The Week in Music: 9.21 – 9.27

September 21, 2016

cartoon3423Well, it appears that I wrote last weeks newsletter without mentioning the Fall Pledge Drive at KFAI, the little community station that could. I didn’t realize that my show would only air once during the pledge drive and that happened last Saturday. It would please me greatly if a half-dozen or so of you who read this blog would pledge to my show on-line at www.kfai.org. Simply click on the Donate Now icon, follow instructions and when asked to Specify a Show, write in Rhythm and Grooves. Thank you.

Now that the commercial is out of the way, here’s some of the great music that’s being performed around town this week. Music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, September 21

Chris Lomheim Quintet @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) Pianist Lomheim usually leads a trio, so it’s a treat to have him leading a quintet tonight, adding the sax of Pete Whitman and the trumpet of Adam Rossmiller to his arrangements and originals. Jay Young on bass, and Dave Schmalenberger on drums, round out the group.

 

Thursday, September 22

Kenny Horst Trio: Thursday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 9pm (Tip Jar) Since the AQ closed, owner/drummer has been free to play with a number of different bands. Tonight though, he’s leading the group, which includes his compadres Billy Peterson on bass; and Dean Magraw on guitar.

Erin Livingston @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm, ($10, $5w/Student ID) It’s Vocal Night at Jazz Central, and tonight Ms Erin Livingston does the honors, with Matt Senjem on bass and Mark Zee on piano. She’s worked extensively with guitarist Robb Henry and the Parisota Hot Club, where she’s tackled standards and the Beatles.

Friday, September 23

Pete Whitman @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis, 8 – 10pm ($10, $5w/Student ID) Fridays are reserved for Jazz Masters at Jazz Central, and saxophonist Whitman certainly qualifies. He’s performed with such renowned artists as Al “TNT” Braggs, Rosemary Clooney, Jack McDuff, Dave Stryker, Curtis Fuller, and the Woody Herman Orchestra, teaches at McNally Smith and leads the X-tet, a 10 piece band whose 2004 album Where’s When got a 4 star review in Downbeat. He recently returned from a tour of China.  I don’t know who he’ll have in the group, but here’s a video from a previous appearance at Jazz Central.

Jeremy Walker/Southside Aces @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Walker 0 no cover), 9pm (Aces – $10) Pianist Jeremy Walker is back at this monthly gig during dinner hour, and tonight is followed by the Southside Aces, bringing brass band happiness to the New Orleans-themed basement club.

All Original Jazz Series: Larry McDonough Quartet @ Studio Z, Saint Paul. 8pm ($10) Pianist McDonough and his group have been busy as of late, performing tributes to Bill Evans and Tony Bennett, as well as Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Tonight they play originals, as the title of the series states. McDonough favors odd meters, so you will hear songs performed in 7/4, 5/4, 12/4, and even 11/4. The quartet includes: Larry McDonough, piano and vocals; Richard Terrill, saxes; Greg Stinson, bass; and Dean White, drums.

Quirkestra @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 8pm – 11pm (Tip Jar) I’m intrigued by this quintet, which plays a blend of jazz, reggae, swing, 60s R&B, and other music in a “quirky” manner.

Saturday, September 24

Patty Peterson & the Jazz Women All-Stars @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm, 9pm ($15) This group made their debut at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival this past June and got a rousing response. Vocalist Patty Peterson has gathered together a group of the area’s finest musicians. They happen to be women: Debbie Duncan, vocals: Linda Peterson, keys and vocals; Mary Louise Knutson, piano; Joan Griffith, bass; Sheila Earley, drums; and Mary Petrich, sax. Here’s a promo she did for the show.

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) Tonight starts out with a set from Merciless Ghost, with George Cartwright, sax; Josh Granowski, bass; and Davu Seru, drums. Headliner at 8:30pm is What Would Monk Do? with Kenny Horst, drums; Billy Peterson, bass; Peter Schimke, piano; and Steve Kenny, Flumpet.  If you substitute Steve Kenny for Brandon Wozniak, you’ll have the group in this video.

Sunday, September 25

Jana Nyberg Group: Brunch @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis 10am – 1pm  (No Cover) You’ll need a reservation at this popular Sunday brunch spot, but in addition to the food and drink of the Kitchen, you’ll be treated to the pop/jazz stylings of the delightful vocalist Ms Nyberg.

Paul Renz Quartet @ The Aster Cafe, Minneapolis. 8pm ($10) Guitarist Renz has recorded a half dozen CDs, but doesn’t gig out too much here in the Twin Cities, as he spends much time teaching. The Berklee grad does tour every once in a while, to the East Coast, where he’s especially well received. Not only will you hear great jazz, but its in a wonderful setting, with the Minneapolis skyline in the background.

Sunday, Monday, September 25, 26

Brad Mehldau and Joshua Redman @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $50), 9pm ($25 – $40) Jazz fans are very excited about this pairing. These proponents of 21st Century progressive jazz first played together in the 90s, in Redman’s quartet. Since then pianist Mehldau and saxophonist Redman have both developed successful careers. With just the two of them, the music will undoubtedly take flight.

Tuesday, September 27

Chris Lomheim/JT Bates GRAIN Trio @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (Lomheim – No cover), 8pm (Bates – $6) Pianist Lomheim will serenade you during the dinner hour, after which drummer Bates and his B3 trio, with Kevin Gastonguay, B3; and Zacc Harris, guitar; will bring the greasy funk that makes B3 trios so much fun.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, September 21

Ian Alexy on KFAI and @ The 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Ian Alexy  s a versatile guitarist and songwriter who explores the byways of Americana – folk, jazz, and rock n’ roll. He and brother Teague form The Hobo Nephews of Uncle Frank. Tune in and listen (it’s pledge drive time), and head to the 331 afterwards.

James Hunter Six @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35 – $45), 9pm ($30 – $40) British Soul and R&B from an engaging performer. Guitarist/singer Hunter clearly enjoys playing original soul music that invokes classic 60s soul without aping it, earning the high praise of Van Morrison in the process. The infectiousness of his joy easily communicates to audiences, who can’t help but enjoy the experience.

SK Kakraba and Palenke Soul Tribe @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 7:30pm (Free, but reservations recommended) This is part of the Cedar’s Global Roots Festival. SK Kakraba Lobi is a Master Xylophonist from Ghana. He plays the Gyil, a Ghanaian Xylophone and the primary instrument of the Lobi, Sisala, and Dagara people of Northern Ghana. The LA-based Colombian band, Palenke Soultribe  have taken electronic music to new heights by deconstructing Afro-Colombian rhythms and blending them with electronic beats and exploratory synthesizer sounds.

Thursday, September 22

Joe & Vicki Price @ Hell’s Kitchen, Minneapolis. 6pm – 9pm (No Cover) This Blues Couple from Decorah, Iowa delivers the blues as if they were from Clarksdale Mississippi. Every couple of months they come up here and do a mini-tour of the area. If you don’t catch them tonight, they’ll be at the Viking on Saturday.

The Rockin’ Pinecones @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($5) Get out those dancin’ shoes, mama, cuz the Pinecones will be delivering the hipshakin rhythms of New Orleans R&B, along with Cajun and Zydeco tunes that will add a bit of spice to the proceedings on the wooden dance floor at the Eagles Club.

Molly Maher & Her Best Men: Songs from the Heart Til Death Do Us Part @ The Turf Club, Saint Paul. 9pm ($5) Ms Maher, singer, guitarist, guitar-tech extradinaire Molly Maher is getting married, and rather than a bachelorette party, she’s throwing a gig, so we all can attend. She’ll be singing her excellent roots/folk rock/alt country songs backed by her band of “Best Men.” Opening is Gabriel Douglas, while the Belfast Cowboys will close out the night.

Friday, September 23

Paul Filipowicz @ Wilebski’s, Saint Paul. 6pm – 10pm ($??) Wisconsin bluesman Filipowicz first burst on the scene back in the early 80s, playing rip-roaring Chicago blues, and appearing in this area a couple of times. Raised in Illinois, the guitarslinger was taken under the wings of such stalwarts as Luther Allison and Jimmy “Fast Fingers” Dawkins. After taking a decade or so off to raise a family, he retuned in the late 90s, recording for Texas’ Gila Records. He subsequently appeared in the Top 15 of Texas Blues New Releases for two years in a row. He’s now in his sixties, and judging by his latest release, Go for the Throat, he still has fire in his belly and in his guitar.

Oh What A Night @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25, $75) Hear old school R&B sung by five terrific singers:  Ronn Easton, Wee Willie Walker, Maurice Young, Jerry Esckridge and Maurice Jacox, backed by an equally terrific band. Last time this show played the Parkway it sold out.

Willie Murphy @ The Viking Bar, Minneapolis. 9pm ($5) Just because you can see Murphy a couple of times a month doesn’t mean you shouldn’t actually get out to one of his gigs, where you’ll hear this charter member of the Minnesota Music Hall of Fame perform old time rock n’ roll, R&B, and funk in his own inimitable way. The Viking was, of course, the site of his Monday night jam sessions for many years, so it’s a treat to have him back there.

Saturday, September 24

Ty Stone’s James Brown Experience @ The Parkway Theater, Minneapolis. 8pm ($20, $30) Stone is an R&B veteran, having performed with such acts as Jackie Wilson and later Johnny Taylor, Tyrone Davis, The Dells, The Staple Singers, Ernie Terrell and others. He’ll be performing hits from throughout 4 decades of Brown’s career, complete with costume changes, a 12 piece backup band and go-go dancers.

Movits! @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 9pm ($15 Advance, $18 Door) Imagine, if you will, a European hip hop group that goes to number one on iTunes and Amazon after appearing on the Steve Colbert show. Then, at a backyard party they hear Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman and are blown away. Now, they’ve managed to combine swing beats and hip hop beats in a way that totally works. And…. they only sing/rap in Swedish, their native language. There you have Movits! Added attraction: Danami & the Blue, a Motown inspired hip-hop soul singer.

Charlie Lawson Combo w/guest Curtis Blake @ The Dubliner, Saint Paul. 9pm (tip jar) Guitarist Lawson and his band are starting a monthly residency at this friendly and comfy Irish bar. Tonight he’s bringing in harpist Curtis Blake as a guest. Blake performs with Greazy Gravy and Don Scott when he’s not cooking up gumbo on his job.

Sunday, September 25

Oudyano @ The Black Dog, Minneapolis. 6pm – 8pm (Tip Jar) Oudyano is Steven Hobert, piano; and Issam Rafea on Oud. Rafea, from Syria, and Hobert, from the Twin Cities, are simpatico artists who are mutually sensitive players. They play a blend of Arabic classical tradition and American jazz and roots, creating music that is ethereal, hopeful, and joyous. If you miss them and are willing to stay up a bit late, you can catch them at the Icehouse on Monday night.

Monday, September 26

Steve Clarke & The Working Stiffs @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 7pm (No Cover) Saxophonist Clarke leads his troupe through the decades, playing dance music from the 30s to the 50s. You’ll jump, you’ll swing, you may even bop to songs from Count Basie and Fats Waller, to Elvis Presley, Bill Haley, and Louis Jordan. It’s music that goes over especially well in the large lounge at Crooners.

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.


Cinematic Music and More: 2.17 – 2.23

February 17, 2016

images-1Many opportunities for jazz, blues, and roots lovers to go out and hear music. There’s a cinematic mini-theme of sorts this week, with Bill Frisell exploring music from films and television, Bob DeFlores showing soundies from the 40s, and a showing of the Triplets of Belleville with live orchestration at Northrup. Have fun, and remember music lifts the spirit.

Jazz

Wednesday, February 17

King Fletcher Woods @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 8:30pm ($10) Wednesdays at Jazz Central are given over to new music, or new groups. Tonight, Jeff King, on sax; Charles Fletcher on bass; and Eron Woods on drums offer up their version of a (not so) simple trio.

Thursday, February 18

Charmin & Shapira @ Jazz Central, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($10) Charmin Michelle, on vocals, and Joel Shapira, on guitar are musical partners who have been playing together for years now, and will be trying out new material in the basement club that looks like a music-themed rec room. Here they are with a standard.

JT Bates’ GRAIN @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 9pm ($8) JT Bates is a drummer who is well-versed in a number of genres. With GRAIN he’s exploring the rich tradition of soul jazz organ trios with Kevin Gastonguay on B3 and Zacc Harris on guitar.

Friday, February 19

Friday Night Jazz @ The Reverie, Minneapolis. 7pm (Tip Jar) The featured artist at 9pm Is Paul Harper’s Bardo Quartet with Chris Lomheim, piano; Tom Pieper, bass; Matt Buckner, drums; and Paul Harper, saxophones. At 7pm the JazzINK Youth Jazz Showcase features Southwest High School Jazz Combos, directed by Corey Needleman.

Bruce Henry @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley. 7:30pm (No Cover) Though vocalist Henry now lives in Chicago, he continues to perform here with regularity, always able to have a dynamic backing band. Tonight it’s  Phil Hey, Drums; Javi Santiago, Piano; Scott Fultz, Sax; and Jeff Bailey on Bass. Henry will undoubtedly be mixing up some Motown and other danceable songs along with his extraordinary jazz stylings. Here he is doing a standard.

Saturday, February 20

Saturday Night Jazz @ The Black Dog Coffee and Wine Bar, Saint Paul. 7pm (Tip Jar) tonight’s music starts with Yo Jimbo: With Jimbo Robson, Drums; Ron Peterson, Piano; John Brown, bass; Jerry Shelton, trumpet; Brian Van Stavern, Trombone; Steve Klein, Alto sax; Jerry Benson, Tenor sax. At 8:30, Steve Kenny, Flumpet; and Solomon Parham, trumpet; take the stage after playing to a full house at the Winter Jazz Fest. As then, they’ll be joined by Peter Schimke, piano; Ted Olson, bass; and Rodney Ruckus, drums.

Bill Frisell @ The Dakota, Minneapolis. 7pm ($30 – $40), 9pm ($30 – $35) Frisell was just here with Charles Lloyd, and once again proved that he has a unique approach to playing guitar. He can get to the emotional center of a song with just a few notes. With this show, titled When You Wish Upon A Star, he takes on the classic film and television themes, illustrating how they shape our relationship to what we wee. He’s joined by Eyvind Kang, viola; Thomas Morgan, gbass; Rudy Royston, drums; and Petra Haden on vocals. They’ll re-imagine songs like Over the Rainbow, Disney themes, and music from the Honeymooners. Here’s a video where he talks about the project.

Sunday, February 21

St. Olaf Jazz Ensemble @ Crooners Lounge & Supper Club, Fridley. 3pm – 6pm (No Cover) The student jazz ensemble directed by Dave Hagedorn is heading to Cuba at the end of March and they’re holding a fundraiser. There will be raffle tickets available for $10, though admittedly, I don’t know what’s being raffled. Nevertheless, the ensemble has a strong reputation, and given their director (Hagedorn), it’s no wonder. I understand that Mojitos are the drink of the day, though Crooners will have their usual drink and food menu available.

Dan Chouinard & Gwen Matthews @ The Dunsmore Room, Crooners, Fridley. 7pm ($20 Minimum) It’s the revival of Chouinard’s Birthday Club, where strophe and a guest – this time it’s Gwen Matthews – perform songs from composers and singers with birthdays in the current month.

Monday, February 22

Ches Smith Trio @ The Icehouse, Minneapolis. 9:30pm ($15) Here’s a gig that has many modern jazz fans excited. Ches Smith is a musical explorer who plays drums (including tympani), percussion, and vibraphone. Though Smith is an in-demand player, (he’s appeared on at least 50 recordings since 2001), he is not well known among the jazz public. For this trio he’s joined by violist Mat Maneri and pianist Craig Taborn, who grew up in the Twin Cities. All three record for ECM records, and are touring behind the recently released Bell. It’s filled with free improvisation, empty spaces, and complex phrases that run from meditative to exhilarating.

Tuesday, February 23

Mary Louise Knutson and Hot Jazz w/Connie Evingson @ Vieux Carre, Saint Paul. 6pm (No Cover), 8pm ($8) Here’s an evening that ranges from sublime to joyful, starting 6pm with pianist Mary Louise Knutson. Then at 8pm, the versatile vocalist Connie Evingson steps on stage, performing gypsy jazz and other “hot” music, backed by Patrick Harrison, accordion; Dean Harrington and Mike Cramer, guitars; and Josh Granowski, bass.

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

Blues, Roots, Other…

Wednesday, February 17

Captain Gravitone @ KFAI and the 331 Club, Minneapolis. 5pm (90.3 & 106.7FM), 7pm (331 Club – Tip Jar) Banjoist/composer Eli Hoehn leads this quintet through Americana, jazz, Gypsy jazz, tangos and more. Names after a fictional super-hero named Captain Gravitone the band incorporates some humor into their songs (something we need to here more in music) as well as thoughtfulness and intrigue. Consider the titles of some of their songs: “Warm, Dark, Narcotic American Night,” “Daydreaming Out of the 9 to 5 Corporate Office Window,” and “Hula-hoop Girl on Bourbon Street.” Tune in while they’re on the radio and then head over to the 331 to hear more.

Pat Donahue @ Crooners Lounge and Supper Club, Fridley, 7pm (No Cover) In a town where at least three guitarists have earned the title of Fingerstyle National Champion, Pat Donahue  who is one of those guitarists, stands out, in part because he also sings, and in part because he was a regular on Prairie Home Companion for many years, honing his skill and playing a wide variety of music.

Triplets of Belleville Cine-Concert @ Northrup Auditorium, UofM, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($25 – $35) The Grammy-nominated animated madcap comedy about the abduction of a French road-racing bicyclist and his grandmother’s quest to find him will be accompanied by the eight-piece Le Terrible Ortchestre de Belleville directed by Benoit Charest conducting his original score for the film.  Imagine the following with live music.

Thursday, February 18

Ostroushko, Magraw, & Rae: The World Live! at the Hill @ The James J Hill Center, Saint Paul. 7pm ($10 Advance, $15 Door) This monthly series of world music brings together three excellent musicians. Peter Ostroushko is a mandolinist/fiddle/guitarist who played on Blood on the Tracks, and has appeared on Praire Home Companion, Austin City Limits, David Letterman, and Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood. Dean Magraw is a versatile guitarist who can turn out Celtic and world licks, improvise with the best jazz musicians, and fuzz up his guitar in homage to Jimi Hendrix. Jillian Rae is the youngest of the three, a multi-talented violinist, vocalist, and songwriter, whose songs are full of hooks, and who can play Led Zeppelin as well as a traditional fiddle tune. Check out this video by Rae.

Friday, February 19

Noura Mint Seymali @ The Cedar Cultural Center, Minneapolis. 8pm ($25) I have to say I’m not very familiar with Mauritanian singer Noura Mint Seymali, but her YouTube videos show her singing timeless songs from the Sahara. She achieves a contemporary sound with the addition of  very cosmopolitan mix of funk bass, drums, and psych guitar played by (husband and fellow griot) Jeich Ould Chighaly. You may not understand the words, but her emotion and the songs beats just may get you dancing.

We Can Be Heroes – The David Bowie Tribute @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 7pm ($35) With the passing of Bowie a couple of weeks ago, the tributes are coming. This one is particularly impressive with an All-Star lineup that includes former members of Priince, Soul Asylu, The Suburbs, The REmbrandst, and Greazy Meal. Vocalist Julius Collins leads the proceedings, joined by Michael Bland, Winsotn Roye, Brian Gallagher, Cory Eischen, Phil Solem, Jeremy Ylvisaker, and special guest Dave Pirner of Soul Asylum. DJ Phat will spin from 8pm to 9pm, when the tribute begins. Dress up encouraged.  though he’s not singing a Bowie song, this clip is an example of Collin’s singing ability.

Saturday, February 20

Kate Fierro: The Songs of Sade @ The Parkway Theater, 4814 Chicago Ave So, Minneapolis. 8pm ($15 Advance, $20 Door) Fierro will enjoy the backing of a great band as she explores 22 songs from Sade’s catalogue, from Diamond Life (1984) to Lover’s Rock (2000). Fierro’s backing band includes back-up singers and band leaders, Katie Gearty and Julius Collins, and is driven by David Young and Joshua Stigen on guitars, Serge Aku on bass, Aaron Tafoya on percussion, Charlie Peterson on keys and production, Mike Holvig on drums and the incredible, long time Twin Cities favorite, Ronny Loew, who will add sparkling saxophone to complete the sound.

Patsy O’Brien @ The Riverview Cafe, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($15) Born and raised in Ireland, O’Brien now calls Saint Paul home. While he certainly draws upon his Irish heritage in performing, he has studied jazz, and has toured in country and rock bands. He’s been called “Ireland’s Best Kept Secret,” and an “Irish Robbie Robertson.”

Sunday, February 21

Bob DeFlores Presents The Soundies @ Chanhassen Theatres, 501 West 78th Street, Chanhassen. 3pm ($12, or $27 including 4:30pm dinner) Make your way to the Southwest suburb to take in this unique show. “Soundies” were essentially the music videos of the 1940s, 3 minute films of singers, dancers, and bands created for screening in film jukeboxes. Some were also shown during the early days of television. Bob DeFlores, nationally known archivist of films, will be showing some of the great entertainers, singers and orchestras of the era: Cab Calloway, Fats Waller, Doris Day, Jimmy Dorsey, The Mills Brothers, Liberace, Eddie Peabody, Ozzie Nelson, Gene Krupa with Anita O’Day and Roy Eldridge, and many more. Also enjoy “Sing Along with the Bouncing Ball!” Dinner will be served after the showing. Here’s an example.

Monday, February 22

New Riverside Ramblers @ The Eagles Club #34, Minneapolis. 7:30pm ($8) It’s Cajun/Zydeco night at the Eagles, with the New Riverside Ramblers  Having played together for 25 years, these musicians are adept at providing the impetus for folks to shake it, twirl it, and glide around the dance floor.

Tuesday, February 23

Warren Haynes and the Ashes & Dust Band @ The Fitzgerald Theater, Saint Paul. 7:30pm ($34 – $40) Guitarist Haynes has been part of three groups known for their live performances: the Allman Brothers, Gov’t Mule, and The Dead. On his latest album, Ashes & Dust, Haynes shows off his Americana chops both as a singer and songwriter, reflecting the music he heard growing up in Asheville, NC, with an undercurrent of working class rock n’ roll. Not to worry, however, he’s still using his electric guitar while making good use of the acoustic prowess of his backing band.

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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