Amir ElSaffar's Two Rivers Ensemble

Saturday, October 25

Semitic music of the Jewish persuasion has gotten more than its share of attention from the avant-jazz scene. Projects like Hasidic New Wave, John Zorn's Masada, and countless others, have made Eastern European shtetl harmonies and Americanized klezmer into practically a marker of the "downtown" style. More recently, Arabic sounds have begun to exert equal fascination, and while I don't know a damn thing about this tradition, I suspect it would be hard to find someone engaging it in a more profound and inventive fashion than this band. With ElSaffar on trumpet, vocals, and dulcimer, and two reliably exciting jazz masters (saxophonist Rudresh Mahanthappa and drummer Nasheet Waits) adding a range of multi colors, this is stirring, bittersweet, virtuosic, and unfamiliar--in short, pretty much everything you want for an early fall evening. During a rich week for Earshot festival shows, I suspect this will be one of the most memorable. The Triple Door, 216 Union St., 838-4333. 7:30 p.m. $20. MARK D. FEFER

Sat., Oct. 25, 7:30 p.m., 2008

 
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