THURSDAY AUGUST 11
AHMAD JAMAL TRIO
One of the last living legends of jazz piano, Jamal, who turned 75 a month ago, retains his dynamism and power: fierce keyboard runs that startlingly freeze in mid-phrase, placid interludes, and cadenzas stuffed with orchestra-sized chords comparable to Errol Garner (though with less humor and more bite). With longtime collaborators James Cammack (bass) and Idris Muhammad (drums). Not to be missed. Through Sat Aug 13; also Sun Aug 14 at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, $25.50.
FRIDAY AUGUST 12
SCMS SUMMER FESTIVAL
The closing concert of this mini-festival showcases two works for violin, cello, and piano: Beethoven's Trio in D major, op. 70 no. 1 and Rachmaninoff's Trio in G minor. The latter's nickname, "Elegiac," should be no surprise; by all accounts ol' stoic Sergei was hardly a barrel of laughs. The concert concludes with Brahms's epic Quartet for Piano and Strings in G minor, op. 25. The free recital at 7 pm features Schubert's famed "Wanderer" Fantasy. Overlake School, 20301 NE 108th St, Redmond, 283-8808, 8 pm, $16–$38.
Austin-based drummer Chris Cogburn anchors two trios: one with a pair of Portland improvisers, Janice McKeachurn (prepared guitar) and Bryan Eubanks (soprano saxophone, electronics), and another with Paul Hoskin (reeds) and Angelina Baldoz (trumpet). Hoskin & Co. perform Edges and In Between Pieces, works by Christian Wolff, the sole survivor of the New York School (think John Cage, Morton Feldman, Earle Brown). Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave at E Union St, 322-1533, 8 pm, $5–$15 sliding-scale donation.
SATURDAY AUGUST 13
Michael Palmer conducts the Bellingham Festival Orchestra and Chorus in a concert version (no sets, just singing) of Leonard Bernstein's sassy, jazz-hands-inducing opera Candide. Mount Baker Theater, 104 N Commercial St, Bellingham, 360-734-6080, 7:30 pm, $20–$28.
SUNDAY AUGUST 14
CRANE & HOSKIN
I love in-store gigs. Somehow live music makes it easier to justify buying LPs like The Real Danger of Communism, Karajan in Rehearsal, Music of the Pueblo, and Solidarity! Postulat 22. With two torrential improvisers, Matt Crane (drums) and Paul Hoskin (baritone saxophone). Georgetown Records, 1201 S Vale St, 762-5638, 4 pm, free.
Circa AD 530, St. Benedict prescribed music and manual labor as an antidote to the excesses of monasticism (self-flagellation, standing on a pillar year after year, vermiform mortification, etc.). Benedict outlined seven offices to be spoken and sung. Compline, the last holy office of the day, is sung after dinner, hence the late Sunday start time. The cathedral is refreshingly cool this time of year and a welcome refuge from the beastly heat. St Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, 323-0300, 9:30 pm, free.
MONDAY AUGUST 15
UW SUMMER ORCHESTRA
This week's vote for classical music on the cheap. On the program: Giuseppe Torelli's Sonata in D Major for Trumpet and Strings, Mozart's Violin Concerto No. 4, KV 218, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Room 130 in Kane Hall, UW Campus, 685-8384, 7:30 pm, free.