The Ten Best Concerts In New York This Week
Tues., Jan. 1. 9:00 p.m. S.O.B.'s. $15.
We've always known Philadelphia transplant Questlove was a talented drummer--beyond his work with the Roots, he had a role on D'Angelo's neo-soul masterpiece Voodoo, Erykah Badu's Baduizm and Mama's Gun, and Fiona Apple's Extraordinary Machine, among others. But the past few years have seen him emerge as a Renaissance man of sorts, designing sneakers for Nike, associate-producing Broadway show Fela!, DJing at Brooklyn Bowl, and appearing regularly on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. Last year, his show Shuffle Culture premiered at BAM to rave reviews, and he just finished his first semester as a professor at NYU. Tonight, join his class when he and Herbert Holler take you to school at S.O.B.'s. -- By Nick Murray
Thu., Jan. 3. 7:00 p.m. Le Poisson Rouge. $15/$20.
For the past 15 years, DJ Rekha's Basement Bhangra has remained a New York institution, giving Indian music and dance a home in the city's ever-evolving club and nightlife scene. Tonight, she and fellow resident Ranbir S. kick off their 16th year with a new location, the Village's Le Poisson Rouge, and performance by Panjabi MC, the British rapper whose Knight Rider-sampling "Mundian to Bach Ke" crossed over to American rap audiences when Jay-Z jumped on a remix. Expect him to mix old hits with tracks from last year's 56 Districts. With visuals by Fictive and early performances by Mandeep Sethi and Dutty Chutney's DJ Mandip Kalsi. -- By Nick Murray
Thu., Jan. 3. 9:00 p.m. S.O.B.'s. $30.
With his Smoker's Club revue, this New Orleans rapper and has brought friends and fellow marijuana connoisseurs like Big K.R.I.T., Method Man, Fiend, Mac Miller, and the aptly named Smoke DZA to the New York City stage. Tonight, he comes to S.O.B.'s for a solo gig, with his drawling tongue-twisters front-and-center.
John Abercrombie Quartet
Thu., Jan. 3, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Jazz Standard. $10.
Abercrombie dips into a river of modern-classic influences and often summons up his inner Jim Hall on Within a Song, his most recent ECM release. But this quartet--which includes Seamus Blake (tenor sax), Gary Versace (organ), and Adam Nussbaum (drums)--should also provide the guitarist with opportunities to explore his spikier, electronically augmented side as well. -- By Richard Gehr
Ed Palermo Big Band w/ Napolean Murphy Brock
Thu., Jan. 3. 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. Iridium. $30.
Frank Zappa's purely musical genius nearly always trumps his satire whenever saxophonist-bandleader Palermo's 18-piece ensemble whips up the late composer-guitarist's repertoire, as they've been doing since 1980. And as FZ's longest-tenured sideman, the singer-guitarist Napoleon Murphy Brock infused Zappa's music with r&b vitality and plenty of the spontaneous funny, so expect the same during tonight's sit-in. -- By Richard Gehr