That other jazz
Here are some notable jazz dates for the fall season.
Medeski, Martin and Wood, September 29
This ensemble have taken the tradition of the jazz organ trio purveyed by the likes of Jimmy Smith and brought it to the cusp of the 21st century. You can hear the trippy grooves of Larry Young and Big John Patton, but also Weather Report funk and a bit of '90s grunge. In the past few years, their cult has grown, and their work touring with Phish has given them a whole new audience. Their new Gramavision release, Shack-man, promises to be their most focused recording to date. It's due in stores October 15. The concert takes place at the Somerville Theatre. Tickets are $14.
A Tribute to Alan Dawson, the Legend, September 29
Dawson was the premier citizen of Boston's jazz community when he died on February 23, at 66. He was ubiquitous on bandstands in Boston's jazz clubs, whether playing with a local band or backing a touring star who had requested him. His time, swing, taste, sense of color, and beaming smile could, to borrow a phrase, lift the bandstand. He made his virtuoso technique look effortless.
An inspired teacher as well, Dawson had as his most famous student Tony Williams. The proceeds from this benefit concert will go to the George Alan Dawson Memorial Fund, which will support worthy students either in private study or enrolled in a music program. Players will include Max Roach, James Williams and I.C.U., Phil Wilson, Bill Pierce, Andy McGhee, and John Lockwood. The concert at the Berklee Performance Center is scheduled from 3 from 6. Tickets are $15. Call 931-2000 or the Berklee Box Office.
John Scofield Quartet, October 10-12
Scofield has been a consistently exciting guitarist and bandleader, working with Billy Cobham, Charles Mingus, Gary Burton, Dave Liebman, Miles Davis, and Joe Lovano. On his new Quiet (Verve, in stores September 24), he moves from electric to nylon-string guitar, playing in a large brass-and-reed ensemble with the great electric bassist Steve Swallow and the extraordinary drummer Bill Stewart. Saxophonist Wayne Shorter also guests on the album. Scofield's three-day stint at the Regattabar with a quartet should be a good one. The R-bar is in the Charles Hotel, 1 Bennett Street, Harvard Square, Cambridge. Call 876-7777.
Joshua Redman Quintet, October 20
The phenomenal young saxophonist has spent the summer touring with pianist Chick Corea's "Remembering Bud Powell" band, where his playing was typically hot and thoughtful. He should be at his best when he brings his own quintet to Sanders on the heels of the release of his new Warner Bros. CD, Freedom in the Groove. The fine young guitarist Peter Bernstein is new to the band, which should create some front-line sparks. The line-up is rounded out by pianist Peter Martin, bassist Chris Thomas, and the Elvin Jones-like polyrhythmic swing of drummer Brian Blade. Tickets for this Sanders Theatre event are $19.50 and $22.50. Call 876-7777.
The Guitar Trio, November 24
There are more guitarists in Boston than rats, so you can expect a full house of worshippers at Symphony Hall when three of the world's best -- Flamenco stylist Paco De Lucia, fusion maestro Al DiMeola, and all-purpose six-string master John McLaughlin -- combine forces. This guitar supergroup first got together 15 years ago, and they've sold millions of albums. Their new one, The Guitar Trio (Verve), is due in stores October 15. Tickets for the 7:30 p.m. Symphony Hall show range from $25 to $35. Call 876-4275.
David Sanchez, November 20
Tenor saxophonist Sanchez is well schooled in the modes of mid-Coltrane power playing, but he's not just another 'Trane clone. In his regular collaborations with pianist Danilo Pérez he's been pushing the boundaries of Afro-Latin and jazz fusion. On his new Street Scenes he avoids predictable standards in favor of originals and lesser-known pieces by Puerto Rican and Latin American composers. The result is that his playing is as fresh as the tunes. Scullers Jazz Club is in the DoubleTree Guest Suites Hotel, 400 Soldiers Field Road (at the intersection with the Mass Pike). Shows are at 8 and 10. Call 562-4111.