Jazz Listings from the New York Times

In the

VIJAY IYER TRIO (Friday through Sunday) “Historicity” (ACT), likely to rank among this year’s most inventively purposeful jazz releases, finds the pianist and composer Vijay Iyer investigating the very premise of a repertory album, with restive versions of songs by (among others) M.I.A. and Andrew Hill. He celebrates the album’s release here, with the same bassist, Stephan Crump, and a worthy substitute drummer, Justin Brown. At 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., with an 11:30 set on Friday and Saturday, Jazz Standard, 116 East 27th Street, Manhattan , (212) 576-2232,; $30; $25 on Sunday. (Chinen)20091105

NUBLU JAZZ FESTIVAL (Friday through Thursday) For the last seven years the East Village club Nublu has promulgated a downtown mix of jazz, club music and international groove. For much of this month a similar sound prevails at its first annual jazz festival, with artists like the Inbetweens, led by the bassist Noah Jarrett (Saturday); the Seamus Blake Trio, led by its namesake saxophonist (Sunday); the drummer Ben Perowsky and his Moodswing Orchestra (Monday); and the trumpeters Eddie Henderson and Kirk Knuffke (both Thursday). At 9 and 10:30 p.m. and midnight, Nublu, 62 Avenue C, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, East Village ,; cover, $10. (Chinen)20091105

JESSICA PAVONE/CURHA-CHESTRA/SCOPA TRIO (Thursday) Ms. Pavone, playing violin as well as viola, presents “wordless songs inspired by life’s cast of characters,” a project with the guitarist Brandon Seabrook, the bassist Jonti Siman and the drummer Harris Eisenstadt. Also on the bill are the Curha-chestra, a boisterous ensemble led by the trombonist Curtis Hasselbring; and Scopa Trio, an improvising group led by the trombonist Brian Drye. At 8:30 p.m., Zebulon, 258 Wythe Avenue, near Metropolitan Avenue, Williamsburg, Brooklyn , (718) 218-6934,; free. (Chinen)

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Performances Reviews

Steve Lehman: Finding an Asymmetrical Pulse at Le Poisson Rouge


One misperception about jazz, insidious enough to be shared by many of its proponents, is that the music adheres to a rigid code. But like any language, jazz accommodates mutation; it’s subject to the whims of usage. That doesn’t mean the music must respond to every new signal, but it does mean there’s still a place for substantive innovation.

Steve Lehman, a studiously intense alto saxophonist and composer, brought these issues to the fore at Le Poisson Rouge on Monday night. He was leading his octet, the same group featured on a staunchly contemporary new album, “Travail, Transformation and Flow” (Pi). As on the album, his compositions proposed a whorl of luminous dissonance and off-kilter propulsion, suggesting trace fragments of electronic dance music. They also recalled the more adventurous strains of 1960s postbop, in spirit if not in style.

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