Minneapolis Tribune
Tom Surowicz

Pianist Bill Carrothers has not one but two new CDs to celebrate at his homecoming gigs at the Artists' Quarter (9 p.m. today-Sat., $10). One is actually a 1992 trio session that languished in the can despite the star power of bandmates Gary Peacock (Keith Jarrett's bassist) and New York drummer Bill Stewart. Rescued by Germany's Pirouet Records, "Home Row" is a sparkling straight-ahead trio session -- or as straight-ahead as Carrothers gets, opening with an Ornette Coleman classic ("When Will the Blues Leave"). The other disc, "Play Day," has had a much better fate. Recorded this year, it sports a transcontinental cast including Wisconsin cellist Matt Turner, singer Peg Carrothers, T.C. drummer Jay Epstein, Belgian drummer Dre Pallemaerts and French clarinetist Jean-Marc Foltz, performing songs inspired by their childhoods. Are you ready for hip jazz versions of "Old MacDonald Had a Farm"and "I Wish I Were an Oscar Mayer Wiener"? The wiener song gets crossed with Ellington's "Mood Indigo." This is one of the rare cases where you want to know how the sausage got made.