The Eight Best Concerts In NYC This Week
These are the eight best concerts in NYC this week. And if you don't know, now you know.
Memphis Bleek + Freeway + Young Gunz
Wed., Dec. 19. 7:30. Gramercy Theatre. $19.50.
Although this show is being billed as the Roc-A -Fella Reunion, there are a few more prominent names keeping it from being a true family affair (cough, Hova, cough, Cam, cough, fill in the blank). That said, the triumvirate of Brooklyn's Memphis Bleek and Philly's Freeway and Young Gunz has enough collective hits and beats from their early 2000s heyday to fill an evening--even if there will be a few pauses for Jay-Z's and Beanie Sigel's verses here and there. -- By Kory Grow
Matt Wilson's Christmas Tree-O
Wed., Dec. 19. 7:30 & 9:30pm. Jazz Standard. $20.
His whimsical holiday album decked every hall in town last year--nice to see it has become an ongoing tradition. Helping with the fa la la las this time around is guitarist Bill Frisell, who I bet puts a memorable spin on "Mele Kalikimaka," the red-nosed Christmas salutation from our 50th state. They also share a love of John Lennon love, so sing along and war will be over (if you want it). -- By Jim Macnie
Wed. & Thurs., Dec. 19 & 20. Le Poisson Rouge. $25/$30.
Anyone familiar with his album's worth of music for ringtones (24 Postcards in Full Colour) won't be shocked to learn that British composer Max Richter has rescored Antonio Vivaldi's The Four Seasons as the latest installment in Deutsche Grammophon's "ReComposed" series. Vivaldi's original gestures, shapes, and textures are sampled, looped, extended, and dubbed out in a manner that honors the original by acknowledging what has been lost and gained by its ubiquity. Richter's otherworldly and rhythmically rejuvenated quasi-minimalist remix will be performed here by ensemble LPR, under the direction of Tito Muñoz, and feature violinist Daniel Hope, who recorded it for DG with the Konzerthaus Kammerorchester Berlin. Richter describes the work as a "conversation" with the 16th-century composer, who might want check his voicemail. -- By Richard Gehr
George Schuller's Circle Wide
Wed., Dec. 19. 8:30pm. ShapeShifter Lab. $10
There's a track on the newish Listen Both Ways called "A Map Would Help," but the drummer's sextet always seems to know where it's going. The freebop sensibility that some improvisers struggle with has no problem flowing naturally from this reed-vibes-guitar front line. That means the pleasures of swing are blended with the oddities of outness. -- By Jim Macnie