THURSDAY APRIL 21
PONCHO SANCHEZ LATIN JAZZ BAND
For top-notch Latin Jazz, look no further than Poncho Sanchez. His group has it all: tight charts, fine soloists, and precise ensemble work. Last time I caught this nonet, I was bowled over by Sanchez' extended conga solo, a tour de force worthy of percussion works by Xenakis or Poul Ruders. Also Fri Apr 22 and Sat Apr 23 at 7:30 and 9:30 pm and Sun Apr 24 at 6:30 and 8:30 pm. Jazz Alley, 2033 Sixth Ave, 441-9729, sets at 7:30 and 9:30 pm, $22.50-$27.50.
FRIDAY APRIL 22
This trombonist, who has gigged with John Coltrane, Sun Ra, and Herbie Hancock, presents new compositions with a quartet stocked with some of Seattle's finest straight-ahead young lions: Dawn Clement (piano), Geoff Harper (bass), and Byron Vannoy (drums). Kerry Hall at Cornish College, 710 E Roy St, 325-6500, 8 pm, $7.50/$15.
SATURDAY APRIL 23
Soprano Ellen Hargis joins the group for a heap of Handel, including the motet "Coelestis dum spirat aura," the cantata Armida Abbandonata, and the recently re-discovered "Gloria" for soprano and strings. Music by Corelli, Alessandro Scarlatti, and Georg Muffat rounds out the program. Also Sun Apr 24 at 3 pm. Recital Hall at Benaroya, Third Ave and Union St, 322-3118, 8 pm, $10-$34.
SUNDAY APRIL 24
MATESKY & SWISHER
Duo pianists Nancy Matesky and Gloria Swisher sally through Claude Debussy's airy Petite Suite, the Suite Française by Darius Milhaud, Francis Poulenc's Sonata for Two Pianos, and An American in Paris by George Gershwin. Campus Theater, Shoreline Community College, 546-4606, 3 pm, $4-$10.
ONYX CHAMBER PLAYERS
An all-Beethoven program comprising the "Archduke" Trio in B-flat, the winsome Trio in G, op.1, no.2, and a one-movement fragment composed in 1812, woO 39 (as in "without opus number" not "pitching woo"). Downstairs at Town Hall, Eighth Ave and Seneca St, 652-4255, 4 pm, $13-$18.
As an antidote to excesses of monasticism such as self-flagellation, standing on a pillar for a decade or two, and vermiform mortification, St. Benedict suggested music and manual labor. Compline, the last holy office of the day, is sung after dinner, hence the late Sunday start time. St. Mark's Cathedral, 1245 10th Ave E, 323-0300, 9:30 pm, free.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 27
TORD GUSTAVSEN TRIO
Touring in support of The Ground (ECM), this Norwegian trio serves up pensive jazz tinged with somber resignation. Pianist Gustavsen taps out spare, sometimes music box-like melodies that leave room for bassist Harald Johnsen and drummer Jarle Vespetad to insert brainy counterpoint or a discreet blues lick. The Triple Door, 216 Union St, 838-4333, 7:30 pm, $15.
One of the finest free-improvising saxophonists alive rolls into town with Chris Cogburn (drums) and Dave Dove (trombone). Butcher is a master at extracting enticing electronic sounds from his instrument with live processing and extended techniques. Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave at E Union, 322-1533, 8 pm, $5-$15 sliding scale donation.