SPECIAL GIVEAWAY: Wayne Escoffery, a gentle giant of the sax, with Jeremy Pelt at Blues Alley

Wayne Escoffery performs at Blues Alley this Wednesday; you can enter CapitalBop’s giveaway. Courtesy Nick Ruechel

by Giovanni Russonello
Editorial board

Few straight-ahead tenor saxophonists in the past 30 years have topped Wayne Escoffery in terms of instrumental command and direct power. He has imposing abilities, but he uses them to gently control a situation, and put you at ease. He’ll be in town this Wednesday to perform two sets at Blues Alley, and we’re giving away a couple pairs of tickets to the 10 p.m. set.

Escoffery’s deep lake of sound, and lyrical soloing, have earned him sideman gigs with the likes of Abdullah Ibrahim, Ben Riley and the Mingus Big Band. When he comes to Blues Alley, he’ll be leading a combo featuring the expert trumpeter Jeremy Pelt and the pianist Rachel Z. Pelt’s own bands always attract strong crowds; he’s dedicated to retaining a blues sense across various takes on the possibilities of the current jazz field. Rachel Z is an admirer of Wayne Shorter’s composition who has collaborated with him and whose chops as an arranger color her rhythmic approach as a pianist.

This rare band is worth checking out. Enter the drawing by clicking above.



Giovanni Russonello

About Giovanni Russonello

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Giovanni is the founder of CapitalBop, and a music critic for the New York Times. He previously served as a contributor to the Washington Post, the FADER, JazzTimes, NPR Music and others, and hosted “On the Margin,” a books show on WPFW-FM. As head of CapitalBop, he has covered the D.C. jazz scene since 2010. (He is no longer directly involved in the presenting of CapitalBop's concerts.) He graduated from Tufts University with a bachelor’s degree in history, with a focus on African-American history. Reach Giovanni at editor@capitalbop.com. Read him at giovannirussonello.com or nytimes.com/by/giovanni-russonello. Follow him on Twitter at @giorussonello.

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