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Take the part about open venues with as big an asterisk as you can muster; if the reason for that isn’t obvious, you don’t live here.
There aren’t a whole lot of bands in the area with violinists as sidemen, let alone leaders. That’s one of many reasons to catch a performance by Matvei Sigalov (above), who doubles on guitar. The native of Samara, Russia, has mastered several musical instruments: He began his classical violin training when he was six, took up rock guitar as a teenager, began playing jazz in his early twenties, and has since spread out into R&B, gospel, pop, soul, and Brazilian samba. He’s also got a deep interest in fusion, symptoms of which include playing his violin solos through a wah-wah pedal with Wurlitzer electric piano and drums thumping behind him. The sound is red-hot—-just the cure for a week with two back-to-back snowstorms. Sigalov performs sets at 8 and 10 pm at Bohemian Caverns, 2001 11th Street NW. $15. Feb. 14 If you’ve gotta have jazz for Valentine’s Day, you’ve gotta go see Felicia Carter. The sultry singer is from D.C., though she’s built a formidable reputation Baltimore as well as our fair city with her lithe soprano and gripping command of the jazz repertoire. Her every word on “Love for Sale” and “Fine and Mellow” sounds like she’s telling you a secret. With her most recent CD, 2007’s Feather/Step Lightly, Carter flexes her songwriting muscles as well. She’ll no doubt do the same, in addition to familiar love songs you expect for the occasion, in her 8 and 10 pm sets at Twins, 1344 U Street NW. $15.
Feb. 15 Busy, busy Brad Linde. The baritone saxophonist has so many irons in the fire it’s impossible to keep track; his 11-piece Brad Linde Ensemble (BLE) alone gigs out the ying-yang. They’ve cut quite a figure with their celebrations of two jazz classics, Miles Davis‘ 1949 Birth of the Cool sides and Thelonious Monk‘s 1959 concert at Town Hall in New York. Elements of both are present on BLE’s album, Feeling That Way Now, with subtle arrangements that live up to the word “cool” (even on the Monk songs). The band celebrates the release of the album with two sets, 8 and 10 pm, at Blues Alley, 1073 Wisconsin Avenue. $18 plus surcharge and minimum.
Feb. 16 Incidentally, one of the players on BLE’s Feeling That Way Now is Matt Rippetoe, who plays second bari sax. On his own, Rippetoe also plays tenor and alto saxes, but ventures far from the bebop repertory. His CD Boink is electronic and experimental, exploiting tape loops and synthesized effects along with the improvisations by sax, guitar, bass, and drums. The sounds vary wildly, from electro-funk to snaky arabesques to near-white-noise atonality. The unpredictability, though, is part of what keeps things interesting—-which they always are. Rippetoe left DC for Brooklyn last fall; still, he’s kept enough of a foothold in the city to lead a band called the District 5. They’ll be working at one of DC’s best-and-getting-better venues, Adams Morgan’s Bossa, at 2463 18th Street NW. Free.