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Mary Halvorson, Kahil El'Zabar and other can't-miss shows this week

Welcome to Moment’s Notice, WRTI’s regular 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: Mary Halvorson’s Amaryllis — Thursday, Solar Myth

Last year the fiercely original guitarist-composer Mary Halvorson earned a rare distinction when her sextet album, Amaryllis, was named Album of the Year in the DownBeat Critics Poll (an honor it technically shared with another Halvorson release, the chamber effort Belladonna). Halvorson now has an exquisite new release, Cloudward, featuring her inspired writing and orchestrating for the same unbeatable crew: trumpeter Adam O’Farrill, trombonist Jacob Garchik, vibraphonist Patricia Brennan, bassist Nick Dunston and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. Their concert at the Big Ears festival was one of the best performances I saw last year, and given the new music and the intimate setting, this could well top it.

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

Sandro Miller

Ethnic Heritage Ensemble — Wednesday, Solar Myth

Led by the sagelike multi-instrumentalist and composer Kahil El’Zabar, Ethnic Heritage Ensemble is celebrating 50 years as a unit, though its sound and personnel have morphed, in the manner of a living organism, during that span. As on a forthcoming album titled Open Me, A Higher Consciousness of Sound & Spirit, the group appears here as a trio with El’Zabar on percussion, Corey Wilkes on trumpet and Alex Harding on baritone saxophone.

Feb. 7 at 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 South Broad Street, $25; purchase tickets.

Dave Posmontier — Wednesday at the Cheltenham Art Center, Thursday at Temple Performing Arts Center, Saturday at St. Paul’s Church in Elkins Park

Pianist Dave Posmontier is a multifaceted presence on the local jazz scene, as his gig schedule this week can attest. On Wednesday he’ll lead a trio, with bassist Dave Brodie and drummer Doug Hirlinger, behind vocalist Tyrone Brown in a Jazz Bridge tribute to the music of Billy Strayhorn. The following day, Posmontier will pair the same working rhythm team with saxophonist Robert Howell for a free concert at TPAC’s Rite of Swing Cafe. And on Saturday, he’ll join The Philly Stomp in a Mardi Gras celebration as part of the Friends of St. Paul concert series in Elkins Park, with singers Shango-Jamal Lewis and Paula Johns.

Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m., Cheltenham Art Center, 439 Ashbourne Road, Cheltenham, $15 in advance, $20 at the door, students $5, under 12 free; tickets and information.

Feb. 8 at 4:30 p.m., Temple Performing Arts Center, 1837 North Broad Street, free; more information.

Feb. 10 at 7:30 p.m., St. Paul's Church, 7809 Old York Road, Elkins Park, $25; tickets and information.

Minas: Tribute to Astrud Gilberto — Thursday, The Lounge at World Cafe Live

Astrud Gilberto, who died last summer at 83, was a lot more than the voice behind “The Girl From Ipanema” — a fact that Minas brings to the fore in this tribute, rescheduled from last November. A hardworking Brazilian jazz outfit jointly led by partners Orlando Hadded and Patricia King Haddad, Minas also includes Andrew Neu on reeds and flute, Brendan McGeehan on bass and Tom Cohen on drums. (Expect them to lean into the fact that Gilberto was a low-key but longtime resident of the Philly area.)

Feb. 8 at 8 p.m., The Lounge at World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut Street, $25, table reservation required; tickets and information.

courtesy of the artist
Nels Cline's Consentrik Quartet: Chris Lightcap, Tom Rainey, Cline, Ingrid Laubrock.

Nels Cline Consentrik Quartet — Friday and Saturday, Solar Myth

A guitarist hailed as much for abstract invention as he is for rock-band heroics, Nels Cline is never more fulfilled than when he gets to mix it up with like-minded souls like the one in this new four-piece: tenor saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, bassist Chris Lightcap, and drummer Tom Rainey. The band, which can toggle between rugged free improv and boppish chamber maneuvers, performs a standing show on Friday, followed by two seated shows on Saturday (including a rare Solar Myth matinee).

Feb. 9 at 8 p.m., Feb. 10 at 3 and 8 p.m., Solar Myth, 1131 South Broad Street, $30 to $40; purchase tickets.

Cornell Rochester & the North Philly Jazz Project — Friday at Community Education Center

A powerful drummer with deep history at the intersection of Philadelphia’s free-jazz and funk scenes, Cornell Rochester serves here as the engine of an all-star crew, connecting first and foremost with one longtime compatriot, electric bassist Jamaaladeen Tacuma. Joining them are Dylan Band on tenor saxophone, Joe Block on piano, and Gene Terramani on guitar.

Feb. 9 at 7 p.m., Community Education Center, 3500 Lancaster Avenue, $30; venue information here.

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.