There was a time when you thought there was nothing more dizzying and mercurial than a Wayne Shorter solo. Then you found out what a globally warmed winter feels like in D.C. Ohh. Over the past month, the city has been expressing a state of lunacy, or frustration, or spite. It massages us into gentle, 70-degree abstraction before plunging us into an acrid freeze. Yech.
Last month the D.C. Jazz Loft got snared in it when we had to cancel our show because of icy roads. But this Sunday we’re getting our revenge, bringing two out of the three artists who were scheduled to play in December: the great pianist Noble Jolley, and the powerful avant-garde saxophone player Jamal Moore. Joining them on the bill is Sam Prather, an exciting pianist, drummer and vocalist who will be leading his Groove Orchestra.
The show is at Union Arts, CapitalBop’s new home as of this fall. It will be a deep-grooving but laid-back evening of good music and good people. The loft is BYOB, and a donation of $15 is suggested–it all goes to the musicians. You can get to Union Arts through the back entrance, by turning into the parking lot off of 4th Street NE. It may be cold this Sunday, or it may be balmy; these will be sounds for all seasons.
The pianist Noble Jolley grew up immersed in music, spirituality and the warm crosscurrents they produce. His father, Noble Sr., preached in church and played jazz guitar, and he instilled his two musician sons with an open-armed love of musical communion. Often working alongside his brother, Nate, Noble has become one of the area’s most in-demand young musicians, reflecting the influence of Herbie Hancock and composing his own buoyant originals. Here the local sensation brings his own band of young talents to perform originals and covers of everything from standards to current pop tunes.
Jamal Moore uses his bold, patiently vigorous saxophone melodies to grip you and lead you into a deeper place. Moore recently returned to his hometown of Baltimore after graduating from the California Institute for the Arts with an MFA in African-American improvisation. At CalArts he studied with the great Wadada Leo Smith, among others, and Moore’s résumé includes work alongside Nicole Mitchell, Roscoe Mitchell and George Duke. Here he’ll lead his own trio in an exploration of experimental Black music.
SAM PRATHER’S GROOVE ORCHESTRA
Sam Prather, one of the District’s more versatile and in-demand sidemen, is stepping out in front of his own group. With his Groove Orchestra, he puts jazz chops to use in service of a slow-burning, gently weaving aesthetic that’s equal parts neo-soul, hip-hop and funk. Prather has performed with Pharoah Sanders, Warren Wolf, Frederic Yonnet, and 76 Degrees West — truly a vast array. He’ll put the lessons he’s learned on display this Sunday with his small but mighty Groove Orchestra.