URLs for most venues are listed at the bottom of Boston Jazz Scene home page. These listings contain the most accurate information we have. However, details of scheduled events change often and without warning. It is a good idea to check gig information at the venue web site or (even better) the band’s web site.
12/19 – Ras Moshe & Friends at 8 p.m. (PA) – Tenor saxophonist Ras Moshe from New York shows up with a really fine ensemble--Glynis Lomon, Richard Poole, Kit Demos, Eric Zinman, Junko Fujiwara, and Forbes Graham--at the Outpost...
12/20 – Mark Harvey and the Aardvark Jazz Orchestra Annual Christmas Concert at 7:30 p.m. (MP/PA) – In a confusing world in which disruptive forces of various kinds seem to be almost universally celebrated, there is something clarifying about forces on behalf of meaningful continuity. Such is the case for the traditionally disruptive (politically) Aardvark Jazz Orchestra and its annual Christmas Concerts. The band returns to celebrate profoundly spiritual continuity through traditional carols and spirituals as well as the works of William Billings, Duke Ellington/Billy Strayhorn, and Maestro Harvey himself. Proceeds will benefit the Poor People’s United Fund, a Boston-based organization fighting poverty and homelessness. The orchestra includes Arni Cheatham, Peter Bloom, Phil Scarff, Chris Rakowski, Dan Zupan, K.C. Dunbar, Jeanne Snodgrass, Jimmy Leach, Bob Pilkington, Jay Keyser, Jeff Marsanskis, Bill Lowe, Richard Nelson, John Funkhouser, Harry Wellott, Jerry Edwards, Grace Hughes, and leader Mark Harvey. Once again the concert will be performed at Emmanuel Church, Boston (617-776-8778 or 617-452-3205)...
Key codes: The abbreviation in parentheses following the name of the event or band/musician performing indicates roughly the type of music that you can expect if you go to the gig.
MC= Magazine Covers. These musicians/bands are popular with jazz fans and therefore often find their photos on the covers of jazz magazines. This type of band may or may not be any good qualitatively. However, many fans like to know “what’s hot.”
MP=Mainstream/Post-Bop. This is the music that most people think of today when they think of jazz. It runs the gamut from Parkeresque bebop and Websterish ballads to the post-bop work of people such as Bergonzi and Lovano.
PA=Post-Ayler. This is Anthony Braxton’s term for all the adventure that came out of Ayler, Ornette, Cecil and others (including Mr. Braxton, of course). In some ways it is the most diverse jazz and jazz-rooted music being performed today, including everything from near zero dB whispers (e.g., undr, John Tilbury) to eardrum demolishing walls of sound (Keith Rowe, a ton of stuff from Japan) to performances built on combinations of composed and improvised material (Liberation Orchestra, Charlie Kohlhase’s ensembles) to completely improvised offerings (Peter Brötzmann, Laurence Cook).
S=Swing. It don’t mean a thing… Maybe “nothing” means “anything” if you are a fan of swing. Sadly, fine swing music seems to be approaching extinction, at least in the Boston area clubs. The reasons are obvious and elusive. The great names of Swing (such as Lunceford and Barnet) have passed on and taken almost all of their band mates with them. In addition, in spite of the fact that some of the finest music of the swing era was produced by the combos of Goodman and Basie (among others), people continue to think of swing in terms of large (and therefore economically untenable) ensembles. You can find it happening in some dance halls, but mostly at weddings and Bar Mitzvahs. For years such names as Whitney, Winniker, and Hershman have held the fort in the Boston area. But you’ve got to keep your eyes peeled.
T=Two-beat/Trad. Some of the finest contemporary two-beat jazz anywhere has been nurtured and grown in Eastern Massachusetts since the 1970s. Everyone knows about the New Black Eagles, and a host of other musicians are held in equally high esteem around here. Some of the better-known are Jimmy Mazzy, Stan McDonald, Jeff Hughes, and Guy Van Duser. Unfortunately for city dwellers, two-beat jazz (and, to a lesser extent, the blues) has moved to the suburbs. But the best of it is worth the drive.