4/21 - The Steve Lantner Trio at 8 p.m. (PA) –Steve, Allan Chase, and Luther Gray are the real deal. You are privileged to be able to catch what they are doing. It happens at the Outpost…
5/24 – Brass Madness at 10 p.m. (PA) – I made up that name, but what else could you call a band consisting of trumpet, three trombones, and toys? Jeb Bishop and Forbes Graham are joined by Rage Thrombones (i.e., Weston Olenicki and Matt Barbier). For a good time show up at the Lily Pad…
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 (Evan Parker, 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.