Ben Allison

The charismatic bassist and composer purveys the type of jazz that might appeal to metal heads or someone with a hankering for Malian traditional music. This sometimes lands him in the world music genre, but Allison is beyond category, a synthesis of far-reaching tastes anchored by an unshakable groove. Action-Refraction was one of the best albums of 2011, bringing together Donny Hathaway, Neil Young, PJ Harvey, and Thelonious Monk. Would these eclectic visionaries ever have imagined they'd be side by side? Probably not, but jazz has the odd power to throw a seven-course dinner party with all your favorite musical guests.
Sat., Jan. 7, 11 p.m., 2012

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