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Christy & Emily+Mary Halvorson & Jessica Pavone+Ember Shrag+Meaner Pencil

Local ascending label and ultimate tastemakers Northern Spy own both cred to die for and a knack for booking shows of the highest order, and tonight is no exception. A world-class summit of avant-everything pioneers from across the Brooklyn DIY landscape kicks off with the ghostly opera-punk of cellist/voice theoretician Meaner Pencil before giving way to twangy folkstress Ember Schreg, whose most recent platter, The Sewing Room gorgeously intersects rustic finger-picking with an angelic croon, suggesting the rural nature of her band-mate, P.G. Six. Guitarist/viola magicians Mary Halvorson and Jessica Pavone represent the royal experimental-jazz guard while engrossing electro-popheads Christy & Emily will trance minds with poptones galore. COHAN

Wed., Oct. 8, 8 p.m., 2014

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DRUM CIRCLE

Pundits often celebrate how usually-discrete jazz camps sometimes morph, POVs and aesthetic attitudes melding to form a unique sound or test a pliable new lingo. These kinds of moves always need a linchpin to get off the dime — someone who has worked in various situations and sees value in the wealth of approaches. Long story short, that’s Matt Wilson. For the last two decades, the drummer-bandleader has been a poster boy for versatility, making sweet concoctions from old-school swing, hard-bop swag, and avant-skronk. He and his numerous ensembles grab everything they hear and find a use for it — they get the big picture. To celebrate Wilson’s 50th birthday, Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola invited a handful of his groups to the stage. The aptly named Open House is the most emblematic of his catholic curatorial skills. Put Joe Lovano, Mary Halvorson, and Stefon Harris in a front line and you’re making a statement. Also this week: Arts & Crafts (his organ outfit), Topsy Turvy (quartet plus guest horns), and an inviting collabo with veteran bassist Buster Williams. Hit two or more gigs and you’ll get the big picture, too.

Sat., Oct. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Sun., Oct. 5, 7:30 p.m., 2014

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Nels Cline

Don’t expect “Jesus, Etc” or “Handshake Drugs” during the Wilco guitarist’s residency this week – he has two or three other lives he wants to show you. Each involves some of the most intrepid improv maneuvers around, from pin-drop subtleties to balls-out skronk. BBC lets him rampage with fellow travelers Tim Berne and Jim Black. There will also be duos with other string players; the sets with Elliott Sharp and Mary Halvorson offer plenty of promise. But the kickoff show by the Nels Cline Singers is the must-see event. Long story short, their new Macroscope is a masterpiece of free-flowing interplay.

Aug. 5-10, 8 p.m., 2014

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GUITAR HERO

No musician straddles the crevasse between rock and free jazz with as much aplomb and credibility as guitarist Nels Cline. A linchpin of the Southern California improv milieu, Cline’s jaw-dropping solos and extraterrestrial textures have been a hallmark of Wilco’s brainy dad rock since 2004. The peripatetic pedal pusher kicks off a six-night Stone residency tonight alongside longtime collaborators Tim Berne (alto sax) and Jim Black (drums) with an early set of his own tunes and later set of improvisations. Other highlights of the week include tomorrow’s return of the Nels Cline Singers, a terrific instrumental trio; a Thursday celebration of SoCal roots featuring saxophonist Vinny Golia, with whom Nels made his 1978 recording debut; and a concluding Sunday duo set with Cline’s equally expansive guitar acolyte Mary Halvorson.

Tue., Aug. 5, 8 p.m., 2014

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Kris Davis

One of New York’s most inventive ensemble players, the pianist can be startling in an array of contexts. That means there should be numerous surprises at this six-night residency, a stretch of gigs that finds Davis trading ideas with a cohort of intrepid associates who are terrifically eloquent with abstraction. From Tom Rainey’s Obbligato outfit’s inside-out standards to Davis’ Capricorn Climber quintet with Mat Maneri’s viola generating a chamber feel, to her Death Rattle trio with guitarist Mary Halvorson and saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, it’s likely aggression will be poised and subtleties well honed. And if the recent Massive Threads is any indication, her solo piano night might be the most enticing gig of all.

June 24-29, 8 & 10 p.m., 2014

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‘Vision Festival’

The breadth of free improv never fails to amaze at the annual jazz festival, which touts a vibe of committed inquiry in the name of experimental music. This time around veteran multi-instrumentalist Charles Gayle is celebrated, performing his oft-stormy excursions with a dancer and leading a tentet of horns, strings and rhythm. Another veteran, Peter Brötzmann, rocks his amazingly agile and purposefully manic trio this year as well. But the five-night affair makes plenty of room from younger players who refine the avant lingo and broker new sounds – don’t miss guitarist Mary Halvorson connecting with steel guitarist Susan Alcorn. From Tarbaby’s tense freebop to Angelica Sanchez & Omar Tamez’s dreamy duets, the landscape will be in flux. Pick hit: the voice/percussion confluence of Fay Victor and Tyshawn Sorey.

June 11-15, 7 p.m., 2014

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Thumbscrew

Royalty of Brooklyn’s avant-garde jazz scene–slaytastic guitarist Mary Halvorson and octopi-armed drummer Tomas Fujiwara–have melded their extraordinary talents together before in myriad groups, but it is in Thumbscrew where the radical twosome may have reached their apex. A collaborative, composition-based fire-breathing trio rounded out by imposing bassist colossus Michael Formanek, Halvorson, serving as de facto leader here, wields and shoots off salvo after salvo from her punk-jazzified six-string like a woman possessed. On its eponymous debut Thumbscrew (Cuneiform), the barrage of riffs are both epic and melodic, the low end beefy and the percussion massive. Expect nothing less than magic from these three avant purveyors.

Fri., March 21, 9 & 10:30 p.m., 2014

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Ingrid Laubrock’s Anti-House

The sly saxophonist gives wandering a good name: One moment there’s density and disturbance in her music, the next she drops a bomb. On Strong Place, the shifts aren’t seismic—a collective grace moves the quintet’s abstractions from episode to episode, and it’s the connective logic that makes the pieces so engaging. From the leader’s perpetually curious horn to Mary Halvorson’s lithe squall to Tom Rainey’s masterful jitters, the band is all about jazz cohesion.

Thu., July 18, 8:30 p.m., 2013

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Michael Moore

The Amsterdam-based American improviser is an ICP Orchestra mainstay and one of our most insightful reed players, spending more time on pithy queries than boisterous declamation. This rare six-night run connects him to his NYC cohorts, and from the whistle-along melodies of the Holocene Trio (accordion & cello) to the evening of tunes by his long-standing collective, Available Jelly, it should offer a thorough portrait. Ensembles change each night. I’m looking forward to finding out what Moore’s clarinet sounds line in cahoots with Mary Halvorson’s guitar and Gerald Cleaver’s drums.

July 23-28, 8 & 10 p.m., 2013

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Tom Rainey Trio

It’s hard not to get a kick out of Rainey’s latest, Camino Cielo Echo, a disc that makes crossed swords generate the clangs of camaraderie. Saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock and guitarist Mary Halvorson have found ways of interaction that give dissonance and wobble a certain exactitude. Their collective agility can be amazing, especially when you remember than much of the action is composed on the fly.

Sun., Dec. 30, 8:30 p.m., 2012