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Larry McDonough Quintet
January 15, 2015 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
“Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker.”
Pianist, singer, and composer Larry McDonough’s trademarks are unique harmonies and rhythms in both arrangements and compositions, often in the uncommon meters of 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. He usually features the other musicians, with only a handful of vocals in his recordings and performances. For years, his quiet singing style has been compared to legendary singer and trumpeter Chet Baker.
Now Larry turns the tables on himself, putting his vocals in the spotlight in “Chet – The Beautiful, Tragic Music of Singer and Trumpeter Chet Baker.” Joining Larry to complete the Chet Baker sound is Steve Kinney on trumpet, saxman Richard Terrill, bassist Greg Stinson, drummer Dean White, and Larry’s daughter Rosie on African drum.
“Chet” will cover the range of the Chet Baker catalog, performing pieces from the 1950s, including My Funny Valentine, Autumn Leaves, When I Fall in Love, You Don’t Know What Love Is, There Will Never Be Another You, and Angel Eyes, as well as songs from the end of Chet’s life, such as All Blues (the rare vocal version), Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, and Moon and Sand. In the second set, Larry will add pieces from his catalog sung in Chet’s style, including My Romance, How Insensitive, Night and Day (from his “Solitude, poetry in jazz” CD), Lady Day (an original from his “Simple Gifts” CD), and Summertime in 7/4 time.
Chesney Henry “Chet” Baker, Jr., was born on December 23, 1929, and by the mid-1950s he was a popular singer and trumpeter. His hip, cool style of singing and playing jazz standards made him a peaceful alternative to the hectic quality of bebop. Even a movie career awaited, based in part on his leading-man good looks and bad-boy persona. But there was a detour ahead when his drug addiction dominated the 1960s, leading to incarcerations, deportations, and ultimately a drug deal beating that broke his teeth and scarred his movie star looks. With dentures and a new embouchure for playing trumpet—but without the face and voice that had made him a star—he resurfaced in the 1970s and 1980s, again producing recordings at the pace he did in the 1950s. At approximately 3:00 a.m. on May 13, 1988, he was found dead in Amsterdam on the street below his second-story room with serious wounds to his head. The death was ruled an accident, but speculation continues.
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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.
Steve Kenny studied at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Among many projects, he has performed with Pete Whitman’s Departure Point, The Five with Dave Karr, What Would Monk Do?, and the Cedar Avenue Big Band. He is best known as co-founder of the Illicit Sextet, an ensemble popular in the 1990s before taking a long hiatus and now back in action with a new CD released in 2013 and a Mainstage appearance at the Twin Cities Jazz festival. In addition to heading the Wednesday night early show at the Artists’ Quarter for five years, Steve has received a Minnesota Music Award, West Bank School of Music Jazz Composer award, and multiple honors as Best Jazz Trumpet at the Eau Claire Jazz Festival. With support from a state arts board grant, he curated the 10-week “All Originals” jazz series at Studio Z in Summer 2014, and in Fall 2014 launched the weekly Saturday Night Jazz at the Black Dog series, which will run at least through 2015. In 2014, Steve’s production company, Illicit Productions, released a vinyl LP debut recording for Group 47, and a first ever “Twin Cities Jazz Sampler Volume One” CD that included tracks from 13 recently released recordings from originals-focused Twin Cities ensembles. In the early 1990s, Steve produced a multi-media concert/tribute to Chet Baker presented by the Twin Cities Jazz Society’s main concert series. The core Baker tribute band, dubbed “Let’s get Lost” from that project, went on to perform a long sequence of late-night gigs at the now defunct Café Solo in downtown Minneapolis.
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. LMQ 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.
Larry McDonough – Piano, Vocals
Steve Kenny – Trumpet
Richard Terrill – Saxophone, Poetry
Greg Stinson – Bass
Dean White – Drums
Guest Rosie McDonough – African Drum