One of our few surviving participants in (and witnesses to) genuine, fine, mid - 20th century jazz, pianist Frank Strazzeri, who's nearly 84, is a musical shaman of formidable capabilities. An artist who, despite his fealty to bop, doesn't shy away from a melody, Strazz also has a tremendous urge toward funk tendencies. He keeps things nicely chilled, even as he delivers a strong undercurrent of communicative warmth. With an eye-popping resume that began when he was a 20-something house pianist at an East Coast jazz joint accompanying the likes of Billie Holiday and trumpet titan Roy Eldridge, his head was further enhanced by a trad New Orleans stint, roadwork in Woody Herman's Thundering Herd and, after heading west to L.A. circa 1960, a long stint with Chet Baker, among many others. At this point it's a real privilege to get an earful from such a cat, so don't squander this opportunity.
Wed., March 19, 7 p.m., 2014