DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | 8 pm + 10 pm | $30 | 617.562.4111 or scullersjazz.com
BERN NIX QUARTET | Outpost 186 | January 28 | Guitarist Nix was a member of Prime Time, Ornette Coleman's long-running, wild-and-woolly and profound electric band. He makes one of his occasional forays to Boston to jam with fellow Prime Timer Dave Bryant on keyboards, bassist John Turner, and drummer Eric Rosenthal.
186 1/2 Hampshire Street, Cambridge | 8 pm | $10 | 617.913.0459 or outpost186.com
MR. HO'S ORCHESTROTICA [QUARTET] | Lily Pad | January 28 | Percussion master and musical polymath Brian O'Neill (a/k/a Mr. Ho) started Mr. Ho's Orchestrotica as a tribute to exotica "lounge music" masters, Martin Denny, Milt Raskin, Juan Garcia Esquivel, and, yes, Tchaikovsky and Shostakovich. But Mr. Ho's 23-piece orchestra transcends mere novelty act, due to O'Neill's rigorous attention to detail, his jazzier inclinations, and his intent to play the music straight — as well as write impressive originals. He brings the smaller Orchestrotica — a vibraphone quartet — to the Lily Pad: flutist Geni Skendo, bassist Jason Davis, and percussionist Noriko Terada.
1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge | 8 pm | $10 | lily-pad.net
MARISSA LICATA | Scullers | January 31 | The debut of the season might by that of 27-year-old violinist Marissa Licata. A session player with everyone from klezmer and R&B bands to the Boston Ballet Orchestra, NEC grad Licata is stepping out as a soloist and bandleader at Scullers, in a project with her father, saxophonist and composer Charles Licata. A CD, Water Level, is due mid-month. At Scullers, the Licatas will be joined by violinist Ethan Wood, bassists Will Slater and Zach Brown, drummer Lee Fish, and percussionist Paulo Stagnaro.
DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road, Boston | 8 pm | $20 | 617.562.4111 or scullersjazz.com
JASON MORAN | Jordan Hall | February 2 | The MacArthur Fellowship-winning New England Conservatory Faculty member also happens to be one of the most exciting pianists, composers, and thinkers in jazz, for whom James P. Johnson, Afrika Bambaataa (Moran has covered "Planet Rock"), and Thelonious Monk all live side by side. He brings the debut of his multimedia project "In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959" to NEC. Moran will explore that historic concert through live music, recorded samples, and video with the help of his great trio (bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits) as well as a horn section drawn from students in the NEC Jazz Studies Program.
MULTI-MEDIA | Jason Moran brings “In My Mind: Monk at Town Hall 1959” to Jordan Hall on February 2.
30 Gainborough St, Boston | 8 pm | $20-$30 | 617.585.1260 or necmusic.edu/jason-moran-my-mind
TIM BERNE | Regattabar | February 16 | Alto saxophonist Berne is a veteran of the downtown New York scene whose Boston appearances are all too rare. (The last in memory was a hellaciously great show with the guitarist David Torn and Berne's trio at the Regattabar in 2008.) He returns on the heels of a new ECM disc, Snakeoil, with the band of that name: reedman Oscar Noriega, piano and keyboard player Matt Mitchell, and drummer Ches Smith. Berne has been known to mix rockist grooves with detailed writing. Snakeoilis more about texture than groove — and as compelling as anything he's ever done.