Thursday, January 7, 2016

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, January 8-14



Bryan Nichols brings his trio to Walker West, January 8th

© Andrea Canter
The usual January deep-freeze is rumored to be enroute. Better get out and hear some hot jazz this weekend and store up some fuel to keep the music burning through the week! The 8'Oclock Jump series returns to Walker West; there's a new trio of veterans at the Black Dog; a Minnesota Orchestra retiree heads to the Dunsmore Room.. and more in area jazz this week.

Big Gigs This Week
JT Bates
Friday, January 8. Walker West Music Academy hosts the 2016 season of the Eight O'Clock Jump concert series, getting underway tonight with the Bryan Nichols Trio-- aka Nichols/Bates/Bates as pianist Bryan goes at it with Chris and JT Bates on bass and drums. It's sometimes radical, sometimes simply divine. And the intimate performance space at WWMA is a perfect environment.

Pete Whitman with the X-Tet
In another intimate space, the Pete Whitman X-Tet fills the subterranean gallery at Jazz Central, offering a too-rare opportunity to hear ten of the area's finest.

Jay Young
At the Dakota, Jay Young's Lyric Factory is back with another edition of Bandwidth, examining music that filled the airwaves from the likes of Prince, El Debarge, Jimi Hendrix, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Elton John and more. Jay--who plays the smaller piccolo bass in this band, assembles a fine line-up including son Ian on bass, Thom West on keys, Kevin Washington on drums, Ernest Bisong on violin, and vocalists Yolande Bruce, Heather McElrath and Linda Sloan.                                                                                                                                                        
Charmin and Denny
At Parma 8200, Denny Malmberg leads a swinging trio with bassist Tom Lewis and vocalist Charmin Michele. More swing in store at Vieux Carré as the Southside Aces gather on stage, following the evening's opening duo of pianist Joe Strachan and bassist Ted Olsen. Pretty much the whole history of jazz will be covered between 6 pm and midnight!

Tom Lewis and Pete Snell
Saturday, January 9. The veterans take over as Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog presents the Pete Snell Trio (with Tom Lewis and Phil Aaron), followed by a newish trio of jazz stalwarts -- Dean Granros, Chris Bates and Davu Seru, dubbed the Golden Circle Trio.... with rumors of a surprise guest.

Andrew Walesch
Jazz @ St. Barneys (at St Barnabas Lutheran Church in Plymouth) holds another concert in its season of stellar local talents. Tonight, young singer/pianist Andrew Walesch is in the spotlight with bassist Jeremy Boettcher and drummer Jay Epstein. Very likely Walesch will include some nods to muse Frank Sinatra as well as some material that shows his range goes well beyond Frank.

Kevin Gastonguay (Grain)
At the Amsterdam, swing is in season, starting out with the Mississippi Hot Club, followed by the Jazzland Wonderband, while the talents of Zacc Harris's guitar students await early arrivals at Vieux Carré, followed by Grain, JT Bates' organ trio (with Harris and Kevin Gastonguay).

And the regulars--hear the Talking Strings at the Loring Pasta Bar and Benny Weinbeck Trio at Parma 8200.

James Buckley
Friday/Saturday, January 8-9. In the Lobby Bar at the Saint Paul Hotel, JoAnn Funk and Jeff Brueske continue their weekend séance, while at the Icehouse, guitarist Jake Hanson and bassist James Buckley have back-to-back nights of dinner sets.

Prudence Johnson
Sunday, January 10. There's one less jazz brunch as Crooners has discontinued brunch in favor of Sunday night music in the Dunsmore Room. And three Sundays per month, that means Dan Chouinard's new Birthday Club. It's a bit of a reprise of his Singers Voice series that ran 1990-2000 at the Dakota. This time Dan and guest vocalists will celebrate musical birthdays and anniversaries. And what better pairing to start off the series than Dan and Prudence Johnson? hard to imagine they won't include some Gershwin even if neither George nor Ira has a January birthday?

Ernie Watts
Chicago Blues meets classical string quartet, world percussion and world renowned saxophone when Corky Siegel's Chamber Blues arrives at the Dakota tonight. In addition to percussionist Frank Donaldson and the West End String Quartet, the masterful Ernie Watts will be on the bandstand with the creative blues harmonicist. Hard to label, easy to enjoy.

Monday, January 11. In the lounge at Crooners, vocalist Colleen Raye explores the works of women songwriters of the 40s and 50s.  Coming from a different continent, Ethiopian bassist, now Minnesota resident Yonathan Bekure takes the spotlight at Jazz Central with unique, "diverse and soulful" music.

Tony Balluff, Southside Aces
From their gig at Vieux Carré, now the Southside Aces move across the river to sister club, The Dakota, bringing along their high-spirited interpretations of traditional New Orleans bands.

The Zacc Harris Group plays twice this week, starting tonight at the Icehouse for JT's Jazz Implosion. Guitarist Harris, along with Bryan Nichols, Chris and JT Bates, is warming up for a tour of the UK (including three nights at Ronnie Scott's); they play again Saturday at the Black Dog.

Tuesday, January 12. It's timpanist/drummer Peter Kogan's turn to check out the Dunsmore Room at Crooners' Lounge, and his quartet is as formidable an ensemble as any-- Pete Whitman on saxes, Anthony Cox on bass, and Phil Aaron getting his first crack at the Bösendorfer. Better make reservations.

Chris Lomheim
At Vieux Carré, it's the original Chris Lomheim Trio -- pianist Lomheim with Gordy Johnson and Jay Epstein reprising their efforts on the 2014 recording, Timelines. Expect some Lomheim originals and engaging covers.

At the Black Dog, second Tuesdays feature the Chris Olson Project, and tonight the guitar ace engages in duets with bassist Chris Bates. New string theories! And it's big band night at Jazz Central, with the Cedar Avenue Big Band on full display.

Chris Bates
Wednesday, January 13. Chris Bates has been leading a monthly new music night at Jazz Central (Magica Improvisada), featuring different configurations of top improvisers. To start 2016, he's decided to feature the same ensemble for the first three months -- joining pianist Joe Strachan and drummer Matt Buckner for
"Inventions and Dimensions." Says Chris, We’ll be workshopping everything over the first two months in an open rehearsal setting and then performing this new music for a digital release at the third session."

Adam Meckler Orchestra
Thursday, January 14. Back for a mostly monthly gig, the Adam Meckler Orchestra returns to Vieux Carré with a promise of some new tunes from Adam's creative pen.

You can go swing crazy with Gypsy Mania at Hell's Kitchen, or head to Jazz Central for Vocal Jazz Night (TBA).  And if you somehow missed the Southside Aces at their other gigs this week, there's one more--swing dance at the Eagles Club.

More Jazz
Keep up with the live jazz scene in the Twin Cities. A more comprehensive jazz calendar can be found at Jazz Police and KBEM, with additional listings on 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 next week will be guitarist/composer John Penny, sharing news of his upcoming CD release. Venues and artists are reminded to send information to online and print calendars (e.g. tc@jazzpolice.com).

Coming Soon!
John Penny CD Release at the Icehouse, January 17
. January 15, Zacc Harris' American Reverie, Friday Night Jazz at The Nicollet
. January 16, Nachito Herrera at the Dakota
. January 16, Midwest Sax Quartet/Zacc Harris Group, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 17, John Penny CD release at the Icehouse
. January 17, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Debbie Duncan in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 18, Twin Cities 7 with Maryann Sullivan at Crooners Lounge
. January 18-19, Davell Crawford Tribute to Allen Toussaint at the Dakota
. January 19, Bryan Nichols Trio at Vieux Carré
. January 19, Mary Louise Knutson Trio in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 21, Arne Fogel at Crooners Lounge
. January 22, Debbie Duncan Quartet at Crooners Lounge
. January 22, JazzINK Youth Showcase at The Nicollet
. January 22, Happy Apple at the Icehouse
. January 23, Jeremy Walker's Seven Psalms at Orchestra Hall
. January 23, Hagedorn Student Ensemble/Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 23, Rick Carlson and Steve Pikal at Jazz @St. Barneys
. January 23, John Raymond CD release at Vieux Carré
. January 23, Seven Steps to Havana at the Dakota
. January 23, Billy Peterson's 65th Birthday Bash at the Icehouse
. January 24, Dan Chouinard's Birthday Club with Patty Peterson, Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 25, Rick Carlson and Rachel Holder "In the Crook", Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. January 27, Butch Thompson and Dean Magraw at Vieux Carré
. January 29, Maud Hixson at Parma 8200
. January 29, Peter Kogan's Monsterful Wonderband at Vieux Carré
. January 30, Jana Nyberg Group at Vieux Carré
. January 30, Julian Biss, Tribute to Benny Goodman at Orchestra Hall
. January 30, Nextet/Dave Karr Group, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. January 30-31, Century College Jazz Festival featuring Randy Brecker
. January 31, Winter Jazz Festival at the Saint Paul Hotel, featuring the Cyrus Chestnut Trio
. February 2, Charles Lloyd Trio with Bill Frisell at the Dakota
. February 6, Dean Sorenson Sextet, Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog
. February 8-9, John Scofield and Joe Lovano at the Dakota
. February 11, Mack Avenue Super Band at the Dakota
. February 13, Carnival Brasiliero at International Market Square
. February 20, Retro Swing Sister (Maryann Sullivan and Rhonda Laurie) at Jazz @ St Barneys
. February 20, Bill Frisell "When You Wish Upon a Star" ensemble at the Dakota
. February 22, Ches Smith Trio with Craig Taborn at the Icehouse
. February 25, Rez Abassi with Vijay Iyer and Rudresh Mahanthappa at Walker Art Center
. February 25, Jazz in the Target Atrium, Atrium Jazz Ensemble with Bryan Nichols at Orchestra Hall
. February 27, Shifting Paradigm's Winter Jazz Fest at Studio Z
. 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
. March 23, Geoffrey Keezer in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
. April 3-4, SF Jazz Collective at the Dakota
. April 19, Lizz Wright at the Dakota
. April 23, JazzMN Orchestra with Bob McChesney and Andy Martin at Hopkins High School Auditorium
. April 28, Jazz in the Target Atrium at Orchestra Hall
. May 7, Steve Lehman Octet at the Walker Art Center
. June 23-25, Twin Cities Jazz Festival, Mears Park
. July 1-3, Iowa City Jazz Festival

Hear the Lead Sheet live, Thursdays at 4:41 pm on KBEM 88.5 FM!