His drumming is so highly regarded, we sometimes forget that Stewart has lots of skills when it comes to writing for small ensembles. I broke out those early Blue Notes a couple months ago—all that bent bop still sounds sharp. When he places a couple of pistols like Steve Wilson and Seamus Blake in the front line, you know there’s going to be something heady going down. The two saxophonists are sweet foils—agile, puckish, and formidable. Here’s to the mainstream getting meaty.
Fri., Feb. 12, 8, 10 & 11:30 p.m.; Sat., Feb. 13, 8, 10 & 11:30 p.m., 2010