Wear Your Wounds (Converge) and Uniform with Carl Gene

Wear Your Wounds (Converge) and Uniform with Carl Gene

Go see Wear Your Wounds (the members of Converge) and Uniform with Carl Gene this Wednesday at Metro.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 8:00 PM EDT

Metro
1700 North Charles Street
Baltimore, MD 21201

etix.com

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This Week’s Jazz in the District

This Week’s Jazz in the District

by Michael J. West

Monday, May 13
Guitarist Joel Harrison grew up in the DMV in the 1960s and ‘70s, which made it all but inevitable that the self-described “redneck jazz” guitarist Danny Gatton and bluesman (and frequent Gatton collaborator) Roy Buchanan would be his heroes. The two guitarists shared among other things a love for the Fender Telecaster guitar—for you guitar geeks, that’s the same axe favored by the likes of Jeff Beck, Bruce Springsteen, and Bill Frisell. It’s the lattermost, along with Gatton and Buchanan of course, who most inspired the kind of windswept rootsiness that Harrison employs with his D.C. band The Spell Casters. Employing renowned D.C. guitarists Anthony Pirog and Dave Chappell along with Harrison himself, the band tries to recapture that folk-jazz feel that Gatton et al. once worked into a D.C. tradition. They often employ bassist John Previti and drummer Barry Hart, once Gatton’s rhythm section (the local guitar legend died in 1994)—just the way to give that sound the homecoming it deserves. Joel Harrison’s Spell Casters perform at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1083 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $22.

Friday, May 17
I’m not sure D.C. drummer Quincy Phillips (whom I told you about last week in connection with Tedd Baker’s trios) gets an awful lot of comparisons specifically to Art Blakey. Not that jazz musicians particularly love getting saddled with comparisons to anyone, mind you—but there are a lot of similarities to speak of here; Phillips has the same facility with cross-rhythms as Blakey did, and if he doesn’t bring down terrific thunder as often as the drumming icon, when he does it’s with the same force and imagination. Phillips also shares Blakey’s passion for the raw roots of jazz, its soul-and-blues foundations. Hence the name of his own ensemble, Chicken Grease: “our mission is to put the whole bag of sugar back into the Kool-Aid and to put the ham-hocks back into the greens,” he says. “We need that flavor for balance.” It’s an interesting balance indeed considering the somewhat more refined palate on the menu at Sotto, where the band will be playing—but let there be no doubt that the meal will be substantial. (Phillips has not yet announced the lineup, but previous shows with Chicken Grease have included saxophonist Elijah Easton and a number of Baltimore’s finest, including trumpeter Brandon Woody, pianist Todd Simon, and bassist Mike Saunders. They perform at 7:30 p.m. at Sotto, 1610 Fourteenth Street NW (downstairs). $15 advance, $20 door.

Saturday, May 18
Speaking of raw, soulful jazz, there is one man living who does more than any other in the world to blur the distinctions between jazz and soul music. His name is Maceo Parker, and if you don’t know that name you surely know his sound. Those proto-funk sax solos on James Brown’s “I Got You (I Feel Good)” and “Cold Sweat?” That’s him. He’s also put his stamp on music by George Clinton/ Parliament/ Funkadelic and Prince, and in his own right he also sings with a croaky, Ray Charles-inspired voice. But what really matters here is the deep gutbucket he draws his playing from, with a pocket that’s equally deep. He is usually regarded as jazz-adjacent at best—he probably won’t be getting an NEA Jazz Masters fellowship, for example, though he should damn well be a contender—but make you no mistake. Maceo’s a grand master of soul, jazz, and everything in between. He performs at 7:30 p.m. at The Birchmere, 3701 Mount Vernon Avenue in Alexandria. $45.

Sunday, May 19
One of D.C. jazz’s most interesting combos is also one that comprises D.C.’s busiest young musicians. Bassist Steve Arnold, the leader, is one of the city’s most ubiquitous players—a hell of an accomplishment in a bass town like this one. Alto saxophonist Sarah Hughes is similarly everywhere, a sonic investigator who can’t seem to get enough sleuthing under her belt. And if you’ve gone out to any jazz gigs in the District over the past year and a half or so, you’ve undoubtedly run into guitarist Nelson Dougherty, pianist Erol Danon, and (especially) drummer Kelton Norris, too. Each of these musicians is highly skilled and has great fire in them. Yet the quintet they make up, Sea Change, is not about fire. It’s a thoughtful, explorative sound that finds its best music in melody and reflective moods that defy the usual tropes of the noisy jazz avant-garde. It might indeed be a stretch to call Sea Change avant-garde … calling them progressive, though, hits the nail on the head. Sea Change performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $10.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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ThrillKiller Returns to Baltimore

ThrillKiller Returns to Baltimore

Go see ThrillKiller at Angels Rock Bar on June 21st.

Exploding on the scene in the fall of 2015, mixing elements of metal, rock, pop, and others, Thrillkiller delivers a viciously unique style of music. With the launch of their debut EP, Time, in January of 2016, followed by their totally fan funded debut release Showdown in the summer of 2016, Thrillkiller are currently supporting their third release, San Francisco Moto, released in June of 2018.

June 21st, 2019

10 Market Place
Baltimore MD 21202

thrillkiller.bigcartel.com

WATCH THE VIDEO

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DC9 NIGHTCLUB PRESENTS: Alien Weaponry

DC9 NIGHTCLUB PRESENTS: Alien Weaponry

Go see Alien Weaponry at the DC9 Nightclub this Sunday.

Thrash metal band Alien Weaponry are “one of the most exciting young metal bands in the world right now” according to Revolver Magazine in the USA. And they’re not the only ones who thinks so. Since they released their debut album ‘Tū’ on 1 June 2018, fans, bloggers, the music industry and the media worldwide have raved about Alien Weaponry’s unique blend of thrash metal and their native language, Te Reo Māori.

Sunday, May 12, 2019
8:00 PM – 11:00 PM EDT

DC9 Nightclub
1940 9th St NW
Washington, DC 20001

eventbrite.com

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Justin Trawick and The Common Good at Hill Country DC

Justin Trawick and The Common Good at Hill Country DC

Go see Justin Trawick and The Common Good at Hill Country DC this Saturday.

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 9:30 PM EDT

Hill Country Barbecue Market 
410 7th St NW
Washington, District of Columbia 20004

ticketfly.com

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Takoma Porch Music Fest 2019

Takoma Porch Music Fest 2019

Go see the Takoma Porch Music Fest in Takoma Park this Saturday.

Saturday, May 11, 2019 at 2:00 PM – 6:00 PM EDT

Takoma Park, Maryland

VIEW THE MAP

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Matt O’Ree Feat. Eryn at Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge

Matt O’Ree Feat. Eryn at Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge

Go see Matt O’Ree, featuring Eryn at Songbyrd Vinyl Lounge this Friday.

Eryn has developed a reputation as one of the premier up and coming voices on the scene today. Originally from MD and now living in NJ, Eryn’s style is heavily influenced by the musical traditions of the south. Her respect for the traditions of Jazz, Blues and Country fused with her modern pop style and brought together by Eryn’s incredible vocal ability has been said to give even the most hardened critic chills.

Friday, May 10, 2019
8:30 PM – 11:30 PM EDT

Vinyl Lounge at Songbyrd
2477 18th st NW
Washington, DC 20009

eventbrite.com

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Rise Up TV – Live Music Reality Show Filming

Rise Up TV – Live Music Reality Show Filming

Go see Rise Up TV, live music reality show filming, this Friday at Angels Rock Bar.

Friday, May 10, 2019 at 8:00 PM – 12:00 AM EDT

Angels Rock Bar Baltimore
10 Market Pl
Baltimore, Maryland 21202

Conceived when the mighty cock of heavy metal spilled its unholy seed into a radioactive volcano, OMNISLASH is a heavy metal assault on the ears and balls.

Omnislash

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Jazz in the District this Week

Jazz in the District this Week

by Michael J. West

Tuesday, May 7
D.C. tenor saxophonist Tedd Baker works with a number of different trio lineups, and he sounds great in all of them. Even so, there’s something magical in the configuration known as the TKQ Trio—and it takes about 30 seconds of their performing together to see why. Baker, bassist Kris Funn, and drummer Quincy Phillips add up to D.C. jazz’s equivalent of Cream: the mother of power trios. Each one of these men is a dominant musical personality, the kind of muscle player that would cause any of them to be regarded as the secret weapon in any other band. What you don’t get in this assemblage is the clash of titanic egos that tend to come with other such power trios. Each of these musicians has tremendous respect for each other; each also knows his role, but makes room in what they’re doing for the others to play their roles and give their input. That, my friends, is the way it’s supposed to work. I guess you could call them an exemplary jazz band. The TKQ Trio begins at 7:30 p.m. at JoJo’s, 1518 U Street NW. Free.

Wednesday, May 8
Benny Golson turned 90 this year, and if he’s playing anything like he was when he was 85 then his performance is can’t-miss. Golson was one of the behind-the-scenes architects of hard bop, the rootsy, bluesy iteration of bebop that dominated the 1950s. He is a splendid tenor saxophonist with a heavily melodic, gospel-inspired tilt. A good Golson performance is as much about the material, however. He is one of perhaps three greatest living composers, the author of such enduring jazz standards as “Whisper Not,” “I Remember Clifford,” “Stable Mates,” “Blues March,” and the unforgettable “Killer Joe.” But there’s still more to one of his evenings on the bandstand: What he says. Yes, in addition to being a great saxophonist and great composer, Golson is one of jazz’s great raconteurs. In between songs he’ll tell hilarious, often insightful stories about the songs he writes and plays, and about other musicians who played them. (Among others, Golson cut his musical teeth in Philadelphia alongside a young friend named John Coltrane). If you want to accomplish something to rival all that, look back over this discussion and come up with a reason not to go see him. Benny Golson performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue NW. $35.

Thursday, May 9
In March, D.C. trombonist Shannon Gunn led a quartet that opened the show for Carla Bley and her trio. It’s not easy to hold one’s own in the presence of royalty like Bley (another one of the aforementioned three greatest living composers). But Gunn, already one of the most visible and exciting performers on the scene, had a secret weapon. Alto saxophonist Rachel Winder, a Baltimorean whom this writer had never heard before that night, stepped up with a series of improvisations that were completely fresh and original. She was all but boiling over with creative energy and ideas. I couldn’t wait to find a reason to hear her play again. Well…here’s one. Gunn is apparently experimenting with quartet configurations these days (in addition to her ongoing work with the Firebird Organ Trio and the Shannon Gunn and the Bullettes big band), and Winder appears to be her go-to frontline partner. They’re appearing together at 8 and 10 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $10.

Friday, May 10
It will be a long time yet before the jazz world recovers from the shock of the passing of Geri Allen in 2017, and perhaps longer still before that jazz world grasps the vast debt it owes to that piano genius. She offered wholly new and original ways of approaching harmony and phrasing that are now most apparent in some of the genre’s most forward-thinking practitioners: think Craig Taborn, Vijay Iyer, and, of course, Jason Moran. Moran is among Allen’s most outspoken apostles—and, given that Allen was one of the most outspoken apostle of jazz giant Mary Lou Williams, it was probably as inevitable as it is appropriate that Moran should fold a tribute to Allen into a tribute to Williams. The first of the two-night Mary Lou Williams Jazz Festival at the Kennedy Center is entirely given over to Feed the Fire, the salute to Allen that includes Moran and her friend and fellow traveler, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. Also on hand will be bass great and NEA Jazz Master Dave Holland, a DJ, and a tap dancer. It’s not necessarily something you might have seen or heard out of Allen, but it’s surely in keeping with her visionary spirit. Feed the Fire: A Tribute to Geri Allen begins at 7 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater, 2700 F Street NW. $45.

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Michael J. West

Michael J. West is a freelance writer, editor, and jazz journalist who has been covering the Washington, D.C. jazz scene since 2009. He spends most days either hunkered down in the clubs or in his very big headphones. He lives in Washington with his wife and two children.

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John K. Samson & Kevin Devine with Shannen Moser

John K. Samson & Kevin Devine with Shannen Moser

Go see John K. Samson & Kevin Devine with Shannen Moser at Milkboy ArtHouse this Thursday.

John K. Samson
Singer-songwriter and acted as the frontman of the former Canadian folk punk band The Weakerthans. He also played bass in the punk band Propagandhi during the mid-1990s.

Samson is married to Canadian singer-songwriter Christine Fellows.

Kevin Devine
Kevin Devine is an independent singer/songwriter from Brooklyn, NY. He plays alone, with his Goddamn Band, and as a member of Bad Books.

Shannen Moser
Hailing from Berks County Pennsylvania, Shannen Moser grew up steeped in folk and country music. Influenced by the historically rich area, stretching farmland, and local folkers, Shannen credits the area with giving her the tools to write the music she does today. Her self- taught guitar plucking style and confessional lyricism are evocative of the area she grew up in. She vividly recalls her first encounter with folk music in her dad’s old truck, playing “Be here in the Morning” by Townes Van Zandt. Since then her love for songwriting has continued to grow.

Thu · May 9, 2019
Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 8:30 pm

MilkBoy ArtHouse
7416 Baltimore Ave
College Park, MD, 20740

milkboyarthouse.ticketfly.com

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