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Juini Booth plays Ol’ Wondermusic

Bassist composer and bandleader Juini Booth offers us a direct conduit to the heady, exploratory days of late 1960s jazz, a time when “freedom” was the watch word, and the likes of John Coltrane, Albert Ayler, Sun Ra, Ornette Coleman, Miles Davis and just about every other musician with a heartbeat and an ear to the ground were stretching the boundaries of improvisation-based music.

Booth, whose resume includes names like Ayler, Sun Ra, Art Blakey, Tony Williams and McCoy Tyner, has been a restless musical spirit for decades. Born in Buffalo in 1948, Booth has been a bassist of renown since he was a teenager, and though he has called New York City home for a long time now, he still boasts an irreverent, maverick musical bent that screams “Buffalo.”

Booth has found fellow travelers in the form of Hallwalls musical director and baritone/tenor sax man Steve Baczkowski and renowned drummer/tabla player Ravi Padmanabha. The trio goes by the name of the Throwdown and concentrates its considerable talents on free-form improvisation. At 8 p.m. Friday, Throwdown takes part in Ol’ Wondermusic, the monthly music series at Ol’ Wondermoth House (208 North St.) one of two properties run by the Nickel City Housing Co-op.

Admission is $5 at the door. This is a BYOB event, with valid ID. For info, visit

– Jeff Miers

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