by Giovanni Russonello
It’s hard to envision a better way to have said goodbye to Red Door than last month’s loft. Listeners and performers alike contributed to a sense of joy and communal freedom that made that seven-hour marathon a perfect tribute to the past year-plus of D.C. Jazz Lofts at the old venue.
Luckily, there’s no time to grieve over the loss of Red Door – the loft has a new home in the Dunes, a gorgeous art space and performance venue in Columbia Heights. This Sunday, we’ll be hosting our first show there, and things are going to start off with a bang: This is arguably the strongest lineup of any D.C. Jazz Loft, ever. We’ll be featuring performances by hard-swinging saxophone giant Paul Carr, Lenny Robinson’s deep-seeking trio MadCurious (featuring Brian Settles and Tarus Mateen) and trumpet innovator Donvonte McCoy.
The new venue has a full and reasonably priced bar, so there’s no longer a need to bring in your own booze. As always, the loft is a donation-based affair; we strongly suggest that you drop at least $10 into the musicians’ donation box on your way in the door. And, as usual, the show will end in an open jam – musicians, bring your axes! See you all at the Dunes this Sunday at 7 p.m.
Paul Carr is a hard-swinging master of the tenor saxophone who composes and improvises with soulful panache. He’s forged associations with some of the best in the business – Mulgrew Miller, Lewis Nash, Terell Stafford – and when he leads his own groups, the results are always infectious and hard-charging. Carr is also one of the area’s most influential educators, and music presenters: He’s the guy behind the Mid-Atlantic Jazz Festival, which will take place later this month.
Drummer Lenny Robinson is a ferociously inventive stylist, fond of winningly misfit spaces and hard-driving grooves. Robinson’s trio, MadCurious, features the loft hero Brian Settles on saxophone and international star Tarus Mateen on bass; in its one previous appearance at the D.C. Jazz Loft, the group’s free-form improvisations made a deep impression. There’s no doubt the group will repeat here.
Donvonte McCoy, the trumpeter who gave us CapitalBop’s No. 2 album of 2011, will lead a combo at the loft. McCoy can play the socks off a standard (find him at an HR-57 jam session sometime), but when leading his own groups, he steeps jazz in D.C.’s go-go tradition, contemporary hip-hop and old-school soul. In all likelihood, he’ll make it a challenge not to put the Dunes’ hardwood floors to their proper use: gettin’ down to the funky music. Why fight it?
Photo on flyer by aftab./flickr.