What a week to be a jazz fan, what with three major jazz players coming to town (two on the same night!), and a slew of interesting gigs from resident artists. Fans of blues and roots music also have many good choices this week, of which I’ve only listed a few. Be sure to take advantage of our area’s rich palette of music. By the way, it’s time once again for Daylight Savings Time, originally passed in 1918 to give farmers an extra hour to work the fields.
Thursday, March 7
Nichola Miller and Tanner Taylor @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm – 10pm (Suggested Donation) The sassy Ms Miller and the classy Mr. Taylor are quite the couple. Her take-no-prisoners approach to some songs is equally matched by Taylor’s piano playing, which can go from stride to bebop to romantic, all in the space of a solo. Miller is expecting a baby soon, and warns this may be the last chance to hear her for a while. Here’s a video of Tanner at Jazz Central.
Friday March 8
Ginger Commodore & GCQ @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Bobby Commodore is turning 60, so the Commodore Family is featured tonight, beginning with Ginger & the Quintet (Bobby, drums; Lee Blaske, piano; Mark Wesburg, bass; Deevo, guitar; and Kathy Jensen on sax), followed by BoomBox @ Dakota Late Night, ($5) with Brandon Commodore on drums, Ashley Commodore on vocals, and Jess Larson, guitar/vocals; Beeph, vocals; Avid Bilingsley, keys; and Yohannas Tona, bass. Ginger takes on the old gospel/Ben E. King hit in this video.
Greg Byers Recital, featuring Lucia Newell @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm Greg Byers on cello; Andrew Fleser, piano; Lucia Newell, vocals; Chris Olson, guitar; Kristin Sponcia, piano; Chris Bates, bass; and Dave Stanoch on drums. This is Greg’s final recital for his Masters in Music degree from MacNally Smith. There will be three sets: the first featuring music from Argentine composers of the 20th Century; the second featuring bossa novas and ballads, with Lucia Newell singing; and the third featuring Byers’ original compositions using a latop to create a mixture of electronic and acoustic music.
Friday, Saturday, March 8, 9
Dave King Trio @ the Artists’ Quarter, Saint Paul, 9pm ($15) What a powerhouse trio. King on drums, Billy Peterson on bass, and Bill Carotthers on piano. They’ve recently played at the Blue Note in New York. Lucky us that King and Peterson live here, and Carotthers, born in the Twin Cities, lives close enough (Michigan) to easily returen for a gig here. There 2012 album, I’ve Been Ringing You, is mostly standards, and has been getting good reviews.
Saturday, March 9
Fat Kid Wednesdays @ Jazz at Studio Z, Studio Z, Saint Paul. 5pm workshop (free), 7pm performance ($10) Adam Linz, bass; Michael Lewis, sax; and JT Bates, drums, have been playing together as Fat Kid Wednesdays since the three were teenagers. Though many might call their music free jazz, they actually play composed music, and are well known and adored in France as well as here in the Twin Cities. All three are crazy about Ornette Coleman’s music and will be performing it tonight. Attendees at the workshop receive a $2 discount for the show.
Randy Brecker w/JazzMN Orchestra @ Hopkins HS Performing Arts Center, Hopkins. 7:30pm ($33/$29, $10 students) Trumpeter Brecker is at the top of his career nowadays, and the JazzMN Orchestra is lucky to have him. You can share that luck by going to see him. Here he is in another guest artist performance.
McCoy Tyner Quartet with Special Guest Gary Bartz @ the Hopkins Center for the Arts, Hopkins. 8pm ($36) Tyner has been with us a long time, having gained some fame even before playing with John Coltrane. He’s a 5 Time Grammy Winner and NEA Jazz Master, so if you’ve never seen him, now’s the time. Another reason is saxophonist Bartz, who first met Tyner in the 60s when Bartz was a member of Charles Mingus’ Jazz Workshop. Bartz was in Tyner’s band in 1968, and went on to perform with max Roach and record for Miles Davis on Live-Evil.
Sunday, Monday, March 10, 11
Charles Lloyd Sky Trio w/Gerald Clayton @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45), 9pm ($35) Sax player Lloyd was one of the jazz artists that had some commercial success during the late 60s and early 70s, playing the Monterrey Jazz Festival, San Francisco’s Fillmore and similar venues. His late 60’s quartet included Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette, and Cecil McBee. Since the 80s, he’s been recording for ECM. The Sky Trio includes Reuben Rogers on bass and Eric Harland on drums. Special guest, pianist Gerald Clayton, is no stranger to the Dakota, having played here in a number of bands.
Monday, March 11
Andrew Foreman Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm (No Cover) Foreman is a versatile bass player, able to tackle Latin, soul, jazz, and rock, with groups such as Parker Paisley, The Max Corcoran Project, the Dan Musselman Trio, Shoop, and Ticket to Brasil. I’m inclined to think this will be a jazz outing, but whatever it is, Foreman’s music will only enhance Barbette’s already great late night happy hour.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, March 6
Wax Museum @ Palmers Bar, Minneapolis. 9:30pm This is an open deejay night. Anyone can sign up to spin records of your choice for 20 minutes. Of course, the later you arrive, the fewer spots are open. The last 20 minutes are usually a round robin, with the hard-core participants spinning only one or two records at a time. Music can range from classic country of the 50s, to Swedish death metal, Turkish disco, reggae, and garage bands.
Derobe Dance Band and Black Market Brass @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($6) It’s a double dose of Twin Cities Afrobeat. The Secret Stash guys have re-issued so many Afrobeat recordings that it seems to have seeped into their blood. The Derobe Dance Band is the result, and it lives up to its name, with irresistible rhythms, pulsing horns, and a playlist that draws on 1970s West African tunes. The Black Market Brass Band will add some Afrobeat flavoring to the evening.
Thursday, March 7
Nikki & the Rue-Mates @ the Driftwood Char Bar, Minneapolis. (Tip jar) Nikki’s bell-like voice and Rich Rue’s ringing guitar once again grace the stage of this South Minneapolis neighborhood bar. Don’t put off seeing them.
Friday, March 8
Willie Murphy & the Angel-Headed Hipsters @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($?) Willie loves to play the Eagles, because there’s a good, wooden dance floor, with plenty of room for dancers to shake it to rock n’ roll, funk n’ soul, and whatever else Willie decides to put down.
Saturday, March 9
Maurice Jacox Band @ Holihans Pub, White Bear Lake. 7pm – 11pm (No Cover) With John Della Selva on guitar; Thomas West on keys & keeping the bass; and Rob Stupka on drums, Maurice and his band will be keepin’ the energy high at this smallish, friendly place. There is a (small) dance floor and free street parking.
Sunday, March 10
Secret Stash Soul Revue & More @ Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 3pm – all night. ($10 donation) This is a benefit for James “Creeper” Vasquez, the original drummer for Band of Thieves in the 70s, who has Pancreatic cancer. Besides the Soul Revue, which has been packing clubs whenever they play, we’ll hear from Willie Walker and Maurice Jacox with their own groups, as well as the Unknown Prophets, DJ Espada, and Jimi Primetime Smith. Plenty of danceable music.
The Ericksons, Barbara Jean, & Molly Maher @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) It seems to be Woman’s Night a the Turf, but it’s just as easily billed as Roots Night. However you choose to look at it, three talented artists will be performing. The Ericksons are a sister duo, who also perform with a band. The create beautiful, spare tunes with roots in Americana. Singer/songwriter Barbara Jean plays violin and banjo, and has appeared on the Mountain Stage radio show. Molly Maher is a soulful singer and guitar player who writes great songs that are grounded in Americana. Here is the Ericksons’ official video for Gone Blind, from their recent CD Wild.