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Philly Jazz Guide: Top picks for live jazz in November

philly jazz guide
Omar Sosa | photo courtesy of the artist

Thanks to an unexpected confluence of shuffled schedules, pet health scares, and weather-defiant vacation planning, it seems my wife and I will be heading up to New England the day after Thanksgiving. We’ve decided to fully embrace the coincidence, so that Saturday we’ll be sitting down for a second, (relatively) period-accurate holiday supper at Plimoth Plantation, the Williamsburg-like “living history” recreation of the Pilgrims’ first settlement, presumably surrounded by buckle-shoed and feather-headdressed reenactors.

That of course means that I’ll be missing out on the Philly jazz scene’s own venerable Thanksgiving tradition, guitar great Pat Martino’s weekend-long stint at Chris’ Jazz Café. This year he’ll lead his quintet, with his regular triomates, organist Pat Bianchi and drummer Carmen Intorre, supplemented by tenor saxophonist Adam Niewood and trumpeter Alex Norris. In the spirit of the season, Martino’s guitarist wife Ayako has been known to sit in as well.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: The Districts at First Unitarian Church, Swans at Union Transfer, Hoodie Allen at Underground Arts and more

The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com
The Districts | Photo by Megan Kelly | keganmellyphotography.tumblr.com

After a full year of festival performances and a nationwide tour with White Denim, there’s still no stopping The Districts. Yesterday, they performed at WXPN’s NonCOMM, and tonight, they’ll headline an all ages show in the First Unitarian Church basement along with Clear Plastic Masks, Pine Barons and Fly Golden Eagle. The show starts at 8 p.m. and the $12 tickets can be purchased here or at the door.

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Tonight’s Concert Picks: Light Heat at Johnny Brenda’s, Pat Martino Trio at Sellersville Theater, Hallelujah The Hills at Kennett Flash

LightHeat

Light Heat, the latest project of Quentin Stoltzfus, sounds the way its name suggests. The track “And the Birds,” which streams on the Light Heat website, is warm and delicately ornamented with piano notes.  “The Mirror” has been described by Spin as a “simmering slow-burner.”  A few months ago, we posted Light Heat’s “Elevation” recording for Bands in the Backyard and it was clear, even then, that Stolzfus’ new project was something to keep an eye on.  A Light Heat album isn’t due out until June, but tonight Light Heat will perform at Johnny Brenda’s, offering a few more gorgeous songs than what’s currently available for streaming.  Tickets and information for the 21+ show are available here.  Below, listen to Light Heat’s “The Mirror.”

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