Conceived as a forward-looking ensemble concentrating on the original compositions of its illustrious members, the NOWnet is a flexible group featuring some of the finest and most adventurous jazz musicians in the Twin Cities. This performance marks the formal resurrection of the group previously called Jazz Is NOW!, which went on hiatus in 2005 due to bandleader Jeremy Walker's health problems. On hand will be the band's core unit: pianist Walker, renowned bassist Anthony Cox, trumpeter par excellence Kelly Rossum, drummer Kevin Washington, and saxophonists Scott Fultz and Chris Thomson. The same crew gave a sneak preview of things to come last March, offering restless, probing, thoroughly contemporary material that often swung mightily, eddied in thoughtful reveries, and tapped a wide array of jazz (and sometimes blues and country) roots. The contexts were invariably fresh, often challenging, and laced with subtleties that maneuvered their way around intriguing twists and tangents. The Jazz Is NOW! organization has big plans for both the ensemble and myriad local jazz endeavors, and it seems to be off to an impressive (re-)start.
Tue., Oct. 7, 8 p.m., 2008