The Best Jazz Shows in NYC This Month
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in October.
Melissa Aldana Quartet
Tenor saxophonist Melissa Aldana made an impression with two strong albums on Greg Osby's Inner Circle label (Free Fall and Second Cycle). But last month the 24-year-old Chilean modernist went and won the Thelonious Monk International Saxophone Competition, topping a field of formidable colleagues. She'll bring her fiery, poised and expressive sound to the Kitano on October 3, enjoying a well-deserved victory lap with Glenn Zaleski on piano, Pablo Menares on bass and Francisco Mela on drums.
Luis Perdomo Quartet
The 42-year-old monster pianist, a native of Caracas, Venezuela, has flourished stateside as a bandleader and a longtime sideman with Ravi Coltrane, Miguel Zenón and others. At Smalls on October 2 & 3 he leads a quartet with tenor saxophonist Mark Shim, bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Ignacio Berroa -- close to the lineup from 2012's The 'Infancia' Project (Criss Cross), a triumph of Latin jazz progressivism. (Ravi Coltrane, with David Virelles on piano, plays the Village Vanguard October 1-6.)
Jimmy Greene Quartet
Renowned tenor/soprano saxophonist Jimmy Greene has an album forthcoming called Beautiful Life, one that we all wish he never had to make. It's dedicated to his daughter Ana Grace Márquez-Greene, lost in the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut. Gathering at Smoke (Oct. 4 & 5) with pianist Renee Rosnes, drummer Jeff "Tain" Watts and bassists Ben Wolfe (Friday) and John Patitucci (Saturday), Greene will preview the new material and attest to music's life-giving force, not to mention his own bountiful spirit.
Trumpet master Tom Harrell played the Village Vanguard in March with the sextet heard on Colors of a Dream (HighNote), releasing later this month. Now Harrell returns to the Vanguard for two full weeks: first with his quintet, one of jazz's finest working units, from October 8-13; then with an exploratory quartet called Trip from October 15-20. In addition to bassist Ugonna Okegwo and drummer Adam Cruz, Trip features Harrell alongside tenor saxophonist Mark Turner, arguably a legend in the making. With no chordal instrument tying them down, they're going to soar.
His saxophone playing is deep, but Mike McGinnis has made clarinet his signature horn -- never more so than on his dual new releases Ängsudden Song Cycle (482 Music) and Road*Trip (RKM). The former involves a mysterious octet with voice, bassoon, cavaquinho and other surprises; they're slated to appear at Roulette on October 13. The latter, by Mike McGinnis + 9, explores a "little big band" aesthetic with roots in mid-'50s Third Stream. That group hits at Barbès on October 24, to return November 10.