Music News & Reviews

Jazz Town: All-star New York Standards Quartet tops KC’s weekend guest list

New York Standards Quartet (from left) is Tim Armacost, Daiki Yasukagawa, David Berkman and Gene Jackson. The quartet is at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., at 8:30 p.m. Saturday.
New York Standards Quartet (from left) is Tim Armacost, Daiki Yasukagawa, David Berkman and Gene Jackson. The quartet is at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Gene Jackson

Get your feet off the couch and clean up that room. Company is coming.

This weekend features the usual complement of great Kansas City jazz talent, with some guests to provide a little more spark. The guests:

▪ The New York Standards Quartet is the name chosen by four fine, undersung players to characterize their current endeavor. Pianist David Berkman, tenor saxophonist Tim Armacost, bassist Daiki Yasukagawa and drummer Gene Jackson have played plenty of strong, individual, original music on their own, and they aren’t done doing that. But what happens if these four simply play the standard repertoire, the songs they’ve known for decades already?

The results should be relaxed jam magic with some wonderful twists to the arrangements. The quartet has been doing this since 2006, so they’ve developed that jazz telepathy you get by working together a lot.

The quartet is at the Blue Room, 1600 E. 18th St., at 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Tickets are $15, $10 for students.

▪ Pianist and composer Roberto Magris hails from Italy, but he has been an occasional guest in Kansas City, even recording one of his nearly two dozen albums here. He has worked out his own stylistic thing by absorbing the bebop tradition that came from Charlie Parker, Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell and by paying close attention to those who have expanded on it, from Bill Evans to McCoy Tyner and beyond. He has seasoned his inventions by working with jazz giants including guitarist Philip Catherine, bassist Art Davis and drummer Idris Muhammad.

Magris brings a trio of Kansas City friends to the Jazz at the Lake concert series at noon Thursday in the conference center at Kansas City Kansas Community College, next to the campus lake. It’s free.

▪ Baritone saxophonist Roger Rosenberg’s regional tour with tenor saxophonist Rob Scheps is winding down, but a few gigs remain. They’ll be at the Broadway Jazz Club, 3601 Broadway, with singer Angela Hagenbach at 7 p.m. Thursday. They’ll work with guitarist Ron Carlson at the Lucky Brewgrille, 5401 Johnson Drive in Mission, at 6 p.m. Friday. And they’ll work out with the band Hard@Play on material from Blood, Sweat and Tears, early Chicago and Steely Dan (one of Rosenberg’s employers) at 9 p.m. Saturday at Murray’s Tables & Tap, 12921 State Line Road.


▪ Everybody think good thoughts for Hermon Mehari as he heads to Los Angeles as one of 13 semifinalists in the Thelonious Monk International Trumpet Competition. The semifinals are Saturday, and the finals are Sunday. He’ll be performing in front of some people who know a thing or two about trumpets, including Ambrose Akinmusire, Randy Brecker, Roy Hargrove, Quincy Jones, Jimmy Owens and Arturo Sandoval.

▪ Here’s a good idea: a Brookside Jazz Festival, said to be the “first annual.” The absolutely free event is 7 to 10 p.m. Friday at the Christ Community Church’s Brookside campus, 400 W. 67th St. The lineup features the band Shades of Jade, the band Diverse plus vibraphonist Peter Schlamb, and singer Angela Hagenbach.

▪ The Project H gives this week’s performance on the Jazz Underground series at the Westport CoffeeHouse Theatre, 4010 Pennsylvania Ave., at 8 p.m. Thursday.

▪ The Blue Room also has singer and multi-instrumentalist Lester “Duck” Warner at 7 p.m. on Thursday and singer Lisa Henry at 8:30 p.m. Friday. The Jazz Disciples run the Monday jam at 7 p.m.

▪ The Broadway Club also has singer Linnaia McKenzie at 11:30 p.m. Friday; trumpeter Stan Kessler and singer Kathleen Holeman at 11:30 p.m. Saturday; and singer Havilah Bruders at 7 p.m. Wednesday.

▪ The Green Lady Lounge, 1809 Grand Blvd., has Peter Schlamb’s trio at 9 p.m. Thursday; organist Chris Hazelton’s Boogaloo 7 at 10 p.m. Friday; organist Ken Lovern’s OJT at 9:30 p.m. Saturday and again at 9 p.m. Wednesday; the Foundation 627 Big Band at 8:30 p.m. Sunday; the group B Vibe at 9 p.m. Monday; and keyboardist Bram Wijnands and his B3 Bombers at 9 p.m. Tuesday.

▪ Take Five Coffee + Bar, at 6601 W. 135th St., Suite A-21, in Overland Park, has Project H at 8 p.m. Friday and Chris Hazelton’s trio at 8 p.m. Saturday. There’s a jazz brunch with pianist Roger Wilder’s trio at 10 a.m. Sunday.

To reach Joe Klopus, call 816-234-4751 or send email to