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Friday, July 2
Nathan and Noble Jolley Jr. are together one of the most powerful musical forces known to man. The twin sons of local legend Noble Jolly Sr., who passed away in 2003, play drums and keyboards, respectively, and swing each with such intensity and aggression that it can often seem like they’re barely in control of it. They are, don’t worry. But they don’t only swing: The Jolleys also love to experiment with funk and hip-hop sounds, plus a twist or three of the avant-garde, and do it all with a gospel bite. Now that’s fusion. But don’t let it fool you; the brothers Jolley are as firmly entrenched in the jazz tradition as anyone you’ve ever heard. How else would they end up on the stage at the (literal) cathedral of D.C. jazz tradition, Westminster Presbyterian Church? Admittedly, though, they are starring in a concert there titled “The Future of Jazz,” leading a quintet that features Curtis Taylor on trumpet, Eric Wheeler on bass, and Christie Dashiell on vocals. The show begins at 6 p.m. at 4th and I streets SW. $5.
Saturday, July 3
Anyone who puts tenor saxophonist Brian Settles on the bandstand with them is employing a ringer. There is nothing the guy can’t and doesn’t play, from the giddiest swing to the most ultramodern experiments. (The last is especially potent, with New York adventurers Jonathan Finlayson and Mary Halvorson among his most frequent collaborators.) On the other hand, calling Settles a “ringer” suggests that his talents fly under the radar, and that’s not the case. He’s performed all around the nation and outside of it, and his sound on the horn—-bluesy, robust, and unfalteringly lyrical—-is unmistakable. He leads a band called Central Union in 8:30 and 10:30 sets at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 Eleventh St. NW. $20.
Tuesday, July 6
You’ll notice that saxophonist Paul Carr gets no short shrift in this column, and that’s as it should be. The accomplished tenor man is also a composer, educator, mentor to God knows how many, and, as of recently, custodian of the reborn Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival. So when he releases a new album, we should pay attention. Carr’s new Straight Ahead Soul is anything but: It’s soul-jazz, no question, but with big helpings of Latin rhythm and juke-joint rhythm & blues, plus the swing, bop, and post-bop lineages of jazz that Carr keeps alive in his playing. The record, which features far-flung musicians such as Chicago guitarist Bobby Broom and New York drummer Lewis Nash as well as local stars like Allyn Johnson, Michael Bowie, and Lori Williams is a keeper, one you should definitely pick up—-at the same time that you listen to highlights of it played live at the CD release party. It takes place at 8 and 10 p.m. at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $20.