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Once a radio announcer who was obviously a classical music fan confronted me on the air and stated that blues is a lowly form of music whose text is relegated to the gutter with stories of loose women and booze and etc. ... and sometimes you can't even understand the words. Then he asked the question; "What do you think about that Mr. Siegel?" I answered immediately; "Opera! I rest my case." - Corky Siegel
 
 Friday, 31 October 2014
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What Would Monk Do? At the Black Dog, November 1 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Steve KennyİAndrea Canter
 

What would have happened if eccentric genius Thelonious Monk had encountered four of the best Twin Cities jazzmen? Trumpeter Steve Kenny, pianist Peter Schimke, bassist Billy Peterson and drummer Kenny Horst first asked that question in 2010 at the Artists Quarter, and the quartet has gathered together a few times since. Boasting musicians who helped shape the music at the AQ in its final run, Saturday Night at the Black Dog in St. Paul's Lowertown welcomes What Would Monk Do on November 1 at 8:30 pm.

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Double-Time Spooky! B-3 Organ, Atlantis Quartet at Jazz Central on October 31 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

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Atlantis QuartetİAndrea Canter
 

Jazz Central will host a spooky night of jazz on Friday, October 31, starting with a B-3 Organ dual (Kevin Gastonguay and Mac Santiago) followed by an annual Halloween show from the Atlantis Quartet (Zacc Harris, Brandon Wozniak, Chris Bates and Pete Hennig), performing Coltrane's A Love Supreme in its entirety. Put on your costume (optional) and  get ready for some jazzy treats and perhaps a few tricks. The fun begins at 7:30 pm.

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Yoshi's San Francisco: New Management Brings Stellar Line-Up for November E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

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Poncho SanchezİAndrea Canter
 

Yoshi’s in San Francisco has created a November line-up that features some of the biggest names in jazz. And there hasn’t been a jazz club here with a schedule like this since the days of the Todd Barken’s Keystone Corner in North Beach. One after another, a festival of great players and bands will perform, a number of them with multiple-night appearances, and excitement will be non-stop.

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George Coleman New Quintet at the Jazz Standard, 10/30-11/2 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

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George Coleman
Recently named an NEA Jazz Master, tenor saxophonist George Coleman is a revered name in jazz history for his crucial role in the Miles Davis Quintet of 1963-64 and his soulful, articulate playing on Miles’ Columbia albums Seven Steps to Heaven (1963), My Funny Valentine (1964) and Four & More (1966).  Coleman returns with a new quintet featuring tenorist Eric Alexander, whose 2014 Highnote album Chicago Fire was lauded as “one of the most vital” of his 30- plus releases by Jeff Tamarkin at JazzTimes.com: “His blowing is extraordinarily articulate and ecstatic, his tone bright and muscular, leadership and inspiration flowing nonstop.” The quintet also features a stelar rhythm section that includes Harold Mabern on piano, John Webber on bass, and George Coleman Jr. on drums. They appear at the Jazz Standard on Thursday, October 30th through Sunday, November 2nd.

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John Abercrombie Quartet at the Jazz Showcase, 10/30-11/2 E-mail
Written by Ronaldo Oregano   

 

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John Abercrombie Quartet İ John Rogers, ECM Records

John Abercrombie’s revised quartet includes Marc Copland. Yet guitarist and pianist are old allies, with an association stretching back forty years. Both were members of Chico Hamilton’s quartet, and at the dawn of fusion both played with pioneering jazz-rock band Dreams. In the earliest days of their affiliation, Marc was still playing alto saxophone, the instrument on which he first built a reputation. Around 1970 he switched to piano, gradually distilling diverse influences into a personal jazz style. Since the late 1990s they’ve revived their partnership in diverse contexts and have toured in formations ranging from piano-guitar duo to trio with Kenny Wheeler to the cooperative group Contact with Dave Liebman and Billy Hart. This quartet also include bassist Drew Gress and drummer Joey Baron. Their recent release on ECM is 39 Steps. Catch them at the Jazz Showcase on Thursday, October 30th through Sunday, November 2nd
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Leigh Kamman, The Voice of Jazz, 1922-2014 E-mail
Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   

"His instrument is a microphone. There's only one voice like that in this world." – Percy Hughes

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Leigh Kamman İ Andrea Canter
 

A long and celebrated era in jazz journalism ended in fall 2008 with Leigh Kamman’s final broadcast of The Jazz Image on MPR. After a six-decade career including a 34-year run on MPR, Kamman’s retirement was truly the end of an era spanning his interview of Duke Ellington as a teen reporter to his shows for Armed Forces radio during World War Two, through broadcasts from Harlem to his long stint at MPR and induction into the Pavek Museum Broadcasters Hall of Fame. Leigh's presence in the jazz community continued despite declining health, with a 90th birthday celebration in 2012 at the Artists Quarter and occasional appearances at various jazz events. Kamman passed away on October 17 at age 92, taking a lot of jazz history with him, but leaving behind a rich legacy of interviews, broadcasts and scores of jazz fans who owe him much of our love--and knowledge of--the music.

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Brilliant Conversations: The Keith Jarrett Trio in Chicago and Newark E-mail
Written by Mario Carrington   

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Keith Jarrett Trio
 

The greatest jazz trio touring and recording today is the Keith Jarrett Trio featuring Gary Peacock and Jack DeJohnette.  Over the past 30 plus years they have set the standard for this jazz format; they have been prolific and are nonpareil.  Their artistry covers the full spectrum of music delivery to the listener—quiet, beautiful, delicate, contemplative, swinging, passionate, pensive, furious, intense, ferocious, evocative and playful.  Your listening pleasure is always paid off in amazement and ultimate satisfaction.  Each of these superb musicians individually has played with the giants of jazz during their careers, but collectively they are very special.  They are the epitome of Bill Evans’ concept of collaborative improvisation; in particular, Jarrett on piano is a direct descendant of Evans's style.  A trademark of Jarrett’s is that he has one of the more noticeable audible grunting and scatting accompaniments to his playing since Erroll Garner, particularly when he’s in the zone.

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Classic Reissue: Jeremy Steig's "Flute Fever" (IPO Recordings, 2013) E-mail
Written by Ken Vermes   

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Flute Fever
 

One of the most effective methods to get deep into the music called jazz is to follow instruments, not just players.  Pick one, pick any one, and learn as much about it as you possibly can. For this writer, besides the saxophone, my pick for favorite instrument is the flute.  It helps that I play the flute, have studied it with a classical teacher, and have seen hundreds of performances by flute players. 

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