Ben Allison, the election, and, well...me

One of my favorite jazz bands, Ben Allison’s Medicine Wheel, is playing at the Jazz Standard Nov. 4. Allison is an enticing bassist and composer, agile and inventive, flitting from Herbie Nichols to film noir to raga, ska, funky blues, and straight-ahead jazz without showing a seam, loosening his wit, or abandoning the melody or the swing. The band is first-rate (regular readers will recognize most of them): Frank Kimbrough, piano; Jenny Scheinman, violin; Ted Nash and Michael Blake, reeds; and Michael Sarin, drums.

The problem, of course, is that it’s Election Night. What to do: listen to music or follow the returns? It turns out, both is an option. Ben has invited me (in my guise as a Slate columnist) and Brooke Gladstone, co-host and managing editor of NPR’s On the Media (she’s also my wife), to sit on the side of the stage with our laptops and, between songs, provide up-to-the-moment reports and analysis of how the vote’s going. Should be fun.

The Jazz Standard is in New York City, on E. 27th Street, between Park and Lexington Avenues. Sets are at 7:30 and 9:30. It sports some of the city’s finest acoustics and the best food of any jazz club (ribs are a specialty). In case you’re wondering, I’m not making a dime off the gig. (And I promise not to play my saxophone.)

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