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Autumn leaves

A cornucopia of jazz
By JON GARELICK  |  September 8, 2008

GOLD SOUNDS: They’ll be playing the Beantown Jazz Festival September 26-27.

One of the great harbingers of fall jazz for the past seven years has been the BEANTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL (September 26-27). Created by Bob’s Southern Bistro proprietor Darryl Settles (now an owner of the Beehive), the event is produced by Berklee College of Music and has grown in scope. This year, a Friday-night concert at the Berklee Performance Center will feature the great drummers Cindy Blackman and Terri Lyne Carrington with their bands, as well as pianists Geri Allen and Patrice Rushen, guitarist David Gilmore, and young Dutch saxophonist Tineke Postma. But the jewel of the weekend is the free Saturday street fair, from noon to 6 pm, on Columbus Ave starting at Mass Ave and going west. This year’s line-up includes Javon Jackson with Les McCann, Kurt Elling, Walter Beasley, Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Trio, the Russell Malone Quartet, Rebecca Cline, Andrew Ward, Fernando Brandão, and Gold Sounds. That last is a Pavement tribute band (we kid you not) with James Carter, Cyrus Chestnut, Reginal Veal, and Ali Jackson. (Friday tickets: 617.931.2000 or; info at

The organizers behind the JOHN COLTRANE MEMORIAL CONCERT have taken every conceivable approach to their subject since the annual event began 31 years ago, so it figures that they’d get around to a hip-hop take on Trane. Of course, it helps that one of the progenitors of hip-hop/jazz fusion is the Roxbury-born Guru, the former Gang Starr MC who began his Jazzmatazz series back in 1993. Guru — joined by producer Solar, DJ Doo Wop, trumpeter Brownman, and multi-instrumentalist David Scott — will take on the likes of Coltrane’s “Acknowledgement” (from A Love Supreme) and his version of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “My Favorite Things” on September 27 (Blackman Theatre, Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Ave, Boston; 617.373.4700 or

Few jazz acts these days can fill US concerts halls on their own, but the trio of pianist KEITH JARRETT, bassist GARY PEACOCK, and drummer JACK DEJOHNETTE — now in their 26th year together — are one of them. With umpteem albums behind them on the ECM label, and their concert film of two shows from 1985 and ’86, Standards I/II: Tokyo, released in August as a double-DVD set, the trio take their sublime (or inert, depending on your point of view) book of American popular song to Symphony Hall on October 26 (300 Mass Ave, Boston; 888.266.1200 or

Highlights at Scullers (DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Rd, Boston; 617.562.4111 or include bassist CHRISTIAN FAVIAN and his quintet playing “The Music of Dizzy & Parker Revisited” (September 24); Boston vocal quartet SYNCOPATION (September 30); the superb Boston guitarist JOHN STEIN (October 1); Berklee prof PHIL WILSON’S RAINBOW BAND (October 2); star trumpet man ROY HARGROVE (October 3-4); singer AMANDA CARR (October 8); pianist STANLEY SAGOV, who’s led a dual career in music and medicine (October 14); guitarist DUKE ROBILLARD (October 16); STEVE SMITH & THE JAZZ LEGACY BAND (October 22); KENDRICK OLIVER AND THE NEW LIFE JAZZ ORCHESTRA WITH NICOLE NELSON (October 24); teenage alto-sax phenom GRACE KELLY (October 24); BRIAN BLADE & THE FELLOWSHIP BAND (November 6); and pianist LASZLO GARDONY (November 11).

The Regattabar (Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett St, Cambridge; 617.395.7757 or brings in the DAVE HOLLAND SEXTET (September 18-20); SAXOPHONE SUMMIT with Joe Lovano, Davie Liebman, and Ravi Coltrane (September 24-25); MANGO BLUE (September 26); GREGORIO URIBE BIG BAND (September 27); the AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA with pianist Matt Savage (September 30); Italian singer-songwriter CARMEN CONSOLI (October 2); DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER with her Red Earth Malian Journey project (October 3-4); saxophonist FRANK CATALANO (October 7); trumpeter WALLACE RONEY (October 10); singer REBECCA PARRIS (October 11); Dominican piano wizard MICHEL CAMILO (October 16-18); TRAVIS SULLIVAN BJÖRKESTRA big band (October 23); SERGIO BRANDÃO AND MANGA-ROSA (October 25); trumpeter AVISHAI COHEN (October 28); Avishai’s sister, clarinettist and saxophonist ANAT COHEN (October 30); BERNARDO MONK’S TANGO QUARTET (October 31); EGUIE CASTRILLO’s Latin big band (November 1); and Hammond B-3 man BRUCE KATZ (November 6).

Ryles (212 Hampshire St, Cambridge; 617.876.9330 or has the wonderful Argentine-American bassist FERNANDO HUERGO and his band (September 17); pianist NANDO MICHELIN and guitarist CLAUDIO RAGAZZI (October 1); the pan-stylistic band EARTHSOUND (October 22); and saxophonist FLORENCIA GONZALEZ (October 29).

The Lily Pad (1353 Cambridge St, Cambridge; 617.395.1393 or has STEVE LANGONE’s excellent sextet (September 22); guitarist FRED WOODARD’s trio (September 25); singer JUDI SILVANO (September 29); Afro-Caribbean avant-garde sextet ZABAP (October 3); Chicago quartet BLINK (October 6); and Brooklyn’s WEE TRIO (October 17). Plus the FRINGE every Monday night and KGBG (with Bruce Gertz and Jerry Bergonzi) every Wednesday night.

Some of the best jazz gigs every year are the free recitals given by faculty and students at New England Conservatory (617.585.1122 or This fall’s performances at Jordan Hall and Brown Hall (both at 30 Gainsborough St, Boston) include DOMINIQUE EADE (November 17) and DAVE HOLLAND (November 20) and a memorial concert on October 2 for the great composer, reed player, and NEC faculty member JIMMY GIUFFRE, who died last April.

And speaking of NEC greats: jazz composer GEORGE RUSSELL AND HIS LIVING TIME ORCHESTRA play the ICA (100 Northern Ave, Boston; 617.478.3103 or on September 20. Also on the ICA schedule: unclassifiable British saxophone improviser EVAN PARKER with pianist MARILYN CRISPELL (October 10), and guitarist FRED FRITH’S COSA BRAVA band (December 12).

  Topics: Music Features , Entertainment , Music , Jazz and Blues ,  More more >
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