Jazz Setlist, Feb. 28-March 6: Kevin Cordt, Thiefs, Supernova, and Kush
Thursday, Feb. 28
The first jazz I saw when I moved to D.C. in the summer of 2001 may well have been Kevin Cordt. At the time, the trumpeter's quartet was holding down Friday nights at Mr. Henry's on Capitol Hill, with flyers advertising that their sound evoked the Blue Note albums of the '60s. And sure enough, it did. Cordt held that gig for a number of years. When it ended, the accomplished trumpeter (a veteran of the U.S. Air Force Band as well as the Pittsburgh and Philadelphia Orchestras) became significantly less visible on the D.C. scene, though he worked pretty regularly in Northern Virginia. In 2013, though, Cordt seems to be settling into a new regular gig in the District: he's playing monthly at Bloomingdale's Big Bear Café, once again fronting a quartet with bassist Chris Kosky, guitarist Geoff Reecer, and drummer Larry Ferguson. They play at 8 p.m. at the Big Bear Café, 1700 1st St NW. Free.
Friday, March 1
If you’re going to call a performance series Friday Night Eclectic, why stop with making it merely week-to-week eclectic? It’s when you bring in artists who can be moment-to-moment eclectic—so even once the show’s underway, you never quite know what you’ll get—that you have truly bold programming. And that’s how Strathmore, never one to play it safe anyway, outdid itself by presenting Thiefs. The collective trio (drummer/vocalist Guillermo E Brown, saxophonist Christophe Panzani, bassist Keith Witty) make a glorious jumble. At their hands, acoustic jazz, hip-hop, soul, ambient, and dance music all wander freely through shifting environments: acoustic and electric, improvisation and composition, slow and fast, harsh and mellow, instrumental and vocal. But just as a Duchamp collage still bears the artist’s stamp, this sonic free-for-all manages to emerge sounding wholly, and only, like Thiefs. Now that’s how you do eclectic. Thiefs perform at 8:30 p.m. at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike in North Bethesda. $20.
Saturday, March 2
One of the coolest things about the "intersections" of this week's Atlas Intersections festival is the broad range they cover. It's not just intersections of genre, but of style, approach, cultures, and generations. The latter is the intersection on display in the rare meeting of the drumming Abadeys. Nasar, the elder, is perhaps the dean of D.C. jazz drummers, best described by his own preferred phrase, "multidirectional and multidimensional." His son, Kush, shares the instrument and the virtuosity, but is developing his own sound—in his work behind trumpeter Wallace Roney, and in his recently completed studies in jazz composition at Berklee in Boston. The festival puts them on the same bandstand for one of the few times in their lives; Nasar and his Supernova sextet play the first set, Kush and his eponymous quintet KUSH play the second, and they join together for the finale. This is going to be a good one. Nasar and Kush Abadey perform at 8 p.m. at Atlas Performing Arts Center, 1333 H St. NE. $25.