John Calvin Abney will perform at the Focal Point on Saturday, February 22.
Each week we bring you our picks for the best shows of the next seven days! To submit your show for consideration, click here. All events subject to change; check with the venue for the most up-to-date information.
Tim Warfield’s Organ Band
Various times. Wednesday, February 19 through Sunday, February 23. The Harold and Dorothy Steward Center For Jazz, 3536 Washington Avenue. $10 to $41. 314-571-6000.
Tenor saxophonist Tim Warfield’s comprehension of post-bop traditions and trends in jazz is both utterly masterful and more than a little mysterious. The York, Pennsylvania native has a killer resumé (he’s worked with Shirley Scott, Nicholas Payton, Stefon Harris, and, significantly, Christian McBride for five years), but he commands such a paradoxical lightness of touch and intensity of tone, a way with phrasing that seems instantly familiar (Rollins and Coltrane will always come to mind) even if one has never heard “Ode to Billie Joe,” “Wade in the Water” or “’Round Midnight” quite the way Warfield conceives them. He’s an essential voice in contemporary jazz and an always exhilarating performer.
The Band Plays On: Warfield’s five-day St. Louis engagement features his organ band, likely with the veteran Pat Bianchi on keys, and special guest (and longtime St. Louis favorite) Terell Stafford on trumpet. The group is an ideal way to savor Warfield’s supple and cool vision.
Release the Hounds 2
8 p.m. Friday, February 21. The Ready Room, 4195 Manchester Avenue. $10. 314-833-3929.
Lion’s Daughter frontman Rick Giordano seems to be making a yearly tradition of tapping local metal and punk acts to perform at a show whose proceeds benefit Stray Rescue St. Louis. Bands that perform at Release the Hounds typically select a popular musical group of often similar style to cover, spend months learning their songs, and then trot them out one time only, all for our four-legged furry friends. This year’s lineup will see the Fuck Off and Dies play the songs of Me First and the Gimme Gimmes; DayBringer will perform as Pink Floyd; Voidgazer will tackle the ouvere of High on Fire; My Boy Ox will cover Minor Threat; and members of Alan Smithee and Yowie will team up to play the music of Boredoms under the name “Excites.” The whole affair is sponsored by 4 Hands, and a massive raffle will make sure you leave with both a song in your heart and some newly won shit in your hands. Do it for the dogs!
Hat on a Hat: To quote the event description on the event’s Facebook page, yes, the Fuck Off and Dies are covering a cover band, “because of course they are.” Of course indeed.
John Calvin Abney
8 p.m. Saturday, February 22. The Focal Point, 2720 Sutton Boulevard. $15 to $20. 314-560-2778.
Eagle-eyed fans of local music may have noticed that Beth Bombara often has a special guest augmenting her three-man backing band. John Calvin Abney sits in on keyboard when he can, and he contributed to Bombara’s 2019 Evergreen LP; that role of valued sideman was honed during Abney’s time accompanying celebrated singer-songwriter John Moreland. But Abney’s own work is beginning to take its share of the spotlight as well, and last year’s Safe Passage puts Abney’s sweet, slightly strained voice against acoustic guitar, piano and a little vibraphone to fill out his heartfelt and keenly observant folk songs.
Get to the Point: The Focal Point, long considered the area’s most intimate listening room, continues a strong streak of booking up-close performances for rising songwriters alongside more traditional forms of folk music.