When people hear the word “jazz,” a mental/sonic image of painfully smooth brass instruments is sometimes conjured up. Los Angeles jazz quartet A Giraffe is plenty mellifluous, but includes enough interest and freshness to merit inclusion in even the most hardened jazz skeptic's heart and mind. Dynamic improvisation, along with nods to the past and present, are represented on the group's full-length debut, Under a Table. Alto sax, percussion, bass and piano gambol together on the release's 12 tracks. A Giraffe purveys their spangly sound at The Kosmos (1715 Fifth Street NW) on Thursday, Jan. 17. Los Angeles/Burque/Sante Fe trio Do Tell—featuring Dave Wayne on drums, Dan Clucas on cornet and Mark Weaver on tuba—warms up the gig. This all-ages show kicks off at 7:30 p.m., and admission is a sliding scale donation of $5-15.
Down Calexico Way
Alt. folk/country sextet Calexico have been racking up rave reviews and devoted fans for over two decades and their latest album, Algiers, finds the Arizonan powerhouse as strong as ever. The band has always embraced dusty, Southwestern soundscapes, but it has never shied away from incorporating influences from geographically removed locales. Good, old-fashioned North American rock and roll meets Latin American tradition in Calexico’s catalog. While most of the group’s albums have been recorded in their hometown of Tucson, Algiers was born in New Orleans and is titled for a Crescent City neighborhood that’s home to carnival krewe dens, Catholic churches and jazz clubs. Save the odd reference to water, Algiers—and Calexico itself—remain firmly rooted in the West. Calexico performs at Sunshine Theater (120 Central SW), along with alt.country five-piece Trampled by Turtles and Bahamas, the Toronto-based solo vehicle of Afie Jurvanen, on Sunday, Jan. 20. The 13-and-over show begins at 7:15 p.m., and tickets are 25 bucks.
You, Yourself & Them
Sate your aural appetite for diverse local music at solo showcase Me, Myself & I’s fourteenth installment. Alonerly (Antonia Montoya of Sin Serenade), Lady Fox (Mauro Woody of The Glass Menageries), Nora Kostelnick (of the Potty Mouth Sherries) and Fernando Moore (of The Great Depression) strut their solo stuff on Sunday at Blackbird Buvette (509 Central NW). The 21-and-over showcase starts at 9 p.m., and there’s no cover.