Top Ten Jazz Shows in NYC This Month
These are the best Jazz shows in the city this month, in no particular order.
William P. Gottlieb Swing Street
Chucho Valdés, Egberto Gismonti, Danilo Pérez and Gonzalo Rubalcaba
As part of the Voices From Latin America series, these virtuoso pianists -- two from Cuba, one from Brazil, another from Panama -- will perform at Carnegie Hall on December 4. Throughout the show, they'll engage in different musical configurations. The concert culminates in an eight-hand finale with all four musicians on stage.
Every Tuesday at Smalls -- that basement hangout in the West Village -- Spike Wilner, the club's manager, sits down at the piano for about two hours and plays. Wilner seems to have contained in his head the entire history of jazz piano, and so you'll see him deliver bouncing stride rhythms alongside brisk bebop lines. There's no cover for this happy hour set.
The songs on drummer-composer John Hollenbeck's new album, Songs I like a Lot -- out January 29 -- are ones we think you'll like a lot too. They're warm, elliptical and, best of all, tuneful. Hollenbeck brings his large ensemble, along with singers Kate McGarry and Theo Bleckmann, to Roulette on Dec. 10 to celebrate the new CD. With any luck, they'll play their great rendition of "I Am a Man of Constant Sorrow."
Medeski Martin & Wood
Medeski Martin & Wood is a jam band at heart, but it's also a credible jazz trio when it wants to be. From December 11-16 John Medeski, Billy Martin and Chris Wood will take to the Blue Note, where they'll spend a week interacting with a different jazz musician every night except the last one. You'll find the group augmented by Aiyb Dieng, Nels Cline, Marc Ribot, Bill Evans or Marty Ehrlich.