Jazz Setlist: Oct. 22-28, 2009
With his gravity-defying hair and temperamental attack on the piano, comparisons between Eric Lewis and Beethoven are probably inevitable. They're also apt: Lewis is a brilliant talent who loves to throw conventions to the wolves. His solo sets tend to include jazz standards, pop songs, rock anthems, even TV and movie themes—whatever gets his audience's attention. As if that were ever a problem. The flamboyant Lewis treats his piano as though he were up against it in a boxing ring, giving jabs and feints while giving his whole body a workout on the bench. Lewis performs at 9:30 p.m. at HR-57, 1610 14th Street NW. $20.
Loide personifies the notion of "world jazz." Born and France and raised in the United States, her family descends from Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau. The latter supplies her native (singing) tongue, Portuguese—although her music's basis in bossa nova rhythms suggest that she draws on Brazilian heritage instead. Loide brings her entire cultural mix into the jazz universe, where she continues the Sarah Vaughan tradition of harmonically sophisticated, emotionally deep vocal interpretation. In June she committed that sound to record with Loide Live at Bohemian Caverns—a title that you can experience firsthand during her CD release party at 7 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th Street NW. $12 advance, $15 at the door.
October marks the fifth anniversary of JazzAlive, the live showcase for the Jazz Studies program at UDC. In celebration, program director Allyn Johnson (also one of the District's finest pianists) will lead the university's two large ensembles, the UDC Jazz Ensemble and the Calvin Jones Legacy Ensemble, in a tribute to the dean of D.C. jazz: tenor saxophonist Roger “Buck” Hill. Hill will join Johnson and the two big bands, which feature some of the best young players on our local scene, Monday night at 8 p.m. at University Auditorium, 4200 Connecticut Avenue NW Building 46-East. $15.
Associated with the AACM, jazz's premiere avant jazz organization based in their hometown of Chicago, the Markov Jazz Process is a trio featuring reeds, piano, and drums—no bass—on an experimental jag. They flirt with the brashness of Chicago jazz, along with a freeform approach to polyphony and rhythm that sounds great in their tackling of blues and (especially) Latin jazz. Yet they're not wholly experimental: Markov brings traditional and "out" jazz together in ways unexpected, unpredictable, and sometimes even arbitrary. They perform at 9 and 11 p.m. at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $10.