Jazz is considered to be a true American art form, but when mixed with Afro-Cuban influences and Latin heritage, it has grown into a melange of worldly music shared across borders, continents and cultures.
In the spirit of jazz, Wednesday night at the Ferring Jazz Bistro proved to be a night of adaptation and perseverance.
There are many new aspects of Jazz St. Louis’ newly renovated Harold Jazz Center, but one of the finest additions turns out to be something old. Rich McDonnell, founding board member and longtime supporter of jazz, was lost this past year, and the Ferring Jazz Bistro has the honor of housing his classic, Hammond B-3 organ, one of the most renowned instruments in jazz.
Even before the musicians emerged from the green room, the stage told a story of creativity and modern experimentation. At the forefront sat Jeff Coffin's trio of saxophones and flute beside Bill Fanning's trumpet, each accompanied by a board of effects pedals and other toys generally belonging to electric guitarists and bassists.
With the newly expanded and renovated Harold & Dorothy Steward Center for Jazz to flaunt, Jazz St. Louis started its 20th season with one hometown hero saxophonist David Sanborn.
The long-term contract is well known in the world of sports, but in the world of music, such commitments tend to be reserved for the divas of the Las Vegas strip. However, the people of St. Louis have spoken and have welcomed the Bad Plus to Jazz at the Bistro for eight straight years, and extended a contract to return every January for the foreseeable future.