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Every now and then Setlist breaks protocol and gives you two recommendations for one night. This is one of those times. The good news is that you can go to both without missing a chunk of either, and without breaking the bank.
Friday, August 9 Butch Warren, throughout the ups and downs he’s gone through in his life—-and he’s gone through more than most of us will ever know—-he remains one of the District’s greatest cultural resources. And this Friday night, the estimable bassist and former house player for Blue Note Records turns 74 years old. Many times it’s appeared he wouldn’t reach that age, as Warren will tell you himself, so it’s a great night to celebrate. Warren will be doing so, along with many of his most frequent musical cohorts (pianist Peter Edelman, saxophonist Knud Jensen, drummer Paul Jung, auxiliary bassist Bill Lavender-Bey), in a birthday party being held at D.C. jazz’s center seat, Westminster Presbyterian Church. Especially if you’ve never seen Warren play before, this is a must. It’s at 6 p.m. at 4th and I Streets SW. $5.
Probably the most active trombonist in D.C. jazz, Reginald Cyntje is also among the most in demand. While he’s long been a presence both as leader and sideman, it’s only recently, with 2011’s Freedom’s Children: A Celebration, that his thoughtful, sensitive writing has fully emerged. That’s helped make his sophomore effort, Love, an eagerly anticipated release. Cyntje’s description of the project helped, too: He called it “a series of tone poems that expand in the imagination with each listen.” An ambitious promise, to be sure, and the result was what will very likely be the best D.C. jazz album of 2013. It’s thoughtful and surpassingly gorgeous, with a philosophical (but passionate) bent. Cyntje has been performing a series of CD release parties, each with a different lineup. This one features pianist Benito Gonzalez and drummer John Lamkin, along with the album’s bassist Herman Burney, vocalist Christie Dashiell, and poet Lasana Mack. The album’s other poetry reader, singer Heidi Martin will also appear with her Moon in Scorpio band. Reginald Cyntje performs Friday and Saturday at Twins Jazz, 1344 U Street NW. $15.
Saturday, August 10
Integriti Reeves just keeps getting better and better. Now 25 and still working on her master’s degree from Howard, Reeves is singing jazz around D.C. with clearly increasing confidence. It comes from a practice of unfettered dedication: As Reeves says, “Anything I do [as a solo artist] I have to put my whole self into.” That’s what emanates from every glistening note she sings: her whole self. Reeves has an alto voice and astonishing articulation; the wisdom in her voice is such that it beggars belief that she’s so young. It’s also readily apparent that Reeves has taken the lessons of Billie Holiday, the capo di tutti capi of jazz vocalists; that’s a good thing. Reeves is embarking on a wondrous artistic odyssey; do yourself a favor and don’t sleep on it. Integriti Reeves performs at 6 p.m. at the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, 2700 F Street NW. Free.
Sunday, August 11 Mention Dwayne Adell around people who know local jazz, and you’ll get a kind of wide-eyed admiration. “That dude’s brilliant.” Or “Dwayne? God damn.” It’s not hard to grasp why, once you hear him play. Adell is a dizzying virtuoso, able to play whatever he’s asked to play, and without a second’s hesitation or the slightest mistake. It’s kind of jaw-dropping. A good reason, then, for Adell to be the headliner of this month’s CapitalBop Jazz Loft. But he’s not the only one on the bill. There’s also opportunity to see and hear Dante Pope, the strong, unpredictable drummer, and Blake Meister, one of the top tier among area bassists. And, as usual, it’s all available for the low low price of $15, or $5 per act. The D.C. Jazz Loft starts at 7:30 p.m. at Chez Billy, 3815 Georgia Avenue NW. $15.