Picks of the Week: Dec. 22 – 28

Los Angeles

– Dec. 22. (Mon.) Count Basie Orchestra. “A Swingin’ Christmas.” Only three or four of the players in the current Basie Orchestra ever actually worked with the Count, but under the direction of Bill Hughes, the ensemble brings the familiar Basie groove to a collection of jaunty holiday tunes. Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000. http://www.laphil.org.

Soweto Gospel Choir

– Dec. 23. (Tues.) Soweto Gospel Choir. The irresistible spirituality of this superb collection of South African singers adds a new slant to the music of the season. Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000. http://www.laphil.org.

– Dec. 23. (Tues.) Johnny Vana’s Big Band Alumni with singer Bonnie Bowden. Probably the only opportunity in the Southland to hear some classic big band Swing era hits with your morning ham and eggs, and mid-day brunch. Bonnie Bowden adds her own delightful vocal stylings. Las Hadas Mexican Restaurant and Cantina. 9048 Balboa Blvd., Northridge. (818) 8927271. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

– Dec. 26. (Fri.) Banu Gibson. She’s known for her convincing takes on New Orleans jazz, but Gibson’s style reaches far beyond the Crescent City. Expect to hear an evening of standards reaching across five decades, all performed with her inimitable enthusiasm. The Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.

Charmaine Clamor

– Dec. 27. (Sat.) 4th Annual Filipino-American Jazz Festival. It’s no news that Filipino artists, over the past decade, have thoroughly established their credibility as jazz artists. But it’s still fascinating to hear the unique slant they bring to their music. The headliners for this growingly popular event include singers Charmaine Clamor and Mon David, pianist Tateng Katendig, the six-piece Ben Luis Collective, multi-instrumentalist Bo Razon and saxophonist Jon Irabagon, winner of the 2008 Thelonious Monk Competition.   Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.   www.catalinajazzclub.com. Photo Ned Vizmanos

– Dec. 27. (Sat.) Larry Karush Comprovisations for Solo Piano. The title has it right. What pianist Karush offers is a set of music that blends spontaneous compositions and improvisations. The results are usually unexpected, always compelling. Café Metropol. www.roccoinla.com….

– Dec. 28. (Sun.) Josh Nelson and Pat Senatore Duo. Nelson, one of the Southland’s most gifted up and coming pianists, in a fascinating musical partnership with the dependable, always swinging bassist Senatore. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.  http://www.vibratogrilljazz.com.

– Dec. 28 (Sun.)  Lorraine Feather and Shelly Berg.  It’s a perfect combination: the literate, witty lyrics and buoyantly rhythmic singing of Feather and the superbly supportive, harmonically imaginative piano of Berg.  One show only.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.   www.catalinajazzclub.com.

San Francisco

– Dec. 26 – 31. (Sun. – Wed.) Roy Hargrove Big Band. Trumpeter Hargrove brings his swinging charts and driving musical collective to a run that climaxes on New Year’s Eve. Yoshi’s Oakland. . (510) 238-9200. www.yoshis.com.

New York City

– Dec. 22 – 28. (except for Christmas, Dec. 25) (Mon. – Sun.) Barbara Carroll Trio with Ken Peplowski. A pair of engaging veterans bring their Swing based styles – featuring Carroll’s vocals and piano, with Peplowski’s clarinet and tenor saxphone – to a program of classic jazz. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc.

Chris Botti

– Dec. 23 – 31. (Tues. – Wed.31). Chris Botti. Trumpeter Botti’s beginning to look like the hardest working man in jazz. After two sell-out weeks at Yoshi’s Oakland and San Francisco, he’s following up with another long run at the Blue Note. And his fans will love the opportunity to hear his soaringly lyrical playing up close and personal. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592. http://www.bluenote.net/newyork/index.shtml.

– Dec. 26 & 27. (Fri. & Sat.) Louis Hayes and the Cannonball Adderly Legacy. Drummer Hayes and his sterling quintet recall the best of the Cannonball memories. Birdland. (212) 581-3080. www.birdlandjazz.com.

– Dec. 26 & 27. (Fri. &Sat.) The Fab Faux perform the Beatles’ Abbey Road, Let It Be and the White Album. Expect to hear startlingly accurate versions of “Strawberry Fields Forever”, “I Am the Walrus.” “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite,” “Because,” “Nowhere Man” and “Paperback Writer.” Terminal 5. (212) 665-3832. http://www.terminal5nyc.com.

– Dec. 27. (Sat.) Nanette Natal. Critically praised from all directions, singer Natal still hasn’t received the attention that her singular talent deserves. Danspace Project at St. Mark’s Church in the Bowerie. (212) 674-8112 http://www.danspaceproject.org.


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