You’ve been hearing about it for weeks, if not months, festivalgoers: CapitalBop Jazz Loft, DC Jazz Festival Edition.
For some time, members of the D.C. jazz scene have been pushing for an avant-garde component to the city’s major annual event; the organizers demurred, with reasons varying from “it’s not D.C.’s style,” to guesses that it’s simply not on artistic director Paquito D’Rivera’s radar. But this year, along came CapitalBop and its honchos Giovanni Russonello and Luke Stewart (the latter, in particular, is the website’s avant-garde wing) to demonstrate that there’s an appreciative and sizable audience for the “out” stuff—not to mention a few built-in venues for it.
Hence, a partnership is born, and it manifests itself tonight. First up is The OOO Trio—-or the Tri-O Trio—-featuring Stewart on bass, as well as longtime D.C. stalwart Aaron Martin on saxophone and drummer Sam Lohman. Theirs is a free improv band, though not a terribly far-out one; Martin plays serpentine but surely melodic lines over a firm swing from Stewart and Lohman that nonetheless follows Martin all the way (and he them). They are followed by another, perhaps even edgier, saxophone trio: that of altoist Darius Jones. He’s got a big sound on the alto sax and, though he’s got as firm a grasp of melody as Martin, is a much more aggressive horn player. His performance is more about his raw, emotional, and often violent attack that carries a surprising payload of the blues. Each note, even on the ballads, hits with shattering force.
The show starts at 9 p.m. at Red Door, 443 I St. NW. $16.
Photo by Petra Cvelbar