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“Good jazz is when the leader jumps on the piano, waves his arms, and yells. Fine jazz is when a tenorman lifts his foot in the air. Great jazz is when he heaves a piercing note for 32 bars and collapses on his hands and knees. A pure genius of jazz is manifested when he and the rest of the orchestra runaround the room while the rhythm section grimaces and dances around their instruments.” - Charles Mingus
 Thursday, 30 July 2015
Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog: Joe Smith AM-AM Trio, Babatunde Lea Quintet on August 1 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Babatunde Lea Quintet © Andrea Canter

Dubbed "one of Minnesota's most charismatic and entertaining musicians," percussionist and inventor of the "Troponga", Babatunde Lea, brings his quintet to prime time at the Black Dog this Saturday, August 1 at 8:30 pm. With Nelson Devereaux, Zacc Harris, Chris Bates and Phil Aaron, the Babatunde Lea Quintet follows a trio of Twin Cities veterans led by saxophonist Joe Smith, with bassist  and drummer Kenny Horst opening at 7 pm. 

Joe Mayo, Charlie Lincoln: Let the Music "Flow" at Jazz Central Studios, July 31 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
Charlie Lincoln Quintet © Andrea Canter

"President Flow" hits the bandstand on the Bridge Series at Jazz Central this Friday, July 31 at 7 pm. The name seems odd but this ensemble, heard earlier this spring at The Nicollet,  is filled with talent-- saxophonist Joe Mayo, guitarist Park Evans, bassist Josh Granowski and drummer Rick Nair. Following their sets, the usual Jazz Crew student jam will have a special lead-in with the Charlie Lincoln Quintet (9 pm).

George and Chico Freeman/Michael Gibbs and the NDR Big Band E-mail
Written by Kevin O'Connor   

 July is rapidly becoming a month for the books. Having cleansed myself with a trip to the Rockies, I returned to the usual piles of material on my desk. Here are just a couple I couldn’t wait to devour:


George and Chico Freeman:  All in the Family (Southport)

ImageOnce in a while, the toils of a Music Director in a jazz station present a challenge. That is, every so often a recording comes along that simply blows me away but isn’t quite, in the parlance of the industry, a “radio friendly record.” Such is the case with an intimate new tribute album from the venerated first family of jazz in Chicago, the Freemans. The focus of this gem is on revered saxophonist Von “Vonski’  Freeman, who left us in 2012. Von was a true denizen of the City of Big Shoulders, having inspired countless players from Chicago.


Howard Rumsey 1917-2015 E-mail
Written by Glenn A. Mitchell   


Howard Rumsey, circa 1955

Howard Rumsey was a true jazz music entrepreneur.  He was also the last survivor of the original Stan Kenton Orchestra, playing upright contra bass.  Rumsey passed away July 15, 2015 at age of 97. 

Rock and Jazz in the Bay Area: Smith Dobson, Larry Coryell and Steely Dan E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   


Smith Dobson © Ken Vermes

Jazz music has been shaped by many influences over more than one hundred years. And for those jazz musicians who grew up during the 50s, 60s and 70s, there is probably no more defining influence than the many rock artists and groups that dominated the airwaves. But the manner in which these influences manifest themselves for players is varied and endlessly fascinating.

da-ke-broo-da: That's Jazz for "All Originals" at Studio Z, July 30 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   


da-ka-brood-a © Andrea Canter

When they first came together at the Black Dog a few months ago, the band was dubbed the Daley Brattain Report for leaders Kevin Daley and Dave Brattain. By the end of the gig they became dā-kə-bro̵̅o̅-dā, seemingly a new language but really a melding of the first letters of each musician's name-- Dave Brattain, Kevin Daley, Bruce Heine and Dave Stanoch. In any language, any name, these four veterans are surely "all originals," and appropriately scheduled to perform on the All Originals Jazz Series at Studio Z in St. Paul's Lowertown on Thursday, July 30.  All Originals is in its second season, curated by Steve Kenny as a weekly summer concert series running throughout July and August, funded with a grant from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council.

Matt Ulery's "In the Ivory" at Constellation 7/31 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   
Matt Ulery

Chicago bassist-composer, Matt Ulery, creates resplendent, lyrical, transportive chamber-jazz music. His most ambitious project to date, In the Ivory, explores the idea of consciousness with form and structure presenting narrative through patient, elegant, and sophisticated melodic development. Ulery has forged a unique signature sound that combines a jazz core with luminous ensemble writing and song craft. Built around a band of select, unique voices, including members of 3-time Grammy-winning ensemble, eighth blackbird, In the Ivory blends art-pop, jazz, American minimalism, Eastern European folk music, and romanticism into a constantly evolving emotional kaleidoscope with this particular 11-piece orchestra. Hear them at Constellation in Chicago on Friday, July 31at at 8:30 pm. Tickets are $12-15.
"Mountain King" Reunion at Jazz Central, July 29 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   


Mountain King © Andrea Canter

In 2013 at the Artists Quarter in St. Paul, a new ensemble was born, featuring not one, not two, but three acoustic bassists – nothing more! In what was believed to be the first local performance of a three-bass trio, “Mountain King” proved that people will listen to the bass solo… or the bass trio, at least when their focus is solely on the instrument. With Graydon Peterson, Jeremy Boettcher and Brian Courage displaying a great deal of serious artistry amid playful interactions, Mountain King drew plenty of applause and calls for more. The group performed a few times, at the Artists Quarter before it closed, and then a few gigs at Jazz Central before Brian Courage moved to New York in fall 2014.  With Brian back in the area for a short break from the Big Apple, and Ryan Hays filling in for Jeremy Boettcher, Mountain King reunites at Jazz Central on Wednesday, July 29.

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