Top Ten Jazz Shows in NYC This Month
Ben Holmes Quartet
The trumpeter Ben Holmes returns to Barbès with his quartet on December 18 for the second installment of his monthly residency. To get a taste of what the group might sound like listen to Anvil of the Lord, Holmes's new CD, released in November, featuring trombonist Curtis Hasselbring, bassist Matt Pavolka and drummer Vinnie Sperrazza. Ben Perowsky will fill in for Sperrazza at the Barbès show.
Aaron Diehl Trio
On December 21, the pianist Aaron Diehl brings his trio -- with David Wong on bass and Peter Van Nostrand on drums -- to the Kitano. Diehl is young -- 27 -- but he's by no means inexperienced. He's got an excellent command of jazz's standard repertoire and he plays with crystal-clear concision.
Jimmy Cobb and the Kind of Blue Band
The drummer Jimmy Cobb played on Kind of Blue, Miles Davis's legendary 1959 release, and he's the only surviving musician to have done so. In the spirit of that album, Cobb will bring a sextet -- including Jeremy Pelt, Vincent Herring, Javon Jackson, Larry Willis and Buster Williams -- to the Jazz Standard from December 27-30.
The Bad Plus
The Bad Plus, a slyly progressive jazz trio with ecumenical taste ranging from Nirvana to Rodgers and Hart, continues with the tradition of its yearly New Year's Eve concert at the Village Vanguard. Presumably its members -- pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King -- will play selections from their new album, Made Possible, released this fall.
Ring in the Swing: A New Year's Eve Dance Party
If you can afford it, this looks fun. On New Year's Eve, Jazz at Lincoln Center is putting on its first swing dance concert in the Allen Room as part of the institution's 25th anniversary season. The Harlem Renaissance Orchestra will perform selections from classic big bands of the Swing Era: Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Benny Goodman. Tickets are $325.