Type Relevant has been a breeding ground for exciting musical cross-pollination from the band’s beginnings. The Western New York hip-hop collective consistently brings a real-time, improvisational edge to the form, and in the process has crafted several new hybrids, melding R&B, funk and jazz to hip-hop.

It was, in fact, during a Type Relevant gig that acclaimed Toronto trumpeter Brownman – revered in hip-hop circles for his groundbreaking work with the rapper Guru, as well as Mos Def – first sparked a creative partnership with Buffalo turntablist supreme DJ Cutler. The trumpeter and the DJ worked further in the Brownman-led hip-hop/jazz fusion ensemble Gruvasylum, honing a daring, risk-laden form of improvisational back-and-forth and fine-tuning midset “Horn and DJ” breakdowns.

Those breakdowns became the basis for Omega Men, the new Brownman and DJ Cutler duo. The seeds planted during the Type Relevant days have sprouted an act that now is capable of playing full sets of improvised music that moves gracefully between dance-based grooves and more esoteric, fluid musical estuaries. One imagines that, if Miles Davis was still with us and working in the modern musical world, he would be doing something not dissimilar to this.

At 10 p.m. Friday, Omega Men will take over Blue Monk (727 Elmwood Ave.).

Gig picks

A new jazz trio will make its debut at 8 p.m. Friday in Pausa Art House (19 Wadsworth St.). Not only does the group have a super cool name – Why Not? – but the trio’s repertoire also is delightfully “out there” and adventurous.

Why Not? – pianist Kevin Doyle, bassist Mark Harris and drummer Dave Phillips – will interpret the music of Ornette Coleman, Charles Mingus and Duke Ellington, as well as an offering of new original compositions. Not to be missed! Admission at the door will be $5.

While we’re on the topic of Western new York “super-groups,” a trio of revered area musicians called Living Will – guitarist Roger Cormier, bassist Jim Wynne and drummer Rob Thurman – will gather at 7 p.m. Friday in Alternative Brews (3488 Sheridan Drive, Amherst). The band will play two sets of virtuosic rock. Admission is free.

An annual holiday benefit for Buffalo Friends of the Night People, a charitable organization that offers assistance to area poor and homeless people, will take place at 8:30 p.m. Friday in Nietzsche’s (248 Allen St.). Headlined by Celtic rockers McCarthyizm, the show also will feature a thrillingly diverse array of Buffalo talent, including Randle & the Late Night Scandals, the Jim Whitford Band, A Potter’s Field, Paul Weisenburger and Folk Faces. Learn more at

The annual holiday shindig thrown by buffaBLOG takes place at 10 p.m. Saturday in Duke’s Bohemian Grove Bar (253 Allen St.), and the gang has assembled a killer lineup of regional indie-rock and alternative bands and DJs. Scheduled to perform are Marine Biologist, Del Paxton, Sports, the Forealists and Johns. House DJs for the evening will be DJ LuLu & David Lee Rad, who will spin tunes between sets. Admission is $5 at the door.