Picks of the Week: Jan. 7 – 13

January 8, 2013

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Ariana Savalas

Ariana Savalas

- Jan. 9.  (Wed.)  Ariana Savalas and Corky Hale.  Yes, the name “Savalas” is familiar; Ariana is the daughter of the veteran actor Telly Savalas.  But as a singer, she has an appealing style that is uniquely her own.  She’s backed by the musically supportive accompaniment of pianist/harpist Hale. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Jan. 9. (Wed.)  Betty Bryant.  Singer/pianist Betty Bryant gives another seminar in jazz piano and vocals, as entertaining and swinging as she is musically inventive.  H.O.M.E.  Beverly Hills.   (310) 271-4663.

- Jan. 9. (Wed.)  John Beasley.  Pianist/composer Beasely begins a January residency at the Blue Whale, starting with a duo with the unique vocalist Dwight TribleThe Blue Whale.   (213) 620-0908.

- Jan. 10. (Thurs.) Gerald Wilson Orchestra. At 94, arranger/composer/bandleader Wilson still brings his Orchestra vividly to life everytime he gives the down beat on one of his memorable arrangements.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Amadeus Leopold

Amadeus Leopold

- Jan. 10. (Thurs.)  Amadeus Leopold.  The brilliant young Korean violinist Leopold – whose original name was Hahn-Bin – applies his technical prowess and emotional imagination to a uniquely imaginative view of the classical repertoire.  CAP UCLA.  Royce Hall.

- Jan. 10. (Thurs.)  Ibrahim Maalouf Quintet. (Concert cancelled due to visa problems.) Lebanese trumpeter Maalouf effectively blends Arabic traditional sounds and rhythms with contemporary jazz funk and roots rock.  Theatre Raymond Kabbaz.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.    (310) 271-9039.

- Jan. 11. (Fri.)  Sinne Eeg.  Highly praised Danish singer Eeg performs with the stellar backing of Larry Koonse, Peter Erskine, Darek Oles and Roger NeumannVitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Jan. 11. (Fri.)  Los Lobos. The multiple Grammy-winning band from East L.A. continues to continue to find linkages between Chicano rock, Tex-Mex, r&b and traditional Hispanic styles.  The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

Lainie Kazan

Lainie Kazan

- Jan. 11 – 13. (Fri. – Sun.)  Lainie Kazan.  Actress/singer Kazan’s checkered career reaches from understudying Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl to dozens of high visibility film roles.  But she’s also a uniquely gifted singer with a lush sound and a gift for richly emotional interpretations of the book of standards.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Jan. 12 & 13. (Sat. & Sun.)  Steve Ross.  Puttin’ on the Ritz.  “The Music of Fred Astaire.  Singer Ross presents a cabaret show to remember, with some of the greatest songs from film musicals.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Curtis Stigers

Curtis Stigers

- Jan. 13. (Sun.)  Curtis Stigers & His Band.  Saxophonist/singer Stigers has spent most of his career emphasizing his vocal skills, producing some memorable, jazz-tinged, charting songs since the release of his self-titled, platinum debut recording in 1991.  Kirk Douglas Theatre.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.    (310) 271-9039.

- Jan. 13. (Sun.)  Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour.  The MJF prides itself on the iconic line up of performers for the annual September Festival programs.  And here’s an equally iconic group of artists – Dee Dee Bridgewater, Christian McBride, Benny Green, Lewis Nash, Chris Potter and Ambrose Akinmusire – proudly carrying the MJF banner in the off season.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    (714) 556-2787.   (The Monterey Jazz Festival on Tour also performs at the Valley Performing Arts Center on Jan. 23.

San Francisco

Wesla Whitfield

Wesla Whitfield

- Jan. 9. (Wed.)  Wesla Whitfield with the Mike Greensil Trio.  Whitfield has been offering her view of the Great American Songbook for more than three decades, most often with the backing of her husband, pianist Greensil.  Together they provide an irresistible evening of memorable music.Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

New York

- Jan. 10.  (Thurs.) Janis Ian.  Singer/songwriter Ian made her breakthrough with “Society’s Child” in the mid-‘60s, followed by her Grammy Award-winning “At Seventeen” in the mid-‘70s.  At 81, she’s still going strong.  City Winery.    (212) 608-0555.

- Jan. 11 & 12. (Fri. & Sat.)  The 2013 NYC Winter Jazzfest.  Six venues around Greenwich Village feature performers such as James Carter, Monty Alexander, Claudia Acuna, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Rez Abbasi and numerous others, young and mature.  The Winter Jazzfest.

Carol Welsman, Peter Marshall and Denise Donatelli

Carol Welsman, Peter Marshall and Denise Donatelli

- Jan. 11 – 14. (Fri. – Mon.) “And Then She Wrote.”  With Peter Marshall, Carol Welsman and Denise Donatelli.  Emmy Award-winner singer/actor Marshall has created an entertaining overview of the many memorable songs in the Great American Songbook written by women.  And he couldn’t have chosen a better pair of singers to join him in a delightful evening of music, dance and humor than Juno Award nominee Welsman and Grammy nominee Donatelli.   Click HERE to read an iRoM review of the Los Angeles performance of And Then She Wrote.”  The Metropolitan Room.   (212) 206-0440.

- Jan. 12 & 13. (Sat. & Sun.)  Ramsey Lewis and John Pizzarelli.  Straighten Up and Fly Right: A Tribute to Nat “King” Cole.  What a great combination: the spirited piano work of Lewis, the lively singing and guitar of Pizzarelli, and the great book of songs associated with Nat Cole.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Washington D.C.

Grace Kelly

Grace Kelly

- Jan. 8. (Tues.)  Grace Kelly.  Korean/American alto saxophonist and singer Kelly, who just turned 20 in 2012, has firmly established herself as one of the gifted jazz artists of her generation.  Blues Alley.     (202) 337-4141.

London

- Jan. 9 & 10.  (Wed, & Thurs.)  Larry Goldings, Peter Bernstein and Bill Stewart.  Described in the ‘90s by the New York Times as the “best organ trio of the last decade,” the Goldings/Bernstein/Stewart combination continues to get better and better.  Ronnie Scott’s.   +44 (0)20 7439 0747.

Copenhagen

- Jan. 10 & 11. (Thurs. & Fri.)  “A Tribute to Anita O’Day.”   Signe Juhl and the Nikolaj Bentzon 3. Singer Juhl, backed by pianist Bentzon’s prime trio, celebrates the lively musical history of Anita O’Day.  Jazzhus Montmartre.    (+45) 70 263 267.

Milan

- Jan. 11 & 12. (Fri. & Sat.)  Tania Maria.  Grammy-nominated Brazilian singer/pianist and composer has been described as Brazil’s finest native jazz artist.  At 64, she continues to produce memorable recordings and live performances.  The Blue Note Milano.     02.6901 6888.


Picks of the Week: Dec 19 – 23

December 19, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Katja Rieckermann

Katja Rieckermann

- Dec. 19 (Wed.)  Katja Rieckermann.  German-born saxophonist Rieckermann has a resume reaching from Rod Stewart and Al Green to Carole King and Randy Newman.  But she’s best heard in her own musical settings, as she will be here.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

- Dec. 19. (Wed.)  Street Corner Renaissance.  A quintet of singers whose age ranges from 50 to 72, singing the sort of lush a cappella harmonies and crisp rhythms that recall the sound of groups such as the Ink Spots and the Chiffons.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Dec. 21. (Fri.)  A Swinging Christmas with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy.  Winter solstice (and the end of the world?) arrives with an appropriate evening of jumping and jiving from one of the great Swing revival bands.  Disney Hall.      (323) 850-2000.

Judy Collins

- Dec. 21. (Fri.)  An Evening with Judy Collins.  She’s one of the true originals of pop and folk music, still applying her lovely sound and rich interpretive skills to an appealing collection of songs.  The Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

- Dec. 21 & 22., (Fri. & Sat.)  Rufus and Martha Wainwright Christmas 101 Brother and sister Rufus and Martha celebrate the life of their mother, Kate McGarrigle, with an extraordinary evening of music performed with guest artists Emmylou Harris, Van Dyke Parks and Carrie Fisher.  CAP UCLA at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

- Dec. 22. (Sat.)  The Los Angeles Master Chorale.  The superb voices of the L.A. Master Chorale continue their winter’s eves tour of great Christmas music.  Click HERE to read the iRoM review of the LAMC’s recent performance of Bach and Vivaldi.  This time it’s another one of the great classics — Handel’s Messiah.  Disney Hall.       (323) 850-2000.

- Dec. 22. (Sat.) Otmaro Ruiz and Bob Sheppard. “Feliz Navidad Latin Night.” Pianist Ruiz and saxophonist/flutist Sheppard team up to celebrate the season in a Latin jazz way.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 22 and 23. (Sat. & Sun.)  Los Angeles Ballet  “The Nutcracker.”  It’s that time of year, when The Nutcracker sets the stage for the holiday season.  And the L.A. Ballet does Tchaikovsky’s classic with great authenticity.  The Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-3000.

Seth MacFarlane

Seth MacFarlane

- Dec. 23. (Sun.)  Seth MacFarlane with the Ron Jones Influence Jazz Orchestra. He may be best known as the producer and creator of Family Guy. But MacFarlane also prides himself on his ability to sing a song in the classic crooner style of Frank Sinatra, Nat Cole, Dean Martin, etc.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400

Chicago

- Dec. 20 – 23. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Bad Plus.  The adventurous trio of pianist Ethan Iverson, bassist Reid Anderson and drummer Dave King continue to redefine the piano jazz trio.  Jazz Showcase.   (312) 360-0234.

New York

- Dec. 19 – 22. (Wed. – Sat. )  Freddy Cole.  Yes, there’s a trace of the Cole family (Nat and Natalie) sound in Freddy’s singing, but he uses it in his own appealing style.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

Chris Botti

Chris Botti

- Dec. 19 – 23. (Wed. – Sun.)  Chris Botti.  Trumpeter Botti takes a break from his almost incessant traveling for his annual holiday appearance at The Blue Note.  His continuous run of two shows a night is scheduled through Jan. 6.  Click HERE to read an iRoM review of last year’s Botti performances at  The Blue Notel   (212) 475-8592.

- Dec. 21 – 23. (Fri. – Sun.)  New York Voices.  More than two decades together, the Voices continue to apply their lush jazz harmonies to a program reaching from pop and folk to songbook standards.  The Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.

Berlin

- Dec. 21 & 22.   (Fri. & Sat.)  Dwight Trible and the Paul Zauner Sextet.  “Dwight Christmas.”  It’s a punning title, but it’s a good description of what to expect when the vocally imaginative Trible sings a program of holiday tunes.  A-Trane.  030/313 25 50.

Milan

Chiara Civelo

Chiara Civelo

- Dec. 21 & 22.  (Fri. & Sat.)  Chiara Civello. Sicilian singer/guitarist Civello, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music, returns to her native country for a holiday celebration of her many talents.  Blue Note Milan.    02.69016888.

Tokyo

- Dec. 19 & 20.  (Wed. & Thurs.)  Maria Schneider Orchestra.  There’s nothing in big band jazz quite like the sounds, the textures and the imagination in the music Schneider writes and arranges for her talented group of players. Tokyo Blue Note.   03-5485-0088.

- Dec,. 21 – 23.  (Fri. – Sun.)  John Pizzarelli.  Guitarist/singer Pizzarelli’s latest album, Double Exposure, finds some unusual connections via medleys of pop songs and jazz lines.  The results are the latest example of Pizzarelli’s imaginative musicality.  Tokyo Blue Note.   03-5485-0088.


Picks of the Week: Jan. 31 – Feb. 5

January 31, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Anthony Wilson

- Jan. 31. (Tues.)  Anthony Wilson.  He’s had a lot of visibility the past few years backing Diana Krall, but Wilson’s a certified jazz star in his own right – as a performer, a composer and a band leader.  This time out, he gets back to basics with guitarist and host John Pisano in the laid back format of  Guitar NightVitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Jan. 31. (Tues.)  Sheldon Reynolds’ “Elements of Fire.”  A guitarist and lead singer with Earth, Wind and Fire in the ’80s and ’90s, Reynolds revisits some of the Grammy-winning ensemble’s greatest hits.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Feb. 2 (Thurs.)  The Salzburg Chamber Soloists.  The critically praised members of the SCS reveal their musical versatility with a diverse program featuring works by Mozart, Ravel, Britten and Janacek.  The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

Windy Karigianes

- Feb. 2 (Thurs.)  Windy Karigianes.  Las Vegas singer Karigianes hasn’t had a lot of wide visibility yet, but the warmth of her sound, her briskly rhythmic style and evocative interpretations bode well for her future.  Saxophonist Brandon Fields will be her special guest.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Feb. 2. (Thurs.)  Doug MacDonald Organ Quartet.  Guitarist MacDonald dips into a deep groove with the vibrant assistance of organ playing and vocals of Bobby Pierce, the tenor saxophone of Clarence Webb and the drumming and vocals of Harold Acey.  The LAX Jazz Club at the Crowne Plaza.   (310) 258-1333.

- Feb. 2 – 4. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Bobby Caldwell. It’s a safe bet that Caldwell won’t get through the night without singing his 1978 hit, “What You Won’t Do For Love.”  But he’s got plenty of other past hits in his resume, as well as an easygoing, appealing way of dealing with everything from American Songbook classics to his own catalog of memorable originals.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

The Flying Karamazov Brothers

- Feb. 3. (Fri.)  The Flying Karamazov Brothers.  Juggling’s their game, and comedy’s a good part of their fame.  How could it be otherwise with a whimsical group of experts who juggle everything from apples and swords to fish and flaming torches.  There’s nothing quite like them.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

- Feb. 3. (Fri.)  Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.  Saxophonist/pianist/bandleader has accomplished the jazz world miracle of not only keeping a big band together, but doing so with an impressive display of engaging, hard swinging musicality.  No surprise that the Phat Band has a Grammy nomination this year.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Feb. 3. (Fri.)  Trio M.  With Myra Melford, piano, Mark Dresser, bass, Matt Wilson, drums.  The instrumentation may be the same as the classic jazz piano trio, but Trio M — Myra, Mark, Matt — has set no stylistic limits.  A true creative musical collective, each of its stellar members brings his or her artistic vision to the trio’s unbounded explorations.  The Musicians Institute Concert Center.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.    (310) 271-9039.

- Feb. 3. (Fri.)  John Beasley and Dwight Trible.  “First Fridays Jazz Series.”  Pianist Beasley ands singer Trible, performing with stunning musical empathy, celebrate the release of their album, Duality, as a headliner event in the First Friday Jazz Series at Joe’s Restaurant.    (310) 399-5811.

- Feb. 3 & 4. (Fri. & Sat.)  Ben Wendel.  Grammy nominated multi-instrumentalist, composer and producer Wendel showcases his eclectic creative skills in a celebration of his new album, Frame. Blue Whale.  (213) 620-0908.

San Francisco

Peter Erskine

- Feb. 1 (Wed.)  The Peter Erskine New Trio.  Grammy-winning Peter Erskine has drummed with everyone from Stan Kenton to Pat Metheny, with all stops in between.  But one of the best ways to hear his subtle rhythms is with his own impressive new trio, featuring pianist Vardan Ovsepian and bassist (and nephew) Damian ErskineYoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Jan. 31 – Feb. 4. (Tues. – Sat.)  David Sanchez Quartet.  Grammy-winning, and frequently Grammy-nominated Sanchez is one of the rare saxophonists who has found inspiration in John Coltrane, while continuing to explore the essentials of his own style and creativity.  He’s backed by drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Matt Brewer and guitarist Adam Rogers. Jazz Standardl.  (212) 576-2232.

Simone Dinnerstein

- Feb. 2 (Thurs.)  Simone DinnersteinBach and the Romantics.  Whether it’s baroque, classical or romantic, Dinnerstein approaches the piano with a transparency that takes the listener into the very origins of the music she plays.  This time she offers a program reaching from Bach through Schubert, Chopin and Brahms.  The Miller Theatre at the Columbia University School of the Arts.    (212) 854-7799.

- Feb. 3. (Fri.)  The Ben Monder, Theo Bleckmann Duo.  Guitarist Monder and vocalist Bleckmann, each an adventurous musical explorer in his own right, take on even more unusual creative territories when they come together as a team.  Cornelia St. Café.    (212) 989-9319.

London

- Jan. 31. (Tues.)  Mark Murphy. One of the great veterans of the jazz vocal art.  Approaching 80, he continues to offer definitive displays of his still potent, richly creative abilities. Ronnie Scott’s.   020 7439 0747

Berlin

- Feb. 5. (Sun.)  Becca Stevens. Singer, composer and multiple instrumentalist (guitar, ukulele and charango), Stevens also manages to find a way to embrace folk, classical and pop in her idiosyncratic, jazz-tinged music.   A-Trane.   030/313 25 50.  Critically acclaimed 2011 album, Weightless.

Peter Erskine photo by Tony Gieske


Picks of the Week: Feb. 15 – 20

February 15, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

- Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The JLCO under Marsalis has firmly established itself as the definitive jazz repertory big band, performing programs that keep the spirit of large ensemble jazz – from Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson to the present – alive and kicking.   Disney Hall.  Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

- Feb. 15. (Tues.) Strunz and Farah. The dangerous duo of high powered guitar playing, Strunz and Farah match their fast fingered virtuosity with spirit and imagination.  Click HERE to read an earlier iRoM review of Strunz and Farah.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Matisyahu.  Every performance by Matisyahu is a banquet of international styles, from reggae and Judaic hymns to Middle Eastern rhythms and American pop.  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.   (805) 449-2787.

Gregory Porter

- Feb. 16. (Wed.)  Gregory Porter.  The rapidly rising, Grammy-nominated  jazz vocal star makes a rare Southland appearance.  Check him out now, while his star is in the ascendancy.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Feb. 17. (Thurs.)  CJS Quintet“A Dexter Gordon Tribute” Saxophonist Chuck Johnson and trumpeter James Smith lead their quartet in a tribute to the music of the dynamic tenor saxophonist.  LAX Jazz Club at the Crown Plaza LAX.  (310) 258-1333.

- Feb. 17 – 20. (Thurs. – Sun.) Newport Beach Jazz Party.  It’s a cornucopia of traditional and mainstream jazz.  Highlight artists include Anat Cohen, Bill Cunliffe, Ron Eschete, Benny Green, John Clayton, Tamir Hendelman, Bob Mintzer, Lewis Nash, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Jack Sheldon, Barbara Morrison, Tom Rainier, Eric Reed and a lot more.  Along with a rare appearance by songwriter/singer Alan Bergman.  Newport Beach Jazz Party.   (949)759-5003.

- Feb. 18. (Fri.) The Borodin Quartet, the Red Quartet and Dwight Trible. The Los Angeles Concert Seasons Series debuts with an extraordinary musical encounter between the Russian classical Borodin String Quartet, the off-beat Red Quartet (a combination of cello, violin, guitar and vocals), the idiosyncratic but fascinating vocal improvisations of Trible and eclectic sounds of DJ Mando Fever.  Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club.

Larry Goldings

- Feb. 18 & 19. (Fri. & Sat.)  Larry Goldings Organ Trio.  Goldings plays anything with a keyboard impressively.  But he’s especially gripping when he’s digging into a Hammond B-3, and even more so when he’s backed by the stellar playing of Peter Bernstein, guitar and Bill Stewart, drums.   Vitello’s\ (818) 769-0905.

- Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Frank Marocco Quartet.  Accordionist Marocco, who celebrated his 80th birthday in January, performs selections from his new CD with alto saxophonist Jon Whinnery (back in action after a bout with cancer), bassist  John Gianelli and drummer Kendall KayGiannelli Square of Northridge. (818) 772-1722.

- Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Bobby Rodriguez with The John Heard Trio.  Dr. Bobby takes a break from his academic chores to display his dynamic trumpet playing.  Charlie O’s\ (818) 994-3058.

- Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Jazz and the Orchestra.  Pianist/composer/arranger John Beasley and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein in an original concert production illustrating jazz in small ensemble and large orchestral settings, as well as the subtleties of scatting and improvisation.  11 a.m. Pre-concert workshops for children at 10 a.m.  The program is repeated on Sat., Feb. 26.  Disney Hall.\ (323) 850-2000.

- Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Alan Broadbent/Pat Senatore Duo.  The rumor is out that Broadbent, one of the Southland’s most gifted pianists (and arrangers) may be moving to another area.  So don’t miss this chance to hear him in an intimate musical setting, accompanied only by bassist Senatore.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400. \

Barbara Morrison

- Feb. 20. (Sun.) “A Tribute To Billie Holiday Barbara Morrison, Corky Hale and Tricia Tahara. Pianist/harpist Hale brings the solid accompaniment style she used in her gigs with Holiday to a set of Lady Day songs performed with versatile vocalists Morrison and Tahara. The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center.    (310) 330-0178.

- Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Phil Norman Tentet.  Norman’s big little band revives the cool, inner-moving musical groove of the West Coast jazz of the ‘50s, spicing it with a few contemporary seasonings as well. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Fred Katz.  Skirball Center.  Cellist and master musician Katz returns to the Skirball after his performance last summer – his first in more than two decades.  He will be joined by his son, flutist Hyman Katz, bassist Richard Simon, plus special guests the Flying Pisanos — guitarist John Pisano and vocalist Jeanne PisanoThe Skirball Center.  (310) 440-4500.

- Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Sing! Sing! Sing!  “Academy Award Winning Songs: The Early Years” There’ll be plenty of memories coursing through the room at this week’s singalong, with a collection of songs harking back to the days when Academy Award winning songs really were songs to remember.  Sing!Sing!Sing! at Keyboard Concepts .  (310) 990-2405.

Al Di Meola

- Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Al Di Meola and World Sinfonia.  Guitarist Di Meola and his ensemble kick off their 2011 tour with familiar items from his catalog as well as selections from his upcoming album Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody. The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano (949)  496-8930.

San Francisco

- Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Anat Fort.  New York based, Israel-born pianist Fort is finally beginning to attract some much deserved attention beyond her Manhattan base.  She and her trio will be playing selections from her highly praised, recently released album, And if. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- Feb. 16 & 17. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuaria.  An unlikely pair of guitarists – featuring Frisell’s jazz Americana and Cantuaria’s percussively exciting Brazilian style — get together for what should be a pair of unpredictable but utterly compelling evenings of music. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

New York

McCoy Tyner

- Feb. 15 – 17. (Tues. – Thurs.) McCoy Tyner Trio with vocalist Jose James.  Together they revisit the classic musical partnership of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.  The Blue Note.  http://www.bluenote.net/newyork/schedule/index.shtml (212) 475-8592.

- Feb. 15 – 19.  (Tues. – Sat.) Oregon.  It’s hard to believe, but true, that Oregon is now celebrating its 40th year.  And the music on their new album, In Stride, affirms that their blend of classical, jazz and world music elements is as intriguing as ever.  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Feb. 15 – 19. (Tues. – Sat.)  Eric Gillett“Widescreen: Songs From & About the Movies” Gillett’s warm baritone and emotive style have the power as well as the subtlety to fill a cabaret room.  This time out, his show combines movie songs with music from theater and contemporary pop.  Feinstein’s at the Regency.  (212) 339-4095.

- Feb. 17. (Thurs.)  Roscoe Mitchell 70th Birthday concert.  The veteran avant-gardist woodwind artist celebrates, first via a duo improvisation with electronic music pioneer David Wessel, then with his own quartet, featuring pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Tani Tabbal. Roulette (Concert Space).     (212) 219-8242.

Portland, Oregon

- Feb. 18 – 27.  The Portland Jazz Festival. The ten day Portland Jazz Festival is a true city event, with more than 120 programs taking place at locations around town.  Leading the stellar line up of featured artists is bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, (right) winner of this year’s Best New Artist Grammy.  She is  the first jazz artist to receive the coveted award.

The balance of the program reaches impressively across genres and generations.  Among the highlights: the SF JAZZ Collective, Regina Carter, Joshua Redman,  Dave Frishberg, Don Byron, Nik Bartsch, Randy Weston, The Three Cohens (Anat, Avishai and Yval), as well as a round up of fine jazz talent from Portland and the Northwest…. and much, much more.  The Portland Jazz Festival. (503) 228-5299.

Wynton Marsalis and Esperanza Spalding photos by Tony Gieske.


Picks of the Week: Sept. 28 – Oct. 3

September 28, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Sept. 29. (Wed.)  Strunz & Farah. The dynamic guitar duo display their fast-fingered magic.  Click HERE to read an iRoM review of a recent S&F appearance.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

McCoy Tyner

- Sept. 29 – Aug. 3 (Wed. – Sun.)  McCoy Tyner Quartet. The ever-exploratory Tyner,  leads a group that features the similarly adventurous alto saxophonist Gary Bartz Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

- Sept. 30. (Thurs.)  Alfredo Rodriguez. Cuba’s latest jazz piano prodigy has been startling listeners with his improvisational virtuosity since he arrived here a year ago.  Click HERE to read an iRoM review of one of Rodriguez’s first L.A. appearances.   Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.   Musicians Institute Concert Hall.  (310) 271-9039.

- Sept. 30. (Thurs.) John Cale.  When Past and Future Collide – Paris 1919. Cale presents a complete live performance of his classic 1973 album, Paris 1919, with members of the UCLA Philharmonia and special guests Ben Gibbard and Mark LaneganUCLA Live.  Royce Hall.   (310) 825-2101.

Lorraine Feather

- Oct. 1. (Fri.)  Lorraine Feather.  She’s an engaging singer, as well as a brilliant wordsmith, and she doesn’t make many appearances in L.A.  So don’t miss this one. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 1. (Fri.)  Betty Buckley.  “Broadway by Request” with Seth Rudetsky.   She’s starred on Broadway in Cats and 1776, in television (Eight is Enough) and films (Tender Mercies), and she’s at her best with an audience and a song.  Smothers Theatre, Pepperdine University.  (310) 506-4522.

- Oct. 1. (Fri.)  America.  The 40th Anniversary Tour. Forty years after their glory days, America can still turn on a crowd with tunes such as “A Horse With No Name,” “Tin Man” and more.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  (562) 916-8501.

- Oct. 1. (Fri.) Mary Stallings.  With the Eric Reed Trio.  Her resume reaches back to appearances with the likes of Ben Webster, Earl Hines, the Montgomery Brothers and more in the ‘50s, and she can still deliver a song. The Culver Club at the Radisson.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- Oct. 1 & 2. (Fri. & Sat.)  Yoko Ono. We Are Plastic Ono Band.  An extremely rare live performance from Yoko, surrounded by a posse of performers empathetic with her envelope stretching ideas.  With Nels Cline (10/1), Iggy Pop (10/1), Mike Watt (10/1), Lady Gaga (10/2), Kim Gordon (10/2), Thurston Moore (10/2), Cornelius, Perry Farrell, Carrie Fisher, Vincent Gallo, Yuka Honda, Haruomi Hosono, Sean Lennon, RZA, Harper Simon, Tune-YardsThe Orpheum.  (877) 677-4386.

Lee Konitz

- Oct. 2. (Sat.)  Lee Konitz New Quartet. Alto saxophonist Konitz is one of the few certifiably original practitioners of his instrument in the post-Charlie Parker era.  At 83, he continues to approach improvisation as a new adventure every time he plays.  He’s backed by the international rhythm team of bassist Jeff Denson, German pianist Florian Weber, and Israeli drummer Ziv Ravitz. UCLA Schoenberg Hall.  Friends of Jazz at UCLA.  (310) 206-3269.

- Oct. 2. (Sat.) Alan Pasqua Trio. Pianist Pasqua, a first call rhythm section master on everyone’s list, takes time away from his day gig as Chairman of USC’s Jazz Studies program to lead his own trio – in the supportive company of bassist Darek Oles and drummer Joe LaBarbera. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 2. (Sat.) Luckman Jazz OrchestraA Tribute to Lee Morgan. The LJO, one of the Southland’s finest, and least appreciated, large jazz ensembles, dips into the memorable music of Lee Morgan. Luckman Fine Arts Complex. (323) 343-6600.

- Oct. 2 & 3. (Sat. & Sun.) Angel City Jazz Festival. The ACJF kicks off its week-long run with a pair of stylistically far-ranging events.   Sat.: Dwight Trible and John Beasley, REDCAT.  Sun.: Ravi Coltrane/Ralph Alessi Quintet, Wadada Leo Smith Golden Quartet, Vinny Golia Sextet and Kneebody.  Ford Amphitheatre.  Angel City Jazz Festival.

- Oct. 3. (Sun,.)  Tamir Handelman: Solo Piano. Pianist Handelman’s diverse skills are coveted by everyone from Barbra Streisand the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra.  Here, he does it all himself.. Atelier Concert.

San Francisco

Dave Liebman

- Sept. 28 & 29.  (Tues. & Wed.)  Dave Liebman Quartet. Saxophonist Liebman and his quartet have a knack for taking their audiences on fascinatingly exploratory musical journeys.  Click HERE to read a recent iRoM review of the Liebman Quartet.  Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

- Oct. 1. (Fri.)  Roy Ayers. Vibist Ayers transforms every performance into soul and r&b-driven excitement.  Yoshi’s San Francisco (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Sept. 28 – Oct. 2. (Tues. – Sat.) Wallace Roney Sextet.  Trumpeter Roney molds the Miles Davis sound into his own, unique expression. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

Anat Cohen

- Sept. 28 – Oct. 3. (Tues. – Sun.)  Anat Cohen Quartet. Woodwind specialist Cohen can do everything from down-home, bar-walking tenor saxophone playing to brilliantly virtuosic clarinet stylings.  Village Vanguard.  (212) 255-4037.

- Sept. 28 – Oct. 3. (Tues. – Sun.)  Stanley Clarke Band featuring Hiromi.  Bassist Clarke and pianist Hiromi have found illuminating common ground enhanced by their individual instrumental virtuosity.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- Sept. 30. (Thurs.)  Jimmy Webb.  One of the most successful singer/songwriters of the late ‘60s and ‘70s continued, over succeeding decades, to expand his catalog of music well beyond the limits of song.  But expect to hear some very familiar tunes, as well as something new.  Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

- Sept. 30 – Oct. 3. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Joshua Redman Trio. Tenor saxophonist Redman continues to find improvisational treasures in an instrumental format reaching back to Sonny Rollins’ classic recordings of the late ‘50s. Jazz Standard.   (212) 447-7733.

Photos of Dave Liebman and Anat Cohen by Tony Gieske.


Picks of the Week: Sept. 20 – 26

September 21, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Sept. 21. (Tues.)  Further. Featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. The music of the Grateful dead still lives, as Lesh and Weir, with an all star band take the classics “further” out.  The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Sept. 21. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night. Pisano teams up for an evening of duets with the guitarist Frank Sinatra loved — Ron Anthony. Bassist John Belzaguy keeps the rhythm together.  Vitello’s (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 22. (Wed.)  Sally Kellerman.  “Hot Lips” returns with another display of Kellerman’s entertaining way with a song.  Andy Langham’s piano and arrangements provide the backing.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 23. (Thurs.) Denise Donatelli.  Her enchanting voice and intuitive way with a song are rapidly elevating Donatelli to the highest levels in the crowded field of female jazz vocalists.   Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

Debbie Reynolds

- Sept. 23 – Oct. 3. (Starting Thurs.)  Debbie ReynoldsAlive & Fabulous. The title tells it all.  MGM’s hottest musical property from the ‘50s still knows how to light up a stage. The El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood.   (818) 508-4200.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Kristin Korb.  Versatile bassist/singer Korb supports her new CD, In the Meantime with a free performance and two bands: Llew Mathews and Steve Barnes in the first set; Bruce Forman and Aaron Serfaty in the second.  LACMA.  (323) 857-6000.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.) Phil  Ranelin and Tribe Renaissance.  Trombonist Ranelin and his players apply their own unique mainstream sound and style to a musically stimulating encounter with the veteran trumpeter Marcus BelgraveThe Culver Club at the Radisson.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Willie Nelson & Family. The one and only Willie performs selections from his latest CD, Country Music. Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses open the show.  The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Doug Webb.  One of the Southland’s most popular go-to saxophonists, Webb explores the nocturnal selections on his latest CD, MidnightVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Babatunde Lea Quintet.  With Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts, Gary Brown and Dwight Trible.  African, Cuban,, Caribbean and South American rhythms are blended into an irresistibly appealing jazz feast by Lea’s world class ensemble. Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Westchester.  (310) 670-4777.

Dave Liebman

- Sept. 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  Dave Liebman. Saxophonist – and 2011 Recipient of the NEA Masters of Jazz Award – brings his New York Quartet, with guitarist Vic Juris, bassist Marko Marcinko and bassist Tony Marino to a rare Southland club engagement.  Don’t miss this one.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.  They’ve been performing traditional creole, cajun and zydeco music since the mid’’70s, and they’re still utterly compelling.  On Friday at McCabe’s. (310) 828-4497.  On Sat. in a free concert with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Mardi Gras Indians. at Orange County Great Park.  (949) 854-4646.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.) Sound of Music Singalong. It’s the ultimate singalong, complete with a giant screen to keep everyone on the same beat in the same scene.  There’ll be a pre-show parade for audience members courageous enough to wear costumes.The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

Charles Lloyd

- Sept. 25. (Sat.) Charles Lloyd. Saxophonist/flutist Lloyd, one of the true – if sometimes under-appreciated – originals to emerge from the post-Coltrane era, performs selections from his new CD, Mirror, with the world class backing of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.   Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.  Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.   (310) 271-9039.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Kris Kristofferson.  A solo acoustic show from the Grammy-winning Kristofferson, one of the stellar talents of the singer/songwriter era .  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  http://www.cerritoscenter.com (562) 918-8501.  Also Sept. 26. (Sun.) at the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks.   (805) 449-2700.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Symphonic Jazz Orch.  A far too-rare performance by the 67 person SJO, performing jazz, Brazilian music, soul music, classical music and a few world premieres.  With guest stars George Duke, Luciana Souza and Raul Midon. Conducted by Mitch Glickman.  Host for the evening is comedian Tommy DavidsonRoyce Hall. (310) 876-8130.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Fiesta Mexicana VIIISones, Bailes y Cantares. A colorful evening celebrating the rich folkloric music and dance of Mexico.  Among the groups performing – Tamborazo Pancho Villa and Trio Jacaranda.   Ford Amphitheatre.  (323) 461-3673.

- Sept. 26. (Sun.)  Red Holloway and Plas JohnsonBubba Jackson hosts.  KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch. The Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. h

- Sept. 26. (Sun.)  17th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival. The spirit of Brazil has been vividly alive in these Summer Festival events for nearly two decades.  And Sunday night will be no exception, with a spectacular performance by the 23-member percussion and dance ensemble Olodum, the group that created samba reggae.  Opening the performance, Brasilidade Samba and Pagode show combine body-moving pagode and samba rhythms with a coterie of stunning Brazilian dancers.  Ford Amphitheater.   (323) 461-3673.

San Francisco

George Wein

- Sept. 20 & 21. (Mon. & Tues.)  George Wein and the Newport All-StarsAn Evening of Conversation and Jazz. The inventor of the outdoor jazz festival displays his chops as a pianist and as an entertaining, anecdote-filled conversationalist. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- Sept. 21. (Tues.) Fred Hersch and Nancy King.  Pianist Hersch and singer King, A pair of he jazz world’s most consistently inventive, musically adventurous artists, find common musical ground.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

- Sept. 22 & 23. (Wed. & Thurs.)  The Charles Lloyd New Quartet.  Saxophonist/flutist Lloyd, one of the true – if sometimes under-appreciated – originals to emerge from the post-Coltrane era, performs selections from his new CD, Mirror, with the world class backing of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

- Sept. 23 – 26. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The McCoy Tyner All-Stars. “All-Stars” is precisely the right title, with Roy Hargrove, trumpet, John Patitucci, bass and Willie Jones III, drums on stage with the ever-stellar Tyner.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

Geri Allen

- Sept. 24 – 26. (Fri. – Sun.)  Fri. – Sun.)  Geri Allen: Tribute to Eric Dolphy. Allen has assembled the right collection of players for a long overdue tribute to one of jazz’s most remarkable innovators — Oliver Lake, alto sax, Don Byron, bass clarinet, Dwayne Dolphin, bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

- Sept. 21 – 25. (Tues. – Sat. )  “Coltrane Revisited’ Joe Lovano, Steve Kuhn, Lonnie Plaxico and Andrew Cyrille.  Combine Lovano’s affection for Coltrane with Kuhn’s remembrances of having worked with Coltrane, add the solid bass and drum work of Plaxico and Cyrille, and expect a musically energizing evening.  Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

- Sept. 21 – 26. (Tues. – Sun.)  Ravi Coltrane Quartet. He comes from noble lineage, but the most intriguing aspect of Coltrane’s saxophone work is the way he has shaped it into a style which is uniquely, creatively his own.  Village Vanguard.  (212) 255-4037.

Sept. 23 – 26. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Taylor Eigsti Trio with singer Becca Stevens.  A former child jazz prodigy, now impressively in his mid-‘20s, Eigsti displays his versatility with his own group, with singer Stevens and with special guests Julian Lage, guitar (Thurs.), singer Gretchen Parlato and pianist Gerald Clayton (Sun.).  Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Mike Melvoin Trio.  L.A.’s master jazz pianists hits the Big Apple with his favorite New York rhythm team, bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill GoodwinKitano.   (212) 885-7119.


Picks of the Week: May 10 – 16

May 10, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- May 11. (Tues.)  John Pisano’s Guitar Night .  Larry Koonse, the guitarist who can play almost anything, takes a break from making everyone else sound great, and steps onto center stage alongside Steve Cardenas.  Vitello’s.  http://www.vitellosrestaurant.com (818) 769-0905.

- May 12. (Wed.)  Chuck Berghofer’s Midnight Jazz Band.  Featuring Gary Foster and Terry Trotter. A group of L.A.’s (and the world’s) fine jazz veterans remind us of the pleasures of classic improvising.  Charlie O’s.    (919) 994-3058.

- May 12. (Wed.)  Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars.  Organized in a refugee camp, using battered old instruments, the All-Stars have emerged as an engaging collection of genre-crossing world musicians.  The Roxy.

- May 12. (Wed.) Ron Kalina.  Harmonica is one of the rare jazz instruments, but Kalina brings it impressively into the jazz mainstream.  He’s backed by the Pat Senatore Trio.  Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

Sally Kellerman

- May 13. (Thurs.)  Sally Kellerman.  She may be best known for her role as Hot Lips Houlihan in the film M*A*S*H, but Kellerman’s also a jazz singer with convincing musical credentials.   Vitello’s.

- May 13 – 15. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Earl Klugh Quartet. Guitarist Klugh brings both listenability and musical authenticity to the smooth jazz/fusion jazz genres. Catalina Bar & Grill  http://www.catalinajazzclub.com (323) 466-2210.

- May 14. (Fri.)  Thom Rotella Quartet.  Expect musical sparks to fly when guitarist Rotella digs into his straight ahead jazz roots with the all-star quartet of Theo Saunders, Rickey Woodard, Kevin Brandon, Roy McCurdy Culver Club Radisson Hotel.  (310) 649-1776 Ext. 4137.

Michael Wolff

- May 14. (Fri.)  Michael Wolff.  Vitello’s.  He was the leader of the band on the Arsenio Hall Show, and pianist Wolff co-stars with his two sons, Nat and Alex on Nickelodeon’s Naked Brothers Band.  But he’s also a first rate jazz pianist in his own right.  And he’ll no doubt be at his best, working with the superb musical companionship of Bob Sheppard, Brian Bromberg and Michael Barsimento. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- May 14. (Fri.)  “Wavefest.” Don’t let the “Wave” title fool you.  This is a program that reaches across several musical genres, all of them appealing.  With Michael McDonald, Chaka Khan, Poncho Sanchez, Mindi Abair and more.  The Greek Theatre. (323) 665-5857.

- May 14. (Fri.) Dave Pell & Med Flory Quintet.  Pell and Flory find new life in the alto & tenor front line sound.  They’ll also be joined by talented young tenor saxophonist Chloe FeoranzoBack Room at Henri’s.   (818) 348-5582.

- May 14. (Fri.)  Kristin Korb.  Bassist/vocalist Korb shows off her versatile skills with the supportive backing of Llew Matthews and Paul Kreibich.   Hip Kitty. (949) 447-6700.

Alyssa Graham

- May 14 & 15. (Fri. & Sat.)  Alyssa Graham. The warm voice and intimate style of Graham has been compared – with good reason, to Helen Merrill, Karen Carpenter and other fine vocal models.  Café Metropol.  (213) 613-1537.

- May 15. (Sat.)  Patti Lupone. “Matters of the Heart.” The gifted Lupone moves effortlessly from the big stage of musical theatre to the short story songs of Randy Newman, Brian Wilson, Stephen Sondheim, Joni Mitchell and others.   Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

- May 15. (Sat.)  Dwight Trible and John Beasley. Pianist Beasley’s far-ranging musical imagination provides the perfect setting for Trible’s equally adventurous vocalizing. Boston Court Theatre.  Pasadena.  Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast (310) 271-9039.

- May 16. (Sun.)  Sonny Rollins.  He’s inarguably one of the jazz world’s major iconic figures.  And he’s still fully capable of creating magic every time he picks up his horn.  Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

- May 16. (Sun.)  Nedra Wheeler. Wheeler’s performed with everyone from Ella Fitzgerald to Ravi Coltrane.  But it’s always fun to hear her upfront, doing her thing with her own group.  And no better place to do it than the pleasant setting of a KJAZZ Sunday Brunch.  Twist Restaurant at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.   (562) 985-2999.

Bill Cosby

- May 16. (Sun.) Bill Cosby.  Cosby has always been much more than a joke-telling comedian.  His story-telling, his slice of life memories, his capacity to riff on a theme are the verbal equivalents of a world class jazz performance. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  (562) 916-8500.

- May 16. (Sun.)  Mitch Forman All-Star Jazz Band. The title is well-chosen.  Forman the real thing as a keyboardist.  And his associates are fully up to his level: Walt Fowler, trumpet, Brandon Fields, saxophone, Ernest Tibbs, bass, Joel Taylor, drums and Munyungo Jackson, percussion.  The Baked Potato.   (818) 980-1615.

- May 16. (Sun.)  Denise Thimes. The pride of St. Louis brings her unique style – with her transformative touches of Carmen McRae, Ella Fitzgerald and others – to a far too-rare appearance in the Southland.  A Frame Jazz.   (310) 659-9169.

San Diego

- May 14. (Fri.)  Spyro Gyra.  Smooth jazz and fusion have always been too limiting a labels for a band with the ability to stretch easily into bebop and the mainstream, as well. Anthology.   (619) 595-0300.

- May 15. (Sat.)  Richie Havens.  Approaching seventy, Havens can still set a stage on fire with the power of his strummed guitar and his inimitable voice.  Let’s hope he sings “Freedom.”   Anthology.   (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

- May 11 & 12. (Tues. & Wed.)  Stanley Clarke Band, featuring Hiromi.  Bassist Clarke and pianist Hiromi have discovered a surprisingly compatible musical connection between their individually diverse styles. Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.   Also May 13 & 14 (Thurs. & Fri.) at Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

Wesla Whitfield

- May 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  Wesla Whitfield and the Mike Greensill Trio. “We’re In The Money.” A couple in music and life, Whitfield and Greensill have been defining the contemporary cabaret art since they first got together in the ‘80s.  They’ll perform songs from films such as An American In Paris, Meet Me In St. Louis, The Wizard of Oz and more. The Rrazz Room.  The Rrazz Room. (415) 394-1189.

New York

- May 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  The trio of Chick Corea, Eddie Gomez, Paul Motian cover a lot of territory in six short days.  On Tues. – Thurs they appear with Joe Lovano, Greg Osby, John Scofield, Hubert Laws.  (Check with club for schedule).  On Fri. – Sun. they delve into the fascinating area of  “Further Explorations of Bill Evans.”  Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- May 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  Nnenna Freelon. Multi-Grammy nominee Freelon celebrates the release of her new Concord album, Homefree. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595.

- May 13 – 16. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Andy Bey Trio. At a time when jazz is flooded with a wave of female singers, Bey carries the torch for the male side of the art, doing so with an incomparably individual sound and style.  Jazz Standard.   (212)  576-2232.

Maria Raducanu

- May 15. (Sat.)  “Wall To Wall Behind the Wall.” An all-day program of Eastern European music from the end of WWI, through the Cold War to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989.  Compositions by Shostakovich, Penderecki, Lutoslawski, Part, Bartok and many others, will be performed by the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic and Poland’s Silesian String Quartet.  Also on the program – a performance by Romanian jazz singer Maria Raducanu and a Russian jazz set by Lanny Myers, Clare Daly, Mary Ann McSweeney and Greg Joseph The Peter Jay Sharp Theatre at Symphony Space. 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.  Free.    (212) 864-5400.


Picks of the Week: April 5 – 11

April 4, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Gretchen Parlato

- April 5. (Mon.)  Gretchen Parlato.  A singer who finds the inner core of a song and makes it her own, Parlato is arguably one of the most original vocal performers of her generation.  Listen to her sing and you’ll be as bewildered as I was that she didn’t receive a Grammy nomination (much less an award) in January.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- April 6 (Tues.)  Arturo Sandoval Big Band. Multi musical hyphenate Sandoval – trumpeter, singer, pianist and percussionist – expands his musical palette even more with the backing of a big, powerful jazz band. Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

- April 6. (Tues.)  Guitar NightJohn Pisano with Brazilian guitarist Ricardo Silveira exchange musical ideas in an evening that should be simmering with irresistible rhythms of Brazil.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- April 6. (Tues.) Charles RosenAn Evening of Chopin.  Rosen, both a music theorist and a thoughtful Chopin interpreter, presents a program of Nocturnes, Mazurkas and the Sonata No. 3 in B minor Irvine Barclay Theatre.   (949) 854-4646.

Terence Blanchard

- April 6 – 9. (Tues. – Fri.)  Terence Blanchard Quintet.  Blanchard has become almost as well known as a film composer as a trumpeter.  But when he walks on stage with his quintet, there’s no doubt about his abilities as a prime jazz artist.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

- April 6 – 11.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Hairspray.” The ‘60s come alive again in this high spirited musical based on John Waters’ 1988 film of the same name.  Expect to feel the rhythm.   Segerstrom Hall.  Orange County Performing Arts Ccenter (714) 556.2787.

- April 7. (Wed.)  Tomasz Stanko Quintet. Polish trumpeter Stanko manages to link jazz elements reaching from Miles Davis lyricism to abstract expressionism.  His international quintet includes players from Denmark and Finland. A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.   (310) 271-9039.  Musicians Institute concert center.

- April 7. (Wed.) The FIATO String Quartet performs the lyrical Mendelssohn Quartet No. 2 in A minor at a free concert in the Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Glendale.  12:10 – 12:40 p.m.  Glendale Noon Concerts.  (818) 242-2113.

- April. 8. (Thurs.)  Peggy Duquesnel.  She sings, she accompanies herself with intimately supportive piano playing and writes songs in the style of the Great American Songbook.  Expect to hear songs from her new CD, Summertime Lullaby.    Crowne Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.

- April 8. (Thurs.)  Dwight Trible and John Beasley. Trible, one of the jazz world’s truly individual male singers matches his far-ranging vocal excursions with Beasley’s inventive piano work.  They’re backed by Trevor Ware, bass and Dextor Story, drums.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Jackie Ryan

- April 9. (Fri.)  Jackie Ryan.  A singer who literally can sing just about everything, while imprinting every line with her uniquely memorable artistry.  Culver’s Club For Jazz in the Radisson Hotel.  (310) 649-1776.

- April 9. (Fri.)  Dave Pell and Med Flory. A pair of veteran saxophone stylists revive the sound of the alto and tenor front line.  The Backroom at Henri’s.   (818) 348-5582.

- April 9. (Fri.)  Denise Donatelli. The warm sound, subtle phrasing and engaging style of Allentown, PA’s gift to jazz are always a pleasure to hear.  Charlie O’s.   (919) 994-3058.

Charmaine Clamor

- April 10. (Sat.)  Charmaine Clamor The gifted creator of the “Jazzipino” style celebrates her pop skills with “Here Lies Love,” a collaboration with David Byrne and Fatboy Slim.   Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

- April 10. (Sat.)  Luckman Jazz OrchestraTribute to Duke Ellington. The finely honed skills of the fine LJO are applied to the stunning Ellington catalog – with both familiar and rarely heard items.  Luckman Fine Arts Complex.   (323) 343-6600.

- April 10. (Sat.)  Mark Winkler and Mary Foster Conklin. A pair of singers who sneakily enhance their cabaret skills with solid jazz chops get together for what promises to be an engaging jam.  The Gardenia.  (323) 467-7444.

- April 10 & 11. (Sat. & Sun.)  Sones de Mexico Ensemble. The Grammy-nominated ensemble showcase the traditional instruments, music and dance of their rich, Mexican heritage.  Getty Villa.   (213) 458-2003.

Lionel Loueke

- April 11. (Sun.) Lionel Loueke Trio.  Benin-born guitarist, singer and musical innovator has been opening ears since he first arrived in the U.S.  His recently released CD, Mwaliko, displays his remarkable talents in the company of Angelique Kidjo, Esperanza Spalding and others.  Loueke is not in L.A. very often, so don’t miss this one.  The Cafe Metropol.   (213)  613-1537.

San Francisco

April 8 – 11.  Bill Frisell. Guitarist Frisell’s residency at Yoshi’s includes a different musical challenge for each night.  On Thursday with three other guitarists; on Friday doing a live score for short films by Buster Keaton; on Saturday with violinist Jenny Scheinman; and on Sunday with pianist Jason Moran.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

- April 6 – 10.  (Tues. – Sat.)  Pharoah Sanders Quartet.  Sanders continues his long exploration of the outer limits of spontaneous improvisation.  He’s backed by Bill Henderson, piano, Nat Reeves, bass and Joe Farnsworth, drums.   Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- April 6 – 11. (Tues. – Sun.)  Randy Weston’s African Rhythms Birthday Celebration will no doubt reveal that, at 84, the scope of his musical imagination is still as wide as ever.  Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.

- April 6 – 11. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Bad Plus.  Always an exploratory trio, Ethan Iverson, Dave King and Reid Anderson’s For All I Care album underscored their belief in an egalitarian approach to their selection of music.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

"The Addams Family"

- April 8. (Thurs.)  The Addams Family comes to Broadway, starring Nathan Lane and Bebe Neuwirth.  “A dream cast, delightful story, and musical numbers you truly will be singing as you dance out of the theater,” wrote Bill Zwecker in the Chicago Sun-Tunes, reviewing the pre-Broadway run.  The Lunt-Fontanne Theatre.  (212) 304-44100.

- April 8. (Thurs.)  Musicians For Harmony“ Concert For Peace.” The Borromeo String Quartet, the Imani Winds Quintet and Randall Scarlata, baritone, offer a musical dialogue between cultures with a program of contemporary music composers of Jewish and Arabic origins.  Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Center. NYC.   (212) 501-3303.

Washington, D.C.

April 8 – 10. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Bucky Pizzarelli. The veteran master of the seven-string guitar was the first Pizzarelli to lay a claim to jazz stardom, and at 84, he’s still going strong. Blues Alley (202) 337-4141.


Picks of the Week: Mar. 8 – 14

March 8, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Mar. 9. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  

John Pisano

John Pisano trades riffs with Pat Kelley, who has transformed his Oklahoma roots into an amiable, highly personal guitar style. Ralph Humphrey, drums and John Belzaguy, bass, provide sturdy back-up.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 9. (Tues.) Bill Watrous and the San Gabriel 7.  Virtuoso trombonist Watrous leads his seven piece band in a collection of Latin, jazz and funk music.  Singer Katie Campbell adds enticing vocal stylings.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Mar. 9. (Tues.) A Special Benefit Tribute to Francisco Aguabella.  The Banda Brothers, with guests Pete Escovedo and Sheila E. lead a tribute performance to benefit the now ill, legendary Cuban drum master.  Other scheduled performers include Alex Acuna, Justo Almario, Poncho Sanchez, Danilo Lozano, John Clayton and many others.  Steamers.  (714) 871-8800.

Mar. 9. (Tues.) Night of Radical Guitar: Janet Feder and Miroslav Tadic with Vinny Golia.  Guitarists Feder and Tadic join up with multi-woodwind instrumentalist Golia to explore the outer limits of eclectic improvisation.  South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory.  (626) 403-2300.

- Mar 10.  (Wed.)  Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France.  An evening of Maurice Ravel, with Daphnis et Chloe, Ma Mere L’Oye and La Valse on the program.  Mezzo-soprano Anne Sofie von Otter joins the ensemble for ShehereazadeUCLA Live at Royce Hall .  (310) 825-2101.

- Mar. 10. (Wed.)  Scott Martin’s Latin Soul Band.  After fourteen years in the Grammy-winning Poncho Sanchez Latin Jazz Band, saxophonist Martin is now fronting his own Latin ensemble.  His latest CD, Only Trust Your Heart, finds him surrounded by the lush rhythms and rich harmonies of Brazil.  Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 10.  (Wed.)  Classic Albums Live: The Beatles’ Abbey Road.  It’s a tribute performance in which the emphasis is on authentic musical reproduction, without the costumes and wigs.  Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646.

- Mar. 10 & 11. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Babatunde Lea Quintet. The veteran, master percussionist leads a stellar ensemble in a tribute to the late, great singer Leon Thomas. With Ernie Watts, saxophones, Patrice Rushen, keyboards, Gary Brown, bass and vocalist Dwight TribleCatalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  The Ying Quartet.  Originally founded by the four Ying siblings, the Ying Quartet now includes Frank Huang, replacing Timothy Ying as first violinist.  But the quartet’s remarkably symbiotic musical togetherness continues. CSUN Performing Arts Center. l (818) 677-1200

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Joe La Barbera Quintet.  Drummer La Barbera takes a leader’s role, fronting the all-star assemblage of trumpeter Clay Jenkins, saxophonist Bob Sheppard, pianist Bill Cunliffe and bassist Tom Warrington.   Charlie O’s.   (919) 994-3058.

- Mar. 11 & 12. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Matt Slocum. Rising young jazz drummer Slocum celebrates the release of his CD, Portraits.  With Dan Lutz, bass and Josh Nelson, piano.    Thurs: Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.   Fri.: Café Metropol.   (213) 613-1537.

Hiromi

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Hiromi. Japanese keyboardist Hiromi is building a style that reaches out to embrace everything from high voltage electronica to swinging, straight ahead jazz.  A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.  (310) 271-9039.  Japan America Theatre.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.) The Stan Kenton Alumni BandMike Vax lead alumni from the 1956-1978 Stan Kenton Orchestras through a program of Kenton classics. Chapman Auditorium, Chapman University.   (714) 997-6871.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.)  Dave PellMed Flory.  A pair of veteran saxophonists have fun with the alto and tenor saxophone frontline format, at one L.A.’s most cozily intimate jazz clubs.  The Back Room at Henri’s in Woodland Hills.

- Mar. 12. (Fri.)  Gary Foster and the Pat Senatore Trio.  Busy studio woodwind player Foster doesn’t spend much time as the front man in a jazz ensemble. So don’t miss this chance to hear his superb saxophone playing, backed by a solid rhythm section. Vibrato.  (310) 474-9400.

Vinicio Caposella

- Mar. 13. (Sat.) Vinicio Capossela. The Italian singer/songwriter’s performances are as unpredictable as the dark balladry of Tom Waits and the capriciousness of Tom Zé, spiced with his own unique stylings, which can reach from a tarantella or a tango to a high spirited love song.  The El Rey.  (323) 936-6400.

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  Bill Cunliffe’s Imaginacion Quartet. The ever-versatile, always musically curious pianist Cunliffe applies his musical insights to songs with a Latin tinge (as Jelly Roll Morton would have described it).  Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

Andrea Marcovicci

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  Andrea MarcovicciI’ll Be Seeing You…Love Songs of World War II. Singer Marcovicci knows how to get to the heart of a song, and there’s no collection of songs filled with more heartfelt emotions than the songbook of World War II. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza

- Mar. 13. (Sat.)  John Beasley Jazz Circle.  Multi-instrumentalist Beasley sticks with the keyboards this time, leading the musically intriguing ensemble of  Dwight Trible, vocals, Oscar Seaton, drums and Ian Martin, bass.   Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 13 & 14. (Sat. & Sun.)  The Wailers. The group that has virtually defined reggae music since the ’60s is in town for a pair of performances to support their “I Went Hungry” world food program.  On Saturday, they appear at Brixton in Redondo Beach (310) 406-1931; on Sunday they’re at the Galaxy Concert Theatre in Santa Ana (714) 957-0600.

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Larry  Coryell and “Bombay Jazz.” Guitarist Coryell explores the compatible linkages between jazz and Indian classical music.  With saxophonist / composer George Brooks, Indian bamboo flutist Ronu Majumdar and tabla player Aditya Kalyanpur Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.  Largo – Coronet Theatre.  (310) 271-9039.

Adam del Monte

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Adam del Monte.  The master flamenco guitarist celebrates the release of  his new CD, A Cry in the Dark with a concert (no dancing) of all new compositions.  His ensemble includes Enosh del Monte, violin, Emir Isilai, keyboard, Asaf Kofler, bass and Gerardo Morales, percussion.  The Fountain Theatre.  (323) 663-1525.

- Mar. 14. (Sun.)  Traps ‘n’ Taps: A Brief History of American RhythmThe California Jazz Foundation presents an entertaining Sunday jazz brunch featuring versatile dancer, choreographer, bandleader and film archivist Chester Whitmore and drummer Clayton Cameron. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

Bobby Hutcherson

- Mar. 11 – 14.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  John Scofield’s New Jazz Quartet brings the versatile guitarist back to a steady jazz orbit.  With Mulgrew Miller, piano, Ben Street, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- Mar. 12 – 14. (Fri. – Sun.)  NEA Jazz Masters All-Stars. An assemblage of great jazz veterans display the skills of their lifetimes in the music.  Bobby Hutcherson, vibes, Jimmy Heath, tenor saxophone, Slide Hampton, trombone, Cedar Walton, piano. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Mar. 8 – 11. (Mon. – Thurs.)  Cassandra Wilson. The inimitable Wilson, her voice one of the unique sounds in contemporary jazz, brings storytelling insights to material reaching across the full range of song. The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

- Mar. 9 – 13. (Tues. – Sat.)  John Pizzarelli’s “Swing 7.” Pizzarelli’s swinging four- horn band provide a solid foundation for his songs and guitar, wife Jessica Molaskey’s crystal clear voice, and the wit and humor of the most entertaining show biz couple since Sonny & Cher.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

- Mar. 9 – 14. (Tues. – Sun.)  Bill Charlap Trio.  Pianist Charlap and his sturdy companions — Peter Washington, bass and Kenny Washington, drums – bring maturity, musical insight and downright swing to everything they play.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Bobby Sanabria

- Mar. 10. (Wed.)  Bobby Sanabria Big BandPost Mamboism in the 21st Century Continues! Grammy nominated percussionist Sanabria affirms the vitality of  big band Latin jazz.  FB Lounge (212) 410-7292.

- Mar. 11. (Thurs.)  Lew TabackinHighlights in Jazz celebrates the playing of saxophonist Tabackin with his wife, pianist/composer Toshiko Akiyoshi, drummer Lewis Nash, bassist Boris Kozlov, trumpeter Joe Magnarelli, and guitarist Jack Wilkens plus a Very Special Guest. Tribeca Performing Arts Center.   (212) 220-1460.

- Mar. 11 – 14. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Charles McPherson Quintet featuring Tom Harrell provides dynamic proof that bebop continues to stimulate compelling new musical ideas.   With Jeb Patton, piano, Ray Drummond, bass and Willie Jones III, drums.  Jazz Standard.   (212)  576-2232.

Roberta Gambarini

- Mar. 12 – 14. (Fri. – Sun.)  Roberta Gambarini. The Italian-born vocalist has a remarkable instrument, with training and skills to match.  But it’s what she does with that admirable combination that makes her one of the unique 21st century jazz singers.  The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592.

Chicago

- Mar. 9. (Tues.) Rose Colella TrioAn Evening of Academy Award Winning Songs & Colella applies her lyrical vocal style to songs from films such as “The Gay Divorcee,” Pinocchio,” “Cabin in the Sky” and “Breakfast at Tiffany’s.”  Katerina’s.  (773) 348-7592.

- Mar. 12 & 13. (Fri. & Sat.)  Mike Melvoin Trio.  Long time L.A. jazz star Melvoin returns to his home Midwest territory to refresh his musical roots.  Singer (and actress) Theresa Russell will sing a few tunes from the Melvoin Songbook, and they’ll be backed by Larry Gray, bass and Charles Heath, drums.  Club Blujazz.   (773) 360-8046.


Picks of the Week: September 1 – 6

August 31, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Sept. 1. (Tues.) Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. Trumpeter Alpert and vocalist Hall discuss their remarkable careers (individually and as a couple) and offer a few of the new slants on standards that make up the program in their impressive new live CD, “Anything Goes.” Grammy Museum.

Tessa souter new- Sept. 1 & 2. (Tues. & Wed.) Tessa Souter. She’s not out on the West Coast very often, so fans of world class jazz vocalizing shouldn’t miss this opportunity to hear Souter’s unique ability to find new musical pleasures in familiar songs. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Sept. 2. (Wed.) Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke & Lenny White. Chaka Khan, Jean Luc Ponty, Bill Connors. John Scofield and the Piety Street Band. Corea leads a trio that represents 3/4 of Return To Forever, but with a very different musical perspective. Khan, Ponty, Connors and Scofield add more diversity to one of the summer jazz series most intriguing events. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 3. (Thurs.) An Evening with Patti Smith. The Twilight Dance Series at the Santa Monica Pier closes the 2009 season with an appearance by the pioneer poet of punk. Twilight Dance Series.  (310) 458-8901.


Highlight

- Sept. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.) The 15th Annual West Coast Jazz Party. It’s always one of the don’t-miss musical events of the year, and this year is no exception. From the various indoor and outdoor venues at the Irvine Marriott to the delightful Sunday jazz cruise on the Hornblower Yacht Entertainer, it’s a great TWerry Gibbsway to spend a holiday weekend. Featured performers include Ken Peplowski, the Four Freshmen and Five Trombones, Terry Gibbs, Ernie Andrews, Houston Person, Gary Foster, Peter Erskine, Larry Koonse, Tom Rainier, Byron Stripling, Paul Smith, Marilyn Maye, the Frank Capp Juggernaut Orchestra, and such special events as a Guitar Summitt (w. Mundell Lowe, Mimi Fox and Ron Eschete) and a Tribute to Rosemary Clooney with Debby Boone, Irvine Marriott Hotel and the Hornblower Yacht Entertainer. West Coast Jazz party. (949) 759-5003.

- Sept. 4 – 7. (Fri. – Mon.) The Sweet & Hot Music Festival. And here’s another Banu Gibsondon’t-miss holiday weekend jazz party. The title is right on target — tons of New Orleans, Swing, Mainstream and Straight Ahead jazz presented via virtually non-stop music in eight different venues. The performers include Yves Evans, Jack Sheldon, Gonzalo Bergara, Jennifer Leitham, Herb Jeffries, Banu Gibson, Night Blooming Jazzmen and Janet Klein (with many others), as well as as “Tribute to the King Sisters” (w. Marilyn King), “Prez Conference”, and “Tribute to Johnny Mandel,” plus nightly Midnight Jazz sets.   Too bad the West Coast Jazz Party and the Sweet & Hot Music Festival can’t scedule their equally fascinating productions on consecutive weekends.  The L.A.X. Marriott Hotel. Sweet & Hot Music Festival.   (909) 983-0106.Gina Saputo


- Sept. 4. (Fri.) Gina Saputo. In a crowded field of young female jazz singers, Saputo’s soaring vocals and rhythmic lift suggest that she’s ready to step up from the pack. Steamers.  (714) 871-8800.

- Sept. 4. (Fri.) Denise Donatelli. A warm, seductive sound, the instincts of a true story teller, and the kind of swinging phrasing that stamps her as a true jazz artist — Donatelli’s the real deal. And no better place to hear her than in the laid back vibe of the Southland’s ultimate jazz bar and restaurant. Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058

- Sept. 4 – 6. (Fri. – Sun.) Mort Sahl and Dick Gregory. One of the most unusual bookings of this or any other season. But a jazz club’s the right place for them — Sahl and Gregory work with the sort of improvisatory spontaneity and rhythmic propulsion that are essential to the finest jazz. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.


Highlight

- Sept. 6 – 7. (Sun. & Mon.) Angel City Jazz Festival. The second installment of this Billy Childsadventurous Festival now takes place in the airy outdoor setting of the Ford Amphitheatre. And the line-up is an impressive collection of some of the contemporary jazz world’s most cutting edge artists and ensembles. The line up includes Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy, Bennie Maupin and Dolphyana, Billy Childs Jazz Chamber Ensemble, Alex Cline’s Band of the Moment, Larry Goldings Trio, Wayne Horvitz’s Gravitas Quartet. Larry Karush, Dwight Trible, Satoko Fuji and more. Ford Amphitheatre. Angel City Jazz Festival. (323) 461-3673.


San Diego

- Sept. 3. (Thurs.) Alponse Mouzon. Drummer Mouzon leads his Jazz Project (with Eric Marienthal, Byron Miller, Dean Brown and John Beasley) in a benefit concert for Doctors Without Borders. Anthology Club & Restaurant. (618) 595-0300.


San Francisco

- Sept. 3 & 4.. (Thurs. & Fri.) The Blind Boys of Alabama. The multiple Grammy winn ers continue to be one a gospel act that never fails to bring soulful enlightenment to everything they sing. Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.


Chicago

- Sept. 3. (Thurs.) Chicago Jazz Ensemble. Jon Faddis leads this always-compelling repertory ensemble in a tribute celebrating the Benny Goodman Centennial. Guest artist is Buddy DeFranco. the clarinetist who took the instrument from Goodman’s swing into the realm of bebop. Pritzker Pavilion, Millenium Park, Chicago.


Detroit

- Sept. 4 – 7. (Fri. – Mon.) Detroit International Jazz Festival. Detroit’s often minimized reputation as a long-time center for world class jazz is affirmed in the superlative line-up for this year’s festival. One of the featured elements is the inclusion of jazz families: Hank Jones, remembering Thad and Elvin; the Clayton brothers; Dave Brubeck and Brubeck brothers;sheila-jordan John and Bucky Pizzarelli; Larry and Julian Coryell; the Heath brothers; Pete and Juan Escovedo; Brian Auger’s Oblivion Express; and T.S. Monk with “Monk on Monk.” But there’s much more — Wayne Shorter, Sheila Jordan, Chick Corea, Stefon Harris, Christian McBride, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Gretchen Parlato, Bennie Maupin, Alfredo Rodriguez, Charles McPherson, the Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Geri Allen, Janis Siegel and others. The Detroit Jazz Festival.


New York

- Sept. 1 – 5. (Sat.) John Surman Quartet. With Jack DeJohnette, drums, Drew Gess, bass, John Abercrombie, guitar. Surman’s duo performances with DeJohnette have been extraordinary experiences. The addition of Gess and Abercrombie should make the encounters even more fascinating. Birdland.  (212) 581-3080

- Sept. 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.) Kenny Werner Quintet. Here’s an all-star ensemble if there ever was one: Randy Brecker, David Sanchez, Scott Colley and Antonio Sanchez, no doubt proving Werner’s principles about the value of spontaneity. The Blue Note.  (212) 475-8592

- Sept. 4 – 6. (Fri. – Sun.) Dr. Lonnie Smith. It’s always a blues and jazz organ bonanza when Dr. Lonnie plays. But it’ll be even better this time, with the backing he’ll get from guitarist Dave Stryker and drummer Bill Stewart. The Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232

- Sept. 5. (Sat.) Roberta Piket. “Improvised Chamber Music” is what pianist Piket calls her music, careful to avoid any genre limitations. She performs with veteran avant-gardist Perry Robinson on clarinet, Lisle Ellis, bass and Peter Nilson, drums. Ibeam. Brooklyn.



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