Series Review: Rye on Wednesday Nights (Williamsburg)

One of the most promising series for creative music in Brooklyn to open in recent months occurs weekly at Rye (247 S. 1st St, Williamsburg) every Wednesday night, at 9 pm. The series has been going since February and was originally presented and inspired by A.E. Randolph and curated by bassist Will McEvoy and saxophonist Sam Weinberg. There have been an array of interesting musicians featured in the series often juxtaposed with the Curriculum Quextet–an ensemble of varying sizes led by McEvoy. Curriculum takes various forms, often with a horn-heavy lineup including the two curators alongside Danny Gouker (trumpet), Josh Sinton (baritone saxophone), and Ryan Snow (trombone), with Max Goldman (drums) anchoring the unit. The band has their own take on standards, drawing from the music of Eric Dolphy, Ornette Coleman, Don Cherry, and Charlie Haden, all avant garde jazz musicians of legend. So, don’t come expecting to hear, “There Will Never Be Another You” or other traditional, over-played songs. The band takes its viewers on a tour of the more adventurous side of things, and as McEvoy explained at the opening of one of the nights, “These are the kinds of tunes that we all wanted to play, but rarely had the opportunity to perform live.” But McEvoy also further explained, “I also wanted to get a lot of non-musicians out to our shows. What better way than by introducing them to the music of some of the masters?” Indeed, the series has gained a regular following, contributing to the festive atmosphere of the nights.

A number of other challenging yet accessible ensembles have also been a part of the series. Weinberg led his band Old Stuff, which exclusively plays the music of the New York Art Quartet. Tony Malaby has also appeared in a number of different groups, including a duo with Kenny Warren, more recently in the Daniel Levin Trio with Mat Maneri, and also with a band dubbed The Sun Always Shines in New Jersey, with Ben Gerstein, Sean Ali, and Flin van Hemmen. A number of other exciting performances are coming up. Definitely check these out:

July 1: Curriculum Quextet Live Recording

July 15: Sam Ospovat’s PIKI; Dustin Carlson Trio

July 22: Old Time Musketry; Three Daves

July 29: Danny Gouker’s Signal Problems; Tony Malaby, Ben Gerstein, Chris Hoffman, Eivind Opsvik, Dave Treut