A varied bit of music here in the Twin Cities this week, ranging from straight ahead jazz, to swinging vocalists, to zydeco, rockabilly, and more, including a film about four jazz albums released in 1959.
Wednesday, November 16
Gary Berg Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10). I first heard Gary many years ago, when he was playing with a Brazilian group. I was impressed by his warm tone on the tenor sax, and his facility at improvising. I later found out he’s a bit of a bebopper as well. Well, he still has a warm tone. Still is a great improviser. He’s appeared on a number of albums by Twin Cities artists, and has been known to pull out a chromatic harmonica and apply his considerable chops to that instrument as well. To see a video of him at the Artists’ Quarter, go here.
Small City Trio @ Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm. (no cover). Jeremy Walker is back and town for a while, and the talented pianist/composer has been busy playing with Jeff Brueske, bass, and Tim Zhone, drums. His compositions have been called quirky, and compared to Monk and Mingus. Decide for yourself in a new venue for them.
Thursday, November 17
REEL Jazz presents “1959: The Year That Changed Jazz” @ The Trylon Microcinema, Minneapolis. 7pm & 9:30pm ($10). The year 1959 saw the release of four albums that changed the way many people thought about Jazz: Time Out by Dave Brubeck; Mingus Ah Um, by Charles Mingus; the Shape of Jazz to Come, by Ornette Coleman; and Kind of Blue by Miles Davis. This film examines the impact of those albums and their creators. Don’t bother with the 7pm show – it’s sold out. There are seats available in the small (50 seats) theater for the second screening, however.
Friday, November 18
Community Pool @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Lowertown Saint Paul. 8pm (tip jar). Every other week Brian Roessler (bass) and Nathan Hanson (tenor sax) host adventurous musicians. Tonight they’ll be joined by Pat O’Keefe (Zeitgeist) on clarinet and visual artist Ta Cumba Aiken on percussion and vocals. There’s no telling where their music will take us, but the journey will be memorable and fun.
Saturday, November 19
Regina Marie Williams Sings Nina Simone @ The Capri Theater, 2027 West Broadway, Minneapolis 7pm – 8:30pm ($25). Williams was outstanding in her role as Dinah Washington (Dinah Was) at the Ordway. Tonight she takes on the music of Simone, a force of nature. Williams will be accompanied by Sanford Moore, piano; Jay Young, bass; and Kevin Washington, drums.
Emily Green @ Eagles Club #34, 25th & 25th, , Minneapolis. 7:30pm – Midnight ($10) It’s swing dance night at the Eagles Club, with lessons at 7:30 and music beginning at 8:30. Emily Green is a fine singer, with great phrasing, who doesn’t play out enough. She’ll have a kickin’ rhythm section backing her. The Eagle’s great wooden dance floor responds nicely to the pounding of many shoes, and drink prices are very, very reasonable.
Zacc Harris Group @ Studio Z, 275 East 4th Street, Saint Paul. (free open rehearsal – 1pm) 7pm performance ($10). Zacc Harris has been curating this monthly series, Jazz at Studio Z, featuring a lively mixture of jazz from today’s players. This time he’s leading his own group, which is preparing to record an album. Besides Harris on guitar, the group includes Bryan Nichols, piano; the Bates brothers on bass and drums, and special guest Brandon Wozniak on sax. A special feature of this series are the open rehearsals on the day of the performance, where anyone can see what goes into preparing for a performance and ask questions.
Monday, November 20
Always and Forever CD Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($7). In 1996, the Illusion Theater presented this musical revue about the male side of relationships, and ended up with a sold-out show for three months. It was revived in 2020 with original cast members T. Michael Rambo, Dennis Spears, and Julius Collins III, along with newcomer Jackson Hurst. The directors and producers decided to record a CD featuring songs from the Revue, and tonight they are celebrating it’s release.
Tuesday, November 22
“Autumn – and Change” @ The Nicollet Coffee House, Minneapolis. With Vicky Mountain, Teresa Manzella, Karen Quroz, and Maggie Diebel. The little coffeehouse on the corner of Franklin & Nicollet continues its jazz programming with a quartet of stellar singers, all from the Jazz Vocalists of Minnesota. There’ll likely be some bebop, swing, and Brazilian tunes. The owners have applied for a beer and wine license, but even without one, it’s still a swinging venue.
For a comprehensive listing of jazz events, go to: http://jazz88.mpls.k12.mn.us/jazzcalendar.html
Roots, Blues, Other
Thursday, November 17
Taylor Baggot EP Release Party @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($5) I first came across Taylor Baggott when he sang at the Landmark Center last center, and subsequently saw him opening for Bettye Lavette. He’s an engaging singer-songwriter who mines old school soul for inspiration. Though Taylor’s singing might be called “blue-eyed soul” that doesn’t do him justice. He’s managed to get Michael Bland (Prince, Mambo’s combo) and Ryan Liesman (Jonas Bros) as producers for this effort, which includes musical contributions from other Twin Cities veterans. I like him well enough to have booked him as a guest when I host Harold’s House Party on Kfai on November 30.
Rosie Flores @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 11pm. ($8). With the Reckless Ones (9pm), and Adam Lee & The Dead Horse Sound (10pm). Slick up your pompadours and get your cat clothes out. It’s rockabilly time! Rosie has been at it now for 20 years or so, and is an exciting performer. As are the Reckless Ones, local boys who’ve actually done quite well for themselves in Europe, though they remain relatively unknown here in town.
Friday, November 18
Up From the Delta @ The Ritz Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Fattenin’ Frogs and Boys in the Barrels celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the movie soundtrack for “O Brother Where Art Thou.” They’ll be joined by Javier Matos, of the Innocent Sons, and others for an evening of songs inspired by and from the soundtrack. Lotsa Americana. Originally scheduled for the Loring, this has been moved.
Saturday, November 19
Joe Hall & the Louisiana Kane Cutters @ the Knights of Columbus, 1114 West American Blvd, Bloomington. 7pm ($12). The Krewe de Walleye are having another event featuring a Louisiana band. Hall and his crew play insistent, sweat-inducing zydeco with verve and panache. Lessons at 7pm, for those who want to learn the slip/slide shuffle to go with the music.
Paul Cebar @ Lee’s Liquor Lounge, Minneapolis. 9:30pm. ($10) Another chance to get out your dancing shoes, as Milwaukee’s charming and rhythmful Cebar brings his infectious blend of R&B, New Orleans, and Caribbean music to Lee’s. Get there early to get a table.
Phil Heywood @ Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) Here’s a chance to hear renowned fingerstyle guitarist Heywood in his hometown. He’s toured with Leo Kottke, played with Chet Atkins on Prairie Home Companion, recorded five CDs, and has won two different national fingerstyle championships. If you like your fingerstyle playing with a soupçon of Leadbelly, this is the place to be tonight. Here is a video of him performing.
Tuesday, November 22
Still Black, Still Proud, An African Tribute to James Brown @ The Ordway, Saint Paul. 7:30 ($20 – $38 + fees). Back in 1973, James Brown toured Africa as part of the build-up to the Foreman-Ali “Rumble in the Jungle.” He was already a worldwide star, and the tour only solidified his influence on the continent. This show pairs former Brown sidemen Pee Wee Ellis and Maceo Parker with Vusi Mahlasela, a soulful singer, and Cheikh Lo, among others, to present a “pan-continental funk-soul super group.” When a slightly different version of this show was at the Dakota a year or so back it was a joyous, rhythmic affair that had people dancing in the aisles, between tables, and wherever they could find a spot. Should be lots of fun. Check out my interview with Maceo from last spring here.
For a more complete listing of blues events, go to: http://www.gtcbms.org/gigs.html