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Winter concert preview: looking ahead to jazz in 2006
By JON GARELICK  |  January 14, 2006

For the past half decade or so, saxophonist Chris Potter has alternately traveled with two of the best bandleaders in jazz, Dave Holland and Dave Douglas. Of all the soloists those two men work with, no one has a greater affinity for their mix of funk and form. Potter has also been stepping out more and more as a leader in his own right, and now, following the release of what might be his most fully realized CD yet, Underground (Sunnyside/Universal), he comes to the Regattabar (March 3-4) with the band from that album: guitarist Wayne Krantz, drummer Nate Smith, and a keyboardist who’s become an in-demand Fender Rhodes specialist, Craig Taborn.

The rest of the R-Bar’s schedule this winter looks no less promising: powerful alto-saxophonist Kenny Garrett (January 13–15); the Headhunters with Meters bassist George Porter Jr., drummer Mike Clark, percussionist Bill Summers, and alto-saxophonist Donald Harrison (January 19); undersung keyboard man Kenny Werner with local hero George Garzone of the Fringe on saxophones, Pat Metheny drummer Antonio Sanchez, and bassist Scott Colley (January 21); the highly touted young singer Rondi Charleston with a seasoned band who include saxophonist Joel Frahm, pianist Bruce Barth, and drummer Clarence Penn (January 25); the always compelling Boston-based Aardvark Jazz ORCHESTRA (February 1); legendary bassist Ron Carter and his quartet with pianist Stephen Scott (February 3-4); guitarist Kurt Rosenwinkel and a top-notch line-up that includes saxophonist Mark Turner and pianist Aaron Goldberg (February 17-18); New Orleans soul queen Irma Thomas for a pre–Mardi Gras celebration (February 23-25); popular Colombian singer-songwriter Marta Gómez (March 11); revered Boston jazz singer Rebecca Parris (March 18); Dominican piano wizard Michel Camilo and his trio (March 31–April 1); a rare local appearance by progressive Italian trumpeter Enrico Rava in duo with pianist Stefano Bollani (April 5); and sublime piano-trio master Ahmad Jamal (April 20-22). The Regattabar is in the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge (617.395.7757).

Across the river, Scullers (in the DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston; 617.562.4111) has booked some of the most distinctive young piano trios out there: new Blue Note signing Robert Glasper (January 19); the Swedish E.S.T. (January 24); Marcus Roberts (March 10-11); and Brad Mehldau with long-time bassist Larry Grenadier and new drummer Jeff Blanchard (March 16–18).

Other distinctive acts on the Scullers calendar include Vegas crooner Jack Jones (January 20-21); pan-stylists Frank Vignola and Joe Ascione with their Frank and Joe Show (January 25); distinguished jazz vocalist Mark Murphy (January 26); the Artie Shaw Orchestra led by Brockton-born clarinettist and reedman Dick Johnson (February 1); the Bill Mays Trio (February 2); trombonist Delfeayo Marsalis and his quintet (February 3–4); Kendrick Oliver & the New Life Jazz Orchestra (February 11); sublime bebop alto-saxophonist Frank Morgan (February 15); Berklee-educated piano phenom Hiromi (February 16); drum legend Roy Haynes (February 17-18); Louisiana-born barrelhouse pianist and vocalist Marcia Ball (February 22-23); swing-style saxophonist Scott Hamilton (March 1-2); saxophonist Myanna with singer Ellen O’Brien (March 9); Indian-jazz fusionists Natraj (March 15); the great singer Abbey Lincoln (March 24-25); the exciting young duo of pianist Taylor Eigsti and guitarist Julian Lage (March 29); and jump-band Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers (March 31–April 1).

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