ERIC ALEXANDER-HAROLD MABERN QUARTET at Smoke (Dec. 22-Jan. 1). Mr. Alexander, a tenor saxophonist with a taste for smartly surging hard bop, has a productive history with Mr. Mabern, a well-traveled and soulful pianist. The lineup of their bands will shift a few times between now and the New Year, featuring partners like the veteran drummers Jimmy Cobb (Dec. 22-23) and Louis Hayes (Dec. 24-25), the trumpeter Eddie Henderson (Dec. 27-28), and the trombonist Steve Turre (Dec. 29-30). On New Year’s Eve they’ll welcome an unnamed guest vocalist — possibly even someone from Mr. Mabern’s recent album “Afro Blue,” whose roster includes Gregory Porter, Jane Monheit and Norah Jones.
THE BAD PLUS at the Village Vanguard (Dec. 27-Jan. 1, 8 and 10 p.m.). This hyperintelligent and crashingly heroic trio — Ethan Iverson on piano, Reid Anderson on bass, David King on drums — revives some proven old strategies on “It’s Hard.” The album, released this year, deftly reimagines familiar songs by popular figures ranging from Prince to Johnny Cash to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. This engagement, which includes a now-customary New Year’s Eve show, will also incorporate some questing originals, by every member of the band.
CÉCILE MCLORIN SALVANT AND THE AARON DIEHL TRIO at Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola (Dec. 26-30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.; Dec. 31, 7:30 and 11 p.m.; and Jan. 1, 7 and 9 p.m.). Ms. Salvant, 27, is the most fervently acclaimed jazz singer of her generation, and on her most recent album — “For One to Love,” which won a Grammy this year — she deepened her game with a bouquet of original songs. She performs as usual with a trio led by Mr. Diehl, a fastidious and swinging pianist who has been her musical director for the last several years.
JOHNNY O’NEAL at Mezzrow, Smalls and Ginny’s Supper Club (Dec. 23, 11 p.m.; Dec. 25, 7:30 p.m.; Dec. 29, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). A pianist in the Art Tatum and Oscar Peterson lineage, and a singer of gruff erudition and charisma, Mr. O’Neal, 60, has been enjoying a late-career comeback possibly sweeter than his ostensible prime. He plays the late shift, from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m., every Friday at Mezzrow. He will spend Christmas evening across Seventh Avenue at Smalls. And on Dec. 29 he will venture farther uptown, to Ginny’s Supper Club.
MARTA SÁNCHEZ QUINTET at Cornelia Street Café (Dec. 23, 9 and 10:30 p.m.). Ms. Sánchez is a Spanish pianist whose most recent album, “Partenika,” also shows her to be an intriguing composer. She draws partly from that album — and partly from her next recording — with her New York quintet, which features an articulate front line of Roman Filiu on alto saxophone and Jerome Sabbagh on tenor saxophone.
DR. LONNIE SMITH OCTET at the Jazz Standard (Dec. 28-30, 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.). Soul jazz is often misconstrued as the product of an era, when it’s really the refinement of a disposition. Dr. Lonnie Smith, the Hammond B-3 organist, has spent the last 50 years moving around within the style, like a pioneer who never settled. “Evolution,” his most recent album, makes this point implicitly, positioning Dr. Smith as a wise elder among fierce younger talent like the saxophonist John Ellis and the drummer Johnathan Blake, who rejoin him here in a turbocharged octet.