Picks of the Week: Aug. 14 – 19

August 13, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Aug. 14 & 15. (Tues. & Wed.) Michael Jackson the Immortal World TourCirque du Soleil.  The music and lyrics of Michael Jackson are the foundation for a show that “immerses audiences in Michael’s creative world and literally turns his signature moves upside down,” performed by the incomparable artists of Cirque du Soleil.   Staples Center.   (213) 742-7100.

- Aug. 15. (Wed.)  Joe Cocker and Huey Lewis & The News.  A pair of still vitally active rock icons whose music reaches from the ‘60s to the present make for a rare evening of engaging musical memorabilia.  Greek Theatre.    (323) 665-5857.

- Aug. 15. (Wed.)  Ron Kalina Trio. He’s a virtuoso jazz harmonica player who also doubles on piano, with a resume including recordings with the likes of Linda Ronstadt, Joe Williams, Anita O’Day and dozens of others. Hear him in action, backed by guitarist Barry Zweig, bassist Pat Senatore and drummer Kendall KayVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.     (310) 474-9400.

Eddie Palmieri

- Aug. 15. (Wed.)  Eddie Palmieri, Ruben Blades.  A pair of legendary Latin jazz and salsa giants share the stage on a Wednesday jazz night at the Bowl, demonstrating first hand the exciting linkages between jazz and Latin dance rhythms. Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 15 – 18. (Wed. – Sat.)  Terence Blanchard Quintet. Critically praised trumpeter Blanchard takes a break from his busy schedule as a film composer, Artistic Director of the Thelonious Monk Institute and Director of the Henry Mancini Institute, to lead his Grammy-winning jazz group.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Aug. 16. (Thurs.)  De Temps Antan.  The Quebecois ensemble makes its West Coast debut, performing the traditional songs of French Canada.  Skirball Center.     (310) 440-4500.

- Aug. 17. (Fri.)  Wolff & Clark Expedition.  Pianist Michael Wolff’s credits reach from Cannoball Adderley. Sonny Rollins and others to a stint as the bandleader on the Arsenio Hall Show.  He’s backed by the stellar rhythm team of drummer Mike Clark and bassist Brian BrombergVitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 17 & 18. (Fri. & Sat.)  Juanes with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.  Multiple Latin Grammy winning singer/songwriter/guitarist Juanes performs with the Youth Orchestra of Los Angeles, the Cal Voce Singers and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra conducted by Thomas Wilkins.  And with fireworks, too.  Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

Sara Gazarek

- Aug. 18 & 19. (Sat. & Sun.)  Sara Gazarek.  At a time when jazz singers are arriving in waves, Gazarek is one of the rare few whose remarkable potential is apparent in everything she sings.  She celebrates her new album, Blossom & Bee with special guest keyboardist Larry Goldings and the backing of pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Zach Harmon Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 19. (Sun.)  Gerald Wilson Big Band.  Well into his nineties, Wilson remains one of the iconic figures of big band jazz.  And watching him in action with hits all-star group is one of the pleasures of experiencing live jazz.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Aug. 19. (Sun.)  Dudamel and Domingo.  The Hollywood Bowl’s pairing of charismatic classical music figures continues with Gustavo Dudamel and the Los Angeles Philharmonic joining for the first time with the great tenor Placido DomingoHollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

San Francisco

Benny Green

- Aug. 16. (Thurs.)  The Benny Green Trio.  A jazz professional as a teen-ager, pianist Green’s career has been expanding ever since, establishing him as one of the most imaginative and listenable players of his generation.  He’s backed by bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny WashingtonYoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

Seattle

- Aug. 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Karrin Allyson. Grammy nominated singer-pianist Allyson brings rich layers musicality to everything she sings or plays.  Hopefully she’ll include some selections from her latest album, ‘Round Midnight.   Jazz Alley.    (201) 441-9729.

Boston

- Aug. 18. (Sat.)  Kenny Werner. Pianist Werner’s versatility – he is as adept at backing singers as he is at straight ahead jazz playing – no doubt traces to the mind-body techniques explored in his thoughtful book on improvisation, Effortless Mastery.  Regatta Bar.   (617) 661-5000.

New York

John Abercrombie

- Aug. 14 – 18. (Tues. – Sat.)  The John Abercrombie Quartet.  Always seeking adventurous new jazz combinations, Abercrombie’s latest group features saxophonist Joe Lovano, bassist Drew Gess and drummer Adam NussbaumBirdland.    (212) 581-3080.

- Aug. 14 – 19. (Tues. – Sun.)  Enfants Terribles.  Lee Konitz, Bill Frisell, Gary Peacock and Joey Baron. A stellar array of world-class jazz players celebrate their new CD, Enfants Terribles. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- Aug. 16 – 19. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Tierney Sutton Band.  Singer Sutton has been working with her band for nearly two decades, and the results are apparent in the extraordinary music they make together.  The Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2561.

London

- Aug. 14 – 18. (Tues. – Sat.)  Roy Ayers. Vibraphonist Ayers has been, and continues to be, a pioneer in blending jazz with Afro-beat, funk and hip hop.  Ronnie Scott’s.   (0) 20 7439 0747.

Tokyo

Aug. 14 & 15.  Joyce.  Brazilian singer/songwriter/guitarist Joyce Moreno has been blending jazz with bossa nova since the late ‘60s.  Blue Note Tokyo.   03.5485.0088.

Eddie Palmieri photo by Tony Gieske. 


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.

Chicago

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.

Boston

- 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.

London

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.

Paris   

- 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.

Milan

- 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.    02.69.01.68.88.


Live Jazz: The 54th Monterey Jazz Festival — Sunday

September 19, 2011

By Michael Katz

Monterey, California.  Sunday at Monterey began with a group of precocious teenagers and ended with an ageless octogenarian, concluding a festival that had highlights from every corner of the musical world.  The Next Generation Jazz Orchestra, MJF’s signature contribution to jazz education, is more than just a group of talented kids gathered from all precincts. Under the leadership of Paul Contos, it has become a first-class band that will challenge your perception of what young players can accomplish.  From their first notes Sunday afternoon at the Arena, it was clear that they had filled the one hole in the Arena’s scheduling: a bona fide large jazz ensemble.

One of the early highlights was a crisp arrangement of Dave Brubeck’s “Here Comes McBride,” an ode to the bassist that kicked off with a round of blues solos, anchored by the band’s own bassist Daryl Johns.  There were terrific soloists in this group, including pianist Chase Morrin, who contributed an award winning composition, “Mumphis,” and trombonist Calvin Barthel, who sat in admirably with the Berkeley Flamenco group Saturday and is headed there on scholarship, as well as trumpeter Tree Palmedo.  Alto saxophonist Patrick Bartley did a stunning turn on Billy Strayhorn’s “Blood Count.” Vocalist Hope Flores wowed the crowd with simmering renditions of “Dancing Cheek To Cheek” and “Gee, Baby, Aren’t I Good to You.”  Then came the alumni. Joshua Redman joined the band for a scintillating chorus on “Softly As In A Morning Sunrise,” surpassing his brilliant performance of the night before. Tenor Donnie McCaslin had a soaring solo as did pianist Bennie Green,  joining the band for Ellington’s “C Jam Blues,” closing the show to a standing ovation from the sun-kissed crowd.

From there I did some skipping around, making sure I didn’t miss my annual dosage of barbecue, cobblers and a cold microbrew. In between I managed to catch the end of an impressive set on the Garden Stage by pianist John Donaldson, featuring alto sax player Shay Salhov.  Walking in on their last two numbers, I wished I’d seen more. And I took in the last portion of a set on the Courtyard Stage with singer/keyboardist Judy Roberts and Greg Fishman on sax, Judy delivering a cool “Senor Blues” and Greg joining for a terrific version of “Four.”

Bruce Forman

The highlight of the mid-afternoon was guitarist Bruce Forman’s Cow Bop, a western tinged quintet that performed with zest and humor. Starting with the tune Sonny Rollins turned into a jazz classic, “I’m An Old Cowhand,” the quintet featured fiddler supreme Phil Salazar, Alex King on bass and Jake Reed on drums. “Pinto Pam” Forman provided western style vocals with pizzazz, adding just the right amount of swing on classics like “Besame Mucho” and Gene Autry’s “Back In The Saddle Again.”  There were some jazz standards like “Slow Boat to China,” where Foreman unloaded his considerable guitar chops, aided by bassist King, and a cha-cha version of “Comes Love.” Stellar western guitarist Rich O’Brien joined the group for Louis Armstrong’s “Sweet Temptation,” bringing the crowd to its feet, trading licks with Forman and Salazar.  There were more fireworks with “El Combanchero,” with Forman mixing in samples from Dizzy’s “Night In Tunisia” and “Bebop.”  Cow Bop finished off the set with their slant on “Get Along Little Doggies,” and the aforementioned “Back In The Saddle.”  The crowd, by this time jammed into every nook and cranny of the Garden Stage, roared their approval.

At 5:30, the Garden Stage crowd was treated to an extended set by emerging tenor sax player Tia Fuller. Fuller, who came out of the Stanford program and tours with pop star Beyonce, was a sight to behold in tight dress and stiletto heels, but she has the chops for straight ahead jazz. I caught about half the set, in which she played mostly songs from her latest recordings. Her band included a terrific young pianist, Shamie Royston.

Benny Green

Once again there was too much going on Sunday to catch everything, but I wasn’t going to miss the Benny Green Trio with Donald Harrison, doing a set of Thelonious Monk’s music at the Night Club. Green’s superb trio consisted of Ben Wolfe on bass and Kenny Washington on drums.  There are so many Monk tunes that it was possible to begin with one the casual listener might be unfamiliar with — the lilting, low-key “Jackie-ing.” Green moved on to the quieter “Reflections,” but the trio really caught fire with one of Monk’s first recorded tunes, “Thelonious.” Green’s dazzling technique on the infectious line was augmented by Wolfe on the bass. Donald Harrison then joined the group, occupying with fiery distinction the sax chair filled in Monk’s time by the likes of John Coltrane and Charlie Rouse. Harrison provided the emphatic melody to “Epistrophy,” with Green deftly adding the counter tempo. They followed with another of Monk’s engaging lines, “Nutty,”  Green and Wolfe reading each other’s minds on piano and bass, while Harrison, seemingly effortlessly, had complete command of his alto.  Lest you take him for granted, Kenny Washington was an exquisite performer, enunciating Monk’s complex rhythms, adding his own measures of dash and accent when called for.

There were too many highlights to mention in this set, but among them were an up tempo version of “52nd Street Theme,” with Benny providing a knockout piano solo, following Harrison’s insistent introduction of the theme. Compelling bass work by Wolfe ensued, then Washington broke loose with his own solo.  If there is one essential Monk tune it is “Round Midnight.” Harrison introduced it with a lovely run through the opening chords, then Green took over for a sensitive exploration of the familiar theme. There were a couple of more swinging numbers, including “Calling The Blues.” “Bye Ya,” was a natural finale, Benny Green contributing a delightful, bouncy solo, with a sprightly contribution by Harrison. The set concluded with the consistent brilliance of Wolfe and a final flourish by Kenny Washington.

Sonny Rollins

And then there was Sonny.  Taking to the spotlight in a flowing red shirt, bent forward as he roamed the stage, Lear-like, Sonny Rollins closed the festival with a performance that was sui generis.  The unmistakable Rollins intonation is still there.  If it has been stilted somewhat by virtue of his eighty-one years, it was hardly noticeable.  For much of the set this was classic Road Show Sonny, with Rollins establishing a theme, repeating it, embellishing it,  stalking  the stage as he explored every facet of a seemingly simple line.  Backed by his longtime stalwarts Bob Crenshaw on bass and Sammy Figueroa on percussion,  and drummer Kobie Watkins, Rollins had the additional support of world class guitarist Peter Bernstein. Bernstein’s rhythms gave the Caribbean numbers a breezy feel, and he was the main supportive soloist when Rollins needed a breather. The material alternated between ballads and island themes, with Rollins speaking only a few times to the audience. “Nice Lady,” which was included in Road Show Vol 1, was a typically bright Caribbean tune, with Figueroa’s congas and Bernstein’s rhythms pushing it along and Sonny wailing away. There was one new tune, “Professor Paul,” the literary connection unexplained, but the tune had enough quirky intelligence that you could get the picture.

Toward the end of the set, the tone shifted to vintage Rollins, the style he established in the heart of his career.  From the opening cadenza, when you could pick out the notes to Irving Berlin’s “They Say It’s Wonderful,” this was Sonny at his best, exploring the melody of a standard, challenging it with every nuance of his horn’s tonal depth,  moving in and out of the chorus,  placing his own emblem on the song.  It could have been the perfect ending to a show that had already gone well over an hour, but Sonny had much more in reserve. He went back into Caribbean mode and now the entire arena was up on its feet, swaying back and forth.  Sonny carried forth, trading solos with guitarist Bernstein, backed by Figueroa, Watkins and Crenshaw. Fifteen minutes later you got the feeling the audience was exhausted from dancing, but Sonny played on. A gentleman of a certain age standing behind me remarked, “I didn’t have that much energy when I was 21.”

Finally, Sonny put the horn down and addressed the crowd. “We’ll see you next time,” said the man who had had performed at the first Monterey Jazz Festival. “Long live Monterey!”

Amen to that.

To read Michael Katz’s review of Monterey Jazz Festival Friday click HERE.

To read Michael Katz’s review of Monterey Jazz Festival Saturday click HERE.


Picks of the Week: May 17 – 22

May 17, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Bill Cunliffe

- May 18 (Wed.)  Bill in Brazil.  Grammy-winning pianist Bill Cunliffe, always unpredictable, displays his fascination with Brazilian music.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- May 18. (Wed.)  John Proulx Trio.  Pianist/singer Proulx mixes his crisp piano styings with the gentle vocals of his Chet Baker-inspired singing. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- May 18. (Wed.)  Jane Harvey.  Vocalist Harvey brings a lot of music business history to her performances.  She replaced Peggy Lee with the Benny Goodman Band and followed Doris Day with the Les Brown Band.  She’ll know doubt touch on that part of her career, as well as her jazz versions of Sondheim, all of it delivered in her convincing interpretations.   Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- May 19. (Thurs.)  Terry Trotter and Chuck Berghofer.  Pianist Trotter and bassist Berghofer, a pair of the Southland’s finest veteran players, get down to essential jazz basics. Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

- May 20. (Fri.)  Johnny Mandel Big Band.  Composer/arranger/songwriter Mandel is a master craftsman of big band writing.  Here’s a chance to hear his work up close and personal.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Lani Hall

- May 20. (Fri.)  Herb Alpert and Lani Hall. The music world power duo are on the road again, blending Hall’s rich, emotional songs with Alpert’s laid back trumpet.  Add a few tunes from the Tijuana Brass book to spice up the evening.  Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    (714) 556-2787.

- May 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Lee Ritenour.  Captain Fingers, as he was once called, plays a rare club date showcasing his unique blend of guitar-driven, foot-tapping jazz. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- May 21.  (Sat.)  An Evening with Patti Lupone and Mandy Patinkin.  A pair of the Broadway musical theatre’s brightest stars get together for an evening of irresistible song.  The Valley Performing Arts Center.    (818) 677-8800.

- May 21. (Sat.) A Tribute to Clifford BrownThe Luckman Jazz Orchestra. Brown’s far too brief life nonetheless left behind a memorable catalog of music.  It’s explored here in the passionate big band sounds of the LJO.   Luckman Fine Arts Complex.    (323) 343-6600.

- May 22. (Sun.) Katia Moraes and Sambaguru. There will be Brazilian music in all its many shapes, forms and rhythms when the charismatic Moraes and her energetic Sambaguru players take the stage.  WorldFest at Woodley Park, Lake Balboa   (310) 477-7887.

Duke Ellington

- May 22. (Sun.)  Los Angeles Master Chorale.  Performs the best of the Duke Ellington sacred concerts.  Ellington’s sacred works, composed near the end of his life, represent significant entries in his vast catalog of music.  They’re no performed often, and rarely by an ensemble with the quality of the LAMC.  So don’t miss this one. Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2040.

- May 22. (Sun.) The Colin Vallon Piano Trio.   Rruga, the debut ECM recording from this intriguing Swiss group, with Vallon, piano, Patrice Moret, bass and Samuel Rohrer, drums, reveals a musically airy, rhythmically subtle, emotionally layered approach to the piano jazz trio.   A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast program at Keyboard Concepts.  (310) 271-9039.

San Francisco

- May 18. (Wed.)  Eliza Gilkyson. It’s been over 40 years since folk singer/guitarist Gilkyson released her first album.  And she’s still bringing life to every song she touches.  Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse.   (510) 644-2020.

- May 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Four Generations of Miles. A celebration of what would have been Miles’ 85th birthday (May 26, actually) with a set of players who performed with him over many decades: guitarist Mike Stern, alto saxophonist Sonny Fortune, bassist Buster Williams and drummer Jimmy Cobb Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

Chicago

Benny Green

- May 19 – 22.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Benny Green Trio. Pianist Green showcases his bop-driven, hard swinging wares in the company of Kenny Washington, drums and Peter Washington, bass.  Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

New York

May 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  Dizzy Gillespie All-Star Big Band. And an all-star band it is, including, among others, Jimmy Heath, Eric Alexander, Antonio Hart, Roy Hargrove, Claudio Roditi, Cyrus Chestnut, Lewis Nash and singer Roberta Gambarini The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- May 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Miles Davis: From Birth of the Cool to Bitches Brew.  Another Davis 85th birthday celebration, this time surveying the length and breadth of his music. Featuring  With Jeremy Pelt, George Cables, Lonny Plaxico, Eddie HendersonIridium Jazz.  (212) 582-2121.

- May 22. (Sun.)  Jane Ira Bloom Trio.  Soprano saxophonist Bloom displays her far-ranging improvisational skills, ranging from acoustic settings to electronic tape loops. Cornelia St. Café.   (212) 989-9319/

London

- May 19. (Thurs.)  Lullaby of Birdland: Remembering George Shearing. Pianist James Pearson and the Ronnie Scott All Stars celebrate the memory of fellow Brit Shearing with a program of pieces reaching from the early trios to the classic guitar/vibes and rhythm sound.  Ronnie Scott’s.    020 7439 0747.

Paris

Robert Glasper

- May 21. (Sat.)  Robert Glasper.  Pianist Glasper presents one of his “Experiment in Jazz” performances, finding common ground in territories reaching from hip-hop and rap to Thelonious Monk.  New Morning.   01 45 23 51 41.

Bill Cunliffe photo by Tony Gieske.

Lani Hall photo by Bonnie Perkinson.


Picks of the Week: Mar. 22 – 27

March 21, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Lisa McClowry

- Mar. 22. (Tues.)  Lisa McClowry.  Eclectic singer McClowry –nominated for International Vocalist of the Year in the 2011 Wave Awards — ranges freely across pop, rock, jazz and folk boundary lines.  She’ll be backed by a group that features guitarist/singer/Grammy winning songwriter Jim Peterik. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 22. (Tues.)  Alfredo Rodriguez Trio. The brilliant young Cuban pianist, a protégé of Quincy Jones, returns to Vibrato a year after he made his first impressive debut at the Bel Air club.  Click HERE to read an iRoM review of that performance.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Mar. 22. (Tues.)  Barry Manilow in Concert.  Singer/pianist/songwriter Manilow, one of the icons of American pop, performs on a program supporting the work of the Reprise Theatre Company.  Royce Hallhttp://www.uclalive.org/calendar/event_detail.asp?id=111 (310) 825-2101.

Andre Watts

- Mar. 23. (Wed.)  Andre Watts. A prodigy at the age of nine, pianist Watts has matured into a gifted artist, especially adept at interpreting the dramatic piano repertoire of Franz Liszt.  In this performance, he concentrates completely upon Liszt compositions. Performing a program of Liszt.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562)  916-8501.

- Mar. 23. (Wed.)  Chuck Berghofer’s Midnight Jazz Band. Bergohofer  could easily have included “All-Star” in the name of this stellar ensemble. With Berghofer, bass, Gary Foster, saxophones, Terry Trotter, piano, and Joe LaBarbera, drums, expect to hear imaginative jazz improvising at its best.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

- Mar. 24. (Thurs.)  The Lori Bell Quartet.  Flutist Bell leads her group in a celebration of pianist Dave MacKay’s birthday.  They’re backed by the solid rhythm team of  Bob Magnussen, bass and Paul Kreibich, drums.  LAX Jazz Club at the Crown Plaza LAX.  (310) 258-1333.

- Mar. 24 – 27. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Christian McBride Quartet. The versatile, musically imaginative bassist makes one of his rare L.A. club appearances in the company of  Steve Wilson, alto saxophone, Warren Wolf, vibes, Peter Martin, piano and Carl Allen, drums.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

Sarah Chang

- Mar. 24 – 27. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Kurt Masur, Sarah Chang and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Masur’s sturdy, dependable baton leads the L.A. Phil in a program of 19th century classics by Mendelssohn, Brahms and Dvorak.  The gifted young violinist Sarah Chang performs the Brahms Violin Concerto. Disney Concert Hall.  (213) 972-7211.

- Mar. 25. (Fri.) Michael Wolff Quartet.  Pianist Wolff’s adventurous career resume includes a long run as the bandleader on the Arsenio Hall Show, a co-starring role with his two sons on The Naked Brothers television series and the leadership of his musically eclectic Impure Thoughts group.  This time out, he displays his solid, straight ahead jazz talents in the solid company of Bob Sheppard, saxophones, John B. Williams, bass and Mike Clark, drums.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Mar. 25. (Fri.)  Tord Gustavsen Ensemble. Norwegian pianist Gustavsen, bassist Mats Eilertsen and drummer Jarle Vespestad illuminate the piano trio lineage reaching through Bill Evans and Keith Jarrett with a unique blend of European subtleties and classic improvisational drive.  The Skirball Center.  (310) 440-4500.

- Mar. 25. (Fri.) David Crosby and Graham Nash.  The classic sounds of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young simmer with strikingly engaging authenticity in the still enchanting singing and playing of two iconic musical figures of the ‘60s and ‘70s.  Long Beach Terrace Theatre.   (562) 436-3636.

- Mar. 26. (Sat.)  Jim Hall Quartet.  The veteran guitarist celebrates his 80th birthday (a few months late) in a far too rare appearance in Los Angeles.  He’ll be backed by a generation crossing ensemble: alto saxophonist Greg Osby, bassist Steve Laspina and drummer Joey Baron.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast concert at Musicians Institute Concert Center.  (310) 271-9039.

Leni Stern

- Mar. 26. (Sat.)  Leni Stern. Singer guitarist Stern has been described as “Marlene Dietrich borrowing Billie Holiday’s phrasing.”  And that doesn’t begin to fully portray the far-reaching musical interests of Stern, who also brings a rich affection for African roots music to her own inventive vocal and instrumental explorations. The Blue Whale.   (213) 620-0908.

- Mar. 26. (Sat.)  Tom Peterson and Don Rader Quartet.  Saxophonist Peterson and trumpeter Rader are first call players for every kind of jazz setting, from small groups to big bands.  But here they step to the front of the stage to stretch out in their own musical setting. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

Oliver Mtukudzi

- Mar. 26. (Sat.)  Acoustic AfricaHabib Koite, Oliver Mtukudzi. Afel Bocoum. The return of Acoustic Africa in a second incarnation showcases the imaginative sounds of the guitar in African music.  Koite, a superstar from Mali, Mtukudzi, the best-selling artist in Zimbabwe, and Bocoum, a Malian traditionalist perform with the companionship of a traditional African band.  A UCLA Live concert at Royce Hall (310) 825-2101.

- Mar. 27. (Sun.) “Awakening: Spring and Otherwise.” Singer  Susan Krebs hosts an afternoon of music & song, poetry & spoken word.  With Rich Eames, Jerry Kalaf, Ken Wild and special guests Chuck Manning, Cory O’Brien and projectionist Marc RosenthalThe Skylight Theatre. 3 p.m.   (702) 582-8587.

New York

- May 22 – 27. (Tues. – Sun.) The Bill Charlap Trio.  Scion of a musical family, pianist Charlap has taken his family’s creative torch and carried it into ever-fascinating new musical territories.  He performs with Peter Washington and Kenny WashingtonDizzy’s Club Coca Cola.  (212) 258-9800.

- May 22 – 27. (Tues. – Sun.) Charlie Haden’s Quartet West with Haden, bass, Ernie Watts, saxophones, Alan Broadbent, piano and Rodney Green, drums, celebrates its 25th anniversary, as well as the release of their new CD, Sophisticated Ladies. Birdland (212) 581-3080.

Jeff Lorber

- Mar. 23 & 24. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Jeff Lorber Fusion.  When keyboardist Lorber formed his group Fusion in the late seventies, he created a model that eventually led to contemporary jazz and smooth jazz.  But Lorber himself has always retained his connection with the solid jazz skills at the heart of his music. Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

- Mar. 25. (Fri.)  Jon Irabagon.  Saxophonist Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Jazz Competition has been fully authenticating that achievement in the past two years, forging an impressive personal musical pathway.  He performs in the demanding bass and drum format, backed by bassist John Hebert and drummer Mike Pride.  Cornelia St. Café. (212) 989-9319.

- Mar. 27. (Sun.)  Jazz Guitars Meet Hendrix. Jimmy Hendrix has always been an inspiration and a challenge to jazz guitarists.  Here, a pair of guitarists deeply inspired by Hendrix — Sheryl Bailey and Vic Juris – take on the incendiary challenges of  his music.  They’re backed by Lincoln Goines, bass and Anthony Pinciotti, drums.  55 Bar.  (212) 929-9883.

San Francisco

- Mar. 24. (Thurs.)  “How Sweet the Sound” With Jane Siberry, Barbara Higbie and Linda Tillery.  “Sweet” will only begin to describe the sounds, rhythms and emotions produced by this extraordinary trio of musicians:  Siberry, the hit-making (“Calling All Angels”) singer/songwriter; Grammy-nominated pianist and long-time Windham Hill star Higbie; and Tillery, leader of the Cultural Heritage Choir, percussionist and a masterful blender of soul, blues, gospel and jazz.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.


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.  http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org (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: Aug. 24 – 29

August 24, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Aug. 24. (Tues.) Sarah Chang.  The gifted young violinist takes on the fascinating musical demands of the Shostakovich Violin Concerto No. 1, The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin,  plays the Shostakovich Symphony No. 5The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 24. (Tues.)  Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. The Southland’s always compelling contribution to the top tiers of big band jazz makes an infrequent club engagement. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Aug. 24. (Tues.) Otmaro Ruiz Quartet.  Versatile pianist Ruiz shares his views of Latin jazz with the talented vibraphonist, Nick Mancini.  Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

Monica Mancini

- Aug. 25. (Wed.) Gershwin Across America.  What could be more entertaining than a warm summer night at the Hollywood Bowl, listening to the timeless melodies of Gershwin sung and played by a cast of musical all-stars.  Featured artists include Monica Mancini, Jason Mraz, BeBe Winans, Nancy Wilson, St. Vincent, Shelly Berg, Arturo Sandoval, Tom Scott, Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band and others.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Dale Fielder Angel City Quartet.  Saxophonist Fielder leads his quartet in an evening dedicated to a tribute to Wayne Shorter as well as selections from his own Suite ClarityCatalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Larry Goldings Quintet.  Film music is on the menu for pianist Goldings, who leads his players – guitarist Anthony Wilson, trumpeter Josh Welchez bassist Gabe Noel and drummer Kevin Kanner in a program of music by the likes of Bernard Hermann, Henry Mancini, Nino Rota, Leonard Bernstein and more.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

Norah Jones

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Norah Jones. She burst onto the music scene with almost no advance warning.  And she’s been spreading her wings musically ever since, revealing the broad, eclectic reach of her performing, playing and composing skills. The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 25 & 26. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Jeremy Siskind.  The talented young pianist offers a tribute to Oscar Peterson, backed by guitarist Graham Dechter and bassist Will Snyder.  Wed. at Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.  Thursday at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  BeatlesfestLed Zepagain. It’s tribute night on the Pier, with the sounds of the Beatles and Led Zeppelin spreading musical memories in every direction.   Twilight Dance at the Santa Monica Pier.   (310) 458-8900.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  Peter Erskine and Friends. Expect high quality, world class jazz whenever drummer Erskine is leading the way.  And once again he’s got a band that knows how to deliver it. With Alan Pasqua, piano, Derek Oles, bass and Bob Mintzer, saxophones.  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 26. (Thurs.)  Galway Plays Mozart.  Flutist John Galway – his instrument’s most visible performer — plays the Mozart Flute Concerto No 2, as well as Debussy’s Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun and Piston’s Incredible Flutist Suite.  The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Leonard Slatkin, offers the Overture to Mozart’s The Magic FluteThe Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

Frank Sinatra, Jr.

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Frank Sinatra Jr.  The Sinatra sound is alive and well in the voice and the style of son Frank, Jr.   At a time when Sinatra imitators are showing up everywhere, it’s good to hear the music coming from such an original source.  (323) 466-2210.    Catalina Bar & Grill.

- Aug. 27. (Fri.)  Cyndi Lauper. With 13 Grammy nominations, a pair of Emmys and a ton of MTV awards, Lauper continues to sustain musical stardom that reaches back to her hits of the ‘80s.  Her guest stars are New Orleans’ Allen Toussaint and guitarist David RhodesThe Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 27. (Fri.)  Dena DeRose. It took injuries to her hands to convince DeRose that she had vocal skills to match the quality of her piano playing.  Fortunately recovered, she now does both.  What she doesn’t do very often, however, is make Southland appearances.  So don’t miss this one.  Crowne Plaza Hotel.   (310) 642-7500.

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  The Turtle Island Quartet.   The ever-adventurous Turtle Islanders perform music from their new CD, Have You Ever Been… — featuring the music of Jimi Hendrix and founder/composer in residence David BalakrishnanGrand Performances.  (213) 687-2190.

Charmaine Clamor

- Aug. 28. (Sat.) Charmaine Clamor.  The Philippines’ gift to the world of jazz singing gets better and better with every performance, spreading her extraordinary musical versatility in all directions.  Hopefully she’ll offer a glimpse into the songs on her soon to be released new album, Something Good. And this time out, it won’t cost a penny to hear and see this world class artist at the  Levitt Pavilion in a free concert in MacArthur Park.   (213) 384-5701

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  Jeri Brown.  Brown, whose voice is one of the jazz world’s most remarkable instruments, takes a break from her teaching activities in Canada to make a very rare Southland appearance.  If you haven’t heard her yet, you should start now.  Café Metropol.   (213) 613-1537.

- Aug. 28. (Sat.)  Ashley Maher.  Imagine the lyrical depths of Joni Mitchell embraced by the vital rhythms of Africa, and it still won’t quite describe the songs and singing of Maher, who deserves far more attention than she has received.  She performs with Haiti’s Jean-Paul.  The Kara Mack Band opens.  The Talking Stick, Venice.

- Aug. 28 & 29. (Sat. & Sun.)  Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines.  A great way to spend a late Summer weekend – an entertaining program of music in a delightful outdoor setting.  Featured artists include Tom Scott, Kenny Washington, Oscar Hernandez and David Benoit.  But there’s much more, from the Peter Sprague String Consort and the Jeff Tower Big band to Henry Franklin, Yves Evans, Graham Dechter and many others.  The inimitable Bubba Jackson is the master of ceremonies.  Idyllwild Jazz in the Pines.

= Aug. 29. (Sun.) Kleber Jorge.  Brazilian singer/guitarist Jorge, former lead guitarist with Sergio Mendes,  has also performed with everyone from Dori Caymmi to John Patitucci.  He celebrates the opening of a new Sunday brunch series at the Tiato Market Garden Cafe in Santa Monica.   (310) 866-5228.

San Francisco

- Aug. 24 & 25. (Tues. & Wed.)  Lenny White and Anomaly. Drummer White celebrates the release of Anomaly, his first album in ten years,  Determined to “put the rock back into jazz-rock,” he thoroughly succeeds in the task.  For a review of his performance at Catalina Bar & Grill last weekend, click here.   Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

Bob Dylan

- Aug. 25. (Wed.)  Bob Dylan and His Band. A rare and special event.  And it begins with what will surely be a virtual “happening” outside the theatre before the show begins.  Why?  Because all tickets are general admission and will be sold only on the day of the show.  $60, cash only, no credit cards, and no advance tickets will be sold.  Box office and doors open at 5:30 p.m. for the 8 p.m. show.  Line-ups will be allowed no earlier than noon on the day of the show.  The Warfield, San Francisco.

Aug. 26 – 28. (Thurs. – Sat.) John Zorn.  A three night Zorn festival.  On Thursday he performs in a duo with composer Terry Riley; on Friday he plays Alhambra love songs at 8, and is joined by the Aleph Trio at 10; on Saturday he appears with the Rova Saxophone QuartetYoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Aug. 24 – 28. (Tues. – Sat.) Richie Bierach.  Pianist Bierach, a favorite of Stan Getz and Chet Baker, among others, performs with trumpeter Randy Brecker, violinist Gregor Huebner, bassist George Mraz and drummer Billy HartBirdland.  (212) 581-3080.

-Aug. 24 – 29. (Tues. – Sun.)  Saxophone Summit: Salute to James Moody.  Special guests: Tues. — Chris Potter; Wed. – Eric Alexander and Antonio Hart; Thurs – Jimmy Heath; Fri. – Lew Tabackin; Sat. – Ada Rovatti; Sun. – Joe LovanoThe Blue Note. (212) 475-8592

- Aug. 24 – 29. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. An evening of works by the man who created some of the most memorable songs of the late 20th century. Performed expertly by The Trio Da Paz, with Joe Locke, Harry Allen and Maucha AdnetDizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Lee Konitz

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.) Lee Konitz.  The veteran alto saxophonist, one of the jazz world’s true original artists, displays his extraordinary improvisational skills in the company of the alternating rhythm section teams of Ethan Iverson/Larry Grenadier (Thurs. & Sun.) and Reid Anderson/Jorge Rossy (Fri. & Sat.)  Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

- Aug. 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Gerald Clayton Quintet. Rapidly rising young pianist Clayton expands his trio with a pair of equally promising young instrumentalists – trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire and alto saxophonist Logan RichardsonThe Jazz Standard. l (212) 576-3323.


Picks of the Week: May 24 – 30

May 23, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- May 24. (Mon.) Sopranos and StringsBrad Dechter and Roger Neumann, soprano saxophones, Graham Dechter and Jim Fox, guitars and Chuck Nenneker, bass. The instrumentation makes for an evening of intriguing sounds, enhanced by the father and son presence of Brad and Graham Dechter.  Charlie O’s.    (919) 994-3058.

Ann and Nancy Wilson

- May 24. (Mon.)  An Evening With HeartAnn and Nancy Wilson. The talented duo are back on the scene, talking about their career and performing songs from the upcoming CD, Red Velvet Car, their first studio recording in six years.   Grammy Museum. 1.800.745.3000.

- May 24. (Mon.) Slide FX Trombone Tentet. Here’s another of the week’s intriguing jazz instrumentations – six trombones (four tenor and two bass) and rhythm.  Call it Kai  and J.J. multiplied by five.  Steamers.  (714) 871-8800.

- May 25. (Tues.)  Seth McFarlane and The Ron Jones Influence Jazz Orchestra.  Not only has Seth McFarlane created the hit TV show Family Guy. He also has a special interest in singing the songs of the Frank Sinatra/Nat “King” Cole era – which he’ll do with the Influence Jazz Orchestra (on the 2nd set only).  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- May 26. (Wed.)  Bob Mintzer and Bob Sheppard Quintet.  ————> Two of the Southland’s most versatile saxophonists go head to head.  Expect improvisational fireworks.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- May 26. (Wed.)  Carol Robbins, Larry Koonse and Pat Senatore.  It’s an all-strings jazz set.  And an unusual combination of strings, at that, with Robbins’ harp, Koonse’s guitar and Senatore’s bass – three of the Southland’s versatile, veteran jazz artists.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

- May 26 – 30. (Wed. – Sun.)  The Lion King.  Disney’s award winning musical, based on the 1994 animated film, has had an extraordinary theatrical life – the 8th longest running show in Broadway History.  But no need to take a red-eye to Manhattan to savor the music by Elton John and Tim Rice, not when this fine production runs for nearly a week at OCPAC’s Segerstrom Hall.   (714) 556-2787.

Denise Donatelli

- May 27. (Thurs.)  Denise Donatelli. A night with jazz singer Donatelli’s vocals in the cozy atmosphere of Charlie O’s is always something to savor.  But this event should be even better, with Donatelli celebrating her birthday.  Hopefully the audience will send her a “Happy Birthday” singalong.  Charlie O’s.    (919) 994-3058.

- May 27 – 30. (Thurs. – Sun.)  David Sanborn Trio, featuring Joey DeFrancesco.  The blues fly in all directions when these two masters get together on the stage – De Francesco’s groove-heavy Hammond B-3 propelling Sanborn’s alto into stratospheric excursions.  Don’t miss these guys.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- May 29. (Sat.)  Tower of Power. Average White Band. War.  Three of the hottest horn-driven rock, blues and crossover bands of the ‘70s match their greatest hits on the same stage.  Expect dancing in the aisles. The Greek Theatre.  (323) 665-5857.

Eric Reed

- May 29. (Sat.) Eric Reed Trio.  Pianist Reed was already working with Wynton Marsalis while he was still in his teens, back in the late ‘80s.  And he’s been on an upslope ever since, working with Freddie Hubbard, Joe Henderson, Clark Terry and many others, as well as leading his own stellar groups.  Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

- May 29. (Sat.)  Regina Carter “Reverse Thread.” The always adventurous Carter surrounds her soaring violin with the intriguing combination of Yacouba Sissoko’s kora, Will Holshouser’s accordion, Chris Lightcap’s bass and Alvester Garnette’s drums and percussion.  The Grammy Museum Sound Stage.  A Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast. (310) 271-9039.

- May 29 & 30. (Sat. & Sun.) Cajun Creole Music Festival. There’ll be blues of every imaginable sound and hue at this entertaining, two-day outdoor festival.  Among the highlight artists: The Soul of John Black, Elvin Bishop, the Mannish Boys, the Delta Groove All-Star Blues Review, a long line of Cajun Creole artists and much more. Cajun Creole Music Festival.  Rancho Santa Susana Community Park.  Simi Valley.    (805) 517-900.

- May 30. (Sun.)  The John Daversa Big Band. Trumpeter Daversa squeezes his adventurous big band into the up close and personal performance space of the Baked Potato.   (818) 980-1615.

San Diego

- May 29 & 30.  (Sat. & Sun.)  Jane Monheit. Blessed with one of the jazz world’s most warm and engaging voices, Monheit is also an imaginative singer with a lyrical knack for telling a musical story.  Anthology.  San Diego.   (619) 595-0300.

San Francisco

Wesla Whitfield and Mike Greensil

- May 25 – 29. (Tues. – Sat.)  Wesla Whitfield and the Mike Greensill Trio. Cabaret/jazz singer Whitfield and her husband, pianist Greensill, are among the definitive musical actsin the Bay area’s plethora of fine vocal talent.  Rrazz Room.  (415) 781-0306

- May 28 – 30. (Fri. – Sun.)  Benny Green Trio.  Pianist Green has worked with Betty Carter and Art Blakey, Freddie Hubbard and Milt Jackson, and been a protégé of Oscar Peterson.  He’s emerged from that experience as a major jazz pianist, especially listenable when he’s working with the likes of bassist Peter Washington and drummer Kenny WashingtonYoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- May 29 & 30. (Sat. & Sun.)  Mose Allison.  The bard of the bayou celebrates the release of his first CD – The Way of the World – in 12 years. He’ll be backed by Pete Magadini and Bill Douglass. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- May 29 – June 1. (Sat. – Tues.)  Roberta Donnay Jazz Trio. Donnay’s singing has a bit of the coyness of Blossom Dearie, a trace of  the poignancy of Billie Holiday and a whole lot of her own unique way with a phrase.  She hasn’t yet received the visibility she deserves, but Donnay’s worth hearing at every opportunity. The Union Room @ Biscuits & Blues.   (415) 292-2583.

New York

- May 24. (Mon.)  Beat Kaestli.  The Swiss-born vocalist, whose sound is sometimes reminiscent of Kenny Rankin, has the potential to emerge as a high level jazz artist.  Zinc Bar.  NYC.  (212) 477-9462.

- May 25 – 29. (Tues. – Sat.)  Joe Lovano Quartet.  Saxophonist Lovano has assembled a cross-generational quartet that brings together a foursome of world class talent.  With pianist Steve Kuhn, bassist George Mraz and drummer Willie Jones III. Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

- May 25 – 30. (Tues. – Sun.)  Ahmad Jamal.  Miles Davis once said that he learned a lot about jazz time from Jamal.  And it’s easy to believe whenever the iconic pianist sets up one of his irresistible grooves.  Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

Phil Woods

- May 27 – 30. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Phil Woods Quintet.  The veteran bopster positions his soaring alto saxophone alongside the articulate trumpet lines of Brian Lynch, backed by the solid rhythm team of pianist Bill Mays, bassist Steve Gilmore and drummer Bill GoodwinDizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9595.


Picks of the Week: April 12 – 18

April 12, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- April 12 & 13. (Mon. & Tues.)  Miles Evans Band.  Trumpeter Evans, named after Miles Davis, is the son of equally legendary arranger Gil Evans.  His current mission, he says, is to explore, with his eight piece band, the music that had been planned for an Evans/Jimi Hendrix collaboration that was cancelled after Hendrix’s premature death.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- April 12 & 13. (Mon. & Tues.)  The Constellations. The Atlanta-based buzz band is making a big push in advance of the release of their debut CD, Southern Gothic. Mon.: Spaceland.  (213) 833-2843 Tues.: Cinespace.  (323) 817-3456.

- April 13. (Tues.) Bill Frisell debuts his new trio, with Jason Moran, piano and Kenny Wollesen, drums.  Largo at the Coronet.  (310) 855-0347.

- April 13. (Tues.)  Steve Huffsteter Quartet.  Trumpeter Huffsteter’s warm sound and articulate phrasing are well matched with the backing of Larry Koonse, guitar,  Putter Smith, bass and Dick Weller, drums.  Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

Susan Egan

- April 14. (Wed.)  Susan Egan.  Local girl Egan was nominated for a Tony Award for her role as Belle in the original Broadway production of “Beauty and the Beast.”  She is equally skilled with her interpretations of classic cabaret numbers and material from the Great American Songbook  Smothers Theatre Pepperdine. (310) 506-4522.

- April 14. (Wed.)  Jennifer Leitham Trio.  Bassist Leitham wings it back to LA for a couple of educational workshops and a performance with her sterling trio — with Josh Nelson on piano and Randy Drake on drums.  Café 322. (626) 836-5414.

- April 15. (Thurs.) Caetano Veloso.  One of the great figures of late 20th century Brazilian music, Veloso continues, at 67, to be an artist who creates musical magic with every performance.  With luck, the ever-adventurous Veloso may offer a preview of the hip-hop fusion song he’s allegedly been working on with Sean P-Diddy Combs.   The Greek Theatre.   (323)  665-5857.

Willie Nelson

- April 15. (Thurs.) Willie Nelson.  One of the few, still-performing musical artists who can genuinely be referred to as iconic, Nelson’s going strong, surging on the crest of last-year’s much-praised collection of standards, American Classic. Grove of Anaheim. (714) 712-2700.

Leonardo Suarez Paz

- April 16. (Fri.) Leonardo Suarez Paz“Romance de Tango.” Tango, in all its rich manifestations – music, dance, poetry and more – is presented by Grammy-nominated violinist Suarez Paz’s gifted company of musicians and dancers.  Beckman Auditorium. CalTech.  Pasadena.   (626) 395-4652.

- April 16. (Fri.)  Arlo GuthrieThe Guthrie Family rides Again. And they really do – across the generations – starting with Woody Guthrie’s songs and working through the singing and playing of Arlo, his son Abe, daughters Cathy, Annie and Sarah Lee, and various grandkids.  Royce Hall.  UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.  (Also at the Irvine Barclay Theatre on Sat.  See below)

- April 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  Oleta Adams.  She puts it all together – jazz, soul, r&b, gospel and pop – into an utterly believable vocal package.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

- April 16, 17 & 20. (Fri., Sat. and Tues.)  The Eagles. Thirty-five years together have generated a ton of Eagles hits, and they’ll no doubt perform most of them.  Adding some spice and diversity to the evening, the opening acts are the Dixie Chicks (on stage for the first time in four years) and country singer/songwriter Keith Urban.   The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

Baaba Maal

- April 17.  (Sat.)  Baaba Maal.  Senegal’s Maal has been doing a masterful job of creating a musical vision that embraces contemporary elements, of every sort, without losing contact with his rich, traditional roots.  Royce Hall.  UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.

- April 17. (Sat.)  Arlo Guthrie. The Guthrie Family Rides Again.  Their second Southland date in two days.  (See above at Royce Hall on Friday.)   Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646.

- April 17. (Sat.) Bill Cunliffe Big Band. Pianist/composer Cunliffe leads a 17 piece big band in a performance of Cunliffe originals, as well as his Grammy-winning arrangement of a “West Side Story Medley.”  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

Alessandra Belloni

- April 17. (Sat.)  A Gershwin Celebration. A quartet of engaging, Broadway musical veterans – Raymond Saar, Diane Ketchie, Valeri Perri and Scott Harlan take on the full gamut of the remarkable Gershwin catalog of songs. CSUN Performing Arts Center.   (818) 677-1200

- April 17 & 18. (Sat. & Sun.)  Alessandra Belloni.  The percussionist, dancer and master of traditional Southern Italian music leads a Weekend Drum and Dance Workshop.   Afternoons: “Rhythm is the Cure” with Special Healing Drum Stretch and Dance Workshop.  Evenings: Concert of music and dance.  Remo Performance Center.

- April 18  (Sun.) Los Angeles Jazz Collective “Spring Jazz Fest.” Five ensembles take center stage for the LAJC’s festival: the Brian Carmody Trio, The Ryan Seward/Josh Welchez Group, Sigmund Fudge, the Los Angeles Jazz Quartet and Brian Swartz and the Gnu SextetVitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

Omar Sosa

- April 16 – 18. (Fri. – Sun.)  Omar Sosa Afreecanos Quintet. Adventurous pianist/composer Sosa’s Afreecanos ensemble also features the vocals and instrumental work of Senegalese musician Mola Sylla, and the envelope-stretching saxophone playing of Peter Apfelbaum Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

- April 17 – 18. (Sat. & Sun.)  Andrae Crouch.  Seven-time Grammy winner Crouch has done it all in the gospel music world – from performer and songwriter to arranger and producer.  Inducted into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame a decade ago, he’s still a marvel to hear.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

St. Louis

- April 15 – 17. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival.  Lots of big band action at this year’s festival.  Headliners include Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band, Conrad Herwig’s Latin Side All-Stars, UM-St. Louis Jazz Ensemble directed by Jim Widner. Also on the bill, lots of young, upcoming talent from the area’s many jazz education programs.  The Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival at the Touhill Performing Arts Center.  http://www.gsljazzfest.com (866) 516-4949.

New York

Ron Carter

- April 13 – 18. (Tues. – Sun.)  Kenny Werner’s stellar Quintet features the clarion trumpet work of Randy Brecker and the always solid bass of John PatitucciThe Blue Note. l (212) 475-8592.

- April 13 – 18. (Tues. – Sun.)  Julliard Jazz Quintet.  A high level combination of cross-generational jazz masters: bassist Ron Carter, pianist Benny Green, drummer Carl Allen, saxophonist Ron Blake and trumpeter Eddie Henderson Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

- April 14 – 18. (Wed. – Sun. Dave Grusin. The pianist/composer makes a rare club performance in the company of Nestor Torres, flute, Steve Turre, trombone, Peter Washington, bass, Kenny Washington, drums.  Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

- April 15 – 18 (Thurs. – Sun.)  Don Byron Groups.  Clarinetist Byron displays his versatility with three different ensembles.  Thurs. and Fri.: the New Gospel Quintet.  Sat.: The Ivey-Divey Trio. Sunday: Swiftboat Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

Magos Herrera

- April 15 & 21. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Magos Herrera. The Mexican singer brings a rich, dark, sound and a stirring rhythmic flow to her music.  She’ll perform tunes from her Grammy nominated album, Distancia.  Thurs 15: Galapagos Art Space.  (718) 222-8500.  Fri. 21: BAMcafe Live.   (718) 636-4100.

- April 17 (Sat.) Rokia Traoré.  Mali’s dynamic singer/songwriter is a musical whirlwind in her live performances.  She’ll be showcasing songs from her new Nonesuch album, TchamantchéThe Highline Ballroom.  (212) 414-5994.


Picks of the Week: Mar. 8 – 14

March 8, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

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

John Pisano

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Hiromi

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

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

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

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

Vinicio Caposella

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

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

Andrea Marcovicci

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

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

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

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

Adam del Monte

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

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

San Francisco

Bobby Hutcherson

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

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

New York

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

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

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

Bobby Sanabria

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

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

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

Roberta Gambarini

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

Chicago

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

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


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