Heavy Duty

Jazz Mainstays Boost The Voltage

This list could have been twice as long, and even so, generally focuses on just one part of jazz, the broad mainstream. Where are the jazz stars of the new century? Right here, week after week—a few special events, but mostly the familiar rotation of musicians who are well known to jazz lovers and are plugged into the club circuit. In 1958, Stanley Dance coined the term "mainstream" to evoke the generation of musicians who preceded bop, but the term now takes in anyone with a touch of bop—however subtle—and a stake in keeping the stream flowing.

February 27-March 4

Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 255-4037

One of the most dynamic altoists around, Bartz began as a '60s comer and was reborn in the '90s as a high-energy beacon of unreconstructed, all-out virtuoso fervor, sustaining the rigors of Coltrane and Parker with a serrated edge all his own. He leads a quintet.

February 27-March 4

Sweet Basil, 88 Seventh Avenue South, 242-1785

Beyond the Art Ensemble of Chicago, Brass Fantasy was Bowie's most durable musical home—a unique ensemble with four trumpets, two trombones, French horn, tuba, and two percussionists, including Don Moye, who is featured in this revival launched in tribute. The repertory covers the waterfront and reflects the wit and wisdom of jazz's surgeon general.

March 1 and 3

Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center, West 65th Street and Broadway, 721-6500

No tenor saxophonist of the '50s generation has a more buttery sound and fluent way of navigating changes than Golson. From his days with Dizzy and Blakey to his Jazztet with Art Farmer to his own bands (the recent Remembering Clifford on Milestone is an excellent example), he has remained a lyrical individualist and compelling tunesmith. For this concert he has written a new work, which he will debut with the LCJO.

March 13-18

The Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, 576-2232

When this alto saxophonist, with his high-caloric sound and fastidious drive, arrived in New York in the '70s, he helped restore jazz's creativity. Recent recordings show him to be no less robust and original. He leads a quartet.

March 13-18, 20-25

Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 255-4037

One of the great piano trios of the day, with Peter Washington and Kenny Washington, this is a quintessential jazz-club experience. Flanagan's dedi-cation to craft is apparent not only in his sublime inventiveness as an impro-viser but in his immersion in classic jazz repertory, which he has helped to codify over the past 20 years.

March 14-17

Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 581-3080

At 80, Mumbles is an institution, an irresistible jazz humorist, whose wit is less verbal than musical—it's in the marrow of his sound, unmistakable in its technical mastery and originality and puckish good cheer. His fine longtime quintet includes Don Friedman, a lyrical pianist, and David Glasser, a rare conservator of Benny Carter's plum tones.

March 20-25

Iridium, 48 West 63rd Street, 582-2121

Though it has disappeared into the ether for years at a time, Murray's octet remains one of the most consistently surprising and unpre-dictable ensembles in jazz. Last year, he debuted his Coltrane program here and subsequently recorded the outstanding Octet Plays Trane (Justin Time). This is a killer band, with longtime partners like Hugh Ragin, Craig Harris, Rasul Siddik, and the indefatigable James Spaulding, who never plays better than with Murray.

March 20-25

Sweet Basil, 88 Seventh Avenue South, 242-1785

Ever since Good Sam first brought his trio here a few years ago, he has been on a tear, offering something of a revelation concerning avant-gardism since the diners didn't seem to mind or even notice that his continuous, if episodic and almost entirely impro-vised sets are no tamer than those in the '70s, which provoked much head-scratching about free jazz.

March 24

Symphony Space, 2537 Broadway, 864-5400

First, this 12-hour marathon event is free. Second, it promises a cast of some 150 performers, including Jimmy Cobb, David Sanchez, Dave Douglas, Don Byron, Eddie Henderson, Bob Beldon, Bobby Previte, Ben Allison, Joe Lovano, Idris Muhammad, Greg Tate, Ingrid Jensen, Terrell Stafford, Mulgrew Miller, Tom Harrell, Miles Evans, Wallace Roney, Uri Caine, Bill Frisell, and Maria Schneider's orchestra. Third, it's wall-to-wall Miles—every station of the cross in no particular order.

March 27-April 1

Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 255-4037

Perez returns with the Motherland Project, the ensemble behind the pianist-composer's ambitious CD of last year, though it was his work on the exceptional Roy Haynes Trio (Verve) that underscored his superb skills as a pianist. He alternates between bold block chords and ham-mered single tones and uncovers numerous ways to swing the blues.

April 3-8

Village Vanguard, 178 Seventh Avenue South, 255-4037

Mercurial, intense, and superbly inventive, Hutcherson continues to represent the cutting edge of the vibes nearly 35 years after his work on Destination . . . Out!, Out to Lunch, and his own Components certified him as the outstanding vibes player of his generation.

April 5-7

Birdland, 315 West 44th Street, 581-3080

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