Friday, August 2, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, August 2-8

Aakash Mittal performs twice this weekend

© Andrea Canter

Hard to believe August is here already! Seems the Jazz Festival was just last week. But we’re enjoying some very decent weather , so let’s there be jazz, inside and out! This coming week offers many opportunities to enjoy some of our amazing veterans.

Big Gigs This Week

Debbie Duncan
Friday, August 2
. You have your pick of two well-established vocalists among the choices tonight. At the Artists Quarter, the always-entertaining, soulful spitfire Debbie Duncan graces the stage, most likely in the company of pianist Adi Yeshaya and a steady rhythm section. Kenny Horst hires very few singers these days, but Debbie always has a home at the AQ.

In the southwest metro, tonight Parma 8200 hosts Connie Olson, one of those marvelous voices that we hear way too seldom in club settings. If you have not yet been to Parma, check it out – a warm bar/lounge, inviting menu, and a real grand piano in a space that seems like it actually was designed for music. And if you have not heard Connie for a while, this is a perfect opportunity to hear some Doris Day and more, with mighty fine Mary Louise Knutson on piano.

Vicky Mountain
And if you want a fun evening outdoors, and the forecast looks cooperative, the Music at Kelly Park series (Apple Valley) closes its season with MaPhail faculty, featuring vocalist Vicky Mountain with guitarist James Allen, bassist Tom Pieper, and drummer Mac Santiago. It’s a nice suburban setting, with activities for kids, food and beverages, and of course some really fine music from a veteran ensemble.

Saturday, August 3. Just like an AQ Tuesday night gathering of jazz centric pals, four of the area’s top performers come together for one night of art and mayhem. AQ owner Kenny Horst keeps the time for Pete Whitman, Dave Hagedorn and Chris Bates in what promises to be a night of fun and surprise. If all goes as expected, this might have to become part of the regular AQ rotation.

Aakash Mittal Quartet
Saturday, August 3-Sunday, August 4. Some think the best jazz begins when most of us are ready to call it a night. This weekend, there is some truth to that, at least in Minneapolis. In town to celebrate the release of his latest recording (Ocean), Denver-based alto saxophonist Aakash Mittal returns with a new quartet, playing back-to-back late shows at the Dakota (Saturday, 11:30 pm) and the Icehouse (Sunday, approximately 10 pm). Mittal’s all original repertoire infuses the wide spaces and natural beauty of his native Colorado with the post bop fire of muses from Parker to Coltrane to Mahanthappa and the traditional rhythms and harmonies of his father’s homeland, India. Mittal has studied with the masters in India, and will soon head to Kolkata for a year studying Hindustani saxophone techniques and ragas. But first, a tour in support of Ocean. At the Icehouse, Mittal’s quartet follows an opening set from a newly formed quartet of Brandon Wozniak, Bryan Nichols, Kurt Schweitz and Devin Drobka; Schweitz and Drobka form half of the Aakash Mittal Quartet.

Irv Williams
Monday, August 5. The Old Log Theater again presents the Minnesota Jazz All-Stars, an opportunity to see our multi-generational living legends on stage together. This year’s ensemble includes Cliff Brunzell, violin; Tanner Taylor, piano; Irv Williams and Dave Karr, saxophones; Clyde Anderson, bass; Reuben Ristrom, guitar; and Mac Santiago, drums, with charming vocalist Charmin Michelle.

Cory Wong
Tuesday, August 6. You can hear three of the best guitarists in the area tonight… and it is actually possible to hit all three.  Starting at 7 pm, Cory Wong and his quartet hold their weekly symposium of sound at the Artists Quarter, opening for the prime time gig which this week is Zacc Harris and Friends. Master of the guitar as well as an accomplished bandleader, Harris and company will weave all sorts of tales to midnight or beyond. Somewhere in between, head over to the Black Dog where Dean Magraw and co-host percussionist Davu Seru work their First Tuesday magic.

Wednesday, August 7. Guitarist/composer Todd Clouser been in and out of town over the summer when not touring with his Baja-based cohorts. The Twin Cities native has released a series of albums that bring modern jazz and 70s rock together, and it works. Clouser performs tonight at Café Maude (on Penn).

Retro Swing Sisters
Thursday, August 8. AKA the Swing Sisters, Retro Swing Sisters pairs singers Rhonda Laurie and Maryann Sullivan in a delightfully entertaining romp through Swing era standards augmented by some of the swingingest instrumental genies in town—usually Rick Carlson, Steve Pikal and Doug Haining. Maybe Mac Santiago too, as the venue is Jazz Central!

More Jazz Every Night

Be sure to check live jazz calendars on Jazz Police and KBEM sites. Also find a growing number of events on the Jazz Near You site, a service of All About Jazz. TCJS Jazz Notes lists gigs monthly. A few more gigs of note:

Friday, August 2. Irv Williams Trio, happy hour at the Dakota; Sophia Shorai at Hell’s Kitchen; Zacc Harris and James Buckley at the Icehouse

Anthony Cox
Saturday, August 3. Nichola Miller at Hell’s Kitchen; Paul Harper Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma; Javier Santiago and James Buckley, followed by Anthony Cox and Happy Spirits at the Icehouse; Joel Shapira, solo guitar at Ingredients Café; Electric Quartet (Ted Olsen, Jake Baldwin, Joe Strachan, Emerson Hunton) at Wild Thymes

Sunday, August 4. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria’s; Jazz in the Vineyard at Alexis Bailey Winery (Hastings) with the Doug Little Quartet; Roseville Big Band at Centennial Lakes

Monday, August 5. Rhonda Laurie and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT’s Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Steven Hobert Trio at Jazz Central; Southside Aces at Famous Dave’s (Uptown)

Tuesday, August 6. Bill Simenson Big Band at Jazz Central; Triosé at Café Maude (Penn Av)

Wednesday, August 7. Steve Kenny and the Bastids followed by New Sound Underground at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; EXECS Big Band at Centennial Lakes

Thursday, August 8. McNally Smith Venue Night at the Artists Quarter; Connie Dusseau at Pudges (Hudson, WI); Jon Pemberton at the Red Stag

Coming Soon!

. August 9, Nachito Herrera, followed by the Chris Speed Trio at the Dakota

. August 10, Todd Clouser and A Love Electric with Cyro Baptista at the Icehouse

. August 11, PipJazz Sundays Youth Salute at Landmark Center

. August 12, Charmin and Shapira at the Dakota

. August 14, Jesse Stacken at Jazz Central

. August 14, Vanessa Trouble at the Dakota

. August 15, Chris Lomheim Trio at the Artists Quarter

. August 16-17, Red Five at the Artists Quarter

. August 17, Ginger Commodore and Dennis Spears at the Dakota

. August 19, Jake Baldwin at the Dakota

. August 21, Snowblind at the Artists Quarter

. August 23-24, Dave King Trucking Company at the Artists Quarter

. August 24, Freedom Jazz Festival, Martin Luther King Park

. August 27, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. August 27-28, Jeff Lorber at the Dakota

. August 29, Ben Sidran at the Dakota

. August 30-31, JazzMN Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. September 6-7, Concrete and Grass Festival at Mears Park

. September 6-7, Graydon Peterson CD Release at the Artists Quarter

. September 14, Selby Ave Jazz Festival (Milton and Selby Av)

. September 16, Doc Severinsen Big Band at the Dakota

. September 19, Ravi Coltrane Quartet

. September 20-21, Diane Witherspoon at the Artists Quarter

. September 23-24, Bettye LaVette at the Dakota

. September 25, John McLaughlin at the Dakota

. September 27-28, Red Planet at the Artists Quarter

. September 28-29, Prism (Dave Holland, Craig Taborn, Kevin Eubanks, Eric Harland) at the Dakota

. October 1, Billy Cobham Spectrum 40 at the Dakota

. October 2-3, Gary Burton at the Dakota

. October 15-16, Ginger Baker Jazz Confusion at the Dakota

. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center

. November 12-13, José James at the Dakota

Pippi Ardennia and the PipJazz All-Stars, at Landmark on August 11th