Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Session: March 26, 2017

Lee Morgan
Here are some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* How Spotify is finally gaining leverage over record labels (
* Chuck Berry's Family Move Forward With Planned 'Chuck' LP (Rolling Stone)
* That Time Chuck Berry Punched Keith Richards in the Face (Guitar World)
* Chuck Berry's Guitarist Billy Peek Looks Back on 50 Years of Music and Friendship (Billboard)
* How Chuck Berry's Hometown St. Louis Inspired -- and Embittered -- Him (Billboard)
* Business-Savvy Chuck Berry Left Behind An Estimated $50 Million Estate (Billboard)
* Q&A with Dan Brubeck: Exploring Dad’s Songbook (DownBeat)
* Splitting Adams: John Adams' Chamber Symphonies (WQXR)
* Vision Festival 22 Lineup Announced (Jazz Times)
* Detroit Jazz Fest Names Wayne Shorter Artist-in-Residence (DownBeat)
* Rob Mazurek: The Aquarium Drunkard Interview (
* Back when pop music was literary (
* Is Texas, not Mississippi, the true home of the blues? (
* Cracking the Columbia Records Code (
* Q&A with Gary Burton: A Fond Farewell (DownBeat)
* Inside Kamasi Washington's New Ode to Unity (Rolling Stone)
* Bob Dylan Talks Amy Winehouse, Leonard Cohen, Much More in Rare, Extensive Interview (Pitchfork)
* The Most Expensive Record Never Sold (NPR)
* From 'Hamilton' to Jazz at Lincoln Center: 10 Music Projects You Have the NEA to Thank For (Billboard)
* How Weather Report Rewrote the Rules of Jazz on ‘Heavy Weather’ (
* Muldrow Meets Mingus (NPR)
* Perspectives on music-making in a hyper-connected world (
* Duke Ellington’s Faith (
* Q&A: Making sense of music through math (CBC)
* 'I Called Him Morgan' Is A Tale Of Marriage, Murder And Jazz, Told From Two Sides (WBGO)
* Stop Everything and Behold this Mini Art Deco Telephone Jukebox circa 1935 (
* The Unofficial History of Home Recording: Big Hits from Bedroom Studios (

Saturday, March 25, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Spotlight on Laurence Hobgood

This week, let's take a look at some videos featuring pianist Laurence Hobgood, who's coming to St. Louis to perform with his trio on Wednesday, April 5 and Thursday, April 6 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Known widely for his more than 20 years as musical director for singer Kurt Elling, Hobgood split from Elling at the end of 2013 to concentrate on his own music. Since then, he's been involved in a variety of projects, playing solo, with his trio, and with larger ensembles, and sometimes even working with other vocalists, notably the British singer Barb Jungr, for whom he produced an album in 2016.

Hobgood's most recent trio recording was 2015's Honor Thy Fathers, which featured guest appearances from bassist John Patitucci and drummer Kendrick Scott. For his forthcoming album Tesseterra, set for release next month, he's using his regular accompanists, drummer Jared Schonig and bassist Matt Clohesy, augmented by the string quartet ETHEL to perform "iconic songs (by artists like Cole Porter; Sting; Hoagie Carmichael; Crosby, Stills & Nash; Joni Mitchell; Stevie Wonder, etc…) set in a cutting edge jazz-classical hybrid."

While it's certainly possible some adapted versions of those arrangements could turn up during Hobgood's St. Louis shows with only the trio, for the purpose of today's preview, you can see and hear him in several different musical settings that, together, should provide some more general insight into his musical personality.

In the first clip up above, Hobgood is seen performing a solo version of the Duke Ellington standard "Do Nothing Til You Hear From Me," recorded in October 2015 at the Arts Club in Ellington's home town of Washington DC.

After the jump, you can see Hobgood in an episode of Mad Toast Live!, a "community music showcase" based in Madison, Wisconsin. The program, recorded in 2012, features him performing solo and with singer Sally deBroux, bassist Laurie Lang, and percussionist John Becker.

Next are two more clips featuring Hobgood with female vocalists. He backs Barb Jungr in a version of the title track from the album they did together, Bob Dylan's "Shelter From The Storm," that was recorded in March 2016 at Pizza Express in London, and then accompanies Atla DeChamplain on another Ellington tune, "Love You Madly."

Those are followed by some footage of the pianist leading a sextet in a gig during the 2012 Winter Jazz Fest at Le Poisson Rouge in NYC. The band includes Schonig on drums as well as saxophonists Joel Frahm and Todd Bashore, trumpeter Brandon Lee, and bassist Matthew Rybicki.

The final clip features an interview with Hobgood recorded in 2012 for Jazz Times magazine, in which he discusses how he got started in music.

For more about Laurence Hobgood, you can listen to him on a 2013 episode of NPR's "Piano Jazz" and in a 2015 interview on the UK's JazzFM.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, March 24, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

Here's StLJN's latest wrap-up of assorted links and short news items of local interest:

* Dave Weckl will drum with the Buddy Rich Big Band in a tribute concert in May at Ronnie Scott's in London.

* Speaking of London, the website London Jazz News last week published two posts of local interest to StLJN readers: a previously unseen interview from 1995 with trumpeter and St. Louis native Lester Bowie; and a review of Message to Our People, bassist and Washington University faculty member Paul Steinbeck's new book recounting the history of the Art Ensemble of Chicago, of which Bowie was a member.

* Organizers of the U City Jazz Festival have announced the date and lineup for this year's event. The fest will be held Saturday, June 10 in Heman Park, and will feature music from Demarius Hicks, Ptah Williams (pictured), Dave Black, Bach to the Future, and the St. Louis Jazz All Stars.

* David Steward, founder of St. Louis-based World Wide Technology Inc, and his wife Thelma Steward will receive the Ed Bradley Award for Leadership in philanthropy from Jazz at Lincoln Center during JALC's annual gala on April 26 in NYC. Though the award is for their contributions to JaLC, the Stewards also were the lead donors for Jazz St. Louis' renovated headquarters and performance space that opened in October 2014.

* Drummer Kimberly Thompson is transformed into an animated version of herself in the first episode of "Music Time with Kimberly Thompson," a new web series for kids posted this week to YouTube.

* Meanwhile, in another animation aimed at a more adult audience, singer, actor and Belleville, IL native Lea DeLaria lends her voice to the role of a talking birth control pill in "I'm Just A Pill," a new animated video produced by the Lady Parts Justice League "to school (Supreme Court nominee Neil) Gorsuch and dispel fake facts on birth control and drop some scientific knowledge on Plan B as a preventative measure."

* Chris Hansen of the Kranzberg Arts Foundation was interviewed by writer Terry Perkins for an article in Alive! magazine about The Dark Room's new location in the renovated Grandel Theatre.

* Happiness of Living,  the new album from On Fillmore, bassist Darin Gray's duo project with drummer Glenn Kotche, is officially released today, and already has gotten positive press coverage from Rolling Stone and Chicago Reader.

* Saxophonist Eric Person has posted to Facebook a photo album from his recent "Person to Person" shows with fellow saxophonist (and unrelated namesake) Houston Person at the Blue Note in NYC.

* Trombonist Charlie Halloran talks about his move from St. Louis to New Orleans in a brief feature by the Riverfront Times' Christian Schaeffer.

* Cabaret Project St. Louis' monthly open mic night has yet another new home, after a brief run at The Monocle following the closing last year of its longtime location, the Tavern of Fine Arts. Starting on Thursday, April 20, the event, now known as the Broadway Open Mic, will take place from 8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month at the Curtain Call Lounge in Grand Center.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Jazz this week: Emmet Cohen, Madeleine Peyroux, Victor Wooten, and more

This week's calendar of jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes the local debut of a promising young pianist, a festival of student big bands, return appearances from a jazz-influenced singer and a virtuoso electric bassist, and more. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, March 22
The NYC-based pianist Emmet Cohen will perform at the Curtain Call Lounge with his trio, which customarily features bassist Russell Hall, of the house band on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, and drummer Kyle Poole.

Praised by DownBeat for his “kaleidoscopic sense of musical narrative,” Cohen (pictured, top left) has played at jazz festivals including Monterey, Newport, North Sea, Bern, and Edinburgh, and performed, recorded or collaborated with Christian McBride, Herlin Riley, Kurt Elling, Billy Hart, Jimmy Heath, Brian Lynch, Lea DeLaria, and many others. His most recent album Masters Legacy Series, Vol. 1 features legendary drummer Jimmy Cobb, the only surviving musician from Miles Davis' Kind of Blue.

Note also that in addition to his free gig Wednesday as part of the Grand Center Jazz Crawl, Cohen and his trio also will perform in a ticketed concert on Thursday night at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Also on Wednesday, pianist Carolbeth True and Two Times True with saxophonist Larry Johnson will open a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro.

Thursday, March 23
With Washington University students back on campus after spring break, the Jazz at Holmes series will present a free concert featuring pianist Ken Kehner, accompanied by William Lenihan on bass and Montez Coleman on drums.

Friday, March 24
Southern Illinois University Edwardsville will host the "Essentially Ellington" Regional Festival at Dunham Hall on the SIUE campus. Affiliate with the similarly named annual event at NYC's Jazz at Lincoln Center. The day-long festival will culminate in a public concert featuring performances from the participating high school bands; clinicians Zeb Briskovich, Rick Haydon, Adaron Jackson, Garrett Schmidt, Jason Swagler, and Miles Vandiver; and the SIUE Concert Jazz Band.

Also on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will open a two-night gig at Jazz at the Bistro; the Midwest Jazz-tette returns to Evangeline's; and singer and impressionist Dean Christopher brings his "Rat Pack & More" show to the Kinda Blue Club.

Saturday, March 25
Pianist James Matthews plays an early-evening show at the Palomino Lounge, and singer Joe Mancuso, guitarist Dave Black and multi-instrumentalist R. Scott Bryan will team up for a concert at Focal Point.

Sunday, March 26
Miss Jubilee plays for brunch at Evangeline's, and the Folk School of KDHX will present their monthly matinee Traditional Jazz Jam Session.

Then on Sunday evening, singer and guitarist Madeleine Peyroux returns for two shows at the Old Rock House.

Squeezing this date into a brief break in her joint tour with singer Rickie Lee Jones, Peyroux (pictured, center left) will be accompanied by Steely Dan guitarist Jon Herington and Israeli-born bassist Barak Mori, performing a variety of music from her catalog including songs from her most recent release, 2016's Secular Hymns.

Also on Sunday evening, the Williams Brothers - trumpeter Joshua, saxophonist Jo-e’l, and pianist Jaydon - will perform together for a one-nighter at Jazz at the Bistro.

Monday, March 27
Dizzy Atmosphere plays Gypsy jazz and swing for diners at The Shaved Duck, and Webster University's student jazz combos will show off what they've learned so far this year in a free concert at Webster's Community Music School.

Tuesday, March 28
Bassist Victor Wooten (pictured, bottom left) returns for a performance with his trio, featuring the great drummer Dennis Chambers and saxophonist Bob Franceschini, at the Old Rock House.

The bass virtuoso, who made his name as a member of banjo player Bela Fleck's band the Flecktones, has been touring with this lineup since the end of last year, so they should be in fine form by the time they reach St. Louis.

Also on Tuesday, the Washington University Jazz Band, directed by Chris Becker, performs at Jazz at the Bistro; and BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups has a jazz double-header, with percussionist Joe Pastor's Legacy Jazz Ensemble playing in the early evening, followed by saxophonist "Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective.

For more jazz-related events in and around St. Louis, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, which can be found on the left sidebar of the site or by clicking here. You also can keep up with all the latest news by following St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at or clicking the "Like" icon on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

Monday, March 20, 2017

Tony Bennett returning for concert on
Wednesday, June 7 at the Fox Theatre

Singer Tony Bennett is returning to St. Louis to perform at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, June 7 at the Fox Theatre.

Bennett, still remarkably active after turning 90 years old last August, is touring in support of his most recent album, the not-coincidentally-titled Tony Bennett Celebrates 90, which came out in December 2016.

His daughter Antonia Bennett, also a singer and a graduate of Berklee College of Music, will open the show.

Bennett (pictured) last performed in the St. Louis area in September 2015 at Lindenwood University's Scheidegger Center for the Arts.

While the announcement received by StLJN did not include prices, tickets for Tony Bennett at the Fox Theatre will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. this Friday, March 24 via MetroTix and the Fox box office.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sunday Session: March 19, 2017

Chuck Berry
Here are some interesting music-related items that have landed in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Hail and farewell: Rock legend Chuck Berry dies at 90 (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
* $7.5 million guitar sale questioned by professionals (USA Today)
* Play Paul Simon’s Piano or Croon Into Elvis’ Mic at These Seven Historic Recording Studios (Smithsonian)
* Paul Shaffer Releases ‘Most Dangerous’ Album (
* Metheny Celebrated at Alternative Guitar Summit (DownBeat)
* The Fate of the Critic in the Clickbait Age (The New Yorker)
* Last Call (About Last Night/
* SoundCloud’s Valuation Has Dropped 75% In Less Than a Year (
* Cornelia Street Cafe Struggling With High Rent After 40 Years In Village (
* Tommy LiPuma, Grammy-Winning Producer & Record Exec, Dies at 80 (Billboard)
* Ride the Feedback: A Brief History of Guitar Distortion (
* Ornette Coleman’s Inspired Soundtrack for “Who’s Crazy?” (The New Yorker)
* Return of the Composer-Performer: A Rough Guide to New Music by Virtuoso Musicians (San Francisco Classical Voice)
* Rock Band: An Electromechanical Sound Machine That Makes Music With Rocks (
* Late musician Tony Conrad in the documentary 'Completely in the Present': 'I wanted to end composing — get rid of it' (Los Angeles Times)
* Kamasi Washington Follows ‘The Epic’ With a New Work in Whitney Biennial (New York Times)
* Alice Coltrane: Her Sound and Spirit (BBC)
* When East Meets West: Hear What Happened When Ravi Shankar & Philip Glass Composed Music Together (
* In Oakland, Trombone Shorty & Chili Peppers Create Red Hot Groove (DownBeat)
* The UK jazz invasion: 'I’m sure that some purists wouldn’t even call it jazz' (The Guardian)
* The Francis Brothers: African Record Center (
* REVIEW: John McLaughlin and the 4th Dimension at Ronnie Scott's (
* The Art of Tour Managing (Projection, Lights And Staging News)
* Enter the SoundBox: How the SF Symphony Turned a Dreadful Room Into Sonic Paradise (Wired)
* John Coltrane Documentary ‘Chasing Trane’ Gets Release Date (Variety)
* James Cotton Dies at 81 (DownBeat)
* The Real Cost of Abolishing the National Endowment for the Arts (The Atlantic)

Saturday, March 18, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Kneebody offers fusion "For The Fallen"

Today, StLJN's video spotlight shines on the group Kneebody, who will be returning to St. Louis to perform Wednesday, March 29 through Saturday, April 1 at Jazz at the Bistro.

Formed in 2001 in Los Angeles by four former students at the Eastman School of Music - keyboardist Adam Benjamin, trumpeter Shane Endsley, bassist Kaveh Rastegar, and saxophonist Ben Wendel - plus drummer Nate Wood, Kneebody has a hard-to-pigeonhole sound that might be called contemporary fusion, an evolution from 1970s/80s-style fusion in that it incorporates not only jazz and rock, but many other musical influences as well.

Their St. Louis gigs will be in support of their latest recording Anti-Hero, which was released earlier this month and is their eighth studio album. You can see an "album trailer" for Anti-Hero in the first video up above, which includes excerpts from the track "For the Fallen".

After the jump, there's a clip of an in-studio performance of "Uprising", another song from Anti-Hero. That's followed by two videos from Kneebody's gig at the venue Subculture during the Winter Jazz Fest in New York City in January of this year, capturing the beginning of their set, followed by the song "The Balloonist".

The final two clips, both from 2014 in Boston, show that the material released on Anti-Hero has been in development for some time, as you can see Kneebody play the album's title track at the Beantown Jazz Festival, and then, a set of music from the album performed at the Berklee School of Music Performance Center.

For more about Kneebody and Anti-Hero, check out the interview with the band published in February on; Rastegar's video interview with For Bass Players Only from last November; and Wendel's 2015 interview with Jazz Times.

You can see the rest of today's videos after the jump...

Friday, March 17, 2017

The Soul Rebels to perform
Thursday, May 25 at Old Rock House

New Orleans brass band The Soul Rebels are coming to St. Louis to perform at 8:00 p.m. Thursday, May 25 at the Old Rock House. St. Louis funk group The Grooveliner will open.

Playing more than 200 dates a year, The Soul Rebels (pictured) are busy participants on the New Orleans live music scene and the festival circuit nationwide. They released their most recent recording, Power=Power Mixtape, in 2013.

Tickets for the all-ages show are $15, and will go on sale at 10:00 a.m. this Saturday, March 18.