April 12–15

McCoy Tyner

McCoy Tyner is, of course, one of the greatest pianists of jazz's post-bop, modern period. He made his mark in the first half of the '60s as a member of John Coltrane's classic quartet (it included Elvin Jones on the drums and Jimmy Garrison on bass). In the late '60s and early '70s, he released a series of albums that never swerved into the chaos of free jazz and the dead end of fusion. The modernist poet Ezra Pound once wrote that "music begins to atrophy when it departs too far from the dance... poetry begins to atrophy when it gets too far from music." During his peak, Tyner managed to be innovative without departing from the dance (free jazz) or completely surrendering to it (fusion). (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, www.jazzalley.com)

Tues April 17

Josh Deutsch Quintet

Deutsch is a trumpeter and composer who currently lives in NYC but was trained in our public school system—he learned the trumpet at Washington Middle School and Garfield High School. His advanced education in music, however, was obtained from the old and very noble New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. Deutsch is an intellectual; he really does know a lot about music. As a consequence, those who attend his show tonight will be exposed to the more serious (but not unmusical—Deutsch does not make noise) side of jazz performance and composition. (Royal Room, 5000 Rainier Ave S, 906-9920, www.theroyalroomseattle.com)

Mon May 14

Amina Figarova

Born in Azerbaijan ("the largest country in the Caucasus region of Eurasia") and trained in Rotterdam Conservatory and Berklee College of Music in Boston, Amina Figarova is a composer and a pianist who has a very polished and full sound. She is not fast or intricate or super-sensitive; she is stable, strong, and confident. Indeed, when she plays, you do feel like you are in good hands. If you want a great way into her music, I recommend listening to the album Above the Clouds. (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, www.jazzalley.com)

Sat June 16

The Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra

Tonight, Seattle Repertory Jazz Orchestra pays respect to one of the most significant movements in the cultural history of our country, the Harlem Renaissance. SRJO will provide the music of the moment (the 1920s and 1930s) and KPLU's Robin Lloyd will provide a narration that captures its literary atmosphere. I highly recommend a dinner at Kingfish Cafe before this performance. (Benaroya Hall, 200 University St, 215-4700, www.seattlesymphony.org/benaroya)

June 19–20

Benny Green Trio

Two things make this show worth mentioning: One, Benny Green is, of course, a brilliant jazz pianist (he is often compared to Bud Powell, one of the founders of bebop and a major influence on pianists ranging from Bill Evans to McCoy Tyner). Two, in my opinion, the best mode for a jazz pianist to explore his/her sound is a trio (piano, bass, drums). This show is for the lovers of hardcore, no-nonsense jazz. (Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, www.jazzalley.com)