Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Mary Louise Knutson

When: 12/11/07
Where: The Dakota
Who: Mary Louise Knutson (piano), Gary Raynor (bass), Greg Schutte (drums); guest Sue Orfield (saxophone)

Previewing this show for Jazz Police, Andrea Canter wrote: "The Twin Cities is blessed with a large handful of pianists who could easily match keys with the best in any other city. Count Mary Louise among them." I have a piano jazz playlist of over 1,000 tunes that I often play while I'm working; when Knutson's "Meridian" and "Merle the Pearl" come around, I stop what I'm doing and listen. Both are original Knutson tunes; she's a composer as well as a performer.

At the Dakota, we heard a stride-style "Santa Baby," Sonny Rollins's "Pent-Up House," Toots Thielemans's lovely "Bluesette," and a new Knutson original based on her cell phone number. Orfield gave us some assertive, bluesy sax on "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland" and "The Meaning of the Blues." I'd like to see her again. The set ended with "Meridian."

So far, Knutson has just one CD: Call Me When You Get There (2001). She's working on her second. 2008? Fingers crossed.

Mary Louise keeps her Web site calendar up to date.

Photo in the dark light of the Dakota by John Whiting.

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