Picks of the Week: March 30 – April 5

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– March 30 (Mon.) The Frank Capp Juggernaut Big Band. It’s a juggernaut, all right – a hard driving, deeply swinging collection of L.A.’s finest players, working through the scintillating repertoire of the Great American Big Band Book. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058. www.charlieos.com

– April 1. (Wed.) The Alan Broadbent Trio. Broadbent is a superb arranger and a much-valued accompanist. But best of all, he’s a jazz pianist with the voice, the sensitivity and the imagination to produce constantly compelling music. Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.

– April 1. (Wed.) Jenny Scheinman. Violinist Scheinman showcases material from her recent album, “Crossing the Field,” with guitarists Nels Cline and Moe Hawk. “Crossing the Field.” Largo.


— April 2. (Thurs.) Bill Frisell’s Disfarmer Project. The ever-curious Frisell presents an original compositional suite based upon photographer Mike Disfarmer’s stunning, Depression era images of rural Arkansas life. (310) 440-4500. www.skirball.org

– April 2 – 5. (Thurs. – Sun.) Omar Sosa. Sosa’s new CD, “Across the Divide: A Tale of Rhythm and Ancestry” – inspired by the Middle Passage of African slaves to the U.S.– is a richly textured blend of jazz, folk songs, hymns and spoken word, celebrating the American confluence of cultures. Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.

– April 3. (Fri.) Charmaine Clamor. She may be the pathfinder for “Jazzipino” music, but Clamor’s career ignites in other directions as well. On April 18 , she’ll reprise her English/Tagalog performance of “The Vagina Chronicles” in New York; in June, she’ll receive a Filipino “Oscar” from the Filipino Academy of Movie Arts and Sciences as the “Philippine Pride Best Jazz Vocalist.” But first, she’ll be in L.A. for a not to be missed one nighter at Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. www.catalinajazzclub.com

Kendra Shank

– April 3. (Fri.) Kendra Shank with the Geoff Keezer Trio. The songs on the versatile Shank’s new album, “Mosaic,” run the gamut from Carole King to Johnny Mandel to Bill Evans to a poem by Rumi. Steamers. (714) 871-8800 www.steamersjazzcafe.com. Shank also performs at the Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel on Thursday, April 1 (310) 642-7500. www.CrownePlaza.com.

– April 4. (Sat.) Kayhan Kalhor and Brooklyn Rider. Iranian kamancheh (spike fiddle) master Kalhor teams up with the envelope-stretching string Quartet, Brooklyn Rider to perform selections from their new CD, “The Silent City.” UCLA Live at Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. www.uclalive.org

– April 4. (Sat.) Chango Spasiuk. Don’t let the name fool you. Accordionist Spasiuk, the offspring of Ukrainian immigrants, is one of the masters of northeast Argentina’s dancing, schottische-like chamamé music. The Getty. http://www.getty.edu.

– April. 4 & 5. (Sat. & Sun.) The Duke Ellington 110th birthday Anniversary Festival of Music. Various UCLA music department ensembles explore the full range – from small group jazz to sacred music – of the Ellington repertoire. Open to the public and free of charge. UCLA’s. Schoenberg Hall. (310) 206-3033. www.friendsofjazz.ucla.edu.

– April 5. (Sun.) Jazz Brunch with the John and Jeanne Pisano. The briskly swinging sounds of the Flying Pisanos – vocalist Jeanne and guitarist John – and an overflowing buffet. Call it a great way to highlight a weekend. Spazio. (818) 728-8400. www.spazio.la/jazz.php

– April 5. (Sun.) Organica with Christophe Bull. The 10th anniversary celebration of Bull’s always compelling multi-media illuminations of the pipe organ. Special guests include Norton Wisdom, I-Chin Feinblatt, Lili Haydn, Paulist Choristers of California, Richard Martinez and Robert Woolsey UCLA Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. www.uclalive.org 7 p.m.

– April 5. (Sun.) Page Cavanaugh Tribute. Leonard Maltin leads an afternoon celebration of the life of the pianist/Singer whose airy instrumental work and whisper vocals created a template for cool, swinging night club jazz. 11 a.m. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. www.catalinajazzclub.com

San Francisco

Joshua Redman

– April 1 – 5. (Wed. – Sun.) Joshua Redman‘s appropriately titled new album, “Compass,” continues his expansive journey through the possibilities of the saxophone/bass/drums trio format. His partners here are Matt Penman and drummer Greg Hutchinson. Yoshi’s Oakland. . (510) 238-9200. www.yoshis.com.

– April 4 & 5. (Sat. & Sun.) Oregon. Three decades together, and Paul McCandless and his associates continue to produce music that is as stylistically inclusive as it is creatively compelling. The band’s newest release, Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600. www.yoshis.com

New York City

– March 31 – April 2. (Tues. – Thurs.) Ted Nash and Odeon. A rare appearance by saxophonist Nash’s eclectic ensemble, performing music that finds the common ground between jazz, tango, country music and a variety of ethnic sounds from the Middle East. The Jazz Standard (212) 576-2252. http://www.jazzstandard.net/red/index.html

– March 31 – April 4. (Tues. – Sat.) Jessica Molaskey and the John Pizzarelli Quartet. One of the jazz world’s most visible married couples, Molaskey and Pizzarelli have all the entertaining amiability of Keely Smith and Louis Prima, with a lot more to say musically. Birdland. (212) 581-3080. www.birdlandjazz.com

Lee Konitz

– March 31 – April 5. (Tues. – Sun.) Lee Konitz and Friends. Regardless of who the “Friends” may be, any chance to hear Konitz in person is a chance to tap into the essence of what jazz is all about. More than an iconic figure, Konitz is one of jazz history’s great creators, still in rare form, still offering masterful new information. The Village Vanguard (212) 255-4037. http://villagevanguard.com

– March 31 – April 5. (Tues. – Sun.) The Wonderful World of Armstrong. Saxophonist Victor Gaines and trombonist Wycliffe Gordon recall the glories of Satchmo, with Gordon adding his atmospheric vocals for good measure. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc .

– April 2. (Thurs.) Bang on a Can All-Stars. The no-boundaries chamber ensemble premiers works by Lok Yin Tang, Kate Moore and Lee Ranaldo (who also appears as a special guest), as well as the always-fascinating Fred Frith’s “Snakes and Ladders.” Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center. (212) 501-3330. http://kaufman-center.org/merkin-concert-hall

Reading, Pennsylvania

March 27 – April 5. The 19th Annual Berks Jazz Fest. Smooth jazz and a lot more at this annual musical delight in a pleasant old southeast Pennsylvania city (my home town) along the Schuylkill River. Featured randybrecker1performers in the expansive program include David Benoit, Rick Braun, Chuck Loeb, Brian Bromberg, Anat Cohen, Brian Culbertson, Bela Fleck, Bobby Lyle, Paul Jackson Jr., Mitch Forman, Chieli Minucci, Andy Narell, Randy Brecker, Joyce Cooling, Jeff Kashiwa, Steve Smith & Vital Information, Phoebe Snow, Tierney Sutton Band, Take 6, Derek Trucks, McCoy Tyner Quartet, Gerald Veasley, Nnenna Freelon, Peter White, Mindi Abair, Victor Wooten and many others. At locations around Reading, PA. Tickets from Ticketmaster: (800) 745-3000 Festival information: http://www.berksjazzfest.com/index.htm

Bill Frisell photo by Ralph Gibson
Randy Brecker photo by Rusty Russell

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