Do two items really constitute a “list”? It’s a scant week for jazz, obviously. But there are a couple of important gigs you should know about.
Thursday, December 20
Vivid though the term is, there’s not much to be done with the descriptor “zombie jazz.” It tells you little about the music of Father Figures, who coined that unconventional term to describe their sound; it’s only after you hear the music that the name seems appropriate. In particular, it’s built on stomping, insistent rock rhythms and can lurch savagely from one sound to the next—-“Wild when it wants to be, other times deliberate,” says leader/tenor saxophonist/effects guru Adam Schatz. The Brooklyn-based quintet (two saxophones, keyboards, bass, and drums) has all the hallmarks of great underground, experimental punk-jazz; appropriately, it shares a bill with two local underground experimenters (Les Rhinoceros and Anthony Pirog) in the ultimate underground venue: someone’s living room. Father Figures, Les Rhinoceros, and Anthony Pirog perform at 8:30 p.m. at the Paperhaus, 4912 3rd St. NW. Free, BYOB.
Sunday, December 23
Nate and Noble Jolley, as I’ve mentioned before, are possibly the two nicest guys in the District of Columbia. They also happen to be two of the best musicians in town: Nate is among the ablest of drummers, with both a subtle touch and aggressive, complex rhythmic ideas; Noble is a top-call pianist with a flair for both modal and gospel harmonies. Both are skillful composers and perhaps even better arrangers. This holiday season, the twins’ decency is as much at play as their artistry. They’re organizing a donation drive for Toys for Tots this weekend. Toys will be collected on Friday at the Starbucks at 13th and Pennsylvania NW; on Sunday, the Jolley Brothers will give those toys away on U Street. They’ll cap off this weekend with a bring-the-family concert at Bohemian Caverns, where they’ll perform Christmas music with bassist Kris Funn, singer Dante Pope, and a string quartet arranged by the boys. They’ll even give something away to a family at the concert. It’s great music, a great cause, and a great way to celebrate the season. The Jolley Brothers Trio perform with a string quartet at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. (sold out) at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th St. NW. $15.