Anthony Cox, Phil Hey & Chris Lomheim

Here’s a gig that lets you strain the brandy or fine single malt over your tongue while you swell with pride for living in a place with such a vibrant local jazz scene. Cox is an internationally renowned bassist who had Billy Higgins and Dewey Redman on his first record and happens to call the Twin Cities home. Hey is a protégé of Ed Blackwell and has been arguably the top drummer in town for two decades. They’ve formed trios with pianist Billy Carrothers and guitarist Dean Magraw, among others, but when Cox called Lomheim as well as Hey to fill some corporate dates, things took a quieter, albeit very satisfying, turn. Lomheim favors the melancholy of Bill Evans and is also a composer of some note. Cox, who always admired Evans’ bassist Scott Lafaro, was amenable to that approach. The first time they played the AQ a few months back was reportedly a luminous affair. Despite their Ornettish associations, Cox and Hey are enjoying the hushed, relaxed groove of calling out standards-be it Monk or Jerome Kern, with Lomheim always bringing at least one original for variety-and spooling out the interplay.