Thursday, November 5, 2015

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, November 6-12

Joey DeFrancesco at the Dakota, November 9

© Andrea Canter

Still no hard frost? Perhaps the heat of the local jazz scene is keeping winter at bey! Probably we can not hope for many more relatively warm days, but we can surely count on a string of hot nights thanks to gigs, concerts, mini-fests and CD releases in the Twin Cities in the coming week!

Big Gigs This Week
Graydon Peterson
Friday, November 6. Over the past decade, since completing studies at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, Graydon Peterson has been one of the go-to bassists, and more recently, bandleaders, in the Twin Cities area. There's few musical directions he won't go, but his talents as a composer and bandleader of modern inventive chamber jazz is a clear strength. Tonight he celebrates the release of his quartet's second recording, and the format alone stands out -- every track is a duet! Graydon wrote nine compositions for every permutation of pairings of his quartet plus guest artist Vinnie Rose, who was a member of the original GPQ. Guitar was later replaced by piano (Joe Strachan), with original quartet members Adam Meckler (trumpet) and Adrian Suarez (drums) filling out the duets. Aptly titled "Duets," the recording is the core of the program on Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet.

Honoring their pal Graydon Peterson's gig at The Nicollet, Jazz Central Studios is deferring its start time til 10 pm tonight when it's College Night, hosted by North Central University Jazz Workshop students and leader Peter Shu. It's part gig and part jam session, showcasing the talents of some of the area's top jazz students.

Bruce Henry
Bruce Henry relocated to Chicago about 7 years ago but has never lost his sense of direction--he finds his way back to the Twin Cities at least a few times each year for private and public performances. He'll charm the crowd at Crooners tonight with his mix of bop, swing, soul and blues.

Madeleine Peyroux
Parma 8200 deviates from its usual vocal night for an evening with the Joel Shapira Trio-- Shapira on guitar with Pete Whitman (sax) and Tom Lewis (bass) -- or 75% of his new quartet, Bottomless Pit. And it is a vocal night at the Dakota with the return of Madeleine Peyroux, currently touring in celebration of Keep Me in Your Heart for a While: The Best of Madeleine Peyroux, her debut anthology.

Jay Young
And another opportunity to enjoy Jay Young and the Lyric Factory, this time at Vieux Carré for "Bandwidth: Compilations," a reprise of their recent shows of "Top Ten Hits" including Sting, Babyface, Steely Dan, Cyndi Lauper, The Beatles, even Monk and McCoy Tyner. Jay will be playing piccolo bass with son Ian on bas, Thom West on keys, Ernest Bisong on violin and Kevin Washington on drums. Come early for "Daddy Squeeze" Dan Newton on solo accordion.

Maud Hixson and Arne Fogel
Friday-Sunday, November 6-8. They're at it again! Arne Fogel and Maud Hixson start their three-show run of "Irving Berlin's Hollywood" at the Bloomington Center for the Arts' Black Box Theater, with evenings Friday and Saturday and a matinee on Sunday. With Rick Carlson directing the music, they'll sing their way through Berlin's great tunes that enlivened Hollywood films, including "Cheek to Cheek," "White Christmas," "Puttin' On the Ritz," "A Couple of Swells," "Change Partners," and "Let's Face the Music and Dance."

Saturday, November 7. Start your jazz action early with the dazzling vocal/guitar duo, Charmin and Shapira, in the Midtown Global Market atrium early in the afternoon, and wish Charmin Michelle well as she heads to France for some touring later in the week.

Babatunde Lea
The Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series presents a double-header every weekend, often featuring veteran artists in new configurations as well as long-running ensembles. Tonight, guitarist David Roos' Exquisite Corps trio (with Peter Susag on bass, Eron Woods on drums) opens at 7 pm, followed by a new edition of the Babatunde Lea Quartet. World renowned percussionist Lea joins forces with Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and Phil Aaron for an evening that will be as much fun to watch as listen.

At the Dakota, contemporary sax star Steve Cole returns for two sets, featuring local songbird Patty Peterson, while Jazz @ St. Barneys again features trad piano hero Butch Thompson, this time in the fine swinging company of clarinetist Tony Balluff and bassist Steve Pikal.

Reynold Philipsek
One of the most prolific recording artists as well as composers among local musicians, guitarist Reynold Philipsek celebrates yet another recording tonight, Duets, with frequent partner, bassist Matt Senjem.  They're at Reynold's favorite haunt, the 318 Cafe in Excelsior.

Regular features: The Benny Weinbeck Trio (with Gordy Johnson and Phil Hey) take over the lounge at Parma 8200; JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske bring their piano/voice and bass duo back to the Lobby Bar of the Saint Paul Hotel.

Jon Weber
Sunday, November 8.  Vocalist Connie Evingson's "Jazz at the Jungle" series will again put Connie and pianist Jon Weber together at the Jungle Theater for two shows celebrating the roots of the "American Songbook"--blues, roots, folk, ragtime, country, Tin Pan Alley and jazz. Expert support will be provided by accordionist Patrick Harison and bassist Gordy Johnson. (Note 4 pm show sold out!)

Paul Renz
At the Dakota, guitar master Paul Renz brings his quartet to the stage, a warm-up to their East Coast tour. Paul's team includes Wes Ruelle on piano, Jonathan Thomas on bass, and Jessie Lesmeister on drums.

Monday, November 9. Joey DeFrancesco is the undisputed reigning King of the B-3 organ, and he returns to the Dakota tonight with his Chicago-based trio of Jeff Parker on guitar and George Fludas on drums. They're celebrating the release (this weekend) of Trip Mode.
Joey D

Good vibes will waft up from the basement at Jazz Central when Steve Kimmel is featured, with reeds and bass from Larry Hillman and Margo Hillman, respectively.

Smooth and savvy vocalist Thomas Bruce headlines at Crooners Lounge, and savvy but probably more rough and tumble will be onstage for JT's Jazz Implosion at the Icehouse with host JT on drums and Casey O'Brien on bass, with some geeky electronics ("drones and trances") passing between them.

Tuesday, November 10.  Big Band Night brings the Cedar Avenue Big Band back to Jazz Central for their monthly blowout. Another hot big band, the Nova Jazz Orchestra, plays at the Minnesota Music Cafe.

Phil Aaron
At Vieux Carré, it's a reunion of the Phil Aaron Trio, the original configuration that once played at the Hotel Sofitel. Joining the keyboard giant will be bassist Gary Raynor and drummer Jay Epstein. And speaking of keyboard giants, the opening sets will feature solo piano from Chris Lomheim.

Another giant of local jazz piano who tours these days with Doc Severinsen, Mary Louise Knutson makes her debut at Crooners on the Tuesday Night Instrumental Jazz series. Her trio includes the best-- Gordy Johnson on bass and Phil Hey on drums.

At the Black Dog, Second Tuesday means the Chris Olson project, and tonight the guitarist goes mostly solo with a couple friends sitting in-- Eva Beneke and Clea Galhano.

Chris Bates
Wednesday, November 11. Once per month, bassist Chris Bates hosts an improvisational music night at Jazz Central, and tonight he joins fellow explorers Javi Santiago (piano) and Cory Healey (drums) as the CB Trio. According to Chris, the band will be "exploring the inner workings of the piano trio format through original compositions and choice vehicles of classic eras gone by." 

Andrew Walesch
Thursday, November 12. Young crooner, pianist and bandleader Andrew Walesch brings his 10-piece band and "100 Years of Sinatra" celebration to the Dakota. Perhaps best known these days for his frequent gigs at Crooners, including the weekly Sunday Jazz Brunch, Walesch recently sang with the JazzMN Orchestra.

On the Vocal Jazz Night at Jazz Central, Cameron Kinghorn sets aside his trumpet to sing with his quartet-- Ted Godbout on piano, Andrew Foreman on bass and Andres Crovetti on drums. His voice is rich and soulful... much like his horn.

At Vieux Carré, guitarist Joel Shapira starts things off before yielding the stage to the bluesy soul voice of Erica West.

Steve Kenny
And at Studio Z, it's the first of the three-night Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret, with multiple ensembles each night. Tonight: Things begin (each night) with a Young Performer Showcase set, followed by Marimba Bullies, Zeitgeist, and Steve Kenny's Wise Quartet. (See the website for the full schedule.)

More Jazz!
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. The most comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police, but you will also find jazz listings at KBEM, Rhythm and Grooves and Jazz Near You. KBEM and KFAI radio host jazz programs regularly and provide daily notices of jazz gigs and concerts. The live edition of The Lead Sheet can be heard at 4:40 pm on Thursdays on KBEM, excerpts rebroadcast at 7:20 am on Fridays. (Special guest on November 12 --Andrew Walesch re his big band Frank Sinatra show). Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g.

Coming Soon!
. November 12-14, Zeitgeist New Music Cabaret at Studio Z (including Dave Hagedorn Quartet, Solomon Parham, Zeitgeist)
. November 13, Eric Gravatt and Source Code at Walker West Music Academy
. November 13, Arne Fogel at Parma 8200
. November 13, Jordan Anderson Group/Rare Medium at The Nicollet
. November 14, The Potash Twins at the Icehouse
. November 14, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. November 14, Gerard Ahlgren Quintet at the Black Dog
. November 16, Regina Carter's Southern Comfort at the Dakota
. November 17, Adam Meckler Orchestra at Vieux Carré
. November 18, Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge
. November 19, Jazz in the Target Atrium (Orchestra Hall), Atrium Jazz Ensemble + Ron Miles
. November 20, Minnesota Youth Jazz Bands at The Nicollet
. November 21, Joyce Lyons, Jazz @ St. Barneys
. November 21, What Would Monk Do at the Black Dog
. November 21, JazzMN Orchestra at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. November 22-23, Karrin Allyson at the Dakota
. November 23, Jen Shyu at the Icehouse
. November 24, Dave Karr Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. November 27, The Gang Font at the Icehouse
. November 27, Paul Harper Chorless Quartet at The Nicollet
. November 27, Patty Peterson at Parma 8200
. November 28, Pat Mallinger Quartet at Vieux Carré
. November 28, Group 47/Dave King's Vector Families at the Black Dog
. November 30, Pat Martino Quartet at the Dakota
. December 2, Diane Schuur at the Dakota
. December 4, The Girls at the Dakota
. December 4, Atlantis Quartet at The Nicollet
. December 5, Atlantis Quartet at the Black Dog
. December 8, Jamison Ross at the Dakota
. December 9-10, Ramsey Lewis Holiday Show at the Dakota
. December 14-15, New York Voices Holiday show at the Dakota
. December 16-17, Nachito Herrera and the Universals at the Dakota
. December 20, Peterson Family Christmas at the Dakota
. December 25-28, The Bad Plus at the Dakota
. January 10, Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues at the Dakota
. January 17, John Penny CD release at the Icehouse
. January 23, Jeremy Walker's Seven Psalms at Orchestra Hall
. January 31, TCJF Winter Jazz Festival with Cyrus Chestnut Trio at the Saint Paul Hotel
. February 2, Charles Lloyd Trio with Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. March 2-3, Brian Blade Fellowship at the Dakota
. March 5, Pete Whitman X-Tet at Hopkins Center for the Arts
. March 13, JazzMN Orchestra with Tierney Sutton at the Hopkins High School Auditorium

Regina Carter -- at the Dakota on November 16