You can spot the orange-and-black spines of the Impulse! label in any record collection, but their impact goes beyond design. The music, which defined 60s jazz, still feels terrifically present tense. To celebrate the imprints 50th anniversary, the Standard takes a repertory romp with Impulse! Nights, a string of shows dedicated to key titles. Oliver Nelsons Blues and the Abstract Truthis both moody and playful, and Roy Hargroves update should make ditties like Hoe-Down crackle. Gil Evanss cinematic charts for Out of the Coolwill be plushly re-upholdstered by Ryan Truesdells large ensemble. A two-trombone team led by Robin Eubanks zigzags through the tunes on The Great Kai & J.J., and theres even a math lesson: Ray Charless Genius + Soul = Jazz was the labels first hit. Wonder if Henry Butler will have any trouble duping it sans orchestra?
April 20-24, 2011