The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month (Jazz Appreciation Month Edition)
These are the 10 best jazz shows in New York this month. (Here for more on Jazz Appreciation Month.)
Steve Coleman and Five Elements
Switching from its longtime format of guest curators in favor of brief single-artist residencies, The Stone offers an April packed with major talent (Matthew Shipp, Jamie Saft, more). Alto saxophonist Steve Coleman, veteran bandleader and influential theorist, finishes the month (April 23-28) with his main ensemble Five Elements, buoyed by the stellar new release Functional Arrhythmias (Pi).
Michele Rosewoman and New Yor-Uba
At Roulette on April 5, the ace pianist celebrates 30 years of a vital Afro-Cuban jazz project with an ensemble of five horns, three percussionists (bata/congas/vocals), bass and drums. Undulating rhythms, Yoruba lyrics in four-part harmony, the leader's fiery finesse on piano and keys: hear it all just days before the band makes its debut studio recording.
Adam Rudolph's Go:Organic Orchestra
From a tangle of flutes, clarinets, brass, strings and polymetric percussion -- 42 instruments in all -- experimental composer/conductor Adam Rudolph (a percussionist himself) elicits music of strange and unclassifiable beauty. Engrossing to watch, he uses hand cues and non-standard notation systems in search of global groove transcendence. The band's residency at ShapeShifter Lab continues on April 8 and 22.
Jeff Ballard Fairgrounds
Drummer Jeff Ballard, a mainstay in the Brad Mehldau Trio and the acclaimed Fly, has assembled a most enticing lineup for his first Village Vanguard solo run (April 9-14): master trumpeter Eddie Henderson, Chicago guitar enigma Jeff Parker (of Tortoise), bassist Larry Grenadier (of Mehldau's trio and Fly) and pianist Kevin Hays. Hurricane Sandy scuttled their October 2012 debut, so don't miss 'em now.
Instant Composers Pool
Founded in 1967, the ICP remains a touchstone of Dutch progressive jazz, with an output gigantic enough for a 52-CD boxed set. The Amsterdam-based tentet is here for a one-nighter at Littlefield (April 13), ready to delight in its pranksterish sensibility. Piano eminence Misha Mengelberg can't make it, but watch for drumming beast and co-founder Han Bennink, cellist Tristan Honsinger, reedist Ab Baars, trombonist Wolter Wierbos and more.
The Claudia Quintet
Following an April 2 Large Ensemble appearance at Jazz Standard, drummer and composer John Hollenbeck spends three nights (April 18-20) at Cornelia Street Café with his Claudia Quintet. Featuring Chris Speed on clarinet and tenor, Red Wierenga on accordion, Matt Moran on vibes and Chris Tordini on bass, the group is leaner than the sprawling big band but just as wild and sonically rich.