Jazz Setlist, November 10-16: Swing Kids
Thursday, November 10
It seems that Troy Andrews' star is on the rise. At least in terms of the name he works under: Trombone Shorty. Perhaps you know him from his appearances at the DC Jazz Festival, or from his appearances on the round of late-night talk shows. Perhaps you're one of the (apparently) few people who are watching HBO's Treme, or perhaps you're a fan of the New Orleans brass band renaissance, in which Shorty and much of his family have been actively involved. Indeed, Andrews (and his siblings and cousins) has played in the Big Easy's brass parade bands since childhood, and attended the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts (NOCCA), where he studied with city greats like Alvin Batiste and Ellis Marsalis. But he also soaked up an incredible spectrum of music in his hometown: blues, jazz, rock & roll, rhythm & blues, funk, hip-hop, and no small share of pop hookage. And it's clearly paying off for him: He's popular enough to be held over a second night from last evening's appearance in town. See him! Trombone Shorty and his septet, Orleans Avenue, perform at 9:30 at the 9:30 Club, 815 V Street NW. $25.
Sunday, November 13
The Red Door's days are numbered. That's especially sad when you consider the fantastic atmosphere the space provided for the CapitalBop Jazz Loft series over the past year: A ramshackle, hard-edged, but contradictorily warm and intimate space for great local jazz by some of the city's best and most dedicated musicians young and old. The Jazz Lofts will live on; CapitalBop proprietors Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart remain diligent in searching out new locations for the showcases. It hasn't stopped them from putting on shows at the Red Door that just keep getting better. November's is a doozy. Drummer Lenny Robinson and his Mad Curious trio, featuring Brian Settles (more on him below) and Tarus Mateen; the Elijah Balbed Quintet, a hard-charging straightahead unit led by perhaps the hardest working young saxophonist on the scene; and a trio led by Hope Udobi, a brilliant pianist with a beautiful touch and wide-ranging musical palette. And let's not forget the jam session that is the Jazz Lofts' signature close. The Jazz Loft begins at 7 p.m. at the Red Door, 443 I Street NW. $10 suggested donation.
Wednesday, November 16
If D.C. tenor saxophonist Brian Settles is intriguing on record, he’s absolutely heart-stopping on the bandstand. An in-demand player known for his versatility, expressiveness, and dizzying imagination, Settles is also a busy freelancer on New York’s avant-garde jazz scene; it’s from that pool of talent that he formed his Central Union ensemble, with which he made Secret Handshake. The album is a heady mixture of lyricism, free improvisation, and rhythmic aggression, all filtered through Settles’ experiments with ensemble and compositional forms. It’s already one of the best performances in a year marked by stellar D.C. jazz recordings. But when you add the electricity of a live audience and the chemistry of a group of superlative improvisers who know each other’s styles inside out, that’s when the sparks really fly. Brian Settles and Central Union perform at 8 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $25.