Veteran vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson represents the gold standard in not only jazz musicians but human beings.
Now 70 years old, Hutcherson has long been considered a master of his instrument and the jazz idiom and one of the great gentlemen ambassadors of the music. Hutcherson's mid-1960s albums for Blue Note records are as strong as any set from the label's great vault of material.
He brings an excellent working band to Three Stages in Folsom Lake College this Saturday featuring locally based pianist Joe Gilman. The lyrical Gilman, who recently resigned from the Capital Jazz Project, which he co-founded, has worked extensively with Hutcherson for several years.
The Bobby Hutcherson Quintet performs at 8 p.m. on Stage 1. Tickets are $19 to $39. Contact: (916) 608-6888, www.threestages.net.
The Big Idea? Letts
Playwright Tracy Letts' career has moved from outwardly intense and sensationalistic to more quietly fierce and thoughtful Pulitzer Prize-winning fare ("August: Osage County").
"Killer Joe," which opens tonight at 8 at Big Idea Theatre, belongs to Letts' earlier period. Call it trailer park gothic with a dose of vintage Sam Shepard if he were writing a comic B movie thriller.
The material generates belly laughs and high-wire tension when done right but can go off the rails fairly easily because it's luridly shocking, and the spectacle can be simply exploited for that effect.
The always ambitious BIT takes another big bite here, with Scott Devine directing. In the cast are Rick Eldredge, Shannon Mahoney, Wade Lucas, Kat Wolinski and Justin D. Muñoz.
Children are not permitted at "Killer Joe," which contains nudity, profanity, violence and intense adult situations.
It shows at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, and 2:30 p.m. Sundays through May 5. Tickets are $13 and $15, $10 on Thursday nights. At Big Idea Theatre, 1616 Del Paso Blvd., Sacramento. Contact: (916) 960-3036, www.bigideatheatre.com.
Bass does jazz on Truxel
Jazz pianist and composer Dave Bass continues tweaking his band as he finds the right fits for his bright, aggressive and mainstream approach. Bass brings his latest quintet to the Fugu Lounge in Natomas, with Mark Tulga on saxes, Matt Robinson on bass, Brian Kendrick on drums and percussionist Carlos Caro. Some of the pianist's originals from his 2010 album "Gone" come with lyrics, and he'll have the excellent vocalist Francesca Homan on hand to carry that load.
The show is at 7 p.m. at the Fugu Lounge, 2071 Natomas Crossing Drive. Tickets are $10. Contact: (916) 515-1958, www.thefugulounge.com.
Editor's note: This story was revised on April 13 because Three Stages at Folsom Lake College provided incorrect information about the line up of Bobby Hutcherson's band.