CD Releases and Visiting Artists: 5.31 – 6.5

May 31, 2017

Well, the beginning of June brings us at least three CD releases, some very fine visiting artists, and once again, a bevy of resident talent. Music lifts the spirit. PS: This was written a couple of weeks ago, before I left on vacation, so it might be wise to check with venues before going out.

Jazz

Wednesday, May 31

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30), 9pm ($20) Saxophonist Potter was 18 when he joined bebop legend Red Rodney’s band. Since then he’s worked with Paul Motion’s Electric Bebop band, Jim Hall, Steely Dan, and may be best known for his extensive work with Dave Holland, though he’s been on over 100 albums as a sideman. He’ll have his Underground Quartet along, with Adam Rogers, guitar; Fima Ephron, bass; and Nate Smith, drums.

Geoff Bouchier @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Bouchier is a guitarist who draws from R&B, funk, and jazz in playing music that ranges from the Great American Songbook to pop of the past 40 or 50 years. You’ve undoubted heard him on many radio and jingle recordings, but he also contributed tracks to Janet Jackson’s Control album and has performed with artists such as Michael Bolton, Celine Dion, The Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson, and more. He’ll likely have play in a trio format, though who’ll be with him is unknown as of this writing.

Steven Hobert Quartet @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($7) Pianist Hobert  eems to be everywhere lately, either as a sideman, working in world music contexts, or otherwise leading interesting groups. Tonight he’s joined by Pete Whitman, sax; Yohannes Tona, bass; and Arthur LA Buckner, drums. Here is Hobert with Issam Rafea, oud player.

Thursday, June 1 

Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Another of Zacc Harris  many groups, all of which are excellent, no matter what approach they take to jazz. Tonight it’s: Harris, guitar; Chris Bates, bass; Bryan Nichols, piano; JT Bates, drums.

Friday, June 2

Rio Nido @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35), 9pm ($25) Three part harmonies from Prudence Johnson, Tim Sparks, and Tom Lieberman, who first formed Rio Nido in the 70s, put out a few albums, and then developed their own separate careers. A year or so back they reunited for a special event and were so well received that they’re now doing a few shows a year.

Pete Enblom/Bob Parsons Quartet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) Enblom played lead trombone for the Buddy Rich Band, the Glenn Miller Orchestra, and the Artie Shaw Orchestra. He currently plays with The Brian Setzer Orchestra, MNJazz, The Bill Simonson Orchestra, and the Explosion Big Band. Saxophonist Bob Parsons has played and/or arranged for Dave Stryker, Joe Henderson, The Wolverines Big Band, the Acme Jazz Company, and Andrew Walesch’s nonet, among others. No word at this time on who will round out the quartet.

HOAXER CD Release @ Vieux Carré,  Saint Paul. 9pm ($?) Four post-HS musicians have come together to create a CD produced by Steve Kenny, who has mentored each of them. Charlie Lincoln, bass; Will Kjeer, keys; Peter Goggin, alto; and Edmund Caitlin, drums; all served in the Dakota Combo before going off to college a few years ago. They recorded the CD over two days last December, while home from school, and now that they’ve returned for the summer, are celebrating the release of Crash Test, featuring eight original compositions by members of the group.

Saturday, June 3

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Opening at 7pm: No Room for Squares, led by drummer Bill Steiger. Recent configurations of this group have included:Jon Pemberton, trumpet; James “Jimmyapolis” Wallace, saxes; Mikkel Ramstead, piano; and Adam Tucker, bass, though it’s hard to say who will be with him tonight. At 8:30pm it’s The Paul Harper Bardo Band, with Harper, saxes; Phil Aaron, piano; Tom Lewis, bass; and Nathan Norman, drums.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Patrick is the perfect example of someone who has reinvented himself late in life. After sitting in at the old Nye’s piano bar one evening, he discovered that he had a talent for singing. He’s gone on to embrace the music of crooners such as Frank Sinatra and Dean Martin, and has a band that plays out pretty often, whether for dancers, corporate events or weddings.

Monday, June 5

Ottmar Liebert & Luna Negra @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40), 9pm $30, $35) Guitarist Liebert is a pioneer in the Nouveau Flamenco style, which incorporates tradition flamenco technique in a modern pop context. It’s worked. In the last twenty years he’s released 25 albums, been nominated for a Grammy five times, and has received 38 certifications for Gold and Platinum sales status.

Will Kjeer @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm (($10, $5 w/Student ID) Many area jazz lovers have watched as pianist Kjeer has grown from a gifted high school student to an even more gifted college student/young adult finding his own voice as a musician. At this point I don’t know who he’ll have with him, but it’s likely to be some of his equally talented peers, back from college. Here he is leading a group in his original composition.

Tuesday, June 6

Bill Simenson Orchestra CD Release @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10, $5 w/Student ID) This monthly gig for the Simenson Orchestra is special tonight, as they are celebrating the release of Big Alpaca. It’s a fine album, full of twists and turns that will delight and surprise the listener. Of course, the band is outstanding with members that include Pete Whitmanm, Doug Little, Simenson himself on trumpet, Jake Baldwin, Pete enblom, Ted Godbout, David Maritn and more….

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music at http://www.jazz88.fm/live-music-calendar.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, May 31

Crankshaft on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Hi-energy blues from Crankshaft  Anoka’s contribution to Deep Blues. You know the drill, as Harold Tremblay says.

Doug Otto & The Getaways @ Schooner Tavern, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) The often forlorn vocals of Doug Otto are given just the right foundation of blues, Americana, and country sounds by the Getaways.

Thursday, June 1

Carl Palmer’s ELP Legacy @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $45, $55) You know him best as the drummer from prog rockers Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, but before that Carl Palmer provided the rhythmic foundation for The Crazy World of Arthur Brown, and Atomic Rooster, while afterwards he played with Asia. This show will feature new arrangements of instrumentals by ELP and a few others.

12 Bar Jambalaya @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm (No Cover) This five-piece band from Illinois plays a combination of funk, blues, and jazz, to get you jumping. Get a taste of their raucous sound here.

Friday, June 2

Toast in the Machine @ The 318 Cafe, Excelsior. 8pm ($10) Well, what we have here is a Police Tribute Band – really!  It’s likely the only one in Minnesota, so if you’re a fan of the original, you may want to check out TC Ortberg, Andy Schultz, and Andy Deckard paying homage to the original rock trio.

Wilkinson James @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 9pm ($6) Liz Wilkinson and AJ Scheiber head up this band, which blends honky-tonk vocal stylings and edgy but classic-sounding original songs to create music that a listener once described as “the bastard offspring of Townes Van Zandt and June Carter Cash.” Their self-titled debut, produced by Ben Kyle of Romantica, dropped in early 2014; this show will celebrate the appearance of their new CD, Abandon, a Fall 2016 release on St. Paul’s House of Mercy Records.

Saturday, June 3

Javier Matos @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 10am – 1pm (No Cover) Guitarist/vocalist Javier Matos has been playing the blues as a professional since 1992. While in California he worked with a couple of the Blasters in The Blue Shadows, and also formed a group called the Doghouse Lords. He was recently selected by the MN Blues Society to represent Minnesota at the International Blues Challenge next January. In other words, he can keep it real. Don’t take my word for it, The AllMusic guide noted, “He can play bottleneck slide blues like he was born with a National guitar in his hands.” Reservations recommended, as this place get busy for brunch.

Morel Fest @ The Hook & Ladder Theater & Lounge, Minneapolis. 2pm until (Free) Well, not only will you get to taste butter-fried morel mushrooms with saltines (as long as the morels last), but starting at 3pm you get music from Romantica, Molly Maher & Her Disbelievers; Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures; The Flood Brothers, Javier Matos; and the King of the Tramps. Oh, and lest I forget, you can also get craft beers from Indeed Brewing.

The Eddies @ The Dubliner Pub, Saint Paul. 7:30pm (Tip Jar) Grab a pint and listen to this quartet sings of life, death, broken hearts, and work.

Big Daddy Cade’s Tribute to BB King @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Guitarist Big Daddy Cade is originally from Chicago, but now lives in Wisconsin. He’s been doing this tribute, which was originally blessed by BB King himself, for about a couple of decades. He’s not a one-trick-pony however, and frames the Tribute with a couple of sets of blistering blues and funk.

Sunday, June 6

Sweet Colleens CD Release @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 7pm ($12 Advance/$15 Door) Though their isn’t a “Colleen” among them, the Sweet Colleens are nevertheless releasing their fifth album, 10 Mona Lisas, which features their trademark mix of Celtic and American folk roots music. There will be a special appearance by Kate McMahon (of the original Riverdance), who guests on the album, and an opening set by Gambler’s Daughter.

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.


Music Rains: 4.1 – 4.7

April 1, 2015

imagesI’m afraid I have no April Fool’s prank for you , but instead am happy to report that great music continues to rain down on us here in the Twin Cities.  (Ugh, had to stretch a bit to match the graphic.) We’ve a few visiting musicians of note, as well as a bevy of talented resident musicians. It’s wonderful that we have a number of choices each evening, but then, that’s the result of living neat the bio-magnetic center of the universe. Music lifts the spirit

Jazz

Wednesday, April 1

Zack Lozier Three on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Lozier  trumpet; Steve Hobert, keys; and Steve Pikal, bass; played a tremendous set at the fundraiser for KFAI a couple of weeks ago. If you like jazz with a nod towards the traditional sound of New Orleans, then by all means tune in to hear them and head to the 331 Club afterwards.

Parisota Hot Club Trio @ Tangiers, Minneapolis. 8pm (No Cover) Though this suave nightclub in the North Loop features glitzy dance/deejay crowds on the weekend, they bring in jazz once a week, and deserve your attention. Tonight, it’s The Parisota Hot Club  with Matt Senjem, bass; Jay Epstein, drums; and leader Robb Henry on guitar. Vocalist Erin Livingston is an occasional guest. Here’s once version of the group doing a Beatles tune.

Rebirth Brass Band @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($25) Rebirth is one of the first bands in the Brass Band revival that’s occurred over the last couple of decades. They’ve been at it for 25 years or so, swinging hard and playing original music, as well as traditional tunes, and adaptations of R&B hits.

Unknown-1Schimke, Epstein, & Cox @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Bassist Anthony Cox curates the first Wednesday of the month at Jazz Central, bringing in some top-notch players to improvise, sometimes freely. Tonight he has Peter Schimke on piano and Jay Epstein on drums. Cox likes to have these events be interactive, so be prepared to have him open the floor to comments and questions either during or after the performance.

Thursday, April 2

Chris Potter Quartet @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25), 9pm ($15) Potter is one of the most admired sax players of his generation (he’s 43), having received numerous awards and accolades. When he was 18, he worked with the legendary Bebop trumpeter Red Rodney, and has since appeared on over 100 albums as a sideman and recorded 15 albums as a leader. On his latest, and well-received  CD Imaginary Cities, Potter expands his Underground Quartet with a marimba and a string quartet, to create an album that integrates modern classical music with various facets of jazz. I’m not sure what players he’ll have with him tonight, but it will be stellar. Here’s a video to illustrate.

Marc Anderson, Michelle Kinney, Carla Vagle @ Khyber Pass Cafe, Saint Paul. 9:30pm ($5) This promises to be a unique evening of improvised music. Marc Andeson is a percussionist and Zen Buddhist priest who has played with Steve Tibbets since 1977, and has also toured and played with artists such as Robert Fripp, Don Cherry, Taj Mahal, Claudia Schmidt, Max Roach, and Greg Brown. Michelle Kinney is a cellist/composer who is a strong improviser, having worked with such innovators as Henry Threadgill, Butch Morris, and John Zorn, in addition to being a member of Jelloslave and collaborating with Prudence Johnson and Dean Magraw. Carla Vagle is a vocalist with a strong, crystal clear voice.

Friday, April 3

Wayne Krantz @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($25) The virtuosic fusion guitarist has recorded and worked with Steely Dan, Michael Breaker, Chris Potter, and Billy Cobham. He’s not the kind of player who plays as many notes as possible (though he can do so). Rather, Krantz has a clean, tasteful approach to playing, no matter the groove, of which there will undoubtedly be plenty. Opening is the Zack Lozier Three (see Wednesday listing).

Dean Magraw & Steven Hobert @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10 Suggested Donation) Magraw is the guitarist-about-town who is equally at home with jazz, fusion, Celtic, and other world musics. Hobert is the pianist/accordionist whose often subtle, but highly imaginative playing will fit right in with Magraw.

Maud Hixson @ Parma 8200, Bloomington. 7:30pm (No Cover) The lounge at this Bloomington restaurant provides the right atmosphere for listening to the understated, sublime vocals of Ms Hixson  who will be accompanied by Rick Carlson on piano and Gordy Johnson on bass.

Tim Patrick & His Blue Eyes Band @ Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 8pm ($12) Tim Patrick s smooth voice practically defines crooner in this day and age. He’s a fine singer, and together with his band, provides danceable versions of standards.

Saturday, April 4

Saturday Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee & Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm Pete Snell Trio (Snell, Phil Aaron, Jim Chenoweth) , 8:30pm Steve Kenny Quartet (Kenny, Babatunde Lea, Brandon Woznicak, Chris Bates)

images-1Sophia Shorai @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) Early evening dinner music from the pop-ish but jazz centered Ms Shorai, though you will have to sit close to the stage to overcome the lively conversations going on throughout the restaurant.

Debbie Duncan @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) Ms Duncan was on fire last week when singing as a guest with Delfeayo Marsalis. Tonight you can hear her in the comfy, yet slightly luxe confines of this relatively new club up on Central Avenue, about  a mile or so north of 494. It’s a place that should become a regular stop on your jazz journeys in town.

Sunday, April 5

Connie Evingson Celebrates Spring @ The Jungle Theater, Minneapolis. 4pm, 7:30pm ($25) Ms Evingson continues her themed concerts at the Jungle. This time it’s a seasonal celebration, featuring songs by Irving Berlin, the Beatles, Peggy Lee and others. With the extraordinary pianist Jon Weber, as well as Gordy Johnson on bass, and the always tasteful Dave Karr on sax.

Monday, April 6

Seru, Bates, & Wozniak @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($8) The trio of Davu Seru, drums; Chris Bates, bass; and Brandon Wozniak, sax; is bound to create some excitement for the late night crowd at the Icehouse.

For a comprehensive listing of Jazz go to the Twin Cities Live Jazz Calendar  For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz PoliceJazz Ink, and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, April 1

Erik Koskinen @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 10pm ($8) Koskinen is a hyphenated talent: guitarist, singer, songwriter, producer, and engineer. The word “authentic” keeps coming up whenever reviewers try to describe his music, and with good reason. When he’s not working with other bands he taps into folk, country, and rock n’ roll to create music that is as American as Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, or Willie Nelson.

Thursday, April 2

Lynn O’Brien, Steven Hobert, & Kevin Bowe @ Bryant Lake Bowl, 810 West Lake Street, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Lynn O’Brien is a charming singer/songwriter who plays ukelele and isn’t afraid to accompany herself using looping technology. Steven Hobert is an accordionist/piano player who is equally at home playing jazz, folk, or his own ethereal compositions. As a musical duo, they are as complementary as you can get. They are ably assisted by Kevin Bowe on bass.

Friday, April 3

Butanes Soul Revue @ The Minnesota Music Cafe, Saint Paul. 9pm ($10 Advance, $12 Door) Once again, the MMC will be filled with folks who brought their dancing shoes, as guitarist Curt Obeda leads a 10 piece band through R&B chestnuts and some of his own originals. The last time they appeared at MMC, they sold out the place, so be forewarned.

Lonesome Dan Case @ Ward 6, 858 Payne Avenue, Saint Paul. 9pm (Tip Jar?) Lonesome Dan Case looks and sounds like an itinerant, if well dressed, singer from the 30s, who brings his finger picking and Piedmont-style blues songs to folks in little dives in little towns. However, Saint Paul isn’t a little town, no matter what some West Metro folks might think, and Ward 6 isn’t a little dive, given its adult milkshakes and well-reviewed cooking.

Bad Companions w/Bernie King @ Harriet Brewing Tap Room, Minneapolis. 7pm ($6) A Roots/Rockabilly night at the Tap Room. The Companions are led by Al Subola, of the Vibro Champs. His companions have worked with bands like A Stockcar Named Desire, Clyde Stubblefield, Roe Family, and Trailer Trash. King & the Guilty Pleasures lean a bit toward the blues side of things. Bernie King & the Guilty Pleasures at 7pm, Bad Companions at 9pm. This will give you an idea of what the Companions sound like.

Saturday, April 4

Gospel Machine & Southside Desire @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Gospel, R&B, Soul, & Girl Group sounds, as if filtered through a group of young musicians hanging out in a basement. Here’s Southside Desire.

Katrina, Flamin’ Ohs, and Beebe Gallini @ The Amsterdam Bar & Hall, Saint Paul. 7pm doors ($12/$15) It’s an 80s style night at the Amsterdam as Katrina (of the Waves) headlines, with our own Flamin’ Oh’s and the female quintet Beebe Gallini open. Katrina Leskanich had a huge hit in 1985 with Walkin’ on Sunshine, followed by a few others. The Oh’s have always had a strong fan base in town, from their local hits in the late 70s to their reappearance this century. Beebe Gallini is an all-female group of rockers named after a pink-dressed character who made an appearance on one episode of Brady’s Bunch. Here’s a blast from the past.

Armadillo Jump @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake 9pm (No Cover) The tiny dance space at the station will be filled with folks jumpin’ to the Armadillos, a five-piece blues/R&B outfit with an infectious approach to their music.

Unknown-2Soul Tight Committee @ Bunkers, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($7) It’s a great weekend for dancing to R&B, especially the 70s centric R&B of the ten piece Soul Tight Committee  Three singers provide a range of vocals over a tight rhythm section, trumpet, and sax, giving plenty of incentives for dancers to fill the floor at Bunkers.

Sunday, April 5

Robert Robinson @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($22) It’s Easter. Celebrate with the full-throated gospel of Mr. Robinson. Even if you aren’t particularly religious, you’ll end up feeling blessed and happy.

Monday, Tuesday, April 6, 7

James Hunter Sextet @ The Dakota, MInneapolis. 7pm ($37 – $45) Hunter is a charming singer of blue-eyed soul, whose original tunes evoke the rock n’ roll and rhythm and blues of the late 50s and 60s, without sounding dated or even retro. Expect some jump blues, Motown-ish stomps, and even some reggae-ish rhythms, delivered with true emotion.

Tuesday, April 7

Mayasich, Obeda, & Lindberg @ Manitou Station, White Bear Lake. 9pm (No Cover) Guitarist Paul Mayasich hangs at the Station every Tuesday evening with various friends and compadres. Tonight he’s got bluesman Curt Obeda on guitar, and bassist John Lindberg. Expect some mighty fine guitar duels.

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 calendar for U Wanna Dance.


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