An all-star-caliber collaborative band, James Farm features four outstanding members of jazz's younger generation, each leaders in their own right: saxophonist Joshua Redman, pianist Aaron Parks, bassist Matt Penman, and drummer Eric Harland. The group's professed aim is to take a "song-based" approach to jazz while incorporating a variety of contemporary influences, a formula for disastrous muzak in the wrong hands. But this quartet manage it quite brilliantly on thier eponymous debut. All four's compositions flirt with melodies enough to warrant the "song" tag as well as tapping elements of rock, funk, soul, electronica, and more, yet never compromise with the sense that this is serious jazz absorbing other influences, not to be confused with fusion. The smart, restless improvisations, meanwhile, carry the concoction to a different plane. Harland propels most of the material with slippery urgency that varies in textural intensity from a gospel-tinged ballad like Parks's "Bijou" to his own frenetic workout "I-10," while Redman shines throughout without stealing the spotlight. $40 at 7 p.m.; $30 at 9 p.m. (Photo by Jimmy Katz)
Tuesdays, Wednesdays. Starts: Sept. 20. Continues through Sept. 21, 2011
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