The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month
These are the best jazz shows in NYC this month.
Wadada Leo Smith
Wadada Leo Smith's Ten Freedom Summers
What better sound than Wadada Leo Smith's lacerating trumpet to depict the civil rights movement in music? Smith's 2012 release Ten Freedom Summers (Cuneiform) spans four CDs and brings his Golden Quartet/Quintet together with Southwest Chamber Music, a nine-piece ensemble of strings, winds and percussion. For three nights at Roulette (May 3-5), the 71-year-old ponders America's soul and bares his own.
Undead Music Festival
It's no longer a "jazz" festival in name, and yet they'll have Joe Lovano on the same rostrum as Kim Gordon, Questlove and 17 more to play round-robin duets at Brooklyn Masonic Temple (May 1). Guitarist Marc Ribot and Ceramic Dog bring the curtain down on May 5 at Le Poisson Rouge. And starting May 2, multi-instrumentalist mindfucker Dosh fills three nights at ShapeShifter Lab, with jazz pianist Aaron Parks and others.
The warhorse alto saxophonist takes over The Stone (May 7-12) with his quartet from the 2012 opus Snakeoil (ECM). Berne, pianist Matt Mitchell, clarinetist Oscar Noriega and drummer Ches Smith play the first three nights. Then come other collaborations, with musicians on the order of Craig Taborn and Michael Formanek. Watch for other Stone residencies in May, including Uri Gurvich and Wayne Horvitz.
Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom
Appearing in a double bill with Sexmob at 92Y Tribeca (May 8), drummer Allison Miller's Boom Tic Boom is celebrating No Morphine No Lilies (Royal Potato Family), featuring pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman, bassist Todd Sickafoose and guests. Celebrate they should: the rhythms are infectious but the piano-violin frontline has a mournful mystery that sets the album apart.
Ben Wendel & Dan Tepfer Duo
It's the same week as Fred Hersch's must-see duos project at Jazz Standard, but break away to Smalls (May 13) to hear pianist Dan Tepfer and saxophonist Ben Wendel do their remarkable thing. On Small Constructions (Sunnyside) they deal with Monk, Tristano and Handel along with intricate original work, bringing unearthly technical mastery but also a sense of pacing and sonic invention (bassoon, Rhodes, multi-tracking).