Just back from Smalls, where the Stacy Dillard trio with Diallo House and Ismail Lawal holds forth every other Saturday at 1:30 AM.
Their all-original book contains mystical vamps, roaring swing, and odd-meter melancholy. House's passionate rumble reminds me of Fred Hopkins a bit, or maybe Jimmy Garrison. Lawal has some of Nasheet Waits's mystery but with a tighter, Roy Haynes-ish crackle. Dillard is both conceptual and virtuosic on tenor and soprano.
It's weird, wonderful music that has a lovely balance of order and chaos. The Dillard-House-Lawal trio is possibly the most intriguing NYC band at the moment.