BIG HEART MACHINE at the Jazz Gallery (Aug. 16, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Led by the versatile reedist Brian Krock and conducted by Miho Hazama, this 18-piece ensemble works by stealth and swarm and accrual. The suspenseful, layered music can sound like migration in motion or a wisp of twisting smoke. And if you’re looking for musical-historical references, there are plenty — from progressive metal to Carnatic music to late-20th-century Western classical. At this show, Big Heart Machine celebrates the release of a self-titled debut album, which was produced by the esteemed big-band leader Darcy James Argue.
URI CAINE, MARK HELIAS AND CLARENCE PENN at Mezzrow (Aug. 15, 8 and 9:30 p.m.). Here’s the upside of the August slump: Some artists who might otherwise be busily touring abroad or gigging as side musicians have a bit of time to kill at home in New York. This week you can chase your late-summer luck down to Mezzrow, a tight Greenwich Village basement, where the pianist Mr. Caine, the bassist Mr. Helias and the drummer Mr. Penn will be playing together. They recorded a strong album in 2016, “Calibrated Thickness,” but don’t reunite often enough. All three are improvisers with a stony command and a silvery spill of constant new ideas; they’re well suited to one another but never seem to get too comfortable.
KIRK KNUFFKE TRIO AND MICHAEL FORMANEK QUARTET at Nublu 151 (Aug. 15, 9 p.m.). The chipper and discursive playing of Mr. Knuffke, a cornetist, has never sounded more alive than it did on “Cherryco,” a record out last year celebrating Don Cherry’s legacy. Another recent highlight was “Lamplighter,” from 2015, featuring a different small group. He’ll appear here with a version of that band: Stomu Takeishi on bass and Bill Goodwin on drums. Also on the bill is the expert avant-garde bassist Michael Formanek, leading a quartet.
GODSPEED YOU! BLACK EMPEROR at the Prospect Park Bandshell (Aug. 10, 7:30 p.m.). In the beginning, this Montreal noise collective started small — with the nucleus of Efrim Menuck, Mike Moya and Mauro Pezzente — then within a short time tripled in size to add layers of rhythm, guitar and strings. (In 2010, returning from a seven-year hiatus, they even added a projectionist and video artist, Karl Lemieux, to their ranks.) Much of the music they have created over the past 20-plus years mirrors their origin story: A song will start with a single element — be it a smattering of background noise, a lone note or a snippet of rhythm — emerging slowly from silence, tickling your interest. As this element strengthens, it is bolstered by continually erupting peels of melody, harmony and percussion, building upon one another until the entirety is a dazzling behemoth that inundates you with its mellifluence or cacophony or both. Listen carefully to last year’s “Luciferian Towers” and a wordless message comes through — one of fear and longing and hope and glory. The Tunisian vocalist Emel Mathlouthi, who was absolutely mesmerizing at last year’s Basilica SoundScape, opens this free BRIC Celebrate Brooklyn! show.