Whether you are actually staying out later or not, there’s already a couple of shows to celebrate the season, as well as a show devoted to the music of Monk, an album release party, Brazilian trailblazers, and, as is often the case, many talented area musicians performing in the clubs.
Wednesday, November 28
What Would Monk Do? @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Steve Kenny, trumpet; Peter Schimke, piano; Billy Peterson, bass; and Kenny Horst, drums, give their own answers to the question, drawing on Monk’s repertoire, which, historians note, was not immediately accepted when he came on the scene in the late 40s and early 50s. Many of his tunes, like Round Midnight, and Well, You Needn’t, are now part of every jazz musicians book.
Dan Musselman Trio @ Red Stag, NE Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Dan is a sensitive and inventive pianist, who plays around town in various configurations and teaches at McNally Smith. He just completed his masters in composition and is now working on a doctorate.
Thursday, November 29
Dakota Combo @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 7pm (Free) Here’s a chance to catch some young talent stretching their musical muscles. Each year a new edition of the Combo is formed from open auditions. This year’s combo features eight talented high school students who have been rehearsing under the tutelage of bassist Adam Linz, jazz coordinator at MacPhail. This concert is part of the Young Artists Series of the Twin Cities Jazz Society. Stick around for the Pete Whitman X-Tet at 9pm.
Nichola Miller & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm. (Donation) The musicians hang-out is hosting the irrepressible singer, Ms Miller and her pianist beau, the talented Mr. Taylor. With the musicality inherent in both of them, this will be a fairly sublime experience.
Friday, November 3
Mother of Masks @ Bedlam Lowertown, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($5-$10 suggested donation) This appears to be the inaugural performance in the new Bedlam space across from the Union Depot. Mother of Masks is Davu Seru, percussion; poet Louis Alemayehu; vocalist Mankwe Ndosi; saxophonist Donald Washington; and bassist Anthony Cox. The performance will combine jazz improvisation, poetry, singing and storytelling. According to Seru, the name “The Mother of Masks” is a reference to the Dogon of Mali (a group that, due to their sophisticated cosmogony and resistance to cultural imperialism has, for decades now, been the source of much pride among Black Americans interested in Africa.
Friday, Saturday, November 30, December 1
Atlantis Quartet @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($15) Zacc Harris, guitar; Brandon Wozniak, sax; Chris Bates, bass; and Pete Hennig, drums; have been working out some new tunes, and to celebrate, they’re returning to the club that’s become somewhat of a home for them. They’ve been named the best jazz artists in the Twin Cities, and have earned well deserved kudos from jazz periodicals. This is what 21st Century jazz sounds like.
Monday, December 3
Embezzler & Fat Kid Wednesdays @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($5) Embezzler is Paul Metzger, Adam Linz, and JT Bates. Bates & Linz will be joined by Michael Lewis to become Fat Kid Wednesdays for the second set.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, November 28
Reina del Cid on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (KFAI 90.3, 106.7FM) and 7pm – 9pm (331 Club – tip jar) I’ve had a couple of musician friends tell me that Reina is a very talented singer and songwriter, and a view of her videos show that it’s true. Tune in to KFAI to find out and then follow up with a visit to the 331. Check her out.
Thursday, November 29
Irma Thomas @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($60 – $50) 9:00pm ($50 – $40) The Soul Queen of New Orleans is a class act. No histrionics. No meltdowns. Just emotionally strong singing and a welcoming stage presence. Before Katrina, her cozy bar was one of the required stops for any music fan visiting New Orleans, in large part due to her warm and inviting manner. Here she is doing one of her early hits.
Carl Franzen, Rahjita Ren, & Antonio Monerroso @ The 3rd Floor, 579 Selby, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 9:30pm ($?) Franzen is an introspective songwriter with a gift for words. That gift has served him as a successful ad man, writing some award winning jingles, and as a writer of On the Road, recorded by Michael Johnson and John Denver. He’s also recorded a couple of albums for RCA/Novus, and received a gold record as a producer of Najee’s Theme by the reedman. Tonight he’ll be accompanied by pianist Ren and guitarist Monerroso.
Friday, November 30
Os Mutantes @ Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25/door, $20/advance) Brazilian band Os Mutantes formed in the 60s, combining sambas, bossa novas, and psychedelic music. They were an influential band that helped birth the Tropicalia movement before breaking up. They reunited in 2006, released an album of new material in 2009, and are back touring the world. Here’s an early recording.
Silvertones @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) Sometimes you just want to dance to some music you know. For those of a certain age, the Silvertones will do the trick. Just a band having fun playing older songs with verve so you can dance your heart out.
Saturday, December 1
Farmhouse Band & Pistol Whippin’ Party Penguins @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 6pm (Farmhouse Band), 9pm (PWPP) (No cover) Acoustic roots music and freshy brewed beer. What a combo. Here’s a cute video of a PWPP song.
Eddies Annual Yulefest, w/Bara and HiBs @ The Hat Trick, Saint Paul. 7:30pm – 11:00pm ($15 Donation – ALL Proceeds to the Emergency Foodshelf Network) This is the fourth or maybe fifth year that the Eddies are doing this at the Hat Trick, Proceedings begin with the ceili music of Bara, followed by the HiBs, a duo playing flute, whistle and fiddle who were a hit at the Irish Fair this year. The Eddies close things off with their combination of sea chanties, and songs of work, and death, with a few pop tunes thrown in for good measure.
Deep Blues Fest Album Release Party @ Bayport BBQ, Bayport. 8pm ($10) Deep Blues is an outgrowth of stripped-down Hill Country Blues, with (mostly) younger artists using elements of punk, folk, rock n’ roll and Americana to get their songs across. Tonight the Bayport will celebrate the release of “Alive at the Deep Blues Fest,” featuring seven bands that performed at the festival last summer, including Left Lane Cruiser and John The Conquerer. The bands all record for Alive Naturalsound, out of L.A. and hover around the rock n’ roll wing of Deep Blues, playing with a fire and urgency that will lift you off your seats. To celebrate, owner Chris Johson is bringing in Lee Baines III & the Glory Fires, who are on the album, with Eleganza opening.
Papa John & the Hot Club Quartet @ Merlin’s Rest. 8pm (tip jar) Acoustic swing from Papa John Kolstad, guitar; Deano Mikkelson, guitar; Sam Fiske, trumpet; and Liz Draper, bass. Papa John always surrounds himself with talented musicians. Tonight, Liz Draper (Black Blondie, Lucy Michelle & the Velvet Lapelles, Nikki & the Rue-Mates, among others) brings her swinging bass to the group.
Sunday, December 2
MN Blues Society Holiday Party, w/Kildahl & Vondehaar, and Crankshaft @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 1:30 – 4:30pm. (Donation) This is also the Society’s Annual Meeting, so there’ll be a business meeting and elections before music by these two bands that are headed to Memphis for the International Blues Challenge.
Barbara LeShoure @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 7pm Though she now lives in this area, LeShoure is a member of the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. She sings the blues as well as anyone, but can also throw in a standard or two from the Great American Songbook, using a bit of scat singing to get her point across.