This majorly Minnesotan jazz quartet performs only irregularly since trombonist Mark Miller now spends most of his time in New York playing for Broadway shows. But to kick off the new year, the group's living up to the name of its debut album, The Return of Slide Huxtable, with a handful of gigs on the old home turf. Miller leads the way with his swaggering tone, guitarist Bill Bergmann weighs in with an expansive lyricism, and the top-notch rhythm section of drummer J.T. Bates and bassist Chris Bates conspires on a constantly evolving array of slithery grooves. Slide's repertoire ranges among originals and covers, usually following a straight-ahead path but paving the way with occasional shards of classical, blues, folk, reggae, and funk. For these gigs, versatile local guitar ace Dean Magraw will be sitting in for Bergmann, who's recovering from finger surgery. Also, during the late-night Friday gig at the Dakota, the Slide foursome will be joined by band members from the touring Broadway company of Avenue Q, on earlier in the evening at the State Theatre. 18+.
Thu., Jan. 10, 9 p.m., 2008