The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month

Categories: Jazz

Salvatore Corso
Orrin Evans

These are the best jazz shows in NYC in September.

Orrin Evans
Pianist Orrin Evans of Philadelphia recently co-founded the artist collective Likemind, and for six nights at Jazz Standard (Sept. 3-8) he'll give a good idea of its breadth and purpose. He opens with Tarbaby, a quartet featuring renowned altoist Oliver Lake; continues as a sideman backing vocalist JD Walter; devotes two nights to a trio celebrating the release of ...It Was Beauty (Criss Cross); and saves the final two nights (Sept. 7-8) for a quintet with pacesetters Ralph Alessi on trumpet and Greg Osby on alto saxophone. Alessi returns to the club on Sept. 24-25 to mark the release of Baida (ECM), featuring pianist Jason Moran.

Dawn of Midi
Drummer Qasim Naqvi, bassist Aakaash Israni and pianist Amino Belyamani are Dawn of Midi, an acoustic trio that's traveled from the freer improv of their 2010 debut to the subtle, microscopic beat-tweaking of the new Dysnomia (Thirsty Ear). Nine tracks, with titles like "Sinope" and "Algol," run together with no pauses, creating an inexhaustible flow of rhythmic patterns and impulses and slow-morphing drama. At Le Poisson Rouge (Sept. 3) they'll offer a closer look.

Dave King Trio
As drummer for the Bad Plus, Dave King of Minneapolis has shared his carefree energy and insane chops with global audiences since the early '00s. But his leader debut at the Village Vanguard (Sept. 10-15) involves the soft-spoken trio that recorded I've Been Ringing You (Sunnyside) in 2012. With pianist Bill Carrothers and bassist Billy Peterson, King transforms standards like "If I Should Lose You" into dark and ethereal riddles. On paper it's his most traditional move to date, but unlike any standards record in recent memory.

Donny McCaslin Saxophone Quartet
Tenor/soprano saxophonist Donny McCaslin has been playing like a beast since his teens. At 47 he's a seasoned artist with many facets--a newer one being this four-saxophone group coming to the Rubin Museum (Sept. 6). On alto sax will be the producer of McCaslin's last several albums, the ever imaginative David Binney. On tenor and soprano along with McCaslin is Joel Frahm, who combines scary technical acumen with a language soaked in bebop and blues. Scott Robinson, genius of the low reeds, will fill out the spectrum and assert himself on baritone.

FONT: Festival of New Trumpet Music
Focus on one instrument--the trumpet, say--and you can program a festival that spans the spectrum, from iconic composers Christian Wolff and John Zorn to jazz up-and-comers Josh Evans, Miki Hirose, Bria Skonberg, Laura Kahle and more. Running at several venues from Sept. 10 to Oct. 2 (full schedule), FONT will also honor the late Butch Morris and present living masters Hugh Ragin, Lew Soloff and Marcus Belgrave, among others.

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