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A look inside The Jazz Gallery

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, November 8, The Jazz Gallery welcomes saxophonist/composer Felipe Salles and his new large ensemble to our stage to celebrate the release of The Lullaby Project and Other Works for Large Ensemble (Tapestry). A native of São Paulo, Brazil, Salles mines the music of his youth for the music on the album—namely traditional Brazilian lullabies. Through deft compositional manipulations, Salles highlights the tunes’ dark underlying qualities, and, in the composers own words, creates “a strong aural image in the listener’s mind.”

Before coming out to the Gallery to hear these psychologically-probing works, check out the album trailer, below.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, November 1, The Jazz Gallery welcomes bassist Jeong Lim Yang and her quintet to our stage for two sets. A native of South Korea, Yang studied at the Berklee College of Music, then moved to New York in 2011. In 2017, Yang released her debut album, Déjà Vu (Fresh Sound New Talent) with a quintet featuring veteran saxophonists Adam Kolker and Michael Attias, as well as rhythm section peers Nick Sanders on piano and Jesse Simpson on drums. Yang’s original compositions on the album follow the lineage of bassist Charlie Haden and drummer Paul Motian, courting abstraction and lyricism in equal measure.

Yang will reconvene this quintet at the Gallery to play material from Déjà Vu. Before seeing the band live, check out their performance of “Moon Tethered,” an homage to trio of Masabumi Kikuchi, Gary Peacock, and Paul Motian.

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Photos courtesy of the artists.

For the second year in a row, The Jazz Gallery will team up with the Jazztopad Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, this Saturday to present a night of Polish and American jazz musicians in dialogue. The first set features a special duo performance of two of Poland’s most acclaimed young improvisers—pianist Piotr Orzechowski and multi-instrumentalist Wacław Zimpel. Orzechowski, also known as Pianohooligan, has released three solo piano records on Decca, including 2017’s 24 Preludes & Improvisations, which showcases Orzechowski’s fluency in myriad idioms.

Zimpel is an inveterate explorer of musics from around the world, including American jazz and Indian classical music. He has released overdubbed solo tracks evocative of Colin Stetson’s practices, and last year released his second album with Saagara, a group featuring featuring top Indian musicians.

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Photo courtesy of the artist.

This Thursday, October 4, pianist Micah Thomas returns to The Jazz Gallery for two sets with his work trio, featuring bassist Dean Torrey and drummer Kyle Benford. Since making his Gallery debut as a leader last October, Thomas has become a regular here, performing with the likes of Melissa Aldana, Harish Raghavan, and Immanuel Wilkins. Thomas’s ability to connect with a wide variety of players and practices is reflected in the trio’s own music. In an interview with Jazz Speaks last year, Thomas noted:

My stuff is kind of in the middle of everything. Some originals, some tunes, and some rearrangements of tunes by people that I wanted to play. Some of it’s swinging, some is in the more traditional vein, some is in a more modern-swing vain, and some is just not swinging at all. Some tunes will be really hard and some will be really easy and simple. I wrote everything from 16 bar melodies to compositions that are 5-10 pages long. I’m looking forward to trying it all out. The common denominator is the trio and how we approach it.

Before coming to the Gallery to see Thomas and company’s growth as a band, check out this recent performance of Thomas with Immanuel Wilkins’s quartet, recorded live at WRTI in Philadelphia.

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Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society performing Real Enemies at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, November 2015. Photo by Noah Stern Weber.

This Wednesday, October 3, The Jazz Gallery is pleased to once again welcome Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society to our stage. Argue and Secret Society have a long history with the Gallery—Argue’s compositions “Jacobin Club” and “Obsidian Flow” were commissioned by and premiered at the Gallery in 2008-09. Since then, the group has released three highly acclaimed albums and performed throughout the world. This summer marked the ensemble’s debut at the Chicago Jazz Festival, and after the Gallery show this week, the ensemble travels the festival Agrajazz in the Azores Islands.

Outside of his work with Secret Society, Argue has had a busy year, composing a new piece in honor of New England Conservatory’s 150th anniversary, “Wingèd Beasts,” (which you can check out below), and arranging/orchestrating the music for vocalist Cecille McLorin Salvant’s new song cycle OgresseOgresse premiered this past weekend at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, but if you missed it, you can catch it in November at NJPAC in Newark, NJ, the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, and McCarter Theatre in Princeton, NJ.

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