Friday, October 17, 2014

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

Chris Lomheim Trio, celebrating CD Release on October 18th at Studio Z

 © Andrea Canter

I don't remember when we last had three CD releases from top area jazz artists on the same weekend! And that's just the beginning of a very hot week on the Twin Cities jazz scene. Some tough choices must be made! Fortunately, you can't go wrong.

Big Gigs This Week

Connie Evingson and the Jorgenson Quintet
Friday, October 17. Swinging hot club vocals or avant-fusion dazzle? Two CD release events tonight cover much of the history of jazz. At the Dakota, esteemed vocalist and gypsy jazz specialist Connie Evingson joins the John Jorgenson Quintet to celebrate All the Cats Join In, Connie's tenth recording and her third in the hot club genre.  These musicians were a big hit at the Dakota a year ago, when they warmed up for their studio date at Creation Audio. The result is a swinging delight (including a special appearance by the great Jon Hendricks on the title track).  Even without Hendricks, this live show will keep your toes tapping. In addition to Connie, enjoy the fleet-fingered guitar of John Jorgenson and the acrobatic violin of Jason Anick... and the whole band. Don't leave without a copy of the CD.

Magraw and Gravatt
For those who follow the freer end of the jazz spectrum, two of the area's most distinguished improvisers team up to release Fire on the Nile as Redhouse Records continues its concert series at Landmark Center. When drummer Eric Gravatt (Weather Report, McCoy Tyner) first worked with guitar wizard Dean Magraw (Red Planet, Prairie Home Companion) in Gravatt's Source Code, they sensed a magical connection. And after a few duo performances, they were determined to put the magic on record, yielding Fire on the Nile, a collection of eleven tunes mostly created on the spot. You'll find blues, funk, fusionesque explorations and even a traditional Irish melody among the gemstones. And yes, it's another product of Creation Audio -- engineer Steve Wiese has a lot of ground to cover in celebrating tonight!

Babatunde Lea
But not everything tonight involves a CD release. Jazz Central's Bridge Series presents Babatunde Lea's quintet, tonight featuring young sax sensation Nelson Devereaux along with Zacc Harris, Phil Aaron and Graydon Peterson. Harris and percussionist Lea have been teaming up ever since Lea relocated to the Twin Cities, and always in the company of the metro's best.

Chris Lomheim Trio
Saturday, October 18. The one glaring omission from the Strib's "Big Gig" list is one of the most anticipated local jazz events of recent months-- the celebration of a new Chris Lomheim Trio recording, the pianist's first release in 12 years and his first collection of all-new originals since his debut 20 years ago. Armed with a state arts board grant, Chris wrote ten new tunes and gathered up his pals from that 1994 recording-- Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein. Timeline is everything you would expect from this trio-- majestic, melodic, collaborative music in the spirit of the great piano trios. Which of course makes sense because this is one of the best. Celebrate at Studio Z tonight!

Peter Goggin
In its fourth season, PipJazz Live (formerly PipJazz Sundays) returns for three fall concerts, starting tonight at the Capri Theater. In addition to vocalist Pippi Ardennia and her house band, the concert will feature superb guest youth artist Peter Goggin on alto sax. Peter is into his third year with the Dakota Combo and is a senior at Mounds View High School.

Herb Alpert and Lani Hall (press photo)
Saturday October 18-Monday October 20. If you grew up in the 60s, you no doubt remember Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Trumpeter/vocaist/composer/educator Alpert has proved his longevity, and currently is touring with wife/vocalist Lani Hall in support of their album, In the Mood. The Dakota hosts the pair for three glorious nights.

Bob Bowman
Sunday, October 19. Pianist/composer Laura Caviani has been busy lately with diverse projects. This afternoon she joins Kansas City bassist Bob Bowman for a sublime duo outing at Jazz Central, a prelude to Bob's upcoming CD release in KC. 

Michael Attias
Sort of the opposite of sublime, local jazz's most avant couple, Pat Moriarty and Ellen Lease, join creative forces with Chris Bates and New York saxophonist Michael Attias for an evening of mayhem at the Black Dog (starting at 6 pm). Attias has most recently toured and recorded with the likes of John Hebert, Tom Rainey and Ralph Alessi. The evening will feature compositions by all members of the group and some free improvisation.

Monday, October 20. Hard to describe but easy to enjoy, the Fall of the House of Usher takes the stage at the Icehouse tonight for JT's Jazz Implosion offering. Led by guitarist Chris Cunningham, the Ushers usually include Chris Bates, Nelson Devereaux, Adam Larkin, Elliot Wachs, Jon Davis and Greg Schutte.

Steven Hobert
Tuesday, October 21. If you missed his CD release recently, tonight is a good opportunity to hear pianist/composer Steven Hobert, an outstanding improviser and writer with classical and folk influences. Solo at the Black Dog.

Wednesday, October 22. An interesting pairing for new music night at Jazz Central puts young veteran bassist Graydon Peterson together with younger pianist Joe Strachan. Creativity squared.
Joe Strachan

Thursday, October 23. Vocal jazz night at Jazz Central features Montreal-based soul jazz innovator Elizabeth Shepherd, whose music is described as equal parts "Stevie Wonder, Salvation Army brass bands and classical sonatas." Known internationally as a "jazz virtuoso with a pop sensibility," Elizabeth has a new recording  (The Signal) to share with a new audience in the Twin Cities. There's touches of Parlato, touches of Esperanza.

More Jazz Every Night

Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities -- check out calendars at Jazz Police, KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and All About Jazz, as well as here on the blog.  More jazz to tickle your ears:

Friday, October 17. Irv Williams and Steve Blons, happy hour at the Dakota; Todd Harper solo piano, followed by the Donald Washington Quartet at the Black Dog; Maryann Sullivan, Wine Republic (Excelsior); Thomas Bruce at Parma 8200; Vic Volare at Hell's Kitchen; Patty Peterson and Friends at School II;

Saturday, October 18. Mill City Hot Club, brunch at Hell's Kitchen; Charmin and Shapira, 12:30 pm at Midtown Global Market; Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200; Patrick Harison and James Buckley, dinner sets at the Icehouse; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Viva Brasil at Loring Pasta Bar; GST Trio at Hell's Kitchen; Tommy and the Liebermen at the Aster

Sunday, October 19. Emily Davis and Robert Bell, brunch at Mattie's on Main; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, October 20. Paula Lammers and David Martin at Fireside Pizza; Dave Brattain at Jazz Central; Twin Cities Hot Club at Barbette

Tuesday, October 21. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Explosion Big Band at Jazz Central; River City Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Cafe; Patty and the Buttons at Cafe Maude

Wednesday, October 22. Charmin and Shapira and Friends at the Dakota

Pavel Jany
Thursday, October 23. Axis Mundi at Hell's Kitchen; Pavel Jany solo at the Black Dog

Coming Soon!
. October 24, Jeremy Walker Quartet followed by Aaron Keith Stewart at Jazz Central
. October 24, Kevin Washington Quartet at the Dakota (late night)

. October 25, Steve Kenny Quartet at the Black Dog

. October 27, Charlie Hunter at the Dakota

. October 29, Miguel Hurtado at Jazz Central

. November 1, What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog

. November 2, Soul Cafe at Hennepin Ave Methodist Church

. November 3, Mike Lewis/Gordy Johnson/JT Bates at the Icehouse

. November 5-6, Hiromi Trio Project at the Dakota
. November 6-9, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret at Studio Z

. November 7, Maryann Sullivan Corner Jazz at the Black Dog

. November 8, Bebel Gilberto at the Dakota

. November 8, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)

. November 10, Jon Weber solo piano at the Dakota

. November 10, Tony Malaby with Anthony Cox and JT Bates at the Icehouse

. November 11, Maryann Sullivan Corner Jazz at The Nicollet

. November 13, Le Percheron at Khyber Pass

. November 14, Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson, CD release at The Nicollet

. November 17, Firebell CD release at the Icehouse

. November 22, Chris Lomheim Trio at the Black Dog

. November 22, PipJazz Youth All-Stars at the Maplewood Community Center theater

. November 22, JazzMN Orchestra at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. November 22, Phil Mattson Singers, Jazz @ St Barneys (St Barnabas Lutheran Church)

. December 1, Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota

. December 2, Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis and Cecile McLorin Salvant at Orchestra Hall

. December 6, Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog

. December 13, PipJazz Holiday Concert at Maplewood Community Center theater

. December 21-22, Karrin Allyson Holiday Show at the Dakota

. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota

. January 20-21, Jose James at the Dakota

. March 12, 2015, Jack DeJohnette at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

. March 15, Jazz Mn Orchestra with Pete Christlieb at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. March 25-26, Delfeayo Marsalis (Southern Gentleman) at the Dakota

. April 25, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob Mintzer at Hopkins High School Auditorium

. May 2, 2015, Jason Moran and Robert Glasper at Walker Art Center, McGuire Theater

Steve Kenny brings his quartet back to the Black Dog, October 25