Friday, December 28, 2012

Boot Camp at the Artists' Quarter: concert review

When: Wednesday, Dec. 26, 2012 • Where: Artists' Quarter, St. Paul, MN • Who: Jeremy Walker, piano; Brandon Wozniak, tenor saxophone; Chris Bates, bass; Miguel Hurtado, drums

Jeremy Walker by John Whiting
Jeremy Walker is a jazz survivor. He’s had a jazz club in St. Paul, the now-legendary (in certain circles) Brilliant Corners, where Itzhak Perlman once came to play with Wynton Marsalis. He founded and ran a nonprofit called Jazz is NOW! that functioned as a composers’ forum (you could download original scores free from its website), presenting organization, and loose affiliation of some of the Twin Cities’ best improvising musicians. When health issues meant he could no longer play saxophone, his instrument since childhood, he switched to piano, practicing up to nine hours a day and studying with teachers including Frank Kimbrough and David Berkman.

Walker has lived in Minneapolis and New York and Minneapolis again. He has started and led a number of bands including the NOWnet (a flexible ensemble), Small City Trio (with Jeff Brueske and Tim Zhorne; their CD, “Pumpkins’ Reunion,” came out in 2010), Boxcar (with Wessell Anderson, Anthony Cox, and JT Bates), and something called the Bootet (Walker’s nickname is Boot). He was the original curator of the Late Night series at the Dakota. He writes an opinionated column on jazz, music, and life for He composes; lately he’s been working on a new piece, “Seven Psalms,” for piano, bass, drums, trombone, solo voice, and choir.