Fall Jazz Preview: Blindfold test

By JON GARELICK  |  September 16, 2010

CHRIS POTTER QUARTET | October 6 | Many virtuoso saxophonists can get audiences nodding and grunting in assent — Chris Potter gets them screaming. It’s not his pyrotechnic chops alone that do the trick — as a writer and bandleader, he mixes form, funk, and freedom in a way that seems to tap into the motherlode of classic ’60s Miles and takes it to right now. | Regattabar, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge | 7:30 [$25] + 10 pm [$22] | 617.395.7757 or regattabarjazz.com

JAZZ COMPOSERS ALLIANCE ORCHESTRA | October 12 | The JCAO celebrates its 25th anniversary with the release of A Wallflower in the Amazon (Accurate), which features the compositions of founding member Darrell Katz: free multi-horn conversations; a revamped “Hoochie Coochie Man” for veteran blues-and-rock singer/keyboardist Mike Finnegan; tongue-twisting free verse set for JCOA singer Rebecca Shrimpton; a gorgeous arrangement of Ellington’s “I Like the Sunrise.” | Regattabar, Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge | 7:30 pm | $14 | 617.395.7757 or regattabarjazz.com

STEVE LANTNER QUARTET | October 22 | Pianist Lantner is a linchpin in the local avant-garde, and here he’s gathered a supergroup of masters for whom spontaneous improv is most of all about listening: multi-reed man Allan Chase, drummer Luther Gray, and Boston avant-guitar hero Joe Morris playing his preferred instrument these days, acoustic bass. | Outpost 186, 186-1/2 Hampshire St, Cambridge | 8 pm | $10 | zeitgeist-outpost.blogspot.com

JIM HOBBS | November 4 | Joe Morris (see above) once credited alto-saxophonist Jim Hobbs as being “as good as anyone who’s played that instrument.” In these parts, Hobbs is also known for leading his world-meets-Ornette Fully Celebrated trio and for spicing up any ensemble he’s a part of. Here, he gathers a hefty sympathetic cohort: reeds Jasper Hobbs, Jamil Moore, Timo Shanko, and Kurtis Rivers; trumpets Mark Sanchez and Forbes Graham; cornettist Taylor Ho Bynum (see above); trombones Richard Harper and Bill Lowe; Joe Morris, this time on guitar; bassist Jef Charland, and drummer Django Carranza. | Ryles, 212 Hampshire St, Cambridge | 8:30 pm | $8 | 617.876.9330 or ryles.com

RAN BLAKE’S “CHABROL NOIR” | November 10 | Pianist, composer, and New England Conservatory jazz guru Blake is fêted in what should be a stellar 75th-birthday tribute at Jordan Hall on September 20, but to get the full-Ran experience, you should check out this multimedia extravaganza. Last fall’s treatment of Sidney Lumet’s The Pawnbroker was a (sometimes overwhelming) highlight of the year. This time out, Blake provokes NEC faculty and students (including the Borromeo String Quartet and experimental pop group Cuddle Magic) in an audio-visual “response to the plots, moods, and music” of the films of Claude Chabrol. If we’re lucky, maybe even Ran will play. | Jordan Hall, 30 Gainsborough St, Boston | 8 pm | Free | necmusic.edu/concerts-events/

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