There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Trombonist Giancarlo Schiaffini is a member of the Italian Instabile Orchestra, a nutty big band that, with the Willem Breuker Kollektief and the Vienna Art Orchestra, is one of the reigning European kings of absurdist eclecticism. Its music is a mixture of Raymond Scott and Duke Ellington—with an Italian accent and a free-jazz jones. Schiaffini fits right in because even in the smaller groups he leads, the trombonist will tackle Thelonious Monk and Charlie Parker right after a free-blowing excursion laced with electronics. Tenor saxophonist and D.C. resident Peter Fraize is also willfully eclectic—if more moderate in approach—skillfully playing everything from fusion to free jazz, pop songs to swing. The two recently teamed up for a live CD for the Italian Pentaflowers label that includes loose-limbed takes on Monk and Ellington, as well as three varied Schiaffini originals. They revive their partnership tonight at 9:30 p.m., 11 p.m., and midnight at One Step Down, 2517 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. $15. (202) 955-7141. (Christopher Porter)