Jazz This Week: Oliver Lake Organ Trio with Russell Gunn, Garaj Mahal, Funky Butt Brass Band, and More


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We're heading into the proverbial holiday home stretch of 2009, and though some local music venues have gone dormant for the holidays (such as the various university-based concert series) and others are deep into Christmas music to the exclusion of all else, there are still some noteworthy events over the next few days in St. Louis for fans of jazz and creative music. Here's a quick look at some of the highlights:

Fittingly for the holiday season, the weekend's marquee event involves a homecoming of sorts, as saxophonist and former St. Louisan Oliver Lake brings his Organ Trio to town with trumpeter and East St. Louis native Russell Gunn (pictured) as special guest. This band is essentially Lake's version of the classic soul-jazz ensemble, though seasoned with more adventurous and/or contemporary flavors, and they'll be at Jazz at the Bistro through Saturday. For more on Lake and Gunn with some video samples of both, see this post from last week

On Friday, the jam/funk/jazz-fusion band Garaj Mahal will be performing at 2720, a new performance space and gallery in a former furniture store 2720 Cherokee on the south side. Also, on Friday, the Funky Butt Brass Band will be doing a holiday show at the south side rock club Off Broadway, and smooth jazz combo 3 Central will take the stage at Robbie's House of Jazz.

On Saturday, Robbie's has their house band, the Robert Edwards Ensemble, featuring vocalist Larry Hamilton. Looking beyond the weekend, on Monday the Sessions Big Band will do their last performance of the year at BB's Jazz, Blues and Soups.

UPDATE - 11:00 a.m., 12/17/09: Drummer Kyle Hunnicutt sends word that New Orleans steel guitarist Dave Easley will be in town on Monday evening for a workshop at Fazio's Frets and Friends music store in West County. (Scroll down the linked page to the second item for details.) Easley's resume encompasses jazz, blues, jam bands and more, and his workshop will cover “tetral harmony (harmony based on thirds), quartal harmony (harmony based on fourths), some exotic scales, diversification vs. specialization and the role of the producer." Hunnicutt and bassist Bob DeBoo will provide the musical backing. The cost is $20; to reserve a spot, call Fazio's at 636-227-3573 or email [email protected]

For information on more jazz and creative music events this weekend and beyond, please visit the St. Louis Jazz Notes Calendar, available for viewing on the left sidebar, or by clicking here.
Also, you can follow St. Louis Jazz Notes on Twitter at http://twitter.com/StLJazzNotes and become a “fan" by signing up on the StLJN Facebook page.

(If you have calendar items, band schedule information, news tips, links, or anything else you think may be of interest to StLJN's readers, please email the information to stljazznotes (at) yahoo (dot) com. If you have photos, MP3s or other digital files, please send links, not attachments.)

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