Welcome to what some call Rocktober, though there is no hard evidence that is rocks significantly more than any other month.
Ken Thomson Sextet @ Icehouse
Thomson’s compositional sweet spot is somwhere between straight-ahead jazz and new classical music with four horns and a rhythm section, so he requires an ensemble of veteran pros who can play what’s on the page and also contribute distinctively voiced vigor. Saxophonist Anna Webber, trumpeter Russ Johnson. and trombonist Alan Ferber all qualify. The sextet will play from a month-old recording that leads with Ligeti, then plumbs Ken Thomson. 9:30. $12. 2528 Nicollet Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Monday music listings here.
Dream Wife @ 7th St. Entry
Dream Wife are among the leading young punk bands emerging from London, handily navigating the genre’s “pop-” and “post-” varieties. Referencing the playbooks of bands like Bikini Kill and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, they haven’t yet grown into a unique sound, but on their self-titled debut from January, they show their dynamic versatility while memorably exploring feminist themes. If they don’t have a “Rebel Girl”-caliber signature song yet, they seem capable of getting there. With Russo and Strange Relations. 18+. 7 p.m. $12/$15. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Kenny Barron @ the Dunsmore Room at Crooners
I caught more than 20 ensembles over Labor Day Weekend at the Chicago Jazz Festival last month, but the Kenny Barron Quintet was a cut above. The reason was the leader, who supported and challenged via the sheer majesty of his technique and imagination—the top-notch sidemen played on high alert. Seeing this perennial Downbeat Critics Award-winner solo at the Dunsmore will provide another magical prism on his artistry. Go. 7 p.m. ($40-$45) and 9 p.m. ($30). 6161 Highway 65 NE, Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Tord Gustavsen Trio @ Mindekirken Lutheran Church
Two years ago, pianist Tord Gustavsen performed the traditional Norwegian hymns on his seventh ECM release, What Was Said, at Mindekirken, and the joy of elderly parishioners (about a third of the audience) was itself worth the price of admission. Gustavsen’s back with a more traditional trio (sans singer, plus bassist) and the ECM disc on offer leans on Bach for its chamber sub-theme. 7:30 p.m. $25. 924 East 21st St., Minneapolis. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Tuesday music listings here.
Denzel Curry @ First Avenue
“Eight years in the game and I never rode a wave,” raps Florida’s Denzel Curry at one point on his latest album, TA13OO, which sneakily ranks with this year’s most ambitious releases in any genre. Though not exactly a concept album, it has a distinct arc, divided into three parts of roughly equal length: Light, Gray, and Dark, released one day at a time last week. More than anything else he’s released so far, TA13OO thoroughly presents Curry as both a rap hero and a real-life human, and why he deserves to be a leader of the new school. With Kid Trunks. 7 p.m. $20/$25. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Eleanor Friedberger @ Cedar Cultural Center
Initially rising to indie renown as half of brother-sister duo the Fiery Furnaces in the mid-’00s, Illinois native Eleanor Friedberger began her solo career when she channeled ‘70s singer-songwriter stylings on 2011’sLate Summer. Flash forward to 2018, and her fourth solo album, Rebound, marks an inspired shift in sound with its taut ’80s goth-pop, which she gravitated toward while visiting Greece after Trump’s election. With Pill and Jillian Rae.7:30 p.m. $20/$25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.— Michael Madden
David Murray feat. Kahil el’Zabar @ Vieux Carre
As profound as he was prolific during the final 20 years of the 20th century, Murray’s resonant tenor sax was a clarion blend of “outside” skronk, sage blues, and resilient swing and bebop. More recently he’s engaged singers (Macy Gray) and poets (Saul Williams) in a mellowed but still trenchant way. These two nights, he’ll thrust and parry with an old cohort, AACM percussionist Kahil El’Zabar, with James Buckley on bass. 7p.m. ($30-$35) and 9 p.m. ($25-$30). Also Thursday. 408 St. Peter St., St. Paul. More info here.—Britt Robson
Complete Wednesday music listings here.
Ryley Walker @ 7th St. Entry
Chicago’s Ryley Walker first made his name as a virtuoso fingerstyle guitarist, eventually singing for the first time on 2015’s Primrose Green and becoming the eclectic singer-songwriter he is today. Walker’s latest is May’s Deafman Glance, a sprawling collection of art-folk, experimental rock, and jazz. Ever prolific, he’s now gearing up to release his second album of the year, a full-length cover of Dave Matthews Band’s lost The Lillywhite Sessions, of all things. With Health&Beauty.18+. 7 p.m. $13/$15. 701 First Ave. N., Minneapolis. More info here.—Michael Madden
Jim Lauderdale @ Cedar Cultural Center
Although Nashville-based and a regular affiliate of the quality country crowd, Jim Lauderdale, ace songwriter and coveted sideman, is profoundly eclectic. From bluegrass/country origins, Lauderdale has cultivated an impressively elastic rootsy purview. His two summer releases bookend a prolific solo career in no danger of slowing down: Jim Lauderdale & Roland White, a straight bluegrass session recorded in 1979 with Kentucky Colonel mandolinist/singer White, was Lauderdale’s long-lost first album. His newest, Time Flies, features fresh tunes that run the gamut from country to rock, blues and honky-tonk. Mother Banjo opens. 7:30 p.m. $25. 416 Cedar Ave. S., Minneapolis. More info here.—Rick Mason
Complete Thursday music listings here.