The spirits of Lester Young, the Bird, Count Basie, Coleman Hawkins, Mary Lou Williams, Big Joe Turner and a million other greats are alive and well at 18th and Vine and all around town. Leave the candy and the costumes for the kids– make sure you hear some devilishly fine music this weekend.
Thursday: There’s a new jazz venue in town– the R Bar at 1617 Genessee up and over on the West Side. David Basse croons some tunes tonight from 8 to 11. The Blue Room at 18th and Vine pops to a Latin beat with Makusa from 7 to 11. Two great pianos (that’s four great hands) converge on Main Street, where Joe Cartwright and his estimable trio reign at Jardine’s and Tim Whitmer holds court at Cafe Trio. If that ain’t keyboards enough, Bram Wijnands works Chaz at the Raphael from 6 to 10.
Friday: Everything’s happening at 18th and Vine. At the Blue Room, the Indigo Hour presents Langston and the Prototype from 5:30 to 8:30, followed by vibraphonist extraordinaire Greg Carroll and the Midnight Blue Jazz Quintet featuring Frank Potenza from 8:30 to the wee hours. Lonnie McFadden gets things going early from 4:30 to 8:30 at the Phoenix Jazz Club, 8th and Central. The Mutual Musicians Foundation– hallowed ground indeed for jazzophiles– hosts Everetee DeVan’s late night jam session at 1AM.
Saturday: The Folly Theater Jazz series keeps that 12th Street joint joint jumping on Halloween with national headlners Ed Simon and David Binney at 8PM. Tim Whitmer’s on early at the Phoenix, and the Blue Room has the James Ward Band. They aren’t exactly jazz, but Rock, Paper, Scissors do some mellow improvising at 12 Baltimore from 9 to midnight. Megan Birdsall plays the Drum Room and Jardine’s says hello to the Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey. Then it’s back to the Mutual Musicians Foundation for my 12 OCLOCK JUMP, featuring the music of Blues Queen Ethel Waters and special guests Kerry Strayer and Al Pearson.
Now that’s as sweet-soundin’ a treat as you’re going to find this weekend. Check it out.