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Moment's Notice: Our Standout Jazz Picks, Sept. 17 through 23

Welcome to Moment’s Notice, WRTI’s guide to the Philadelphia jazz scene. We’re here to tip you off to the best shows during the week ahead. Sign up now to receive this service in your inbox every week. And if you want to let us know about a show on the horizon, or share any other feedback, drop us a line!

Spotlight: Pat Metheny — Saturday, Keswick Theater

On his latest album, Dream Box, Pat Metheny pares down to solo guitar, with a twist — overdubbing his own accompaniment, in the manner of Bill Evans’ Conversations with Myself. The effect is as warmly captivating on new compositions like “Ole & Gard” as it is on a standard like “I Fall in Love Too Easily” — reinforcing Metheny’s personable lyricism, his resourceful economy, and the immersive skill that science-fiction types call world-building. The Dream Box Tour, which touches down at the Keswick on Saturday, features music from this new release as well as every other solo album Metheny has made, going back to New Chautauqua in 1979. “It’s going to be something quite different for me, that intimate relationship,” he offers in a press statement. “I think I’ll probably actually talk some on the gig, which I generally don’t like to do, but it sort of fits with what this evening will be.”

Sept. 22 at 8 p.m., Keswick Theatre, 291 N. Keswick Avenue, Glenside, $49.50 to $99; purchase tickets.

Dan Weiss Trio — Monday, Solar Myth

Over more than two decades as a working group, the Dan Weiss Trio — with Weiss on drums, Jacob Sacks on piano and Thomas Morgan on bass — has forged its style out of quick-twitch reflexes and an almost telepathic intuition. Dedication, released last year, celebrates some heroes in Weiss’ pantheon, including Burt Bacharach and Elvin Jones, as well as his own daughter and late grandmother.

Sept. 18 at 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 S. Broad Street, $25; purchase tickets.

Nick Dunston: Spider Season — Tuesday, Solar Myth

A bassist whose centrifugal authority can be heard to great effect in Mary Halvorson’s Amaryllis band, Nick Dunston is also a composer attuned to shifting timbre — something he puts at the forefront of a trio called Spider Season, with Kalia Vandever on trombone and electronics and DoYeon Kim on vocals and gayageum, a Korean zither. Their self-titled debut, released last year, gives some sense of the dynamic intrigue they’ll bring to this Ars Nova Workshop stand.

Sept. 19 at 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 S. Broad Street, $25; purchase tickets.

Natural Information Society
Ike Day
Natural Information Society

Natural Information Society — Thursday through Saturday, Solar Myth

Trance is shifting truth in the music of Natural Information Society, led by Joshua Abrams for the better part of a decade. Featuring an assembly anchored by Abrams’ giumbri (a three-stringed Gnawan lute), the band creates droning improvisations that loop and expand, bringing an audience into the matrix. In this three-night residency as on Since Time is Gravity, the group’s most recent album, Abrams will be joined by Lisa Alvarado on harmonium, Jason Stein on bass clarinet and Mikel Patrick Avery on drums; Ari Brown will be a special guest on saxophone, with others yet to be announced.

Sept. 8 at 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 S. Broad Street, $30; purchase tickets.

Kevin Hays Trio — Friday and Saturday, Chris’ Jazz Cafe

Pianist Kevin Hays has a long, productive history with the trio format, stretching back at least as far as his 1991 album Ugly Beauty. His fine new offering, Bridges, comes via the collective known as Hays Street Hart, with Ben Street and Billy Hart respectively on bass and drums. For this weekend stand at Chris’ Jazz Cafe, he’ll be in different but no less auspicious company, working with bassist Alex Claffy and drummer Eric Harland.

Sept. 22 and 23 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m., Chris’ Jazz Cafe, 1421 Sansom Street, $25 on Friday, $30 on Saturday; purchase tickets.

Charlie Hunter and Kurt Elling, coequals in the groove unit SuperBlue.
courtesy of the artist
Charlie Hunter and Kurt Elling, coequals in the groove unit SuperBlue.

SuperBlue — Saturday, World Cafe Live

An inspired power-sharing agreement between vocalist Kurt Elling and guitarist Charlie Hunter, two men who really understand how to command a room, SuperBlue has morphed into a bona fide working band over the last couple of years. Said band — also with Butcher Brown’s DJ Harrison on keyboards and Corey Fonville on drums — high-steps into town on the heels of a spruce new album, SuperBlue: The Iridescent Spree.

Sept. 23 at 8 p.m., World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street; $35 to $45, purchase tickets.

Wine & Jazz Festival — Saturday, Longwood Gardens

Tickets to this signature fall offering at Longwood Gardens are, well, long gone — so we won’t linger on the glorious lineup, featuring the legendary Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés, Israeli clarinetist and saxophonist Anat Cohen, New Jersey-reared pianist Emmet Cohen (no relation), and trumpeter Terell Stafford, among others. All we can say is: fortune favors the bold, and those who keep checking for cancellations.

Sept. 23, 2 to 9 p.m., Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, sold out.

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.