The late saxophonist Steve Lacy was well known for his idiosyncratic compositions, music that further sharpened the skewed angles of his mentor Thelonious Monk into off-kilter, era-hopping eccentricities. Culling its members from the interconnected avant-jazz scenes of Amsterdam, Chicago and Boston, The Whammies are uniquely suited to navigate the strange turns of Lacy’s work. ICP Orchestra co-founder Han Bennink actually performed with Lacy, while saxophonist Jorrit Dijkstra studied with him at the New England Conservatory shortly before his 2004 death. On their recently released debut, the sextet approaches Lacy’s compositions with appropriately irreverent reverence, conjuring a drunken stumble through an Old West saloon on “As Usual” and transforming Jeb Bishop’s trombone into a bird call on “Ducks.” Their approach is raucous, playful and offbeat, a combination that surely would have pleased the composer himself.
Fri., Jan. 18, 8 p.m., $15, Philadelphia Art Alliance, 251 S. 18th St., arsnovaworkshop.com.