By J. R. Carroll
March is the month for Elder Statesmen—and drummers.
Photo by Mandy Hall, available under a
Creative Commons Attribution license.
Drummer Cindy Blackman, who’s made several recordings over the years with Buster Williams, studied with Boston jazz legend Alan Dawson; fittingly, her latest project pays tribute to another of Dawson’s students, the late Tony Williams. Blackman brings her Another Lifetime quartet (guitarist Aurelien Budynek, keyboardist Marc Cary, and Felix Pastorius—yes, he’s Jaco’s son—on bass) to Scullers on March 4 at 8 p.m.
Over at the Lily Pad on the same night at 7:30 p.m., Peruvian drummer/percussionist Jorge Perez-Albela leads his Dream Band (with special guests including vocalist Sofia Rei Koutsovitis and guitarist Julian Lage) in a program of new compositions and arrangements.
To kick off the first Boston Jewish Music Festival, Klezmer Conservatory Band founder Hankus Netsky welcomes back original members reedman/composer/polymath Don Byron and vocalist Judy Bressler for a 30th anniversary reunion at the Berklee Performance Center on March 6 at 7:30 p.m.
The following evening, reedman and educator Paul Combs, whose long-awaited book on composer/arranger Tadd Dameron will be published later this year, brings his Dameron-inspired Pocket Big Band to the Amazing Things Arts Center in Framingham, MA, at 3 p.m.
Maybe it isn’t strictly speaking a jazz event, but when the 95-year-old bluesman (and boyhood friend of Robert Johnson) Dave “Honeyboy” Edwards comes to town, toss out the dictionary and just savor this living link to the deepest roots of jazz. He’ll share a bill with guitarist Marc Benno at the Regattabar in Cambridge, MA, on March 10 at 7:30 p.m.
Harmonica master Jean “Toots” Thielemans is joined by frequent collaborators Oscar Castro Neves, guitar, and Kenny Werner, piano, on March 12 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at Scullers. Expect some inspired forays into the Great Brazilian Songbook.
On the heels of his gospel-funk project, Piety Street, guitarist John Scofield shifts toward the acoustic side with his New Jazz Quartet (Mulgrew Miller, piano, Ben Street, bass, and Kendrick Scott, drums); they’ll be at the Regattabar on March 19–20 at 7:30 p.m.
Pianist Rebecca Cline is usually found in the thick of Latin Jazz projects like Obbini Tumbao, Enclave and Mango Blue; you can catch her in a rare trio appearance (with bassist Will Slater and drummer/percussionist Karina Colis) on March 22 at 7:30 p.m. at the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, MA.
Photo by Ryan Gould
Anyone who puts out a CD (Sirius Respect) mingling the music of Sun Ra and Karlheinz Stockhausen is definitely onto something different; the Respect Sextet brings this inspired mash-up and more to the Lily Pad in Cambridge, MA, on March 24 at 10 p.m.
The career of Roxbury’s own Roy Haynes spans a recording debut with Luis Russell in 1945 and a guest voice-over on Grand Theft Auto IV (!) in 2008. The restless and eternally youthful drum master, whose in-the-pocket/outside-the-box propulsion has fueled the bands of Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughan, Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy, Stan Getz, John Coltrane, Gary Burton, Chick Corea and Pat Metheny, will challenge his Fountain of Youth Band (Jaleel Shaw on sax, Martin Bejerano on piano, David Wong on bass) to keep up with him during a two-day stand (March 26–27 at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m) at Scullers.
Finally, on March 28, veteran drummer Joe Hunt (who played and recorded with George Russell and mentored the young John Scofield) brings the current incarnation of his Trio to the Lily Pad at 9:30 p.m.