Don’t believe the naysayers: Academia isn’t antithetical to artistic expression—developing technique and studying theory helps nurture a performer’s eloquence. Boston’s NEC has been sending well-schooled improvisers to New York for decades, and for the next seven days, teachers and students take over clubland. From pianist Anthony Coleman and saxophonist Jeremy Udden at Cornelia Street tonight, to Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society at the Jazz Standard on the 23rd, the action is thick. The must-see gigs include the coolest faculty meeting ever (McNeil, McBee, Garzone, Hart, Carlberg) and a multi-artist bash with a cast that stretches from Ran Blake to Joe Morris to Jason Moran to Matthew Shipp. Don’t forget the nod to big band theorist George Russell. Full schedule and venues list at necmusic.edu/jazz40.
Sat., March 20, 9 & 10:30 p.m., 2010