Expect the restless jazz saxophonist Donald Harrison Jr. to dip into a rich bag of tricks when he hits Nighttown this week. At 46, Harrison has recorded New Orleans jazz, smooth jazz, and bop -- he's even rapped. Over the years, he's worked with organ master Jack McDuff, salsa kingpin Eddie Palmieri, and trumpeter Terence Blanchard, a fellow child of New Orleans' Ninth Ward.
The son of Donald Harrison Sr., a Big Chief in the Mardi Gras Indian tribe, Harrison is steeped in New Orleans lore; one of his earliest albums, Indian Blues, blends jazz and Native American folk music. The soulfulness of his deeply wounded city is reflected in Kind of New, a 2002 CD that reanimates Miles Davis' Kind of Blue to surprisingly fresh effect. Harrison's solos on that disc are models of compact, curling logic.
He comes to Cleveland with Victor Gould, piano; Esperanza Spalding, bass; and John Lamkin, drums.