Forget the tired old references to resolutions. Simply go out and support live music. It has the power to elevate us, inspire us, bring us together as a community. Come to think of it, maybe Congress needs to have some soul-satisfying concerts that all would attend. Can you imagine them singing along with Garnet Rogers, dancing to Jack Klatt, or bopping to Spiral Visions? (All noted below) But I digress. There’s plenty of good music in town, and here’s a few ideas.
Thursday, January 3
Sue Oatts & Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Donation) While Sue’s singing seems oh so natural, that’s the beauty of it. Her phrasing, rhythmic sense, and sensitivity takes singing miles beyond what many of us could attempt. Tanner’s piano playing is a wonder, and perfect when it comes to accompanying vocalists.
Dean Harrington and the Mill City Hot Club @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Harrington brings the gypsy jazz of Django Reinhardt to the cozy little bar/cafe with a big tea list and skyline views.
Friday, January 4
Koplant No @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) This midwest quartet started out in Iowa City with a vision of combing jazz and electronics. Others have tried such an experiment, but to my mind, no one has succeeded quite so well, as those who saw them at last summer’s Twin Cities Jazz Festival can attest. Atmospheric electronics serve as a bed and accents for the improvisations of Joel Vanderhyden, tenor sax; Brian Lewis Smith, trumpet, keys, and drum programming; Drew Morton, bass, synths, and french horn; and Rob Banier, drums. They’ll have a new CD available.
Friday, Saturday, January 4, 5
Spiral Visions @ The Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul. 9pm ($12) Dave Milne, sax; Dave Hagedorn, vibes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Phil Hey, drums. Five outstanding musicians pay homage to the Bobby Hutcherson/Harold Land Quintet of the late 60s. Expect some soulful hard bop.
Saturday, January 5
JelloSlave @ Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($8) With a repertoire that ranges from JS Bach to Led Zeppelin and Aster Piazolla, and rhythms that incorporate African, Caribbean, and Middle Eastern influences, Michelle Kinney and Jacqueline Ultan, cellos; Gary Waryan, tablas; and Greg Schutte, drums, create compelling improvisational music that defies easy categorization..
The Kelly Rossum/Jeremy Walker Quartet @ Dakota Late Night, Minneapolis. 11pm ($5) We haven’t heard adventurous trumpeter Rossum for a couple of years. He’s now Jazz Director at Christopher Newport University in Virginia, where he shares his modern approach to the trumpet with students. His past projects here in town included the electric jazz/funk outfit Electropolis, as well as a few terrific CDs. Pianist Walker is gathering many kudos for his compositions and his warm playing. Should be an evening of stellar original jazz.
Sunday, January 6
Fuzzy Math @ The Red Stag, Minneapolis. 9pm (Free) Swingin’ contemporary material from composer/pianist Mark Vandermyde and Jason Parvey, sax; Keith Friede, bass; and Harald Bondaris on drums. City Pages named them a runner up in 2012 for “Best Jazz Act for People Bored with Jazz.”
Tuesday, January 8
Bill Evans’ New Orleans Jazz Band @ Bennett’s Chop & Railhouse, 1305 West 7th, Saint Paul. 7pm (no cover) On the second Tuesday of every month, trombonist Bill Evans brings six of his musical compadres to Bennett’s to celebrate the polyphonic, syncopated traditional jazz of New Orleans. They’ll be filling the small neighborhood restaurant with a joyous sound. Tonight, KBEM will be recording the group for future broadcast.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, January 2
White Iron Band Unplugged on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90’s .3 FM & 106.7 FM) and 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) This six-piece band that started in Ely uses blues, country, and roots influences to sing about everyday people – though the everyday people are more honky-tonk than Sly Stone, that’s for sure. They’re going acoustic for this date, which starts with an appearance on Harold Tremblay’s House Party on KFAI, and moves over to the 331 Club.
Thursday, January 3
Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ The Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm (No cover) NIkki’s been playing a bit more electric guitar lately, which makes her folk-rock compositions all the more interesting. She and the guys (Rich Rue, Resonator and slide; Jon Larson, bass; Jimmy T, drums) are at the Driftwood the first Thursday of every month. Here’s a video of them sans drummer.
Josh Granowski & Patrick Harrison @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (no cover) Bassist Granowski and button accordionist Harrison create late night music featuring their own arrangements of songs from the movies.
Friday, January 4
Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm (Free) Jackson Buck of KFAI moves his popular Freewheelin’ First Friday series to an early evening spot, which is better for folks of a certain age. To kick things off, Jackson has a trio of rootsy players: Tom Feldman will start at 7pm, followed by Dave Babb w/Sneaky Pete Bauer at 8:15 and Jack Klatt and the Cat Swingers at 9:30pm.
Garnet Rogers @ Celtic Junction, Saint Paul. 8pm ($18) Canadian-born Rogers started singing with his older brother Stan during the 70s. Garnet’s deep baritone, together with his ability to write highly descriptive and literate lyrics have made him a favorite among fans of folk music.
Saturday, January 5
Papa John Kolstad & the Hot Club of East Lake Street @ Merlin’s Rest, Minneapolis. 8:30pm – Midnight (Tip Jar) First: If you want to drink adult beverages in this neighborhood bar, be sure to bring an ID, no matter what your age. Second: You have a large selection of Scotch, Irish Whiskey, and beer to choose from, as well as some classic British Pub Food. And Last, but certainly not least: Papa John and the Hot Club will have your feet tapping, your grin showing, and even a few folks dancing as they play acoustic swing that includes standards and gypsy jazz.
Monday, Tuesday, January 7, 8
Nellie McKay @ the Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) Read some reviews of singer/pianist/ukelele player McKay and a number of same words pop up all the time: Quirky, idiosyncratic, charming, disarming, and the like. Onstage it seems as if whatever her brilliant mind thinks comes out of her mouth without a filter, whether she’s espousing feminism in her own sly way, or commenting on world affairs. The result is always a winning performance. Here’s a link to a video showcasing two sides of her singing.