Best jazz shows this month in NYC
Saxist Ed Palermo’s brash big band swings Frank Zappa’s songs so hard that you’d swear ol’ Uncle Meat had been a jazz musician. Here, the long-running outfit welcomes esteemed Zappa sideman Napoleon Murphy Brock to help out with an evening of hot-ratty compositions.
Expect plenty of inside-outside postbop intrigue here, as the subtly commanding sax star distills the innovative spirit from his jazz-royalty legacy into a distinctly modern style with a killer trio.
Even as lyrical piano genius Mehldau tries his hand at various small projects, including a duo with mandolinist/singer Chris Thile, and Mehliana, his plugged-in pairing with drummer Mark Guiliana, he always has time for bigger combo outings. Here he leads a quintet with trumpetist Ambrose Akinmusire, saxist Joel Frahm, Joe Sanders, Leon Parker. Show up for one of these sets, and you're in for a gorgeous evening.
One of music's most celebrated studio drummers, Gadd has left his unmistakeable touch on everything from pop mega-hits like Paul Simon's "50 Ways to Leave Your Lover" to landmark fusion releases like Chick Corea's The Leprechaun (along with a variety of other works by Steely Dan, Aretha Franklin, Al DiMeola, Stanley Clarke, Frank Sinatra…). Here the living legend turns up with his own dynamic, grooving live combo.
Upcoming jazz shows in NYC
The former drummer for arena-rock monolith Journey has traipsed through all varieties of funky music over the course of his storied career, playing with the likes of Allan Holdsworth, Frank Gambale, Stanley Clarke and even Mariah Carey. Here Smith turns up with a hard-grooving trio to demonstrate his muscular chops in jazz-rock workouts and Buddy Rich–inspired jazz blasts.
Best known as the longtime bassist of Bela Fleck's Flecktones, Wooten's turned up in various capacities in the city the past several years, including alongside Chick Corea for the keyboard pioneer's 75th birthday celebration. Expect to be awed as he leads a funky quartet.