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Moment's Notice: Star-Spangled Jazz Picks for July 2 through 9

Welcome to Moment’s Notice, WRTI’s weekly digest of jazz listings in the Philadelphia area, now in Beta. This feature is coming soon, but first we thought we'd give it a trial run. Drop us a line to let us know what you think!

Spotlight: Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway Trio - Saturday, Solar Myth

Pianist Marilyn Crispell, bassist Mark Dresser and drummer Gerry Hemingway share a uniquely charged history: in the 1980s and ‘90s, they constituted the malleable rhythm section for a quartet led by visionary multi-reedist and composer Anthony Braxton. Each musician has excelled under their own steam in the three decades since, but they also maintain a tether to that experience; a dozen years ago, they reunited to make the Tzadik album Marilyn Crispell, Mark Dresser, Gerry Hemingway Play Braxton.

For this engagement under the auspices of Ars Nova Workshop, which has presented all three artists with their own projects over the years, Crispell, Dresser and Hemingway are sure to explore not only the vistas of Braxton’s world but also the inner worlds unlocked by their own interactions as a trio.

At 5 and 8 p.m., 1131 S. Broad Street, $35; purchase tickets.

Laura Orzehoski Sextet - Wednesday, Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Laura Orzehoski is a name to watch on the scene: she holds the lead trombone chair in the New York Youth Symphony Big Band, and recently recorded an album with the Grace Fox Big Band. She appears here with a sextet featuring some of her peers in the Jazz Studies program at Temple, including trumpeter Bell Thompson, tenor saxophonist Evan Kappelman and drummer Greg Masters.

At 8 and 9:30 p.m., 1421 Sansom Street, $15; purchase tickets.

Devin Gray - Thursday, Pageant Soloveev

Devin Gray
courtesy of the artist
Devin Gray

A hyperacute drummer best known for his work with saxophonist Tim Berne, guitarist Wendy Eisenberg and others, Devin Gray just released his first solo percussion album, Most Definitely, on Rataplan Records. More than a mere study in technical aplomb, it’s an electro-acoustic mission statement, by turns assaultive and immersive. Gray has been on an extensive tour behind the album; here he appears courtesy of Fire Museum, on a bill with Julius Masri, TR7 and Pete Dennis.

Wayne Smith, Jr.
Howard Pitkow
Wayne Smith, Jr.

At 8 p.m., 607 Bainbridge Street, $10 to $20; purchase tickets.

Wayne Smith Jr. Quintet - Friday, Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Perhaps you recognize Wayne Smith, Jr. as the alert young drummer in the Sun Ra Arkestra. Or maybe you know him as one of the Three Blind Mice, alongside saxophonist Victor North and organist Lucas Brown. Whatever the case, it’s worth paying attention to his burgeoning career as a bandleader — notably with this quintet, which typically features local talent like saxophonist Matthew Clayton, trombonist Brent White and bassist Madison Rast.

At 8 and 10 p.m., 1421 Sansom Street, $25 to $75 (with dinner packages); purchase tickets.

Kirk Whalum - Saturday, Philadelphia Clef Club of Jazz & Performing Arts

Still a smooth jazz pacesetter, saxophonist Kirk Whalum has kept up his productive streak: you can hear him on Euphoria, a new release by keyboardist Keiko Matsui, and on his own interview podcast, Humans Being. Whalum is one of the most soulful and grounded performers in his chosen format, and he brings both light and heat to his live show, leading a band well stocked with younger players.

At 7:30 p.m., 736 S. Broad Street, $45; purchase tickets.

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