Must-See Three: Jazz This Week in NYC

Steven Bernstein The Stone Weds, March 22 – Sat, March 25

Charisma helps the brass hero’s work take on a gleefully entertaining resonance, but it’s a shrewd musicalidociousness that truly wows his admirers. Bernstein’s artistic scope is insane, so regardless of the ensemble he’s leading (and there are several), info from other realms comes trickling through. Meaning his NOLA vibe might have a Jackson in its house, meaning his Don Cherry introspection might contain a Satchmo cackle, meaning his big band romp ‘n’ stomp just might nod to the Swan Silvertones for a sec…if it feels like it. Orthodoxy ain’t no fun if your vision is as sizable as this guy’s, and the scholarship Bernstein doles out as he does his zig-zagging usually advances a few agendas. We’re gonna hear that slide trumpet of his with Arturo O’Farrill’s piano, Scott Colley’s bass, and Newman Taylor Baker’s drums as this four-night residency rolls forward this week. And when Sexmob takes the stage you’ll see how nonchalance is a convincing posture when delivering fluid waves of brainiac improv. (Spent the last week with their soon-come latest, The Hard Way (Corbett vs Dempsey), and its blend of beats and swag make for some ingenious social music – summer’s coming!) As for the Millennial Territory gang, well, when their swing boils over, their repertory lessons catch a vibe so current it feels like they’re predicting the future. Yep, Bernstein is damn clever when it comes to contextualizing big pictures.

John Zorn’s New Masada Quartet Roulette Sunday, March 26

“Masada was meant to celebrate [Jewish culture],” Zorn said last year…”as much as I can celebrate anything.” Raise a glass to the expressive pith of his longstanding and ever-changing outfits; they make their points quickly and buoyantly, seldom wasting a phrase. Part of that has to do with Zorn the editor merging with Zorn the host. His deep commitment to community always finds him making sure his cohort has its say. “The music is not the sounds that you’re hearing when you hear these pieces. That is just the platform. The music is the people themselves, their feelings, what they’re putting into it, their energy.” His latest iteration of the Quartet feature guitarist Julian Lage, bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Kenny Wollesen. Their interplay invariably stresses the word’s third syllable. “I want to see small groups interact.” Sounds like celebration to me.

Matt Pavolka Quartet Nublu Monday, March 20

Put your arms in front of your chest so your hands are facing each other. Open your fingers and unite them in a cross-hatched bond. Now squeeze ’em and make ’em tighter. That’s what happens between keyboardist Santiago Leibson and guitarist Ben Monder in Pavolka’s electric outfit. The band I saw most often last year is the band that also delivered the biggest punch. The bassist’s thematic material, wisely united for the upcoming Disciplinary Architecture album, guides his squad through the garden gate, and the pathway is always recognizable. But he’s a leader who lets the improv speak for itself, and it ain’t long before they’re making Birds of Fire maneuvers, whirling, writhing, reacting to each other’s subtlest inflections as they soar. The engine is Allan Mednard, a drummer who can tell you three stories at once. Wait, better make that four.


Ingrid Laubrock’s Lilith Jazz Gallery Wednesday, March 22

Michael Attias Double Shadow Spin Barbes Sunday, March 26

Wendy Eisenberg Owl Music Parlor Friday, March 24

Big Lazy Barbes Friday, March 24

Santi DiBriano The Django Saturday, March 25

Jerome Sabbagh /Joe Martin/Al Foster Bar Bayeux Wednesday, March 22

Ben Goldberg’s Glamorous Escapades Jazz Gallery Thursday, March 23

Noa Fort Main Drag Wednesday, March 22

Mara Rosenblum’s Flyways St. Peter’s Church Sunday, March 26

Tim Berne/Tom Rainey/Gregg Belisle-Chi Lowlands Thursday, March 23

SF Jazz Collective Birdland Tuesday, March 21 – Saturday, March 25

Simón Willson Quartet Lowlands Tuesday, March 21

Yosvany Terry Jazz Gallery Friday, March 24 – Saturday, March 25

Don Braden Birdland Friday, March 24 – Sunday, March 26

Santiago Leibson/Billy Mintz/Adam Kolker/Jeremy Stratton Bar Bayeux Thursday, March 23

Mark Giuliana Quartet Village Vanguard Tuesday, March 21 – Sunday, March 26

Duduka Da Fonseca/Maucha Adnet/Helio Alves Dizzy’s Club Wednesday, March 22 – Saturday, March 25

Peter Watrous Ornithology Saturday, March 25

Kevin Hays Mezzrow Friday, March 24

Dayna Stephens Cafe Bohemia Sunday, March 26

Michael Blake’s King Kozy LunAtico Saturday, March 25

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