AMN Reviews

AMN Reviews: Gianni Lenoci – A Few Steps Beyond-The Very Last Concert, Live at Talos Festival 2019 [Amirani AMRN065]

The subtitle of pianist Gianni Lenoci’s A Few Steps Beyond is The Very Last Concert, which it sadly turned out to have been. Lenoci’s performance took place at the Pinocateca d’Arte Moderna in Ruvo di Puglia on 4 September 2019; on 30 September he died at age 56. Lenoci was called “L’anima jazz della Puglia” but he was also an inspired interpreter of the experimental and open-form compositions of postwar avant-garde art music as shown by, for example, the recordings he made of the music of Morton Feldman, Earle Brown, and Sylvano Bussotti. Both sides of his musical personality—the jazz side and the avant-garde “classical” side—are apparent in the six performances on A Few Steps Beyond, which as luck would have it were captured by the small recorder Lenoci happened to place under the piano.

Lenoci’s inventiveness and capacity to recast preexisting structures as open forms are on full display in his performance of, of all things, the old standard All the Things You Are. It’s no easy thing to make of this overly familiar tune an exciting and unpredictable piece of music, but this he does. Lenoci starts with highly elastic and oblique allusions to the song’s harmonic cycles, which he proceeds to drive into increasingly convoluted and inward-turning musical territory. Just when the tension of anticipation—underscored by the urgent rhythm Lenoci maintains throughout—becomes nearly unbearable, a straight reading of the song breaks through, recognition of which registers as a shock after all that came before. Lenoci’s interpretation of Carla Bley’s Ida Lupino is less radical but still demonstrates his ability to transform standing structures in original ways. Working largely through variations on the basic melody, he moves in and out of form by subjecting that main theme to a kind of Cubist presentation from all perspectives, while maintaining it as the piece’s (deliberately flexible) backbone.

A Few Steps Beyond also contains Lenoci’s interpretations of Ornette Coleman’s Lorraine and Latin Genetics, as well as Paul Bley’s Blues Waltz and–in a bit of unintended irony–Gordon Jenkins’ Goodbye. On these performances no less than on the others, Lenoci’s inspired pianism offers a view into a unique musical sensibility that was all-too-soon gone. We are fortunate to have this final concert as a part of his recorded legacy.

Daniel Barbiero


Coming up at Ars Nova Workshop

From Philly’s Ars Nova Workshop:

Circulasione Totale Orchestra
Sat, 01/30/2010 – 8:00pm
International House Philadelphia

Trevor Dunn’s PROOFReaders perform the music of Ornette Coleman
Fri, 02/12/2010 – 8:00pm
Philadelphia Art Alliance

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Taylor Ho Bynum in January

From SpiderMonkey Stories, THB provides his schedule of upcoming shows:

Thursday, January 7, noon – 3pm: Out to Lunch, WKCR 89.9FM
I’ll be sitting in the studio at NYC’s most venerable of jazz stations, mostly discussing matters of brass importance in preparation for the upcoming Festival of New Trumpet Music.

Friday, January 8, 7:30pm: Jason Kao Hwang’s Edge
St. Peter’s Church, 619 Lexington Ave (at E. 54th St), NYC
JKH – violin; THB – cornet; Ken Filiano – bass; Andrew Drury – drums
part of Reggie Workman’s Sculptured Sounds Festival

Saturday, January 9, 8:30pm: The Thirteenth Assembly
Cornelia St Cafe, 29 Cornelia Street, NYC
THB – cornet; Tomas Fujiwara – drums; Mary Halvorson – guitar; Jessica Pavone – viola
part of the Company of Heaven Jazz Fest

January 13 through 16: The Festival of New Trumpet Music
Abrons Art Center, 466 Grand Street, NYC
This should be an amazing event, and I’ve spilled much blood, sweat, and tears working on this over the past several months. (Not just an idle cliche, as one of the gigs will feature Lew Soloff.) Click here for the full details, which include a celebration of the great Wilmer Wise and concerts by Anti-Social Music, Charles Wuorinen, Chicago Underground Duo, The Low Anthem, Meridian Arts Ensemble, and many many more. Each night is only $15, a festival pass is only $40, an absolute steal. But here are the shows where I’ll be actually putting horn to lips:

Thursday, January 14, 9:00pm: The Chamber Music of Ornette Coleman
Wilmer Wise & Lew Soloff – trumpets; THB – cornet; Meg Okura & Scott Tixier – violins; Judith Insell – viola; Will Martina – cello; Warren Smith – percussion; Gerald Cleaver – drums; Darcy James Argue, Joseph C. Phillips, Jr. & JC Sanford – arrangers
I’ll be conducting Ornette Coleman’s “The Sacred Mind of Johnny Dolphin” for trumpet, string quartet, and percussion, featuring trumpeting legends Wilmer Wise and Lew Soloff. Then we’ll be premiering new arrangements of Coleman works by members of the Pulse Composer Federation for the same instrumentation. It should be a fantastic evening of music.

Saturday, January 16, 9:00pm: Open Circuit International Trumpet Ensemble
THB, Jean-Luc Cappozzo, Franz Hautzinger, Joe McPhee, Itaru Oki & Herb Robertson – trumpets & cornets; William Parker – bass; John Betsch – drums
Thanks to the generous support of the CMA/FACE French-American Jazz Exchange, we’ll be reuniting an international trumpet summit first convened in France by Jean-Luc Cappozzo in the spring of 2008. A really incredible cast of performers from France, Austria, Japan, and the US, something not to be missed!

Sunday, January 17, 7:00pm: FONT in Philly
International House, 3701 Chestnut St, Philadelphia
Co-sponsored by Ars Nova Workshop, FONT makes its first showing outside of NYC, with a triple bill featuring the Chicago Underground Duo, the Meridian Arts Ensemble, and the Open Circuit Internation Trumpet Ensemble. More brassy joy than even the city of brotherly love can handle.

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February at the Stone

February highlights fro, New York’s The Stone:

February 2010 at the Stone
curated by Toby Driver

BUTCH MORRIS: The Principles of Conduction®
7PM to 10PM—TWENTY DOLLARS: Open to all
For the 25th Anniversary of Conduction, Butch Morris presents a special lecture/ demonstration, a concert featuring a string octet and a Q&A on the methods and principles of Conduction.


2/4 Thursday (NY)
8 pm
Bill Brovold (guitar) plus guests
Bill reunites with the original lineup of Larval

10 pm
Chuck Stern (vocals)
Stern is Chuck Stern, formerly of New York art/prog abstractionists Time of Orchids. The music is dense and cinematic, occupying its own late-night vacuum – a haze of brooding, Shostakovian synth and angular guitar work, laced with trumpet, industrial noise and Chuck’s unique, haunting vocals.

2/5 Friday (AV)
8 pm
Baby Dee
Baby Dee (piano, vocals) Matthew Robinson (cello)
Baby Dee will sing about slugs and play classical music for cowboys with cowboy hat-hair.

10 pm
Sword of Exactly
Evelyn Davis (piano, vocals) Joe Kiplinger (guitar), Joey Molinaro (violin), Rob Funkhouser (percussion, mixing bowls), plus guests
New music composer Evelyn Davis conflates influences of art rock, metal, prog, and opera to create extremely subtle, thoughtful, microtonally oriented works which are viscerally emotionally expressive. Her recent work includes a song cycle, “From the Bath”, for countertenor, alto, viola, and alto flute, which is based on her own text, and which expresses issues such as loss, bisexuality, masturbation, and abortion through the mouthpiece of effeminate masculinity.

2/6 Saturday (JM)
8 pm
Kayo Dot plays Choirs of the Eye
Toby Driver (guitar, vocals) Mia Matsumiya (violin, keyboards) Terran Olson (keyboards, woodwinds) Daniel Means (guitar, woodwinds, bass) David Bodie (percussion) and special guest Greg Massi (guitar)
Kayo Dot plays the entirety of their 2003 Tzadik debut, with special guest former KD guitarist Greg Massi joining for this performance only!

10 pm
Kayo Dot plays Coyote
Toby Driver (bass, vocals) Mia Matsumiya (violin, guitar) Terran Olson (keyboards, tenor sax) Daniel Means (alto sax) David Bodie (percussion) and special guest Tim Byrnes (trumpet)
Kayo Dot plays the entirety of their forthcoming Hydra Head release.

2/7 Sunday (JB)
8 pm
Tartar Lamb II
Toby Driver (bass guitar and vocals), Mia Matsumiya (violin and electric violin), Jeremiah Cymerman (clarinet), Dan Means (alto sax) plus guests
Modern-classical electroacoustic doom lattices and wall-melting balladry. Questionable tonality. Gradual development, immediate descent into hell.

10 pm
Bauder/Cymerman/Evans/Wooley AMPLIFIED QUARTET
Matt Bauder (amplified sax) Jeremiah Cymerman (amplified clarinet) Peter Evans (amplified trumpet) Nate Wooley (amplified trumpet)

ELLIOTT SHARP—Music in the Post-Digital Era
7PM to 9PM—TWENTY DOLLARS: Open to all
Composer Elliott Sharp discusses and presents scores and audio examples of his work, past and current, in the context of biological and mathematical models of musical organization, an evaluation of computers and new media in performance, algorithmic composition vs improvisation, and the question of smell. Compositions to be discussed include the orchestral works “Larynx”, “Calling” and “On Corlear’s Hook”; selected string quartets including “Dispersion of Seeds”, “Tessalation Row”, and “Seize Seas Seeth Seen”; “SyndaKit”, “Polymerae” and other algorithmic works; electroacoustic works such as “Cryptid Fragments”; solo approaches including Tectonics and Velocity of Hue; and the music-theater works “innosense”, “EmPyre” and “Binibon”.


2/9 Tuesday (NY)
8 pm
Jason Byron
Jason Byron (voice)
Modern mystic and former lyricist of Kayo Dot and maudlin of the Well gives a presentation. A once in a lifetime experience not to be missed!

10 pm
Matty McDermott (guitar, organ, voice, percussion) Eri Shoji (voice, percussion), Nickle Emmet (bass, percussion)

2/11 Thursday (AV)
8 pm
Maureen McElheron
Maureen McElheron (piano, vocals) plus guests
Maureen McElheron composes and sings the music for the super-bizarre animated films of Bill Plympton, whose cartoons have been featured on MTV, BRAVO and Cartoon Network.

10 pm
Jessica Pavone – Songs of Synastry and Solitude
Toomai String Quintet – John Popham (cello), Andrew Roitstein (bass), Emilie-Anne Gendron (violin), Erin Wight (viola)
Songs of Synastry and Solitude is a collection of songs for string quartet influenced by an interest in the simple beauty of folk songs, the ghosts of all things lost and Leonard Cohen‘s encouragement to live outside this world.

2/12 Friday
8 pm
Lavigna (voice, guitar) Alain “Astucieux Coquin” Halimi (saxophone, flute) Olivier Pelletier (clarinet) Antoni Cionci (balafon, guitar) Damien Girot (drums)
Lavigna is an intense free punk grind French band coming to The Stone all the way from Mediterranée. Absolutely mindblowing.

10 pm
Alan Dubin (voice) Carter Thornton (guitar, bass) Brian Beatrice (guitar, bass) Jun Mizumachi (laptop/fx/noise) Eric Neuser (drums)
Gnaw viciously assaults listeners with their unique brew of ultra-depressive, scathing, slug-paced extreme metal.

2/13 Saturday
8 pm
Steeve Hurdle and Craig Taborn
Steeve Hurdle (guitar) Craig Taborn (piano)
Hailing from Montreal, Steeve Hurdle is best known for his ingenious guitar playing on the greatest creative extreme metal album of all time, Obscura by Gorguts. Steeve currently plays in NEGATIVA.

10 pm
Steeve Hurdle solo
Steeve Hurdle (guitar)

2/14 Sunday (AV)
8 pm
John Zorn (sax) Toby Driver (bass) Steeve Hurdle (guitar) and many special guests

7PM to 9PM—TWENTY DOLLARS: Open to all.
Tortured Genius and downtown legend Anthony Coleman, who now teaches at New England Conservatory speaks about the nexus of composition and improvisation in contemporary music.

2/18 Thursday (NY)
8 pm
Dilly Dilly
Erin Davidson (multi-instruments and voice)
dilly dilly is Erin Olivia Davidson, a multi-instrumentalist from Portland, Maine, who performs arrangements for ukulele, banjo, guitar, sequencer, vocals, and musical saw. After years playing with Cerberus Shoal and a small stint in Sage Francis’s backing band, she’ll play solo tonight, with a selection of songs that are part-folk, part-electronic, and entirely other.

10 pm
Yellow Crystal Star
Mark Billings (electric guitar)
Austin-based, infinite drone activation of expanding dimensional perception. Progressive guitar trance, collaged tape prism of portals in/out/in neverending. A seemingly chaotic interpolation of chants, sources, samples, melodies, and lyrics, pieced together as a more complex vibrational language filtering down through the transforming dream

Greg Cohen—Musicianship
Renown Bassist with Bob Dylan, Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits, Woody Allen, John Zorn, Lou Reed, Maryanne Faithful, Lee Konitz and coutless others speaks about the art of playing bass, musicianship, and the role of the bass in music today.

2/23 Tuesday (NY)
8 pm
Matthew Welch’s Blarvuster
Matthew Welch (bagpipes, sax, voice) Leah Paul (flutes, sax) Max Mandel (viola) Mary Halvorson (el. guitar) Ian Riggs (el. bass) Tomas Fujiwara (drums)

10 pm
Kota Saito (vocal, guitar, mandolin) Tetsuyoshi Kojima (guitar, percussion) Ryosuke Tashiro (drums)
Golden is a must-see. Kota screams like a newly born wild horse and croons like an old man talking to the distant boat fading into the spring haze. The noise from Kojima’s guitar, so sensitive and disturbing, breaks your old dream-box into pieces and from behind, Ryosuke’s strict as well as emotional drums blow them up into the high air. This band from the Far East island will attack you like Tsunami and leave you in the shining debris of pure gold.

2/27 Saturday (DS)
8 pm
Andrea Centazzo & John Zorn
Andrea Centazzo (percussion) John Zorn (sax) and special guests
Here on a rare visit from Italy, Centazzo reunites with Zorn after over thirty years! TWENTY DOLLARS

10 pm
Matthew Bourne
Matthew Bourne (piano)
The virtuosic pianist from England. “…characterized by highly personal levels of emotional and physical intensity. Adjectives such as offensive, moving, banal, provocative and breathtaking are among those most commonly used.”

2/28 Sunday (AV)
8 pm
Anne Rhodes (voice), Nathan Bontrager (cello), Adam Matlock (accordion, recorders)
from New Haven.

10 pm
Have a Nice Life
Dan Barrett (vocals, guitar, sampler), Tim Macuga (bass), M. Kestigian (guitar), Will Barrett (synthesizer)
Heavy, droning, and melodic combination of shoegaze, industrial, and new wave, in the vein of Sisters of Mercy, My Bloody Valentine, and Swans.

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New on Clean Feed

Ornette Coleman live at Saalfelden 2009
Image via Wikipedia

From Clean Feed:

Tony Malaby‘s Apparitions
6 new compositions by Malaby, 3 group improvisations and a never recorded composition by Ornette Coleman

The Godforgottens
Never Forgotten Always Remembered

Nicolas Masson Parallels
Thirty Six Ghosts

Michael Attias
Renku in Coimbra

Empty Cage quartet

Will Holshouser Trio
Palace Ghosts and Drunken Hymns

Jason Stein’s Locksmith Isidore
Three Less Than Between

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Performances Releases Reviews

DMG Newsletter October 23rd, 2009

From DMG:

John Zorn‘s Femina! Fujii & Kihlstedt! Jessica Pavone! Lester Bowie: The Entire 1967 ‘Numbers’ sessions! David Simons! Bob Downes/Barry Guy Open Music! Amiri Baraka & Rob Brown DVD! Chad Taylor! Mike Reed! Leo Smith’s Spirit Catcher!

Matthew Welch! Radu Malfatti/Klaus Filip! Anders Nilsson! Keith Lowe/Toshimaru Nakamura! Phill NIblock! OOIOO! European Jazz Ensemble! Espers! Christopher Hobbs! Kai Fagaschinski/Burhard Stangl! Brian Groder & Burton Greene! Dom Minasi String Qt!

Historic Recordings from Disconforme: Lots of Ornette Coleman! Sonny Rollins & Don Cherry! John Lewis! Bob Brookmeyer! ..Mosaic 3CD Sets from John Handy & Denny Zeitlin!..and Rare DIW Out-Of-Print CDs!

..and much more!


Downtown Music Gallery FREE In-Store Performance Schedule Continues with:

Friday, November 6th at 7pm –
Toronto Jazz Guitar Great meets Downtown’s Best Bassist!

Sunday, November 15th at 6pm:
Downtown Drum Wiz Engages Lithuanian Saxist!

Sunday, November 22nd at 6pm:
ANDERS NILSSON – Guitar Wiz Will Blow Your Mind!

Sunday, November 29th at 6pm: NONOKO YOSHIDA & DAVE SCANLON! Wonderful New Sax & Guitar Duo!

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Led Bib Nominated For Mercury Prize

From Jazzwise:

Ornette Coleman influenced post-punk jazz group Led Bib led by US-born drummer Mark Holub have been nominated for the Mercury Prize just announced today for their Cuneiform records album Sensible Shoes. The Bib comprises Holub with a front line saxophone attack of Pete Grogan and Chris Williams, keys player Toby McLaren and bassist Liran Donin. The band performed recently at Meltdown curated by Ornette Coleman himself. Mark Holub told Jazzwise that he felt “elation and surprise” at the news. “We were so excited to get it. It means so much in terms of exposure and getting the music across. I studied populism and the avant garde at Leeds, John Zorn and all that, and we’re staying true to the vision and reaching people. It’s not a really-out record but it’s not a pop record, is it? Getting the call for Meltdown was pretty much as good as it gets. Ornette is a very early hero and I went to hear him on the Sunday as well. Oh wow, we were part of that.”

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Acoustic Ladyland: Living With a Tiger

The latest from Acoustic Ladyland garners a review.

A claim to be London’s preeminent jazz/punk band may be met with derision in some quarters – until, that is, you hear the work of Acoustic Ladyland. Their brand of taught, energetic jazz has taken the city by storm – recognised by such luminaries as Ornette Coleman who asked them to play at the recent Meltdown Festival on the South Bank.

Now on their fourth album – following debut Camouflage in 2004 and subsequent Last Chance Disco and Skinny Grin – the group appears poised on the verge of wider exposure – bringing to the mainstream a secret the insular jazz world has long cherished.

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Cecil Taylor at University of Vermont

From University of Vermont:

Visionary avant garde pianist Cecil Taylor, one of the most innovative figures in the free jazz movement, will spend four days in residency at UVM April 14-17, rehearsing student musicians, performing with them, and delivering a talk about his life and music. Taylor will also perform at the Flynn Theater on Friday night. Tickets for members of the UVM community are half price.

An enduring and uncompromising figure of the jazz avant-garde, pianist/composer Taylor is widely acknowledged as one of the three pioneering titans of free jazz, with John Coltrane and Ornette Coleman. He is one of the few musicians in any genre to explore the full tonal range of the keyboard, and his ferocious playing and rhythmic acuity are trailblazing. Using piano as percussion, his sheer physicality often finds him addressing the keyboard with open palms, elbows, and forearms, yet he is just as likely to investigate the instrument’s many subtle shadings.

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Jazz Listings From The New York Times

From the Times:

A BODY WITHOUT ORGANS (Sunday) This metaphysically named series, held every other Sunday in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, reflects the rugged ideals of its organizer, the drummer Mike Pride. In the later sets here, at 10 and 11 p.m., he leads a quartet called From Bacteria to Boys; an earlier set, at 9, features a trio led by the guitarist Jonathan Goldberger, with Briggan Krauss on saxophones and Andrew Drury on drums. CoCo 66, 66 Greenpoint Avenue, (718) 389-7392,; cover, $6. (Chinen)20090402

TREVOR DUNN’S PROOF READERS (Thursday) Trevor Dunn, a bassist with one foot planted in experimental rock, takes a repertory approach with Proof Readers, his quartet with the trumpeter Nate Wooley, the saxophonist Darius Jones and the drummer Ryan Sawyer. The band takes a look at music by the free-jazz pioneer Ornette Coleman — with the closest of scrutiny, of course. At 8 p.m., Barbès, 376 Ninth Street, at Sixth Avenue, Park Slope, Brooklyn, (718) 965-9177,; cover, $10. 20090402

? JUXTAPOSITIONS IN JAZZ (Saturday) This promising double bill, presented in the name of juxtaposition, finds the flutist Jamie Baum leading her septet in a performance of “Ives’ Suite,” which she wrote under the influence of Charles Ives. The other half of the ticket features the Polish trumpeter Tomasz Stanko, working with a dynamic American rhythm section: Craig Taborn on keyboards, Thomas Morgan on bass and Jim Black on drums. At 8 p.m., Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street, Manhattan, (212) 501-3340,; $30. (Chinen)20090402

DONNY MCCASLIN GROUP (Thursday) On his recent albums Donny McCaslin has applied his assertive tenor saxophone style to Latin American-inspired fusions. He does that here with expert help: the guitarist Ben Monder, the bassist Hans Glawischnig and the drummer Adam Cruz. At 10 p.m., 55 Bar, 55 Christopher Street, West Village, (212) 929-9883,; cover, $10. (Chinen)20090402

JOE MORRIS ENSEMBLE (Friday) Joe Morris, a guitarist who applies the clear tone of Jim Hall to darker and pricklier purposes, has close history with both of his band mates here: the pianist Steve Lantner and the drummer Luther Gray. At 8 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $10. (Chinen)20090402

EIVIND OPSVIK OVERSEAS (Monday) Eivind Opsvik is a bassist with an experimental streak but also a deep connection to melody, as he demonstrates with this working band, which includes Tony Malaby on tenor saxophone, Jacob Sacks on keyboards and Kenny Wollesen on drums. (The group will perform at Nublu every Monday in April.) From 9 to 11 p.m., Nublu, 62 Avenue C, between Fourth and Fifth Streets, East Village,; free before 10 p.m.; $5 after. (Chinen)20090402

? RHYTHM IN THE KITCHEN MUSIC FESTIVAL (Friday and Saturday) The fourth annual edition of this avant-garde festival, presented by the Hell’s Kitchen Cultural Center, rolls along on Friday with sets by ok|ok, an improvising collective (at 8 p.m.); a quartet led by the pianist Connie Crothers (at 9); Duology, featuring Michael Marcus on reeds and Ted Daniel on trumpet (at 10); and Morcilla, led by the trumpeter Matt Lavelle (at 11). Among the highlights on Saturday’s lineup are the William Hooker Trio, with DJ Olive (at 10), and a trio with the pianist Angelica Sanchez, the saxophonist Tony Malaby and the drummer Tom Rainey (at 11). Church for All Nations, 417 West 57th Street, Clinton, (212) 333-5583,; $15; $35 for a full festival pass (Chinen)20090402

? OMAR SOSA/JENNY SCHEINMAN (Tuesday through Thursday) Mr. Sosa, a Cuban pianist, and Ms. Scheinman, a violinist from Northern California, suggest strikingly different varieties of jazz rusticity but share a commitment to clarity in their music. Mr. Sosa is celebrating the release of an ambitious concept album, “Across the Divide: A Tale of Rhythm & Ancestry” (Half Note), with a group that includes saxophone and banjo. Ms. Scheinman, playing and singing, leads a trio with two flinty guitarists, Nels Cline and Steve Cardenas. (Through April 12.) At 8 and 10:30 p.m., Blue Note, 131 West Third Street, Greenwich Village, (212) 475-8592,; cover, $30 at tables; $20 at the bar; with a $5 minimum. (Chinen)20090402

? TAMARINDO (Tuesday) Free improvisation, often strenuous and unbridled, is the chief methodology on “Tamarindo” (Clean Feed), a recent release by the tenor and soprano saxophonist Tony Malaby. The album features the same alert and inventive rhythm team that appears here: William Parker on bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. At 8 and 10 p.m., the Stone, Avenue C and Second Street, East Village,; $10. (Chinen)20090402

SACO YASUMA’S YOIN’ — UNIT OF SEVEN (Wednesday) Ms. Yasuma, a saxophonist and composer, combines the folk melodies of her native Japan with elements of African music and the protocols of avant-garde jazz. Her ensemble includes the violist Jason Kao Hwang, the trombonist Steve Swell and the bassist Ken Filiano, as well as the flutist and taiko drummer Kaoru Watanabe. At 8:30 p.m., Roulette, 20 Greene Street, between Canal and Grand Streets, SoHo, (212) 219-8242,; $15; $10 for students and under 30; free for members. (Chinen)

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