Live Music: Jason Moran in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute

May 9, 2013

The Most Exciting (Jazz?) Pianist On The Planet?

By Norton Wright

Hollywood CA.  Has there ever been a jazz pianist like Jason Moran? Not Jarrett, Evans, Corea, Brubeck, Peterson — not even George Russell — not even Moran’s mentors, Jaki Byard and Thelonious Monk. As with Jackson Pollock in the visual arts, Jason Moran may be “one of a kind.” Like Pollock’s abstract artistry, Moran at the piano does not cover familiar jazz tunes, but rather creates something new on the spot, an “encounter” with a piano generating a fresh and oftimes risky “event.”

Art critic Harold Rosenberg described a similar approach in the process of abstract expressionist painters in the 1950′s as follows:

“…the canvas began to appear as an arena in which to act… What was to go on the canvas was not a picture but an event.”

The same can be said of Moran wherein his piano provides the arena in which to act. His compositions are the result of his encounters with that piano. Though easily capable of swinging through jazz standards, Moran foregoes that convention to create original and amazing “events.” Long horizontal lines — sometimes smooth, sometimes jagged, often played in flowing clusters; a left hand of wickedly complex harmonies from which the connecting melodic tissue springs; and both hands frequently generating the repeated figures that mark the pulsing ostinato energy of minimalist composers like John Adams, Phillip Glass, and  Steve Reich.

On Tuesday at a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute in Hollywood, Moran’s playing was in cadenza mode all night long. The notes flew by with the power, dexterity, and touch of a concert pianist. Lang Lang would have kvelled!

Jason Moran

Jason Moran

All of which raises the question, “Is Jason Moran a modern, classical music composer/pianist/conductor like Thomas Ades, or might he be a preview of the future of jazz? Maybe he’s both. His creations and those of his trio mates, Tarus Mateen (electronic bass) and Nasheet Waits (drums) are clearly rooted in jazz, but the sense of classical composition and inquiry is always present in the band’s work.

This threesome known as “Jason Moran and The Bandwagon” have been together for thirteen years, and they work in consort like a mini-symphony orchestra. Piano, bass, and drums are constantly joined in musical conversations, sometimes playing in one mutual voice, sometimes engaging in separate, call-and-response musical dialogs, and sometimes “talking on top of one another” to create dramatically conflicted tonal textures.

Jason Moran Bandwagon

Jason Moran Bandwagon

In their opening number, Moran invented a gentle melodic line with the support of Waits’ soft percussion and a warm bass ostinato by Mateen. Then SUDDENLY Moran found a beginning fragment of Fats Waller’s “Honeysuckle Rose” and the band’s conversation exploded, the tempo kicking into high gear. Moran was in 4/4, but Waits was talking back in 5/4, then roaring forward in 7/8. Mateen stayed with Moran’s 4/4 with his own throbbing, four-note walking bass, and Moran responded with his own minimalist repeats of a four-note figure to match   “hon – ee – suck – el” — “hon – ee – suck – el” — “hon – ee – suck – el,” the repetitions becoming as mesmerizing as a Sufi devotional chant.

The set continued with similar surprises. Evoking the mixed-media collages and “combines” of abstract expressionist artist Robert Rauschenberg, Moran occasionally introduced his band’s numbers by playing pre-recorded excerpts from old radio broadcasts — a kind of homage to artistic and political innovators of the past.

With an all-inclusive appreciation of music, Moran fuels his compositions with licks from rock to hip-hop to Debussy. One of The Bandwagon’s numbers began with the playing of an old recording by country blues singer Mississippi Fred McDowell. As McDowell’s keening built, Moran at the keyboard copied the singer’s wailings and soon carried the motif into a gorgeous, contemporary blues.  At the start of another number, Moran played a homemade audiotape of the sounds of Thelonious Monk in his Greenwich Village loft TAP DANCING! Moran’s piano segued into his idol’s surprisingly ungainly clumpings and built a line that eventually evolved into his take on “Straight No Chaser” — more complex and interesting than Monk’s original.

Towards evening’s end, I was reminded that there is no art without craft.  And Moran’s musical experience at The High School For Performing Arts under Bob Morgan’s tutelage in Houston, Texas, followed by his continuing education at the Manhattan School Of Music, and then his first professional gigs under the mentoring of Jaki Byard and Monk, clearly nurtured his exceptional talents.

In 2010 he was the recipient of a prestigious MacArthur Fellowship “Genius Grant” and recently has succeeded the late Dr. Billy Taylor as The Kennedy Center’s Artistic Advisor For Jazz. For aspiring young musical students whether in jazz or classical studies, the evolving, 38-year-old Jason Moran provides inspiring proof that creating great art requires hard work, exceptional imagination, and the courage to continue experimenting regardless of past triumphs or failures.

Might Jason Moran actually be the most exciting (jazz?) pianist on the planet?

All thoughts welcome…

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In closing: A note to John Adams, Creative Chair and Herbie Hancock, Creative Chair For Jazz, at the Los Angeles Philharmonic:


John Adams’ “Minimalist Jukebox” series a few years back at Philharmonic Hall delighted its audiences, especially with the surprising and little-known “classical” compositions of Frank Zappa! And Herbie Hancock’s presentation of solo Keith Jarrett last year was a night of “classically” elegant jazz.

If in the near future the Phil could provide a Disney Concert Hall outing for Jason Moran and The Bandwagon, might the inquiry of “Is it jazz – or something else?” be valuably extended?

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To read more posts by and about Norton Wright click HERE.

Jason Moran photo by Tony Gieske. 

Picks of the Week: Feb. 26 – Mar. 3

February 27, 2013

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Willie Nelson

Willie Nelson

- Feb. 27. (Wed.)  Willie Nelson & Family.  The inimitable Willie Nelson performs his memorable hits with the musical companionship of his talented family members. Click HERE to read an earlier iRoM review of Willie Nelson and his Family.  Valley Performing Arts Center.    (818) 677-3000.

= Feb. 27. (Wed.)  Shofar. The three Polish musicians in the group Shofar are questing after a “common denominator shared by Hasidic music and free jazz.”  Blue Whale.  (213) 620-0908.

- Feb. 27. (Wed.)  Sascha’s Bloc. An entertaining band of players, many from Russia, who bring new perspectives to a musical approach that blends traditional sounds and rhythms with far-ranging contemporary music. Click HERE to read an iRoM review of a recent Saschas’s Bloc performance.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel

- Feb. 28 – 3. . (Thurs. – Sun.)  Dudamel Conducts Stravinsky’s Firebird. The ever-dynamic Dudamel leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in an adventurous approach to one of the 20th century’s intrepid musical works. Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- Feb. 28 – Mar. 2.  (Thurs. – Sat.)  Oleta Adams.  Versatile singer Adams moves freely – and convincingly – across genres, from soul and gospel to rhythm & blues and jazz.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

Anna Mjoll

Anna Mjoll

- Mar. 1. (Fri.)  Anna Mjoll.  Iceland’s gift to jazz applies her warm, embracing voice to everything from jazz classics to the Great American Songbook.  She performs with the Pat Senatore TrioVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 1. (Fri.)  Juan de Marcos & the Afro-Cuban All-Stars.  The Grammy-nominated All-Stars cover a full range of Latin music, including bolero, cha-cha-cha, salsa, rumba, danzon, timba and beyond.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

- Mar. 1 – 3.(Fri. – Sun.)  Oguri and Wadada Leo Smith.  Adventurous trumpeter Smith and his band interact creatively with Japanese dancer Oguri.  Electric Lodge, Venice.   (310) 306-1854.

- Mar. 2. (Sat.) Patricia Barber. One of the jazz vocal world’s most uniquely individual artists, Barber will sing selections from her new album, Smash.  To read the iRoM review of the album, click HERE.  She performs in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute Concert Center.   (310) 275-8961.

- Mar. 2. (Sat.)  An Evening With Rudresh Mahanthappa. Alto saxophonist/composer Mahanthappa works at synthesizing South Indian elements with a variety of other international musical genres. He does so here in the company of two ensembles – the Indo-Pak Coalition and Gamak. A  CAP-UCLA concert at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

Katia Moraes

Katia Moraes

- Mar. 3. (Sun.)  Katia Moraes.  Los Angeles is filled with musically diverse Brazilian artists.  And the dynamic Moraes, who invests her singing with the stimulating energies of her dancing, continues to be one of the best.  Click HERE to read an iRoM review of a recent performance by Moraes.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 3. (Sun.)  Patrick Tuzzolino Trio.  Singer/keyboardist Tuzzolino is an impressive talent who has not yet received the full acknowledgement he deserves.  Here’s a rare chance to hear him in action, performing with trombonist Bob McChesney and drummer Billy Paul Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

San Francisco

- Feb. 28 – Mar. 1 (Thurs & Fri.)  Ana Moura.  Fado is being revived by a gifted generation of young Portuguese singers.  And Ana Moura is one of the best.  An SFJAZZ event at Miner Auditorium.    (866) 920-5299.

Washington, D.C.

- Feb. 28 – Mar. 3. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Mike Stern and Dave Weckl.  Jazz fusion in all its many invigorating forms is at its best in the talented hands of guitarist Stern and drummer Weckl.  They’re ably supported by bassist Anthony Jackson and saxophonist Bob FranceschiniBlues Alley.    (202)337-4141.

New York

- Feb. 27 – Mar. 2. (Wed. – Sat.)  Gary Peacock, Marc Copland and Joey Baron.  It’s an all-star jazz trio, by any definition, with pianist Copland, bassist Peacock and drummer Baron triggering a continuing flow of imaginative improvisation.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

Ravi Coltrane

Ravi Coltrane

- Feb. 27 – Mar. 3. (Wed. – Sun.)  Ravi Coltrane Quartet.  Saxophonist Coltrane, who makes the most of his genetic gifts as the son of John Coltrane, plays with the superb backing of Billy Childs, Fender Rhodes, Lonnie Plaxico, bass, Nikki Glaspie, drums.  Trumpeters Tim Hagans and Jason Palmer trade off on Thurs.(28) and Fri.(1).  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.


- Feb. 27 – Mar. 3. (Wed. – Sun.)  Arturo Sandoval. Versatility doesn’t begin to describe trumpeter/pianist/percussionist/singer Sandoval’s remarkable talents.  Click HERE to read a recent iRoM review of a Sandoval performance.  Ronnie Scott’s.    +44 0(20) 7439 0747.


- Feb. 27. (Wed.)  The Robert Cray Band.  Five time Grammy award winner Cray has throroughly established himself as one of the most convincingly authentic contemporary blues artists.  Paris New Morning.    01 45 23 51 41.


Jason Moran

- Mar. 3. (Sun.)  Jason Moran & the Bandwagon.  Pianist Moran, the winner of a MacArthur “genius” award, takes time away from his role as jazz advisor for the Kennedy Center to lead his gifted Bandwagon trio, with bassist Tarus Mateen and drummer Nasheet WaitsA-Trane.    030/313 25 50.


- Mar. 1 & 2. (Fri. & Sat.)  Bobo Moreno.  Highly praised Danish singer performs with pianist Ole Kock Hansen, bassist Bo Stief and American drummer Adam NussbaumJazzhus Montmartre.   (+45) 70 263 267.

CD Review: Charles Lloyd and Jason Moran — “Hagar’s Song”

February 24, 2013

Hagar’s Song (ECM Records)

By Brian Arsenault

For his 75th birthday, Charles Lloyd has released a most beautiful album, Hagar’s Song, with pianist Jason Moran. Stated simply, if you listen to many albums over many months you will not find beauty of this recording’s equal.

Perhaps Lloyd has reached a point in his lengthy and luminous career that he knows when he picks up one of his saxophones or flutes that beauty is enough.  It is.

Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd

Whether it’s Billy Strayhorn’s “Pretty Girl” or Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows,” Duke Ellington’s  classic “Mood Indigo” or Bob Dylan’s “I Shall Be Released” (a different kind of classic), Lloyd pays homage to great songs and expands our sensibility every time.

His playing of “You’ve Changed” made me think of Billie Holiday, then just made me thoughtful, then just made me still for a few minutes.  That’s rare.

He dedicates “I Shall Be Released,” made famous by The Band, to Levon Helm and calls him a “very soulful man.”  To use the cliché accurately, it takes one to know one.

Lloyd is not one of those stand offish, only my music matters, kind of artists. He’s played with everyone from Howlin’ Wolf to Cannonball Adderley to the Beach Boys to Keith Jarrett to Robbie Robertson and he brings an appreciation of all he’s heard to this piece of work.  Yet it is all still him, a unique and distinguished musician.

And using Moran as his “band” only enhances the notes between spaces.  When the album arrived, I thought, no bass, no drummer.  How will this work?  It works, forgive the overuse, beautifully.

Jason Moran

Jason Moran


Moran provides “percussion” and bass with his notes and chords and also terrific alternate leads between the silences and Lloyd‘s solos. No mean challenge when the horn player weaves magic at every turn, which can be three right turns in a row, Lloyd tells us.

The background release accompanying the advance of the album quotes Ornette Coleman as saying a few years ago that “Charles is playing really beautiful [there’s that word again].  He’s expressing the qualities of what we experience. Trying to make a contribution to the quality of life. . .”

That’s about right.

With all the respect addressed above, conscience requires me to say that I find the least satisfying and least accessible part of the album what Lloyd probably considers the centerpiece, “Hagar Suite.”  This is his five part tribute to his great-great grandmother who was snatched away from her parents at the tender age of 10 to be sold to a plantation owner in another state who eventually impregnatee her.

Lloyd knows that however horrible slavery itself, the most horrifying part is to remove a child from her parents at such a young age. The individual matters most to a true humanitarian.

Perhaps because it is such a personal vision, Lloyd moves at times into contemplations that are so much his own the listener must perforce stand outside.  Or perhaps more listens are required.

I can’t escape the notion, though, that the suite is perhaps the basis of an American symphony and should have been so treated in an album of its own. The great American songs on the album. drawn from so many sources, are what makes it so remarkable in my mind.


That’s for each listener to determine, of course.  Beauty is after all in the eye of the beholder, to quote one source, and beauty is what pleases, to quote another.

Wondrous and precious stuff here.

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 Jason Moran photo by Tony Gieske. 

To read more reviews, posts and columns from Brian Arsenault click HERE

Picks of the Week: Jan. 2 – 6

January 2, 2013

By the iRoM Staff

It’s a light schedule of activities as the Christmas and New Year celebrations wind down.  But there’s still a lot of fine music to hear. 

Los Angeles

Louie Cruz Beltran

Louie Cruz Beltran

- Jan. 3. (Thurs.)  Louie Cruz Beltran.  Louie Cruz is one of the Southland’s busiest musicians.  And with good cause.  This time he balances his charismatic drumming with a vocal survey of everything from pop tunes to Latin specials.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Jan. 3. (Thurs.) Rayford Griffin and “Reflections of Brownie.” Drummer Griffin, the nephew of Clifford Brown celebrates the memorable music of his great, trumpet-playing uncle.   Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

Shoshana Bush

Shoshana Bush

- Jan. 3. (Thurs.)  Shoshana Bush.  At a time when female jazz singers are arriving almost daily, here’s one whose warm voice and convincing style deserve up-close attention.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Jan. 4 – 6. (Fri. – Sun.)  The Los Angeles Philharmonic plays TchaikovksyChristoph Eschenbach conducts Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4.  as well as the U.S. premiere of Tan Dun’s The Tears of Nature, co-commissioned by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Disney Hall.    (323) 850-2000.

Bobby Caldwell

Bobby Caldwell

- Jan. 4 – 6. (Fri. – Sun.)  Bobby Caldwell.  Seventies and eighties hit maker Caldwell (“What You Won’t Do For Love,” among others) continues to be an always-engaging performer.  Expect to hear more of his hits, as well. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Jan. 5. (Sat.)  Jeff Babko Group.  Keyboardist Babko’s busy career reaches from James Taylor to the Jimmy Kimmel show.  But he’s most fascinating to hear when he’s working on his own music, this time with bassist Tim Lefevbre and drummer Gene CoyeBlue Whale.    (213) 620-0908.

New York

- Jan. 2 – 5. (Wed. – Sat.)  Frank Wess Quintet91st Birthday Celebration.  NEA Jazz Master Wess, a tenor saxophonist and pioneering jazz flutist, celebrates his 91st in his usual briskly swinging fashion.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

Chris Botti

Chris Botti

- Jan. 2 – 6. (Wed. – Sun.)  Chris Botti.  Trumpeter Botti, whose musical energies seem to have no limits, wraps up his three week – two performances a day — marathon run at the The blue Note.    (212) 475-8592.

- Jan. 2 – 6. (Wed. – Sun.)  John Abercrombie Quartet.  Always in search of new jazz adventures, guitarist Abercrombie teams up with the inventive playing of Seamus Blake, tenor saxophone, Gary Versace, organ and Adam Nussbaum, drums.  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 447-7733.


Charles Lloyd

Charles Lloyd

- Jan. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Charles Lloyd New Quartet.  Iconic tenor saxophonist/flutist Lloyd has found a compelling musical environment in his association with pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric HarlandBlue Note Tokyo.    03-5485-0088.

Shoshana Bush photo by Annette Lanzarotta and Talia Londoner.

Picks of the Week: Nov. 21 – 25

November 21, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Nov. 23. (Fri.)  Chuck Manning-John Daversa Quartet.  Saxophonist Manning and trumpeter Daversa get together for an evening of adventurous improvisation.  They’re backed by Pat Senatore, bass and Dick Weller, drums.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

- Nov. 23. (Fri.)  Deana Martin.  Yes, she’s Dean Martin’s daughter.  But Deana has transformed her musical inheritance into an appealing style of her own.  Catalina Bar & Grill  (323) 466-2210.

Ahmad Jamal

- Nov. 24. (Sat.) Ahmad Jamal.  The great jazz pianist, admired by Miles Davis, as well as  his legions of fans, makes a rare Southland appearance.  Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.    (714) 556-2787.

- Nov. 25. (Sun.)  Harry Allen and Larry Goldings.  Tenor saxophonist Allen combines a mainstream style with a contemporary imagination.  Keyboardist Goldings provides ideal backing, along with Chuck Berghofer, bass and Roy McCurdy, drums.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Nov. 25. (Sun.)  “A Tribute To Dinah Washington: Queen of the Blues.  Barbara Morrison with the BMPAC All Stars Band conducted by John Stephens. Who better than the versatile blues mistress Barbara Morrison to honor the Dinah Washington musical memory. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.


Roberta Gambarini

- Nov. 21 – 25. (Wed. – Sun.)  Roberta Gambarini. Italian native Gambarini has thoroughly established herself as one of the world’s finest jazz singers, regardless of origin. Hear her whenever you can.  Jazz Showcase.  (312) 360-0234.

New York

- Nov. 21 – 24. (Wed. – Sat.) Cyrille Aimee. With a French gypsy background and Dominican roots, Aimee – a runner up in the Thelonious Monk vocal competition – enhances her jazz skills with world music seasoning.  Birdland.     (212) 581-3080.

- Nov. 21 – 25.  (Wed. – Sun.)  Jason Moran and the Bandwagon. Currently one of the most critically praised jazz pianist/composers, Moran performs in a classic trio setting with  Taurus Mateen, bass, and Nasheet Waits, drums.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

Maria Schneider

- Nov. 20 – 25. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Maria Schneider Orchestra.  Schneider’s far-reaching musical imagination has brought compelling new timbres and adventurous performances to the classic big band setting. Jazz Standard.    (212) 889-2005.


- Nov. 22 – 24. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Sinne Eeg.  One of Denmark’s – and Europe’s – most admired jazz singers, Eeg celebrates the release of her new album, The Beauty of Sadness, recorded with a Danish national orchestra and her own quartet.   Jazzhus Montmartre.  (+45) 70 15 65 65.


Ravi Coltrane

- Nov. 23. (Fri.) The New Ravi Coltrane Quartet.  John Coltrane’s gifted, saxophone playing son Ravi is keeping the creative legacy of his father alive and well.  Paris New Morning.   01 45 23 51 41.


- Nov. 21 – 24. (Wed. – Sat.)  Al Di Meola. Master guitarist Di Meola has an impressive  resume, reaching from his electric jazz fusion with Return to Forever to his superb solo acoustic outings.   Blue Note Milano.   02.69016888.


Nov. 22 – 25. (Thurs. – Sun.) and Nov. 27 & 28. (Tues. & Wed.)  Natalie Cole.  Nat ‘King” Cole’s daughter is a major star in her own right, singing with the authentic jazz inflections characteristic of her father’s finest work.  Blue Note Tokyo.   03.5485.0088.

Picks of the Week: Feb. 20 – 26

February 20, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Feb. 21. (Tues.)  Strunz & Farah.  Two guitars together don’t get any more exciting than the high speed musical magic of long-time partners Jorge Strunz and Ardeshir Farah.  After more than three decades together, they’re still in rare form.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

Lorraine Feather

- Feb. 22. (Wed.)  “An Evening With Duke Ellington.”  Ted Howe Trio.  Veteran pianist/arranger Howe offers new perspectives on the classic Ellington songbook.  His special guests — Lorraine Feather, Sweet Baby Jai and Mark Winkler — add some equally compelling vocal contributions. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Feb. 23. (Thurs.)  Judy Carmichael.  Count Basie called her “Stride,” and with good reason.  Carmichael’s fast fingers and energetic style are keeping alive one of the great jazz piano styles.  She’s backed in this rare L.A. club appearance by guitarist Larry Koonse and saxophonist Harry Allen.  Click HERE to read an iRoM Q & A conversation with Judy Carmichael.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Max Raabe and the Palast Orchester

- Feb. 23. (Thurs.)  Max Raabe and Palast OrchesterOne Cannot Kiss Alone.  The super elegant Max Raabe and the tuxedoed instrumentalists of the Palast Orchester have impressively revived the style, the music and the wit of the ‘20s and ‘30s.  This time out, they feature selections from their best-selling new album.  One Cannot Kiss Alone.  UCLA Live.    (310) 825-2101.

- Feb. 23 – 25. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Stanley Clarke Quartet.  Fresh off a Grammy win with Chick Corea and Lenny White for Forever, the ever-eclectic Clarke is back to leading his own stellar quartet.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Feb. 23 – 25. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Pacific Symphony, conducted by Carl St. Clair, presents an attractive program of works, reaching from the classic to the contemporary.  Vadim Gluzman performs the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto; other pieces include Samuel Barber’s Adagio for Strings and a pair of new works by Michael Daugherty.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    (714) 556-2787.

- Feb. 24. (Fri.)  David Binney. Despite his dozen or so albums and appearances with the likes of Jim Hall, Maria Schneider and others, alto saxophonist Binney still hasn’t received the broad acknowledgement that his adventurous style deserves. He makes a rare Southland appearance. The Blue Whale.    (213) 620-0908.

Jill Schoelen

- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  “Late Night Love Songs.”  Jill Schoelen.  One of the “scream queen” film heroines of the ‘80s, Schoelen began moving into the jazz vocal area with the late bassist Dave Carpenter with appealing results.  She’s backed here by guitarist Larry Koonse and bassist Dave Robaire. Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Feb. 25. (Sat.) Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio. Guitarist Rosenwinkel’s versatility allows him to cruise comfortably across styles.  But he’s especially appealing when he’s applying his imaginative variations to the classic standards of American song.  He performs with Eric Revis, bass and Justin Faulkner, drums.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.  The Musicians Institute.   (310) 271-9039.

- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  Monica Mancini and Arturo Sandoval. Expect musical and lyrical fireworks and drama. Mancini is a singer who knows how to tell a musical story.  And Sandoval, who will be leading his big band, is equally adept at producing musical pyrotechnics on trumpet, percussion and piano.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.   (562) 916-8501.

- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  BRAZILIAN : EXOTICA.  Brazilian Nites’ 12th annual celebration of  carnaval features an all-star Brazilian band with non-stop music and dance.  From 8 p.m. until 2 a.m. revelers will have the opportunity to celebrate the euphoric holiday in true Brazilian style.  Featured performers include SambaDá, Chalo Eduardo’s All Star Band, featuring vocals by Andrea Ferraz, a pageant of samba dancers, capoeira martial artists, and an inaugural parade by the Los Angeles Samba SchoolBrazilian Carnaval: Exotica.  Club Nokia/LA Live.  (818) 566-1111.

- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. Conductor Jeffrey Kahane is the musical tour guide in this Discover Concert performance of J.S. Bach’s Magnificat.  The L.A.C.O. is joined by the USC Thornton Chamber singers and soloists for this magnificent choral work.  A Q&A with Jeffrey Kahane follows the performance.  The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra at Ambassador Auditorium.  (213) 622-7001.  Ext. 1

- Feb. 26. (Sun.)  Russell Ferrante Duo.  A founding member of the Yellowjackets, keyboardist Ferrante was instrumental in the two nominations the dynamic band received this year.  Here’s a chance to hear him in the most intimate of musical settings, working with the solid rhythmic support and improvisation sensitivity of bassist Pat SenatoreVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

San Francisco

Dave Holland

- Feb. 24. (Fri.)  Dave Holland Overtone Quartet.  To call bassist Holland’s Overtone Quintet an all-star ensemble still wouldn’t come close to acknowledging the high quality of this extraordinary collection of players: saxophonist Chris Potter, pianist Jason Moran and drummer Eric Harland.  Expect to hear state of the art, 21st century jazz at its very finest.  Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. An SFJAZZ concert.  (866) 920-5299.

- Feb. 24. (Fri.)  Hubert Laws.  The master of the jazz flute, a master who is fully capable of crossing over into pop, classical and beyond, Laws was justifiably honored with an NEA Jazz Masters award in 2011.   Yoshi’s San Francisco.    (415) 655-5600.


Feb. 23 – 26. )Thurs. – Sun.)  Larry Coryell Trio. Guitarist Coryell has been crossing over from rock to blues to jazz and beyond since the ‘60s, having a powerful impact on the fusion of the post bop era.  And he’s still doing it, while offering his wisdom to a new generation of guitarists.  Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

New York 

Cyrus Chestnut

- Feb. 21 – 26. (Tues. – Sun.)  Cyrus Chestnut Quartet.  Pianist Chestnut says he likes to “construct melodies that tell stories.”  It’s an admirable, and often too rare, trait for a jazz improviser.  And it’s amply present, whether he’s in the mood for straight ahead jazz, gospel or soul food.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9800.

Feb. 24 – 26.  (Fri. – Sun.)  Benny Green Trio.  There may be traces of Bud Powell and Oscar Peterson in Benny Green’s approach to the piano, but his irresistible sense of swing and far-ranging melodic imagination are all his own.  He performs here with Peter Washington (Feb. 24 & 26) or Ben Wolfe (Feb. 25), bass and Kenny Washington, drums.  Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  Dave Liebman, Richie Beirach Duo.  A pair of indefatigable music explorers come together to scour the boundaries of contemporary improvisation.  The results will be both enlightening and entertaining.  Cornelia St. Café.   (212) 989-9319.


- Feb. 24. (Fri.)  POEMJAZZ.  With pianist Laurence Hobgood and poet Robert Pinsky. A fascinating creative meeting between Grammy-winning jazz pianist Hobgood and the poetic melodies and rhythms of Pinsky, the only three-term U.S. Poet Laureate.  Regatta Bar.    (617) 661-5000.


Courtney Pine

- Feb. 23 – 24. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Courtney Pine.  Europa. English multi-instrumentalist Pine, whose honors include an Order of the British Empire (OBE) and a Commander of the Order of the British Empire (COBE), has been bringing a far ranging collection of ideas and sounds to English jazz for the past few decades.  This time out, he’ll feature the bass clarinet driven selections from his latest album, Europa. Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.


- Feb. 25. (Sat.)  The Cookers. The name is perfectly chosen for this sturdy collection of take-no-prisoners, hard swinging jazz veterans: Billy Harper, Eddie Henderson, George Cables, Cecil McBee, Victor Lewis, David Weiss, and Craig HandyNew Morning.     01 45 23 51 41.


- Feb. 23 (Thurs.)  Bennie Maupin Quintet.  The influential musical textures of Miles Davis’ Bitches Brew, Big Fun, Jack Johnson and more wouldn’t have been the same without the dark, woody sound of Maupin’s bass clarinet.  But he’s a master of other wind instruments as well, always ready to explore new sounds and ideas.  Blue Note Milano.

Picks of the Week: Feb. 22 – 27

February 22, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Anthony Wilson

- Feb. 22. (Tues.)  Anthony Wilson Quartet.  Wilson’s skills reach well beyond his impressive guitar chops and into his primo abilities as a composer and arranger. Diana Krall’s been lucky to have him in her band for the last few years.  Here he is in the spotlight. Vibrato Jazz Grill…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Feb. 24. (Thurs.)  Terry Trotter and Chuck Berghofer.  The Dynamic Duo of pianist Trotter and bassist Berghofer combine decades of jazz experience and far reaching improvisational imagination in everything they play.  Charlie O’s. (818) 914-3058.

- Feb. 24 – 26. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Joey DeFrancesco.  The master of the Hammond B-3 has been Down Beat’s top jazz organist every year since 2003.  Listen to the first tune he plays and you’ll know why.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Feb. 25. (Fri.) Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble.  Trumpeter Marcus Belgrave is a special guest with trombonist Ranelin’s always-energized ensemble.  The performance celebrates Black History Month as well as the release of the new Ranelin CD, Perserverance. Culver’s Club for Jazz in the Radisson LA Westside Hotel.   (310) 649-1776 Ext. 4137.

Joyce Cooling

- Feb. 26. (Sat.)  Joyce Cooling and Earl Klugh.  A pair of smooth jazz/fusion/crossover guitarists are featured in a double evening of hard-swinging, melodically lyrical and groove-oriented music.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.   (800) 300-4345.

- Feb. 26. (Sat.) Betty Buckley and Marvin Hamlisch.  Broadway star Buckley (Cats, Triumph of Love, Sunset Blvd. etc.) teams up with pianist/songwriter Hamlisch.  Expect to hear one memorable hit after another.  Valley Performing Arts Center. (818) 677-8800.

- Feb. 26. (Sat.)  Helen Sung and the David Benoit Trio.  Pianist Sung performs a diverse program of jazz, classical and pop with the Benoit Quartet and members of the Asia America Youth Orchestra.  The award-winning composer/pianist’s Southland appearances are rare, so don’t miss this especially intriguing performance.   Norris Pavilion, Rolling Hills Estates.

San Francisco

- Feb. 24 & 25. (Thurs. & Fri.) PSP.  The international jazz trio of pianist Philippe Saisse, bassist Pino Palladino and drummer Simon Phillips – in demand players as individuals – come together with an imaginative musicality affirming the truly global reach of jazz.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- Feb. 27. (Sun.)  Women in Jazz.  Featuring Ruth Davies, Roberta Donnay, Brenda Wong Aoki and Destiny Muhammad.  A stellar line up of the Bay area’s fine distaff jazz artists perform a benefit concert for the Jazz Heritage Center.  Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York

Dave Liebman

- Feb. 22 – 26. (Tues. – Sat.) Quest.  All-Star is the appropriate phrase to use when describing this impressive jazz collective, whose members include saxophonist Dave Liebman, pianist Richie Beirach, bassist Ron McClure and drummer Billy HartBirdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Feb. 23 – 27. (Wed. – Sun.)  Monk’s Dream: Fifty Years Fresh.  The Music of Thelonious Monk & the Expanding Universe of Bebop.  It’s a long title, but the music makes it worthwhile, as pianist Benny Green explores Monk’s ever-vital music in the company of Jesse Davis, alto saxophone, Peter Washington, bass and Kenny Washington, drums. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

Lionel Loueke

- Feb. 24 – 27. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Lionel Loueke Trio with special guest Jason Moran.  Anticipate a remarkable evening of world class music with this group.  Loueke is one of the most versatile guitarists of recent memory, pianist Moran last year received a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, and bassist Massimo Biolcati and drummer Ferenc Nemeth are a dynamic rhythm team.  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

Picks of the Week: Oct. 4 – 10

October 4, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Oct. 6. (Wed.) Josh Nelson.  The Music of the 60s’ Blue Note Albums. Pianist Nelson takes on some of the classic themes from the great Blue Note catalog.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 6. (Wed.) Carol Robbins Quartet.  It’s an evening with many strings attached – from the rare jazz sounds of Robbins’ harp to the always swinging guitar of Larry KoonseVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Oct. 6. (Wed.) Emil Richards-Joe Porcaro Quartet. The jazz heat gets turned up high whenever vibist Richards and drummer Porcaro get together with dynamic pianist Mike Lang and the rhythmic drive of bassist Abraham LaborielCharlie O’s.   (81) 994-3058.

Elaine Miles

- Oct. 6. (Wed.)  Elaine Miles.   A warm embracing voice and an intuitive way with a song are Miles’ special gifts.  She sings with guitarist John Chiodini, bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Kendall Kay.   Steamers.   (714) 871-8800.

- Oct. 7. (Thurs.) Disney Hall Opening Night Concert and GalaGustavo Dudamel kicks off the new season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the bel canto singing of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, the music of Rossini and a selection of works by South American composers. Disney Hall.  (323) 8502000.

- Oct. 8. (Fri.)  Ernie Watts Quartet.  The Southland’s saxophone player for all seasons steps into the spotlight to display his extraordinary musical versatility.    LACMA.  (323) 857-6000.

- Oct. 8. (Fri.) An Evening with Judy Collins. One of the great songbirds of pop and folk music, At 71, she’s an honored icon and a persistent social activist.  But her latest album, Paradise, affirms that she can also sing a song with the same mesmerizing intensity of her work in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Broad Stage. (310) 434-3200.

- Oct. 8. (Fri.)  The Trio.  If any three musicians deserve the all embracing title of “The Trio,” its Terry Trotter, Chuck Berghofer and Peter Erskine, whose togetherness defines what can happen when three gifted players get together to make music.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Oct. 8. (Fri.)  The Canadian Tenors with Due Voci.  The four Canadian tenors each bring a unique quality to the colorful mixture of classical and pop songs that is making them one of the concert world’s hottest acts.  Opening for them – the equally dynamic voices of Due Voci – Kelly Levesque and Tyler Hamilton.  Club Nokia.   (213) 765-7000.

Roslyn Kind

- Oct. 8 & 9. (Fr. & Sat.)  Roslyn Kind.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Roslyn Kind may be Barbra Streisand’s kid sister, but she’s a stunning talent in her own right.  Expect to be completely captivated by the stories she tells with her songs.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

- Oct. 8 – 10. (Fri. – Sun.)  The Color Purple.  It’s called “The Musical about Love,” and both the music and the script bring Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to vivid life.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.

- Oct. 9. (Sat.) Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band.  Here’s a troupe that reaches way back, redolent with echoes of the folk sounds that preceded the rock revolution of the ‘60s.  McCabe’s.   (310) 828-4497.

- Oct. 9. (Sat.)  Gary Foster.  In an era of busy-fingered saxophonists, altoist Foster sustains the tradition of finding the music inside the line, the swing inside the rhythm.  He performs with the Pat Senatore TrioVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. 

- Oct. 9. (Sat.)  Divas Simply Singing.  Sheryl Lee Ralph’s annual presentation of the latest stars of diva-dom returns with a stirring line up of talent.  Among this year’s divas: Teena Marie, Ledisi, Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis, Gloria Loring, Jody Watley, Chaka Khan, Patti Austin and much more.  The Saban Theatre.  (323) 655-0111.

Reorge Kahumoku

- Oct. 9. (Sat.)  George Kahumoku, Jr. and the Masters of Hawai’ian Music. Slack key guitarist Kahumoku celebrates the vibrant history of Hawaiian music in the company of guitarist Dennis Kamakahi, singer Uncle Richard Ho’opi’i and steel guitarist Bobby InganoIrvine Barclay Theatre.   (914) 854-4646.

- Oct. 9. (Sat.) John Abercrombie Quartet.  Breakout contemporary jazz guitarist Abercrombie is joined by violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron as the Angel City Jazz Festival wraps its 2010 series with a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast. The Musicians Institute Theatre.

- Oct. 9. (Sat.) Shake, Rattle & RollGreatest Hits of Fifties and Sixties Celebration. The Cruisin’ Oldies Show Band, fronted by Mark Curran and Tom Haney revive memories reaching from Elvis Presley to Chubby Checker, songs embracing “Rock ‘Round the Clock,” “All Shook Up,” “The Twist” and much more.  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Forum Theatre.   (805) 449-2787.

- Oct. 9 & 10. (Sat. & Sun.)  Peter Smith’s Live Recording Project.  Pianist Smith leads the fine ensemble of Allen Mezquida, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, vibist Nick Mancini, singer Patrice Quinn, guitarist Jacques Lesure, bassist Trevor Ware, and drummer Clayton Cameron in a pair of intimate, live recording performances.  Alvas Showroom.   (800) 403-3447.

Nikki Yanofsky

- Oct. 10. (Sun.) Nikki Yanofsky. Teen-aged Canadian jazz vocalist Yanofksy has been attracting attention wherever she performs.  Her musicality, charisma and jazz intuition display all the characteristics of a potentially major talent. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

- Oct. 5. (Tues.)  Mel Martin Big Band.  Saxophonist Martin, one of the Bay area’s most adventurous resident jazz artists, fronts a large ensemble performing his envelope-stretching music. Yoshi’s Oakland= (510) 238-9200.

- Oct. 5 & 6. (Tues. & Wed.)  Renee Rosnes. Canadian-born pianist has thoroughly established herself as one of the innovative artists of her generation, performing with everyone from Wayne Shorter to James Moody. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

Oct. 10. (Sun.)  Third SF Filipino American Jazz Festival.  The surprising compatibility between jazz and Fililpino musical culture is on full display in this annual event.  Headliners include singer/pianist Primo Kim, vocalists Jo Canion, Charito and Sandra Lim Viray.   Yoshi’s San Francisco= (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Oct. 5 – 10.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Jason Moran and the Bandwagon.  Pianist Moran showcases the skills that made him one of this week’s recipients of a McArthur “genius” award.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 929-4589.

- Oct. 5 – 10.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Kenny Barron Quintet. Everyone’s A-list jazz pianist steps out with his own ensemble.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Gato Barbieri

- Oct. 8 – 10. (Fri. – Sun.)  Gato Barbieri.  Tenor saxophonist Barbieri’s long, checkered career has reached from the avant-garde years of the ‘60s through his Grammy-winning score for The Last Tango In Paris to more recent smooth jazz outings.  But whichever of his musical persona’s turn up for this appearance, the results will be compelling.The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- Oct. 7 – 9. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Kenny Garrett Band. Versatile, musically probing alto saxophonist Garrett follows up on his live album, Sketches of MD with a performance at the venue where the CD was recorded.  Iridium. (212) 582-2121.

- Oct. 10. (Sun.)  Lionel Loueke Trio. Benin’s gift to contemporary jazz guitar matches his singular sound and style with an equally intriguing approach to jazz vocals. Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

Jazz Review: The Charles Lloyd Quartet at a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast

September 26, 2010

By Tony Gieske

Charles Lloyd was mesmerizing  everybody in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center Saturday night, and the place was full. The former Howlin’ Wolf sideman is an expert at this, nor was he in the least hampered by his own sidemen.

On the contrary, young star Jason Moran was first among equals in the latter bunch, and his piano playing was refreshingly Rachmaninoffian. His intuitive powers had plenty to do, because equal Reuben Rogers was playing bass and equal Eric Harland was behind the drum kit, and they were all equally spiritual.

Intuition was the watchword of the night. The sidemen targeted each other and the leader, and the leader targeted God.

Not that Lloyd always hit the target. But almost always.

That sound of his: a whisper with bones. He played the main notes only after draping them fore and aft with delicious little curlicues, like smoke from a thurible.

He was all sweetness and light, in the European vernacular.  Everything was the opposite of rock, with no remnant of his work with the Beach Boys. But he can play a part nobly no matter where he happens to land.

“Monk’s Mood,” with its miniaturized concerto format, came out as a long curve; “Beyond Darkness” showcased his flute powers. Late in the program, “Forest Flower” was as moving as ever. All of them surely came straight from a 72-year-old heart.

That heart lifted “Come Sunday” to a place in many other hearts present, underscored by the work of the fresh-faced  young disciples: Moran from the piano, Rogers from his bass, and Harland at the drums.

Photos by Tony Gieske.  To read and see more of Tony’s essays and photos at his personal web site click HERE.

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. (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.


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