St. Paul Dispatch—January 4, 1977


    A promise was made last September about bringing big-name jazz to the Twin Cities on a regular basis, and it's being kept with the news this week of a super lineup of jazz stars scheduled for the Longhorn Eating Emporium and Saloon in Minneapolis in the next six months.

     Pat Blumenthal, Longhorn owner, said last fall that if concerts featuring guitarist Kenny Burrell in September and saxophonist Eddie Harris in October were successful (and they were), he and his partners would continue to bring nationally-known jazz artists here regularly—probably monthly.

     A number of superb jazz artists, including such "Giants" as pianists Bill Evans and Earl "Fatha" Hines, and saxophonist, Sonny Rollins have been booked for the 200-seat Music Room upstairs in the Longhorn, 14 S. 5th St. between Hennepin and Nicollet Avenues.

     The schedule opens Jan. 22-25 with the Joe Farrell Quartet, and continues Feb. 18-21 with the Bill Evans Trio; Feb. 25, Sonny Rollins and Nucleus, a quintet; March 10-13, Tony Williams' Lifetime, and June 1-5, Earl "Fatha" Hines.

Longhorn corrals 6-month lineup of nationally - known jazz artists

Tickets will be $5 per person for all the concerts, except Rollins, which probably will cost $6 per. There will be two shows each night for all performers. Sets are at 8 and 10:30 p.m.

     Farrell may be the "sleeper" in the lineup. He probably is not as familiar, at least not to more casual listeners, as the other artists. But those who heard him play with drummer Elvin Jones in the Guthrie Theater several seasons back certainly have not forgotten one of the truly exciting nights in Twin Cities concert history.  A small, but enthusiastic and knowledgeable crowd, wouldn't let Jones' group, featuring Farrell on saxes and flutes, quit playing.  

     Farrell, 38, is a Chicago Heights, Ill. native, who was interested in all sorts of music at an early age. In first grade, he recalls, he played recorder. His brother got him interested in tenor saxophone and Farrell has gone from there.

     While in college, he played with Ralph Martiere's band, sat in at Chicago jam sessions every chance he got, then went to New York in 1959 and the following year, joined

Maynard Ferguson, with whom he recorded. Since that he's worked

with the Thad Jones-Mel Lewis band, with Jackie Byard, Elvin Jones, and has been leader of his own group and a recording start for CTI Records the past several years.

     He will bring with him former Twin Citian, Victor Lewis, on drums; Barry Finnerty, guitar, and Jeff Berlin, bass.

     Meanwhile, the Longhorn has an interesting six-night schedule of local jazz groups, featuring Natural Life Thursday through Saturday; the Wolverines, Sunday; either the Mike Elliott or

Bobby Peterson Trio Monday. On Wednesdays, Tommy O'Donnell fronting a trio with Billy Peterson on bass and Joe Piazza, drums. Admission charge for these groups is $3.00 per person.

     I should mention that Joey Piazza, a drummer who also plays with tenor saxophonist Irv Williams and vocalist Roberta Davis on weekends at Hardy's Stagedoor is booking of the big names for the Longhorn.

               EVANS                                 ROLLINS                                   HINES

     Piazza, who knows some of the leaders and many of the sidemen in the fine groups in New York, has done an excellent job, I think, in providing jazz for almost all tastes.

     An avant-gardist—someone like Anthony Braxton or Albert Ayler—would round out the lineup perfectly, for it already contains examples of swing, post-bop, mainstream and modern, some electric bop-jazz and-or rock-jazz.

Contributing writer to Downbeat Magazine.