Three nights, three Halvorson bands (her celebrated trio with Ches Smith and John Hebert; the newish Reverse Blue with Tomas Fujiwara, Chris Speed, and Eivind Opsvik; and Thumb Screw, a collective featuring Fujiwara and Michael Formanek) – it’s a perfect way to absorb the intriguing string lingo that the Brooklyn guitarist has been refining for the past few years. Halvorson and her oft-changing collaborators have found personalized ways to make fractious lines show their sweet spots. There’s grace in everything she does – even when she’s storming the castle.
8:30 pm $10 Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street.
Turns out you don’t need a full-sized group to reach a fever pitch. Enlist a squad familiar with extended technique while deploying charts that have a soft spot for joyous exclamation and you’re halfway home. Trombonist Ray Anderson has been savvy in such realms for decades, and the new Sweet Chicago Suite reminds that from sousaphone to trumpet his outfit busts lots of cagey improv and crackling clamor.
TONIGHT, 9 pm + 10:30 pm $10 Cornelia Street Café, 29 Cornelia Street