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Larry McDonough Premiers the Aster Sunday Jazz Series with “Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker” $10

Sunday, January 8, 2023 @ 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm

Larry McDonough begins the monthly Aster Jazz Series on January 8 with Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker.” Starting in February, the series moves to the first Sunday of each month, featuring the music of a different classic jazz artist each month.

Singer and trumpeter Cher Baker died in 1988 at age 58. In 2015, “Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker” played at the Dakota and Jazz Central to full houses. Come to the Aster for the return of “Chet” and see and hear why.

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.

Larry turns the tables on himself, putting his vocals in the spotlight in “Chet – The Beautiful Music and Tragic Life of Singing Trumpeter Chet Baker.” Joining Larry to complete the Chet Baker sound is Josh May on trumpet, saxman and poet Richard Terrill, bassist Greg Stinson, and drummer Dean White.

In the first set, “Chet” will cover the range of the Chet Baker catalog, performing pieces from the 1950s, including My Funny Valentine, The Thrill Is Gone (featured on Larry’s CD “Alice in Stonehenge), When I Fall in Love, You Don’t Know What Love Is, and There Will Never Be Another You, 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 and Some Other Time (both from Larry’s “Solitude, poetry in jazz” CD); and the originals Tuscarora, My Favorite Things in 5/4, and They Can’t Take That Away from Me in 3/4 (all from his “Simple Gifts” CD).

Larry also will discuss Chet’s life and music and their impact on jazz as well as themselves, and Richard will read his original poems about Chet Baker and Bill Evans. Richard is a Minnesota Book Award winner.

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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 an award-winning St. Paul jazz composer, pianist, singer, and teacher, 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. His awards include the American Composers Forum Showcase Award for the composition “Strait of Gibraltar.”

He has released eleven CDs and DVDs as a leader. His current CDs are “Kind of Bill on the Palace Grounds, Marking 40 Years since the Death of Bill Evans,” playing on jazz radio stations and streaming services around the country, and “Intermodulating Undercurrents Live at the Kos: The Music of Bill Evans and Jim Hall.” The two-CD set “Alice in Stonehenge and other AcoustElectric Adventures” has played on radio stations and streaming services around the world and charted #18 on the Roots Music Report’s Top 50 Jazz Album Chart. “Simple Gifts” reached number 29 on the CMJ Jazz Chart and also 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.

The Larry McDonough Quartet Official Website

Music 8-10

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$10 cover charge will be added to your tab.


Sunday, January 8, 2023
8:00 pm - 10:00 pm