Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Site news: StLJN on vacation

After 12 and a half years of blogging without a real break, yr. humble StLJN editor is taking a brief vacation. Back soon with more...

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Sunday Session: August 13, 2017

Rudresh Mahanthappa
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Kamasi Washington: An Opinion of Difference (Jazz Times)
* Neither bills nor advancing age can dim the glow of a drummer's dream (Los Angeles Times)
* Was Elvis a thief? Yes! No! Maybe? Music stars weigh in on Presley's legacy (San Diego Union Tribune)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day One - Cécile McLorin Salvant and more at the fest's first McBride-led edition (Jazz Times)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day Two - A touching tribute to Geri Allen highlights Saturday at Fort Adams (Jazz Times)
* Field Notes: Newport 2017, Day Three - The fest wraps with plenty of sun and groove (Jazz Times)
* The Power of Sound: Using the Shepard Tone In Filmmaking (PremiumBeat.com)
* Suzanne Ciani and the Subliminal Property of Being Human (The Paris Review)
* 'The Green Book' Guided Black Travelers to L.A.'s Central Avenue Jazz Scene (KCET)
* Interim Thoughts on the Life and Career of Chubby Checker (PopMatters.com)
* Grammys boss knuckles under China censors as show readies tour (Japan Times)
* Anything is possible when jazz master Henry Threadgill plays at Newport (Boston Globe)
* AI and music: will we be slaves to the algorithm? (The Guardian)
* Southern Exposure: Searching for clues to the death of a bandleader (Daily Astorian)
* Jimmy Webb, Writer of Glen Campbell Classics, Remembers ‘My Big Brother, My Co-Culprit’ (Variety)
* Creating the world’s largest cat sound effects library – with Yarron Katz (ASoundEffect.com)
* Why do stars like Adele keep losing their voice? (The Guardian)
* Forebears: The Mercurial And Majestic Dinah Washington (NPR)
* Q&A with Rudresh Mahanthappa: Connected Spaces (DownBeat)
* The Internet Doesn’t Matter, You’re Making Music in L.A. (Vulture.com)
* Know your customers: Costa Pilavachi on the classical recording industry (Rhinegold.co.uk)
* Steve Martin Explains His Love of Banjo Music: 'It Rivals Any Specialized Genre' (Billboard)
* The Rich History—and Present—of Latin American Prog (Bandcamp.com)
* SoundCloud Saved By The Bell Of A Big Chunk Of Financing (NPR)
* Eagle Saloon unveils historical plaques, window displays (Offbeat)
* Party Over Here: An Oral History of Kool Herc’s Historic Back-to-School Jam (MassAppeal.com)
* When Mistakes/Studio Glitches Give Famous Songs Their Personality: Pink Floyd, Metallica, The Breeders, Steely Dan & More (OpenCulture.com)

Saturday, August 12, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
The return of Rebirth Brass Band

This week, let's take a look at some videos of New Orleans' Rebirth Brass Band, who will be coming back to St. Louis to perform on Friday, September 1 at the Atomic Cowboy Pavilion.

Formed in 1983 by brothers Keith and Phillip Frazier, Rebirth Brass Band is, along with the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, one of the longest running of the contemporary groups re-inventing the New Orleans brass band tradition. Their most recent recording is 2014’s Move Your Body on the Basin Street Records label, which was the follow-up to their 2012 Grammy Award-winning album Rebirth of New Orleans, and they were here in St. Louis last in September 2016 for a show at the same venue.

Today, you can see a half-dozen videos featuring some fan favorites from RBB's repertoire, starting up above with a version of one of their signature songs, "Do Whatcha Wanna," recorded in 2014 in New Orleans for the web series Jam in the Van.

After the jump, there's a video of "Move Your Body" recorded at the same session, followed by a full set of music recorded in 2012 at the Howlin' Wolf in New Orleans.

The fourth video shows the RBB doing their version of the New Orleans standard "Big Chief," recorded in 2011 at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans.

Next is a medley of two more of their best-known tunes,  "Rebirth Groove" and "Feel Like Funkin It Up," recorded in February 2014 at The Funky Biscuit in Boca Raton, FL.

The final clip is a riff on another New Orleans classic, "I Like It Like That," recorded in 2011 for the radio program "Soundcheck" on WNYC in New York City.

For more about the Rebirth Brass Band, check out Keith Frazier's 2015 interview with HollywoodSoapbox.com and this 2012 feature from Gambit.

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

Friday, August 11, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* Saxquest will celebrate the grand opening of their new second location in Maryland Heights from noon to 4:00 p.m. tomorrow (Saturday, August 12).

The free event will include guided tours of the new facility, free food, giveaways and door prizes, and live music from the Pyle Driver Saxophone Quartet, Renegade Saxophone Quartet, and Al Holliday and The East Side Rhythm Band. The original Saxquest store on Cherokee St. will close for the day so all staff members can help out with the grand opening.

* Trumpeter and Ferguson native Keyon Harrold (pictured) this week released two new songs commemorating the anniversary of the killing of Michael Brown three years ago in his hometown. You can hear “MB Lament” and “When Will It Stop” and see the accompanying videos via this YouTube playlist.

* Thurman's in Shaw was the subject of a short article on the website NearSay.com, highlighting the bar's weekly Thursday night jazz gigs featuring pianist Adam Maness' trio.

* Drummer and St. Louis native Marcus Baylor and his wife, singer Jean Baylor will bring their group The Baylor Project to NYC's Jazz Standard for the first time on Sunday, August 20 in support of their album The Journey. Along with the Baylors, the Project includes trumpeter Freddie Hendrix, tenor saxophonist Keith Loftis, pianist Terry Brewer, and bassist Corcoran Holt.

* Singer and former St. Louisan Marcella Hooks, now living in California, was the subject of a feature story in the Solano Daily Republic newspaper.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jazz this week: Herbie Hancock, Louis Armstrong Festival, and more

This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis features the return of one of the most important living jazz musicians for one night only, a two-night tribute to the first superstar soloist in jazz, and more.

Let's go to the highlights...

August 10
Keyboardist Herbie Hancock will perform in a concert presented by Jazz St. Louis at Powell Hall.

With a new album reportedly in the works, Hancock (pictured) also has a new addition to his live band, with saxophonist/keyboardist Terrace Martin joining guitarist Lionel Loueke, bassist James Genus and drummer Vinnie Colaiuta in the group.

Some tickets for the concert still remained on sale as of end of business on Wednesday, but if you haven't gotten seats yet and want to go, you'll probably want to call ahead rather than just walk up to the box office.

To promote his St. Louis show, Hancock did brief interviews with St. Louis magazine's Erin Williams, St. Louis Public Radio's David Cazares, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson. Also, you can see some videos spanning Hancock's 50+ years in the music business in this StLJN post from a couple of Saturdays ago.

Also on Thursday night, bassist and singer Tonina Saputo leads a quartet at The Dark Room, and guitarist Dave Black and singer Tony Vivano will perform at The Pat Connolly Tavern.

Friday, August 11
The second annual "Louis Armstrong Festival of St. Louis" will be presented for the first of two nights at the Webster Groves Concert Hall, featuring music associated with Armstrong performed by a band featuring trumpeters Randy Holmes and Robert Souza, trombonist Brett Stamps, clarinetist Scott Alberici, pianist Mary Ann Schulte, drummer Kevin Gianino, bassist Bob Lowe and guitarist/banjoist Dan Stevens. 

You can see StLJN's video tribute to the 116th anniversary of Armstrong's birth in this post from last Saturday.  

Also on Friday, guitarist Eric Slaughter and bassist Glen Smith will duet at Parkside Grille in Ballwin, and the Ambassadors of Swing will play for dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom.

Saturday, August 12 
Guitarist Stuart Johnson will play a matinee show at The Shaved Duck, and then on Saturday evening, Dizzy Atmosphere will perform for the "Garden of Glass" event at Missouri Botanical Garden, singer Joe Mancuso returns to Bartolino's South and trumpeter Jim Manley is back at One 19 North Tapas & Wine Bar.

Sunday, August 13
Miss Jubilee returns for the weekly jazz brunch at Evangeline's, Red Lehr and the Rivermen will play a matinee for the St. Louis Jazz Club at the DoubleTree Hotel in Westport, and saxophonist Tim Cunningham will perform at Mount Pleasant Winery.

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 http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes 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.)

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Sunday Session: August 6, 2017

Jason Moran
Here's the roundup of various music-related items of interest that have appeared in StLJN's inbox over the past week:

* Concert Review: Umbria Jazz Festival (Jazz Times)
* SZA: ‘The record company took my hard drive from me’ (The Guardian)
* Did Meek Mill and TIDAL Just Scam the Billboard 200? (DigitalMusicNews.com)
* Is Schlager Music The Most Embarrassing Thing Germany Has Ever Produced?
Deutschland über us. (TheAwl.com)
* Sax Greats Remember Coltrane on 50 Year Anniversary of His Death (Observer.com)
* July '67 altered the sound, sensibilities of Detroit musicians — and those yet to be born (Detroit Free Press)
* The Inside Story Of SoundCloud's Collapse (Buzzfeed)
* Kamasi Washington: An Opinion of Difference (Jazz Times)
* The Best Band Nobody Can Sign (TheFader.com)
* An Archive of Iconic Photos from the Golden Age of Jazz: William Gottlieb’s Portraits of Dizzy, Thelonious, Billie, Satchmo & More (OpenCulture.com)
* Concert Security's New Frontier (Rolling Stone)
* Seeing Aretha Franklin Sing For The Last Time (NPR)
* Meet The Kenyan Collective Bridging The Gap Between Traditional And Electronic Music (TheFader.com)
* Kamasi Washington Announces New Tour, Reveals 'Harmony of Difference' EP Release Date (OkayPlayer.com)
* BANFF | Q&A: 29 Questions For Vijay Iyer (MusicalToronto.org)
* Sad Songs, Artificial Intelligence and Gracenote’s Quest to Unlock the World’s Music (Variety)
* Who Was Bix? Beiderbecke Museum Has Answers (DownBeat)
* Why Are So Many Heritage Artists on the Road Again? This Explains Everything. (AJournalOfMusicalThings.com)
* Brian Wilson review – frail Beach Boy isn't made for these times (The Guardian)
* This music production tool is the reason why all new music sounds the same (Qz.com)
* Review: Warsaw Summer Jazz (Jazz Journal)
* The Problem with NPR's '150 Greatest Albums Made by Women' List (The Stranger)
* Satellites Are Spinning: Notes on a Sun Ra Poem (The Paris Review)
* Metheny Goes Nordic at Molde Fest (DownBeat)
* Time Machines: The Life and Music of Conlon Nancarrow (RedBullMusicAcademy.com)
* Jazz Pianist Jason Moran on Artistic Self-Determination (Bandcamp.com)
* Inside the Music Publishing World's Epic Struggle to Build a Single Song Database (Billboard)
* The Swampers return to their sweet home thanks to Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine (AlabamaNewsCenter.com)
* The Brief Career and Self-Imposed Exile of Jutta Hipp, Jazz Pianist (Longreads.com)
* This Map Shows The Top-Selling Musician Born In Each State (CraveOnline.com)

Saturday, August 05, 2017

StLJN Saturday Video Showcase:
Happy birthday, Louis Armstrong!

This week, StLJN is celebrating the legacy of the iconic trumpeter and singer Louis Armstrong with some vintage videos, for a couple of reasons.

First, yesterday (Friday, August 4) was the 116th anniversary of Armstrong's birth. During his lifetime, he claimed to have been born on July 4, 1900, but years after after his death, researchers uncovered information showing that Armstrong's true date of birth was in fact August 4, 1901. As a result, fans now celebrate on both days.

Second, there's an Armstrong-related event coming up next week in St. Louis, as a band led by trumpeter Randy Holmes will be presenting the second annual "Louis Armstrong Festival of St. Louis" next Friday, August 11 and Saturday, August 12 at the Webster Groves Concert Hall.

Holmes will be joined by fellow trumpeter Robert Souza, Brett Stamps (trombone), Scott Alberici (clarinet), Mary Ann Schulte (piano), Kevin Gianino (drums), Bob Lowe (bass) and Dan Stevens (banjo, guitar) for two nights of performances of music associated with Armstrong.

To commemorate both occasions, here's a selection of Armstrong videos, starting up above with a 1964 show from Australia that recently surfaced online.

Continuing after the jump with some "editor's picks" of personal favorites, the second video represents one of Armstrong's earliest filmed appearances, as he performed "I Cover The Waterfront", "Dinah" and "Tiger Rag" in 1933 in Copenhagen, Denmark.

That's followed by performances of "Up A Lazy River," "Old Rockin' Chair," and "When The Saints Go Marching In" from the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, as filmed for the popular documentary Jazz on A Summer's Day.

Below that, there's a clip from 1959 that may be the only footage of Armstrong in the recording studio, re-discovered and made available last year by the Louis Armstrong House Museum, the official repository of the trumpeter's archives and keepers of his legacy. It was shot while Armstrong was recording the album Satchmo Plays King Oliver, and shows him and the band recording the master take of "I Ain't Got Nobody," plus silent footage of them listening to the playback.

The penultimate video is from 1962, and was made as an episode of "Goodyear Jazz Concert," a series of short films for television produced by the Goodyear tire company. Since it originally was shot on 35mm film and recorded in stereo, it offers a more high fidelity look and sound than a lot of the available video of Armstrong.

The final clip features Armstrong and Mahalia Jackson teaming up to perform "Just A Closer Walk With Thee" at the 1970 Newport Jazz Festival.

For more about Louis Armstrong, check out the Louis Armstrong House Museum official site, Armstrong's page at RedHotJazz.com and the tribute site Satchmo.net. For an historic appreciation of his musical and cultural significance, there's also "The Artistry of 'Pops': Louis Armstrong at 100", a presentation put together back in 2000 by the Center for Jazz Studies at Columbia University that features trumpeter Wynton Marsalis and critic Stanley Crouch.

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

Friday, August 04, 2017

So What: Local News, Notes & Links

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

* New Music Circle will raise money for their upcoming 59th season with "an evening of drinks and DJs" from 7:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., Tuesday, August 22 at Tick Tock Tavern, 3459 Magnolia Ave in the Tower Grove East neighborhood.

The free event will include raffles for prizes including CDs, LPs, and tickets to upcoming NMC concerts; and a preview of the upcoming season schedule.  Proceeds from drinks purchased during the event will go to support NMC.

* Speaking of season previews, Jazz St. Louis will (re)introduce their upcoming season with a free "preview party" event at 6:00 p.m. next Tuesday, August 8 at Jazz at the Bistro.

JSL's Gene Dobbs Bradford and Bob Bennett will offer their insights into the artist selection and planning process for the year, and complimentary hors d'oeuvres and a cash bar will be available. Space is limited, so they're asking those who want to attend to RSVP by emailing boxoffice@jazzstl.org or calling 314-571-6000 by tomorrow (Friday, August 4).

* Also from Jazz St. Louis, their monthly book club will resume for the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, September 12 with a discussion of Dorothy Baker's novel Young Man with a Horn.

The group, which is facilitated by Washington University professor Gerald Early, meets on the second Tuesday of each month in the first floor lounge at Jazz St. Louis headquarters, 3536 Washington Ave. There's no charge for membership, and meetings are free to attend. For more details, including the list of books that will be discussed this season, go here.

* In advance of his concert next Thursday, August 10 at Powell Hall, keyboardist Herbie Hancock (pictured) answered some questions from the Post-Dispatch's Kevin Johnson.

* Keyboardist/bandleader and writer Kevin Mitchell was profiled by the St. Louis County Arts blog

* Also new from the St. Louis County Arts blog: a brief feature story on the Route 66 Jazz Orchestra.

* Music Record Shop in Grand Center was the subject of a feature story on KSDK-TV's local newscast.

* There's still time to vote in DownBeat magazine's 82nd annual readers poll by casting your online ballot here.  Results of the poll will be published in the mag's December issue.