These are the 10 best jazz shows in New York this month.
Charles Lloyd New Quartet
The tenor sax icon turns 75 on March 15. He’ll celebrate at the Met’s Temple of Dendur, where imposing Roman-Egyptian ruins will highlight the ancient, ruminative quality of his playing. Greek vocal powerhouse Maria Farantouri, Lloyd’s 2011 collaborator on Athens Concert (ECM), joins a stellar group with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers, drummer Eric Harland and guests.
Joel Harrison 8: Search
From jazz, blues, classical, country, world music and other influences, guitarist Joel Harrison has evolved a personal language full of warmth and harmonic color. His forays into extended composition include Search (Sunnyside), which will be the focus of this March 7 appearance at Roulette. Also on tap: the new “Train Dreams,” plus guests Gregoire Maret on harmonica and Paul Hanson on electric bassoon.
Hush Money with John McNeil & Jeremy Udden
John McNeil could probably charge admission to hear his cutting and jaded humor, but it’s his laser-like trumpet that’ll get you. Hush Money is his newest quartet, with younger guns Jeremy Udden on alto and C-melody saxes, Aryeh Kobrinksy on bass and Vinnie Sperrazza on drums. They play Cornelia Street Café on March 8, previewing music from an album in the works.
See also: Ten Jazz Albums to Hear Before You Die
Carlo De Rosa’s Cross-Fade
Aficionados knew Carlo De Rosa as a top sideman-bassist, but when his debut Brain Dance (Cuneiform) dropped in 2011, the searing intensity of his compositional voice came into view. His lineup for March 12 at Korzo is deadly: tenor saxist Mark Shim, pianist Luis Perdomo, drummer John Davis. After the set break: the superb pianist-composer Angelica Sanchez with the Kaheri Quartet.
James Falzone’s KLANG
Today’s Chicago improvisers are a tight-knit community with a unique sound, heady and abstract but relentlessly rhythmic. KLANG, led by clarinetist James Falzone, offers up a fine example on March 15 & 16 at Ibeam. With vibraphonist Jason Adasiewicz, bassist Jason Roebke, drummer Tim Daisy and some New York guests, Falzone will burrow into music from his latest disc Brooklyn Lines … Chicago Spaces.
Tribute to Paul Motian
The jazz world faced an acute loss with Paul Motian’s death in November 2011. The veteran drummer-composer, with his sparse, displaced rhythms and tunes of perplexing beauty, set a compelling example for scores of younger players who worked with him. Many will be at this one-of-a-kind event on March 22 at Symphony Space, curated by Motian’s trio mates Joe Lovano and Bill Frisell.
Ralph Peterson Fo’tet Augmented
The door at Smalls might get swung off its hinges when drummer Ralph Peterson brings his Fo’tet on March 22 & 23. Peterson has led this idiosyncratic unit since 1990, but his 2012 release The Duality Perspective featured a new lineup with clarinetist Felix Peikli, vibraphonist Joseph Doubleday and bassist Alex Toth. Enjoy the gale-force grooves, but listen for the intricacy within.
Kendrick Scott Oracle
Touring with the likes of Herbie Hancock and Terence Blanchard is everything a young drummer could ask for, but Kendrick Scott is pushing himself further as a leader of Oracle. He’ll celebrate the release of Conviction (Concord) at Jazz Standard on March 26 & 27, putting forward a pulsing, semi-electric sound with tenor saxophonist John Ellis, pianist/keyboardist Taylor Eigsti, guitarist Mike Moreno and bassist Joe Sanders.
Tom Harrell’s Colors of a Dream
Trumpet master Tom Harrell has led a spellbinding quintet for years, but recent undertakings with the Tom Harrell Chamber Ensemble have shown further facets of his artistry. The Colors of a Dream project, at the Village Vanguard from March 26-31, features core quintet members plus alto saxophonist Jaleel Shaw and the Grammy upsetter herself, bassist-vocalist Esperanza Spalding.
Miles Okazaki Quartet
Guitarist Miles Okazaki is a dazzling theoretician — click the “Research” tab at his website and gawk away — but his music, for all its density and rigor, has a lithe sense of funk and swing. He recorded Figurations (Sunnyside) live at the Jazz Gallery, so he’ll return there (in its new home) on March 29 to explore further with Ben Wendel on reeds, Hans Glawischnig on bass and Dan Weiss on drums.