Credit: Jordan Martins

Midsize jazz ensembles have been around for as long as jazz has existed, and they’re especially versatile: Louis Armstrong’s Hot Seven provided a supportive, uncluttered framework for soloists; Charles Mingus obtained an orchestral array of moods and colors from an octet on Mingus Ah Um; and Peter Brötzmann’s Chicago Octet (later Tentet) combined titanic massed blasts with breakout subgroups that yielded unpredictable free improvisations. The

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