Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, October 25-31




© Andrea Canter

Seems lots of things are winding down -- Fall 2013, farmers' markets. And the Artists Quarter. So far, there's no official word on a reprieve, replacement, relocation. Meanwhile, Minnesota Monthly, among others, wonders if this means a loss of opportunities for local jazz artists? That seems obvious -- it surely is a loss of a first-class, world renowned venue. But take a quick look at the range of venues offering jazz this week. There's nothing like the Artists Quarter, the Dakota providing the only real "club" scene and jazz is only part of their equation. But thankfully we have smaller venues with a predilection for jazz -- Jazz Central, the Black Dog, Studio Z, Hell's Kitchen, Cafe Maude, the Icehouse, and more. Check them out in coming weeks, but also be sure to note the music that will help us long remember the Artists Quarter and keep the desire for a real jazz club at the top of our cultural Wish List for 2014.

Big Gigs This Week
Maud Hixson
Friday, October 25. Enjoy a cozy evening on this cool night with Maude Hixson, Rick Carlson and Gordy Johnson at Parma 8200. The cooler weather means a few more folks packed into the intimate bar and lounge, so make a reservation to ensure a good listening experience. Maud has a one of the biggest and most varied songbooks in town - you might hear some tunes from her recent Michael Leonard project, or some less familiar works from our most beloved songwriters, or -- who knows, there is always something new.

A less intimate space but a classy joint, the Dakota presents two of the most gifted entertainers in the metro, Debbie Duncan and Dennis Spears. Not only are they blessed with amazing voices, but separately and together, they will keep you laughing and wondering what will happen next. Expect standards, blues, ballads and fun.

Eric Gravatt
Friday-Saturday, October 25-26. As he has done every few months for the past decade, drummer Eric Kamau Gravatt brings his wiley Source Code ensemble into the Artists Quarter to remind us that some of the jazz world's greats live here, and play here. The alum of Weather Report and recent touring partner of McCoy Tyner shines with long-time bassist Ron Evaniuk, trombone legend Dave Graf, feisty trumpeter Solomon Parham, and maybe the genre's most versatile guitarist, Dean Magraw.

Rhonda Laurie
Saturday, October 26. Her show on the 2012 Jazz @ St. Barney's concert season was such a hit, vocalist Rhonda Laurie was invited back for more, this time with pianist Rick Carlson providing swinging support. Expect some favorites from her popular "Happy Days Are Here Again" revue of the great standards, and uncommon gems, of the 1930s-1950s. And she might sneak in some old-time swing from the songbook of her new project with Maryann Sullivan, Retro Swing Sisters.

Over in St. Paul, pianist/vocalist Joann Funk continues her weekly show in the Lobby Bar of the St Paul Hotel. Tonight, she's joined by regular partner, bassist Jeff Brueske, and frequent drumming cohort Nathan Norman. JoAnn has a thick book, from Gershwin to Blossom Dearie and everything in-between. Watch for her holiday show starting in a few weeks!

Andrew Foreman/Off the Cuff
Sunday, October 27. Closed out of the Aster Cafe last month due to a plumbing fiasco, Off the Cuff is back in its last Sunday of the month slot, bringing together artists to explore collaboration, improvisation and the making of new music. Two sets tonight bring together some familiar jazz names -- first set with Thomas Nordlund, guitar; Joe Strachan, keys; Peter Leggett, drums; and curator Andrew Foreman, bass. Set two features Ben Abrahamson, guitar; Jake Baldwin, trumpet; Zach Schmidt, drums; and Foreman.

Named Runner-Up as the Strib's 2012 "Best Jazz Act for People Bored with Jazz,"  Fuzzy Math is still going strong, tonight at the Black Dog. "...original, contemporary material that swings quite nicely, with traces of Latin and world music," noted KFAI's Larry Englund. With Mark Vandermyde on piano, Andrew Schwandt on sax, Matt Peterson on bass and Haralds Bondaris on drums.  

Jake Baldwin
Monday, October 28. Marking their 10th anniversary in downtown Minneapolis and 28th in the music business, the Dakota holds a happy hour celebration from 4-6 pm, bringing back some favorites of chefs past and present and a young band that symbolizes the health of the local jazz scene -- the Jake Baldwin Quartet. And perhaps further symbolizing what's happening with jazz clubs nationwide, the Dakota will move from this jazzy celebration to "not jazz" in prime time (singer/songwriter Sarah Morris). So come early, reminisce with a bowl of Brie Apple Soup, and then head to Jazz Central for "featured artist" night or to the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion!

Adam Meckler
Tuesday, October 29. Enjoy intimate big band jazz while you can at the Artists Quarter. The Adam Meckler Orchestra hold their monthly new music bash, working on new compositions and charts from bandleader Adam, who fronts some of the hottest young talents in the Midwest. For jazz on a smaller scale, but swinging the roof off, Rick Carlson commands the keyboard at Cafe Maude in southwest Minneapolis.

Mountain King
Wednesday, October 30. Steve Kenny's new Group 47 has been generating interest in the fine art of the jam session as the early evening enticement at the Artists Quarter, particularly with Kenny's young cohorts (Adam Tucker on bass, Alex Burgess on drums, and really young--17--Will Kjeer on piano) and some talented sit-ins like saxophonist Thomas Strommen. Tonight they lead into one of the coolest new ensembles around -- the triple bass Mountain King (Brian Courage, Jeremy Boettcher and Graydon Peterson).

X-Tet
Thursday, October 31. So many ways to spend Halloween -- one should be with the Pete Whitman X-Tet, still generating plenty of energy at the Artists Quarter.

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. A few more gigs of note:

Friday, October 25. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Bryan Nichols and Brian Courage at the Icehouse;

Saturday, October 26. Charmin and Shapira, 12:30 pm at Midtown Global Market; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Dave Karr and Tanner Taylor at the Icehouse

Sunday, October 27. Charmin Michelle with the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom

Vinnie Rose, Triose'
Monday, October 28. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Headspace at the Artists Quarter; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Triosé at Barbette
Tuesday, October 29. Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Cafe Accordion at the Loring Pasta Bar; Twin Cities Seven at Jazz Central

Wednesday, October 30. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Mike Malone at Jazz Central; Joel Shapira Quartet at the Black Dog; Rhonda Laurie and Robert Bell at Barbette

Thursday, October 31. Bend in the River Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves

Coming Soon!
. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center
. November 1, Steve Kenny Group 47, Late Night at the Dakota
. November 1, Katie Gearty and Zacc Harris at Parma 8200
. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota
. November 5, Zacc Harris/Billy Peterson/Kenny Horst at the Artists Quarter
. November 6, Marcus Roberts Trio at the Dakota
. November 7, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. November 7-10, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret
. November 9, Alan Toussaint at the Dakota
. November 9, JazzMN Orchestra with Rey Rivera, Tribute to Tito Puente at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. November 10, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center
. November 11-12, Roy Hargrove at the Dakota
. November 14, Jesters of Passion, CD Release at the Artists Quarter
. November 16, Laura Caviani and Pete Whitman, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)
. November 16, Richard Johnson and Tanner Taylor, Tribute to Oscar Peterson, Jazz at Studio Z
. November 16, Steve Cole CD Release with the Petersons at the Dakota
. November 20, Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude
. November 21, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter
. November 25-26, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota
. December 5, Dakota Combo at the Artists Quarter (Young Artists Showcase)
. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café
. December 7, Jana Nyberg Group CD Release at the Dakota
. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar
. December 13, Laura Caviani holiday CD Release at the Artists Quarter
. December 14, Lucia Newell, Jazz at Studio Z
. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater
. December 22-23, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota
. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)
. December 31, New Year's Eve Party at the Artists Quarter
. January 11, Lee Engele, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. January 11, Adam Meckler Orchestra, Jazz at Studio Z
. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. March 16, Pat Metheny Unity Group at the Fitzgerald Theater
. April 8, Chris Thile and Brad Mehldau at the Walker
. April 9, Brad Mehldau Trio at the Walker


Lynne Arriale returns to the Dakota, November 3







Thursday, October 10, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, October 11-24


Bill Carrothers returns to the Artists Quarter, October 11-12

© Andrea Canter

The jazz community is reeling from the announcement that the Artists Quarter will close at the end of the year, rent increases far outpacing revenue in a market that, if anything, suffers from too much music relative to the number of listeners on any given night. Still I hear people complain that they just don't know what's out there. If you know someone interested in jazz but more inclined to stay home listening to their record collection or i-Pods, give them the heads up on the live attractions in the metro area. There's bound to be something of interest close to home, and there is always something special worth traveling across town to hear. Recordings and broadcasts are of course vital to the survival of jazz, but it's live music that keeps both musicians and audiences moving forward.  We need some of that forward motion right now! Due to a California vacation, this blog covers the upcoming two weeks of live jazz.  So plan for now, and plan ahead.

Ellen Lease and Pat Moriarty
Big Gigs, This Week and Next
Friday, October 11. The Community Pool/Deep End series at the Black Dog is a treasure chest of cool music trending on the avant garde, and tonight is no exception-- but it is exceptional! Ellen Lease and Pat Moriarty have been leaders on the free and experimental edges for several decades, working in various combinations with like-minded spirits. Tonight they premiere a new trio, adding young but wise bassist Brian Courage to an evening of new and spontaneous compositions.

Friday-Saturday, October 11-12. Over the past year, we have heard pianist Bill Carrothers more often, and that is always a good thing. He's back on his "home" stage at the Artists Quarter this weekend, which only reinforces the need to keep this or a similar venue alive and well. Bill shares the stage with Billy Peterson and Kenny Horst, a combination that has proven to be as simpatico as any working in modern jazz. Anywhere else, this would be a $30+ ticket. In true AQ fashion, the cover is half that.

Maryann Sullivan
Saturday, October 12. Vocalist Vicky Mountain and former mentee Maryann Sullivan channel two of the most interesting women in vocal jazz history--Anita O'Day and Blossom Dearie. Their "Dearie and O'Day" tribute is live on the Jazz @ St. Barney's series at the St Barnabas Lutheran Church Art Center in Plymouth. Hats off to Jeff Whitmill who curates this growing series of early Saturday night jazz.

In Lowertown, Studio Z will host the smoldering genius of the Atlantis Quartet, hot off their new CD release -- Expansion. Come early (6 pm) for an informative presentation, followed at 7 by a couple sets of stunning and provocative original music by Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig.

Levi Schwartzberg
Sunday, October 13. If one vibraphone is fun, then two must be illegal! PipJazz Sundays (at Landmark Center) continues its monthly concert season with a double vibes night, featuring local artist/entrepreneur Steve Kimmel on one set, and student guest artist Levi Schwartzberg on another. There's to be one vibes duet  in addition to the solo spots for each musician, and of course the splendid fare from vocalist/host Pippi Ardennia and her PipJazz Experience band. You will not have many opportunities to see a teenager going all out with four mallets!

Monday, October 14. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse is a sure bet each week, be it Fat Kid Wednesdays, Atlantis Quartet or a double drum clinic with JT and Dave King. Tonight, it's Chris Bates' Red Five, the acclaimed ensemble that recorded what many dubbed the best local jazz release of 2012. Stick around for the late set with the new Fall of the House of Usher, a world music experience with Chris Cunningham, Chris Thomson, Elliot Wachs, Adrian Larkin, Jon Davis and Greg Schutte.

Dean Magraw
Tuesday, October 15. A double dose of dynamic guitar tonight, starting at Hell's Kitchen with Vinnie Rose and Triosé and then Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter. At both gigs you will enjoy some cutting-edge arrangements of original music and sophisticated covers.

Tuesday-Wednesday, October 15-16. It's been fusion drummer month at the Dakota, starting with Billy Cobham on 10/1 and now two nights with Ginger Baker's Jazz Confusion. The timekeeper for Cream and Blind Faith, native Brit Baker has been known to incorporate a variety of styles, from rock, jazz and even African rhythms. On his current tour, Baker keeps company with  saxophonist Pee Wee Ellis, bassist Alec Dankworth and percussionist Abass Dodoo.

Lucia Newell
Wednesday, October 16. Yet more guitar with the Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude. Since music was shut down at the Riverview Wine Bar, Zacc has been busy lining up gigs across the metro area for this ensemble with Matt Peterson and Pete Hennig. And down at the Artists Quarter, note scheduling change-- following Steve Kenny's Group 47 will be Lucia Newell, one of the few vocalists who appears there regularly. Given the fate of the club, this gig is extra special.

Thursday, October 17. A doubleheader at the Artists Quarter tonight features the young talents of the McNally X-Tet, directed by Pete Whitman, followed by the grand old man of bebop, Dave Karr and his Quartet.

Arne Fogel
Friday, October 18. It might be too cool to sit on the patio at Parma 8200-- more reason to come inside and enjoy jazz in the bar, tonight with crooner Arne Fogel! Nice piano, affordable menu, a great relaxing way to start the weekend. For more adventurous tastes, head to the Black Dog for the Brad Bellows/Donald Washington Quartet, trombone and sax leading the way.

Friday-Saturday, October 18-19. A new ensemble for Cory Wong, Foreign Motion, holds a CD release party at the Artists Quarter for their new In Flight. The band includes Kevin Gastonguay on keyboards, Yohannes Tona on bass, and Peter Janjic on drums. Each member of the band contributes at least one tune to the set list, Wong writing about half. Some of this suggests The Bad Plus Meets Return to Forever, some of the rhythms will push you onto the dance floor while others will just make you turn somersaults.

Kelly Rossum
Saturday, October 19. Former coordinator of jazz for MacPhail and well-respected trumpeter, composer and bandleader Kelly Rossum returns for one day! He's conducting a brass master class at MacPhail in the afternoon, and joining former colleagues in the Antonello Hall stage in the evening. The concert is billed as the Kelly Rossum Quartet + Marimba, featuring classical marimba specialist Annie Stevens and Rossum's old quartet with Bryan Nichols, Chris Bates and JT Bates. The program promises all new music from Rossum that highlights the marimba.


Tuesday, October 22.  It's been a while so it is all the more exciting to have Framework return to the Artists Quarter. Chris Olson, Chris Bates and Jay Epstein offer original music and inventive arrangements for this stellar guitar trio.

Pippi Ardennia
Thursday, October 24. After teasing us for a couple years with an EP of a handful of songs, Pippi Ardennia finally releases the full-length Love So Good with a release party at FACES Mears Park in Lowertown St. Paul. The original title track is just the tip of the iceberg -- this is  a diverse set of vocals that reflect the power, energy and soul of a singer deserving much wider recognition.

Chris Lomheim, one of our most sublime pianists, brings his trio into the Artists Quarter tonight. And as much as he is known for his Bill Evans-ish touch,  Chris can really spin around bebop and post bop covers as well, and his originals deserve full attention as well.

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. A few more gigs of note:

Friday, October 11. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Patty Peterson Trio at Parma 8200; Maurice Jacox at Hell's Kitchen; John Penny, Rey Rivera and Pippi Ardennia at Senor Wong; Robert Robinson CD Release at the Dakota

Saturday, October 12. Mill City Hot Club at Harriet Brewing (3 pm); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Joan Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); The New Standards at the Dakota; East Side at Hell's Kitchen; Paul Harper Trio at Loring Pasta Bar

Sunday, October 13. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster Cafe; Century Jazz Ensemble at Central Park Indoor Amphitheater (Woodbury); Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom

Monday, October 14. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; HeadSpace at the Artists Quarter; Adam Meckler at Jazz Central

Tuesday, October 15. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central

Steve Kenny
Wednesday, October 16. Steve Kenny Group 47 followed by the Graydon Peterson Quartet at the Artists Quarter; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; St Peter Street Stompers at Minnesota Music Cafe; Pete Whitman at Jazz Central

Thursday, October 17. Vocal Night at Jazz Central; Beasley's Big Band at Wabasha Street Caves; Tommy and the Liebermen at the Dakota

Friday, October 18. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; Sophia Shorai at Hell's Kitchen; Luke Polopnik and James Buckley at the Icehouse

Saturday, October 19. Dean Brewington at Loring Pasta Bar; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Lila Ammons Quintet at Honey; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200

Sunday, October 20. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom; Mike Lewis/Jeremy Ylvisaker/Adrian Suarez at the Icehouse

Monday, October 21. JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; HeadSpace at the Artists Quarter; Featured Artist Night at Jazz Central; U of M Jazz Ensemble II at Ted Mann

Tuesday, October 22. Jack Jones at the Dakota; Nova Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

Wednesday, October 23. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jack Jones at the Dakota

Thursday, October 24. Vocal Night at Jazz Central; Connie and Herb at the Bean

Coming Soon!
. October 25, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. October 25-26, Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code at the Artists Quarter
. October 26, Rhonda Laurie, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)
. October 29, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter
. October 30, Mountain King at the Artists Quarter
. October 31, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter
. November 1, Erik Friedlander and Mitch Epstein at the Walker Art Center
. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota
. November 6, Marcus Roberts Trio at the Dakota
. November 7, Patricia Barber at the Dakota
. November 7-10, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret
. November 9, Alan Toussaint at the Dakota
. November 9, JazzMN Orchestra with Rey Rivera, Tribute to Tito Puente at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. November 10, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center
. November 16, Laura Caviani, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)
. November 16, Steve Cole CD Release with the Petersons at the Dakota
. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café
. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar
. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater
. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

Three Bass Hit: Mountain King at the Artists Quarter, October 30th











Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Not an Obituary for the Artists Quarter




© Andrea Canter

For nearly four decades, over three locations and one significant hiatus, the Artists Quarter has symbolized the true spirit of jazz --a collaborative, forward-thinking, open community. And like most jazz clubs throughout the country, the AQ has struggled to hold faithful audience in the face of rising costs, declining support to the arts, and dwindling audiences. We frequently read about club closings and have witnessed some significant ones here - the Times, Sophia's, Rossi's. In some cases, new venues pop up inside the walls of another, although each time that happens, it seems the music is more generic. Even venues famous as jazz outlets are more and more often presenting other music - the Dakota in Minneapolis has joined many other high profile clubs that seem to survive by drawing on more popular forms of music and thus drawing a wider audience.

Owner Kenny Horst with  Roy Haynes
Which leaves us the Artists Quarter as the only local, full-time presenter of jazz in a true club setting. Or the only such venue until the end of 2013 when owner Kenny Horst intends to close up shop in the face of ever-rising rent and never-rising revenue. The announcement was met with a torrent of protest and mourning, and most of the responses in the press and social media resembling the reactions to obituaries -- sadness of the passing, recognition of the departed's contributions. It's all past tense. It was a great club. We'll miss it.

Will you miss the Artists Quarter? Will you miss the idea of the AQ (a haven for fans and musicians, an opportunity for new talent as well as veterans, a "preservation hall" of what jazz is and will become) or will you actually miss the music that rises from the Hamm Building basement six nights per week? Far more people are posting condolences than ever fill the club on a typical night.

The Twin Cities is a peculiar arena for jazz. It's like a beacon for young musicians who recognize the uphill battle of gaining recognition in New York or LA.  It's long been a jazz-friendly environment that spawned legends like Oscar Pettiford and 21st century mavericks like The Bad Plus; both the Dakota and AQ are typically on the lists of the world's "best jazz clubs," yet there are many more small venues that host jazz -- the Black Dog, Studio Z, Jazz Central, Icehouse, Cafe Maude, Hell's Kitchen. Given the size of the metro area, it seems we have a disproportionate number of jazz musicians and a relatively long list of venues that offer at least part-time possibilities for gigs. We sport one of the last jazz radio stations (KBEM) but also have other stations playing some jazz. And we host one of the largest jazz festivals in the Midwest.

Dean Magraw
So there is plenty of jazz to go around.  Who's listening? In between jazz festivals, where are those 25,000 "fans"?  The Twin Cities remains a small market compared to the other major jazz meccas -- New York, Chicago, Boston, Los Angeles. But surely there are enough true jazz fans out there to at least half-fill the Artists Quarter on weeknights when the likes of Dave Karr, Phil Hey, Dean Magraw, and Pete Whitman are on stage?

Let's not turn the Artists Quarter's plight into another case of regret that we did not appreciate Aunt Ethel until she was gone, or spend time with Uncle Harry until we learned he was terminally ill. It might be too little too late to raise funds to keep the AQ doors open, maybe not -- it's a discussion that needs to take place while folks are suddenly in a giving mood. But it's not too late to consider other options to maintain and expand support to local musicians, to find and support venues that are committed to keeping this music alive and accessible. And to mean it -- not just with money but with our physical presence that confirms the importance of this chunk of culture.

Dave Karr with Graydon Peterson
It's been a tough week in music locally. First the failure of the Minnesota Orchestra to resolve its labor impasse and the resignation of Vanska. Then the announcement of the Artists Quarter's scheduled closing. Will the remaining musicians of the MN Orchestra still find an audience if a concert is not billed as a farewell performance? And will "jazz fans" who now lament the pending loss of the AQ follow Dave Karr, Phil Hey, Dean Magraw et al to those other venues down the street?

They say "it ain't over til the Fat Lady sings." It's not over til the door is locked. Certainly there's a major change coming in the Twin Cities jazz community. And we have a little over two months to find a way to make that change a rebirth, not an obituary. Ideas are as important as dollars. Let Kenny Horst, Mayor Coleman and any jazz-loving philanthropists know that you support live jazz and will help keep it alive. And come down to the Artists Quarter as often as you can. You oughtta hear what you're going to be missing.

One of the AQ's most popular bands -- the Atlantis Quartet

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, October 4-10



The Atlantis Quartet celebrates "Expansion" at the Artists Quarter this weekend


© Andrea Canter



Fall is not only in the air, it's in the trees, on the street, along the river and up at the lake. Along with our newly arrived cloak of autumn color and cooler nights, we have a colorful variety of jazz artists in our midst, from talented locals to starbright visitors. It's hard to top a week that brought in Dave Holland, Billy Cobham and Gary Burton, but there really is no let down when you consider the artists coming our way this week-- from a rare appearance by pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. with the ever-enticing JazzMN Orchestra to a CD release from jazz hipsters Atlantis Quartet to a solo improv night with Chris Bates.



Big Gigs This Week

Linda Peterson
Friday, October 4.  In town more and more these days, vocalist/pianist Linda Peterson takes over the lounge at Parma 8200.  This cozy venue has been pulling in the area's best vocalists on Friday nights, and with cooler weather, the bar/lounge is likely to be more jammed so make a reservation to ensure good sightlines and a more intimate experience. A popular performer in the LA area, Linda is now building a Twin Cities audience as she appears at more and more area venues, often in the company of one or more of her jazzy siblings.



In the heart of the metro, Ginger Commodore continues her Friday night series of duos at the Dakota with R&B crooner Ray Covington. Ginger is equally adept at singing jazz standards, blues, soul and gospel, making her a perfect partner for Covington.



Tanner Taylor
And if you are in the mood for instrumental finery, the cross generational duo of Tanner Taylor and Dave Karr will carry you into the weekend at the Icehouse. There's a century of experience between the two, and you can figure out for yourself how that's distributed.



Friday-Saturday, October 4-5. For their 4th CD, the Atlantis Quartet went into the studio with 9 original tunes, only 2 of which have appeared on an earlier album. Expansion is the subject of this weekend's CD Release Party at the Artists Quarter, and offers a wide range of moods and rhythms, from electro-fusion madness to 21st century balladry. Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig, individually, are at the top of the improvising musician tower, and collectively, they're fully loaded for one heckuva musical shootout.



Doug Snapp and JazzMN
Saturday, October 5. JazzMN Orchestra launches its 15th season at the Hopkins High School Auditorium with a special guest rarely heard live around here-- pianist Kenny Drew, Jr. Splitting his chops among jazz and classical repertoire, the bluesy swinger will join the band in tracing the history of jazz piano from Bill Evans to Herbie Hancock and beyond. Added attraction--vocalist Connie Evingson will be the guest vocalist, a role she has filled numerous times with JazzMN including at last summer's Twin Cities Jazz Festival and last month's JazzMN benefit at the Dakota.



Brandon Wozniak
Tuesday, October 8. Brazilian singer/songwriter Vinicius Cantuaria returns to the Dakota with music that is hard to classify but lovely to hear. And across town, it's easier to classify saxophonist Brandon Wozniak as a modern jazz explorer as he bring a group of "friends" into the Artists Quarter for some collaborative mayhem. Everyone's favorite sideman, Brandon should be breaking out as bandleader any minute now.



Wednesday, October 9. Ever since he initiated his monthly improv series at Jazz Central, Chris Bates has enjoyed a wide variety of play dates. But tonight he goes solo, and if you have never heard Bates in a solo performance, don't miss this opportunity. (And if you have heard him, you undoubtedly have marked your calendar already.) How many sounds and how many moods can come from a solo bass? Infinite.



Charmin and Shapira
Want to put a little swing in your step? And without paying a cover? It's Foodie Night at the Dakota, and Charmin Michelle and Joel Shapira --and Friends-- are tonight's show, traveling from swing to bossa and whatever they grab in-between.



Thursday, October 10.  It's the next installment of the Jazz Police-sponsored Young Artists Showcase at the Artists Quarter, starting at 7, no cover, and tonight featuring one of the most active high school combos in the metro-- the Cosmic Troubadours from Minneapolis Southwest High School. This sextet has performed on KBEM as well as in various setting around town, and of course on their high school stage. Stick around and for a mere $5 you can enjoy a new trio featuring Pete Hennig, Park Evans and Brian Courage.



Cosmic Troubadours
On campus, it's the annual Fall Concert for Jazz I at the University of Minnesota, and tonight it's a celebration of "Home Grown" composers, area and student compositions. This is also the first of this season's Jazz From J to Z concerts sponsored by the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Free admission at Ted Mann Auditorium on the West Bank.



Laura Caviani
The Schubert Club is launching a new music series, Cocktails With Culture, a happy hour type event, free with a cash bar in the Landmark Center second floor Art Gallery. First performers will be Laura Caviani and Pete Whitman, who note that "We will be celebrating the renovation of a Wurlitzer piano owned by the Schubert Club that was built in 1935 by playing works

composed around that time." 



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. A few more gigs of note:



Friday, October 4. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, Happy Hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper, early evening at the Black Dog; Capri Big Band at Golden's Deli (St Paul); Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers



Saturday, October 5. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske at the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Dave Martin at the Icehouse; Nachito Herrera at the Dakota



Sunday, October 6. Zacc Harris Trio at Merlins Rest Pub (4 pm); Sounds of Blackness at the Dakota; Robb Henry Trio at Loring Pasta Bar; Dr. Mambo's Combo at Bunker's



Monday, October 7. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Featured Artist and Jam Night at Jazz Central



Chris Olson
Tuesday, October 8. Chris Olson Project at the Black Dog; Cory Wong Quartet, early set at the Artists Quarter; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; Joel Shapira at Hell's Kitchen



Wednesday, October 9. Steve Kenny's Group 47 Jam followed by Miguel Hurtado and Friends at the Artists Quarter



Thursday, October 10. Debbie Duncan at Hell's Kitchen; Connie and Herb at The Bean (Andover)



Coming Soon!

. October 11, John Penny and Pippi Ardennia at Senor Wong

. October 11-12, Bill Carrothers Trio at the Artists Quarter

. October 12, Vicky Mountain and Maryann Sullivan ("Dearie and O'Day"), Jazz @St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)

. October 12, Atlantis Quartet, Jazz at Studio Z

. October 13, Steve Kimmel, PipJazz Sundays at Landmark Center

. October 14, Red 5 at the Icehouse (Jazz Implosion)

. October 15, Haining/Agster Jazz Explosion at Jazz Central

. October 15, Dean Magraw and Friends at the Artists Quarter

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

. October 16, Bryan Nichols and Company at the Artists Quarter

. October 17, Dave Karr Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. October 18-19, CD Release, Foreign Motion (Cory Wong) at the Artists Quarter

. October 22, Framework at the Artists Quarter

. October 22-23, Jack Jones at the Dakota

. October 23, Graydon Peterson Quartet at the Artists Quarter

. October 24, Pippi Ardennia CD Release at FACES Mears Park

. October 24, Chris Lomheim Trio at the Artists Quarter

. October 25, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200

. October 25-26, Eric Kamau Gravatt and Source Code at the Artists Quarter

. October 26, Rhonda Laurie, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)

. October 29, Adam Meckler Orchestra at the Artists Quarter

. October 30, Mountain King at the Artists Quarter

. October 31, Pete Whitman X-Tet at the Artists Quarter

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

. November 3, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser featuring Lynne Arriale Trio at the Dakota

. November 6, Marcus Roberts Trio at the Dakota

. November 7, Patricia Barber at the Dakota

. November 7-10, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret

. November 9, Alan Toussaint at the Dakota

. November 9, JazzMN Orchestra with Rey Rivera, Tribute to Tito Puente at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. November 10, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at Landmark Center

. November 16, Laura Caviani, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Arts Center)

. December 6, Reynold Philipsek CD release at 318 Café

. December 8, Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quartet at The Cedar

. December 21, Maud Hixson and the Wolverines Trio, "Let It Snow" at Bloomington Center for the Arts, Schneider Theater

. December 26-29, The Bad Plus at the Dakota (12/29 Rite of Spring)

 
Bill Carrothers returns to the Artists Quarter October 11-12