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John Hebert’s Sounds of Love

Mingus is probably on the minds of many bassists, but I’m willing to wager that Hebert is primarily taken with Charles as a composer. His new quintet with Taylor Ho Bynum, Tim Berne, Fred Hersch, and Ches Smith looks intriguing on paper (Hebert’s got big ears when it comes to juxtaposing jazz personalities), and when they get ahold of meaty items such as “Remember Rockefeller at Attica,” those jail doors will crash open with a bang.

Sat., July 2, 10 p.m., 2011

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Positive Catastrophe

Things are often whirling in the Caribbean-flecked book of this animated tentet. Co-leaders Abraham Gomez-Delgado and Taylor Ho Bynum blend everything from salsa to Sun Ra, and the particulars of their mix can be beguiling. These days, they’re honing a piece entitled “Dibrujos, Dibrujos, Dibrujos,” and their residency at this key venue includes a 3:30 pm workshop (ask ’em any question you want), a 5 pm rehearsal (see how the intricate sections are refined), and a 7:30 performance (ta-da!). This kind of creative transparency is what makes the Gallery unique.

Sun., Jan. 16, 7:30 p.m., 2011

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Tyshawn Sorey

This three-night stand lets the uproarious drummer pay attention to his composer persona. He’s a thoughtful experimentalist who’s smitten with every aspect of sound, and each night is dedicated to a different line-up playing discrete material. His Koan ensemble made the pointedly hushed CD last year; it wafted a series of smoke signal queries from a guitar trio. A trombone and second bass is added this week. A quartet with Taylor Ho Bynum has roots in last year’s AACM shows, and quintet with saxophonist Loren Stillman brokers “chamber ensemble” material from a deep songbook. Whether it’s thick with action or sparsely drawn, Sorey’s music teems with provocative moves.

Aug. 10-12, 8:30 p.m., 2010

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ROMANIAN RHAPSODY

Roots begets classical begets jazz: Romanian composer George Enescu (1881–1955) led his urban audiences back to the countryside by drawing heavily on regional folk tunes, suffusing the arid strings of the farmers with broad orchestral scope. His most beloved compositions, the two Romanian Rhapsodies and the opera Œdipe, were especially defiant to traditional classical confines; they’ll be well served tonight, when an ensemble of high-demand jazz cats further blur their borders. Enescu Re-Imagined assembles eight of the city’s most avant-garde underground players—including violinist Mat Maneri, trumpeter Taylor Ho Bynum, and saxophonist Tony Malaby—for a wild, contemporary bop re-envisioning of Enescu’s sonatas and symphonies. Trust us, this kind of night only happens once every three centuries.

Tue., Oct. 20, 8 p.m., 2009