Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Celebrate Creative Music This Week (and every week)

The Side Door at the Old Lyme Inn continues is impressive run of shows this weekend starting Thursday 12/05 with an appearance by the Donny McCaslin Trio.  The saxophonist/composer, who appears regularly with the Maria Schneider Orchestra, has led his own groups since the 1990s but is best heard in a small group.  For this date, he partners with bassist Scott Colley and the Hartford native Jonathan Barber (drums).  Expect this music to go in many directions as McCaslin is not only a player who loves melody but also enjoys really digging into a solo and seeing where it takes him and his fellow musicians.  Considering the pedigree of the rhythm section, the possibilities are endless.  Doors open at 7:30 p.m. with the first set commencing at 8:30.

The following night, the club welcomes percussionist/composer Samuel Torres and his Octet. The Colombian-born musician will present the CT premiere of a new work, "Forced Displacement", whose creation was supported by Chamber Music America/ The Doris Duke Charitable Fund.  Listen to this great lineup:  Alex Norris (trumpet), Yosvanny Terry (saxophones), Ryan Keberle (trombone), the great Luis Perdomo (piano), Ricky Rodriguez (drum set), and Jonathan Gomez (Colombian percussion) join Torres for this fascinating musical adventure.  Showtime is 8:30 p.m. For more information about Torres and his music, go to www.samueltorres.com.

Saturday night, the Side Door opens its doors to vocalist Shawnn Montiero and her fine Trio that includes Mike Renzi (piano), Nat Reeves (bass) and the legendary Jimmy Cobb (drums).  Ms. Montiero, who is adjunct faculty at the Hartt School of Music/Jackie McLean Institute of Jazz, seemingly can sing anything, from ballads to swing to Latin-infused melodies.  With this sparkling rhythm section, this should be a memorable evening.  For more information about the club, go to thesidedoorjazz.com.  Check out the site for 2014 dates including the Matt Wilson Quartet with John Medeski (1/28) and the return of Fred Hersch, this time with his Trio in tow (2/07-08).

Firehouse 12, 45 Crown Street in New Haven, presents the penultimate concert in its 2013 Fall Series on Friday 12/06 when drummer/composer and human hurricane Ralph Peterson brings his Fo'Tet Augmented to town.  Joining him will be the superb young bassist Alex Claffy, percussionist Eguie Castillo, Felix Peikli (clarinet), Joseph Doubleday (vibes, marimba) and special guest Steve Wilson (alto saxophone).  If you have ever seen and heard Mr. Peterson in concert, you know that he is an extremely dynamic drummer, that he mentors young musicians the way Art Blakey did in The Jazz Messengers, and that his music is often fiery (though he has a splendid touch on ballads.)

Ralph Peterson and the Fo'Tet play 2 sets - 8:30 and 10 p.m. - for more information, go to firehouse12.com.  To get a taste of the drummer's music, go to www.ralphpetersonmusic.com.

The following night, the New Haven Improvisers Collective return to the Firehouse with a new program.  Electronhic features NHIC founder/guitarist Bob Gorry in collaboration with Chapman Stick artist Brett Bottomley, Jeff Cedrone (electric guitar), Paul McGuire (saxophones, shawm) and Pete Riccio (drums). Because of the improvisatory nature of the music, this should be a challenging and rewarding show, with the musicians pushing each other continuously.  The first set begins at 8:30 p.m. and more information is available at the venue's website above. To learn more about the various programs and groups associated with the NHIC, go to www.nhic-music.org/.

The Uncertainty Music Series continues with yet another fascinating double bill, this one featuring the trio of Phillip Greenlief (pictured left, saxophones), Taylor Ho Bynum (cornet) and Carl Testa (bass) paired with the duo of Anthony Coleman (organ) and Chris Cretella (guitar).  The concert takes place Sunday 12/08 at 8 p.m. in a Elm City venue called Lipgloss Crisis, 756 Chapel Street in New Haven.  Mr. Greenlief, who is based in Oakland, California, is the founder of Evander Music, a forward-thinking label that has issued CDs by bassist Todd Sickafoose, drummer Ches Smith, The Industrial Jazz Group, TinBag and a slew of groups co-led by its founder.  Mr. Coleman is a keyboard player/composer most often identified with the Downtown Music Scene in New York City and John Zorn's Tzadik label.

One expects an evening of inventive improvisations from both groups; after all, these are people schooled in the art of creative dialogue and interactions.  For more information, go to uncertaintymusic.com.

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