The talk of the town

By JON GARELICK  |  September 13, 2006

Scullers (DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston; 617.562.4111) is also fully loaded: singer/pianist/composer PATRICIA BARBER celebrating Mythologies (Blue Note), a cycle based on Ovid’s Metamorphoses (!) (September 21-22); a grande dame of Boston jazz singing, MAGGIE SCOTT, presenting a “Tribute to the Vintage Singers of the Past by the Singers of the Present,” with REBECCA PARRIS, EULA LAWRENCE, DONNA BYRNE, STEVE MARVIN, PAUL BROADNAX, and JIM PORCELLA; young jazz singer CASSANDRA MCKINLEY paying tribute to Marvin Gaye (September 28); octogenarian “Piano Jazz” doyenne MARIAN MCPARTLAND (September 29-30); eclectic (as in Björk and Joni Mitchell covers) young jazz singer KATE MCGARRY (October 3); Russian phenom pianist ELDAR (October 4); R&B legends HERB REED & THE PLATTERS (October 6); Louis Prima’s foil, KEELY SMITH (October 12-14); veteran cabaret-jazz singer WELSA WHITFIELD (October 17); pyrotechnic jazz singer RACHELLE FERRELL (October 20-21); young French jazz singer MINA AGOSSI (October 25); guitar guys ACOUSTIC ALCHEMY (October 26-27); Cuban pianist ARUAN ORTIZ with Boston sax man JERRY BERGONZI (October 31); Boston Indian-jazz fusionists NATRAJ with guest violinist TARA ANAND (November 1); guitar god PAT MARTINO (November 2-3); should-be Boston guitar god JOHN STEIN (November 7); Broadway superstar AUDRA MCDONALD (November 9); jazz-rock fusion guys the YELLOWJACKETS (November 10-11); cabaret-jazz star ANN HAMPTON CALLOWAY (November 16); Cuban trumpet phenom ARTURO SANDOVAL (November 24-26); living sax legend JOE LOVANO (November 28); and new-agey guitar virtuoso OTTMAR LIEBERT (December 7).

Ryles (212 Hampshire Street, Cambridge; 617.876.9330) brings in pan-cultural improvisers ZILI MISIK (September 21); MARTA GÓMEZ (September 23); the terrific young pianist LEO GENOVESE (September 28); the “Tenor Battle of the Century” with BILL PIERCE, TIM MAYER, and ANDY MCGHEE (October 6); Brazilian singer-songwriter TERESA INÊS (October 7); trumpet star WALLACE RONEY (October 13); Berklee percussionist EGUIE CASTRILLO’s Latin jazz band (October 21); Berklee faculty BE-BOP GUITARS (November 3); and the 15-piece BLACK SEA SALSA BAND (November 15).

Rob Chalfen’s Subconscious Café presents shows at the new home of Zeitgeist Gallery (186 Hampshire St, Cambridge; 617.876.6060): Chicago’s PETE ROBBINS & CENTRIC with the JAMIE BRANCH GROUP (October 13); New York alto-saxist BLAISE SIWULA with cellist GLYNNIS LOMAN and keyboardist ERIC ZINMAN plus WE LOVE YOU, the trio project of Boston saxophonist Dave Gross with guitarist Polly Hansen and theremin guy James Coleman (October 27). Meanwhile, the FRINGE still hold down Monday nights with a whole slew of other new music acts at the Lily Pad, in the Zeitgeist’s old location, 1353 Cambridge St (617.388.1168).

In the one-offs, look for CASSANDRA WILSON at the Berklee Performance Center (136 Mass Ave, Boston; tickets at Concertix 617.876.7777) September 23 following one of her best albums in years, thunderbird (Blue Note). Revered local saxist-dancer-man-of-all-arts STAN STRICKLAND performs his “autojazzography,” Coming up for Air, at the Boston Center for the Arts (539 Tremont St; 617.933.8600) September 27–October 14. Bassist Mike Rivard and his CLUB D’ELF celebrate their first studio album, Now I Understand (Accurate), with guest John Medeski at the Lizard Lounge (1667 Mass Ave, Cambridge; 617.547.0759) October 12. The all-star JAZZ COMPOSERS ALLIANCE ORCHESTRA returns to the Arsenal Center for the Arts (321 Arsenal St, Watertown; 617.923.8487) October 13 following their excellent show there last June. The AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA is at MIT’s Killian Hall (160 Memorial Drive, Cambridge; 617.776.8778) October 14; the program, “Booboisie & Beyond,” is “inspired by politics and culture” and features leader Mark Harvey’s “Booboisie Suite” as well as his third piece inspired by the Big Dig, “Rascals and Scoundrels.”

Other shows at the Berklee Performance Center (617.747.2261) include guitarist AL DIMEOLA (October 6); Billie-voiced singer-songwriter MADELEINE PEYROUX on the heels of her new Half the Perfect World (Rounder) (November 1); guitarist BILL FRISELL’s Unspeakable Orchestra, named for one of the best jazz CDs of 2004 (November 12); and jam-jazz supergroup MEDESKI SCOFIELD MARTIN & WOOD (November 16).

And the Bank of America Celebrity Series brings in the PRESERVATION HALL JAZZ BAND with special guest ELLIS MARSALIS (Symphony Hall, October 15; 617.482.6661).

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