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Larry McDonough Group plays Born to be Kind of Blue: the Music of Miles Davis & Chet Baker

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Jazz Pianist, Vocalist Composer and Educator

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Monday, May 1, 2017

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Larry McDonough

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The Larry McDonough Septet
Larry McDonough, piano and vocals
Steve Kenny, flumpet
Richard Terrill, tenor and soprano saxes/poetry
Jeff King, alto and baritone saxes
Carol Bergquist, flute
Greg Stinson, bass
Dean White, drums

May is a good month to remember Chet and Miles. Miles was born on May 26, 1926 and Chet died on May 13, 1988.

Born to Be Kind of Blue filled the Dakota several times in 2016 with the music of Chet Baker and Miles Davis. Come to the Dakota for the return of “Chet and Miles” and see and hear why. Plan ahead as the last show was sold out!

It is rare the Hollywood covers real jazz. April 2016 saw the unprecedented release of two movies not only about jazz, but featuring two jazz trumpeters. On April 8, “Born to Be Blue,” a Canadian drama film directed by Robert Budreau and starring Ethan Hawke as Chet Baker, premiered at Edina Cinema. One week later,“Miles Ahead,” an American movie directed and co-written by and starring  Don Cheadle about Miles Davis, premiered at the Uptown Theatre. Larry McDonough’s group appeared at both premiers to provide live music of these legendary musicians.

Singer and trumpeter Chet Baker died in 1988 at age 58. Trumpeter and composer Miles Davis died in 1991 at age 65. Neither ever played the Dakota. Some called Chet the white Miles. Others called Miles the black Chet. Both were wrong. On June 29 the music of both of them will fill the Dakota. Come, hear and understand the music of Chet and Miles.

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.

In 2015, Larry created “Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker,” featuring Steve Kenney on flumpet. The show filled the Dakota twice as well as other  clubs around the Twin Cities and the state. In 2016 Larry created “Kind of Blue” to celebrate the Miles Davis album that many regard as the greatest jazz album of all time.

“Born to Be Kind of Blue” combines the music of Chet Baker and Miles Davis in adjoining sets, allowing the audience to compare and contrast their music.

In the first set, “Chet” will cover the range of the Chet Baker catalog, including My Funny Valentine, The Thrill Is Gone, When I Fall in Love, You Don’t Know What Love Is, There Will Never Be Another You, Softly as in a Morning Sunrise, Autumn Leaves, and Born to Be Blue (the title of the movie about Chet).

The second set, “Miles” will focus on music from “Kind of Blue” with the Larry McDonough Sextet playing the entire recording: So What, Freddie Freeloader, Blue in Green, All Blues, and the rarely performed Flamenco Sketches. To put the recording in context, they will perform pieces from before and after “Kind of Blue”: Bye Bye Blackbird (1957), Summertime (1958) and Footprints (1967).

Larry and Steve also will discuss the lives and music of Chet and Miles and their impact on jazz as well as themselves. Larry will read poems about Chet and Miles by Minnesota Book Award winner Richard Terrill.

What Other People Have Been Saying...

“What a show!” – Maryann Sullivan, Corner Jazz

“Pianist/composer Larry McDonough can sing like Chet, quiet and cool, and he’s asked Steve Kenny to play the trumpet for an evening of exploring Baker’s catalog, something that hardly ever happens.” – Pamela Espeland, Minn Post

“It’s rare that anyone tackles Baker’s catalog, especially his singing, so if you’re a fan of jazz singing, you will want to make your way [there].” – Larry Englund, Rhythm and Grooves, KFAI Radio