Willie Nelson and Wynton Marsalis

Joe Fornabaio If you regard this Willie-Wynton matchup as a strange bedfellows mating of country and jazz, you’re missing the forest for the trees. These two iconic masters have far too much in common for any genre differences to disrupt their stylish little party, a series of live performances recorded at Lincoln Center in January […]

You're Invited: Dinner and Jazz at T's Place

Please join us for dinner and jazz on Wednesday, February 27 at T’s Place, 2713 E. Lake St. Minneapolis. We stopped in the other night at T’s Place, the Ethiopian-Malaysian fusion restaurant a couple of doors down from the Town Talk Diner, to check out Yohannes Tona and his band. I’d read a piece in […]

Planet Pickett

A gauntlet of black-and-white portraits of jazz luminaries lines the walls of the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant on the Nicollet Mall in downtown Minneapolis. Nearly all of these musicians have appeared at the Dakota in one of its two incarnations. The trick with this sort of self-promotion-as-interior-decoration is in the execution. To do it […]

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Higher than Fi

The European sun shines on James Coburn, his lean frame in a white Mod jacket with red turtleneck. Putting on enormous sunglasses and flashing his classic chops, he sidles out of the palm-tree fringed villa, where he has just spent the night with Monica Vitti, and slips into his silver Ferrari. Bound for another criminal […]

Honorable Exit

My mother took me on a wild, unforgettable ride the morning she died. Drugged and nearly comatose for about twenty-four hours, she suddenly started breathing heavily, opened her dull, mucus-covered eyes, and began writhing her shoulders off the bed. I was holding her hand, and she gripped me so hard that her bones stabbed painfully […]

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LOCAL MUSIC: Cubano Libre!

At times during his monthly performances at the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, Cuban-born Nachito Herrera seems less intent on playing the piano than on consuming it—greedily, octave after octave—his thick, muscular fingers tenderizing the keys under a barrage of powerful yet precise blows, his stocky frame bouncing up and down on […]

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