A Week Filled with Music: 6.20 – 6.26

June 20, 2018

Well this is a big week for jazz lovers as the Twin Cities Jazz Festival takes place this weekend. There are links to my guide and the Jazz Fest official schedule in today’s post. Blues and roots fans have plenty to be happy about as well, what with the Devon Allman Project coming to town, along with Jesse Colin Young, and the Verve Pipe. Enjoy yourself. Music Lifts the Spirit!

Jazz

Wednesday, June 20

Mateusz Smoczynski Solo @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15, $ w/Valid Student ID) Smoczynski has been touring the world with the Turtle Island Quartet, playing violin and baritone violin. He was named the best jazz violinist of 2017 by Jazz Forum, European Magazine, and is currently touring behind his album, Metamorphoses, which contains his original compositions inspired by classical music, jazz, and both Polish and American folk music.

Jim Rotondi/Eric Alexander & Dave Hazeltine Quintet @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($30) Shades of the old Artist’s Quarter! Trumpeter Rotondi, saxophonist Alexander, and pianist Hazeltine were all regulars at the AQ, and are reuniting with AQ owners Kenny Horst on drums and Billy Peterson on bass. Expect a bunch of hard bop staples along with a few originals. Here are Rotondi, Alexander, and Hazeltine in the group one For All.

Ghost-Note @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30, $35, $40) Robert Spot Starlight and Nate Werth have won multiple Grammys, and are known for their work with Snarky Puppy. For this project, they’ve enlisted some friends with vast experience in some funky groups to present music influenced by James Brown, J Dilla, and grooves from West Africa, Brazil, and Afro-Cuban sources.

Thursday, June 21

Sam Miltich  & Briand Morrison @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 7pm ($10 Advance/$12 Door) Two guitar masters interweave lead and rhythm parts while swinging Traditional and Gypsy Jazz.

Thursday – Saturday, June 21-23

Twin Cities Jazz Festival @ Various Stages and Venues, Saint Paul. This year’s headliners are well-established mainstream acts: Saxophonist Houston Person w/The Emmett Cohen Trio on Friday (see my interview with Emmett Cohen at http://jazzpolice.com. Saturday’s headliners start with Saxophonist Tia Fuller, who has received accolades for her playing, composing, and teaching, and also happens to be Beyonce’s music director. Vocalist Dee Dee Bridgwater closes out the Main Stage on Saturday, performing the music of Memphis, her home town. She’s won three Grammys and a Tony, and in 2017 was named a Jazz Master. You should’ve received my guide in Tuesday’s email, or you can check it out on-line here. Of special note is Javier Santiago, appearing on the Main Stage Friday at 4pm. This performance marks the release of his CD Phoenix. The official schedule, along with bios on the headliners and all other performers can be found here.

Friday, June 22

Jake Baldwin Trio @ The Lexington, Saint Paul. 7pm (No cover) Trumpeter Baldwin is a “young lion” of the area’s jazz community, though the music that he plays at the Lex is well-suited to an audience that’s just looking for background music, those who pay a little attention will be delighted.

Saturday, June 23

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) 4pm It’s a whole day’s worth of Jazz at the Black Dog as part of the Jazz Fest. See the Fest’s schedulefor details.

Sunday, June 24

MN Hard Bop Collective @ 56 Brewing, Minneapolis. 4pm – 7pm (Tip Jar?) Drummer Jesse Simon rounds up some like-minded players to perform new interpretations of hard bop standards from the 50s and 60s.,

Connie Evingson: Ella Fitzgerald’s Johnny Mercer Songbook @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 5pm ($20) This time Evingson uses her silken voice to interpret Johnny Mercer songs from the Ella Fitzgerald songbook.

Monday, June 25

Hoaxer @ Crooners’ Dunsmore Room, Fridley. 7:30pm ($15) This collective quartet of young musicians includes Will Kjeer, piano; Peter Goggin, alto; Charlie Lincoln, bass; and Edmund Caitlin, drums. Their 2017 debut album, Crash Test, shows a musical maturity beyond their years, withinfluences that range from jazz standards to rock, avant-garde, electronica and more. Here’s a short clip of Peter Goggin soloing with the band.

Tuesday, June 26

Will Kjeer Trio @ Vieux Carré, Saint Paul. 8pm ($6) Though he’s only 20 years old, pianist Will Kjeer has been playing professionally since high school, building a solid reputation as an improvisor and composer. He’ll be accompanied by two other sterling young musicians; Charlie Lincoln bass; and Ben Erlich, drums.

Joey DeFrancesco @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25-$40) The best organ player on the planet returns to Crooners, this time in the enlarged lounge space. The Chicago Tribune said of DeFrancesco  “He has dominated the instrument and the field as no one of his generation has.”

For more listings, KBEM provides a calendar of jazz and roots music.   For further commentary on Twin Cities jazz, check out the blogs, Jazz Police and Bebopified.

Blues, Roots, Other

Wednesday, June 20

Cooker John Band on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Folkie/Bluesman Cooker John plays solo, or occasionally in a duo setting nowadays, but back in the 90s he played in a band with Ben Kaplan, Dan Neale, and Bill Grenke, who are reuniting with John for this appearance.

Crankshaft & The Gear Grinders @ Como Park Observatory, Saint Paul. 6pm (Free) Picnic on the grass outside the Conservatory while Crankshaft and the Gear Grinders play adrenalin-fueled blues. Plenty for kids to do, as well.

Thursday, June 21

Steeling Dan @ Famous Dave’s, Minneapolis. 9pm ($10) If you didn’t make it to Steely Dan at the Excel last Friday, you can catch this 13 piece band, which is what it takes to present the music.

Friday, June 22

The Music of Carole King, Joni Mitchell, & Carly Simon @ Crooners’ Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm ($25, $30) Three excellent singers – Deb Brown, Rachel Holder, and Jana Anderson – tackle some classic tunes by three outstanding female singer/songwriters.

The Verve Pipe Acoustic @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35, $40) This Michigan-based, multi-platinum alt rock band scored a #1 hit with The Freshmen in 1996, and also charted with the radio hits, Photograph, HeroHappiness Is, and Never Let You Down. They’ve released 8 albums, including two family/kids records, as well as a couple of EPs and compilation albums. This acoustic performance is a rarity for a club.

Blue Book @ Nielsen’s Sports Bar & Grill, 4851 West 123rd Street, Savage. 9pm (No Cover) If you cross the Minnesota River and head to Savage tonight, you’ll get to see a new blues band put together by Steve Clarke, sax & vocals. It features John Della Selva, guitar; Maurice Jacox, sax and vocals; John Kozoil, piano; Dik Hedlund, bass; and Brad Steine, drums. Their repertoire includes classic blues and soul.

Saturday, June 23

The Devon Allman Project w/Duane Betts @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($40,$45, $55) So what we have here are the sons of Gregg Allman and Dickey Betts giving us the next generation of Southern Rock: two guitars, burbling percussion, and a heavy blues and soul influence. Our very own Nicholas David is part of this tour, which generally includes some Allman Brothers tunes in the encore.

Sunday, June 24

Gang of Mischief @ Neumann’s, North Saint Paul. 4pm-8pm (Tip Jar) This all-acoustic aggregation consists of Papa John Kolstad, Doug Otto, Albert Perez, and Dan Schwalbe on guitars; Mike Caravale, upright bass; and Hurricane Harold, harmonica.

Phil Heywood & Tim Sparks @ The Hook & Ladder, Minneapolis. 6:30pm – 9pm ($20 Suggested donation to the artists) Two Championship Fingerpickers get together, with stunning results.

Tuesday, June 26

Jesse Colin Young @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($45, $55, $65) “Come on People Now, Smile on Your Brother, Everybody Get Together, Try to Love One Another Right Now.” Jesse Colin Young is known for more than that anthem from 1967 – he has prospered and received acclaim as a singer/songwriter – but for those who were active during the Summer of Love, Get Together, by the Youngbloods, with Young singing lead, will always be the song that comes to mind when his name is mentioned. The sentiment of the song is still relevant some 51 years later.

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.

 


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.


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