Marc Seales Groups
This is Earshot’s week for pianists, starting with Seales, Seattle’s dean of jazz keys. The UW prof has been taking care of business, creatively speaking, for decades, without much fuss and bother and with a lot of thoughtfulness and taste. He deservedly gets a two-night showcase, fronting two different bands—the first on a kind of fusion trip, the second playing standards. Tula’s, 8:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 21–Thurs., Oct. 22.
Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quartet
The always-dynamic Sosa is Cuban-born and pan-African in mindset. His band, featuring players from the U.S., Mozambique, and Senegal, draws a wild range of folk and modern motifs into something ecstatic and unpredictable. The Triple Door, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Wed., Oct. 21.
Matthew Shipp & Joe Morris
Shipp’s playing is like some kind of inverted, dark-matter version of whatever you think a jazz pianist is going to sound like. The shape of the lines, the concept of melody, follows a strange, original logic that is a tonic for so much else that deadens the ears. He plays duo here with Morris, another celebrated avant-gardist. Seattle Asian Art Museum, 8 p.m. Thurs., Oct. 22.
Myra Melford Be Bread
After a trio performance last week, Melford returns with a larger group of brilliant players known for negotiating all terrains of sophisticated, emotionally charged improvisation, including bassist Stomu Takeishi and guitarist Brandon Ross (both veterans of Henry Threadgill’s bands). A new, not-yet-released Be Bread recording shows some impassioned group energy, fragile song forms, and powerful dexterity. Seattle Art Museum, 8 p.m. Fri., Oct. 23.
The bright Seattle trumpeter is a regular at Tula’s and always worth hearing—but especially tonight, backed up by Travis Shook (one of the most gifted pianists ever to come out of the Northwest), who took New York by storm in the early ’90s, crashed, and has lately resurfaced. The band will play the collected works of: Thomas Marriott. Tula’s, 8:30 p.m. Sun., Oct. 25.
I’m not sure anyone at Earshot has the kind of major-label backing that supports this 22-year-old Kyrgyz-American phenom, signed to Sony five years ago. The public loves prodigies, but Eldar Djangirov is way beyond that. If you have even a passing interest in piano, you have to check out his astounding technical facility—which fortunately is put in the service of some impressive music-making. Like the Bad Plus, the trio falls outside any of jazz’s usual boundaries. Tula’s, 8:30 p.m. Mon., Oct. 26–Tues., Oct. 27.