Greenwich House Music School: 46 Barrow Street, just west of 7th Avenue South in New York City’s West Village; http://www.greenwichhouse.org, 212-242-4770. Series producer: Bradley Bambarger
Saturday, March 4, 7:30 p.m. – Two sets of classical meets jazz!
Michael Bates’ Shostakovich Project
Michael Bates, double-bass/arrangements; Russ Johnson, trumpet; Greg Tardy, saxophone/clarinet; Russ Lossing, piano/Fender Rhodes; Michael Sarin, drums
Bassist Michael Bates’ Sunnyside album Acrobat: Music for, and by, Shostakovich was one of the highlights of 2011, presenting his ingenious reimagining of the great Russian composer’s music for jazz band. For his Sound It Out debut as a leader, Bates brings a great band to play pieces from that album – and arrangements for a second Shostakovich volume – at Greenwich House in two full sets. JazzTimes, reviewing Acrobat, praised Bates and company for “bringing these provocative pieces to life with their telepathic dynamic and sparkling improvisations.”
Tickets: $15 ($12 for students and seniors)
Thursday, March 16, 7:30 p.m. – Double-bill of duos!
Sylvie Courvoisier + Mary Halvorson & Mark Feldman
Sylvie Courvoisier, piano; Mary Halvorson, guitar; Mark Feldman, violin
Pianist Sylvie Courvoisier returns to Sound It Out with a double-bill of duos, featuring kindred-spirit violinist Mark Feldman and the fantastic guitarist Mary Halvorson. About her long-running duo with her violinist husband, Chamber Music America said: “Courvoisier and Feldman create personalized musical abstractions that – like a Giacometti sculpture or a Pollack painting – transport the listener to a space where the rules may not be apparent but the emotional response sure is.” The Feldman-Courvoisier duo will perform the world premiere of Sylvie’s Chamber Music America New Jazz Work commission, Time Gone Out. As for the duo of Sylvie and Mary Halvorson, they have their first duo album, Crop Circles, out via Relative Pitch. The Wall Street Journal has described the ever-exploratory yet ever-popular Halvorson as “one of the most exciting and original guitarists in jazz – or otherwise.”
Tickets: $20 ($18 for students and seniors)
Saturday, March 25, 7:30 p.m. – All-star double-bill!
Wadada Leo Smith & Angelica Sanchez + Angelica Sanchez Trio w/ Michael Formanek & Tyshawn Sorey
Wadada Leo Smith, trumpet; Angelica Sanchez, piano
Angelica Sanchez, piano; Michael Formanek, double-bass; Tyshawn Sorey, drums
The duo of iconic trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith and pianist Angelica Sanchez returns to Greenwich House to play the first half of this mighty double-bill revolving around Angelica, long a Sound It Out favorite. Dusted magazine, reviewing the duo’s 2014 album Twine Forest, said: “Wadada Leo Smith and the superb pianist Angelica Sanchez produce a recital whose main ingredients are touch, feel, resonance and a real emphasis on the presence of a note, a chord. Smith’s trumpet playing is widely celebrated for possessing these virtues, but Sanchez convinces throughout with her musicality, restraint and creativity.” This show’s second half will feature the pianist’s new trio with the great bassist Michael Formanek and ever in-demand drummer Tyshawn Sorey, with the group celebrating the release of their new Clean Feed album, Float the Edge.
Tickets: $25 ($20 for students and seniors)
Friday, March 31, 7:30 p.m. – Cross-generational double-bill!
Ralph Alessi solo + Alex Koo, Mark Turner & Ralph Alessi
Ralph Alessi, trumpet
Alex Koo Derudder, piano; Mark Turner, tenor saxophone; Ralph Alessi, trumpet
For this double-bill, virtuoso trumpeter Ralph Alessi opens with a rare solo set. Then up-and-coming pianist Alex Koo Derudder, a native of Belgium, teams with Alessi and the ever-absorbing saxophonist Mark Turner for a cross-generational chamber-jazz trio. Alex has studied with some of the best – Brad Mehldau, Kenny Werner, Barry Harris – and came to the U.S. from Amsterdam on a Fulbright Scholarship. Mark and Ralph, both ECM recording artists, are two of today’s most influential players. About Ralph, DownBeat said: “Alessi works between the notes, his thoughtful, conversational solos as meditative as a calligrapher’s art, each line free-flowing and declarative but with immaculate shape and beauty.” And about Turner, NPR said: “He has an innovative sonic signature – a certain floating chromaticism, rhythmic mindfulness and lightness of tone, filled with subtleties. Basically, his music has personality, which keeps the best musicians ringing his phone, and the aspiring ones listening hard.”
Tickets: $18 ($15 for students and seniors)