SUPER TRIO Jason Moran’s Bandwagon trio play Newport Jazz on August 8.
The Newport Jazz Festival (August 6-8) has plenty of big guns worth your attention on the main Fort Stage — from Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock, Ahmad Jamal, and Wynton Marsalis with Dave Brubeck to the Maria Schneider Orchestra and Arturo O'Farrill's Latin Jazz Orchestra. But it's the side stages at Newport that bring up distinguished if lesser-known players like Dave Binney who rarely get to the Boston clubs. Here's a sampling of other bands you shouldn't miss.
DARCY JAMES ARGUE'S SECRET SOCIETY | Saturday, Harbor Stage | Argue's big band — the breakout New York act of 2009 — finally got to the Regattabar in February. If you missed them then — or just miss them — here's another chance to hear some of the most exciting music being written for jazz orchestra, in which Argue will be joined by his New England Conservatory mentor, Bob Brookmeyer.
REZ ABBASI ACOUSTIC QUARTET | Saturday, Quad Stage | In 2009, guitarist Abbasi was overshadowed by his frequent South Asian-American bandmates Rudresh Mahanthappa and Vijay Iyer, but his own Things To Come (Sunnyside) was a standout.
FLY | Saturday, Quad Stage | Background and foreground, improvisation and composition — they become blissfully indistinguishable in the ensemble playing of saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier, and drummer Jeff Ballard.
DAVE DOUGLAS & BRASS FANTASY | Harbor Stage, Sunday | This brass outfit is one of the trumpeter/composer's finest achievements, equal parts uptown church and downtown second-line.
MARSHALL ALLEN/MATTHEW SHIPP/JOE MORRIS | Quad Stage, Sunday | The great Sun Ra alto-saxophonist Allen meets young post–Cecil Taylor pianist Shipp and Boston guitar hero Morris. Once in a lifetime.
JASON MORAN'S BANDWAGON | Quad Stage, Sunday | For Jason Moran, jazz proceeds in a straight line from James P. Johnson to Afrika Bambaataa — and he covers them both. His Bandwagon trio with bassist Tarus Mateen and Nasheet Waits are peerless.
THE NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL | International Tennis Hall of Fame + Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island | August 6-8 | 800.745.3000 or newportjazzfest.net