Friday, May 12, 2017

The Lead Sheet: Twin Cities Live Jazz, May 12-18

Karrin Allyson, at the Dakota on May 15

© Andrea Canter

It looks like a great spring week coming our way with national headliners and local talents--talents that could be national headliners.

Big Gigs This Week

Steve Coleman's Natal Eclipse*
Friday, May 12.  One of the most lauded composers and bandleaders of his generation, saxophonist Steve Coleman brings his rarely performed project, Natal Eclipse, to the McGuire Theater at the Walker. The New York Times describes Coleman as “one of the most rigorously conceptual thinkers in improvised music." Usually that means it is over my head but a pleasure to hear anyway. And his band--without percussion-- includes such unique talents as trumpeter Jon Finlayson, pianist Matt Mitchell and vocalist Jen Shyu.

Rodney Ruckus
A last-minute addition to the Jazz Central "Masters" series tonight, multi-instrumentalist Rodney Ruckus--officially now a California resident-- is back in town with a quartet of monsters: Aaron Hedenstrom on sax, Will Kjeer on piano, Jax Ravel on bass, and of course The Ruckus on drums.

Linda Peterson
Pianist, vocalist and composer Linda Peterson finishes her run of happy hours at Crooners Lounge, followed by the always chariming Sophia Shorai; savvy singer Lila Ammons is back at the Hennepin Steam Room; at the Icehouse, Patrick Harison and James Buckley provide some accordion/bass duo charms over the dinner hours; and at Vieux Carre', Jeremy Walker plays the first set of a triple header, followed by the Twin Cities Hot Club and then Cedric Fuller's Global Sounds. 

Max Johnson*
Saturday, May 13. Jazz Central hosts a special night with the Max Johnson Trio, featuring Russ Johnson, Max Johnson and Tim Daisy. Trumpeter Russ recently left New York City for the Midwest, bassist Max remains in New York, and drummer Daisy is active in Chicago. All three are well-known in improvised music circles. 

Dean Magraw, Open Story
At the Black Dog, it's Open Story, a relatively new trio of Dean Magraw, Bryan Nichols and Jay Epstein, headlining the Saturday Night Jazz series. They follow an opening set on the JazzINK Youth Showcase featuring the Walker West Jazz Ensemble, a group of teen musicians who are well versed in the jazz idiom.

Charmin & Shapira
Charmin & Shapira are back at Midtown Global Market for a midday break; Benny Weinbeck brings his trio to Parma 8200; the Kronick Quintet lands at Public Kitchen; the Travis Anderson Trio entertains at the Normandy Kitchen

Gwen Matthews
Sunday, May 14.  It's Mother's Day and there's a wide range of choices for Mom, from brunch with Patty and the Buttons at the Aster or with Southside Aces at the Dakota or Debbie Duncan at Crooners,  to the Birthday Club in the Dunsmore Room with Dan Chouinard and Gwen Matthews, contemporary piano whiz Keiko Matsui at the Dakota, and the Zacc Harris Trio at the Riverview Wine Bar; or take mom dancing to the sounds of Charmin Michelle and the Jerry O'Hagan Orchestra at Cinema Ballroom.

Karrin Allyson
Monday, May 15. The Dakota hosts a one night, two-show delight with vocalist/pianist and honorary Minnesotan Karrin Allyson, who has never yet, in my experience, delivered anything but an inspired performance. She comes with a new project, "Allyson Sings Allison," as in Mose Allison. Given Karrin's affinity for the blues (e.g., her terrific album, In Blue), this pairing of performer and composer should be a winner.

Todd Clouser
And at the Icehouse, JT's Jazz Implosion goes heavy on percussion with an opening solo set from Billy Martin of Medeski, Martin and Wood, followed by a quartet featuring visiting St Paul native guitarist Todd Clouser and percussion with Martin, JT Bates and Martin Dosh.

Dave Graf
At Jazz Central, the spotlight hits trombone master Dave Graf.  So often a sideman with big bands (JazzMN Orchestra), Latin Projects (Salsa del Soul) and smaller ensembles (Source Code), we need these reminders of Dave's dazzling skills as soloist and bandleader.

Dave King
Monday-Tuesday, May 15-16. In the Dunsmore Room, enjoy two nights with the Dave King Trio--that's Dave on drums with Bill Carrothers on piano and Billy Peterson on bass. They released one acclaimed album a few years ago (I've Been Ringing You) with another due out soon.

Tuesday, May 16. Get a taste of modern New Orleans jazz with a visit from the Extended Trio at the Black Dog. With Brad Webb on drums, Matt Booth on bass, and Oscar Rossignoli on piano, the trio is gaining a strong following in NOLA and spreading its wings northward.

John Penny
A tantalizing duo brings sublime intensity to the early sets at Vieux Carre' tonight, with pianist Steven Hobert joining forces with eclectic guitarist John Penny. Across town at Jazz Central, the Explosion Big Band (led by Scott Agster and Doug Haining) bursts out on Big Band Night.

Marcus Roberts
Tuesday-Wednesday, May 16-17. It's been a while since we enjoyed the Marcus Roberts Trio in the Twin Cities, and they take the stage at the Dakota for two nights. Aside from the remarkable artistry of pianist Roberts, the trio's longevity has allowed their music to develop its own momentum--drummer Jason Marsalis has been part of the unit for over 20 years; bassist Rodney Jordan is the newbie with only an 8-year association. Things will swing.

Wednesday, May 17. The Dunsmore Room hosts drummer Daniel Glass of the Royal Crowne Revue, along with Duluth-based bassist Veikko Lepisto, and Twin Cities heroes Andrew Walesch on piano and vocals and Dave Karr on sax. 

Chris Lomheim with Jay Young
At Jazz Central the Chris Lomheim Quintet takes the bandstand. Better known for his trios, pianist Lomheim leads an enviable cast with Adam Rossmiller on trumpet, Pete Whitman on sax, Jay Young on bass, and Dave Schmalenberger on drums.  

Thursday, May 18. New York City's Kristen Lee Sargent comes to town, performing with the great saxophonist Ted Nash at Vieux Carre'. They're celebrating her new album, Inside Out. Nash, a veteran of the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, has been heard locally with Jeremy Walker's Atrium Jazz Ensemble.

Below Zero
A double-header at Reverie: The opening set features one of the busiest teen jazz bands in town, Below Zero. This band of mostly 9th-10th graders started out as a MacPhail Center for Music ensemble and now has a life of its own. Later in the evening, Steve Kenny leads a trio with older young lions including Ted Olsen on bass and Miguel Hurtado on drums.

Mike Lewis
Rare Medium appears at Whiskey Junction with some original music from saxophonist Joan Hutton; Vicky Mountain returns to Jazz Central's Vocal Jazz night; Lori Dokken joins the Wolverines Trio at Crooners Lounge; and at Khyber Pass, saxophonist Michael Lewis takes the spotlight, with or without colleagues....only Michael knows for sure.

More Jazz!
See the Live jazz calendar posted on the KBEM website, and see more about jazz events at --online and on facebook. Tune into the live edition of The Lead Sheet on KBEM 88.5 fm every Thursday at 4:40 pm, rebroadcast on Fridays at 8:20 am. On Thursday, May 18, Andrea's guests will be young guns Will Schmid and Charlie Lincoln who are cooking up a jazzy tribute to the music of Low.

Coming Soon!
. May 19, Phil Hey Quartet at Jazz Central
. May 20, Lease-Moriarty Quartet/Angelica Sanchez Trio at the Black Dog
. May 21, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 20s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. May 22, Peter Kogan Quintet at the Icehouse
. May 22, Arne Fogel and the Acme Jazz Company at Crooners Lounge
. May 23, Maud Hixson, "Judy Garland: Muse and Musician" in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 25, Pete Hennig Trio at Reverie
. May 25, Will Schmid/Charlie Lincoln Quintet Presents the Music of Low at the Black Dog
. May 25, Dorothy Doring at Jazz Central
. May 26, Will Schmid/Greg Lewis Ensemble at Jazz Central
. May 27, Selby Brass Band/Park Evans Quintet at the Black Dog
. May 28, Regina Marie Williams "Nina Simone" at the Dakota
. May 28, Sam Miltich and Dave Karr, Music of Lester Young in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 30, Donald Washington Group at the Black Dog
. May 30, Erin Schwab, Tribute to Judy Garland and Bette Midler in the Dunsmore Room at Crooners Lounge
. May 31, Chris Potter "Dreamer is the Dream" Quartet at the Dakota
. May 31, Judi Vinar and Lori Dokken "Unplugged" at Crooners Lounge
. June 1, Zacc Harris Group at Reverie
. June 2, Rio Nido at the Dakota
. June 3, TC Seven Swing Dance at 301 on Main
. June 3, Paul Harper Bardo Band/No Room for Squares at the Black Dog
. June 3-8, Icehouse Fifth Anniversary Party
. June 5, Ottmar Liebert and Luna Negra at the Dakota
. June 8, Chris Bates Good Vibes Trio at Reverie
. June 10, Doug Haining Tribute to Horace Silver/Jax Revel Group at the Black Dog
. June 13-14, Candy Dulfer at the Dakota
. June 15, Wayne Horvitz/George Cartwright Group at Reverie
. June 17, How Birds Work/Simon Petrick Group at the Black Dog
. June 17, Twin Cities Jazz Fest Preview Night at Hennepin Ave Methodist Church
. June 17, Joel Shapira CD Release at Vieux Carre'
. June 19, Jane Bunnett and Macaque at the Dakota
. June 21, Christian Sands at the Dakota
. June 22-24, Twin Cities Jazz Festival (McCoy Tyner with Joshua Redman, Terence Blanchard, Anat Cohen, Bobby Lyle, Emmet Cohen)
. June 23-24, Dorado Schmitt and Django All Stars at the Dakota
. June 25, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 30s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. June 25, Reynold Philipsek Film Release, "A Life Well Played" at the Schneider Theater
. June 29, Steven Hobert Quartet at Reverie
. June 30-July 2, Iowa City Jazz Festival with Donny McCaslin, Stacy Kent, The Cookers, Laura Caviani, John Raymond, Dakota Combo and more
. July 14, Glen David Andrews at the Dakota
. July 23, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 40s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. July 26-27, Pharoah Sanders at the Dakota
. August 7, Chris Thomson Band with John Raymond at the Icehouse
. August 8, Cyrille Aimee at the Dakota
. August 20, Maud Hixson and Rick Carlson, Music of the 50s at St Albert the Great (1 pm)
. August 24, Debbie Duncan Live Album Recording at the Dakota
. August 30, Dr Lonnie Smith at the Dakota

Phil Hey Quartet at Jazz Central, May 19

*All photos by Andrea Canter except where marked with *. Photo of Max Johnson courtesy of Anthem Records.