T’wernt no flash in the pan. The folks behind the Red Hook Jazz Festival (take a bow, Mike Golub) have sustained it for seven years now, and every go-round seems to bring out more and more humans who dig the music. Just like the out-of-the-way nabe itself, once people find out about it, they kinda dig it. There are several reasons to sit in the Urban Meadow at 91 President Street, BK for the afternoon. One of them would be Ralph Alessi’s tone. During the last year I’ve often gone back to the trumpeter’s duet record with Fred Hersch, Only Many (Cam Jazz) – their exchanges bring out Alessi’s playful side. But it’s Baida (ECM) that has turned so many heads his way. The high profile quartet date reveal Alessi’s essence, a deeply inquisitive and perpetually poised design sense that his colleagues follow with unusual reverence. He plays in a trio with Drew Gress and Mark Ferber on Sunday.
Another reason head to the Hook is getting an earful of Harris Eisenstadt’s Aberikula outfit. The drummer-composer says this new ensemble is inspired by the verve of Cuban music. A blast of brass (Chris Washburne/Curtis Hasselbring/Nate Wooley) with Sara Serpa’s voice in front is novel enough to warrant further investigation. Another band I’ve never heard is Azares. Two guitars (Ryan Ferreira/Joe Morris), a rhythm section of bassist Pascal Niggenkemper and the mighty Gerald Cleaver, and Jean Carla Rodea’s vocals. That sounds enticing. Also on the bill: guitarist Amanda Monaco’s Deathblow (secret weapon: saxophonist Michael Attias); International Brass & Membrane Corps (ever seen tuba player Joe Daley in action?); closing is Richi DeBonis’ NOWtet, which addresses the Led Zeppelin songbook. Looks like it’s time to head over the hills and far away to Red Hook. Don’t forget the sun block. Those cool breezes off Buttermilk Channel won’t stop old sol’s wear and tear. FYI: it’s a family hang, so don’t leave the kids at home.
91 President Street, Brooklyn (corner of President/Van Brunt) 1 pm – 6 pm. $10.
The June 15th lineup features The Museum Band of Teeth & Respect, Welf Dorr Unit, George Coleman, Jr & the Rivington Project, Gene Ess & Fractal Attraction, and Tim Berne’s Decay.