As the weather starts to cool to a temperature conducive to humans leaving their protective nests, the local jazz scene is warming up like I've never experienced before. First of all, the legendary jazz pianist Eddie Palmieri will be gracing the Manship Theatre stage. In the early 1960s, Palmieri and his band Conjunto La Perfecta infused jazz with Latin rhythms, piggybacking on the charanga dance craze. Now, nine Grammys and countless other accolades later, Palmieri is considered one of the most important pianists in the business.
Soul Rebels, appearing this Friday at Chelsea's, deal in a grittier end of the jazz spectrum and are really among my favorite brass bands. They bring subtle compositional intricacies to the party without sacrificing an ounce of funk. The Moutin Reunion Quartet, rooted around twins François and Louis Moutin, are known to bring a mathematical rigor to their fusion-influenced jazz, saying "The most pertinent common attribute is intuition" in a 2006 DownBeat interview, and that higher sense of structure bears great dividends in the groups 2007 album, Sharp Turns; as the songs grow longer and the rhythms more complicated, the deeper their groove becomes. They will be featured at the next installment of the Listening Room at the Lyceum Dean. Tickets are free, but call the Arts Council to reserve seats, 344-8558.
Finally, my concern with this blog is filling audiences for others, but I am going to take advantage of my bully pulpit to urge you to come out to the Louisiana Book Festival on the Capitol grounds this Saturday, where among countless other delights, yours truly will be speaking at 10 a.m. with the Oxford American panel and at 2:30 p.m., with McSweeney's writer Scott Douglas in a discussion about blogging. 225 is a sponsor and will have a booth right in the center of things, so come out for one of the finest cultural events this city has to offer.