Jazz This Week: Lou Donaldson, Alarm Will Sound, Three Tenors of St. Louis, David Grisman, ST. Louis Stompers, and More


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Though Cardinal baseball may be preoccupying large segments of the populace in St. Louis, the fall jazz and creative music presenting season nevertheless continues this week with a full slate of performances in a wide variety of styles.

Music fans who care to venture forth into clubs and concert halls over the next few days will find everything from traditional New Orleans jazz  to bluesy, bop-inflected saxophone from an old-school jazz master to top touring groups showcasing recombinant genres rooted in classical and bluegrass. Let's go to the highlights...

Tonight, the veteran alto saxophonist Lou Donaldson will begin a four-night gig continuing through Saturday at Jazz at the Bistro. Performing with an organ trio, the 86-year-old Donaldson mixes blues, bop, ballads, and backbeats in a crowd-pleasing fashion, and usually adds additional entertainment with some wry, between-song quips along the way. For more about Donaldson (pictured) and some video samples of what you're likely to hear this weekend, see this post from last Saturday.

Also tonight, the 20-member new music ensemble Alarm Will Sound begins their second St. Louis season at the Sheldon Concert Hall, previewing the program they'll play this weekend at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC. Elsewhere around town, the 442s play at the Tavern of Fine Arts; singer Joe Mancuso leads a trio at EdgeWild Restaurant and Winery in Chesterfield; and vibraphonist Peter Schlamb's group performs at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

Tomorrow night, the Jazz at Holmes series at Washington University presents a free concert featuring “Three Tenors of St. Louis," namely Freddie Washington, Willie Akins and Paul DeMarinis. While Washington and Akins have performed together occasionally in the past, the three-tenor format adds a new wrinkle and should make for some friendly but spirited competition. Also on Thursday, funk/R&B/jazz group Good 4 The Soul plays their monthly show at BB's.

On Friday, mandolinist David Grisman, inventor of the acoustic swing/folk/rock/bluegrass hybrid style he calls “dawg music," brings his FolkJazz Trio to the Sheldon Concert Hall. Also on Friday, saxophonist Jay Hutson and Da Wolvez are at Robbie's House of Jazz; and pianist Ptah Williams leads a trio at Cigar Inn.

On Saturday afternoon, guitarist Corey Christiansen will present a jazz improvisation workshop at Mozingo Music. Christensen, who lived in St. Louis for several years before moving back to Utah in 2007, also will lead a trio in a Saturday night performance at Robbie's.

Elsewhere on Saturday night, the Bosman Twins and friends from several different locales are teaming up for one of their periodic “Reunion Jazz Band' gigs at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups; and Sarah Jane and the Blue Notes trio perform at Thurman Grill.

On Sunday, the St. Louis Jazz Club presents the St. Louis Stompers at the Doubletree Hotel in Westport, and the free “Inner Jazz" series of concerts at Kirkwood United Church of Christ continues this month with a trio led by bassist Bob DeBoo.

Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday guitarist Robben Ford, who's played with jazz stars including Tom Scott, Jimmy Witherspoon and Miles Davis, will present a guitar clinic sponsored by Mozingo Music at Sky Music Lounge in Ballwin. Also on Monday,  the Sessions Big Band plays at BB's Jazz, Blues & Soups.

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