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13 Pop, Rock and Jazz Concerts to Check Out in N.Y.C. This Weekend

Category: Entertainment,Music

STANLEY CLARKE at the Blue Note (Sept. 18-23, 8 and 10:30 p.m.). A pre-eminent electric bassist since his early years in the original Return to Forever, Mr. Clarke has a new album out titled “The Message,” a smoothly confrontational disc that reflects the ongoing influence of his younger band mates. The group lines up somewhere near the shared border of popular country, radio gospel, straight-ahead jazz and New Age. It features the keyboardist Cameron Graves, the pianist Beka Gochiashvili and the drummer Mike Mitchell.

JONATHAN FINLAYSON at Greater Calvary Baptist Church (Sept. 14, 7 p.m.). Next month Mr. Finlayson will release “3 Times Round,” an album featuring a powerful new sextet, in which well-placed, almost pugilistic movements carry a Zen-like purpose. Half of the credit for that goes to Mr. Finlayson’s entangled, houndstooth compositions. The rest goes to his band, a top-flight crew of 30- and 40-something improvisers. For this performance, part of Craig Harris’s Harlem Jazz Boxx series, Mr. Finlayson plays with a smaller but promising band, featuring David Bryant on piano, John H├ębert on bass and Tim Angulo on drums.

JIMMY GREENE at Smoke (Sept. 14-16, 7, 9 and 10:30 p.m.). A leading tenor saxophonist in straight-ahead jazz, Mr. Greene plays his horn with the bountiful spirit of a Dexter Gordon, the clean energy of a Michael Brecker and sometimes the swagger of a Joshua Redman. He spends this weekend at Smoke with an all-star band: Renee Rosnes on piano, John Patitucci on bass, Rogerio Boccato on percussion and Jeff Watts on drums.

CHRIS LIGHTCAP’S SUPERETTE at Le Poisson Rouge (Sept. 15, 7:30 p.m.). Mr. Lightcap, a bassist, writes surging, windswept music for Superette, a band that’s heavy on guitars and light on gravity. Their musical debts lie in surf music, Afro pop and ’80s rock. These songs don’t have any words, but you might feel like shouting a chorus along with them anyway. The band just came out with a debut album, which features the core lineup (the guitarists Curtis Hasselbring and Jonathan Goldberger and the drummer Dan Rieser) joined by two special guests: the guitarist Nels Cline and the organist John Medeski. That full crew will be on hand at this show.

MARK TURNER AND ETHAN IVERSON at Jazz Standard (Sept. 18, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Mr. Turner speaks privately through his tenor saxophone, as if he has much to say but isn’t so sure you care to hear it. Mr. Iverson speaks through his piano like a good professor, clear and rather definitive, with the force of savvy behind him. Two of the leading jazz musicians to come of age downtown in the 1990s, they’ve played together for well over a decade in the band of Billy Hart, an esteemed drummer a generation ahead of them. On “Temporary Kings,” an impressive new album of duets for ECM Records, they play a kind of lightly swinging, papery chamber jazz, with melodies embedded in a cool rhythmic flow.

WE FREE STRINGS at the Jazz Gallery (Sept. 19, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Led by the violist Melanie Dyer, this improvising collective performs original music that swirls together into an all-consuming flow, then becomes submerged in group play. Unlike many, this approach to free improvisation is not individualist or strident or perhaps even consciously avant-garde. Rather, you get a congenial, diatonic, rhythmically sturdy kind of conversation. The lineup for this show includes Ms. Dyer on viola, Charles Burnham and Gwen Laster on violin, Alex Waterman on cello, Ken Filiano on bass and Michael Wimberly on drums and percussion.

Editor’s Pick

LOW at National Sawdust (Sept. 19-21, 8 p.m.). When these slowcore pioneers released their debut album, “I Could Live in Hope,” in 1994, they kept it simple: bass, drums, guitar and vocals distilled to evoke painfully gorgeous landscapes trapped in snow globes. In the intervening years, they’ve added electronics to their musical toolbox to tweak the atmospherics here and there. With their latest, “Double Negative,” they’ve gone full-on impressionistic, smearing and distorting sounds to create beautiful songs from distant moments playing on a radio that’s fallen down a wormhole.

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