What a week! We have four CD releases (two each on Friday and Saturday), as well as a few visiting artists and interesting combinations of resident artists. I’m finishing this up while on vacation, so please excuse the lack of photo. I’m publishing a bit early, and have tried to include links to videos where possible.
Wednesday, October 15
Whitman, Lomheim, Young & Hey @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Pete Whitman brings a trio of first call musicians to join him for tonight’s edition of the New Music Series. Pete Whitman, sax; Chris Lomheim, piano; Jay Young, bass; and Phil Hey, drums.
Thursday, October 16
Connie Olson @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) It’s a Thursday, so it’s vocal night at Jazz Central, tonight featuring Ms Olson, who grew up here, but moved to Los Angeles during the 80s. Since then she’s worked with the Peter Duchin Big Band, as well as musicians from Manhattan Transfer, and the bands of Prince and Madonna. She has a particular interest in the music of Doris Day.
Friday, October 17 Babatunde Lea Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Babatunde Lea is now a resident of Saint Paul, which hopefully means we’ll be seeing more of him in the clubs. For those of you who aren’t aware of Lea, he plays a combination of trap set and congas, and has played with Pharaoh Sanders, Leon Thomas, and Stan Getz, among others. For tonight, he’s gathers some of the area’s best musicians: Nelson Deveraux, sax; Zacc Harris, guitar; Phil Aaron, piano; and Graydon Peterson, bass. Here is an example of how he plays drums and congas at the same time.
Connie Evingson w/the John Jorgenson Gypsy Jazz Quintet Album Release @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($30) A highly anticipated collaboration. The John Jorgenson Gypsy Jazz Quintet may be the best exponent of gypsy jazz in the United States. Jorgenson is an imaginative virtuoso guitarist who is equally at home backing Elton John, or playing country and bluegrass, but gypsy jazz is his love. Our own Evingson is a stellar vocalist who is equally versatile and highly conversant with the form, having recorded two excellent albums, Gypsy in My Soul, and Stockholm Sweetnin’ with four different hot club groups. Hear her from the Stockholm Sweetnin’ album here.
Dean Magraw & Eric Kamau Gravatt CD Release @ The Landmark Center, Saint Paul. 8pm ($20) This drum/guitar duo is anything but boring, but then, both players are virtuosos on their instruments, and have the ability to musically communicate with each other in an almost telepathic way. Magraw is a versatile guitarist whose background includes playing with Greg Brown, Jack McDuff, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and numerous Irish bands. As recently as a few years ago, Gravatt toured with McCoy Tyner. He’s also played with Joe Henderson and Weather Report, and Natural Life, and can be seen around town leading his own Source Code. The album features originals ranging from an homage to the funky drummer for 60s soul group Dyke & the Blazers, to a lilting Irish air, and a sun-filled melody for cruising down a highway.
Saturday, October 18
Chris Lomheim Trio CD Release @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10) Chris Lomhein, piano; Gordon Johnson, bass; and Jay Epstein, drums have gotten together to record a CD 20 years after their first CD together. The result, Timeless, covers a range of moods, from the sprightly To Feel or Not To Feel, to the stately Dedication. The playing of the trio is, at times, luminescent. To be sure, Timeless has many uplifting moments.
PipJazz Live: Pippi Ardennia’s Birthday Bash @ The Capri Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25 Adult/$5 Student) Pippi sings in the moment, changing lyrics, stretching a groove, and occasionally changing the rhythm to suit her mood, backed by an all-star band of Twin Cities artists. The PipJazz Live series features young guest artists, and for this occasion Pippi will have Peter Goggin, a Moundsview HS senior as her guest. Peter’s sax playing is very impressive, as he has demonstrated as a two-year member of the Dakota Combo.
Sunday, October 19
Michael Attias w/Pat Moriary, Ellen Lease, Chris Bates @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 6pm – 8pm ($10/$5 students Suggested Donation) Minnesota raised and NYC-based saxophonist/composer Michael Attias is visiting once again as part of a tour that includes performances in Chicago and at Edgefest in Ann Arbor. He’s taking this opportunity to play with his former teacher Moriarty, sax; Ellen Lease, piano; and Chris Bates, bass. You can expect compositions from each group member as well as some free improvisation, which in the hands of these musicians, can be quite wonderful. Here is an example of Attias and Moriarty playing together.
Monday, October 20
Dave Brattain @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 suggested Donation) Brattain is a melodic, expressive saxophonist who teaches at Wayzata HS and has played with the CedarAvenue Big Band for over 20 years. He’ll be using this opportunity to have fun playing songs outside of his usual repertoire, backed by the Jazz Central rhythm team. There’ll then be a jam session starting about 10pm.
Fall of the House of User @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Bassist Chris Bates heads up this horn-heavy group, which experiments with improvisation of world music, including some elements of spoken word. Chris Cunningham, guitar; Nelson Deveraux, Adrian Larkin, Elliot Wachs, and Jon Davis; saxophone, and Greg Schutte, drums.
Twin Cities Hot Club Trio @ Barbette, Minneapolis. 10pm. (No Cover) Seems like the Barbette is sticking its toe in the water of live music once again after an absence of a few months. So far it’s only Monday nights. Tonight the Twin Cities Hot Club Trio is performing. The TCHC calls on a number of musicians, depending on the gig, but it appears that Robert Bell and Stan Ponkin, guitars, and Matt Peterson, bass will be playing while you enjoy a fabulous happy hour.
Tuesday, October 21
Explosion Big Band @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) This is a good name for this 18 piece band led by Doug Haining, sax; and Scott Agster, trombone. Jazz Central provides a relaxed room in which to revel in their power.
Blues, Roots, Other…
Wednesday, October 15 Dan Israel on KFAI and @ the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Generally recognized as a rocker (albeit of the softer variety), Israel writes honest and personal songs that work well with his three-piece band, the Cultivators, as well as solo. He’s been playing around the Twin Cities for 20 years or so, and has released a dozen albums, including Danthology, a 2LP overview of his work. Tune in to listen, then head over to the 331 Club if you like what you hear.
Thursday, October 16
Papa John Kolstad @ Vine Arts Gallery, 2637 27th Ave So, Minneapolis. 6:30 – 8:30pm (Free) This event is part of KBEM’s Gallery Grooves series. Gather to look over the art exhibition, Get Behind the Work II, presented by the Members of the Vine Arts Gallery. There will be refreshments, and an artist talk, while Papa John and perhaps some Friends provide acoustic swing to accompany your art-filled, and artful conversations. Watch him at work.
Orkestar Bez Ime @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7:30 pm (Tip Jar) Move the tables, because there is going to be some some wild and raucous dancing to the highly energetic Balkan dance sounds of OBI.
Kat Edmonson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) With a light voice that’s part waif, part siren, and a little bit of Billie Holiday, Texas-born Edmonson has toured with Lyle Lovett, and has appeared on Austin City Limits and Prairie Home Companion. Though her releases have shown up on the jazz charts, she incorporates rock n’ roll, country, and folk into her originals, and re-imagines both well-known pop songs as well as standards. check her out.
Friday, October 17
Sena Ehrhardt Band @ Wilebski’s Blues Saloon, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($?) Ehrhardt is making a name for herself as a major blues rockin’ talent, as evidenced by a very positive review in the latest issue of Downbeat magazine. This early show lets you go home early or gives you time to visit another club and make a two-fer of music for the evening.
The House Party @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 7pm. Harold Tremblay of KFAI’s House Party brings his partying friends to the Tap Room, starting at 7pm with the Zach Guaza Duo (you may know Zach from Sans Souci); Hurricane Harold himself takes the stage with compadre Doug Otto at 8:15, and one of the area’s best Americana/soul/rock n’ roll singers, Jon Rodine, who also pens great originals, closes out the night with Friends at 9:30pm.
Mauilotus: The Marilyn Allysum Group @ The 1st Unitarian society, 900 Mount Curve Ave, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($20, $15 advance) This is music that seems to go beyond genres, with aspects of jazz, folk, and a number of world musics. Some of the tunes were written by Indian poet saints in the 15th and 16th centuries. Others are based on ancient yoga of sacred music. And still others are written by Marilyn Allysum, flute, piano, vocals and the Gu Zheng, a Chinese plucked zither with 21 strings. Additional musicians in the group include Charles Fletcher, bass guitars; Mike Hurley, drums and percussion; and David Wolfe on Persian harp. The resulting music can be contemplative and uplifting at the same time.
Lil’ Ed & the Blues Imperials @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($7) The excitable and exciting slide guitar master will grab your body with his music and won’t let go until both you and he are spent. Here’s a fine example of his slide playing.
Saturday, October 18
Food Truck Rally with Music @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 12pm – 10pm (Free) Besides 18 food trucks (who has the kind of stomach to sample even half of them?), the rally features Jack Klatt & the Cat Swingers (1pm), Doug Otto & the Getaways (2pm), Everett Smithson Band (5pm), Mary Cutrufello Band (7pm), and The Federales (9pm).
Singer/Songwriter Showcase @ Patrick’s Cabaret, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Featuring Jack Klatt, Bernie King, Jake Rowan, and Emily Dantuma. There’s a FaceBook page with bios of all the performers.
Phil Heywood CD Release @ the Riverview Wine Bar, Minneapolis. 8pm ($13) Phil has a new CD out, Rollin’ On, in which the ace fingerpicker plays some blues, rags, Beatles, and Dylan, as well as some Bob Marley tunes where he effectively implies a reggae beat. Special guests Tim Sparks and Dakota Dave Hull will add to the fun.
Maurice Jacox @ The Normandy Kitchen, Minneapolis. 7pm? (No cover) You’ll have to call the Normandy to find out the exact time, which is just as well, since this throwback bar has limited seating, and you’ll want a reservation if you want to hear Maurice’s acoustic interpretations of Holland-Dozier-Holland tunes, or his Nat King Cole songs, or any of the rest of his repertoire of pop and vocal standards.
Buzzirque and the Tom Robinson Band @ Zeke’s Unchained Animal, Minneapolis. 7pm – 10pm. This benefit for KFAI features some veterans of the Twin Cities Music Scene. I have spotlighted The Tom Robinson Band before, for its sensuous Brazilian rhythms, and Tom’s new translations of Brazilian lyrics, which give a different insight into Brazilian life than standard English translations. He’s joined by core group members Tony Moreno on drumns, and Tom Church on reeds, as well as a few other musicians. Buzzirque, which takes the stage at 8:30, is led by drummer John Hewitt, who played in the Urban Guerillas in the 80s, and a number of other bands since then.
Saturday, Sunday, Monday, October 18, 19, 20
Herb Alpert & Lani Hall: In the Mood @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm Saturday, 7pm Sunday, Monday ($50, $60, $70) Alpert is one of perhaps a handful of artists that can make a three night stand at the Dakota work. Consider: Five albums on Billboard’s top 20 at the same time; 75 million records sold; 7 Grammys, and a National Medal of Arts, awarded by President Obama in 2013. His Wife, Lani Hall has a marvelous voice, which first came to our attention when she was in Sergio Mendes and Brazill 66 (recording for Alpert’s A&M Records). He’s certainly earned the right to retire, but is touring behind last year’s new record, Steppin’ Out, with a fun video for the single of the venerable Puttin’ on the Ritz, below.
Tuesday, October 21
Paul Metsa & Willie Walker @ The Richfield American Legion Post #435, Richfield. 5pm (Tip Jar) Here’s a fine way to spend a couple of post-work hours, listening to Walker sing while Metsa accompanies on guitar. Their song list ranges from Bob Dylan to Al Green, with many soulful songs in between. Food and drink are available. Here they are performing at Shaw’s.
Vinyl Voices @ Harriet Brewing, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Each week a couple of KFAI deejays share their record collections with beer drinkers in the brewers Tap Room. Tonight I’ll be spinning soul from the 60s and 70s, while Rudy Aguilar (Radio Pocho) will bring 80s synth pop, 90s dance, and disco.
Ruthie Foster @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($40) Is there a performer as warm and insightful as guitarist/songwriter Foster? Though she is regularly nominated for a Grammy in the Blues category, her songs encompass much, much more. She’s touring behind her latest, Promise of a Brand New Day, produced by Meshell Ndegeocello. Its songs range from slow Memphis grooves to gospel shouts, sensitive ballads, and both acoustic and electric blues, including a song written with William Bell and a cover of Gene McDaniel’s radical (for its time) Outlaw. Listen to her perform It Might Not Be Right.
For a more comprehensive listing of blues (and some roots) events, see the MN Blues Society calendar. For a comprehensive listing of Cajun and Zydeco events, see the Krewe de Walleye calendar. Dancers might want to check out the U Wanna Dance Calendar.