'Jazz in July'

Here's a fun festival that warrants more notice than it usually gets. With pianist Bill Charlap honing his curatorial skills during the last few years, JIJ's programs are thick with ideas regarding repertoire. A mid-sized group with vocalists will nod to NYC's geography, from the Bronx to the Battery (Wednesday 22nd), a handful of pianists (Miller, Reed, Rosnes) will jump into Oscar Peterson's gleeful and polished terrain (Thursday 23rd), bari bigwig Gary Smulyan gets his "Mud Bug" on while tackling the free-flowing charts of Gerry Mulligan (Monday 27th), Houston Person and Joe Locke cast their fate to the wind essaying Vince Guaraldi's book (Tuesday 28th), and an intergenerational bevy of saxophonists (Heath, Woods, Greene, Wilson) trade lines in an old-fashioned reed romp (Thursday 30th). It's a great chance to see the current breadth of mainstream jazz, and each show is bolstered by a hard-swinging rhythm section.
July 22-30, 8 p.m., 2009

 
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