Manhattan’s wildly underappreciated jazz/improv hub Roulette has finally planted roots on some artier, earthier soil, scoring a cavernous Art Deco theater in downtown Brooklyn. The four-day celebration boasts appearances from the usual gang of avant-legends, including Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, and Fred Frith. But the clear highlight is tonight’s performance of “extreme improvised music” and “fearless non-rock” by three of New York’s most totemic musical icons: Lou Reed, Laurie Anderson, and John Zorn. The trio’s skronk off at the Montreal International Jazz Festival led to a choir of boos, to which Zorn politely retorted, “If you don’t think it’s music, then get the fuck outta here.” Their loss, because performances from these three have been a manic cyclone of Zorn’s post-Ornette scattergun sax, Anderson’s heavenly swirl, and Reed’s measured liturgical slabs of white noise and/or white heat.
Sat., Sept. 17, 8 p.m., 2011