Coming Attractions in Jazz: January 2010

By J. R. Carroll

If January inspires a desire for warmer climes and a trip to the tropics isn’t in the cards, you can still come in out of the cornstarch and dry your mukluks as musicians who’ve brought their traditions to Boston from around the world turn up the heat.

Zili Misik (Photo © 2009 Anh Dao Kolbe)

Zili Misik
Photo © 2009 Anh Dao Kolbe

Zili Misik and their distinctive mix of rhythms from West Africa and the African diaspora across the Americas will take up residence at the Lizard Lounge for three Fridays (Jan. 8 and 22 and Feb. 5). Also on the 8th, pianist Doug Johnson and his Trio warm up the Acton Jazz Cafe.

The intriguing Oberlin-based East African-Indian guitarist Rafiq Bhatia brings his Collective (and his loops) to Outpost 186 on Jan. 11. Meanwhile, jazz and Indian music intersect at the Arsenal Center for the Arts when pianist Marc Rossi and his Group are joined by guest vocalist Geetha Ramanathan Bennett.

On Jan. 13, as part of the World Wednesdays series at Ryles, Brazilian bassist Jose Pienasola and his band Jequere link jazz and Brazilian rhythms.

Fly (Jeff Ballard, Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier)  Photo by Lourdes Delgado

Fly (Jeff Ballard, Mark Turner, Larry Grenadier)
Photo by Lourdes Delgado

Across town the same night, the exploratory, hard-swinging trio Fly (saxophonist Mark Turner, bassist Larry Grenadier and drummer Jeff Ballard) arrives at the Regattabar. On Friday and Saturday at the same venue, the Golden Striker supertrio of Ron Carter, Mulgrew Miller and Russell Malone revive the piano-guitar-bass configuration pioneered by the Nat “King” Cole Trio in the early 1940s.



India and West Africa meet again as Natraj launches its new CD, Song of the Swan, at Scullers on Jan. 20; their special guest for the occasion will be the eclectic South Indian guitarist Prasanna.

Jan. 22 presents a tough choice: The ferocious Latin groove of Obbini Tumbao at the Cambridge Multicultural Arts Center? Or the virtuosic ginga of singer/composer Luciana Souza, guitarist Romero Lubambo and percussionist Cyro Baptista at Sanders Theatre?

Venezuelan joropo encounters Uruguayan candombe when vocalist Karina Stone teams with pianist/arranger Nando Michelin in a program of folkloric jazz at the Lily Pad on Jan. 25.

Fernando Brandao

Fernando Brandao

Flutist/composer/arranger Fernando Brandao’s seminal choro novo ensemble from the 1990s, Brasileirinho, reemerged a few years back in a new configuration called Alma, which joined original members guitarist Claudio Ragazzi and accordionist Evan Harlan with bassist Fernando Huergo and drummer/percussionist Keita Ogawa; they’ll be at the Regattabar on Jan. 28. The same evening, Scullers welcomes the Cuban-born, Miami-based timba band Tiempo Libre.

Finally, Latin music thinks big when master timbalero Eguie Castrillo leads his Orchestra into the Regattabar on Jan. 29 to celebrate the mambo tradition of Tito Puente.

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