A Place for Jazz (Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendell Ave.) winds up its 32nd season Friday with Phil Allen’s Concert Jazz Band, as Capital District Jazz revs up its Jazz at the Spring (Spring Street Gallery, 110 Spring St., Saratoga Springs) series tonight with the second show of its fall season, by the DTR Trio.
Valve trombonist-composer-arranger-ringleader Allen’s big band has been scarce since monthly residencies at Troy Kitchen and Renaissance Hall ended last year.
Swinging looser than Keith Pray’s Big Soul Ensemble (Tuesday at the Van Dyck), it features some of the same area stars and plays mostly Allen’s charts. He likes to introduce himself as “second valve trombonist,” ceding solos to Tyler Giroux; with Chris Pasin, Dylan Canterbury and Steve Lambert, trumpets; Lee Russo, Dave Fisk, Kevin Barcomb and Jeff Nania, saxophones; John Esposito, piano; Lou Smaldone, bass; Mike Benedict, vibes; Joe Finn, guitar; and Cliff Brucker, drums. 7:30 p.m. $20. 518-393-4011 www.aplaceforjazz.org
Tonight, Jazz at the Spring maintains its rep for unusual combos that play deep in the pocket but also explore far outside. The (drumless) DTR Trio is Dom Minasi, guitar; Tomas Ulrich, cello; and Ratzo B. Harris, six-string bass. Famed for fearless improvising, Minasi runs his own record label and writes chamber pieces and children’s songs. He has adapted tunes from his “The Vampire’s Revenge” album for tonight’s Halloween show. 7:30 p.m. $15. www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4400156
WORST COIN TOSS
Today’s same-night-shows gripe: Vernon Reid’s “Band of Gypsies Revisited” hits The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany) opposite Phil Allen’s show at A Place for Jazz on Friday.
The Living Colour guitarist (and endearingly shy guest soloist with drummer Cindy Blackman’s powerhouse band at the Van Dyck years ago) Reid tackles the spiky, muscular, monster-mash music Jimi Hendrix made all too briefly with his Band of Gypsies after breaking up the Experience.
To echo Hendrix’s all-over-the-place genius, Reid adds second guitarist Andre “Dre Glo” Lassale, with James “Biscuit” Rouse, drums; and Jared Michael Nickerson, bass. Next month’s “Songs for Groovy Children: The Fillmore East Concerts” collects all four Band of Gypsies Fillmore shows on five CDs ($44.32 on Amazon) or 8 LPs ($101.72; tickets for those 1969/70 shows cost $6). 8 p.m. $29.50. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org
COOL & UNUSUAL
Ranky Tanky celebrates the South Carolina coastal Gullah culture Saturday at The Egg (Empire State Plaza, Albany), proving that any sturdy folkloric music — in this case, spirituals, field songs and lullabies — can launch ingenious players into jazz joy.
Superb in the Proctors Passport Series in 2017, they return with fresh explorations on their “Good Time” album, released this summer. This innovative/rootsy band is singer Quiana Parler, singer/guitarist Clay Ross, trumpeter/singer Charlton Singleton, bassist Kevin Hamilton and drummer Quentin Baxter. 8 p.m. 518-473-1845 www.theegg.org
Also Saturday (see same-night-show gripe above), an intriguing international hybrid show combines Adam Rudolph’s formidable free-jazz combo Go: Organic Orchestra with the Indian music of Brooklyn Raga Massive in “Ragmala” at Hudson Hall (327 Warren St.). In the hands and voices of a 30-piece world-beat juggernaut, this is truly music without borders, enormous and intimate. Hypnotic chants and singing flow over restless instrumentals: soaring solos, dizzying drones and surging ensemble romps. 7 p.m. $30 advance, $35 door. 518-822-1438 www.hudsonhall.org
Sunday, the Haitian band RAM plays what founder Richard A. Morse calls “Vodou rock ’n’ roots” at the Sanctuary for Independent Media (3361 6th Ave. at 101st Street, north Troy). Puerto-Rican-born, Connecticut-raised Morse played Caribbean-punk rock in New York before moving to Haiti and founding RAM to play weekly in Hotel Oloffson, which he took over in 1987. The ousting of dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier culturally opened Haiti, but authorities have banned RAM songs and shows for political reasons at times; perfect choice as season opener at the hyper-woke Sanctuary! 7 p.m. $15. 518-272-2390 www.mediasanctuary.org
Caffe Lena stretches its musical menu this weekend from the Nashville string-band sound of Della Mae tonight in a sold-out show to the guitar brilliance of British finger-picking virtuosos Laurence Juber and Adrian Legg on Friday; veteran troubadour fare from Bob Warren and his band Saturday and Sunday; and movie music from jazz-cabaret singer Ann Hampton Callaway on Sunday.
Since co-starring in Paul McCartney’s Wings, Juber has scored TV and films with ambitious hybrid picking styles while Legg detunes and retunes his axe mid-song to bend notes; he’s maybe the wittiest between-tunes talker around. 8 p.m. $25 advance, $28 door, $14 students and children. 518-583-0022 www.caffelena.org
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Warren celebrates his 50 years of Caffe shows Saturday (8 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.), playing classy classics from a deep songbook with expert support from an all-star band of wide-ranging brilliance: Tony Markellis, bass; Joy MacKenzie, vocals; Matt Donnelly, keyboards; Danny Whelchel, percussion; brother Don Warren, guitar.
Americana before anybody knew there was such a thing, Warren makes music strong as an oak. $20, $22, $11
Singer-pianist Callaway sings in inviting, old-school elegance, but also goes deep into the emotional sense of a song. Her “Jazz Goes to the Movies” concert showcases great cinema songs, all sweet, suave and subtle. $55, $65, $37.50
Veteran rock singer Boz Scaggs returns to The Egg on Monday.
Since going home to the blues, the Oklahoma- and Texas-raised singer has made some of his best-ever music, including recent albums “A Fool to Care” and “Out of the Blues.”
His low-pressure singing retains its easy flow, decades after his hits “Lido Shuffle” and “Lowdown,” and an earlier stint in the Steve Miller Band. He always brings an ace band. 8 p.m. $99.50 $79.50, $69.50
VANNORSTRAND NEW TRIO
Singer-songwriter-guitarist Andrew VanNorstrand introduces a new trio Friday at Old Songs (37 S. Main St., Voorheesville).
Anna Patton, clarinet; and Dana Billings, percussion, join the troubadour in fresh, sweetly made and played tunes from “That We Could Find a Way to Be.” 7:30 p.m. $25, $12 for ages 13-18, $5 for children under 12. 518-765-2815 www.oldsongs.org
WMHT’S “The Scene” has sparked a seriously fun explosion of attention for vanished venues and bands hereabouts, at least on my Facebook feed. A tasty time machine, the Channel 17 doc has prompted fans to recall players and places to celebrate and — all too often — to miss and mourn.
Little Feat guitarist Paul Barrere died just days after illness caused him to miss his longtime band’s recent Palace show. In a phone interview before the show, Barrere was candid, humble and funny. What a sad loss for fans of Little Feat’s funky rock and Barrere’s agile, bluesy guitar.