Druthers: Hiatus Picks the Week's Best Bets

SF Jazz Collective

March 15, 8 p.m. Mandeville Auditorium $16 students, $32 general

“Modern jazz” tends to conjure up a dentist office’s soundtrack. Sure, there are plenty of rehashed hotel-lounge acts out there, but don’t set Ellington on repeat just yet – jazz is still alive and wailing. Take the SF Jazz Collective. Launched in 2004 by stellar saxophonist Joshua Redman, the octet brags a best-of lineup that spans the ages, from young prodigies all the way to vibes legend Bobby Hutcherson of ’60s Blue Note fame. The concept is simple: Every year, each member composes one brand new piece. Then, they add some compositions by a chosen modern jazz master, rearranged by Grammy-winner Gil Goldstein (this time, it’s Herbie Hancock), and take the whole repertoire on the road. To see these cats is to see the future of jazz. (GF)

The Animal Collective

March 14, 7 p.m. at the Epicentre $15

It seems that most descriptions of the Animal Collective’s strange freak-folk can’t help but use words like deranged, acid-tinged, restless, trippy, child-like, lysergic, babbling and insane. When these New York musicians play, it sounds like nothing that can be described in words, and is pretty much the best way to realize an acid flashback, which is a good thing. Just don’t give up after the first listen, or you’ll be forever condemned to the sad world of the mundane. (CBN)