Jazz Setlist: Nov. 20-25, 2009
Thanks to Ted Scheinman for covering last week.
Local trumpeter Kenny Rittenhouse has a straightahead, hard-bop approach, but always produces a probing, thoughtful sound—almost like a flugelhorn—that distinguishes him in the U.S. Army Blues, the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra, and his own trios, quartets, and quintets that gig around town. Those pretty notes, to paraphrase Louis Armstrong, go right through you. Hear how quickly they sink in when Rittenhouse performs with his quintet at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th Street NW. $20.
They call him a "cofounder" of cool jazz. That doesn't do justice to the music of Lee Konitz. For over 60 years, the legendary alto saxophonist has pursued a deeply cerebral brand of improvisation, pushing through frontier after new frontier of sounds via the feathery, yet aggressive voice of his instrument. Konitz's latest partners in his extremely prolific career are the trio Minsarah, an exploratory, vaguely avant-garde piano combo that features D.C. native Jeff Denson on bass. Together they make a sound that for Konitz is unique all over again. Konitz and Minsarah peform at the Kennedy Center, 2700 F Street NW, at 7:30 and 9:30 pm. $35.
The daughter of the great João Gilberto, and niece of the great Chico Buarque, it's surely fair to call Bebel Gilberto the crown princess of Bossa Nova. The scion of Brazil's greatest songwriters (the nation's other titan, Antonio Carlos Jobim, was a close family friend) claims her place on the cutting edge of bossa nova through her fusion of the traditional sounds to DJ'd samples and electronic beats. The highly original treatments have also let her establish herself, outside the shadow of the Brazilian musical legacy that follows wherever she goes; even when she covers her father (as on her newest album, All in One), Gilberto sounds only like herself. Her brilliant fusion of bossa nova's danceability with club rhythms has garnered a huge international following – likely it'll be a packed house at the 9:30 Club (815 V Street NW). Go anyway. It's an early show, 6pm doors. $35.