Lucky Old Souls Music Picks of the Week

The Philadelphia Blues Messengers, who play at LaRose in Germantown on Friday night for this month’s installment of LaRose’s monthly blues series.

Jazz and more… Where I’ll be and where you should be…

MONDAY 1/26/09
Philly Rising Open Mic, hosted by Boy Wonder
World Cafe Live – Upstairs, 3025 Walnut St.
Check out this weekly open mic / talent competition held in what is what is definitely one of the city’s best rooms for live music.
7:30 p.m., FREE

TUESDAY 1/27/09
Lucky Thompson <> & the Budesa Brothers’ Blue Tuesday Open Mic & Jam Session
Leroy’s Showcase Lounge, 4912 Baltimore Ave.
Veteran drummer Lucky Thompson has played with greats like Nina Simone and Patti LaBelle during his long career and led jam sessions all over the city (including at Natalie’s Lounge, where he was the music director for more than 10 years). Lucky and brothers Rich Budesa on keys and Rob Budesa on guitar are single-handedly keeping Philly’s great organ trio tradition alive. If you haven’t heard them play at the Showcase, a neighborhood bar with a friendly staff and a welcoming vibe, then you’re missing out on an essential part of Philly’s jazz scene.
8 p.m., FREE

Ben Schachter’s re:Trio
TIME, 1315 Sansom St.
Without question, the best jazz-related news I got recently was that brilliant tenor saxophonist Ben Schachter would once again have a weekly gig. I caught part of the first set last week, and Ben and his bandmates, bassist Leon Boykins and drummer Matt Scarano, sounded as good as ever. That TIME’s upstairs lounge is such a beautiful space is icing on the cake.
9 p.m., FREE

THURSDAY 1/29/09
Drake and Agent Moosehead
Tritone , 1508 South St.
I’ve been eager to check out Drake, fronted by trumpeter Dave Ramsey, for a while. The instrumentation is intriguing–vocals (an MC & a singer), cello, trumpet, bass, and drums. And the band includes one of Philadelphia’s most original performers, Monica McIntyre, and one of the city’s busiest young drummers, Alex Maio. Agent Moosehead is a sextet that’s also full of talented cats, including reedman Dan Peterson. They play groove-laden music with intricate horn lines and occasional odd meters.
10 p.m., $5

FRIDAY 1/30/09
The Philadelphia Blues Messengers featuring Lisa Chavous and a surprise guest saxophonist
LaRose Jazz Club, 5531 Germantown Ave.
The Philadelphia Blues Messengers play music that is at once steeped in the blues tradition and something entirely new. In addition to guitar, bass, drums, and harmonica, the band includes pedal steel guitar and saxophone (usually played by a jazz musician with free tendencies, like Byard Lancaster or Elliott Levin). And their singer, Lisa Chavous, sounds like she’s taken a few lessons from Tina Turner. This is the monthly installment of LaRose’s last-Friday-of-the-month blues series, which I host with Aqueelah Jamal of WURD-900AM. Tune in to Lucky Old Souls on G-town Radio on Tuesday afternoon at 2, for an interview with the Blues Messengers’ harmonica player, Larry Hambrecht.
8 p.m., $10

SATURDAY 1/31/09
Josh Roseman’s Extended Constellations
The Painted Bride Arts Center, 230 Vine St.
Trombonist Josh Roseman has played with jazz heavies like Dave Holland and John Zorn. His 12-member ensemble Extended Constellations includes some of Brooklyn’s most talented musicians, and their music has influences ranging from Jamaican dub to free jazz. Even if you’re not familiar with Roseman, any show at the Bride is well worth checking out.
8 p.m., $25 ($12.50 for Bride members)

SUNDAY 2/1/09
Sci Fi Philly
Gojjo Ethiopian Restaurant & Bar, 4540 Baltimore Ave.
This weekly musician-run jazz & experimental music series never disappoints. On the bill tonight are New York-based quartet Little Women and Dan Tague & Charles Cohen performing on electronics.
9 p.m., $5

Lucky Old Souls is my weekly web radio show”¦ 2 hours of jazz, blues, pop standards, early rock & roll, soul, and more, plus occasional guests from Philly’s music scene. I don’t get too hung up on genre distinctions on the show, and my music picks reflect the same spirit. Listen live every Tuesday from 2-4 P.M. on, or visit for free downloads of past shows.


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