Friday, October 21, 2011

This week's jazz picks for Minneapolis-St. Paul: Oct. 21-27, 2011

Tonight, Friday, Oct. 21, at the Black Dog in St. Paul's Lowertown, the Community Pool: Deep End series of improvised music continues with Todd Harper’s Full Moon Rabbit. Bassist Brian Roessler, who curates this series with Nathan Hanson, describes Harper’s music as coming out of the Sun Ra tradition: jubilant, funny, beautiful, messy, and real. Eight-ish, no cover.

Tonight at First Avenue in Minneapolis—not a venue we get to mention too often here—Troy Andrews, aka Trombone Shorty, performs with his group Orleans Avenue. They're on tour with their new CD For True, which I'm listening to right now, and believe me, typing is the last thing you want to do when that music is playing. The CD features guests like Jeff Beck, Kid Rock, Ivan Neville, and Ledisi, but you won't miss them when Shorty takes the stage. It's going to be a high-energy, on-your-feet show of jazz, funk, R&B, pop, and New Orleans street-party music. Doors at 8, $25.

Tomorrow, Saturday, Oct. 22, back in Lowertown, the Jazz at Studio Z series returns with Seven Steps to Havana, Doug Little’s septet of musicians from Cuba, Puerto Rico, Brazil, and Africa. Salsa meets jazz in a performance that Larry Englund will record for Saint Paul Live, his new radio series that will air on KBEM/Jazz88 starting in January. 7 p.m., $10.

Also tomorrow, at the Hopkins Center for the Arts, the great Grammy-winning saxophonist and composer Joe Lovano performs with his group Us Five, featuring Esperanza Spalding on bass and two drummers: Oscar Brown III and Francisco Mela. 8 p.m., $28.

On Friday and Saturday, St. Paul native Matt Slocum, a drummer and composer now living in NYC. comes home to the Artists' Quarter to celebrate his latest CD, After the Storm. He’ll be here with Sam Yahel on piano and Massimo Biolcati on bass. 9 p.m., $15.

Veering off the jazz path and stepping into the Tardis: On Sunday, Oct. 23, at the Artists' Quarter, stride pianist Butch Thompson meets blues guitar picker Spider John Koerner. The two played together in the '60s on Minneapolis's West Bank and they will take us back. 7 p.m., $10.


Also on Sunday, Milo Fine—the ultimate I’ll-go-my-own-way musician—presents one of his special extra performances at Homewood Studios, this time with husband-and-wife team Paul Metzger on stringed instruments, Elaine Evans on violin and pocket trumpet. Improvised music at its most improvisational. Starts promptly at 7 p.m., $5 (unconfirmed, but the usual door for Milo's events).

On Monday night, Oct. 24, the sax-heavy sextet Dead Cat Bounce performs at Studio Z. This highly original group invokes Charles Mingus and the World Saxophone Quartet. One writer noted their “compulsive, seething grooves and brawling saxophones.” Four saxes/reed instruments, drums, bass. Trivia: Dead Cat Bounce is a Wall Street term that refers to a small, brief recovery in the price of a declining stock. 7:30 p.m., $10.

On Tuesday, Oct. 25, the brand-new Graydon Peterson Quartet performs at Jazz Central in Minneapolis. Bassist Peterson has written the music and invited friends from his college days at Eau Claire—Adrian Suarez on drums, Adam Meckler on trumpet, Vincent Rose on guitar—to play it. 8:30 p.m., no cover but please visit the tip jar.

On Wednesday, Oct. 26, pianist Bryan Nichols gives a solo performance at MacPhail’s lovely Antonello Hall. Recently, Bryan played with the Minnesota Orchestra as part of their season opener. He also released his first CD of original music, Bright Places, and was a named a McKnight Artist Fellow. You can hear him play around town with other musicians, but rarely solo, and to hear him at Antonello on that marvelous Steinway will be special. 7 p.m., free.

Heads up: Next Friday, Oct. 28, at Orchestra Hall, Herbie Hancock gives a solo piano/keyboard performance, playing the Italian Fazioli piano that’s being brought in especially for him.

Please check the jazz calendar at the right or on KBEM's website for details about these and many more live jazz performances in and around the Twin Cities.

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