There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
Thursday, Sept. 3
The greatest bassist in D.C. who is not a descendant of the D.C. bass tradition? That’d be Tarus Mateen. He grew up in Southern California, where he acquired a funk foundation and worked in early hip-hop; he toured the West Indies as a musician at age 12, and added reggae to his major influences. That was the musical matrix he brought with him to the New York jazz scene in 1988, where he worked with Betty Carter and Greg Osby and cofounded Jason Moran‘s Bandwagon. Mateen was a fully formed player when he came to D.C. in 2005, and he continues to develop a style uniquely his own (now steeped in African and Afro-Cuban sounds as well) that has become essential to the city’s jazz fabric. He leads a quartet with tenor saxophonist Brian Settles, pianist Colin Chambers, and drummer Savannah Grace Harris. They perform at 9 and 10:30 p.m. at Dukem, 1118 U St. NW. Free.
It’s no coincidence that the Jazz And Cultural Society holds its Hammond B-3 Organ series events on Sundays. The organ is the instrument of the church, after all, and has been for nearly 1,400 years. But this is jazz: We’re not talking about the mammoth Gothic thing that Bach wrote for, but the small electric model with rotating speakers. Like the Bach organs, though, these are the proxy for the church (in this case the various African-American church traditions), and there is perhaps no churchier organist in D.C. than Alex Jenkins. He is, in fact, a church organist, but he can also improvise and suffuse his playing with blues feeling, too. That’s what brings him to JACS this week. It’s a deep, soulful trio that also includes Mark Mosley on guitar and Jim West on drums; there’s a pretty good chance that trumpeter DeAndrey Howard, the head honcho at the venue, will be asked to sit in as well. They perform at 6 p.m. at JACS, 2813 12th St. NE. $5.
Tuesday, Sept. 8
For the artists who takes turns at Bohemian Caverns’ monthly residencies, it’s not unusual to present a different lineup and concept with each successive Tuesday. Presenting a different lineup with each set, however—that’s a bit more out of the ordinary. Tenor/baritone saxophonist and clarinetist Brad Linde, though, usually has enough varying projects in the air that he can happily bring out two in one night. He’s September’s artist in residence, and for his first set this week he brings in his ThreeWe trio, with trombonist Nicole Connelly and guitarist Aaron Quinn. There’ll be paying tribute to Jimmy Giuffre, the avant-garde clarinetist who is a favorite subject of Linde’s. More intriguingly, the evening’s second set is a pianoless quartet that explores the music of a great pianist. Herbie Nichols is the focus of Strange City, which features Connelly, bassist Nathan Kawaller, and drummer Deric Dickens. Linde performs at 7:30 and 9 p.m. at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $10 advance, $15 door.