Friday, January 17, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 17-23

Brian Roessler of the Fantastic Merlins (at the Black Dog January 20)
© Andrea Canter

As rumors continue to circulate as to the sale (or not) of the Artists Quarter, there is no doubt that a significant hole exists on the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. Yet jazz continues to thrive around that hole, if in more challenging (i.e., not ideal listening) settings. Spots like Jazz Central, Black Dog, Aster Cafe, Icehouse, Cafe Maude and Studio Z keep modern jazz on their calendars; the Dakota offers some jazzy weekends and "Foodie Nights" in-between national acts; McNally Smith boasts its annual winter festival this weekend.... and more.

Big Gigs This Week

Maud Hixson
Friday, January 17. Weekend music continues at Parma 8200, with songbird Maud Hixson bringing in standards and less familiar tunes, tonight with a rather unusual partnering with pianist Adi Yeshaya and bassist Adam Linz. On the U of M West Bank, saxophonist Peter Vircks holds a CD Release Party at the Republic. Vircks, often affiliated with Nachito Herrera, Yohannes Tona and Bruce Henry, has been busy with the touring production of Feet Don't Fail Me Now, but found time to write and record a raft of new compositions that straddle jazz and funk--and achieve that rare combination of the best of both. Over at the Black Dog, the Donald Washington/Brad Bellows Quartet returns for an almost monthly gig of low brass-- bari sax and valve trombone mix it up and turn it inside out. And there's a new venue in Excelsior, The Celler, with a new trio Three Loud kicking off tonight (Tyler Anderson, Jeremy Boettcher and Adrian Suarez).

Charles Lazarus
Saturday, January 18. It used to be the Roseville Winter Jazz Blast, now it's the McNally Smith Winter Jazz Blast, a day of clinics and performances for high school bands, followed by an evening public concert featuring the JazzMN Orchestra, trumpeter Charles Lazarus, and McNally Smith faculty and student ensembles.

Seems the cello is getting more attention lately. Bassist Anthony Cox performed on cello only last week at the Black Dog, and now Jelloslave returns to a Minneapolis stage with this evening at the Aster Cafe. With two cellos (Jacqueline Ultan and Michelle Kinney), drums (Greg Schutte) and tablas (Gary Waryan), this unusual quartet plays "original improvisational cello­-driven music, as well as interpreting compositions of great songwriters and composers throughout history, from Bach to Led Zeppelin."
Greg Schutte (Jelloslave)

Monday, January 20. The Fantastic Merlins were a regular feature at the Black Dog, and now they're back on the third Mondays as a trio -- Nathan Hanson on sax, Brian Roessler on bass, and Pete Hennig on drums. "Both dissonant and resonant, Fantastic Merlins effortlessly weave together the dark and the light, the dangerous and innocent. Their cinematic sound coalesces organically in an exquisite tension between jazz and chamber music..."  Over at the Icehouse, even more mayhem with Drum Drum Sax Sax --Chris Thomson, Mike Lewis, Joey Van Phllips, and JT Bates come together for JT's Jazz Implosion night. Bang Bang Blow Blow!!

Tuesday, January 21. It's Big Band Night at Jazz Central, and one of the newest and most exciting is Doug Haining and Scott Agster's Explosion Big Band.

Graydon Peterson
Wednesday, January 22. Some interesting trio magic tonight. At Jazz Central, Firebell takes the stage for New Music night. The trio with Park Evans, Graydon Peterson and Jay Epstein has been exploring group improvisation since 2009. Later in the evening at the Icehouse, Serbian guitarist Goran Ivanovic brings some Balkan folk traditions into his jazz trio music. Over at the Dakota, it's Foodie Night (no cover!) with Charmin (Michelle) and (Joel) Shapira and Friends, a guarantee of a swinging evening.

So if Charmin is at the Dakota, who is at Fireside Pizza tonight? Denny Malmberg and his accordion will have the rare pleasure of pairing with Denny's brother David, guitarist/vocalist. So come out and hear Denny and David and enjoy a slice!

Thursday, January 23. A special Jazz at Studio Z tonight features London-based, Midwest native bassist Michael Janisch leading an all-star quintet --trumpeter Phil Dizack, saxophonist Patrick Cornelius, guitarist Matt Stevens and drummer Clarence Penn. There will be a pre-concert workshop. Janisch, who teaches at the Royal Academy of Music, plays acoustic and electric bass and has a long resume that includes such stars as George Garzone, Gary Burton, Shirley Horn, Kenny Wheeler and Wynton Marsalis.

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, January 17. Irv Williams and Peter Schimke, happy hour at the Dakota; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Chris Lomheim and Adam Wozniak, dinner sets followed by Foreign Motion at the Icehouse

Joel Shapira
Saturday, January 18. Charmin and Shapira at Midtown Global Market (12:30-2:30 pm); Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar (St Paul Hotel); Joel Shapira at Ingredients Cafe

Sunday, January 19. Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar; T-Collective (Mike Lewis, James Buckley, Tim Glenn, JT Bates ) at the Icehouse

Monday, January 20. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza

Tuesday, January 21. Jazz on the Prairie Big Band at Eden Prairie High School; River City Jazz Orchestra at the South St Paul VFW; Patty and the Buttons at Cafe Maude

Wednesday, January 22. Wolverines Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Zacc Harris Trio at Cafe Maude; James Wallace at the Red Stag

Thursday, January 23. Joel Shapira Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Connie and Herb at The Bean

Coming Soon!

. January 24, Katie Gearty at Parma 8200

. January 27, Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Icehouse

. January 28, Nova Jazz Orchestra at Jazz Central

. January 28, Rick Carlson at Cafe Maude

. January 31, Thomas Bruce at Parma 8200

. January 31, East Side at Hell's Kitchen
. February 5, Joel Shapira CD release at the Black Dog
. February 7, Jon Weber, Fundraiser for the Twin Cities Jazz Festival at the St Paul Hotel

. February 13, Kurt Elling at the Dakota

. February 15, Koplant No at the Icehouse

. February 16, Gregory Porter at the Dakota

. February 19-20, "Guitars of Passion" (Romero Lubambo, Stanley Jordan and Sharon Isbin) at the Dakota

. February 22, Connie Evingson, Jazz @ St. Barneys

. February 22, "The Envelope Please" with Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson, Bloomington Center for the Arts

. February 22-23, "Girl Talk" (Pippi Ardennia, Charmin Michelle) at the Capri Theater

. February 25-26, Terence Blanchard Quintet at the Dakota

. February 28, Jack Brass Band Mardi Gras at Schneider Theater, Bloomington Center for Arts

. March 9, Cecile McLorin Salvant at the Dakota

. March 16, JazzMN Orchestra with New York Voices (matinee) at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. 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

. April 10, Delfeayo Marsalis at the Dakota

. April 27, Jazz Noir, live broadcast on KBEM from the Dakota

. April 28, Joe Lovano Us Five at the Dakota

. May 15-17, Ragamala Dance Company and Rudresh Mahanthappa at the Walker

. June 26-28, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park (St Paul)

Rick Carlson, coming to Cafe Maude on January 28th