These are the best jazz shows in NYC in March.
Chris Speed, tenor saxophone; Jim Black, drums Arturo O'Farrill
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in February.More »
Krzysztof Machowina Henry Threadgill
It grows and grows. The 10th anniversary Winter Jazzfest spans five nights (Jan. 7-11), nine venues and over 90 bands. There'll be three standalone concerts and two back-to-back marathons (6pm-4am) with hugely impressive lineups. A quick glimpse reveals the names Gary Bartz, Darcy James Argue, Chris Lightcap, Matthew Shipp, Tim Berne, Aruán Ortiz, Town Hall headliners Robert Glasper and Jason Moran (plus guests), on and on. By now the vast aesthetic range is a given, but the particulars come as a surprise every year. Forced to choose a definitive set, we'd go with Henry Threadgill in his WJF debut. The great alto saxophonist/flutist/composer leads his Ensemble Double-Up in the premiere of "Old Locks and Irregular Verbs," honoring the late Lawrence D. "Butch" Morris (Jan. 11).
There's such diversity of sound, method and intent in this list that it's hard to group it all under "jazz" and still have it make sense. And yet it does, because we say so. What ties these albums together is imagination, individuality, monster musicianship and communication on a high plane.
Needless to say there are many other titles richly deserving of recognition. This is not a fallow period in jazz--the idea is hilarious--and it seems that narrowing the important releases down to 10 only gets harder every year. In some sense the Top-10 list goes against the fluid and improvisatory nature of jazz, which can reveal successive secrets with every listen, years or even decades after the fact. Take this, then, not as some permanent and final verdict. All that said, these albums will seriously wreck you.
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These are the best jazz shows in NYC in October.
Melissa Aldana Salvatore Corso Orrin Evans
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in September.
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.
These are the best jazz shows in NYC in August.More »