Jazz this week: John Scofield & Joe Lovano, Julian Vaughn, Eddie Gomez Trio, and more


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This week's calendar of live jazz and creative music in St. Louis includes the reunion tour of two major jazz stars; a rare visit from a famed bassist; a couple of tributes to Duke Ellington; and plenty of other sounds ranging from vintage to experimental. Let's go to the highlights...

Wednesday, April 25

Guitarist John Scofield and saxophonist Joe Lovano bring their quartet to Jazz at the Bistro for the first of four nights, continuing through Saturday.

Though their musical relationship goes back to the early 1990s, Scofield and Lovano both are so busy with their own projects that they've only been able to tour together occasionally, with their most recent reunion before this one coming in 2015. You can see some videos of performances from that tour and read more about them in this post from last Saturday.

Thursday, April 26

Pianist Ptah Williams, who usually plays on Fridays at The Dark Room, also will be there on Thursday this week, performing the music of George Gershwin and recording a promotional video for a prospective tour featuring Gershwin's songs.

Also on Thursday, the Bruxism experimental music series continues with a three-act bill of Popular Housing, Azaleas and Ron S. at the Schlafly Tap Room; and the Adam Maness Trio is back at Thurman's in Shaw.

Friday, April 27

Bassist Julian Vaughn, a Kansas City native who works mostly in smooth jazz and R&B styles, will perform at the Sheldon Concert Hall, with St. Louis' Tim Cunningham opening.

Also on Friday, trumpeter Randy Holmes convenes a quintet and a ten-piece band for his “2nd Annual Duke Ellington Birthday Tribute" at the Ozark Theatre (which seems to have abandoned, at least for the time being, its attempt to re-brand as the “Webster Groves Concert Hall").

Elsewhere around town, the Hard Bop Messengers spread the gospel of Blakey, Silver et al at Evangeline's; saxophonist Harvey Lockhart returns to The Dark Room; and saxophonist Ben Reece's Unity Quartet is substituting this week for Dave Stone on his long-running gig at Mangia Italiano.

Saturday, April 28

The People's Key will play a mid-day matinee at the Sheldon Concert Hall; and drummer Kyle Honeycutt leads a trio at Thurman's in Shaw.

Sunday, April 29

Bassist Eddie Gomez will lead a trio with pianist and drummer Rodrigo Villanueva at the Kranzberg Arts Center.

Now 73 years old, Gomez still may be best known for spending more than a decade near the start of his career with the late pianist Bill Evans' trio. Over the ensuing years, he's also released more than dozen albums as a leader and has performed and recorded with many other notable jazz musicians, including Chick Corea, JoAnne Brackeen, Jeremy Steig, Steps Ahead, and many more.

Given that it's a chance to see a musician of Gomez' stature in an intimate venue (and the fact that, as best as can be determined, he's never played here before as a bandleader), this definitely is StLJN's pick for the “sleeper" show of the week.

Also on Sunday, pianist Christopher Parrish leads an octet for “Duke Ellington’s 119th Birthday Celebration" at Focal Point, and the students in Jazz St. Louis' JazzU Big Band will perform at Jazz at the Bistro.

Monday, April 30

Kosi, an NYC-based singer who cites Abbey Lincoln and Nina Simone as influences, will perform at Evangeline's; “Blind" Willie Dineen and the Broadway Collective return to BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups and guitarist and singer Tommy Halloran is back at Yaquis on Cherokee.

Tuesday, May 1

Drummer Montez Coleman and saxophonist Eric Slaughter host “The Tuesday Night Hit" jam session at The Dark Room.

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