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Countdown: Your Guide To Jazz in NEO, Sept. 27-Oct. 4

Collective action is on the calendar for the next week beginning with the monthly concert by the NEO composers mob Third Law Collective, a fusion-y three-way courtesy of guitarist Oz Noy with bassist Jimmy Haslip and force-of-nature drummer Dennis Chambers and concluding next Tuesday with a New Ghosts-sponsored performance (and that’s precisely what it will be), by DIOR STAPLER, a group that bears an uncanny resemblance to Eurojazz agents provocateurs Die Hochstapler. New Wednesday’s Cleveland Museum of Art concert by Love In Exile (Arooj Aftab, Vijay Iyer and Shahzad Ismaily) will get a full preview on Monday. Are you ready?

Third Law Collective, Thursday, Sept. 28, 7 p.m., BOP STOP, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

When flutist Bryan Kennard convened the first gathering of the Third Law Collective in January, he planted a flag in the Hingetown ground, not only for his then-recent  appointment as BOP STOP director, but also for the compositional community in Northeast Ohio. It was a risk, to be sure, but the ninth installment of the monthly jazz composers showcase has proven its staying power–and it’s value. This installment will feature contributions from writers within the core ensemble, but also provide a forum for younger composers to show us the receipts. It’s almost as if the audience gets to sit in on the creative process.

Oz Noy Trio, Saturday, Sept. 30, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., BOP STOP, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

Attention drummers, drum geeks, wannabe drummers and <coughshrinks into desk chair> failed drummers: if you have never been in the same room with Dennis Chambers, now’s your chance. Chambers will be eligible for Medicare next year, but the power and precision that has driven bands such as P-Funk, Santana and John Scofield’s greasier units is undimmed. The band’s leader, Israel-born guitarist Oz Noy, has a similarly wide-ranging musical career, having filled his genre passport with stamps from destinations in blues, rock, jazz and his home country of fusion. His fellow citizen Jimmy Haslip held down the bass chair in the Yellowjackets for 35 years, so it’s fair to expect an evening of high energy and high-volume jams. They’re gonna party like it’s 1989.

DIOR STAPLER, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 8 p.m., BOP STOP, 2920 Detroit Ave., Cleveland

In a recent post on his indispensable Substack, Nowhere Street, our man in Berlin Peter Margasak wrote of the E.U. collective Die Hochstapler, “nothing can compare to seeing the band create music live, where they function like an ensemble of tightrope walkers, perpetually teetering to-and-fro, without ever tumbling.” Wow! So it’s worth noting that DIOR STAPLER, the quartet of European musicians that New Ghosts is bringing to BOP STOP Tuesday, bears an uncanny resemblance to the band that Margasak praised as “one of the best improvising groups at work today.” It has identical instrumentation, and incredibly, the players even share the same initials. Die Hochstapler, by the way, means The Imposter. So is DIOR STAPLER the good turtle soup or merely the mock? If you know, you know, but if not, there’s only one way to find out.

I couldn’t live without Jim Szabo’s essential, weekly Northeast Ohio jazz calendar, NEO’s most complete list of jazz and jazz-adjacent events. If you haven’t visited it lately, what are you waiting for?

NOTE: This article was written by a real human being. No artificial intelligence or generative language models were used in its creation.

Red beans and ricely yours,