After making a name for himself in his early 20s as a member of Wynton Marsalis's band, jazz pianist Marcus Roberts issued a succession of albums as a leader while gaining a reputation for his versatility, playing solo, in small combos, in big bands, and with symphonies, as well as making a mark as a composer. His perspective—and his distinctive piano style—consistently incorporated elements of jazz history, reaching back to stride and ragtime as well as bop, but always looking forward at the same time. Roberts kept a low profile throughout most of the last decade, returning to his alma mater, Florida State, to teach and becoming an assistant professor. This spring he released his first album in eight years, the remarkable New Orleans Meets Harlem, Volume I, a 21st-century perspective on the evolution of jazz as early, visceral styles combined with more sophisticated, uptown virtuosity. He subsequently turned in a sparkling solo performance at the Dakota. Now he returns with the other members of his longtime trio, bassist Roland Guerin and drummer Jason Marsalis—both major leaguers in their own right—whose own lithe versatility helped make the new album so memorable. $35 at 7 p.m.; $25 at 9:30 p.m.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, 7 & 9:30 p.m. Starts: Sept. 22. Continues through Sept. 23, 2009