Jazz This Week: Bhob Rainey, Dogtown All-Stars, John King, Joe Mancuso, Kasimu Taylor, and More


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Holiday hustle and bustle will be in full effect for the next couple of weeks, but if you've got time to get out and hear some live jazz this weekend, here are some upcoming gigs in and around St. Louis to consider....

Tonight, guitarists Eric Slaughter and Tom Byrne will co-lead a quartet at Troy's Jazz Gallery, the recently opened venue on Olive just west of Taylor in the Central West End .

On Friday, the Dogtown All-Stars begin a two-night engagement at Jazz at the Bistro. On record, the All-Stars (pictured) mostly have made organ-driven groove music with a nod to the Meters and Booker T. and the MGs. For their debut at the Bistro, they'll be augmented by members of the Funky Butt Brass Band, hence the “Funkestra" appellation used in some of the promos. (And just to clear up any possible confusion, though the presence of the FBBB horns and bassist Andy Coco means there's some personnel overlap with the Rhythm Section Road Show gig that took place at the Bistro a couple of weeks ago, the All-Stars are a separate project with their own catalog of songs.)

Also on Friday, bassist John King will debut his new band featuring drummer Kevin Kelley, keyboardist Kyle Kelley and guitarist Steve Johnson in an early evening show at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups. Although previously announced plans to record a live DVD seem in doubt as of this writing, the bill definitely still will include a number of guest performers such as saxophonist Jim Stevens; singers Denise Thimes, Kim Massie, Cheryl Brown, and Anita Jackson; and others.

Elsewhere on Friday, singer Joe Mancuso will be at Robbie's House of Jazz for a holiday themed performance featuring guest trumpeter and vibraphonist Joe Bozzi; and trumpet player Kasimu Taylor leads a quartet at the Cigar Inn.

On Saturday evening, singer Feyza Eren fronts a trio at the Wine Press, and saxophonist Jim Stevens will be back at BB's, this time leading his own group for the late shift at the club. 

On Sunday, saxophonist Bhob Rainey returns to the Lemp Neighborhood Arts Center for his eighth consecutive pre-Christmas gig, headlining a bill that also includes Jack Callahan and epicycle. Rainey is a free improvisor and a prolific collaborator, so don't be surprised if all the musicians present at LNAC end up playing together before the night is done.

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