A Jazz Thanksgiving in New York City

Maria Schneider, photographed by Jimmy & Dena Katz

It’s Thanksgiving time, and New York jazz fans know what that means. No, not the Macy’s parade down Broadway or the lighting of the Christmas tree in Rockefeller Center. The really big shows for our crowd—annual traditions for a while now—are the Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra at the Jazz Standard and Jason Moran’s Bandwagon Trio at the Village Vanguard.

Both bands play Tuesday, November 25, through Sunday, November 30, though the Jazz Standard is dark on Thanksgiving itself.

Schneider is the preeminent big-band composer of our times, a former acolyte of Gil Evans and Bob Brookmeyer who has fused their influences and moved well beyond them, venturing into Latin, folklore, and classical, all the while retaining her distinctive touch, her perfect blend of voicings, and her fundamental swing. I’ve seen her jazz orchestra play countless times these last 20 years (many of the original players are still with her), and they’ve never left me less than enthralled.

Moran is the most inventive jazz musician today. He coaxes from his keyboard deep adventure, fun, virtuosity, and, in his own way, elegance; his trio, which in the beginning lagged behind, now keeps up with aplomb.

If the shows aren’t sold out already, see both.

Allen Fant's picture

Thanks! for sharing FK. I dig Jason Moran- he is a great one!

Rick Tomaszewicz's picture