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Fall Arts Preview: Jazz picks

Sara Serpa will perform at Regattabar Oct. 3.Carlos Ramos

REBECCA PARRIS: A CELEBRATION OF HER LIFE The singer Rebecca Parris’s spot-on musicianship and charismatic warmth earned her the sobriquet “Boston’s first lady of jazz.” Parris died in June, at 66, and this free concert will be a celebration of her life by many of the musicians who loved her, including singers Carol Sloane, Shawnn Monteiro, Suede, Steve Marvin, and Louise Van Aarsen; pianists Michael Renzi, Fred Harris, and Paul McWilliams (Parris’s companion and accompanist for 34 years); bassists Peter Kontrimas and Bruce Gertz; and drummer Jim Lattini. Radio hosts Ron Della Chiesa and Eric Jackson will emcee. Sept. 13. Free. Regent Theatre, Arlington. 781-646-4849,

DAVE DOUGLAS Concluding the week’s “Grow Your Art” residency at New England Conservatory, trumpeter, composer, and echt-indie jazz artist and NEC alumnus Dave Douglas presents and plays in this concert of his own music, with various student ensembles. Expect to hear music from Douglas’s classic 1998 “Charms of the Night Sky” chamber suite as well as his recent work with brass quartet the Westerlies. Sept. 19. Free. Jordan Hall, Boston. 617-585-1122,


ETHAN IVERSON AND MARK TURNER The airy, floating tenor saxophone sound of Mark Turner, with it majestic sweep from the bottom of the horn to an unearthly top, is a wonder to behold. Turner and pianist, New England Conservatory professor, and founding member of trailblazing trio the Bad Plus, Ethan Iverson, have a longtime musical relationship that includes the Billy Hart Quartet. They are celebrating their recording debut as a duo, “Temporary Kings” (released Sept. 7). It is by turns gritty, ethereal, swinging, and rhapsodic. Sept. 20. $28. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-393-7757,

JAZZ ALONG THE CHARLES Subtitled “A Walkable Concert,” this event is the most cheering local-jazz initiative I’ve seen in some time: From 2 to 4 p.m., 25 Boston-based jazz bands will play for free at 25 different locations along a 2-mile loop of the Charles River Esplanade. The bands have been instructed to draw from a list of Boston-related songs — everything from Duke Ellington’s “I Got It Bad” (a feature for Cambridge’s own Johnny Hodges) to pieces by Chick Corea, Gary Burton, Mark Sandman (of Morphine), and, of course, the Standells’ “Dirty Water.” The bands and players include the Tim Ray Trio, the Jason Palmer Quintet, Charlie Kohlhase’s Explorers Quintet, Krewe de Roux, Receita de Samba, and . . . 20 more. Sept. 23. Free. Charles River Esplanade, Boston. 617-482-2595,


SATOKO FUJII The Japanese pianist Satoko Fujii has been celebrating her 60th birthday year with a CD release every month — from duos and trios to full orchestra. She comes to the Lilypad with the band This Is It!, from her June release, “1538,” which includes all the hallmarks of her playing since her years at New England Conservatory — meticulously arranged soundscapes with the intuitive expression and “extended techniques” of free jazz, delicacy and transparent textures alternating with rumbling fury. Her band members are trumpeter and longtime collaborator Kappa Maki and percussionist Yoshi Shutto. Sept. 26. $15. Lilypad, Cambridge.

KENNY WERNER QUARTET The master composer and keyboardist Kenny Werner leads an astoundingly talented quartet of players and composers in their own right: saxophonist Dave Liebman, bassist Esperanza Spalding, and drummer Terri Lyne Carrington. The band spans generations as well as genres — they can play anything. It will be interesting to see what Werner throws at them. Sept. 28-29. $40. Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. 617-562-4111,


BERKLEE BEANTOWN JAZZ FESTIVAL Berklee College of Music’s annual free fall block party, once again helmed by distinguished Grammy-winning Berklee prof Terri Lyne Carrington, will feature saxophonist Tia Fuller; saxophonist Marco Pignataro’s Almas Antiguas Quartet with the great bassist Eddie Gomez; drummer Ralph Peterson’s Aggregate Prime; singer Catherine Russell; MikroJazz, with saxophonist Philipp Gerschlauer, guitarist Dave Fiuczynski, keyboardist Utar Atun, and special guest drummer Jack DeJohnette; trumpeter Jason Palmer; pianist Rina Yamakazi, and many more, on multiple stages. Sept. 29. Free. Columbus Avenue between Massachusetts Avenue and Burke Street.

RAN BLAKE AND SARA SERPA The sage of Boston’s contemporary improv scene, pianist and New England Conservatory professor Ran Blake, is at his best in duo performances with singers (his latest CD, “Streaming,” with vocalist Christine Correa, is due Oct. 12). Here he’s joined by another of his regular partners, singer Sara Serpa, who since her days as Blake’s student, has established herself as an adventurous vocal improviser in her own bands. Expect standards, music from and inspired by Blake’s beloved film noir, and maybe some of Lisbon native Serpa’s Portuguese fado. Oct 3. $25. Regattabar, Cambridge. 617-395-7757.

JAZZ COMPOSERS ALLIANCE ORCHESTRA The newest album from Boston’s venerable Jazz Composers Alliance Orchestra — one of the city’s invaluable laboratories for new music — is composer Darrell Katz’s “Rats Live on No Evil Star,” due Oct. 12. In the meantime, the JCAO is offering this concert, being recorded live, and supported by a grant from the Aaron Copland Foundation. The featured composers will be Katz, David Harris, Bob Pilkington, and Mimi Rabson (whose Strings Theory Trio supplements the orchestra). The JCAO always begins firmly in the jazz tradition and ranges far and wide, showing the orchestral possibilities of “big band” music. Oct. 4. $15; $10 advance. Berklee Performance Center, Boston. 617-747-2261,


JASON MORAN Jason Moran is continually inventive as pianist, composer, and conceptualizer, whether reimagining the music of Fats Waller or Thelonious Monk, exploring his own wide-ranging interests as a composer, or collaborating with visual artists like Kara Walker and Glenn Ligon. This performance, by his trio the Bandwagon (with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet Waits), now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is presented in conjunction with a season-long exhibit of Moran’s multimedia installations and drawings (opening Sept. 19). Oct. 12. $60; $50 students. Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. 617-478-3103,

NOAH PREMINGER QUARTET The 32-year-old tenor saxophonist Noah Preminger began earning praise from his first recording as a leader, in 2008, with his remarkable energy and tone — an ability to sculpt each note, even at high velocity — and his expressive range. That range has included his own inventive compositions (with a debt to Ornette Coleman), a couple of albums of Delta blues (Charlie Patton, Skip James, et al.), and an album focused on social equity (Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Bruce Hornsby). The Canton, Conn., native and New England Conservatory grad plays this show with the band from his latest CD, “Genuinity,” trumpeter Jason Palmer, bassist Kim Cass, and drummer Dan Weiss. Oct. 18. $25. Scullers Jazz Club, Boston. 617-562-4111,


AARDVARK JAZZ ORCHESTRA The music the composer and bandleader Mark Harvey writes for Aardvark is always topical, with an emphasis on social justice, abetted by a satirical streak (past subjects have included the Big Dig). This CD-release concert (and 46th season opener) for “Democratic Vistas” is especially apropos, given the Election Day that follows it. (“The Swamp-a-Rama Suite” includes sections “Fake News Blewz” and “Trumputin Tango.”) Harvey’s writing for the large ensemble is informed by Duke Ellington, Charles Mingus, and Sun Ra, among others, and animated by an outstanding cast of Boston players, including singers Grace Hughes and Jerry Edwards. Nov. 3. Free. Killian Hall, MIT, Cambridge. 617-452-3205,

LUCIANA SOUZA/THE YELLOWJACKETS This superb double bill pairs the fine Brazilian singer and songwriter Luciana Souza and her trio (with guitarist Chico Pinheiro and bassist Scott Colley) with the multifaceted fusionesque veterans the Yellowjackets. Souza will sing from her latest CD, “The Book of Longing,” which, typical for this adventurous artist, mixes her settings of poetry by Leonard Cohen, Emily Dickinson, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Christina Rossetti, and her originals. The Yellowjackets’ new “Raising Our Voice” includes Souza as a singer and leans appealingly Brazilian in their original writing. They’ll play their own set and be joined by Souza for a few songs. Nov. 9. $45-$65. Berklee Performance Center, Boston. 617-482-6661,

MIGUEL ZENÓN & SPEKTRAL QUARTET Rather than arrange the typical “horn with strings” album, alto saxophonist, New England Conservatory teacher, and MacArthur Fellow Miguel Zenón wrote the new “Yo Soy La Tradición” (due from Miel Music Sept. 21) as a suite that fully integrates the string voicings of the Spektral Quartet. It marks Zenón’s ongoing exploration of the music and broader culture of his native Puerto Rico. As in Zenón’s previous work, the writing is detailed and inventive, with agile playing all around, not least Zenón’s own pearly alto. This show, presented by Villa Victoria Center for the Arts, will be a rare chance to hear this music played live. Nov. 15. $35. First Church Boston. 617-927-1707,

JULIAN LAGE TRIO The guitarist and composer Julian Lage has been an exciting presence since debuting as a teenager with the Gary Burton Quartet, in the early aughts. His own work as a leader, solo artist, and in collaborative projects like his duo work with pianist Fred Hersch and guitarist Nels Cline, has shown not only extraordinary virtuosity but also a restless imagination and openness — from swing to country and bluegrass to unclassifiable exploration. He comes to Berklee with bassist Jorge Roeder and drummer Eric Doob, on the heels of this year’s more rocking, groove-oriented “Modern Lore.” Nov. 30. $35-$55. Berklee Performance Center, Boston. 617-482-6661,