Making a home in the shade of upper Michigan’s Porcupine Mountain ain’t the way to jump-start a jazz career; nevertheless, the wily pianist’s adventurous improv has made a dent with the cognoscenti. Carothers’s discs for the Pirouet label are epistles of taste and derring-do, revealing how mainstream tunes can be bent to the left and shot with both bustle and grace in genuinely exciting ways. This debut at the famed jazz cellar is a step in the right direction—we’d like to catch him ’round town more often. Let’s see if he unpacks all that exclamation in his head.
July 14-19, 9 & 11 p.m., 2009