Friday, December 23, 2011

This week's jazz picks

The Bad Plus come home for Christmas for the 12th year in a row. Their holiday residency at the Dakota is now a tradition. Dave King told the Strib's Chris Riemenschneider that the trio will debut new compositions from their second all-original recording, due out next year. In his blog, Do the Math, Ethan Iverson calls the successor to 2010's Never Stop "definitely one of our best records." 7 and 9 p.m. tonight (Friday, Dec. 23), Sunday, and Monday. $40.

Tonight in St. Paul, the Artists' Quarter hosts a Holiday Bash with pianist Phil Aaron and special guests. Get a free CD with paid admission--and there are many to choose from; several fine CDs have been recorded live at the AQ. Great music, that warm AQ vibe, drink specials, and more. Say "I'm a friend of Donny" at the door and take half off the cover price. 9 p.m., $10.

Going into the week between Christmas and New Year’s: Bassist Chris Morrissey is back in town from New York for the holidays; you can hear him at Café Maude on Tuesday night (7 p.m., no cover).  Nichola Miller sings at the Loring Pasta Bar on Monday (7 p.m., no cover) and the Aster Café on Wednesday (8 p.m., $5).

Connie Evingson brings her stellar band—Adi Yeshaya on piano, Gordy Johnson on bass, Phil Hey on drums—to the Dakota on Tuesday (7 p.m., $7). Hey heads to the AQ on Wednesday with his quartet featuring vibes master Dave Hagedorn (9 p.m., $5). Hagedorn returns to the AQ on Thursday with his former student, pianist Dan Cavanagh (9 p.m., $5). On Friday, the wonderful NYC-based pianist Rick Germanson plays a trio date at the AQ (9 p.m., $15), then returns the next night, New Year’s Eve, to join Carole Martin and friends at the club's New Year's Eve party (9 p.m., $45).

You can find live music all over the Twin Cities on New Year's Eve, from intimate duos to big bands. If you'd rather not stay out late (some people don't like the traffic), here are two shows that will get you home in time for your own champagne in front of your own fireplace. At the Black Dog, Todd Harper, Nathan Hanson, Cory Grossman, and Pete Hennig will play from 6–8:30. No cover. At Honey, vocalist Maud Hixson and her pianist husband Rick Carlson will perform for a cabaret dinner show starting at 6:30.  $15 cover. If you want to stay out kind of late and hang with a bunch of musicians, Jazz Central opens at 9 for a New Year's Eve jam.

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