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Moment's Notice: Our Selection of Jazz Picks for July 16 through 22

Bob Sweeney
The Philly-born free-jazz group Irreversible Entanglements has set the world aflame. Catch them Monday and Tuesday at Solar Myth.

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!

Irreversible Entanglements - Monday and Tuesday, Solar Myth

The five-piece free-improv crew Irreversible Entanglements has been blowing minds for several years now, most recently with a hair-raising coverof the Sun Ra Arkestra anthem “Nuclear War.” A lot of the band’s coverage tends to focus on the poetical, polemical fury of Camae Ayewa, aka Moor Mother, who functions at times like a frontwoman. That’s understandable but also shortsighted, because the power of Irreversible Entanglements is the indivisible intensity of its output — an equal-parts amalgamation of Aquiles Navarro’s switchblade trumpet, Keir Neuringer’s buzzsaw saxophone, Luke Stewart’s doom-thumping bass and Tcheser Holmes’ trance-pulsating drums. Having caught them this year at both Winter Jazzfest and the Big Ears Festival, I can attest that their live show is almost untouchable right now, in terms of catharsis and conviction.

July 17 and 18, 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 S. Broad Street, $25; purchase tickets.

Christian Ertl Group - Thursday, Rite of Swing Cafe

An alto saxophonist now in the masters program at the Boyer College of Music and Dance, where he also earned his Bachelors of Music in 2022, Christian Ertl has a robust tone and a soulful way with phrasing — both of which helped earn him first prize in the U.S. Army Blues Solo Competition earlier this year. He’ll play at Boyer’s Rite of Swing Cafe with a few colleagues: pianist Scott Edmunds, bassist Dan McCain and drummer Ben Cohen.

July 20 at 4:30 p.m., Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 N. Broad Street, free; more info here.

Brian Simpson - Thursday and Friday, South Jazz Kitchen

Few figures in smooth jazz have covered more ground with more collaborators than keyboardist Brian Simpson. So in one sense you could call his new album, Soul Connection, a back-to-basics move; it boasts no bells and whistles or boldfaced cameos, just a laserlike focus on crisp melody and airtight groove. Its personnel includes saxophonist Steve Alaniz and guitarist Yarone Levy, who are likely to rejoin Simpson here.

July 20 and 21, 7 and 9:30 p.m., South Jazz Kitchen, 600 N. Broad Street, $32-$39; purchase tickets.

Korey Riker Featuring The Mini Q’s - Friday at Chris’ Jazz Cafe

From his home base in Philadelphia, saxophonist Korey Riker maintains an international touring and recording career, behind pop acts like John Legend, Juanes and Elvis Costello. On his most recent album, PTSD, Vol. 2, Riker advances a fusion-esque agenda with assertive partners like drummer Lionel Forrester Jr. — one of the band members who rejoins him here, for a tribute to Wayne Shorter.

July 21 at 8 and 10 p.m., Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street, $25-$95, with dinner packages; purchase tickets.

Nate Chinen has been writing about music for more than 25 years. He spent a dozen of them working as a critic for The New York Times, and helmed a long-running column for JazzTimes. As Editorial Director at WRTI, he oversees a range of classical and jazz coverage, and contributes regularly to NPR.