Picks of the Week: Aug. 30 – Sept. 4

August 30, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

MIchael Wolff

- Aug. 30 & 31. (Tues. & Wed.)  Michael Wolff Quartet.  Pianist and television personality Wolff does a live recording with the stellar ensemble of trumpeter/film composer Mark Isham, bassist John B. Williams and drummer Mike ClarkVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 31. (Wed.)  George Benson, George Duke, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn.   It’s an evening of blues, funk, crossover and smooth jazz.  But straight ahead jazz fans can rest assured that all of these high visibility artists are also firmly rooted in traditional jazz skills.  The Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2040.

Janis Mann

- Aug. 31. (Wed.)  Janis Mann Quartet.  Versatile singer Mann’s soaring vocals are underscored by solid musicality and a masterful story-telling skills.  She performs with pianist Andy Langham, bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Roy McCurdyCharlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

- Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  Pat Tuzzolino.  Watching Tuzzolino in action is to marvel at his eclectic skills, as he plays a synth keyboard with one hand, a bass synth with the other, while delivering warm, engaging, hard swinging vocals.  He performs with guitarist Barry Zweig and drummer Billy PaulVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905

- Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  The Ron Eschete Trio.  Seven string guitarist Eschete manages to generate the sort of rich, harmonic textures and flowing rhythms that would seem to only be possible on a keyboard instrument. And he does so with far reaching creative imagination. Keyboardist Joe Bagg and drummer Kendall Kay will back him.  Steamer’s.    (714) 871-8800.

Charlie Haden's Quartet West

- Sept. 1 – 4. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Charlie Haden’s Quartet West.  Haden’s veteran, all-star band, one of the West Coast’s great jazz ensembles, celebrates their 25th anniversary.  And it comes at an appropriate time, with pianist/arranger Alan Broadbent moving to the New York area in the near future.  Hopefully Haden will find a way to keep the Quartet together, from time to time.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Sept. 2 – 5. ) Fri. – Mon.  Sweet & Hot Music Festival.  The 16th annual celebration of the timeless pleasures of classic jazz.  The names are too numerous to mention.  But suffice to say there’ll be over 200 musicians, 20 bands, 8 venues, 180 scheduled events and 4 dance floors – all sizzling with everything from New Orleans jazz to Swing and Bebop.  The LAX Marriott Hotel.  http://www.sweethot.org

- Sept. 3. (Sat.)  Steve Huffsteter.  Trumpeter Huffsteter’s extensive resume includes appearances with a complete lexicon of jazz and pop artists.  Much honored by his musical associates, he’s too rarely heard on his own, in the spotlight.  Here’s a great opportunity to experience the articulate subtlety of his playing.  He’s backed by the Pat Senatore Trio.  Vibrato.

San Francisco

- Sept. 1 – 3. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Ivan Lins Quartet.  Singer/songwriter/pianist Lins has been one of Brazil’s – and the world’s – great musical treasures for decades.  Like all iconic artists, he should be heard at every opportunity – especially in a musically compatible setting such as Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

Ron Carter

- Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 (Tues. – Sun.)  Ron Carter Big Band.  At the pinnacle of a career that has embraced every imaginable musical setting, bassist Ron Carter celebrates the release of an album expressing his affection for classic big band jazz: Ron Carter’s Great Big Band.  His assemblage of horn-playing all stars will be backed by the solid rhythm team of Carter, guitarist Russell Malone, pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Willie Jones III.   Jazz Standard.    (212) 576-2232.

- Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  Roseanna VitroThe Music of Randy Newman.  Vitro’s jazz-driven exploration of the emotionally multi-layered songs of Newman has been one of the headline items of 2011’s vocal CDs.  Hopefully the Recording Academy voters will have the good sense to give it a Grammy nomination.  Here, she offers her interpretations up close and live.  The Iridium.    (212) 582-2121.

The Bill Holman Big Band at Vitello’s

February 2, 2011

By Tony Gieske

Bill Holman

The great Bill Holman writes all his own charts, as we know. So the bounty being bestowed from the bandstand at Vitello’s Monday night had mostly to do with the creative stovetop of the silver-haired bandleader drinking it all in as he stood a few feet away amid the tables.

Watching his gentle, 83 year old face, you did not feel self-satisfaction there. This was more like gratitude, as the little dots he had applied to the scoring pad came to fierce and undeniable life.

Tonight he was hearing a double barreled volley of goodies: The tunes by Thelonious Monk,  the redevelopment by his own fine hand.

Andy Martin

Bruce Babbad

Monk’s great asset is his mastery of space, and that is a friendly and familiar world to the Holman talent as well. So the ear feasted on rich bold tuttis (some of them perhaps modeled on long-ago Holman tenor saxophone improvisations), section counterplay, delicious rests, and linear solos from the top talents manning the horns and rhythm instruments.  Pete Christlieb’s tenor saxophone outpourings, Andy Martin’s trombone devisings, Bruce Babad’s alto heat and trumpeter Ron Stout’s warm hearted  balladry were unassailably astute; Carl Saunders, or whoever was playing lead, topped the trumpet section up there in Ernie Royal territory.

Carl Saunders

Driven by the drum power from Kevin Kanner, the movable bass feasts of Joel Hamilton and the spare bluesy piano work of  Joe Bagg, the band got itself up there in Duke Ellington territory; they even made Ellington’s “Raincheck”  into a new delight all their own.

For which we were all grateful.

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

Live Jazz: Jack Sheldon’s Birthday Bash at Catalina Bar & Grill

November 29, 2010

By Tony Gieske

Jack Sheldon began his birthday serenade to himself Saturday night with one of his favorite rousers, “Yo Mama,” his 16 piece band riffing behind him in their boisterous way, the crowd at Catalina’s cheery and full of good wishes for the guy celebrating the first moments of his 79th year.

Jack Sheldon conducts

Naturally, he was being risque.  His listeners expected as much. They had been around for many previous such fetes, but tonight they were about to be wowed by a relative newcomer, the drummer Ray Brinker.  From his drum set came not only rattles and rolls, but a kind of parallel serenade to whatever the other 15 guys were doing, whether tutti or soli.

Ray Brinker

You should have heard him when Ron Stout took one of his magnificently adept trumpet solos: Brinker was his shadow and his headlight.  And when trumpeter Stan Martin made a romantic bouquet from “Beauty and the Beast,” presumably for the many silver haired grandfathers and grandmothers present.

Brinker stoked the fire for tenor man Brian Williams on a jump chart; he lit blue flames beneath Scott Whitman during “Cherokee,” (although Sheldon forgot to war whoop in his customary slot), and he subtly gave an overall shape when Whitman played fellow trombonist Juan Tizol’s classic “Caravan.”

(The latter forms, if I’m not mistaken, the basis for Dizzy Gillespie’s equally classic, “Night in Tunisia,” from the forgotten Oscar Pettiford adaptation, “Interlude.” Bet Brinker knew that.)  Neither the rap spectre nor the rock spook dared visit on this night.

Jack Sheldon sings

No, the tunes rolled down the lanes of memory for the seniors present: Gravelly vocals struggled from Sheldon’s 78-year-old throat on “They Can’t  Take That Away From Me,” “I Can’t Give You Anything  But Love,” “Don’t Worry ‘Bout Me” and “I’ll See You In My Dreams.”

Jack Sheldon plays

Then would come his incomparable trumpet sound, rich and full as something I wish I could think of to compare it to — a bunch of dewy green grapes?

But that band! One big voice — never  noisy — that just ambled amiably along with such grand old charmers as “When You’re Smiling” and “Tangerine.” And why was that?  Brinker. Although everyone helped, bassist Bruce Lett and pianist Joe Bagg, to name two.

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. 7 – 12

September 7, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Tierney Sutton

- Sept. 7. (Tues.)  Chris Walden’s Big Band with Tierney Sutton.  The combination of Walden’s well-crafted arrangements, a band full of L.A.’s finest players, and the superb musicality of Sutton’s vocals should make for a memorable, entertaining  evening.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Sept. 9. (Thurs.) Music of the Dance. The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Bramwell Tovey, explores music created for the dance stage, including Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite. The evening’s special event features the Diavolo Dance Theatre in a newly commissioned work set to John Adams’ Fearful SymmetriesThe Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 9. (Thurs.)  Salaam Ensemble.   Music of the Near and Middle East is the specialty of the Salaam players, who bring authenticity to their rendering of selections from Persian, Arabic, Turkish and Armenian traditions.  Levitt Pavilion.  Free concert in MacArthur Park.  (213) 384-5701.

- Sept. 9. (Thurs.)  Phil Norman Tentet.  It’s West Coast cool jazz revisited in the contemporary setting of Norman’s stellar Tentet.  Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

- Sept. 9. (Thurs.)  Bruce Babad’s Jazz Cadre.  Alto saxophonist Babad, a first call sideman, steps into the spotlight as a leader, backed by Joe Bagg, piano, Dr. Joe Jewell, guitar, Roger Shew, bass, Matt Johnson, drums.  Steamers.  (714) 871-8800.

- Sept. 10. (Fri.) Sheryl Crow.   Nine-time Grammy award winner Crow leads a new band in a performance showcasing 100 Miles From Memphis, her new, eighth top-ten album.  Also on the bill, singer-songwriter Colbie CaillatThe Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

Maria de Barros

- Sept. 10. (Fri.)  Maria de Barros.  Although she’s often associated with the morna songs of Cape Verde, de Barros’ musical versatility and charismatic stage presence are the qualities of a world class performer.  Don’t miss this one – it’s one of the bargains of the week.  The Levitt Pavilion.  A free concert in MacArthur Park.   l (213) 384-5701.

- Sept. 10. (Fri.)  Janis Siegel. The Manhattan Transfer’s Siegel makes a rare, solo night club appearance.  Superb as an ensemble singer, she’s equally entrancing in her own unique musical persona. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 10. (Fri.)  Dave Pell & Med Flory Jazz Quintet. Two of the Southland’s finest veteran jazz saxophonists display their wares.  Expect a combination of musical fun and fireworks. The Backroom at Henri’s (818) 348-5582.

- Sept. 10. (Fri.)  Richie Cole & Alto Madness.  Bebop lives in Cole’s energized alto saxophone, backed by a sextet that somehow manages to produce the drive and the power of a big jazz band.  The Culver Club at the Radisson.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

Les McCann

- Sept. 10. (Fri.)  Les McCann with the Javon Jackson Quintet.  Iconic jazz pianist McCann receives the 2nd “LA Jazz Treasure” award. Hopefully he’ll also perform a few of his classics with the Jackson Quintet. LACMA.   (323) 857-6000.

- Sept. 10 & 11. (Fri. & Sat.)  Freda Payne.  She brings a stage to life no matter what she’s singing, but she’ll undoubtedly be even more vibrant when she gives her own musical spin to songs associated with Ella Fitzgerald and Lena Horne. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- Sept. 10 – 12. (Fri. – Sun.)  Pink Martini.  The Fireworks Finale of the 2010 Hollywood Bowl season features the eclectic stylings of Oregon’s entertaining Pink Martini.  Accompanied by the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, conducted by Thomas Wilkins, the program will no doubt range from French chanson and Argentine Tango to meringue, bolero and Pink Martini’s own version of vintage lounge.  Also on the bill, singer/songwriter Rufus Wainwright.   The Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 11. (Sat.)  Don Preston Tribute Concert. A collection of adventurous players – from LA. And beyond – celebrate the life and music of keyboardist Preston.  Among the participants: Tony Levin, Roberto Miranda, Putter Smith, Bobby Bradford, Alex Cline, Bunk Gardener, Vinnie GoliaSouth Pasadena Music Center and Conservatory.  (626) 403-2300.  

- Sept. 12. (Sun.)  Jacqui Naylor.  Her engaging vocals slip and slide easily across boundaries, bringing imagination and emotion to jazz, pop, folk and all stops in between.    Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Sept. 12. (Sun.)  Opera & Broadway Gala“Music of the Night.” It’ll be a grand banquet of songs, from favorite arias to some of the most celebrated musical theatre melodies.  Featuring soprano Demetra George and tenor Eduardo Villa with Music Director Frank Fetta. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Sept. 12. (Sun.)  5th Annual Brazilian Day in L.A.  A celebration of everything Brazilian – which is a lot, embracing art, dance, music, cuisine and much more.  Performers include the samba funk group Muamba, singer Renni Flores and the samba/pagode band Sambajah.  The gardens of the Page Museum.  Free.  5th Annual Brazil Day.

San Francisco

Issac Delgado

- Sept. 10 – 12 (Fri. – Sun.)  Issac Delgado with Freddy Cole.  It’s an unusual but intriguing combination: a live presentation of a new album from Cuba’s superstar Delgado recreating – with Cole’s aid – 12 Spanish songs originally sung by Nat “King” Cole.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

New York

- Sept. 7 – 11. (Tues. – Sat.)  Steve Kuhn, Dave Liebman, Steve Swallow, Billy Drummond.  Four great jazz veterans, all still at their peak performance levels, bringing the wisdom of experience to everything they play. Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

- Sept. 7 – 12. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Count Basie Orchestra .  The hits will just keep coming from this current installation of the Basie ensemble.  Their performance at the Hollywood Bowl a few weeks ago affirmed the vitality of their dedication to the classic Basie canon. ( Click HERE to see a review of that performance.)  Special guest, Ledisi, will fill in the vocal chores.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Picks of the Week: July 19 – 25

July 19, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- July 19. (Mon.)  Rachael Sage.  The music of New York singer/songwriter Sage has been described as “Elton John Meets Kate Bush,” but she’s a lot more unique than that – a musical happening in her own right.  Genghis Cohen.  (323) 653-0640.

- July 19. (Mon.) Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal.  With a stage name derived from Elvis Presley and Arnold Schoenberg, composer Ross Wright has assembled a 20+ piece ensemble for whom “eclectic” only begins to describe what they do. Typhoon Restaurant. (310) 390-6565.

The Labeque Sisters

- July 20. (Tues.) and July 22 (Thurs.)  Magnificent Mozart. Mozart is always “magnificent,” of course.  And especially so when Katia and Marielle Labèque are playing the Concerto for Two Pianos, K.365.  Nicholas McGegan also conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Symphony No. 36. (Linz), K.425.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- July 20. (Tues.) James Taylor and Carole King.  For anyone who remembers the ‘70s, it doesn’t get any more nostalgic than this.  Taylor and King may be in their sixties, but they still know how to get to the heart of a song.  The Honda Center, Anaheim.   (714) 704-2500.

- July 20. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  Pisano and guitarist Federico Ramos bring a touch of Rio to Studio City, backed by bassist Jose Marino and drummer Enzo TodescoVitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- July 20. (Tues.)  Johnny Crawford Orchestra.  Crawford and his line-up of veteran big band players celebrate the Artie Shaw centennial with “Begin the Beguine” and much more.  Typhoon Restaurant.   (310) 390-6565.

- July 21. (Wed.)  Melissa Sweeney and Bill Cunliffe. Singer Sweeney and pianist Cunliffe are both show biz hyphenates – Sweeney as a film producer (Split Ends), Cunliffe as a Grammy winning arranger/composer.  Performing together, their unique talents combine into an impressive musical blend. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Jamie Cullum

- July 21. (Wed.)  Jamie Cullum.  Every Cullum performance is an adventure, enlivened by his intriguing vocals and his unpredictable piano work (sometimes on the keys, sometimes on the strings, sometimes elsewhere.  He’s a true original, quirky, but always musical and always a pleasure to hear.  Ford Amphitheatre.  (323) 461-3673.

- July 21. (Wed.)  Joe Bagg Organ Trio. Keyboardist Bagg displays his proficiency on the B-3, backed by guitarist Jamie Rosenn and drummer Ryan Doyle. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- July 21. (Wed.)  Lee Ritenour and Dave GrusinJazz at the Bowl brings an impressive group of six-stringers to interact with Ritenour and Grusin: Keb Mo, Taj Mahal and John Scofield. Dianne Reeves adds her virtuosic vocal stylings.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- July 22. (Thurs.) Jovanotti.  One of Italy’s most charismatic performers brings his highly personal blend of song, funk, rapping and an occasional classical touch to Twilight Dance at the Santa Monica Pier.   (310) 458-8900.

- July 22. (Thurs.)  Pinky Winters.  With a career that reaches back to the ‘50s, Winters’ fine jazz singing has been in action only intermittently over the decades.  But she’s back in action and very much worth hearing.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

- July 22. (Thurs.)  Parno Graszt.  The Skirball’s Sunset Concert Series opens with a no doubt high spirited performance by a Hungarian Gypsy folk band that always manages to get a crowd to their feet.  The Skirball Center.   (310) 440-4500.

Billy Childs

- July 23. (Fri.)  Billy Childs Trio.  Taking a break from his globe-hopping gig with Chris Botti, Childs gets down to piano trio basics.  Expect the best.   Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- July 22 – 24. (Thurs. – Sat.) Joan Rivers Live! Yes, live, to be sure.  The one and only, as sardonic as ever, making an extremely rare Los Angeles club appearance.  Don’t miss this one.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- July 23. (Fri.)  Tom Peterson Quartet. Saxophonist Peterson is everyone’s first call player, fully capable of fitting into any setting.  But here we get to hear him in his own solidly swinging, ever-inventive mode, backed by the Pat Senatore Trio.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- July 23. (Fri.) “Music at the Zoo: Classic Rock Night” And classic rock it will be, with Eagles, Beatles, the Grateful Dead and Heart tribute bands, as well as the songs of The Doors, Led Zeppelin, The Who, Jimi Hendrix and more.  The Los Angeles Zoo.  6 p.m.   (323) 644-6042.

- July 23. (Fri.) Jackson Browne and special guest David Lindley.  Singer/songwriter Browne and guitarist Lindley have been making music together at various times for nearly 40 years.  Their current appearance celebrates the release of the dynamic duo’s Love Is Strange. a 2-CD live recording of their Spanish tour in 2006. The Greek Theatre.  (323) 665-3125.

Ernie Andrews

- July 23. (Fri.) Ernie Andrews.  The male jazz singer field may be relatively sparse these days, but we can always be thankful for the presence of Andrews, who sings anything and everything with style and substance.  The Culver Club in the Raddison. (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- July 23 (Fri.)  Bern.  Drummer Bernie Dresel leads his wildly versatile band of singers and musicians in the first appearance at The Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

- July 24. (Sat.)  Mercury Falls and painter Norton Wisdom. Mercury Falls – saxophonist Patrick Cress, guitarist Roger Riedlbauer, bassist Eric Perney and drummer Tim Bulkley – perform their ambient jazz textures, while Wisdom paints spontaneous images to capture the musical moment.  Royal-T.  (310) 559-6300.

- July 25. (Sun.) Louis Prima: Star on Hollywood Blvd. Trumpeter Prima, whose career reached from his mid-‘30s hit, “Sing, Sing, Sing” to his ‘50s trend-setting lounge act with Keely Smith, receives his star on the Walk of Fame.  Prima’s son, Louis Prima, Jr., performs some of the classics after the ceremony.  11617 Vine St., south of Hollywood Blvd.  11:30 a.m.

San Francisco

- July 19 & 20. (Mon. & Tues.)  Ricardo Lemvo and Makina Loca. Lemvo’s turbulent Congolese percussion rhythms are skillfully blended by his Makina Loca players into a tasty gumbo of salsa, rumba and soukous. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- July 21. (Wed.) Etran Finatawa. The trance-like grooves of Niger’s “Stars of Tradition” are as mesmerizing as ever in their new album, Tarkat Tajje/Let’s Go!Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

Carol Welsman

- July 19. (Mon.)  Carol Welsman Quartet with Harry Allen.  Welsman’s velvety vocals, rich sense of swing and embracing balladry are backed by saxophonist Allen’s driving mainstream style.   Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9595.  

- July 20 – 24. (Tues. – Sat.)  The Maria Schneider Orchestra. Arguably among the most adventurous of the contemporary big bands, Schneider’s stellar players make the most of her atmospheric charts.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

- July 20 – 25. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Barry Harris Trio. Bebop still lives, in every sense of the word, in Harris’ ineffable piano.  Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.

- July 20 – 25. (Tues. – Sun.)  Monty Alexander: Harlem-Kingston Express. Jamaica’s Alexander finds common ground between uptown jazz and Caribbean rhythms. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9595.  

- July 22 – 25. (Thurs. – Sun.) Larry Willis Quintet.  Keyboardist Willis has proved his chops in every imaginable setting, from Jackie McLean and Stan Getz to Carmen McRae and Blood, Sweat & Tears.  This time out, he leads the quintet of saxophonist Joe Ford, trombonist Steve Davis, bassist Steve Novosel and drummer Billy Williams. The Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.

- July 21 & 22. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Jeff Lorber Fusion. Keyboardist Lorber led the way in the early years of fusion, and he continues to stretch the envelope, this time celebrating the appropriately titled new recording, Now is the Time, dipping into the jazz roots that have always been the foundation of his music.  Iridium.  (212) 582-2121.

- July 23 – 25. (Fri. – Sun.) Geri Allen and Timeline. Pianist Allen showcases selections from a pair of new albums – the tap dancing sounds of Live (Dig) and the solo piano excursions of Flying Toward the Sound. Iridium.  (212) 582-2121.

Live Jazz: The Sounds of Shearing at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.

June 30, 2010

By Tony Gieske

It seems needlessly nutrition conscious to sneer at George Shearing because of the candy-like character of his music. The Centers for Disease Control has recorded not a single case of diabetes attributable to its consumption, for one thing.

Shearing’s innocence was well established by a sweet evening with The Sounds of Shearing Tuesday on a misty night at Vibrato.  A quintet of local heroes captured the famed radio-friendly sound exquisitely, and it proved in the age of television to be a sound that still comforts the ear and nourishes  the spirit.

Ron Anthony and Charlie Shoemake

Charlie Shoemake, the vibraharpist, and Ron Anthony, the electric guitarist, were the principal providers of this feat, and Charlie Christian and Lionel Hampton could not have done any better.  Chuck Wayne and Majorie Hyams were the role models in the original Shearing group.

The part of the entertainment world’s first Denzil, Shearing drummer Denzil Best, was ably filled by Colin Bailey.  Joe Bagg rode the piano bench, wisely steering clear of Shearing’s famed locked-hands style but providing his own patented songlike improvisations.

Joe Bagg, Colin Bailey, Luther Hughes (clockwise from left)

Bassist Luther Hughes played the part of the great John Levy, deploying a force quite a bit more vigorous. Pizzacato he was fun, but arco came out sharp.

Shoemake’s improvisation seemed to come from a great distance, but Anthony pulled the listener in and filled him or her with the promise of joy, not infrequently achieving the thing itself.

Sir George himself, coming up on age 91 this year at his Massachusetts farm, has recovered from the tumble that felled him a few years ago, walks with a cane, and plays at home alone every day.

I wish I could be there to ask him how he ever thought up that unique instrumentation: piano, electric guitar, vibraharp, bass and drums. Really!  Would he say you had to be a blind man?

Photos by Tony Gieske.  Read and see more of Tony’s jazz essays and photos at his personal web site tonyspage.com.

Picks of the Week: June 29 – July 4

June 29, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Sally Kellerman

-June 30. (Wed.)  Sally Kellerman. Hot Lips is back. And, as convincing as she was in M*A*S*H, she’s even more so as a singer, crafting tunes simmering with traces of jazz, folk, soul and country.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- June 30. (Wed.)  Open Hands.  One of the Southland’s authentic all-star jazz ensembles, featuring the invigorating bass work of Abraham Laboriel and the dynamically versatile tenor saxophone of Justo Almario, with Greg Mathieson, keyboards and Bill Maxwell, drums.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- June 30. (Wed.)  Kevin Eubanks Group. He’s no longer on the air with Leno, but Eubanks is still one of the most listenable guitarists in jazz.  And on this gig you won’t have to worry about being interrupted by a commercial break. Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

- June 30. (Wed.) Nancy Sanchez.  She may have been a mariachi singer as a teen-ager, but Sanchez is now an intriguing, up and coming jazz vocalist who comfortably combines some pop and crossover elements in her coolly expressive vocalizing.  Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

Linda Ciofalo

- July 1. (Thurs.)  Linda Ciofalo. With an appealing voice and a perky rhythmic manner, Ciofalo is the right interpreter for the Johnny Mercer tunes on her brand new CD, Dancing With Johnny.  She’s backed by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, bassist John Belzaguy and drummer Jimmy Branley.  Crowne Plaza. (310) 642-7500.

- July 2. (Fri.)  Charles Owens Quartet. The versatile Owens can play any saxophone, in almost any style, and do it with utter believability.  But the best time to hear him is on a gig like this, when he’s up front, doing everything his own way.  The Culver Club in the Raddison.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- July 2 – 4. (Fri. – Sun.)  July 4th Fireworks SpectacularVince Gill, with twenty Grammy Awards and more than 22 million albums sold, is the perfect headliner for the annual pyrotechnical celebration.  Expect to hear such country hits as “I Still Believe In You” and “One More Last Chance.”  Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

- July 3. (Sat.)  Ira Nepus and Friends.  Trombonist, Nepus, one of L.A.’s fine first-call players, steps into the spotlight with his own group.  And the set will be even more highlighted by the engaging vocals of Bonnie Bowden.  Willy’s BBQ and Grill.  Agoura Hills.   (818) 991-7227.

San Francisco

- June 29 & 30 (Tues. & /Wed,)  Joyce (Joyce Moreno) The Brazilian singer/guitarist is keeping the bossa nova flame still burning, while adding her own more contemporary tunes to programs rich with the rhythms of Rio. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- July 4. (Sun.) Kiosk.  There’s something appropriate about the presence of the highly praised Iranian rock band, Kiosk, at Yoshi’s on Independence Day.  Prevented from performing in public in their native land (because of “inappropriate” lyrics), they re-formed outside Iran and now perform around the globe.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

Lew Tabackin and Toshiko Akiyoshi

- June 29 – July 3. (Tues. – Sat.) Lew Tabackin & Toshiko Akiyoshi Quartet. The husband and wife team, innovative figures in the contemporary jazz world for decades, make a too-rare live appearance.  They’re backed by bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Mark TaylorBirdland. (212) 581-3080.

June 29 – July 4. (Tues. – Sun.)  Fourplay.  Grammy-nominated Fourplay – Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Nathan East and Harvey Mason – have successfully created an audience-pleasing crossover jazz style without sacrificing any of their substantial array of pure jazz skills. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Picks of the Week: March 23 – 28

March 23, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Mar. 23. (Tues.)  Christopher Cross.  Multiple Grammy Award-winning composer Cross hits include “Sailing,” “Ride Like the Wind” and “Never Be the Same.” Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

Ray Davies

- Mar. 24. (Wed.)  Ray Davies. After the success of last Fall’s CD, The Kinks Choral Collection, Davies – one of the founders of the venerable English rock band The Kinks – is once again out on tour, offering golden oldies, as well as his newer material. Grove of Anaheim.  (714) 712-2700.

- Mar. 25. (Wed.)  Jamie Cullum.  The English wiz, adept at the piano, quick with a song, successfully masters the territory between rock, pop, blues and jazz.  The Avalon.   (323) 467-4571.

- Mar. 25. (Wed.)  Nat Adderley Jr. Quintet “The Music of Cannonball and Nat Adderley”. His direct connection with the source, makes pianist Adderley, Jr. the perfect advocate for the classic music of his father and uncle. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Mar. 24. (Wed.)  Judy Wexler“Talkin’ About My Generation.” Jazz singer Wexler adds her fine-tuned, improvisational vocal touches to the music of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 25.  (Wed.)  Chef Jam Sessions. Vibrato launches a new series in which guest chefs will cook 5-course dinners of their signature favorites.  Alain Giraud (Anisette, Bastide, Citrus) is the first all-star guest chef.  The Norman Pantone Continental Quartet will accompany the feasting with accordion-driven Gypsy jazz.  Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 25. (Thurs.)  Nancy Kelly.  Veteran jazz singer Kelly brings swing, phrasing, vitality and – best of all – authenticity to everything she sings.  This is one of her too-rare appearances in the Southland.  Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.

Billy Childs

- Mar. 25. (Thurs.)  Billy Childs. He’s got eight Grammy nominations and two Grammy awards, and he’s been commissioned by symphonies across the land to write compositions.  But Childs is also one of the finest — and too little acknowledged — jazz pianists in the world. He doesn’t play many club dates these days, so don’t miss this one.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 26. (Fri.)  The CJS Quintet and Hideaki “Heday” Tokunaga “East Meets Wes.” The hard bop of the CJS Quintet encounters Heday’s grooving, Wes Montgomery-styled guitar work.   Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill/Gower Gulch.  (323) 466-9917.

- Mar. 26. (Fri.) Larry Karush Quintet.  Pianist Karush roves confidently across the boundaries of improvisation, from the thorny avant-garde to the propulsive lift of straight ahead.  The Santa Monica College Performing Arts Center (Edye 2nd Space)  (310) 434-3000.

- Mar. 26. (Fri.)  Perlene Thurston. The rich-timbred voice and roving phrases of Thurston stimulate distinct recollections of Sarah Vaughan.   The Back Room at Henri’s.   (818) 348-5582.

- Mar. 26 & 27. (Fri. & Sat.) Wallace Roney Quintet. Trumpeter Roney has taken the Miles Davis style and shaped it into a highly personal expression of his own.  He performs with Antoine Roney, saxophones, Aruan Ortiz, keyboards, Rashaan Carter, bass, Kush Abadey, drums.  Spazio.  (818) 728-8400.

- Mar. 26 & 27. (Fri. & Sat.)  Mike Lang and Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey.   Pianist Lang performs the world premiere of Jennifer Logan’s Planetarium, a work for improvised piano and electronics.  Logan will also perform Lang’s Moonlit Night…in blossoms’ shimmer and her own Serenades and spreading shadows for solo piano.  Neighborhood Unitarian Church, Pasadena.  Los Angeles Sonic Odyssey. (213) 422-2733.

Diane Schuur

- Mar. 27. (Sat.)  Diane Schuur.  Eclectic singer/pianist Schuur has a pair of Grammy awards and three nominations.  Lately, Deedles has been setting aside some of her pop interests in favor of the expressive jazz vocalizing she does best.  CSUN Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-1200.

- Mar. 27. (Sat.)  Broadway Today Jason Graae, David Burnham, Julia Murney and Lisa Howard sing songs from  such contemporary musicals as  Wicked, Hairspray,  The Lion King, Rent, The Producers, The Phantom of the Opera, Jersey Boys, Mamma Mia and others.  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.  (805) 449-2787.

- Mar. 27. (Sat.)  Antonio Sanchez Quartet. Drummer Sanchez keeps the Jazz Bakery brand alive with a stellar group that includes alto saxophonist David Binney, tenor saxophonist Donny McCaslin and bassist Scott Colley.  All of which should make for a high sprited evening.  Musicians Institute.  A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast.   (310) 271-9039.

- Mar. 28. (Sun.)  Frank Potenza Trio. Guitarist/educator Potenza, inspired by Joe Pass, has built a highly personal style of his own.  He performs material from his current Capri release, Old, New, Borrowed & Blue.  With Joe Bagg, organ, Steve Barnes, drums.  The Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach.   (310) 376-9833

San Francisco

- March 23 & 24.   (Tues. & Wed.)  Joe Lovano and US Five perform selections from “Folk Art,” his first recording with a program of all his original compositions.   Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

Eliane Elias

- Mar. 23 & 24.  (Tues. & Wed.)  Eliane Elias.  Pianist/singer Elias brilliantly combines her deep Brazilian roots with an impressively original jazz imagination.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- Mar. 23 – 27. (Tues. – Sat.)  Maude Maggart. With a background that traces to several generations of musical show biz veterans, Maggart enhances her inherited skills with her own stylish approach to the classic songs of cabaret and the musical theatre.  The Rrazz Room.  (415) 394-1189.

- Mar. 26 – 28. (Fri. – Sun.)  Natalie Cole.  Ever versatile, as comfortable with a  soulful pop song as she is with a dynamic evening of jazz, Cole makes a rare club appearance.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

New York

Mar. 23 – 27. (Tues. – Sat.)  John Scofield New Quartet. Guitarist Scofield sets aside his eclectic musical interests for some straight ahead jazz.  With Mulgrew Miller, piano, Ben Street, bass and Kendrick Scott, drums. Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Mar. 23 – 28. (Tues. – Sun.)  Regina Carter. The busy, versatile violinist previews her new CD, Reverse Thread. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

- Mar. 25. (Thurs.) Allison Miller.   Multi-skilled drummer, composer and singer Miller leads a stellar ensemble — pianist Myra Melford, violinist Jenny Scheinman and bassist Todd Sickafoose — in a release party for her new CD, Boom Tic Boom.   Cornelia Street Cafe.  (212) 989-9319.

Freda Payne

- Mar. 25 & 26. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Kurt Rosenwinkel Standards Trio.  Guitarist Rosenwinkel does what the title of his group says – explore the soaring melodies and rich harmonies of the Great American Songbook.  Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

- Mar. 25 – 28.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Freda Payne sings Ella Fitzgerald.  She’s had a #! Hit – “Band of Gold” – and starred in Broadway shows such as “Jelly’s Last Jam” and ‘Sophisticated Ladies.”  But Payne has a feel for jazz, too, and – especially – an empathic way of understanding Ella’s way with a song.  Iridium. (212) 582-2121.

Picks of the Week: Dec. 7 – 13

December 8, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Dec. 8. (Tues.)  Dominick Farinacci.  Trumpeter Farinacci’s debut U.S. CD, Lovers, Tales and Dances, announced the arrival of an impressive new young jazz artist.  He makes one of his rare Southland appearances for one night only.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

- Dec. 8. (Tues.) Charles Lloyd, Joshua Redman, Exene Cervenka, Michael McClure, Kurt Elling, others.  A compelling line-up of artists have been gathered together for one of the most intriguing evenings in the Philharmonic’s  West Coast, Left Coast series: A Night of the Beats. Disney Hall.

- Dec. 9. (Wed.)  The Irish Tenors. Holiday Show.  What better way to celebrate the holiday season than with the soaring voices of the three Irish tenors singing holiday songs.    The Cerritos Center.   (562) 916-8501.

Bebel Gilberto

- Dsec. 9. (Wed.)  Bebel Gilberto with DJ Lara Gerin.  The daughter of  Joao Gilberto — who virtually invented the sound and the rhythm of bossa nova — and singer Miucha,  Bebel Gilberto has carved out an impressive career in her own right, bringing her contemporary, Brazilian-tinted  vision to international pop music.   Music Box @ the Fonda. (323) 464-0808.

- Dec. 9. (Wed.)  Flexible Reality.  The instrumentation alone makes this a fascinating musical ensemble.  The players — Richard Todd, French Horn, Charlie Bisharat,  violin, Frank Marocco, accordion, Michael Valerio and Abraham Laboriel, basses and Alex Acuna, drums – make it even better.  Red Carpet Jazz Serries.  Upstairs at Vitellos. (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 9 – 13. (Wed. – Sun.)  Roy Hargrove Quintet.  Versatile trumpter Hargrove, who’s been leading a big band lately, shows up this time with his briskly swinging quintet.   Catalina’s. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Dec. 10. (Thurs.)  Alan Pasqua, Peter Erskine, Darek Oles, Bob Mintzer.  The Pasqua/Erskine trio with the late Dave Carpenter was one of the Southland’s finest jazz ensembles.  With the excellent bassist Oles now in the group, the tradition of world class jazz continues, this time with the sturdy tenor saxophone of Bob Mintzer.  Red Carpet Jazz Series Upstairs at Vitellos. (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 11. (Fri.)  Scotty Barnhart.  Trumpeter /educator Barnhart, a veteran of the Count Basie band, takes a break from his academic chores to jam with  with John Heard, bass, Roy McCurdy, drums, Andy Langham, piano.  Charlie O’s(818) 989-3110.

Molly Ringwald

Dec. 11. (Fri.)  Molly Ringwald and Plus 4. Yes, it’s the same Molly Ringwald who you remember from Pretty in Pink and Secret Life of the American Teenager.  And, yes, she can sing, too, having started from an early age with her jazz pianist father, Bob Ringwald.  Spazio.  (818) 728-8400

- Dec. 11 & 12. (Sat. & Sun.)  C.A.B. World class fusion from the guys who do it best, with Frank Gambale, guitar, Otmaro Ruiz, keyboards, Bunny Brunel, bass, Tom Brechtlein, drums.  The Baked Potato. (818) 980-1615.

- Dec. 12. (Sat.)  Bruce Forman Quartet.  Guitarist Forman brings strikingly new perspectives to the contemporary art of jazz guitar.  He plays with  Joe Bagg, organ, Pat Senatore, bass, drums tbd.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Dec. 12. (Sat.)  Jazz Compass.  Holiday Concert & Jazz Party from a collective of L.A.’s A-list players.  Featuring Larry Koonse, Clay Jenkins, Tom Warrington, Joe La Barbera, Bill CunliffeUpstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

- Dec. 12. (Sat.)  Los Angeles Master ChoraleMessiah Sing-along.   The annual must-do event for everyone who ever sang in a choir: the chance to join voices sith the extraordinary artists of the Master Chorale.  2 p.m.  Disney Hall. http://www.laphil.com

- Dec. 12 & 13. (Sat. & Sun.)  “Colors of Christmas” One of the annual holiday season’s most pleasant musical interludes, with Peabo Bryson, Sheena Easton, Jennifer Holiday and Maxi Priest.  The Cerritos Center.  (562) 916-8501.

Bill Holman

- Dec. 13. (Sun.) Marathon Jazz Party.  It’s an event to benefit the relocation of the L.A. Jazz Institute.  Three rooms of continuous music, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., with dozens of musicians — including the big bands of Bill Holman, Steve  Huffsteter, Med Flory, Kim Richmond and others — as well as raffles, auctions, door prizes, CD sales, etc.    Los Angeles Jazz Institute. LAX Marriott. (562) 985.7065.

- Dec. 13. (Sun.)  Holiday Jazz Vespers ServiceEric Kertes and Friends, with Aaron Hernandez’s hip hop commentary on today’s world.  Free will offering.  Bring a can, box or bag of food for donation to Food Pantry LAX to help those in need.  Welcoming people of all faiths, and those with no faith.  Episcopal Church of the Holy Nativity. (310) 670.4777

San Francisco

- Dec. 8 & 9. (Tues. & Wed.)  Dan Hicks & the Hot Licks.  With special guest Bob Dorough.  “Holidaze in Hicksville”  Featuring Hicks’ holiday classics “My Main Man Santa,” “A Yule That’s Cool” and “Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Christmas Card.”  As well as Dorough’s “Blue Xmas” (written with Miles Davis.  (510) 238-9200.

- Dec. 10 – 13. (Thurs. – Sun.) Guitarist Mike Stern fronts a band of world class players, as adept with tradition as they are with fusion: trumpeter Randy Brecker, drummer Dave Weckl and bassist Tom KennedyYoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

Ahmad Jamal

- Dec. 10 – 13. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Ahmad Jamal.  A unique jazz artist, pianist Jamal influenced Miles Davis’ view of phrasing, established himself as an iconic figure, and is still out there doing his thing.  Don’t miss the chance to hear and see him in action.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.


-Dec. 10 (Thurs.)  The Chicago Jazz Ensemble and Jon Faddis continue the 11th annual American Jazz Heritage Series with a program honoring the music of John Coltrane, Ornette Coleman and Miles Davis.  Special guests David Sanchez and Steve Wilson.  The Harris Theatre.  The Chicago Jazz Ensemble.  (312) 369-6270.

New York

- Dec. 8 – 12. (Tues. – Sat.)  Lee Konitz, Charlie Haden, Paul Motian, Brad Mehldau. Several generations of great jazz improvisers in an adventurous search for common musical ground.  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Dec. 8 – 13. (Tues. – Sun.)  Eddie Palmieri y La Perfecta.  A 73rd birthday celebration for the master keyboardist of Latin Jazz,  leading his irrepressible La Perfecta.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- Dec. 8 – 13. (Tues. – Sun.)  Dave Douglas Quintet.  Trumpeter and musical explorer Douglas works with ensemble equally capable of journeying into new territory.  With Uri Caine, piano, Donny McCaslin, sax, James Genus, bass, Clarence Penn, drums.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 255-4037.

Dec. 10 – 12.  (Thurs. – Sat.)  Red Hot Holiday Stomp.  A New Orleans perspective on some classic holiday favorites.  With Wycliffe Gordon, Victor Goines, Don Vappie, Herlin RileyRose Theatre at Jazz at Lincoln Center.  (212) 258-9800.

Kim Burrell

- Dec. 10 – 13. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Tango Meets Jazz Festival.  The marriage of a pair of musical genres with a surprising number of common elements.  With pianist Pablo Ziegler and saxophonists Miguel Zenon (12/10 and 12/11) and  David Sanchez ((12/12 and 12/13).  The Jazz Standard. (212) 447-7733.

Dec. 11 – 12.  (Fri. & Sat.)  Kim Burrell, The divine diva of gospel brings the spirit of Christmas alive with her soulful, spiritual stylings.  The Allen Room at Jazz at Lincoln Center. (212) 258-9800.

PIcks of the Week: Nov. 9 – 15

November 9, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Nov. 9. (Mon.)  Judy Wexler. Wexler’s briskly swinging vocal style finds a perfect match with the trio of organist Joe Bagg, guitarist Bruce Forman and drummer Devin KellyCharlie O’s.   (818) 989-3110.

Steve Gadd

Steve Gadd & Friends

- Nov. 10. (Tues.)  Reginald Robinson.  The MacArthur Genius award winning pianist  performs solo ragtime pieces to accompany silent film clips of animation by cartoon pioneers Walter Lantz, Otto Messmer and Earl Hurd. The Hammer Museum.

- Nov. 10 – 12. (Tues. – Thurs.)  Steve Gadd and Friends. After bringing the authentic flavor of jazz to a long list of pop artists, drummer Gadd does his own thing. With Joey DeFrancesco, Ronnie Cuber and Paul Bollenback.   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.  (Also at Yoshi’s SanFran Nov. 13 – 15.  See Below)

- Nov. 11. (Wed.)  The Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraNicholas McGegan conducts this superb period orchestra, six soloists and the Philharmonia Chorale in a rare evening devoted completely to the music of Henry Purcell.  Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

- Nov. 12. (Thurs.)  McCoy Tyner.  Versatile, ever-intriguing Tyner has been one of the most powerful piano innovators of the past five decades.  He performs with his trio and alto saxophonist Gary Bartz.  The large improvisational ensemble, Build an Ark, opens the show.  UCLA Live at Royce Hall. (310) 825-4401.


Janis Mann

- Nov.12. (Thurs.)  Janis Mann.  Although she’s been compared to such iconic singers as Sarah Vaughan, Mann bring’s her own unique qualities to the classic jazz vocal style. Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge. (310) 642-7500.  m

- Nov. 12. (Thurs.)  Pete Christlieb Tall and Small Band w. vocalist comedian Tony Russell.  Saxophonist for all seasons Christlieb leads a snappy 10-piece band with his wife, trombonist Linda Small-Christlieb.  This is the first event in which comedy is added to Vitellos’ Red Carpet Jazz Series.  More on the way.   Upstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

- Nov. 12. (Thurs.)  Denise Donatelli. A singer with the sound, the rhythm and the interpretive imagination to bring a song to life – that’s Donatelli.   Charlie O’s.  (818) 989-3110.

- Nov. 12 – 15. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Dawn Upshaw with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.. Upshaw sings Luciano Berio’s fascinating cycle of folk songs and Dudamel conducts Schubert’s Symphony #8 (Unfinished).  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

- Nov. 13. (Fri.)  “Loud and Rich. ”  Loudon Wainwright and Richard Thompson. A pair of veteran songwriters, each with a witty, sometimes sardonic, way with a phrase, make a rare duo appearance.  UCLA Live at Royce Hall (310) 825-4401.

Frank Marocco

Frank Marocco

- Nove. 13. (Fri.)  Dr. Bobby Rodriguez. ” Latin Dance Party”.  Trumpeter and educator Rodriguez knows all the connections between the steaming rhythms of Latin jazz and Latin dance.  The Culver Club in the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside.  (310) 649-1776.

- Nov. 14. (Sat.)  Frank Marocco Quartet. Marocco keeps affirming the role of the accordion in jazz and beyond with his rich, inventive musical imagination.  He’s backed by Pat Senatore, bass, Robert Hardt, piano and Ramon Banda, drums.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

San Francisco

- Nov. 9. (Mon.)   Ian Anderson plays acoustic Jethro Tull. Anarchic flutist Anderson revisits his past.   The Warfield.

- Nov. 11.  (Wed.)  Leon Russell.  A rare club appearance by the great songwriter, pianist and character. Yoshi’s  San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- Nov. 12. (Thurs.)  Ray Davies performing the Kinks Choral Collection. Forty years after, Davies is still producing memorable music.  The Warfield.

- Nov. 13. – 15. (Fri. – Sun.)  Steve Gadd and Friends.  W.. Joey DeFrancesco, Ronnie Cuber and Paul Bollenback Yoshi’s  San Francisco (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Nov. 9 – 12. (Mon. – Thurs.  Gal Costa and Romero Lubambo.  An irresistible combination: Costa’s dark-toned, intimate lyricism and Lubambo’s remarkably intuitive guitar backing.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Jim Hall

Jim Hall

- Nov. 10 – 14. (Tues. – Sat.)  Jim Hall Quartet.  Veteran guitarist Hall, always eager to test his wares in a contemporary setting, performs with Greg Osby, alto sax, Steve Laspina, bass and Joey Baron, drums. Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- Nov. 11. (Wed.)  Kat Edmonson.  A stand-out in the crowded field of young female jazz vocalists, Edmonson has an ear caressing sound and an easygoing sense of rhythmic swing.  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 447-7733.

- Nov. 13 & 14. (Fri. & Sat.)  The Mike Melvoin Trio.   The veteran pianist is backed by the world class rhythm team of bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill Goodwin.  Mike promises that they “will play music for your blood, your heart and your spirit.”  Kitano.  (212) 885-7119.



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