, August 1. Jazz in the Lounge with Connie Evingson and the Parisota Hot Club at the Women’s Club of Minneapolis; Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by the Michael Gold Quintet at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Joel Shapira Trio with Tom Lewis and Eric Gravatt (rescheduled from last week)

Arne Fogel
Thursday, August 2. Patty Peterson and Friends at the Hilde Center (Plymouth); Bloomington Jazz Festival with Steve Clarke and the Working Stiffs followed by the George Maurer Big Band, at Normandale Lake Park Amphitheater; Arne Fogel with the Tanner Taylor Trio at Hell’s Kitchen.

Coming Soon!
·         August 3, Pat Mallinger at the Artists Quarter
·         August 4, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter
·         August 8, Tribute to Blossom Dearie with Joann Funk at the Artists Quarter
·         August 10-11, Anthony Cox Group at the Artists Quarter
·         August 11, Dave King Trucking Company at the Dakota
·         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 20, Erin Bode at the Dakota
·         August 24, Media Addicts CD Release at the Artists Quarter
·         August 24, Boot Camp (Jeremy Walker) at the Dakota (late night)
·         August 25, Whitman/Schimke/Lewis/Horst at the Artists Quarter
·         August 30, Birthday Bash with Jeanne Arland Peterson, Irv Williams and Cliff Brunzell at the Artists Quarter
·         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 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 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)


All photos by Andrea Canter.








Harm's Way



© Andrea Canter

When I first met vocalist Nancy Harms in about 2005, she was just breaking into the Twin Cities Jazz scene after a few years teaching music in Milaca, MN, not far removed from her childhood in Clara City, MN or her college days at Concordia in Moorhead. Now in an urban environment with a vibrant jazz community, she quickly grew in both skill and confidence, and by 2009 she had a debut recording (In the Indigo) that could easily pass for a third or fourth effort, filled with hints of a future filled with singular interpretations and new inventions. A few weeks visiting New York and she knew she had to leave the Minni-apple for the bigger fruits of Jazz Mecca. She was young enough, sufficiently unencumbered, and wise enough to recognize what she could lose leaving the smaller pond, and what she could gain in more challenging, more diverse surroundings. We almost have everything an artist could want in the Twin Cities. Almost. Vocal musicians seeking to stretch the creative envelope have few role models relative to instrumental artists, at least within the even loosely defined arena of jazz. Nancy was still fond of standards and swing. But she heard other approaches and needed more.

Two years later, Nancy Harms is starting to receive recognition for that exploratory spirit that has been driving her forward, compelling her to seek out master classes, to sit in every chance she gets, to interact with a diverse array of both young and veteran musicians. She came to the Dakota this spring with one of her new projects, Double Bass, Double Voice, an unlikely combination of two vocalists (Nancy and Emily Braden) and an acoustic bassist (Steve Whipple); the harmonies were as unique as the whole idea of it, regardless of the tunes to which their experiments were applied.  Simultaneously, she has been working with one of the most creative young pianists on the New York scene, Jeremy Siskind, now in a fascinating trio with another young hotshot, saxophonist/clarinetist Lucas Pino. Lucas too has Minnesota connections, having played with South High alums Chris Smith and Javi Santiago at the Brubeck Institute.

Siskind’s new project, Finger Songwriter, melds his graduate work in Comparative Literature and his Eastman School of Music education in jazz theory and performance. Setting poetry and prose texts to new compositions, Siskind sought just the right voices, finding them in Harms and Pino. Following their official CD release at the Cornelia Street Café in the Village, the trio hit the road for a short tour, landing at Jazz Central last weekend for their Twin Cities debut. Perhaps the very intimate space of Jazz Central was the most perfect setting for music that seems to defy all boundaries while remaining totally accessible, totally engaging.

Putting piano and saxophone together in duo is increasingly popular, with some favorite pairings including the late James Williams and Bobby Watson, the late Hank Jones and Joe Lovano, George Cables and the late Frank Morgan, Joey Caldarazzo and Branford Marsalis. Adding the human voice brings more than a new timbre; it doubles the beauty and the artistic reach of the horn. At least that is the result with Finger Songwriter. Listening to the recording, there are many moments when the ear (at least, this ear) can not distinguish lingering notes from Pino versus Harms. Adding the visual element of live performance, I was startled to find myself in the same zone of uncertainty—what is the source of that note? Most in sync with Lucas on clarinet, there were moments at Jazz Central where those two voices became one instrument to play against the often obtuse, always melodic wanderings of Jeremy’s piano.

A few familiar standards snuck into the set list that largely covered compositions from their recording. Siskind one minute suggests the subdued lyricism of Fred Hersch, only to turn around and hint at the bluesy side of Keith Jarrett or the abstract swing of Jason Moran.  Pino, who started on sax before adding clarinet to his arsenal, is a master of both, but I predict his glorious clarinet will be his ultimate weapon. And who would have recognized his experience on bass clarinet was limited to a few months?

Nancy couldn’t finish the evening without a run at “Bye Bye Blackbird,” which has become her signature. But it is an ever-changing signature. Even back on In the Indigo, she was taking significant liberties with rhythm and melody; one can trace her trajectory by lining up subsequent versions, each new presentation more fascinating than the last—a change-up in phrasing that alters the essence of the storyline, a melodic variation or a note clipped or extended that changes the mood, a shift in tempo that wakes up the ear. Like a painter mixing a new palette before starting the next canvas, Nancy takes “Blackbird” – and everything else that crosses her path—and adds a new drop of color, changes the direction of her brush strokes, alters the texture of the surface, continuously creating new images. Her growth is apparent in the company she keeps, in the artists who bring her to their projects… in every new performance of “Blackbird.”

It was great to have her back in Minnesota. But she belongs in New York. At least for now. Maybe one day she will return and be that role model for young and restless vocalists here.

Friday, July 20, 2012

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


Young lion drummer Miguel Hurtado leads a new trio at the Artists Quarter July 25th

© Andrea Canter

Decisions, decisions. Avant garde solo bass? Mainstream chamber finesse? Brunch-time swing?New York rising stars? Cuban fireworks? Cutting edge trio? A revue of Minnesota’s Jazz Legends? This week has it all, right here in the Minni-apple.

Brian Roessler
Friday, July 20. The second installment of this season’s “Crow With No Mouth” concert series at Studio Z features three sets of solo improvised music featuring bassist Brian Roessler, instrument builder Eloine (Bryan Day) and electronics artist Ernst Karel. Notes the concert promo, “All three musicians work in areas of sound, however divergent their approaches and instrumentation, in which the abstract and the personal narrative can both be heard.” Eloine and Karel are new to me, but I have already developed a fondness for the basswork of Roessler, who among other ensembles provides the bottom notes for the Fantastic Merlins and co-curates the Community Pool/Deep End series at the Black Dog. Studio Z’s promo notes that all proceeds ($10 cover) go to the musicians.

Laura Caviani with Chris Bates
Friday/Saturday, July 20-21. In any configuration, pianist Laura Caviani offers music that is accessible, interesting, and ever evolving. This weekend at the Artists Quarter she returns to the quartet format, featuring the talents of her musical/life partner Pete Whitman on saxophone, Chris Bates on bass and Phil Hey on drums. Over the past year, Laura has been exploring original jazz arrangements of classical works (“From Bach to Bop”), and will include some of those pieces at the AQ, as well as her own and Pete’s original compositions and their inventive takes on jazz standards.

Saturday, July 21. How about some classic and virtuosic swing with your eggs and toast? Brunch today at Hell’s Kitchen rises on the musical Richter Scale with music provided by pianist Rick Carlson and violinist Gary Schulte. You won’t find two more accomplished purveyors of their craft, and if you don’t understand the nature of swing after this morning’s fare, you are probably doomed to an unswinging life. And a life without swing is… well… unswingable.

Joel Shapira

The Loring Pasta Bar pulls a few surprises now and then and tonight is one of the most interesting – at trio with Joel Shapira on guitar, Tom Lewis on bass and Eric Kamau Gravatt on drums. This could be the start of something big.







Nancy Harms
Speaking of the start of something big, our “local girl makes good” Nancy Harms, currently making her mark among rising star vocalists in New York, returns to her home state as part of the Jeremy Siskind Trio, celebrating the release of Finger Songwriter at Jazz Central. An exciting young pianist and composer, Siskind has set poetic texts to new music, enlisting the ever-growing voices of Harms and young saxophonist Lucas Pino. Definitely the start of something big.

Nachito Herrera




Sunday, July 22.  We almost take pianist Nachito Herrera for granted now that he has at least monthly gigs around town, usually at the Dakota. But don’t forget this is an artist with an international reputation and resume, from his early days with Cubanissmo to more recent tours with the Afro Cuban All-Stars and his own mini-tour of the West Coast. Herrera is also a noteworthy composer and bandleader who will show off both talents in a ground-breaking concert in Watertown, MN at the community’s Performing Arts Center. Hoping to launch and annual “jazz festival,” Nachito is bringing a multi-faceted program to the Carver County town, opening with the Dakota Combo (Twin Cities’ high school all-stars) and later featuring special guests Debbie Duncan and the Steele Brothers (J.D. and Fred), daughter Mirdalys Herrera on vocals, long-time cohorts Yohannes Tona on bass and Kevin Washington on drums, and the young artists of the Minneapolis Youth Symphony – all in all, a 22-piece ensemble. Nachito plans to unveil some new compositions, and you can count on a lot of energy and firepower.

Monday, July 23. Minnesota Jazz All-Stars is an aptly title production at the Old Log Theater, with no less than Jeanne Arland Peterson, Cliff Brunzell, Irv Williams, Dave Karr, Clyde Anderson, Reuben Ristrom, and Mac Santiago, with special guest vocalist Charmin Michelle. Part of Old Log’s “Sounds of Summer” series –and what a collection of sounds! Reuben, Mac and Charmin are mere teens in comparison to the years of experience of the veterans in this band. Hard to find this much music on one stage.

Michael Nelson
With all that talent out in Excelsior, is there any left in the city tonight? Indeed. Trombonist and master arranger Michael Nelson takes a break from JazzMN and the Hornheads to lead a small group at Jazz Central, while a new trio of  Brandon Wozniak, Adam Linz and Eric Gravatt take the stage at the Ice House for the first of two consecutive Monday nights of “Jazz Implosion.”

Tuesday, July 24. Jazz Central continues two of its “traditions,” Tuesday night Big Band and presenting new ensembles. Tonight is the maiden voyage of the Doug Haining/Scott Agster Big Band. Promising a cadre of the area’s top jazz artists, this debut will feature “a wide variety of material from legendary big band composers such as Duke Ellingtion, Frank Foster, Thad Jones, and others.” In St Paul, a too-infrequent gig with Framework is on tap at the Artists Quarter, with Jay Epstein, Chris Olson and Chris Bates providing original music and arrangements that are typically sublime, even a bit cerebral, but always fascinating.

Wednesday, July 25. Youthful energy dominates the Miguel Hurtado Trio at the Artists Quarter tonight. Following the always boppin’ Steve Kenny and the Bastids on the early set, drummer Miguel brings in a new ensemble, with guitarist Zacc Harris and newcomer bassist Brian Courage. Miguel led a weekend  gig at the AQ last month, and was back last weekend manning the trapset for John Raymond, providing ample reason for Kenny Horst to book him again as bandleader. Surely one of the best pieces of evidence that our area is an expanding cauldron for jazz talent.

Rhonda Laurie
Thursday, July 26. Capping a hot week at the AQ, Pete Whitman returns with his X-Tet, showing off our best times ten. In Minneapolis, enjoy a late gig at the Red Stag with vocalist Rhonda Laurie and guitarist Robert Bell. I just heard the duo at Barbette and they are definitely creating some late night magic, reinventing standards and introducing some new or seldom heard tunes as well.

More Jazz Every Night
Pamela Espeland announced earlier that she would discontinue her Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar on Bebopified as of August 1, but Don Berryman stepped into the breach and announced he would take over the live jazz postings on Jazz Police, effective at the end of July. The Bebopified calendar has been posted on the Jazz Police site all along (on the Twin Cities page) so this should be a relatively painless transition. Musicians and venues should send gig listings via email to tc.jazzpolice@gmail.com

Meanwhile, a few more recommendations for the coming week:

Friday, July 20. Dan Musselman, Altamir Coelho and Josh Alfaro at Rodizio Grill (Maple Grove); Zacc Harris Trio with Lucia Newell at Hell’s Kitchen; Joel Shapira solo guitar at Ingredients Café;  Matt Turner and Viv Corringham at the Black Dog; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Patty Peterson and Friends at School II Bistro; James Buckley and Bryan Nichols, dinner set at the Ice House

Patty Peterson
Saturday, July 21. Pig’s Eye Jazz Band (swing dance) at the Eagles Aerie Club; Patty Peterson Trio at The Lexington; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota; Benny Weinbeck Trio at D’Amico Kitchen; Jim Anton/Dean Magraw, dinner set at the Icehouse

Sunday, July 22. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Café; Jazz in July with Rhonda Laurie at All Saints Lutheran Church (Cottage Grove); Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, July 23. Headspace at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne Super Group at the Dakota; George Maurer’s Autumn Song at St Joan of Arc Auditorium

Tuesday, July 24. Cory Wong Quartet, opening set at the Artists Quarter; Charles Lazarus Quartet at Plymouth Congregational Church (Minneapolis); Moonlight Serenaders with Lee Engele at the Minnesota History Center; Ronnie Laws and Tom Browne Super Group at the Dakota; Jack Brass Band at the Driftwood CharBar

Wednesday, July 25. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Linda Peterson at School II Bistro; Adrian Legg at the Dakota; Deconunisms (Luke Polopnik, Devin Drobka, Jon Christiansen) at Nomad World Pub


Coming Soon!
·         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 (Steve Clark and Working Stiffs, George Maurer Big Band)
·         August 3, Pat Mallinger at the Artists Quarter
·         August 4, Atlantis Quartet at the Artists Quarter
·         August 9, Tribute to Blossom Dearie with Joann Funk at the Artists Quarter
·         August 11, Dave King Trucking Company at the Dakota
·         August 12, PipJazz Sundays with Yolande Bruce at Landmark Center
·         August 18, Burnsville Art and All That Jazz Festival (Nicollet Commons Park)
·         August 18, Jake Baldwin Quartet at the Dakota (late night)
·         August 20, Erin Bode at the Dakota
·         August 24, Boot Camp (Jeremy Walker) at the Dakota (late night)
·         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’ 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 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)

Pat Mallinger returns to the Artists Quarter on August 3rd   




All photos by Andrea Canter




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