Arts Desk

Jazz Setlist, July 15-21: William Hooker, Com Voce, and More

William HookerThursday, July 15
Experimental music is an ivory tower. Its practitioners have gigantic status inside the field, and by and large can't get arrested outside of it. So when I say that William Hooker is a major figure, it will no doubt come as a surprise to some. Nonetheless, Hooker is a major figure. He's a drummer who made his name in R&B outfits like the Isley Brothers, then moved into the '70s free-jazz "loft" scene in New York, playing with David Murray and David S. Ware. That's remained the core of his sound, but he's also been visible in the avant-garde rock world, working with Thurston Moore most prominently. Tonight, however, he's a solo act, drumming against two experimental films custom-made for him. It's a multimedia experience, and it happens at 8:00 p.m. at Bossa, 2463 18th St., NW. $10.

Saturday, July 17
Margret GrebowiczCom Voce is the name of the Brazilian jazz combo that surrounds singer Margret Grebowicz. By day a professor of philosophy in Texas, Grebowicz becomes a sweet, dreamy soprano when she enters the jazz club; Com Voce responds accordingly with a gauzy, delicate sound that nearly qualifies as "post rock." Bossa meets dreamscape meets groove, as it were. Joining the band is one of the most unsung but most in-demand guitarists in jazz, Ben Monder, as well as D.C.-based violinist Matvei Sigalov; both appear on Com Voce's latest album, Candeias. Grebowicz and Com Voce perform at 8:30 and 10:30 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St., NW. $22.


Sunday, July 18
Does Terence Blanchard really need any introduction at this point? Most everyone knows the highlights: New Orleans trumpeter, Art Blakey's band, Spike Lee film scores, A Tale of God's Will (Requiem for Katrina). Suffice to say, Blanchard is one of the most important jazz musicians of any stripe who's working today, with a cinematic sweep to his music even when he's not scoring Inside Man. His last album, 2009's Choices, illustrates that sweep with lyricism, complex interplay, fierce composition, and the framework of a monologue by Dr. Cornel West. So why talk anymore about it when he's there waiting to be heard? The Terence Blanchard Quintet performs at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave., NW. $35.

Wednesday, July 21
Ben Williams The name Ben Williams has been scrawled all over the jazz press lately, including right here. What do you expect with the country's hottest young bassist, winner of last fall's Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition... who also just happens to hail from D.C.? What's more, how can he not get some notice for putting on a free concert nearby? Part of Williams' prize in the Monk Competition was a contract with Concord Records, and to that end he's assembled a quintet known as Sound Effect, featuring a rotating cast on saxophone, guitar, keys, and drums. They perform at 7 p.m. on the grounds of Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike. Free.

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