An older musician surrounding himself with young lions might seem like a sad stab at relevance (or just a ploy for cheap sidemen). But the jazz tradition is full of giants like Miles who were so visionary, they had to continually restock their bands with youngsters just to keep up. This has been especially true of drummers for some reason: Art Blakey, Elvin, Max (all R.I.P.)--they regularly led groups of players half their age (and Paul Motian still does). In this lineage is the great Jerry Granelli. A onetime studio cat, former Cornish instructor, and all-around creative force, Granelli has a uniquely musical way with the kit that defies any jazz categories. His latest two-guitar quartetfeaturing the amazing Dave Tronzo, one of New Yorks most revered "downtown" players--covers wide sonic territory, without the usual obvious stitching-together of genres and influences. Now pushing 70, Granelli's still hearing things that only the most unjaded ears can pick out. This intimate show will be a fitting kickoff to the Earshot Jazz Festival.
Sat., Oct. 18, 8:30 p.m., 2008