Friday, December 5, 2014

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, December 5-11

Kenny Horst, back at the trapset at Jazz Central, December 5th

© Andrea Canter

Memories of the Artists Quarter burn a bit brighter this weekend, as former AQ owner Kenny Horst and friends help "bridge" the gap in gigs since the club closed. But there are a lot of gigs this week at the venues that seem to be carrying the torch for live, high flying jazz in the Twin Cities, particularly Jazz Central, the Black Dog and Studio Z. Even though it's a week without a visiting national headliner, we generate our own legends here!

Big Gigs This Week

Kenny Horst
Friday, December 5. Kenny Horst may have considered retirement when he closed the Artists Quarter 11 months ago, but apparently that did not mean his drumming days were done.  He's appeared at Jazz Central, the Black Dog and The Nicollet over the past few months, and tonight he returns to Jazz Central on the Bridge Series with former AQ cohorts Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Chris Bates. Don't be surprised if Davis Wilson greets you at the door. And you can count on some treats from Vanessa.

Dave Karr
One of the tastiest duos in town, Dave Karr and Chris Lomheim come together at the Icehouse for dinner hour magic, while in Bloomington, Benny Weinbeck and his trio (Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) move up to Friday night (this week only) for sublime music at Parma 8200. Both of these venues offer good values in bar/dining room fare that melds perfectly with the music.

Larry McDonough
And a holiday riddle: What do Christmas, Bill Evans, Dave Brubeck, John Coltrane, Ludwig van Beethoven, Mr. McGoo, Paul Simon, Ornette Coleman, Shakers, the Middle East, award-winning American poetry, and the art of international illustrator Eric Hanson have in common? Answer: The Larry McDonough Holiday CD, Angels, Kings, My Favorite Things, to be performed at The Nicollet tonight with Larry's quartet and some special guests, including Larry's daughter Rosie on African drums.

Saturday, December 6. Jazz @St Barneys presents two concerts this month, starting tonight with Dan Newton and his Cafe Accordion Orchestra, "a loungy, elclectic mix, full of French flare, Latin heat and Bohemian attitude."

Babatunde Lea
In St. Paul, you can walk fast and juggle the clock a bit but chances are you can make a double header, starting with Jazz at Studio Z and the Babatunde Lea Quintet. Master percussionist and educator Babatunde will host a master class in African rhythms at 5:30, followed by his ensemble concert at 7.  And what an ensemble-- Nelson Devereaux, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and Phil Aaron. In theory the concert goes til 8:30-9 pm. Just hang on and follow Chris and Zacc over to the Black Dog for a scheduled 8:30 start with the Atlantis Quartet on the Saturday Night Jazz series. The Atlantis (with Brandon Wozniak, Zacc Harris and Pete Hennig) recently recorded a live CD at the Icehouse, and likely we will get some previews! If you choose to stay in one place, note the 7 pm opening band at the Black Dog, Central Standard Time, featuring some old pals from River Falls including Saturday Night curator Steve Kenny.

Atlantis Quartet
Sunday, December 7.  It's a busy weekend for the Atlantis Quartet. Tonight they appear with the MacJazz Big Band at Macalester (Maris Concert Hall), along with MacJazz guest artist Doug Little.  The bands will debut three big band arrangements of Atlantis tunes. MacJazz Band director Joan Griffith ensures that this is not just another college jazz band concert! (And it's free!)

Thomas Strommen
Monday, December 8. Just a few years ago, young tenor saxophonist Thomas Strommen was playing for the Wayzata High School band and Dakota Combo. Moving on to UW-River Falls for studies with David Milne, Thomas started Dark Blue, a quartet with pals from UW-RF. Now a college junior and long-standing member of Steve Kenny's Group 47, Thomas brings Dark Blue to Jazz Central as the Featured Artist of the week. He's joined by Dylan Nelson on guitar, Jason McLean on bass and Alex Burgess on drums.

Jana Nyberg
We didn't hear much from the Jana Nyberg Group this fall, with trumpeter Adam Meckler on the road, but the band is back at the Dakota for Foodie Night and a few sets of vocal finery, from the Great American Songbook to jazz arrangements of pop tunes to original songs.

Tuesday, December 9. At the recently revived The Nicollet, now with beer and wine to go with music and swing dancers, vocalist Maryann Sullivan returns with her Corner Jazz ensemble for a night of swinging oldies, standards and new discoveries.

Chris Olson
At the Black Dog, Chris Olson hosts Framework, featuring Olson on guitar, Chris Bates on bass and Jay Epstein on drums. This veteran trio is always worth the listen, from their own originals to inventive arrangements.

Chris Bates
Wednesday, December 10. One of the most interesting ensembles yet to grace the stage at Jazz Central, tonight Chris Bates has assembled a Bass Summit ("to have a Merry Bass-Mas in the Bass-Ment"). So far he has Casey O'Brien, Charles Fletcher, Chris Hunnicut and Brian Roessler, with support from JT Bates and Martin Dosh on drums.

Thursday, December 11. It's a vocal night like no other at Jazz Central, as Sarah Greer brings in an a cappella improv ensemble. She's gathered some of the most innovative voices in the metro, with Aimee K. Bryant, Mankwe Ndosi, Libby Turner Opanga and Alicia Steele. 

Charles Lazarus
Another unique talent, Minnesota Orchestra trumpeter Charles Lazarus is back with another holiday brass party, "Merry and Bright" at the Wayzata Community Church. And speaking of brass, the Jack Brass Band takes its monthly turn at the Amsterdam, and some holiday tunes are likely on the menu.

More Jazz This Week

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, December 5. Irv Willliams and Steve Blons, happy hour, followed by the Nachito Herrera Trio at the Dakota; Todd Harper, solo piano (happy hour) at the Black Dog; Tim Patrick and His Blue-Eyed Band at the Eagle's Aerie Club; Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Patty Peterson and Friends at Bunkers; Classic Big Band and the Nostalgics at KC Hall (Bloomington); Jason Weissman Quartet at Crooners Lounge; RADD Jazz Holiday Swing Dance with Charmin Michelle at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls (Falcon's Nest)

Saturday, December 6. Joann Funk and Jeff Brueske in the Lobby Bar, Saint Paul Hotel; Jana Nyberg Group at Hell's Kitchen; Pig's Eye Jass Band at Eagle's Aerie Club; Mama Digdown's Brass Band and the Southside Aces at the Parkway Theater; Wind-Wood Trio with Paula Lammers at The Mason Jar; The Skruffians at Jazz Central; Katia Cardenas, Late Night at the Dakota

Sunday, December 7. Patty and the Buttons, brunch at the Aster; Robert Everest, brunch at Maria's; Century Jazz Ensemble with Debbie O'Keefe (Holiday Show) at Century College; Zacc Harris Trio at Riverview Wine Bar

Monday, December 8. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse; Twin Cities Cabaret Network at  Nautilus Music Theater ("Rough Cuts"); Bookhouse Trio at Barbette

Tuesday, December 9. Cafe Accordion at Loring Pasta Bar; Cedar Avenue Big Band at Jazz Central; NOVA Jazz Orchestra at Minnesota Music Café

Lila Ammons
Wednesday, December 10. Charmin Michelle and Denny Malmberg at Fireside Pizza; Wolverines Trio with Judi Vinar at Hell's Kitchen; Patrick Harison at Cafe Maude; Lila Ammons Trio at The Tangiers; Matra at the Black Dog

Thursday, December 11. Minnesota Jazz Orchestra at Wabasha Street Caves; Connie and Herb at The Bean; Denny Malmberg Trio with Paula Lammers at the Mason Jar; Embezzler (Linz, Bates, Metzger) at Khyber Pass

Coming Soon!

. December 12, Connie Evingson with Rick Carlson at Parma 8200

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

. December 13, Red 5 at the Black Dog

. December 14, Maud Hixson, Wolverines, Bob DeFlores films, "Let It Snow" at the Capri Theater

. December 14, Medeski, Scofield, Martin and Wood at First Avenue

. December 15, Larry McDonough Holiday Show at the Icehouse

. December 15-16, Roberta Gambarini at the Dakota

. December 16, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Jazz Central

. December 18, Mike Lewis solo at Khyber Pass

. December 19, Barbara Meyer and Phil Mattson at the 318 Cafe

. December 19 & 21, Doc Severinsen with the Minnesota Orchestra at Orchestra Hall

. December 20, Twin Cities Jazz Sampler at Jazz Central

. December 20, Peterson Family "Jam Before Christmas" at the Dakota

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

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

. December 26, Good Vibes Trio at Jazz Central

. December 26, Jake Baldwin Quartet, Late Night at the Dakota

. December 27, Big Band Christmas, Jazz @ St Barneys at St Barnabas Lutheran Church

. December 27, Fat Kid Wednesdays at the Black Dog

. December 27, Aaron Hedenstrom CD Release, Jazz at Studio Z

. December 27, Laura Caviani and Bob Bowman at Jazz Central

. December 31, Jazz Awards Night at Jazz Central
. January 1, Seru/Roessler/Hanson at Khyber Pass


. January 3, Group 47 at the Black Dog

. January 9, Joel Shapira/Dean Granros CD Release at the Black Dog

. January 10, Bill Carrothers Trio, Jazz at Studio Z

. January 13, Dakota Foundation for Jazz Education Fundraiser at the Dakota

. January 17, Joan Griffith and Reuben Ristrom at Hosmer Library

. January 17, Bottomless Pit at the Black Dog

. January 20-21, Jose James at the Dakota

. January 22, David Berkman at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

. January 23, Maryann Sullivan's Corner Jazz at the Black Dog

. January 24, Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog

. January 25, Leigh Kamman Memorial Tribute at the Saint Paul Hotel (Ballroom)

. January 25, Chris Potter Quartet at the Dakota

. January 27-28, Dianne Reeves at the Dakota

. January 31, Dave Brattain Quartet, Dean Granros Quartet at the Black Dog

. February 13, The Assad Brothers with Romero Lubambo at the Dakota

. March 9, David Sanchez Quartet at the Dakota

. March 12, 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

. March 29, Tierney Sutton and Mark Summer at the Dakota

. April 16, Anthony Cox and Jeremy Walker, "Rage of Achilles" at Orchestra Hall (Target Atrium)

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

The Adam Meckler Orchestra returns to Jazz Central, December 16