New York Music Daily

Global Music With a New York Edge

Tag: jazz

Rapturous Musical Cross-Pollination at Women Between Arts at the New School

Yesterday was the fourth installment of Luisa Muhr’s new interdisciplinary series Women Between Arts at the New School. One would think that there would be several series in this city devoted to women whose work crosses the line between different artistic disciplines, but this appears to be the only one at present. What’s new with Muhr’s series is that it isn’t just a place for women artists who defy categorization: it’s also a space where adventurous established artists can branch out beyond their usual practice.

Case in point: Jean Rohe. She’s known as a songwriter and a strong, distinctive acoustic guitarist (to call her a folksinger would be reductionistic). Throughout her tantalizingly brief performance yesterday’s show, she did a lot of storytelling.

This narrative was harrowing. Rohe was named after her paternal grandmother, who killed herself on December 9, 1961. Tragically, just like her father, Rohe didn’t find out about the suicide until years later. That revelation springboarded an “odyssey,” as she termed it, to find out the truth and what pushed the woman over the edge.

Like many of the projects that find their way to Women Between Arts, it’s a work in progress, and a hauntingly captivating one. Rohe’s fingerpicking channeled distant delta blues grimness with her opening number, then she referenced the Penelope myth with a more expansive, anthemic tune. Her final song, she told the crowd, was set in Hades: “In New Jersey, as we all know,” she mused, drawing a handful of chuckles. The narrative saw her climbing into her grandmother’s old black Buick at a stoplight, to find her crying and incommunicado, a ghost before her time.

Noa Fort is known as a composer of translucent piano jazz informed by classical music as well as her own Israeli heritage. After guiding the crowd through a brief meditation, she had them write down their innermost feelings on slips of paper so she could channel and maybe exorcise those issues. As it turned out, this was a very  uneasy crowd. Fort plucked around inside the piano gingerly, George Crumb style before launching into a series of eerie belltones, close harmonies and finally a woundedly descending anthem. She closed with a somewhat elegaic but ultimately optimistic ballad where a calmly participatory crowd carried the melody upwards. 

Trina Basu, one of the great violinists in Indian classical music, leads the pioneering carnatic string band Karavika. This time out, she played a rapturous homage to 16th century mystic Meera Bai, joined by Orakel tabla player Roshni Samlal and singer Priya Darshini. Basu explained that she’d discovered the controversial, pioneering proto-feminist poet via the work of 1960s singer Lakshmi Shankar.

Basu opened the trio’s first epic number with elegant spirals that spun off into sepulchral harmonics, then built steam, rising up and down in a series of graceful pizzicato exchanges with the tabla. Darshini sang the second long piece, Basu and Samlal matching its poignancy, an ancient raga theme sliced and diced through the prism of progressive jazz. 

 The next installment of Women Between Arts is Jan 21 at 3 PM at the New School’s Glass Box Theatre (i.e. the new Stone) at 55 W 13th St., with Meredith Monk collaborator Ellen Fisher, lustrously haunting singer/composer Sara Serpa with cellist Erik Friedlander and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, and Appalachian music maven Anna Roberts-Gevalt.

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The Brilliant, Surreal Roots of Jazz and Third-Stream Sounds Rescued From Obscurity on the Latest Black Manhattan Collection

Since the 1980s, pianist Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra have built a vast living archive of rare ragtime and theatre music from the late 1800s to the early 1920s. Possibly hundreds of these pieces might have been lost forever if not for Benjamin’s tireless sleuthing. He and the orchestra have a new album, Black Manhattan, Volume 3, streaming at Spotify, continuing an amazing tradition that’s just as fun to hear as it is to read about  – his exhaustive liner notes are essential for anyone seriously interested in New York music history.

Benjamin named the series after James Weldon Johnson’s 1930 history of New York black artistic life. This latest volume – the first and second are both streaming at Spotify – follows the pattern of previous editions, a dynamic mix of dance numbers, colorful theatrical themes and ballads, many of them marking the magic moments where ragtime and blues began to morph into jazz.

The composers run the gamut from the legendary to the most obscure. It may come as a shock to discover that the world premiere recording of the original 1900 score of Lift Every Voice and Sing is on this album. Incredibly, it’s been over a century since J. Rosamond and James Weldon Johnson wrote the iconic secular hymn. It reveals itself as peppier than you might think, sung with operatic passion by the album’s four vocalists: sopranos Janai Brugger and Andrea Jones, tenor Chauncey Packer and baritone Edward Pleasant. For anyone wondering how far afield from the blues the quartet are, the answer is that by 1900, the western bel canto style had become so pervasive in urban areas in this country that most professional singers were trying to emulate it.

The rest of this lavish archive includes a grand total of 22 tracks, from cakewalks to struts to foxtrots. The oldest song is James Bland’s Oh Dem Golden Slippers, published in 1879, its puckish signification matched by the band’s slyly jaunty interpretation. The most recent is a bubbly, violin-driven version of famed pianist Eubie Blake’s I’m Just Wild About Harry, proof that Presidential candidates long before Bill Clinton were mining the pop hits of a previous generation for their campaign songs.

Many of the composers immortalized here were members of the Clef Club, a black counterpart to the fledgling New York music unions of the era. Black musicians here could be in charge of the music at the Ziegfield Follies, and stage Carnegie Hall concerts, but weren’t allowed to join the white-controlled unions. Luckey Roberts, a major Clef Club figure, is represented by a handful of tracks, among them the Tremolo Trot, which is actually more staccato – and Italian. By contrast, his 1919 song Jewel fo the Big Blue Nile, sung by Brugger, is a lavish, orchestrated take on stark 19th century spiritual sounds.

Packer matches the careful, mutedly plaintive cadences of Benjamin’s piano in Gussie L. Davis’ 1896 waltz In the Baggage Coach Ahead, inspired by a morbid poem of the time. A brisk, blustery take of J. Turner Layton’s 1918 hit After You’ve Gone – popularized by Bessie Smith and thousands after her – sits side by side with Will H. Dixon’s  lushly enigmatic Delicioso: Tango Aristocratico, from four years previously. Likewise, the themes run the gamut from Scott Joplin’s perhaps intentionally balmy Wall Street Rag to the boisterously lavish Overture to My Friend from Kentucky, a 1913 musical.

Plenty of marquee names have passed through this band over the years. Vince Giordano is an alum; the great clarinetist Vasko Dukovski gets to flex his blues chops here. The rest of the cast seems to be having a great time, including Keiko Tokunaga and Melissa Tong on violin; Colin Brookes on viola; Lisa Caravan on cello; Max Jacob on bass; Leslie Cullen on flute and piccolo; Paul Murphy and Michael Blutman on cornets; Michael Boschen on trombone; Mike Dobson on drums and Diane Scott on piano. Fans of the surreal third-stream mashups that are being mined by Brian Carpenter’s Ghost Train Orchestra – featured on this page yesterday – will find an amazing precedent to all that here.

Some Great December Shows Reprised This Month

Who says December is a slow month for live music in New York? The first three weeks were a nonstop barrage of good shows. And a lot of those artists will be out there this month for you to see.

Last summer, Innov Gnawa played a couple of pretty radical Barbes gigs. With bandleader Hassan Ben Jaafer’s hypnotically slinky sintir bass lute and the chorus of cast-iron qraqab players behind him, they went even further beyond the undulating, shapeshifting, ancient call-and-response of their usual traditional Moroccan repertoire. Those June and July shows both plunged more deeply into the edgy, chromatically-charged Middle Eastern sounds of hammadcha music, with even more jamming and turn-on-a-dime shifts in the rhythm. Innov – get it?

So their most recent show at Nublu 151 last month seemed like a crystallization of everything they’d been working on. The usual opening benediction of sorts when everybody comes to the stage, Ben Jaafer leading the parade with his big bass drum slung over his shoulder; a serpentine chant sending a shout out to ancient sub-Saharan spirits; and wave after wave of mesmerizing metallic mist fueled by Ben Jaafer’s catchy riffage and impassioned vocals.

Ben Jaafer’s protege and bandmate Samir LanGus opened the night with an even trippier show, playing sintir and leading a band including Innov’s  Nawfal Atiq and Amino Belyamani on qraqabs and vocals, along with Big Lazy’s Yuval Lion on drums, Dave Harrington on guitar, plus alto sax. Elements of dub, and funk, and acidic postrock filtered through the mix as the rhythms changed. Innov Gnawa are back at Nublu 151 on Jan 12 at around 6:30 with trumpeter Itamar Borochov for ten bucks; then the following night, Jan 13 they’re at Joe’s Pub at 7:45 PM for twice that, presumably for people who don’t want to dance.

The rest of last month’s shows that haven’t been mentioned here already were as eclectically fun as you would expect in this melting pot of ours. Slinky Middle Eastern band Sharq Attack played a mix of songs that could have been bellydance classics from Egypt or Lebanon, or originals – it was hard to tell. Oudist Brian Prunka had written one of the catchiest of the originals as a piece for beginners. “But as it turned out, it’s really hard,” violinist Marandi Hostetter laughed. The subtle shifts in the tune and the groove didn’t phase the all-star Brooklyn ensemble.

Another allstar Brooklyn group, Seyyah played an even more lavish set earlier in the month at the monthly Balkan night at Sisters Brooklyn in Fort Greene. With the reliably intense, often pyrotechnic Kane Mathis on oud behind Jenny Luna’s soaring, poignant microtonal vocals, you wouldn’t have expected the bass player to be the star of the show any more than you’d expect Adam Good to be playing bass. But there he was, not just pedaling root notes like most American bassists do with this kind of music, his slithery slides and hammer-ons intertwining with oud and violin. The eight-piece band offer a rare opportunity to see a group this size playing classic and original Turkish music at Cornelia St. Cafe at Jan 15, with sets at 8 and 9:30 PM. Cover is $10 plus a $10 minimum.

When Locobeach’s bassist hit an ominous minor-key cumbia riff and then the band edged its way into Sonido Amazonico midway through their midmonth set at Barbes, the crowd went nuts. The national anthem of cumbia was the title track to Chicha Libre’s classic debut album; as a founding member of that legendary Brooklyn psychedelic group, Locobeach keyboardist Josh Camp was crucial to their sound. This version rocked a little harder and went on for longer than Chicha Libre’s typically did – and Camp didn’t have his trebly, keening Electrovox accordion synth with him for it. This crew are more rock and dub-oriented than Chicha Libre, although they’re just as trippy – and funny. They’re back at Barbes on Jan 15 at 10. 

There were four other Barbes shows last month worth mentioning. “Stoner,” one individual in the know said succinctly as Dilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos bounced their way through a pulsing set blending elements of psychedelic salsa, cumbia, Afrobeat and dub reggae. Their rhythm section is killer: the bass and drums really have a handle on classic Lee Scratch Perry style dub and roots, and the horns pull the sound out of the hydroponic murk. They’re back at Barbes on Jan 10 at around 10.

Also midmonth, resonator guitarist Zeke Healy and violist Karen Waltuch took an expansive excursion through a couple of sets of Appalachian classics and a dadrock tune or two, reinventing them as bucolic, psychedelic jams. For the third year in a row, the all-female Accord Treble Choir sang an alternately majestic and celestial mix of new choral works and others from decades and centuries past, with lively solos and tight counterpoint. And the Erik Satie Quartet treated an early Saturday evening crowd to stately new brass arrangements of pieces by obscure 1920s French composers, as well as some similar new material.

At the American Folk Art Museum on the first of the month, singer/guitarist Miriam Elhajli kept the crowd silent with her eclecticism, her soaring voice and mix of songs that spanned from Venezuela to the Appalachians, including one rapturous a-capella number. And at the Jalopy the following week, another singer, Queen Esther played a set of sharply lyrical, sardonic jazz songs by New York underground legend Lenny Molotov, her sometime bandmate in one of the city’s funnest swing bands, the Fascinators. She’s at the Yamaha Piano Salon at 689 5h Ave (enter on 54th St) on Jan 14, time tba.

An Album That Puts Your Kids to Sleep But Doesn’t Bore You to Death

Just about the worst thing you can say about an album is that it’s good to fall asleep to. Yet there’s a ton of great, lulling music that will do the job. Just for starters: Debussy’s Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp, Philip Glass’ String Quartets, and pretty much anything by Brian Eno.

But is there an album that will help a baby fall asleep, so YOU can finally get some rest? Sure, there are a million easy-listening playlists on Spotify. But they’re saccharine and they’ll give you a headache.

So Kurt Leege sat down with his Strat and his pedalboard, came up with a bunch of instrumental lullabies, roadtested them on his infant daughter – and they worked like a charm. So well, in fact, that the great guitarist decided to release these dreamy nocturnes as an album aptly titled Sleepytime Guitar – streaming at Bandcamp – for the sake of saving the sanity of sleep-deprived parents everywhere.

Kid wakes up in the middle of the night? Pull this up, hit play and everybody will drift off sooner than later. It’s a long album, a total of fourteen tracks to keep you and the little one in REM mode for as long as you need. Most of the songs are lushly enveloping new arrangements of familiar folk tunes, along with a couple of gospel numbers and two Leege originals that bend in seamlessly.

Some of the arrangements draw on Bill Frisell’s most atmospheric adventures in gentle, rapturous loopmusic. Eno, and the Cocteau Twins’ Robin Guthrie also seem to be obvious influences. And Leege doesn’t play like he’s falling asleep – it seems like he’s having a lot of fun, quietly. His formula pretty much all the way through is to build gentle waves and washes in the background, add some thoughtful fingerpicking over that and put the melody and variations front and center. He plays most of it way up the fretboard: this is a twinkly, trebly album.

If you’re making your own playlist with it, start with the rapt, Frisellian take of Down By the Riverside, segue with the wistful version of Danny Boy and then Wild Mountain Thyme, which Leege anchors with subtly polyrhythmic deep-space pulses. The other tracks are just as warmly enveloping, but the guitar is livelier.

He does Shenandoah as David Gilmour might, with lots of long-tone bends, if not the anguished screams of Pink Floyd. There are all sorts of neat little flourishes in Wayfaring Stranger: a couple of funny Gilmour quotes, and a little Bill Withers, maybe. Leege finds the doo-wop stashed away deep within the calmly lilting melody of the old Welsh tune Ar Hyd y Nos, and reinvents Swing Low, Sweet Chariot as a waltz.

A Curvature of Shadow, the first Leege oriiginal, is a one-chord jam, series of hypnotic variations that drift further from a folk-flavored theme toward spacerock. Scarborough Fair circles around, Leege having fun playing the melody with his volume knob – the effect is similar to a talkbox. Peter Frampton would approve – at least until Leege distantly channels Pink Floyd.

Leege transcends cheesiness in Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star by playing harmonies and then implying the melody: a lot of moms are going to be singing karaoke to this one. Down to the River to Pray is much the same, as Leege works variations on the verse over what sounds like a vocal drone.

He cuts loose just a little bit with some spare, purist, bluesy playing and then some charming glockenspiel-like tones in the Irish folk song Bonnie Lass o’Fyvie. The Brahms Lullaby sounds more like the Tennessee Waltz; the album closes with a slow, enigmatic instrumental version of Riverbed, the title track of his current funky Americana jamband the Sometime Boys’ second album. 

Fun fact: since now you know how peaceful and calming Leege’s compositions can be, it’s time to let the cat out of the bag. He is renowned in New York rock circles as one of the most diversely tuneful, and most assaultive players around. His celestial moods here, and his elegantly eclectic virtuosity in the Sometime Boys don’t offer a clue to his past as co-leader of the gloriously acidic, pummeling, aptly named System Noise.

Live Music Calendar for New York City and Brooklyn for January and February 2018

Free and cheap concerts in just about every neighborhood. If you’re leaving your hood, make sure you check http://www.mta.info for service changes considering how the trains are at night and on the weekend.

Constant updates. If you don’t recognize a venue where a particular act is playing, check the comprehensive, recently updated list of over 200 New York City music venues at New York Music Daily’s sister blog Lucid Culture.

This is not a list of every show in town – it’s a carefully handpicked selection. If this calendar seems short on praise for bands and artists, it’s because every act here is recommended if you like their particular kind of music. Many different styles to choose from.

Showtimes listed here are set times, not the time doors open – if a listing says something like “9ish,” that means it’ll probably start later than advertised. If you see a show listed without the start time, that’s because either the artist, their publicist or the venue in question sent incomplete info – those acts are usually listed last on a particular date.  Always best to check with the venue for the latest information on set times and door charges, since that information is often published here weeks in advance. Weekly events first followed by the daily calendar.

On select Wednesdays and Sundays, an intimate, growing piano music salon on the Upper West Side featuring iconoclastically insightful, lyrical pianist Nancy Garniez – a cult favorite with an extraordinarily fluid, singing, legato style – exploring the delicious minutiae of works from across the centuries. A new project, deep listening workshops in the works, delicious gluten-free refreshments, beverages and lively conversation included! email for info/location.

Mondays at 7 PM multi-instrumentalist Dennis Lichtman’s popular western swing band Brain Cloud at Barbes followed at 9:30 PM by a variety of south-of-the-border-style bands playing cumbias, boogaloo, salsa, maybe all of the above.

Mondays at 7 PM, Analog Experimental – guitarist Damian Quinones and bassist Greg Richardson’s electroacoustic duo – play “experimental Pan-Latin dance music” with Afro Caribbean rhythms at Bar Tabac in Cobble Hill, free

Mondays at the Jazz Standard it’s all Mingus, whether with the Mingus Orchestra, Big Band or Mingus Dynasty: as jazz goes, it’s arguably the most exhilarating show of the week, every week. The first-rate players always rise to the level of the material. Sets 7:30/9:30 PM, $25 and worth it.

Also Monday and Tuesday nights Vince Giordano’s Nighthawks, a boisterous horn-driven 11-piece 1920s/early 30’s band play Iguana, 240 W. 54th St ( Broadway/8th Ave) , 3 sets from 8 to 11, surprisingly cheap $15 cover plus $15 minimum considering what you’re getting. Even before the Flying Neutrinos or the Moonlighters, multi-instrumentalist Giordano was pioneering the oldtimey sound in New York; his long-running residency at the old Cajun on lower 8th Ave. is legendary. He also gets a ton of film work (Giordano wrote the satirical number that Willie Nelson famously sang in Wag the Dog).

Mondays at the Vanguard the Vanguard Jazz Orchestra – composer Jim McNeely’s reliably good big band vehicle – plays 9/11 PM, $30 per set plus drink minimum.

Mondays at 10 noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo leads his trio at the big room at the Rockwood

Also Mondays in January (except for New Year’s Day), Rev. Vince Anderson and his band play Union Pool in Williamsburg, two sets starting at 10:30 PM. The Rev. is one of the great keyboardists around, equally thrilling on organ or electric piano, an expert at Billy Preston style funk, honkytonk, gospel and blues. He writes very funny, very politically astute, sexy original songs and is one of the most charismatic, intense live performers of our time. It’s a crazy dance party. Paula Henderson from Burnt Sugar is the lead soloist on baritone sax, with frequent special guests. In addition, three Fridays in December: 12/1, 5 and 29, 7ish he’s at Troost

Tuesdays in January, clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party  at 9 PM at Barbes. Get there as soon as you can as they’re very popular. $10 cover.

Wednesdays at 6 PM, irrepressible pianist/singer Champian Fulton – as entertaining a postbop improviser as torch singer – plays at Talde, 8 Erie St. (Bay/1st) in Jersey City, a block and a half from the Grove St. Path station

Wednesdays at 8 the Brooklyn Raga Massive – a rotating cast of A-list Indian, jazz and rock musicians who love to jam out classic Indian themes from over the centuries to the present day – play Art Cafe, 884 Pacific St.(at Washington Ave) in Brooklyn, $15; closest train is the 2 to Bergen St. Tons of special guests followed by a wild raga jam!

Wednesdays in January, 8 PM the Binky Griptite Orchestra (formerly Sharon Jones’ brilliant oldschool soul backing band) at Threes Brewing Outpost, 113 Franklin St (Greenpoint/Kent Aves) in Greenpoint, free

Wednesdays at 9 PM Feral Foster’s Roots & Ruckus takes over the Jalopy, a reliably excellent weekly mix of oldtimey acts: blues, bluegrass, country and swing.

Fridays and Saturdays at 5 PM adventurous indie classical string quartet Ethel plus frequent special guests playing a mix of classical and more contemporary material at the balcony bar at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

Two Saturdays in January: 1/6 and 1/13, t 4 PM at Bargemusic there are impromptu free classical concerts, usually solo piano or small chamber ensembles: if you get lucky, you’ll catch pyrotechnic violinist/music director Mark Peskanov and/or the many members of his circle. Early arrival advised.

Saturdays eclectic compelling Brazilian jazz chanteuse Marianni and her excellent band at Zinc Bar, three sets starting at 10 PM.

Sundays there’s a klezmer brunch at City Winery, show starts around 11:30 AM – 2 PM, $10 cover, no minimum, lots of good bands

Sundays in January, at sometime past noon at Hank’s, Nashville gothic crooner Sean Kershaw‘s legendary honkytonk brunch is back; special guests from his wide circle of NYC Americana acts keep the afternoon going until about 7. It’s just like 1999 again -at least until the bar closes sometime this year. Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues there this month at 6 PM every Sunday this month as well.

1/1, 8 PM lead guitarist to the stars of the NY underworld – and a tuneful powerpop songwriter in his own right – Homeboy Steve Antonakos at Bowery Electric, free

1/1, 9 PM quirky, fun swing-infused songwriter Orly Bendavid & the Mona Dahls at Pete’s 

1/1, 9 PM catchy horn-and-vibraphone-driven Ethio-jazz and othe Afrian sounds from Molly Tigre at Bar Chord 

1/1, 9:30ish Dilemastronauta Y Los Sabrosos Cosmicos play their cumbia-inspired stoner dub jams  They’re also here on 1/8.

1/2, 7 PM the New Year’s Hank-O-Rama – the Hank Williams cover show that the old Rodeo Bar used to host – with the Lonesome Prairie Dogs, Tammy Faye Starlite, Lenny Kaye, and special guests at Joe’s Pub, $15

1/2, 6 PM pianist Arcoiris Sandoval’s Sonic Asylum Trio with Marty Kenney, bass;  Allan Mednard, drums at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. She’s one of the most incisive, darkly purposeful pianists around: to put her in the same league with Kris Davis wouldn’t be overhype.

1/2, 7 PM bassist Jim Whitney’s sardonic quartet with guitar, flute and drums followed at 9ish by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

1/2-7, 7:30/9:30 PM erudite, reliably tuneful postbop pianist Orrin Evans opens the year with a week at the Jazz Standard, $30: 1/2-3 leading the Captain Black Big Band, the rest of the stand with his sextet including JD Allen and Ingrid Jensen, holy smokes

1/2-7, 8 PM Chicago improvisational sax icon Ken Vandermark plays a weeklong stand at the Stone with a variety of players, $20. Choice pick: 1/5 wih a quartet including Sylvie Courvoisier (piano) Tom Rainey (drums) Nate Wooley (trumpet)

1/2-7, 8:30/10 PM perennially popular lyrical jazz pianist Brad Mehldau with his trio at the Vanguard, $30

1/2. 10 PM acerbic alto saxophonist David Binney leads his quartet at at 55 Bar. 

1/3, 7  PM powerhouse B3 organist Pat Bianchi leads his trio at Smalls

1/3, 8 PM psychedelic klezmer/bluegrass mandolin and clarinet legend Andy Statman at Barbes, $10. He’s also at the Old Stone House in  Park Slope on 1/7 at 4 for the same price

1/3. 8 PM wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at SOB’s, $10. They’re also at Barbes on 1/15 at 10.

1/3. 8 PM Dervisi feat. guitar god Steve Antonakos play “exotic Greek gangsta blues” at Troost

1/3, 8:30 PM pantheonic, eclectic guitar hero Nels Cline leads a trio at Bar  Lunatico

1/3. 10 PM Mimi Oz – a real kitchen-sink songwriter with soul and rock and darker sounds, and an omnipresent sense of humor – at  the Way Station

1/4, 7 PM hauntingly atmospheric pan-Asian chanteuse/composer Jen Shyu plays her new solo suite Nine Doors — a “ritual music drama” -at the Owl

1/4, 7 PM haunting, kinetic, paradigm-shifting Middle Eastern jazz with Ensemble Fanaa followed by drummer Whit Dickey and intense violist Mat Maneri at the Cemente Soto Velez Center, $20

1/4, 7:30 PM funk behemoth Burnt Sugar Arkestra ‘“freak Dayton Ohio’s Sweet Sticky Thangbook, caramelizing music by the Ohio Players, Zapp, Lakeside, Junie Morrison, Heatwave, Slave, Aurra, and Steve Arrington” at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/4, 7:30 PM Ensemble Connect play works by Ligeti, Beethoven and Richard Strauss’ Metamorphosen at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free

1/4, 8 PM explosive, creepy, colorful psychedelic rembetiko metal band Greek Judas  at Barbes

1/4, 8 PM the Emerald Trio play new works by New York composers Davide Zannoni – Dan Cooper – Carolyn Steinberg – Milica Paranosic – Joseph Pehrson – Matt Castle at the DiMenna Center, $15/$10 stud/srs

1/4, 8:30  PM klezmer Anschluss! with an allstar cast: Ilya Shneyveys, bassist Jordan Morton, clarinet maven Michael Winograd, Craig Judelman, Sah-Schah Lou Ree, Hankus Melone at the Jalopy, $15

1/4, 10 PM noisy, hazily jangly, psychedelic slowcore/free jazz/avant instrumentalists Sunwatchers atat Union Pool, $10

1/4, 10 PM ferociously dynamic, tuneful, female-fronted power trio Castle Black at the Well

1/4, 10 PM the great unsung hero of darkly purposeful, noir-tinged jazz guitar, Saul Rubin leads his Zebtet at the Fat Cat. They’re also here on 1/9 at 7.

1/5, 7 PM pianist Judith Berkson and Gutbucket guitarist Ty Citerman premiere cutting-edge, contemporary music for voices, keyboards, guitars and electronics at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, free

1/5, 8 PM eclectic, harmony-driven newgrass band the Lobbyists at the big room at the Rockwood, $10 

1/5, 8 PM the hauntingly kinetic, cinematic Ghost Funk Orchestra at Baby’s All Right, free

1/5, 8 PM singer/guitarist Anna R0berts-Gevalt of Anna & Elizabeth and fiddler Cleek Shrey play rare Virginia and Appalachian tunes at the Jalopy

 1/5, 8 PM the Neave Piano Trio play music of Leonard Bernstein, Robert Paterson, and Russell Steinberg. $20, complimentary glass of wine with each ticket

1/5-6 at 8, Akemi Naito’s monodrama Emily Brontë – Through Life and Death, A Chainless Soul, with mezzo-soprano Jessica Bowers, pianist Marilyn Nonken, visual artist Toshihiro Sakuma and narration by Robert Ian Mackenzie at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W 13th St., $20

1/5, 8:30 PM perennially tuneful tenor saxophonist John Ellis & Double Wide at Bar  Lunatico

1/5, 11 PM Don’t Upset the Bear, who play Pretty Things-style oldschool punk/R&B at Maxwelll’s, $10

1/5, 10 PM velvety noir jazz singer (and Tickled Pinks member) Stephanie Layton’s impressively eclectic torch/swing jazz band Eden Lane followed at 11 by ethereal folk noir songstress Belle-Skinner – who wrote the chilling ballad John Wayne Gacy Jr. – at Pete’s 

1/5, 10 PM wickedly catchy Americana/paisley underground rockers Girls on Grass  at the Parkside

 1/5, 10 PM eclectic, guitarishly fierce electric C&W/blues band the Jug Addicts at Barbes

1/5, 10:30 PM catchy Booker T-esque soul jazz with the David Gibson/Jared Gold, Hammond B3 organ band at the Fat Cat

1/5, midnight lyrical tenor saxophonist John Farnsworth leads his quartet at Smoke, no cover

1/6, 3 (three) PM enigmatic art-rock/chamber jazz singer Nerissa Campbell’s new project the Breakout Lights at the small room at the Rockwood 

1/6, 7 PM oldschool bluegrass player Dan Whitener, clever, playful swing/oldtimey accordionist-singer Erica Mancini, fiddler Max Smith and intense, brilliantly lyrical, fearlessly political 1950s style original folk/blues singer Joshua Garcia at Caffe Vivaldi

1/6, 7 PM charismatic, tuneful bassist Mimi Jones’ Group at the Fat Cat

1/6, 7 PM Ghost Ensemble with David Rothenberg, clarinet; Ben Richter, accordion; Lucie Stavros, harp and James Ilgenfritz, bass play works by Pauline Oliveros and others at Spectrum

1/6, 7 PM Organ Monk organist Greg Lewis duels with drummer Ronnie Burrage; low-register reedman JD Parran leads his Deep Ecology Trio; combustible drummer Weasel Walter leads his quintet at the Clemente Soto Velez Center, $20 for 1 or 2 sets, more for all 3

1/6, 7 PM brilliant pianist Liza Stepanova plays works from Bach to Ligeti from her insightful, wildly eclectic new album at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/6, 8 PM epic, original, intense original Balkan monsters Raya Brass Band  followed at 10 by epic ranchera/bolero brass crew Banda de los Muertos at Barbes

1/6, 8 PM ecently revitalized, careening ten-piece Balkan brass crew Veveritse at Silvana

 1/6, 8 PM lo-fi stoner Americana band Lord Youth followed by cleverly lyrical, murderously witty murder ballad/chamber pop allstars Charming Disaster at the Owl 

1/6, 8 PM the Ureuk Symphony play Tschaikovsky’s Symphony No. 5 and Rococo Variations plus works by Woo and Kang at Merkin Concert Hall, $25 tix avail

1/6, 8:30 PM Mary Lorson – whose eclectic catalog comprises everything from uneasy parlor pop to trip-hop to swing – at the third stage at the Rockwood, $12

1/6, 9 PM catchy janglerockers Nixon Mask – who blend the Jesus & Mary Chain, Americana and pastoral Pink Floyd – at Union Pool, $10 

1/6, 9 PM fiery, guitar-fueled female-fronted Americana punks Spanking Charlene at Sidewalk. 1/19 at 9 they’re at Hill Country followed by twangrock supergroup Los Dudes

 1/6 Unsteady Freddie‘s monthly surf rock extravaganza at Otto’s begins at 9 PM with Brooklyn cover crew Band of Others, metalish Providence band the Infra-Men at 10, the majestic, cinematic TarantinosNYC at 11 and Link Wray cover band the WrayCyclers at around midnight

1/6, 9 PM cleverly lyrical 90s Britrock-influenced stadium rock band Mustardmind at the Mercury, $10 

1/6, 10 PM catchy, fiery, female-fronted janglerockers/powerpop band Above the Moon – like a more forceful take on Versus – at Arlene’s, $10

1/6. 10 PM first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall  at Skinny Dennis

1/6, 10 PM anthemic lit-rocker Dalton Deschain  at Pine Box Rock Shop. 1/20 at 10 he and the band are at the Way Station

1/6, 11 PM oldschool psychedelic soul/groove band Empire Beats at the Way Station

1/7, 4 PM pianist Huizi Zhang and violinist Holly Nelson play works by Michael Levinas, Patrick Thompson, Gu Wei, Yifan Guo, and Fabian Beltran at National Sawdust, $20 adv tix rec

1/7, 7 PMCarol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC –  at Pangea. She’s also here on 1/13 at 9

1/7, 8 PM a killer twinbill at the Owl: luminous, astonishingly eclectic, wickedly tuneful cello-rock badass Serena Jost and New York’s most charismatic, darkly compelling lyrical songwriter/storyteller/keyboard genius Rachelle Garniez , $10

 1/8, 5:30 PM a Juilliard chamber ensemble plays works by Dutilleux, Lasser (a setting of Debussy and Fauré songs for voice and chamber ensemble) and Dvorak at the Sharp Theatre at Juilliard, free. another concert tonight at Paul Hall at 7:30 as well

1/8, 8 PM intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay at Sisters Brooklyn, 900 Fulton St., Ft. Greene, A/C to Clinton-Washington

 1/8 8/9:30  , noir-inspired bassist Michael Blanco leads his quartet at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

 1/8, 8/10:30 PM ageless, perennially hard-hitting jazz piano sage and ex-Coltrane bandmate McCoy Tyner at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail

1/8, 8 PM duels and conversation between tenor sax and drums: the George Garzone/Colin Stranahan duo at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min. Garzone is back here on 1/27 at 8:30 leading a trio with Peter Slavov, bass;  Niclas Campagno, drums

1/8, 9 PM catchy, period-perfect, glossy 80s style new wave synth band the Retroglyphs at the Mercury, $10 

1/8, 9:30 PM chanteuse Dor Sagi’s wildly eclectic, elegantly artsy band Sage – who float between enigmatic pastoral jazz-tinged themes, sleek new wave and janglerock – at Pete’s  

1/9, half past noon, Sergio Orabona plays a program TBA on the organ at Central Synagogue, 54th/Lex, free

1/9, 4/7 PM a free screening of the acclaimed Edith Piaf biopic La Vie En Rose starring Marion Cotillard at the French Institute, 55 E 59th St., reception to follow, early arrival advised

1/9, 7 PM Unspeakable Garbage – basically the world’s funniest jazz satirists, Mostly Other People Do the Killing with Nick Millevoi on guitar – at Shapeshifter Lab, $10

1/9, 7 PM eclectic, hard-hitting, lyrical composer/tenor saxophonist Stan Killian and group followed at 10 by trumpeter Alex Sipiagin leading a killer quintet at 55 Bar

1/9-13, 7:30 PM and 1/14 at 6, the premiere of Michael Gordon’s Acquanetta, inspired by 1940s horror films and performed by Bang on a Can Opera and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street at Gelsey Kirkland Arts Center, 29 Jay St., Dumbo, $30 tix avail, F to York St.

1/9-14, 8 PM edgy, tuneful klezmer-influenced Uri Gurvich plays a weeklong stand at the Stone with a variety of players, $20. Choice pick: opening night, the Gnawaism trio with Innov Gnaw’s Amino Belyamani (vocals, qraqeb) Samir Langus (vocals, sintir)

 1/9, 8 PM uneasy postpunk/new wave/dreampop band Rich Girls at the Knitting Factory, $10

1/9-14, 8:30/10 PM state-of-the-art alto postbop with the Joshua Redman Quartet at the Blue Note, $30 standing room avail

1/9, 9 PM irrepressible multi-instrumentalist Joanna Sternbergg wearing her front-porch folk guitarist hat at Sunny’s. 1/13 at 8ish  she’s playing the album release show for her new one at the Jalopy, $10

1/9, 9:30 PM oldschool Texas fingerstyle acoustic blues, Romany swing and all sorts of fiery antique styles with fantastic guitarist Noe Socha at Freddy’s

1/9, 10 PM the Royal Arctic Institute – who veer between surfy rock instrumentals and darker, quieter, more noir and jazz-tinged themes – at the third stage at the Rockwood, $10 

1/9, 11 PM stoner riff-rock power trio the Hazytones at Shrine, free. The following night, 1/10 they’re at St. Vitus an hour earlier, preceded at 9 by stoner 70s Murder City style rockers Sun Voyager for $10 

1/10, 7 PM mesmerizing microtonal saxophonist Daro Behroozi with Daniel Carter – woodwinds; Leonid Galaganov – percussion; Dan Kurfirst – percussion; ​Alexis Marcelo – piano followed at 8 by edgy violinist Sana Nagano with Peter Apfelbaum – reeds; Ken Filiano – bass; Max Jaffe – drums; ​Keisuke Matsuno – guitar at the Cemente Soto Velez Center, $20 

1/10, 6 PM pipa virtuoso Jiaju Shen with guzheng player Wei Sun at the Rubin Museum of Art, free w/museum adm

1/10, 6 PM, repeating on 1/11 at 3 fiery Chinese pipa player Yu Bin and his ensemble play their new suite Overlord, offering a new look at a legendary villain in Chinese opera history at the Asia Society, $25

1/10, 7ish state-of-the-art postbop guitarist Will Bernard and his quartet with fellow guitarist Steve Cardenas reinvent Ellington and Strayhorn with a touch of surf ! at Barbes

1/10, 7 PM darkly brilliant, psychedelic Klezmatics multi-reedman Matt Darriau’s Xalam Trio at City Vineyard. They’re also there on 1/17

1/10, 7:30 PM, repeating 1/12-13 and 1/18-20 the riveting Blythe Gaissert and downtown vocal legend John Kelly star in Mikael Karlsson’s multimedia opera The Echo Drift, about a convicted murderer looking to make a surreal jailbreak, at the Baruch Performing Arts Center, 55 Lexington Ave (enter on the south side of 25th St), $30

1/10, 10 PM sarcastic glam punks the Defectives at the big room at the Rockwood

1/11, 1:30 PM soprano Alicia Hall Moran sings her new ice skating-inspired avant garde work at Bryant Park. 1/12 at  2:30 PM she’s at Riverbank State Park Skating Complex (679 Riverside Drive), enter at 145th St

 1/11, 6 PM purposeful, low-key tropical jazz singer Eva Cortes plays the album release show for her new one with her sextet at Minton’s, $10

1/11, 7 PM the haunting, ancient Jewish/Middle Eastern sounds of Asefa followed by violin looper Joe Kye, then cinematic guitar mastermind Demir Demirkan at Drom, free

1/11, 7:30/9:30 PM this era’s most cutting-edge, politically relevant large jazz ensemble,Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society  at the Jazz Gallery, $25

1/11, 7:30 PM LA-based Cuban salsa-punk band  Changüí Majadero at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/11, 7:30 PM Music From Yellow Barn sing Bach’s Musical Offering, interspersed with the segments of Lei Liang’s Garden Eight at Symphony Space, $30/$20 under 30

1/11, 8 PM the Jimi Hendrix of the cuatro, Jorge Glem followed at 9:30 by Sam Reider & the Human Hands  playing pastoral gothic accordion art-rock and then at 11 by fiery accordion-fueled circus rock with hip-hop attitude from Jet Black Pearl at Barbes 

1/11, 9 PM 20s hot jazz revivalists Cait and the Critters at Radegast Hall. They’re also here on 1/16 at 8.

1/11-13, 9:30 PM, repeating on 1/17-20 (with an additional 4 PM show on the 20th) violinist Carla Kilhstedt’s haunting undersea art-rock odyssey Black Inscription at Here, 145 6th Ave (enter on Dominick), $30

 1/11, 10 PM fiery oldtimey 19th century style string band the Four O’Clock Flowers at Sunny’s

1/11, 10 PM explosively theatrical, phantasmagorical indie/metal trio A Deer A Horse  at St. Vitus, $10

1/12-13 it’s Golden Fest, the annual mega-celebration of Balkan and Middle Eastern sounds at Grand Prospect Hall south of Windsor Terrace, R to Prospect Ave and walk a block and a half uphill. Expensive, but arguably the best annual concert weekend in New York, year after year. Too many (80+) good bands to list, the full lineup is here

 1/12, 6:30ish trumpeter Itamar Borochov with mystical Moroccan trance-dance band Innov Gnawa at Nublu 151, $10. The following night, 1/13 at. 7:45 PM they’re at Joe’s Pub for double the money. 

1/12, 7 PM Afro-Puerto Rican Bomba collective Redobles de Cultura, the amazing genre-smashing klezmer/Pakistani ensemble Sandaraa with vocalist Zeb Bangash and composer/clarinetist Michael Winograd and Mexican punk-folk-dance crew Grupo Rebol at City Lore Gallery, 59 E 1st St., $10

1/12, 7 PM violist Nadia Sirota and bass viol player Liam Byrne play a Donnacha Dennechy live score to accompany video animation at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/12, 7 PM in reverse order: thoughtful newgrass band Phoebe Hunt & the Gatherers, popular, pensive retro C&W/bluegrass/soul singer Dori Freeman & the  Carolina Chocolate Drops’ Dom Flemons at City Winery, $15 standing room avail 

1/12, 7 PM the Chartreuse string trio, featuring  violinist/violist Carrie Frey, play a water-themed program of music by women composers including Kaija Saariaho and Pauline Oliveros at Bloomingdale School of Music, 323 W 108th St (off of Broadway), free

1/12, 7 PM crystalline-voiced, noir-tinged third-stream jazz chanteuse Tessa Souter and her band at 55 Bar

1/12, 8 PM energetic acoustic Veracruz-style folk-punk band Radio Jarocho at Guadalupe Inn

1/12, 8 PM day one of this year’s UK Commotion festival with Lost Dog New Music Ensemble playing new music by UK composers Mark Bowden, Philip Cashian, Tom Coult, Deirdre Gribbin, Ken Hesketh, Anna Meredith and Mark Simpson at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W 13th St., $20 

1/12-13, 8:30 PM cellist Okkyung Lee leads an intriguing chamber jazz quartet with Maeve Gilchrist (harp) Eivind Opsvik (bass) Jacob Sacks (piano)  at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20

1/12. 8:30 PM lush, dynamically eclectic Korean folk/art-rock band Coreyah mash up lustrous, often plaintive themes with hard-charging hip-hop and dance tunes  followed eventually at 10 by Eljuri playing their ferocious, brilliantly guitar-driven, fearlessly populist rock en Espanol  and finally at half past midnight brooding, fearlessly political Egyptian crooner Ramy Essan at Drom, free

1/12, 9 PM creepy circus rock band Sarah & the Safe Word – like a female-fronted World Inferno – at Silvana 

1/12, 9 PM jangly, spiky, guitarishly brilliant Afrobeat band Timbila followed by Rosa Tatuata playing kinetic, edgy oldtime Sicilian folk at the Parkside

1/12, 9 PM the edgy, improvisational Rhythm Method String Quartet at the Owl

1/12, 10 PM fiery female-fronted powerpop band the Shondes at the Silent Barn, $8

1/12, 10 PM CC Roots – oldschool reggae jamband with a blues harp – at Maxwell’s, free 

1/12, 10:30 PM excellent accordion-fueled, female-fronted noir Americana band Crooked Horse at Pine Box Rock Shop 

 1/12, 9:30 PM wryly funny, psychedelic covers of 60s Russian pop with theEastern Blokhedz – who specialize in the catalog of legendary Polish singer Edita Piaha – followed at 11 byLos Cumpleanos playing psychedelic cumbias with new wave synths & retro organ, effect-laden trombone and trumpet as well as a three piece percussion section at Barbes

1/12, 10 PM drummer Dan Pugach leads his nonet with Nicole Zuraitis on the mic  at 55 Bar

1/13, 3 PM cinematic, psychedelic quirk-pop keyboardist Michael Hearst presents “Curious, Unusual and Extraordinary” songs from his many bands followed at 4 by the Erik Satie Quartet, a stately wind ensemble who reinvent Satie material as well as obscurities by his contemporaries, and then, eventually at 9:30 by this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy  and at 11 by accordionist/sitarist Kamala Sankaram’s hot surfy Bollywood/cumbia/psychedelic rock project Bombay Rickey at Barbes

1/13, daytime showtime tba, hilarious, smartly political faux-French retro 60s psych-pop band les Sans Culottes at Hank’s

1/13, 4 PM day two of this year’s UK Commotion festival with Lost Dog New Music Ensemble and pianist Jacob Rhodebeck playing works by Britten, Birtwistle and a very rare performance of Peter Maxwell Davies’ brutally challenging Sonata at the Tenri Cultural Institute, $20; the festival concludes at 8 PM ($20 separate admin) with soprano Srah Moye performing works by Julian Anderson,Richard Barrett, Anna Clyne,Tansy Davies,James Dillon,Helen Grime, Colin Matthews,Thea Musgrave and Martin Suckling at the Tenri Cultural Institute, 43A W 13th St., $20

1/13, 5 PM guitarist Gabriel Morton plays a set, plus reclaimed wood specialists from Sawkill Lumber and guitar maker Matt Rubendall discuss the use of tonewoods in instrument building. at Sawkill Lumber Passive House, 158 Clifton Place (Franklin/Classon), Bed-Stuy, G to Classon Ave., free. Crack for fans of wood physics and acoustic science!

 1/13. 6:30 PM Berlin jazz singer Lucia Cadotsch’s Speak Low trio with tenor saxophonist Otis Sandsjö and double-bassist Peter Eldh, who contrast low-key, purist vocals and rough-edged improvisation in new interpretations of standards at Greenwich House Music School, $20

1/13, 7 PM an eclectic triplebill of often magical Korean sounds; lush, dynamically eclectic Korean folk/art-rock band Coreyah, who mash up lustrous, often plaintive themes with hard-charging hip-hop and dance tunes ,violin looper Joe Kye,  and paradigm-shifting gayageum zither player Park Kyungso with drummer Kim Chaek at the big room at the Rockwood, $20

1/13, 7/10 PM, repeating on 1/14 at noon/5 PM Claron McFadden’s sardonically crowdsourced, Balkan-tinged chamber opera Secrets – like a game of telephone run amok – at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec

 1/13, 7:15 PM dark psychedelic acoustic blues/klezmer/reggae/soca jamband Hazmat Modine at Terra Blues. They’re also here on 1/27

1/13, 7:30 PM best lineup of the year: Christylez Bacon & Nistha Raj’s Indian hip-hop Bhairavi Beatbox, at 8:15 Super Yamba playing their psychedelic Afrobeat jams, at 9 singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian  trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio, at 10 the amazing Thai psychedelic jamband Drunken Foreigner Band, at 11:15 the similarly trippy, more eclectic Combo Chimbita, at midnight awesomely slinky, psychedelic Israeli Ethiopiques groove instrumentalists Anbessa Orchestra and at around 1 Brooklyn’s funnest band, psychedelic organ-driven Middle Eastern-tinged surf rock trio Hearing Things at Drom, $10 

1/13, 8 PM playfully psychedelic, tropically-infused instrumentals influenced by 1960 Italian film music from Tredici Bacci at Elsewhere, $12

1/13, 8 PM the Vigil Antics – who blend ornate NWOBHM metal with uneasy postrock and dreampop – at Gussy’s Bar in Queens. Very original and tuneful. 

 1/13, 8 PM a solo set by haunting jazz pedal steel virtuoso Susan Alcorn followed by guitarist Alan Licht’s live score to Aki Onda’s new experimental film at Issue Project Room, $15/$12 stud/srs

1/13, 8 PM hard-hitting trumpeter Rachel Therrien and her quintet at the Cell Theatre, $15/$10 stud/srs

1/13, 8:30 PM low-register reed connoisseur Josh Sinton leads a super cool, subtle trio with Todd Neufeld on guitar and Giacomo Merega on bass followed by violinist Jason Kao Hwang leading a quintet featuring Steve Swell on trombone at Scholes St. Studios, $20/$15 stud/srs

1/13, 10:30 PM fiery garage/powerpop band the Lord Calverts at Otto’s

1/14, 11 AM kinetic klezmer/cumbia/cinematic jambands Metropolitan Klezmer and Isle of Klezbos  seen for the first time in the same room together! Proof that they are not the same band! at City Winery, $10, no min, kids 10 and under free!

1/14, 4 PM up-and-coming early music ensemble Juilliard415 and charismatic harpsichordist Jonathan Cohen play works by Boccherini, Telemann, Purcell, Corelli and Durante  at Corpus Christi Church, 529 W 121st St, $10 tix avail

1/14, 4 PM Tetsuro Hoshii plays piano improvisations inspired by folk, jazz and American composers at Scholes St. Studios, $10

1/14, 6 PM noir guitar legend Jim Campilongo at 55 Bar

1/14, 7 PM brooding, dynamic Turkish band Yeni Nostalji followed at 9:30ish by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel at Barbes

1/14, 7 PM charming front-porch folk duo Anna & Elizabeth, Ben Hunter & Joe Seamons playing robust oldtimey fiddle and banjo tunes,pensive songwriter  Kristin Andreassen at 8:30 and kinetic, fearlessly populist oldtime Americana songwriter/banjoist Kaia Kater  at 9:15 )at the small room at the Rockwood 

1/14, 6 PM the Desdemona String Trio – Adrianne Munden-Dixon, violin;  Carrie Frey, viola;  Julia Henderson, cello – parse “the dulcet polyphony of Henry Purcell, Sofia Gubaidulina’s mystical characters, and a frolic through Luciano Berio’s youthful Divertimento” at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

1/14, 7:30/9:30 PM intense pianist Gerald Clayton  solo at the Jazz Gallery, $25 ‘

1/14, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 1/15) York Factory Complaint launch into their drony assault at Brooklyn Bazaar, $10, after a bunch of similarly noisy, less interesting bands 

1/15, 2 PM the new theatrical concert Soul to Soul celebrates the civil rights era collaborations between African-American and Jewish freedom fighters, with gospel and Yiddish tunes and a killer ensemble including Dmitri Zisl Slepovitch, Taylor Bergren-Chrisman, and Matt Temkin and singers Lisa and Magda Fishman, Tony Perry and Elmore James (the actor not the late legendary blues guitarist) at the Museum of Jewish Heritage, 36 Battery Place north of Battery Park, $25  

1/15, 7 PM carnivalesque loopmusic maven Sxip Shirey  – a one-man New Orleans funeral parade – leads a 40-person choir performing requiems for David Bowie and Amelia Earhart at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/15, 8/9:30 PM haunting, slinky Turkish band Seyvah with Jenny Luna, voice; Kane Mathis, oud; Marandi Hostetter, violin; Greg Squared, clarinet; Shane Shanahan and Philip Mayer, percussion at Cornelia St. Cafe for $10 + $10 min

1/15, 8 PM the haunting, eclectic, harmonically rich all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache, cumbia jazz accordionist/crooner Gregorio Uribe and band,oldschool Cuban hill-country folk band Los Hacheros  and the Jimi Hendrix of the cuatro, Jorge Glem at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

1/15-16 and 1/18-20, 8 PM the world premiere of Ukrainian composer Roman Grygoriv’s twisted microtonal art-rock opera Iyov (Ukrainian for “job”) at Here, 145 6th Ave (enter on Dominick), $30

1/15, 9 PM haunting, Lynchian, psychedelic organ-driven Puerto Rican bolero revivalists and Sylvia Rexach reinventors Miramar followed by wryly psychedelic cumbia/tropicalia/dub band Locobeach at Barbes

1/15, 8 PM a killer triplebill at the big room at the Rockwood: tropical tripmeisters Combo Chimbita, fearlessly relevant latin rock songwriter and protest song connoisseur Ani Cordero, and slinky maracatu/New Orleans/surf rock mashups from Nation Beat, $10. Next door at the small room fiery jazz violinist/composer Zach Brock plays at 10.

1/16, 7 PM tanbur player Tev Stevig’s haunting Cesni Trio play Turkish sounds followed at 8 PM intense Balkan chanteuse Jenny Luna‘s haunting, traditional Turkish band Dolunay, followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

1/16, 7 PM Russian folk noir chamber ensemble Russian Renaissance play a multimedia show at National Sawdust, $25 adv tix rec

1/16-17, 7 PM Dylan Mattingly’s lavish microtonal four-hour quasi-opera Stranger Love featuring a 30+ member version of Contemporaneous at Roulette, $30

1/16, 8/9:30 PM captivating, darkly tuneful  pianist Shai Maestro leads his trio at Shapeshifter Lab, $12. 1/24 at 8 he’s at Mezzrow in a rare duo set with Chris Potter on tenor sax, $20. Then he’s with the trio again on 1/26 at 8:30 at Cornelia St. Cafe for $20 if you include cover and minimum

 1/16, 7 PM percussionist John Hadfield leads an improvisational quartet with Kenny Werner, piano;  Ari Hoenig, drums;  Or Bareket, bass at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

1/16, 9 PM haunting psychedelic Middle Eastern/southwestern gothic songwriter Sir Richard Bishop at Union Pool, free

1/16, 10:30 PM brilliant drummer/percussionist Willie Martinez & La Familia Sextet play classic salsa grooves at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, $10

1/16, 10:30 PM smart, eclectic songwriter Greta Keating plays her biting, tuneful, lyrical acoustic rock at Pete’s

 1/17, 1 PM lyrical jazz piano titan Bill Mays at St. Peter’s Church, 54th/Lex

1/17-18, 7:30 and 1/19-20 at 8 PM Joshua Weilerstein conducts the New York Philharmonic in a French program spotlighting Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand, with Jean-Yves Thibaudet as soloist; Le Tombeau de Couperin; Valses nobles et sentimentales; Boléro; and Ravel’s orchestration of Debussy’s Sarabande at Avery Fisher Hall, $34 tix avail

1/17, 7:30/9:30 PM pyrotechnic trumpeter Wayne Tucker & the Bad Muthas sextet at the Jazz Gallery, $25

1/17, 8 PM violinist Elmira Darvarova and pianist Vassily Lobanov play works by Brahms, Franck, Clara Schumann at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, 122 W. 69th St. free

 1/17, 9:30 PM the hypnotic, pyrotechnic Orakel duo – Roshni Samlal, tabla;  Kane Mathis, kora and oud – at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

 1/17, 10 PM ominous female-fronted slowcore trio Haybaby followed by noisy art=rock/indie guitar legend Martin Bisi at Alphaville, $10 

1/18, 7 PM spectacular singer Martina DaSilva (of the Ladybugs) and trumpeter Alex Nguyen lead the band and audience through a mix of spirituals and hymn at St. George’s Chapel, 4 Rutherford Place east of 3rd Ave, between 16 & 17 Sts, free

1/18, 7:30 PM powerful jazz belter – and Gil Scott-Heron reinventor –  Charenee Wade at Ginny’s Supper Club, $15

1/18-21, 7:30/9:30 PM Americana jazz violin powerhouse Jenny Scheinman’s Mischief & Mayhem with Nels Cline on guitar at the Jazz Standard, $30

1/18, 7:30 PM the Israeli Chamber Project play Strauss’ Till Eulenspigel, Stravinsky’s Histoire du Soldat and Bartok’s Piano Trio in C at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free

 1/18, 7:30/9:30 PM tenor saxophonist Anna Webber leads her killer septet with Jeremy Viner – tenor saxophone, clarinet; Jacob Garchik – trombone; Chris Hoffman – cello; Matt Mitchell – piano; Chris Tordini – bass; Ches Smith – drums, vibraphone at the Jazz Gallery, $25 

1/18, 7:30 PM classic oldschool Cuban-style charanga José Fajardo Jr. y Sus Estrellas at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/18, 8 PM playfully lyrical, fearlessly political superduo Kill Henry Sugar – guitar/banjo mastermind Erik Della Penna and drummer Dean Sharenow – at Barbes

1/18, 8 PM Certain General guitarslinger/crooner Phil Gammage plays his dark Americana and blues at 11th St. Bar

1/18, 9 PM catchy, restless female-fronted Americana/newgrass anthem band Kaylor Otwell & the Tin Cans at Hill Country 

1/18, 9 PM smart, cleverly lyrical original swing chanteuse/songwriter/trombonist Emily Asher’s Garden Party at Radegast Hall

1/18, 9 PM brilliant, open-tuned original blues, bluegrass and acoustic Americana from Dougmore at Muchmore’s. How much more of this can we take?

 1/18, 9:30 PM intriguingly original, bitingly lyrical, jangly female-fronted acoustic rock trio Yellow Bells at Freddy’s

1/19, 7 PM site-specific spacious sonics: three simultaneous soloists: guitarist David Grubbs, vibraphonist Sarah Hennies and C. Spencer Yeh – violin/vocals spaced apart in separate corners of the main space at Pioneer Works, $15

1/19, 7 PM woodwind quintet SoundMind Ensemble explores the depth of counterpoint in Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet, Op. 26  and Will Healy’s new work, Synapses  at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $15/$10 stud/srs

 1/19, 7 PM crystalline, lyrical postbop trumpeter Tim Hagans leads his quartet at Smalls

1/19, 7 PM Afro-Cuban duo Melvis Santa & Ashedí sing deep oldschool rhumba – just vocals and percussion – at the Mercy Home for Children, 273 Willoughby Ave( Classon/Taafe), Ft. Greene, $25, “light refreshments” included. G train to Clinton-Washington, $25

 1/19-21, 8/10:30 PM catchy, funky hip-hop brass band the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble at the Blue Note, $20 standing room avail

1/19-20, 8:30 PM irrepressible, transgressively funny saxophonist Jon Irabagon leads an organ trio with Gary Versace behind the B3  at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20. The 1/20 show he’s joined by the Mivos  String Quartet and pianist Matt Mitchell playing his brand new suite

1/19, 9:45 PM slashing, female-fronted proto-metal band Nuclear Family Fantasy at the Gutter, $5. 1/25 at 10 they’re at Diviera Drive, 131 Berry St (N 6/7th Sts) also in Williamsburg

 1/19, 10 PM psychedelic salsa bandleader Zemog El Galle Bueno  at Barbes

1/19, 10 PM one of the great saxophonists in the history of ska, Dave Hillyard and his quintet at Sunny’s

1/19, 10 PM wild, noisy, genuinely Hendrixian virtuoso lead guitarist Viva DeConcini and her band at the Way Station.

1/19, 10 PM the Marauders play roots reggae at the small room at the Rockwood 

1/19, 10:30 PM a kick-ass punk twinbill; all-female trio Thundera followed by fearless, hard-hitting oldschool CB’s style band the 86s at Legion Bar, free. The two bands on afterward don’t have very searchable names. 

 1/19, 11 PM the darkly eclectic, enigmatic Lorraine Leckie  – equally adept at Slavic and Americana noir – at Sidewalk

1/20, 2 PM a free bellydance brunch with oudists Avram Pengas and Scott Wilson leading a quartet plus dancers including Salit and others at Basera Indian Bistro, 745 9th Ave (between 50th and 51st) 

1/20, 5 PM atmospheric, cinematic drummer/composer Tim Kuhl – sort of a more straightforwardly trippy version of John Hollenbeck – at Pete’s

1/20, 7 PM charming oldtimey trio the Crimson Ragdolls:  Joanna Sternberg, Ali Dineen & Lucine Yeghiazaryanne at Terra Blues

1/20, 7 PM irrepressible vocal/instrumental chamber ensemble Cantata Profana  explore American Gothic  with Daniel Schlosberg, piano, Jacob Ashworth, violin, and special guest Anna Roberts-Gevalt of Anna & Elizabeth on banjo, guitar, and fiddle at Joe’s Pub, $15

 1/20, 7:30 PM pianist Alessio Bax and a string trio play works by Beethoven, Mozart and Smetana at Irving HS Auditorium, Irving Place betw 17th/18th, $14

1/20, 7:30/9:30 PM unpredictable, entertaining drummer Tom Rainey leads his Obbligato quintet, slicing up jazz standards with Ingrid Laubrock – saxophone and Kris Davis on piano at the Jazz Gallery, $25 

 1/20, 8 PM eclectic, lyrical jazz bassist/composer Pedro Giraudo leads his Tango Quartet followed at 10 by Pangari & the Socialites playing classic ska and rocksteady – most of it from the 60s Skatalites catalog – at Barbes

1/20, 8 PM Ancient Ocean play slide guitar-fueled, enveloping, slowly tectonic ambient instrumentals followed by the hypnotically pounding, similarly psychedelic Myrrors at Berlin

 1/20, 8 PM high-voltage psychedelic cumbia band MAKU Soundsystem – whose latest album takes a detour toward Caribbean and African sounds – at C’Mon Everybody, $12

1/20, 8 PM the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra with Pinchas Zukerman, conductor and soloist play Weber’s Overture to Der Freischütz, Beethoven’s Violin Concerto and Dvořák’s Seventh Symphony at NJPAC in Newark, $24 tix avail

1/20, 8 PM electroacoustic cellist/improviser Audrey Chen – one of the most fearlessly assaultive avant garde performers anywhere – performs a very rare vocal show at Roulette, $15 adv tix rec

1/20, 9 PM the haunting, eclectic, harmonically rich all-female Mariachi Flor de Toloache at BAM Cafe, free

1/20, 9 PM sprawling bluegrass collective the Tomtown Ramblers at Caffe Vivaldi

1/20, 9:30 PM Belgian theatrical art-rockers Dez Mona and Baroque Orchestration X play their new Norse mythology-inspired song cycle at Joe’s Pub, $30

1/20, 9:30 PM the Muslim and a Mexican play haunting, driving 60s and 70s Iranian psychedelia at Freddy’s

1/20, 1 AM (actually wee hours of 1/21) catchy, hard-hitting, horn-driven, ska-tinged latin rock band Maquina Mono at the Bitter End 

 1/21, 4 PM International Contemporary Ensemble  presents new works by Okkyung Lee, Nicole Mitchell, and Lu Wang at National Sawdust, $tba

1/21, 6 PM Queens College’s Gamelan Yowana Sari play new indie classical chamber works for gamelan by David Rozenblatt, Zach Seely, Dan Cooper, Daniel Schnyder, and Monroe Golden at the Goddard Riverside Center, 647 Columbus Ave, (91/92) free

1/21, 4 PM the Orchestra Now play Enescu’s Romanian Rhapsody No. 1; Sibelius’ The Swan of Tuonela; Rimsky-Korskov’s Capriccio espagnol and Einojuhani Rautavaara’s  Symphony No. 8, The Journey at Symphony Space, free

 1/21, 4 PM the Imani Winds – who style themselves more like a wild brass band than a sedate wind ensemble – play a program TBA at the Dreck Center at the Brooklyn Public Library, free, no under-sixes.

1/21, 7 PM accordion genius Shoko Nagai ’s Tokala at Barbes “Tokala is the name of a mysterious country in Central Asia which had a connection to Japan via the silk road which was responsible for bringing Middle Eastern culture to ancient Japan.  The band explores the sound of this ancient connection where cultural exchange left an imprint which became integral part of Japanese culture.” With Zisl Slepovitch (clarinet); Kenny Warren (trumpet) and Stomu Takeishi (bass). Followed at 9:30  by Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel 

1/21-22, 7:30/9:30 PM drummer Johnathan Blake records a live album with Chris Potter on tenor and Linda Oh on bass at the Jazz Gallery, $25 ‘

1/21, 9ish 70s dark folk legend Kath Bloom – who has a haunting new album out  – at Troost

1/21 9 PM bassist Eivind Opsvik’s Overseas with Brandon Seabrook – guitar; Tony Malaby – tenor saxophone; Kenny Wollesen – drums;  Jacob Sacks – piano at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music, $15/$10 stud/srs

1/21, 10:30 PM noir-inspired alto saxophonist/composer Nick Hempton leads leads a quartet at Smalls 

1/22, 8 PM rousing sea chantey band the Mercantillers at Silvana, They might actually be able to get the fratboys here to shut up and listen. 

 1/22, 8 PM dark, sardonic, brilliantly tuneful jazz pianist Danny Fox and his Trio a at Mezzrow, $20

1/22, 9:30 PM Jina Brass Band play live bhangra at Barbes

1/22, 7:30 PM cellist Benjamin Larsen leads a cello quartet playing a program tba at the Cathedral of the Holy Virgin Protection, 59 E 2nd St

1/22, 9 PM improvisational cinematic duo the Flushing Remonstrance – Catherine Cramer (percussion) and Robert Kennedy (keyboards, electronics, voice)  at Pine Box Rock Shop

1/23, 7 PM smart, darkly pensive third-stream jazz pianist Noa Fort plays the album release show for her new one at the big room at the Rockwood

1/23, 7 PM violonist and singer Eleonore Biezunski’s new klezmer band Lyubtshe followed by clever, fiery, eclectic ten-piece Balkan/hip-hop/funk brass maniacs Slavic Soul Party at Barbes

1/23, 7 PM hauntingly psychedelic folk noir songwriter Jaye Bartell at Holo, $5

 1/23, 7:30 PM a festival of new chamber works by Chinese composers Shang Peilei, Hi Xuntian, Zhao Xi, Li Shaosheng, Wang Delong and others at Paul Hall at Juilliard, free. The festival continues through 1/25 here and then at Alice Tully Hall on 1/26, same time

1/23, 8 PM Romany jazz/psychedelic rock guitar mastermind Stephane Wrembel  plays the album release show for his latest one The Django Experiment Vol. 2 at Joe’s Pub, $25

 1/23-28, 8:30/10 PM reliably spellbinding multi-saxophonist Steve Wilson leads a colorful quartet with Uri Caine (piano) Ugonna Okegwo (bass) Bill Stewart (drums) at the Vanguard

1/23-28, 8:30 PM perennially tuneful, lyrical piano improviser/composer Kris Davis  leads a variety of ensembles at the Stone. Choice pick: 1/25-27 with Jen Shyu (voice) Ikue Mori (electronics) Trevor Dunn (bass) Mat Maneri (viola) Ches Smith (drums)

1/23, 9 PM the Dead Sea Sisters – Hilary Hawke, Andrea Asprelli and – join their voices for stark oldtime country blues and folk harmonies at the small room at the Rockwood 

 1/23, 9 PM cinematic Quincy Jones-style B3 gutbucket organ jazz with Underground System’s Colin Brown and his band at Freddy’s

1/24, 7:30/9:30 PM haunting pan-Asian avant-jazz songstress/composer Jen Shyu plays her solo theatrical Nine Doors suite at the Jazz Gallery, $25 ‘

1/24, 7 PM sitarist Amit Chatterjee jams out evening ragas at the Rubin Museum of Art, $25 adv tix rec

 1/24-25. 7 PM purist lyrical postbop saxophonist Seamus Blake leads his quartet at Smalls

1/24, 9 PM intense frontwoman Hannah Fairchild’s searingly lyrical punk/art-rock/noir cabaret trio Hannah vs. the Many – NYC’s most dangerously underrated band – at LIC Bar

1/24, 8 PM the Night Kitchen play “Hank Williams, old timey and country with three distinctly amazing performers  Gene Yelin – guitar & vocals Trip Henderson – harmonica; Joanna Sternberg – bass and vocals” at Barbes

1/24, midnight, enigmatically intense, sometimes assaultive jazz/postrock group Desert Foxx at Branded Saloon

1/25, 6 PM the Zentripetal duo – cellist Jennifer DeVore and violinist Lynn Bechtold – play contemporary works by NYC composers Matthew Browne, Dan Cooper, Sara Holtzschue, Earl Maneein & Ann Warren, as well as tangos by Carlos Gardel & Astor Piazzolla and Romany tunes by Erwin Schulhoff & Django Reinhardt at Cornelia St. Cafe, $10 + $10 min

1/25, 7 PM two choirs sing music rarely heard on a twinbill anywhere in the world: Georgian a-capella group Sepruli followed by Sardinians Tenores De Aterue at Spectrum, $15

 1/25, 7:30/9:30 PM darkly lyrical latin jazz pianist Emilio Solla Y La Inestable de Brooklyn at Minton’s, $10

1/25, 7:30/9:30 PM a rare performance of brass works by Villa-Lobos and Ginastera by the MSM Brass at Greenfield Hall, Manhattan School of Music, free

1/25, 7:30 PM the Rolston String Quartet play works by Mozart and microtonalist R. Murray Schafer at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

1/25, 7:30 PM acoustic songstress Leyla McCalla – who shifts between oldschool country blues, New Orleans and her Haitian roots – at Caveat, 21A Clinton St., $25

1/25, 8 PM brilliant steel guitarist Mike Neer’s Steelonious – who do Monk covers in the same vein as Buddy Emmons –  followed at 10 by trombonist Vera Kemper’s Blu Cha Cha salsa jazz band at Barbes 

1/25, 8 PM cellist Maya Beiser and actress Kate Valk play the album release show for their new one The Day: Music of David Lang at Paula Cooper Gallery, 534 W. 21st St, $15

1/25, 8 PM the SEM Ensemble play legendary black avant garde composer Julius Eastman’s Feminine + Joy Boy at the Kitchen, $25

1/25, 8:30 PM quirkily charismatic, powerful-voiced, kinetic avant-pop siren Grace McLean at the third stage at the Rockwood, $15

1/25, 10  PM psychedelic acoustic jamband Spirit Family Reunion at Sunny’s

1/26, 7 PM the Ayibobo Trio feat Paul Beauborn, Morgan Zwerlein and Chico Boyer play Hatian vodou songs at the Mercy Home for Children, 273 Willoughby Ave (Classon/Taafe), Ft. Greene, $25, “light refreshments” included. G train to Clinton-Washington, $25

1/26, 7:30 PM Sardinian choir Tenores De Aterue and  fearlessly haunting, dynamic, charismatic Romany/Balkan chanteuse Eva Salina with pyrotechnic accordionist Peter Stan  at the Owl

1/26, 7:30 PM Glass Farm Ensemble with Yvonne Troxler on toy piano play the US premiere of Ian Wilson’s Spillaert’s Beach for viola and piano, and Denis Schuler’s Myn for toy piano, flute, oboe and viola at Symphony Space, $25

 1/26, 7:30 PM the MSM Jazz Philharmonic with Jon Faddis on trumpet play a Clifford Brown tribute at Aaron Davis Hall, Convent Ave btw 133/135, 1 to 137th Stl, free, rsvp reqd 

 1/26, 8 PM searing, explosive, mesmerizing Korean postrock/noise/jazz jamband Black String – who employ ancient instruments like geomungo and daegeum – at Flushing Town Hall, $16/$10 srs, kids 13-19 free w/school ID

1/26, 8 PM harpist Àiné O’Dwyer and violinist Mohammed Issa AKA Matona jam out haunting Zanzibar taraab themes at the San Damiano Mission, $20

1/26, 8 PM, repeating 1/27 at 7:30 PM the reliably entertaining, adventurous Chelsea Symphony  the Chelsea Symphony play Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5 and an Eric Lemmon world premiere. The 1/26 program also has Deborah  Nixon as soloist in Saint-Saens’ Violin Concerto No. 5;  on 1/27, it’s replaced by Michael Colina’s Isle of Shoals.

 1/26, 8 PM funny, gritty punkmetal band the ToxiTeens at the Delancey, $10 

1/26-27, 8;30 PM legendary Japanese film composer Ryuichi Sakamoto plays a weekend stand at the New School’s Glass Box Performance Space, 55 W 13th St, $20. Friday night he’s at the piano with guest Camille Norment (glass harmonica), then saturday he’s with guest Ami Yamasaki on vocals.

 1/26, 9ish organist Sarah Davachi presents work for reed organ, violin, viola da gamba, and electronics utilizing open tunings and harmonics at Issue Project Room, $15/$12 stud/srs

1/26, 9:30 PMlustrously dark jazz pianist Guy Mintus leads his trio at Caffe Vivaldi

1/27, 7 PM violinist Megumi Saruhashi leads a brilliant Middle Eastern jazz band with Brian Prunka – oud; Alon Nechustan – piano; Dan Kurfirst – percussion at CRS NY, 123 4th Ave (12/13), $25

1/27, 8 PM Arcana Music Ensemble play one of Julius Eastman’s earliest works, Thruway (for soprano, flute, clarinet, trombone, violin, cello, large choir, and jazz trio); performances by Moor Mother and the late cult figure composer’s brother Gerry open the night, at the Kitchen, $25

1/27, 8 PM Jim Boggia plays Springsteen tunes solo on the ukulele at Arlene’s, $10

 1/27, 10:30  PM Secret Cities’ Marie Parker’s trippy electronically-tinged keyboard-based art-rock band Moon Revenge at Pine Box Rock Shop 

1/27, 11 PM Crampsy ghoul-surf/noir garage band Twin Guns at Berlin, $5

1/28, 8ish Altes EI (improvisational viola icon Jessica Pavone and violinist Erica Dicker) followed by playful loopmusic/ambient/cinematic ensemble Sontag Shogun at Holo, $8

 1/28, 8 PM Argentine pianist Emilio Teubal with his trio playing the album release show for their new one at Drom, $15 adv tix rec

 1/28, 8 PM a piano quartet TBA play Julius Eastman’s Crazy Nigger, Evil Nigger, and Gay Guerrilla  at the Knockdown Center, $25

1/28, 8 PM snarling, careening psychedelic Americana band the Black Lillies at City Winery, $15 standing room avail

 1/28-29 Cheetah Chrome and what’s left of the Dead Boys at Bowery Electric are sold out

1/29, 7:30/9:30 PM expansively picturesque pianist Amina Figarova and her Sextet play the album release show for their new one at Dizzy’s Club, $30

1/29, 8:30 PM whirlwind drummer Allison Miller’s catchy, entertaining Boom Tic Boom at Bar  Lunatico

1/29, 9:30 PM singer Carolina Oliveros’ mighty 13-piece Afro-Colombian  trance/dance choir Bulla en el Barrio at Barbes

1/29, 10 PM high-voltage delta blues/Romany swing guitarist Felix Slim at LIC Bar

1/30-2/4, savagely eclectic guitarist Mary Halvorson leads a series of groups at the Stone, $20. Choice pick: 1/31 in a duo with fellow adventurous six-stringer Liberty Ellman

1/30, 7 PM Anna & Elizabeth play their alternately charming and disarmingly dark Appalachian sounds at the third stage at the Rockwood, $15

1/30, 9 PM wow – what a killer duo. Dangerous blues guitarist Will Scott – who can play just about any style from all over the country – with brilliant jazz violinist Charlie Burnham at Sunny’s

1/31, 10:30  PM sweeping, swinging vibraphonist Behn Gillece leads his quartet at Smalls

2/1. 7 PM intense, fearlessly relevant Middle Eastern clarinetist Kinan Azmeh  leads his haunting Middle Eastern piano trio at National Sawdust, $30 adv tix rec. Followed by ($25 separate adm) by the album release by similarly intense, more  lavish Middle Eastern/Balkan band the Epichorus

2/1, 7:30 PM oldschool-style Liverpool-based soul dude Jalen N’Gonda at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/1, 8 PM kinetic, hard-hitting Raphael Cendo chamber works performed by Vasko Dukovski on contrabass clarinet (!?!?!), percussion and piano quartet Yarn/Wire  and indie classical ensemble Either/Or at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail

2/1, 10:30 PM daunting postbop technique and dynamic tunesmithing from saxophonist Carl Bartlett Jr,  leading his quartet at Smalls

2/2, 7 PM spine-tingling art-rock/avant-garde/chamber pop songwriter Carol Lipnik – pretty much everybody’s choice for best singer in all of NYC – celebrates three consecutive years of her ongoing Pangea residency with special guest singer and LES noir cabaret legend Little Annie Bandez

2/2, 7:30 PM the Queens Symphony Orchestra play Villa-Lobos: Bachianas Brasileiras No. 9; Tchaikovsky: Variations on a Rococo Theme, and “music by the Beatles in the Baroque styles of Handel, Bach, Vivaldi, and more,” at Flushing Town Hall, free, get there early

2/2, 7:30 PM edgy, eclectic pan-Mediterranean art-rock/latin/chanson ensemble Banda Magda at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse, free, B/D to 167th St.

2/2, 8 PM the debut of Nadja Verena Marcin‘s Ophelia, “an architectural live performance and video sculpture focusing on the human destruction of the biosphere” at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, free

2/2, 8 PM pianist Karl Larson plays dystopic piano music by Scott Wollschleger at Spectrum, $15

2/2, 8 PM the ambient duo of Stephen Vitiello/Taylor Deupree, pianist Gust Burns and the Rhythm Method String Quartet at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, $15 

2/3, 2 PM charming front-porch folk duo Anna & Elizabeth celebrate the Celtic holiday Imbolc at the Irish Arts Center,553 W 51st, $10

2/3, 7:30 PM indie classical chamber ensemble Hotel Elefant play music by Kaija Saariaho (Nocturne, Oi kuu) with the New York City premières of new works by Hotel Elefant composers Hannis Brown, Patrick Castillo, Jascha Narveson, Leaha Maria Villarreal, and Kirsten Volness at St. Batholomew’s Church, $25/$15 stud

2/3, 8 PM the hilarious Gerry Segal – who wrote the classic I Love Facebook – and veteran comedic cabaret chanteuse Lois Morton at the People’s Voice Cafe, sugg don, $20; $12 for subscribers; “More if you choose; less if you can’t; no one turned away”

2/3, 8 PM Ekmeles and Tilt Brass play Julius Eastman’s Eastman’s work for 10 cellos The Holy Presence of Joan D’Arc and its introspective companion vocal piece Prelude to the Holy Presence of Joan d’Arc at the Kitchen, $25

2/3. 8 PM this era’s most cutting-edge, politically relevant large jazz ensemble, Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society play their Ellington-inspired suite Tensile Curves in its entirety at the Miller Theatre, $20 tix avail

2/4, 2 PM the annual Super Bolus of improvised music with an allstar lineup: Anaïs Maviel, Andrew Livingston (Piad Guyvessant, thingNY), Angela Morris (Rallidae), Brian McCorkle (Panoply Performance Lab), Carl Testa, Dave Kadden (Invisible Circle), Dave Ruder (thingNY), ellen o, Hans Tammen, and John King at the Glove, 885 Lexington Ave, btwn Patchen Ave & Broadway, J to Kosciuszko $tba

2/4, 8 PM electronic composer Phill Niblock, keyboardist Tim Shaw, and multimedia artist Katherine Liberovskaya at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, $15

2/5, 8 PM conscious Ghanian hip-hop artist Poetic X and pianist Yvette Janine Jackson‘s Destination Freedom at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, $15

2/7, 7:30 PM witty Microscopic Septet pianist Joel Forrester followed by darkly hypnotic postrock/art-rock supergroup Heroes of Toolik with Moppa Elliott on bass, omfg at Spectrum, $15

2/6, 7:30 PM the world premiere of Robert Sirota’s Wave Upon Wave performed by the Telegraph Quartet along with Kirchner’s String Quartet No. 1 and Schoenberg’s String Quartet No. 1 in D Minor at Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, $20/$10 stud/srs

2/7,  8 PM Kara Rooney But for What’s My Axis? Part 2. Desire, Brian Chase‘s Drums and Drones and Ursula Scherrer at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, $15

2/8-9, 7 PM spectacular, fearlessly relevant singer and Bombay Rickey frontwoman Kamala Sankaram’s multimedia work in progress Looking At You, examining the sinister growth of the surveillance state at Bric Arts, $8 adv tix highly rec

2/8, 7:30 PM multi-stylistic global avant-soul chanteuse Imani Uzuri at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/8, 8 PM mesmerizing sound sculptor/singer Lesley Flanigan, composer/performers Jacob Kirkegaard, Tristan Perich and Katinka Fogh Vindelev at Fridman Gallery, 287 Spring St, $15

2/8, 8 PM awesome psychedelic Afrobeat band Golden Dawn Arkestra at Elsewhere, $12

2/8, 8 PM hard-hitting, brass-fueled newschool latin soul/boogaloo dance band Spanglish Fly play the album release show for their new one followed by 60s boogaloo legend Joe Bataan at Highline Ballroom, $20

2/9, 7:30 PM powerful Malian songstress Awa Sangho and the Brooklyn Raga Massive take classical Indian themes to wild new places at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/9, 7:30 PM all-female chamber choir Lorelei Ensemble sing works by Guillaume Du Fay, David Lang, Scott Ordway, Peter Gilbert, Joshua Bornfield, Shawn Kirchner, Joshua Shank, Adam Jacob Simon and Moira Smiley at Church of St. Luke in the Fields, 487 Hudson St., $25

2/10, 8 PM acerbic, spot-on, fearlessly funny political folksinger Rod MacDonald at the People’s Voice Cafe, sugg don, $20; $12 for subscribers; “More if you choose; less if you can’t; no one turned away”

2/11, 3 PM the NY Choral Society perform Sir Charles Stanford’s Songs of the Fleet, Op. 117, featuring baritone Jarrett Ott, Mendelssohn’s Hebrides Overture, and the East Coast premiere of Frank Ticheli’s Symphony No. 3, The Shore at Stern Auditorium at Carnegie Hall, $30 seats avail

2/13, 7:30 PM legendary downtown performance artist Penny Arcade’s scathingly anti-gentrification memoir/call to arms Longing Lasts Longer at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/15, 7:30 PM Tito Puente Jr. and many alums from his dad’s band at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/16, 8 PM sleek new wave revivalists Wye Oak, Metropolis Ensemble and the Brooklyn Youth Chorus premiere William Brittelle’s Spiritual America at Symphony Space, $25

2/16, 9ish excellent female-fronted metal-tinged 80s style powerpop band Bat Fangs at Union Pool 

2/18, 3 PM organist Renee Anne Louprette plays works by Bach, De Grigny, Boulanger and Maurice Duruflé  from her new album at St. Ignatius Church, 980 Park Ave at 84th, $25, reception to follow

2/19, 7 PM first-rate purist honkytonk crooner/bandleader Clifford Westfall at the small room at the Rockwood

2/20, 7 PM classical guitarist Dan Lippel performs works by Ingram Marshall, Fausto Romitelli, Reiko Fueting, Ursula Mamlok, Martin Bresnick, Chris Rogerson and a world premiere by Ryan Harper at the Poisson Rouge, $15 adv tix rec, show up early for free kettle corn!

2/20-21, 8 PM Joe Diebes’ new chamber opera Oyster – inspired by Alan Lomax’s “cantometrics “system of analyzing and categorizing songs from around the world – featuring John Rose, Christina Campanella, Michael Chinworth, and Saori Tsukada at Roulette, $20 adv rix rec

2/22, 7:30 PM the Harlem Quartet perform Piston: Quartet No. 3; Debussy: Quartet in G minor; Guido López Gavilán: Guaguanco at the Lincoln Center Atrium, free, early arrival advised

2/22, 7:30 PM fiery, ambitious pan-slavic violinist/composer Iva Bittova at the Jewish Museum, $18 incl museum adm

2/23, 8 PM overtone-spiced works by Tashi Wada performed by cellist Charles Curtis, bassoonist Dafne Vicente-Sandoval and keyboardist Julia Holter at the San Damiano Mission, $20

2/23, 10 PM this era’s most chillingly cinematic, shadowy reverbtoned noir guitar instrumentalists, Big Lazy at Barbes

2/25, 3 PM the North/South Chamber Orchestra performs new works by Josh Henderson and Ching-chu Hu. Soprano Elizabeth Farnum joins the ensemble for a repeat performance of David Maves’ setting of John Donne’s The Captive at Christ & St. Stephen’s Church, 122 W. 69th St. free

3/5, 7:30 PM the Manhattan Chamber Players with guest cellist Marcy Rosen perform Schubert’s Quartettsatz plus string quartets by Mozart and Brahms at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 3 W. 65th St., $20, students/kids free

3/17, 8 PM haunting, dynamic oudist Simon Shaheen’s Qantara with special guest group the Qantara Berklee Ensemble play iconic themes from Arabic cinema across the decades at Roulette, $30

4/27, 8 PM a rare NYC appearance by Afghani rubab lute virtuoso Homayoun Sakhi at Roulette, $30

4/28, 8 PM epic sitarist Ustad Shahid Parvez at Roulette, $30

4/29, 7 PM Hossein Omoumi, virtuoso of the Persian ney flute, makes a rare NY appearance joined by evocative vocalist Jessika Kenney, Amir Koushkani on setar and tar lutes, and Hamin Honari  on tombak and percussion at Roulette, $30

The 20 Best Jazz Albums of 2017

The single most riveting jazz album, and arguably the most important album of the year in any style of music was Fukushima, by the Satoko Fujii Orchestra New York. A narrative of personal terror rather than a depiction of the horrific events of March 11, 2011, its tension is relentless. Fujii, who conducts the orchestra, alternates several harrowing themes within ominous cloudbanks of improvisation, poignantly lyrical solos and segments which shift from stately and elegaic to withering, chattering satire. That’s the bandleader’s response to the greed-fueled attempts to cover up the disaster. As Fukushima reactor number three continues to leak its deadly contents into the Pacific, it’s a shock that more artists haven’t addressed the ongoing environmental crisis. As Fujii succinctly said after leading the group in the world premiere of the suite in 2016, it’s not over.

Whittling this list down to another nineteen albums out of the hundreds of releases that deserve to be credited here was almost painful. It makes no sense to try to rank them: if an album’s good enough to make this list, you ought to hear it.

Ran Blake & Dominique Eade – Town & Country
Protest jazz, icy Messiaenic miniatures, reinvented standards and luminous nocturnes from the noir piano icon and his brilliant longtime singer collaborator. Listen at Spotify 

Amir ElSaffar’s Rivers of Sound – Not Two
The paradigm-shifting trumpeter/santoorist/singer’s latest large-ensemble recording, blending elements of Middle Eastern, Indian music and jazz is an album for our time: turbulent, restless and packed with poignant solos from a global lineup. Listen at New Amsterdam Records 

Anouar Brahem – Blue Maqams
The oudist teams up with bassist Dave Holland, drummer Jack DeJohnette and pianist Django Bates for some of the year’s most haunting themes, drawing evenly from the Middle East, the tropics and the west. Listen at Spotify 

JD Allen – Radio Flyer
This era’s preeminent tenor saxophonist/composer expands on his usual terse, three-to-four-minute “jukebox jazz,” biting irony and ironic humor by bringing guitarist Liberty Ellman in to join the longtime ace rhythm section of bassist Gregg August and drummer Rudy Royston. Listen to a little bit at Soundcloud 

The Mary Halvorson Octet – Away with You
The world’s foremost under-forty jazz guitarist has never written more plaintively, or more amusingly. Even more caustic sarcasm than Allen, not quite as many jokes as Mostly Other People Do the Killing (see below). Haunting pedal steel ace Susan Alcorn is the not-so-secret weapon here. Listen at Bandcamp 

Vijay Iyer – Far From Over
Like Allen, Iyer beefs up his sound, in this case bolstering his trio with bassist Stephan Crump and drummer Tyshawn Sorey by adding cornetist Graham Haynes, Steve Lehman on alto sax and Mark Shim on tenor. Fearlessly political, constantly uneasy, bustling with urban noir tableaux, a requiem and smoking bhangra jazz. Listen at Spotify 

Greg Lewis – The Breathe Suite
The organist best known for reinventing Monk tunes dedicates each track on this often shattering, sometimes acidic collection to black men murdered by police. Angst, horror and slashing solos from guitarists Marc Ribot or Ron Jackson take centerstage as the bandleader builds relentless ambience. There’s never been an organ jazz record anything like this. Listen at Spotify 

Doug Wieselman‘s Trio S – Somewhere Glimmer
The multi-reedman (who also plays banjo here, more than competently) joins forces with drummer Kenny Wollesen and cellist Jane Scarpantoni for broodingly cinematic themes on a smaller scale than his legendary, carnivalesque Kamikaze Ground Crew have typically tackled. Listen at Bandcamp 

Guy Mintus – A Home In Between
With his long-running trio, bassist Tamir Shmerling and drummer Philippe Lemm, the pensive, incisive Israeli-born pianist cascades through dark cinematic tableaux with moody Middle Eastern and angst-fueled neoromantic interludes. This is one restless album. Listen at Spotify 

Shahin Novrasli – Emanation
Eerily rustling, acerbically modal postbop and more Middle Eastern-flavored themes from the Azeri pianist (an Ahmad Jamal protege) with bassist James Cammack and drummer André Ceccarelli plus Georgian percussionist Irakli Koiava. Violinst Didier Lockwood proves perfect for this uneasy project. Listen at Spotify 

The Jihye Lee Orchestra – April Wind
The singer/composer makes some serious waves with her first big band recording, a lustrously blustery, suspensefully cinematic, dynamic suite inspired by a ferry disaster off the Korean coast. Listen at her music page 

Bill Frisell and Thomas Morgan – Small Town
The iconically  lyrical guitarist and his sympatico bassist bandmate intimately reinvent bluegrass, Lee Konitz, Paul Motian and some Frisell standbys in a return to the format he first recorded with thirty-five years ago. Listen at Spotify 

Tomas Fujiwara – Triple Double
Two horns (Taylor Ho Bynum on cornet and Ralph Alessi on trumpet), two guitars (Mary Halvorson and Brandon Seabrook) and two drummers, Gerald Cleaver holding down the second chair through variations, and frequent sparring, over one bitingly catchy theme after another. Drummers always lead the best bands, don’t they? Listen at Bandcamp  

Josh Green & the Cyborg Orchestra  – Telepathy & Bop
Composer/conductor Green ambitiously makes his debut with an irrepressibly theatrical, sometimes vaudevillian, lavishly cinematic big band album that rivals Esquivel for outside-the-box creativity and bizarro orchestration. One of the funnest and most irreverent albums of the year. Listen at Spotify 

Sam Bardfeld – The Great Enthusiasms
In this fearlessly political collection, the violinist takes each of the song titles from speeches by Richard Nixon. Pianist Kris Davis and drummer Michael Sarin join in the rich irony, bristling with energy. If Thelonious Monk had been a violinist, he would have made this record. Listen at Bandcamp 

Chuck Owen & the Jazz Surge – Whispers on the Wind
The follow-up to the composer/conductor’s titanically gripping, picturesque River Runs suite isn’t quite as intense, but it’s just as dark, inspired by Larry McMurtry, Stephen King and Cormac McCarthy. Unorthodox instrumentation to rival Darcy James Argue; twisted cowboy themes; southwestern gothic; brassy solar flares and the most counterintuitive, smart jazz guitar solo of the year: that’s LaRue Nickelson on acoustic. Listen at Spotify 

Fabian Almazan – Alcanza
The Cuban-born pianist has done some memorable work with strings and orchestration; here, the Shostakovich-inspired bandleader fully realizes that epic vision, with Camila Meza centerstage on vocals and guitar. Plaintive ballads, vertigo-inducing overlays, glistening melodicism that’s equal parts latin and classical, and a grandeur unmatched by any other album this year. Listen at Spotify 

Rudresh Mahanthappa & the Indo-Pak Coalition – Agrima
The alto saxophonist’s wind-tunnel control and technique are as breathtaking as always. The themes are more distinctly Indian, and darker, and more ambitious. Guitarist Rez Abbasi takes his tunefulness to new levels. And let’s not stop with the music: let’s say the hell with imperialist historical smog and unite India with Pakistan. Listen a little at Soundcloud

Jen Shyu – Song of Silver Geese
The esteemed singer and multi-instrumentalist peppers this surreal, envelopingly lush nocturnal suite with moon lute and piano, mingling with strings and vibraphonist Chris Dingman’s Jade Tongue ensemble. Singing in Timorese, Korean, Chinese and other languages, she gives voice to individuals real and mythical impacted by or lost to tragedy.  Listen at Pi Recordings

Mostly Other People Do the Killing  – Loafer’s Hollow
Packed with both inside jokes and irresistibly cartoonish humor, the world’s funniest jazz group give the gasface to Count Basie and his innumerable imitators in 30s style swing. They can spot a cliche a mile away and never miss their target. Satire doesn’t any broader, more spot-on or more hilarious than this. Listen at Spotify 

No Wasted Notes From Guitarist Amanda Monaco and Her Killer Organ Jazz Quartet

Beyond the obvious Jim Hall/Jimmy Smith collaborations, there haven’t been a lot of jazz guitarists leading organ bands. Guitarist Amanda Monaco is a welcome exception – it’s a role she excels at, although hers is hardly your typical B3 group. She’s leading a trio with Justin Carrol on organ and Jeff Davis on drums on Dec 20 at 8 PM at Cornelia St. Cafe; cover is $10 plus the usual $10 minimum. As a bonus, edgy, lyrical tenor saxophonist Roxy Coss leads her quintet afterward at 9:30.

Monaco pulled together a killer, refreshingly unorthodox lineup for her latest album, Glitter, streaming at Posi-Tone Records. Gary Versace plays organ, joined by Matt Wilson on drums and Lauren Sevian on baritone sax. Diehard organ types might feel that Versace is underutilized here, but ultimately this is all about the frontline: the way Monaco fills the role of a horn in tandem with the baritone is as interesting as it is innovative.

Monaco’s effervescent wit is in full effect right from the first droll around-the-horn echo effects of the album’s opening track, Dry Clean Only. Nicking the changes of Sonny Rollins’ The Bridge, the group motors along throught tight, purposeful growl from Sevian, similarly spaced clusters from Versace and some delicious off-beat cymbal work from Wilson.

Monaco learned Tommy Flanagan’s jaunty “let’s go” theme Freight Trane from the Kenny Burrell & John Coltrane album; the way the group hangs back, refusing to hit a straight-up shuffle in the beginning is tantalizingly fun. Gremlin From the Kremlin – a shout-out to Monaco’s husband written before the disastrous events of November 8, 2016 – comes across as a gruffly edgy, bitingly chromatic strut, part klezmer and part noir bolero: Versace manages to find his creepiest tremolo setting before Monaco sets a vector for an uneasy stroll.

Monaco and Sevian go way back together, so Girly Day takes its inspiration from their years of brunching and comparing notes on the trials of being female musicians in a male-dominated genre. It’s catchy but unsettled, with some neatly diverging harmonies and a priceless what-now solo from Wilson.

Inspired by Holly Golightly’s method for pulling herself out of the doldrums in Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The Mean Reds is a gutbucket strut, part Chuck Berry, part Jimmy McGriff go-go and part T-Bone Walker. Step Counter has a slightly staggered clave beat, low-key Giant Steps changes and similarly amiable guitar-sax conversations. Fred Lacey’s Theme For Ernie, popularized by Trane, serves as a moody launching pad for poignant solos by Sevian and Monaco.

Meant to evoke what must have been a hell of a hangover, Mimosa Blues is the album’s darkest number, Versace climbing around tirelessly through his most menacing, Messiaenic voicings, Monaco echoing that surrealism. The album winds up with the title track, a catchy, anthemic look back at Monaco and Sevian’s days in the early zeros getting ready for big-band gigs  If Dave Brubeck had been an organist, he might have written something like it. Throughout these tracks, it’s refreshing to the extreme to hear a guitarist so purposeful and individualistic, who never feels the need to fall back on tired postbop comping mechanisms.

A Rare Christmas Album That’s Not Cloying and Annoying

Christmas music rots your brain. It’s true! Scientific studies have confirmed what most of us have known all along. No wonder, considering how repetitive, unsophisticated and utterly lacking in dynamics most Christmas songs are.

Into this musical wasteland swings Champian Fulton, one of the great wits in jazz, with her irresistible and stunningly dynamic new album Christmas With Champian, streaming at Spotify. There hasn’t been a Christmas record this fun or this subtly irreverent since dub reggae band Super Hi-Fi’s two woozy instrumental albums of “holiday favorites.”

Fulton is the best singing pianist in jazz. There isn’t another instrumentalist out there with her mic skills, nor a singer with her fearsome chops at the keys. More than anything else, this is a great jazz record in a Santa hat. Fulton never ceases to find both poignancy and exuberant fun in the least expected places. For the latter, check out how she Sarah Vaughans White Christmas, the album’s opening track. Better watch out if you don’t want that snow, because Fulton sounds like she might smack you upside the head! It’s a good guess that Irving Berlin, who cut his teeth in ragtime, would approve of this jaunty, bluesy arrangement.

Fulton’s take of Pretty Paper, recast as a brisk jazz waltz, has to be the saddest version of the song ever recorded. That vendor girl, out there in the cold with all that merch she has to unload before the 25th of the month or she loses all her money! Likewise, the solo piano-and-vocal version of I’ll Be Home for Christmas is balmy and plaintive: when Fulton hits the end of the chorus, “if only in my dreams” packs a wallop.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland gets reinvented as wry viper swing, with some coyly emphatic trumpet from her dad, Stephen Fulton, who also lights up a carefully articulated version of Gracias a Dios. She sings that one in Spanish, hardly a stretch considering her Mexican heritage – and the point where she follows her dad’s solo with a deadpan jinglebell solo of her own is subtly priceless. Drummer Fukushi Tainaka’s elegant brushwork and David Williams’ terse bass add subtle bolero hints.

The Christmas Song – better known as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire – is one of only a couple of tracks here with a genuine jazz pedigree, but Fulton goes for devious, tongue-in-cheek humor rather than trying to follow in Nat Cole’s footsteps.  She reinvents Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas as midtempo swing, with hints of Dinah Washington and an unexpectedly dark intro that edges toward barrelhouse.

Daughter and father team up to remake Christmas Time Is Here as a bittersweet, lustrous, languidly tropical instrumental ballad. Likewise, she transforms A Child Is Born into a bluesy waltz, with a melismatic, insistent bass solo. Her piano solo in a wee-hours take of The Christmas Waltz goes in the opposite direction, with enough droll ornamentation for a fifty-foot tree.

Her version of Sleigh Ride pairs a boisterous trumpet solo with an unexpectedly seductive vocal and teasingly allusive piano, an approach she revisits in Let It Snow. The Dinah-inspired piano-and-vocal final number, Merry Merry Christmas, is the only Fulton original here, but could easily date from sixty years ago – and might make it to your local supermarket someday.

Uri Gurvich Brings His Fiery Latin and Middle Eastern-Influenced Jazz to a Cozy Saturday Night Spot

Kinship, the latest release by saxophonist Uri Gurvich and his quartet, is a rarity in jazz these days: a concept album. The central theme is connections: familial, ancestral, cultural and musical. Gurvich also deals with issues of non-belonging, including racism and discrimination. Musically, it’s extremely ambitious, with influences spanning from Argentine and Israeli folk, the Middle East and the Balkans. This album – streaming at Soundcloud – doesn’t have the white-knuckle intensity of Gurvich’s landmark 2013 Middle Eastern jazz collection, BabEL, but its scope is even more global. Gurvich is playing a rare trio date comprising three quarters of the quartet, with bassist Peter Slavov and drummer Francisco Mela, at the Bar Next Door on Dec 16, with sets at 7:30 and 9:30 PM. Cover is $12.

Pianist Leo Genovese’s glittering chords and Mela’s majestic cymbals anchor Gurvich’s tenderly gliding and swirling lines in the rhythmically shifting ballad Song for Kate, a dedication to his wife. Slavov’s leaping bass kicks off Dance of the Ñañigos, which shifts between an uneasy, altered boogie and more jaunty latin Caribbean tinges, inspired by a 19th century Afro-Cuban secret society.

Guest singer Bernardo Palumbo opens El Chubut with a harrowing poem written in the 1970s by a captive at that notorious Argentine torture site, then gives it a similarly plaintive edge over a moody waltz that elegantly shifts meters. The Argentine-Israeli Gurvich’s balmy lines seem to offer hope over Genovese’s gritty gleam.

Twelve Tribes is a gorgeously cantering mashup of moody Israeli riffage and stark blues over a circling, qawalli-ish groove, Mela shifting the ambience toward Cuba as he throws off sparks during a tantalizingly brief solo midway through. Im Tirtzi, a slinky cover of a 1970s Sasha Argov Israeli pop ballad, gets a gracefully shuflfing bolero rhythm and a low-key staccato solo from Slavov.

Gurvich makes a soaring soprano sax-infused jazz waltz out of the old spiritual Go Down Moses, whose “let my people go” message has significance far beyond its African-American and Jewish roots. Genovese’s energetically sun-dappled lines duet with Gurvich’s calm, summery sax throughout the album’s title track

Gurvich and Genovese spin off allusively Middle Eastern lines over Mela’s lithely churning rhythm in Blue Nomad. Hermetos – a Hermeto Pascual homage – is another dizzying cross-genre blend, Genovese spiraling and rippling from the Amazon across the Caribbean and back, then trading off with the bandleader. Ha’im Ha’im closes the album, rising from Slavov’s murkily insistent bass intro to a steady midtempo swing, Gurvich alluding to Coltrane, mining for inner blues in another 1970s Argov pop ballad.

James Ilgenfritz’s Richly Textural Album Pushes the Limits of What Solo Bass Can Do

James Ilgenfritz’s second solo album, Origami Universe – streaming at Bandcamp – transcends the concept of solo bass, both in terms of performance and composition. He’s a ferocious improviser with daunting extended technique. Yet the album comprises four new compositions by major New York composers who date from an era when the downtown scene meant black-box former shooting gallery spaces instead of tourist bars.

The espionage-inspired Annie Gosfield’s mini-suite Rolling Sevens and Dreaming Elevens opens the album, juxtaposing stygian bowing, elephantine snorts, oud-like reverberations, allusively jaunty, overtone-spiced harmonic riffs, gently bowed cello motives, swoops and dives galore. It’s catchy despite itself.

Miya Misaoka, classical Japanese koto virtuoso who’s taking the instrument to new places, contributes Four Moons Of Pluto. also a multi-part piece. Dark lows give way to uneasily hovering, insectile close harmonies and then slowly shifting, oscillating ocean liner diesel chords.Then Ilgenfritz ends it with a stately series of climbing variations.

He approaches the epic Xigliox, by master of the macabre JG Thirlwell, with a similarly ominous, matter-of-fact pacing. With its slowly crescendoing horror-film stroll and brooding bowed themes as it winds out, it’s both the most predictable and funniest piece here. When Ilgenfritz finally hits his first foreshadowing tritone early on, the effect packs a quiet wallop.

Guitar shredmeister Elliott Sharp’s Aletheia serves as a richly obsidian-toned coda that gets more mysterious as it goes along. Harmonics glisten and flicker against a cumulo-nimbus drone that fades to almost white noise and eventually a series of droll percussive oscillations. Thirlwell isn’t the only guy here with a sense of humor. In this piece and elsewhere, it’s amazing what a spectacular variety of timbres and textures Ilgenfritz creates without the use of any effects other than what appears to be a healthy amount of natural reverb.

Ilgenfritz gets around. He’s playing as part of guitarist Eyal Maoz’s fearsome Hypercolor trio with percussionist Lukas Ligeti at Spectrum on Dec 14 at 8. The Admiral Launch Duo – Jennifer Ellis on harp and Jonathan Hulting-Cohen on sax – headline at 9. Cover is $15.