Heading into this weekend and the next, an assortment of upcoming jazz related shows are set to take place at the Dakota. Get ready for a carnival of musical delights. Actually, it was trumpeter Russell Gunn who was to help kick things off at the Dakota last night, along with his quartet and vocalist Dionne Farris, but the gig was postponed. Farris and Gunn have a new live album, Dionne Get Your Gunn, which Farris released on her independent label, Free and Clear Records.
One of my all-time Gunn favorites featuring him on electric trumpet and flugelhorn is his Live in Atlanta: Ethnomusicology, Vol. Continue Reading →
By Robin James
For one-night only on September 11 (sets at 7 & 9) at the Dakota, jazz fans are in for a rare treat with a performance featuring the United Trumpet Summit consisting of some of today’s most respected and celebrated modern trumpet players including Randy Brecker, Eddie Henderson, Jeremy Pelt, and Leon Jordan, Jr.
You may recall trumpeter Randy Brecker performed with the JazzMN orchestra not long ago, and Jeremy Pelt appeared at the Artists’ Quarter a few years back. It’s good to welcome them back to the Twin Cities in a whole new setting. Brecker is the brother of the late influential saxophonist Michael Brecker. The versatile musician is at home playing everything from jazz, and rock, to R&B. And like Pelt, Brecker also played with the Mingus Big Band. Continue Reading →
Welcome to 2013. “When you’re moving in the positive, your destination is the brightest star,” Stevie Wonder sings, and so there it is, the goal for 2013. Looking ahead, here are some news items to help usher in your 2013 in a terrific and positive way. Plus, my top albums of 2012.
It’s Miller Time — sort of
“Miller Time” premiered Sunday, January 6, on Sirius XM Satellite Radio. Continue Reading →
Saxophonist, composer and bandleader Ravi Coltrane’s debut recording for Blue Note Records, Spirit Fiction, was released on June 19. I believe that’s cause for celebration. You may recall reading the news about Coltrane’s historic Blue Note signing in a previous James on Jazz column. We also profiled Coltrane in a 2008 interview with the MSR.
Yes, let’s be honest: With this new recording, Coltrane may not receive pop star treatment, or see his face in full-page ads in Newsweek or Time magazines, but make no mistake — he will get noticed. Perhaps the best way to approach the new album isn’t so much with great anticipation and great expectations but with openness and appreciation. Continue Reading →