This is shaping up to be a busy week, all the busier because only one of the events has already been reported. That will be the free tribute concert for Cecil Taylor organized by the Rova Saxophone Quartet and presented at the Center for New Music on Sunday evening, June 10. Specifics for the remaining activities of the week, the first of which takes place tonight, are as follows:
Monday, June 4, 8:30 p.m., Make Out Room: Since this is the first Monday of the month, the Make Out Room will be hosting its monthly Monday Make-Out. This will be the usual offering of cutting-edge Bay Area jazz and improvisation. The opening set will be a duo improvisation by Darren Johnston on trumpet and Kasey Knudsen on saxophone. They will be followed by the progressive jazz ensemble that calls itself Cabbagehead. The final set will celebrate the latest CD release from Rent Romus’ Life’s Blood ensemble, Rogue Star. Romus leads the group on both alto saxophone and flutes. He is joined on the front line by Heikki “Mike” Koskinen on both e-trumpet and recorder and Joshua Marshall on tenor saxophone. The rhythm section boasts two bass players, Safa Shokrai and Max Judelson, along with Mark Clifford on vibraphone and Timothy Orr on percussion.
The Make Out Room is located at 3225 22nd Street in the Mission, near the southwest corner of Mission Street. The Make Out Room is a bar. That means that tickets are not sold, nor is there a cover charge. Nevertheless, a metaphorical hat is passed between sets; and all donations are accepted, not to mention welcome! Doors will open at 8 p.m.
Thursday, May 7, 8 p.m., Luggage Store Gallery (LSG): Adventurous improvisation will continue with the latest installment in the Luggage Store Creative Music Series. This will follow the usual two-set format, beginning with a solo electronics improvisation by Dylan Burchett. The second set will also be a solo, vocalist Tracy Hui accompanying himself on the banjo. LSG is located at 1007 Market Street, across from the corner of Golden Gate Avenue and Taylor Street; and admission is on a sliding scale between $8 and $15.
Friday, June 8, 8 p.m., Old First Presbyterian Church: Once again the Old First Concerts series will distinguish itself with a world premiere performance. The work to be premiered will be “Ascension,” composed in loving memory of clarinetist and educator Rex Aniciete, who was based in Southern California. Composer Ahmed Alabaca scored this piece for clarinet and string quartet; and it will be performed, accordingly, by the members of the Farallon Quintet, clarinetist Rob Patterson, violinists Hrabba Atladottir and Matthew Oshida, violist Jason Bonham, and cellist Evgeny Tonkha.
Taken as a whole, the program will offer an extensive diversity of styles, going all the way back to the the classicism of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Louis Spohr, and Carl Maria von Weber and advancing towards a variety of different approaches to modernism. One of the less expected of these approaches may be Toru Takemitsu’s arrangement of Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s “Autumn Song,” the “October” movement from his Opus 37a solo piano suite The Seasons. (Those who know that Takemitsu also arranged Beatles’ songs may be less surprised by this selection!) Less familiar composers on the program will be Osvaldo Golijov and Miguel del Aguila.
The Old First Presbyterian Church is located at 1751 Sacramento Street on the southeast corner of Van Ness Avenue. If purchased in advance online from the O1C event page, general admission will be $23 with a discounted rate of $18 for seniors aged 65 or older. Tickets for full-time students showing valid identification will be $5; and children aged twelve and under will be admitted for free. There is also a discount available for those parking at the Old First Parking Garage at 1725 Sacramento Street, just up the street from the church.
Friday, June 8, 9 p.m., Bird & Beckett Books and Records: This will be a “late show” event at Bird & Beckett, which should last about two hours. It will also be the second opportunity of the week to listen to Johnston’s trumpet work, this time as a member of the Destiny Muhammad Quartet. Muhammad leads the group from her harp, and rhythm is provided by Eric Vogler on bass and Leon Joyce Jr. on drums.
Bird & Beckett is located at 653 Chenery Street, which is a short walk from the Glen Park station for both Muni and BART. Notwithstanding the work on the Twin Peaks tunnel, this is a reasonably accessible site. There will be a cover charge of $10 at the door for admission.
Saturday, June 9, 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m., SFJAZZ Center: Once again the Joe Henderson Lab will be present a concert for those who take their listening seriously. This promises to be an exploratory evening of improvisation and other “fringe” approaches to playing jazz. The performance will be given by the duo of New York trumpeter Nate Wooley and Chicago-based reed player Ken Vandermark. Both of them have been influenced by avant-garde practices in both New York and Chicago; but, as a duo, their influences come primarily from John Carter and Bobby Bradford.
As can be seen above, the duo has been scheduled for two performances. There are separate event pages for the online purchase of tickets to the 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. shows. Tickets for the first show will be $35 and those for the second will be $30. The SFJAZZ Center is located at 201 Franklin Street, on the northwest corner of Fell Street.
Saturday, June 9, 7:30 p.m., Bird & Beckett Books and Records: The second gig of the week at Bird & Beckett will be supported by Jazz in the Neighborhood’s Guaranteed Fair Wage Fund. The title of the concert will be jazz club! when lights are low…. Guitarist and vocalist David James will perform with the Beth Custer Ensemble, led by Custer playing clarinets in a wide variety of sizes and sometimes contributing to the vocal work. Vocals will also be provided by Diana Mangano. The rhythm section will consist of Jordan Glasgow on piano, Keith MacArthur of bass, and John Hanes on drums. The cover charge for this concert will be $20 with a $10 rate for students.