Jazz this week: Dr. Lonnie Smith's Evolution, Pat Metheny Quartet, and more


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With the official start of fall this week, the local presenting season is kicking into gear with two major jazz headliners bringing new ensembles to town this week to perform, plus a variety of shows from St. Louis' own musicians. Let's go to the highlights....

Wednesday, September 21

Dr. Lonnie Smith's Evolution, an augmented version of the organist's usual trio, opens a four-night engagement to begin the fall season at Jazz at the Bistro.

Smith, the current eminence grise of jazz organ, reliably delivers the funky goods, and although the touring version of Evolution doesn't include the intriguing two-drummer configuration featured on several tracks on Smith's album of the same name, it does feature saxophonist John Ellis, plus a trumpeter whose identity still had not been revealed at press time, to help realize the album's arrangements in a live setting.

Also on Wednesday, Cabaret Project St. Louis has revived their open mic night, formerly presented at the now-closed Tavern of Fine Arts, as a weekly event at The Emerald Room at The Monocle; and the Big Little Big Band will play a free concert at Alton Senior HS Performing Arts Center.

Thursday, September 22

The Jazz at Holmes series presents three free events in a row, starting with guitarist and bassist William Lenihan and pianist Jay Oliver's quartet performing a late-afternoon concert at the Missouri History Museum.

That's followed by a presentation on “History of the Piano Trio and St. Louis Pianists" by educator and drummer Henry Ettman at Goldberg Formal Lounge in the Danforth University Center on campus, and a performance by pianist Dave Venn's trio at Holmes Lounge.

Friday, September 23

Singer Jonathan Karrant performs at the Kranzberg Arts Center; singer Joe Mancuso and his quartet return to Nathalie's; and dancers at the Casa Loma Ballroom will be swinging to a double bill featuring St. Louis' own Miss Jubilee plus Chicago's Bailey Dee and the Late Night Bait.

Saturday, September 24

Singer Danita Mumphard will offer “A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald" at the Jacoby Arts Center in Alton; trumpeter/vibraphonist Joe Bozzi and band return to Evangeline's; and trumpeter Jim Manley and keyboardist Arthur Toney will play at Thurman's in Shaw.

Sunday, September 25

Guitarist Pat Metheny will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall as part of his fall tour with a new quartet, featuring drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Linda Oh, and British pianist Gwilym Symcock.

Though they've not yet recorded, reviews of early shows are promising, with the group playing music ranging from Metheny's “earliest days all the way up through the 2014 Unity Group album."

Also on Sunday, the student musicians from the Webster Groves High School Jazz I and Jazz II Bands will show their stuff in a fundraising concert at Jazz at the Bistro.

Monday, September 26

Guitarist Dave Black, violinist Asako Kuboki, saxophonist Paul DeMarinis and bassist Ben Wheeler will play original compositions in a concert at Webster University's Winifred Moore Auditorium.

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This story appears courtesy of St. Louis Jazz Notes by Dean Minderman.
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