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 Tuesday, 19 August 2014
Twin Cities
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    Maryann Sullivan-- Back to Back Gigs This Week PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 18 August 2014

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    Maryann Sullivan©Andrea Canter
     

    “I get a lot of joy doing this. When I’m up there singing, I’m just happy. That’s what I hope this shows.” – Maryann Sullivan

    Although she played in the school band and heard the recordings of Louis Armstrong, the Dukes of Dixieland and Frank Sinatra throughout her childhood, Maryann Sullivan initially wanted to be a veterinarian. But rather than take all those math courses, she instead put herself on a somewhat jagged path toward a career in music. Today, Twin Cities jazz fans know her voice well – as former host of the Jazz Corner and Local Corner shows on KBEM Radio and a frequent “voice over” performer. And many also associate her with husband/saxophonist/bandleader Doug Haining and now their sons, fledgling jazzmen Trevor and Preston Haining. But she can sing, too. About a year ago, Maryann released Coffee Time to introduce the community to her “other voice.” And now, she’s half of “Retro Swing Sister” with Rhonda Laurie, performing the past two years at the Twin Cities Jazz Festival and other venues, and throughout the Twin Cities as a solo vocal performer. Normally hanging in the background as the curator of Vocal Jazz Night (Thursdays) at Jazz Central Studios, this week Maryann puts herself on the schedule, singing at Jazz Central on August 21 with Doug Haining, Trevor Haining and David Martin, and making her Black Dog debut the next night (August 22) with fellow swingers in the Corner Jazz Trio-- Robert Bell, Tony Baluff and Jim Chenoweth.

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    One Last Round With “Mountain King” at Jazz Central, August 20 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 18 August 2014

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    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 has since performed a few times, at the Artists Quarter before it closed, and at Jazz Central. Ready to go at it again, on what will be the last gig before Brian Courage moves to New York, Mountain King takes the stage in the intimate Jazz Central Studios on Wednesday, August 20 at 8:30 pm.

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    Phil Hey Quartet: August Gigs at Icehouse and Jazz Central PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Sunday, 17 August 2014

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    Phil Hey Quartet©Andrea Canter
     

    “The PHQ is a true, seasoned ensemble laying down a musical vision with common purpose.”—Pat Courtemanche

    Twin Cities jazz fans may not always appreciate our great fortune—to live in a community blessed with some of the finest musicians in the country, artists who have played with such legends as Charlie Rouse, Kenny Barron, Benny Golson, Benny Carter, Jay McShann, and Dewey Redman. Count drummer Phil Hey among our local giants! And count his Phil Hey Quartet among our local treasurers, long associated with the Artists Quarter and now finding other venues from which to launch their musical fireworks. This week it's a double treat-- Monday (August 18) at the Icehouse (10 pm), Friday at Jazz Central (7:30 pm).

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    The Illicit Sextet at the Black Dog, August 15 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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    Illicit Sextet ©Andrea Canter
     

    One of the most area popular ensembles of the late 1980s and early 90s, the Illicit Sextet was dubbed “the Cadillac of local jazz” by critic Jim Meyer. In 1993 they released their acclaimed debut recording, Chapter One. Back on the jazz scene since 2009 after a long hiatus, the Illicit Sextet finally released Chapter Eleven in spring 2013. They will spend Friday night, August 15th, on stage at the Black Dog Café; music starts at 8 pm.

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    95 and Blowing Sweet: Irv Williams Birthday Celebration at the Dakota, August 17 PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 13 August 2014

     

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    Irv Williams Trio with Steve Blons and Billy Peterson©Andrea Canter

    Either “the coolest old guy or the oldest cool guy…” -- Pioneer Press

    A number of years ago, tenor saxophone legend Irv Williams hinted at retirement in his liner notes for That’s All (2004), but clearly that was premature. Three CDs later, the then 88-year-old known fondly as “Mr. Smooth” issued a more dramatic hint with the release of Finality (Ding Dong Music) in 2008.  But apparently the title only referred to Irv’s feelings about recording sessions, not performing opportunities. In Spring 2011, Irv seemed more determined that we let him rest his chops, proclaiming the release of yet another CD (Duke’s Mixture) at the Dakota Jazz Club to be his “Retirement Party.” Shortly thereafter, he was back playing for the Dakota’s Friday Happy Hour with Peter Schimke.  Then came the May 2012 “Retirement Party” at the Dakota, followed by more happy hours, and a special guest performance in spring 2013 with Estaire Godinez at the Museum of Russian Art.  And still he held weekly happy hours at the Dakota, which in early 2014 saw a cast change -- now a trio with guitarist Steve Blons and bassist Billy Peterson. Last month, Irv released a new studio recording (Then Was Then, Now Is Now) with a special performance at the Museum of Russian Art -- an early birthday present. And now he will celebrate that 95 birthday at the Dakota on Sunday night, August 17. Note this is a birthday celebration, not a retirement party.

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    Chris Lomheim Trio Presents "All Originals" at Studio Z, August 14th PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Wednesday, 13 August 2014

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    ris Lomheim Trio ©Andrea Canter
     

    Long a mainstay in the Twin Cities jazz community, pianist Chris Lomheim is known for his affinit for Bill Evans, his sublime skills as a singer's accompanist, and for his creative, lush compositions. Yet Lomheim's recorded output has been limited - his last trio recording was released in 2002 (The Bridge, Artegra), his first (1994, Igmod) was aptly titled And You've Been Waiting. Figuring he had waited long enough, Lomheim applied for a state arts board grant to write and record new trio music, yielding the forthcoming Timelines, to be released in October with trio pals Gordy Johnson on bass and Jay Epstein on drums-- the same cast from that first recording 20 years ago.  Lomheim and company provide a preview (and some newer works) on August 14 at Studio Z in Saint Paul, as this week's installment of the All Originals series curated by Steve Kenny.

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    Larry McDonough Quartet Celebrates 10th Anniversary of "Simple Gifts" PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 11 August 2014

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    Larry McDonough©Andrea Canter
     

    Ten years ago, Twin Cities pianist Larry McDonough released Simple Gifts, recorded with his quartet (Richard Terrill, Craig Mataresse, Chaz Draper). Soon the recording charted at #29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and ultimately has played on more than 100 stations world-wide. In honor of the album's decade of success, McDonough will celebrate the tenth anniversary over three months at three Minneapolis venues, starting Wednesday, August 13 at the Icehouse. Later dates include Jazz Central Studios (September 22) and The Nicollet (October 5). Joining Larry on stage will be long-time cohort, saxophonist/poet Richard Terrill, bassist Greg Stinson and drummer Dean White.

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    Aaron Hedenstrom Homecoming Week -- at the Icehouse and Jazz Central PDF Print
    Written by Andrea Canter, Contributing Editor   
    Monday, 11 August 2014

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    Aaron Hedenstrom
     

    Former resident, UW-EC graduate, award-winning composer and up-and-coming tenor/alto saxophonist Aaron Hedenstrom takes a break from graduate studies at the University of North Texas to reconnect with former bandmates and test drive some new music this week, at the Icehouse (August 11) and Jazz Central (August 13). He'll co-lead a quintet with UW-EC grad, drummer Brian Claxton, featuring pianist Bryan Nichols, guitarist Zacc Harris and bassist Jeremy Boettcher.

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