Thursday, February 25, 2016
7:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
$10 suggested donation
407 Central Avenue Southeast
Minneapolis, MN 55414 (Lower Level)
Larry McDonough, Vocals and Piano
Richard Terrill, Saxes and Poetry
Greg Stinson, Bass
Dean White, Drums
Guest Rosie McDonough, African Drum
One year ago, pianist, singer, and composer Larry McDonough moved beyond his uniquely harmonized and metered instrumentals to bring his singing to Jazz Central with “Chet - The Beautiful, Tragic Music of Singer and Trumpeter Chet Baker.” The show filled Jazz Central with the largest audience in the history of the Jazz Central Vocal Series and one of the largest crowds ever to come to Jazz Central. “Chet” went on to fill clubs and theaters throughout Minnesota.
Now Larry returns to Jazz Central to celebrate the two recordings of legendary pianist and composer Bill Evans and vocalist Tony Bennett. Evans rarely performed with singers, so it was big news to some in the jazz community when Evans and Bennett recorded and released “The Tony Bennett Bill Evans Album” in 1975. The album included pieces each had done separately, such as Waltz for Debby (Evans) and The Touch of Your Lips (Bennett). In 1976 they recorded “Together Again” for release in 1977.
Both albums showed Evans’ skill in accompanying a vocalist while adding the complexities that he displayed in his solo and ensemble performances, and exhibited Bennett’s expressive range from bold and commanding to soft and delicate. Unfortunately, the albums flew under the radar screen of the larger jazz scene jazz with the popularity of the jazz fusion of Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Weather Report, Miles Davis, John McLaughlin.
This is not a traditional “tribute” show where musicians imitate great artists. No one sings like Bennett and no one plays like Evans. Each piece they recorded together will be presented with beginnings similar to the recorded versions, but where they go from there cannot be predicted.
Larry will take on the challenging roles of both Evans and Bennett to educate younger listeners about these great artists and to remind seasoned listeners of this pair who never recorded together again. Evans died in 1980. Tony Bennett is 89 years old and lives in New York City.
Joining Larry will be saxman and poet Richard Terrill, bassist Greg Stinson, drummer Dean White, and Larry’s daughter Rosie on African drum. In the first set, Larry will perform a sample of pieces from the two albums, each beginning with just voice and piano and other members of the ensemble joining through the piece. Selections will include The Touch of Your Lips, Some Other Time, My Foolish Heart, Waltz for Debby, Make Someone Happy, You Don’t Know What Love Is, You’re Nearer, and You Must Believe in Spring.
In the second set, Larry will add pieces that Evans and Bennett recorded separately but never together, including We Will Meet Again, Nature Boy, My Romance, How Insensitive, Night and Day, Detour Ahead, I’ll Be Seeing You, and I Will Say Goodbye. Perhaps Evans and Bennett would have recorded these songs together if Evans had lived longer. Come see and hear what they did and what might have been.
Here are a couple of great finds on YouTube about Bennett and Evans. Film composer Evan Evans, son of Bill Evans, posted a video of interviews with Bennett and others about the collaboration.
A rarely seen 1977 Canadian Broadcast Corporation Concert now is on YouTube.
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Larry McDonough is a St. Paul jazz pianist and singer, performing around the world and recording with his group the Larry McDonough Quartet as well as solo, and in duos and trios. He has performed with legendary saxophonist and composer Benny Golson, Trombonist Fred Wesley, and trumpeter Duane Eubanks, as well as a who’s who of local jazz artists, and was inducted into the Minnesota Rock Country Hall of Fame for his work in the group Danny’s Reasons. He has released eight CDs and DVDs as a leader, including “Simple Gifts,” which reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and has been played on hundreds of stations around the country and throughout the world. He also is a lawyer and law professor selected by William Mitchell College of Law as one of “100 Who Made a Difference” over the 100-year history of the school. Larry directs pro bono legal services for the poor at Dorsey & Whitney.
Richard Terrill, sax player and Minnesota State University Mankato English Professor, received the Minnesota Book Award for Poetry for his poetry compilation “Coming Late to Rachmaninoff” (University of Tampa Press, 2003). Richard has been performing with Larry McDonough since December 2001. He also has performed with guitarist Jim McGuire and with Chaz Draper’s Uptown Jazz Quartet. As a college student, Richard was a member of the award-winning University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire Jazz Ensemble and performed with later-to-be Pat Metheny keyboardist Lyle Mays in the Lyle Mays Quartet, winner of small group honors at the Midwest College Jazz Festival. He has also worked with pianist Geoff Keezer. Richard teaches creative writing at Minnesota State University, Mankato.
Bassist Greg Stinson plays in several bands around the Twin Cities. He has been the bass player in the Century College Jazz Ensemble for more than 25 years. He also plays in the CC Septet, Shorn Hortz Quintet, Paul Berger Trio, the St. Croix Jazz Ensemble, and regularly subs with the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra, Classic Big Band, and Cedar Avenue Big Band. Greg spent many years playing saxophones, guitar, bass, and vocals in jazz/rock and variety bands in the area. He is an active composer/arranger with jazz charts in the books of the Century Band, Nova, CC Septet, and others. He has also written a number of choral arrangements and compositions for school and church groups. Greg was a band and choir director in public and private schools before changing to his current career in telecommunications technology. The Larry McDonough Quartet performs Greg Stinson compositions from the Nova Contemporary Jazz Orchestra recording ADance to Be-bop.
Dean White grew up in Superior, Wisconsin, and played in various working bands while attending the University of Wisconsin, Superior. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in percussion performance, he moved to Hollywood, California, to attend Musicians Institute College of Contemporary Music. Half-way through the first year, Dean was offered a main showroom gig at the Imperial Palace in Las Vegas. He was the first drummer in the Legends In Concert Show that still performs in various incarnations across the country today. He left Las Vegas to join Tony Axtell and Toshi Hinata in Tokyo to write and play original music. Since settling back in the Twin Cities, Dean has performed with many groups, including Good, the Bad and the Funky; the Autobody Experience; Century Big Band; Nova Jazz; Big Time Jazz Orchestra; the Shorn Hortz jazz quintet; Power of 10; Jack Knife and the Sharps; Tubby Esquire; Hennessy Brothers jazz; and many others. He has also studied privately with Gordy Knudtson and his Open/Close hand technique. Dean feels blessed to be part of the rich music scene in the Twin Cities.
Rosie McDonough has performed music since her early years both with her father, Larry McDonough, as well as with Highland Friendship Club, a social group she attends for adults and children with disabilities, and the St. Paul Bridge View and Focus Beyond public schools she attended for persons with disabilities. She now works at TSE, a nonprofit company that supports people with developmental and other intellectual disabilities. Her present musical focus is on African drum.