There's an overwhelming volume of great shows coming up in the next few weeks.
The above photo is from Donny McCaslin's Aug. 27 trio hit at the 55 Bar, which was seriously one of the best things I have seen all year. I've been avidly listening to Donny live and on record for almost fifteen years now and I've never heard him sound like that. As you probably know, he has a terrific new album out on Greenleaf -- there are some streaming tracks here -- but this is really the kind of music that needs be experienced live. (Especially if you are under the mistaken impression that the saxophone trio is a played-out lineup.) The bassist on the 55 Bar hit was Ricky Rodriguez, who knocked it out of the park in his first-ever gig with Donny. He and Ted Poor are doing the "official" record release hit with Donny at Jazz Standard on Sept. 30.
Donny's label-mate and my fellow Canadian, bassist Michael Bates, is doing his own record launch, at Cornelia St. this Saturday, Sept. 13. He's joined by Quinsin Nachoff, a fantastic saxophonist and colleague of mine from way back when.
Also this Saturday, it's opening day of FONT (the Festival of New Trumpet Music), paying tribute to cult trumpet god Wadada Leo Smith. FONT runs through Sept. 28 and is brought to you by Greenleaf honcho Dave Douglas, and I've said before, it has by far the best programming of any jazz festival in New York, and is not to be slept on. Tons of great new music coming up at Cornelia St. (including Nabaté Isles) and LPR (including a sweet Avishai Cohen/Amir ElSaffar double-bill), while the Jazz Standard has Society co-conspirators Ingrid Jensen and Tim Hagans paying tribute to the tragic great Woody Shaw. Plus a trumpet-saturated Anti-Social Music afternoon at St. Marks Church called (naturally) "ASM Blows!!"
And also also this Saturday we have NYC new music supergroup Signal (who made their debut at this year's Bang on a Can Marathon) doing an all-Reich Wordless show at LPR. Hmm, all of my favorite NYC new music hotshots together in the same band, playing Music for 18 and You Are in a club? What could possibly be done to improve this situation? (Well, honestly, draught beer that costs less than $7/pint, but you know, Art requires certain sacrifices.)