Coming Attractions in Jazz: Fall 2011 Preview

By J. R. Carroll

[Updated] Autumn hasn’t officially arrived yet, but the fall season of jazz is already ramping up. First up are Mexican vocalist Magos Herrera, saxophonist Evan Parker, and a tribute to the late Joe Maneri.

The extraordinary Mexican-born vocalist and composer Magos Herrera will bring her fluid traversal of Spanish, Portuguese and English repertoire to Scullers on Wednesday, September 14 at 8 p.m., including a selection of songs from classic Mexican films drawn from her recent CD, Mexico Azul.

In the past few years, the Boston musical community has suffered the loss of several esteemed teachers, including George Russell, Charlie Banacos and Joe Maneri. On Thursday, September 15, at 8 p.m. in Jordan Hall, the New England Conservatory (where Maneri taught for almost forty years) will host a free concert, organized by violinist/violist Mat Maneri, in tribute to his father.

Saxophonist Evan Parker has been an anchor of the British experimental music scene since his recordings with guitarist Derek Bailey, drummer John Stevens and saxophonist Peter Brötzmann back in the late 1960s. (Check out the astounding display of circular breathing in the solo clip above.) He’ll be at the Lily Pad for a three-day mini-residency with American compatriots pianist Charles Farrell and drummer Jim Schapperoew starting Thursday, September 15; performances will be at 10 p.m. on Thursday, 8 p.m. on Friday and 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey (with trumpeter Steven Bernstein and saxophonists Peter Apfelbaum and Mark Southerland) have been touring in support of their recent CD release, The Race Riot Suite. They’ll be at the Lily Pad at 8 p.m. on Friday, October 14.

Saturday, October 22 marks the 34th annual John Coltrane Memorial Concert at Northeastern University’s Blackman Theatre. The 7 p.m. performance honors long-time WBUR radio host José Massó and his program, Con Salsa, with an evening of Afro-Caribbean interpretations of Coltrane’s compositions.

Bassist Oscar Stagnaro and composer/arranger Matthew Nicholl have teamed up to bring Brazilian singer/songwriter Ivan Lins to the Berklee Performance Center on Wednesday, October 26, at 8:15 p.m.

Pianist Myra Melford is a distinctively original voice on the piano; on Saturday, November 5, at 7 p.m., she’ll join with clarinetist Ben Goldberg (a regular member of her band Be Bread) for a duo performance at the Lily Pad.

Trumpeter Terence Blanchard and percussionist Poncho Sanchez are currently collaborating on a project honoring the Afro-Cuban jazz innovations of Dizzy Gillespie and Chano Pozo (and of George Russell–the project, after all, is called Cubano Be Cubano Bop); the Celebrity Series of Boston hosts their Boston appearance at the Berklee Performance Center at 8 p.m. on Sunday, November 6.

Trumpeter Dave Douglas and saxophonist Joe Lovano have crossed paths before, notably with the NDR Big Band, John Zorn’s Masada Quintet and the San Francisco Jazz Collective. This time the focus will be tightly on the two of them as they bring their quintet to Scullers on Tuesday and Wednesday, November 29-30, at 8 and 10 p.m. (By the way, I love the way the SFJC structured Monk’s “Criss Cross” as a sequence of duets: Douglas and Lovano, Miguel Zenón and Andre Hayward, Stefon Harris and Renee Rosnes, Matt Penman and Eric Harland.)

The details thus far are a bit sketchy, but you still might want to keep Saturday, December 3 open on your calendar for bassist/composer Marcus Miller playing the music of Miles Davis at the Berklee Performance Center at 7:30 p.m. This concert has been cancelled.

On Friday, December 9, at 8 p.m. at the Berklee Performance Center, the Celebrity Series of Boston hosts an exemplary double bill of pianist Vijay Iyer and his Trio and saxophonist Miguel Zenón and his Quartet.

The weekend of December 9-11 marks a welcome homecoming for bassist/vocalist/composer Esperanza Spalding after a head-spinningly amazing year. The Friday and Saturday shows at Scullers will be at 8 and 10 p.m., with a 7 p.m. performance on Sunday.

And, finally, one of the slowest weeks of the year will be greatly enlivened by a visit to Outpost 186 by AYCH (trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, alto saxophonist Jim Hobbs and guitarist Mary Halvorson) and the THB Sextet (which adds trombonist Bill Lowe, bassist Ken Filiano and drummer Tomas Fujiwara to the aforementioned trio); catch both ensembles on Friday, December 23, starting at 8 p.m.

A number of venues have yet to solidify their fall schedules, and, of course, bookings and cancellations frequently come up at the last minute. So, watch for updates to this article and on the Arts Fuse Posterous and Twitter feeds.

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