When: Fri., June 10, 8 p.m. 2016
FRIDAY, JUNE 10
JOE MCPHEE & UNIVERSAL INDIANS
At the age of seventy-five, free jazz demigod Joe McPhee shows no signs of slowing down. The past fifteen years have been remarkably prolific for McPhee, who's spent his sixth and seventh decades releasing albums at a remarkable clip and playing with an increasingly diverse cast of characters.
He especially seems to enjoy playing with adventurous European trios, releasing albums with The Thing, Decoy, and, most recently, Universal Indians. Their 2015 live album, Skullduggery, is a blaring wall of free jazz skronk, with McPhee's pocket trumpet and alto sax intertwining joyously with the sax of John Dikeman. The rhythm section of bassist Jon Rune Strøm and drummer Tollef Østvang is propulsive and explosive, knowing just when to drive the ensemble forward and when to dissolve into impressionistic washes. They happily follow McPhee and Dikeman to the outer reaches of any free-floating timbre, too. And just when you think they're all fire and mist, they pull out a smoky, greasy tune like "Dewey's Do," which, with your head tilted just right, recalls Coleman Hawkins.
McPhee last visited the area in 1997, so this is a rare chance to hear him in person. —Dan Ruccia
THE SHED, DURHAM8 P.M., $10, WWW.SHEDJAZZ.COM