Tremendous Tuesday: Marshall Allen, Mike Reed & Butch Warren to perform

Multi-instrumentalist Marshall Allen plays one of three standout gigs in D.C. this Tuesday. | taken by flickr user 18brumaire

by Luke Stewart and Giovanni Russonello
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This Tuesday presents one helluva difficult choice for lovers of experimental jazz: Go hear tried-and-true legend Marshall Allen, or opt for Mike Reed, the up-and-coming innovator? And for those who prefer something in a more traditional idiom, D.C. jazz patriarch Butch Warren will play a special, retrospective show with the Brad Linde Ensemble.

All told, it’s hard for a jazz fan to justify not going out this Tuesday.

marshall allen quintet

Allen, the longtime and current musical director of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, graces D.C. on Tuesday for the second time this year. Allen is set to perform at Twins Jazz with a star-studded quintet featuring Philadelphia sax legend Elliot Levin and the revolutionary poet and activist John Sinclair.

Allen will doubtlessly play not only his screeching alto saxophone, but also an array of other wind instruments, including the E.V.I. (Electronic Valve Instrument). The man will be communicating with the cosmos to bring you the celestial message — just as his late boss, Sun Ra, would have desired. (For details on the gig, click here.)

Updated: Multi-instrumentalist Danny Ray Thompson, also of Sun Ra’s Arkestra, is slated to appear with the group, making it a sextet. He’ll be performing on the baritone saxophone.

mike reed’s People, Places & Things

A younger but equally deep-thinking avant music group — Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things — will perform simultaneously at the Black Cat rock club. Reed plays drums, and his group has no chordal instruments: A small corps of horns improvises freely, often collectively, and the two-piece rhythm section oscillates from a venturesome iteration of hard-bop swing to more amorphous soundscapes. Reed, a Chicago native, makes music in the tradition of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), a Windy City collective of avant-gardists that originated in the 1960s. (For details on the gig, click here.)

Butch Warren & the Brad Linde Ensemble

At Blues Alley, jazz demigod Butch Warren will team up with the nine-piece Brad Linde Ensemble for a night of music celebrating his career. As Blue Note Records’ house bassist during the 1950s and ’60s,  Warren recorded on over 30 albums before going on to tour with Thelonious Monk. “Butch is one of Washington, D.C.’s jazz treasures,” Linde told CapitalBop.

Linde, who plays baritone saxophone, added that although the nonet is a bigger group than Warren typically played with in his hard-bop days, there will be ample room for long-form soloing. “Even with the larger ensemble, arrangements are going to focus on improvisation. All the soloists are going to get to stretch out and play on these tunes,” Linde said. “And Butch will stretch out on some trio tunes.” (For details on the gig, click here.)

The Marshall Allen Quintet plays at Twins Jazz at 8 p.m. on Tuesday. (info) Butch Warren and the Brad Linde Ensemble play at Blues Alley, also at 8 p.m. (info) Mike Reed’s People, Places & Things plays at the Black Cat at 10 p.m. (info)

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  1. […] an evening when the celestial bodies of jazz were aligned in D.C. – with three superb jazz shows going on across the city – Marshall Allen truly took things out of this world Tuesday night with […]

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