Miles Davis tops off the week. He's playing today through Saturday at Paul's Mall in Boston and is, as everybody must know, the single dominant figure in jazz. He started out as a Charlie Parker protege in the late 40s, playing bop trumpet, and after Bird died picked up a few proteges of his own--people like Max Roach, Herbie Hancock and John Coltrane were all in his band at one time. Miles went from hot to cool, and then in the late 60s back to hot again, and now his music is spacey and heavily rock-influenced. But be forewarned: rumor has it that he plays only a very short show for a long five dollars a head in admission price.
Mongo Santamaria, next door at the Jazz Workshop all week, is a drum and bongo player from Cuba. He likes to go with a big, varied, high-energy band, using what's known in the trade as a heavy Afro-Cuban beat. He sounds like a sort of forefather to Santana, and definitely worth seeing.
Orleans and Ian Mathews make up a highly-touted double bill at the slick Performance Center this week, Mathews playing Wednesday and Thursday only and Orleans Wednesday through Saturday. Orleans is a four-man band that used to back up Janis Joplin, and is smooth and well-rehearsed, fast but not harsh. Ian Matthews is a guitarist and singer from England who plays all sorts of stuff, mostly in the country-folk end of rock.
The Great Old Time Jazz Festival is tonight on Long Field in Framingham, and features the Jeff Staughton High Society New Orleans Jazz Band at 7:30 p.m. Stuaghton's band sounds like a local imitation of real New Orleans bands like the Olympia, which are made up of old black men and women who grew up as Jazz did, in the teens and twenities, and are carrying the tradition. It's good to see people like Staughton, if they're faithful to the music and play well, carrying on the best music in the world.
The Erdley Duo continues MIT's summer classical music series tonight at 8 p.m.. The concert is mostly Mozart and Beethoven, and is at Kresge Auditorium, free.
Harvey Brooks and the Fabulous Rhinestones are at Sandy's in Beverly Thursday through Sunday. The Rhinestones are one of those big, brassy soul revues--not one of the best, but still pretty good stuff.
Larry Groce is Passims' offering this week, Tuesday through Saturday. He doesn't sound like outstanding Passim fare, but just a quiet, friendly folkie, solid but no star. He's playing with Mary McCaslin, who's supposed to be a great singer.