By Don Heckman
– April 7. (Tues.) Saxophonist Rickey Woodard’s hard swinging, adventurous playing is the perfect opening act for this new jazz room. Bar Melody – Bar & Grill. (310) 670-1994. www.barmelodyla.com.
– April 8. (Wed.) Katya and Marielle Labeque and Mayte Martin.. “De Fuego y de Agua” The elegant, pianist siblings join Catalonian singer Martin in an unlikely encounter between Spanish classical music and traditional flamenco. UCLA Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. www.uclalive.org
– April 8. (Wed.) Santa Barbara’s Mellonie Irvine brings her warm-toned, briskly swinging vocals to an appearance at Hollywood’s premiere jazz room. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. www.catalinajazzclub.com.
– April 8. (Wed.) Manhattan Transfer. The intrepid quartet continue adding to their expanding definition of the glories of vocal quartet jazz. Cerritos Center. (562) 467-8818 www.cerritoscenter.com
April 8 – 11. (Wed. – Sat.) Steve Coleman Sextet. Cutting edge alto-saxophonist Coleman and his equally adventurous sextet slice open the box of contemporary jazz possibilities. The Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.
April 9. (Thurs.) Lila Downs. The Mexican-American’s startlingly diverse eclecticism is on full display in her Grammy-nominated CD, “Shake Away.” Expect to hear everything from Fleetwood Mac and Lucinda Williams to Downs originals.. UCLA Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. www.uclalive.org
– April 10 & 11. (Fri. & Sat.) Leonard Cohen. The poet/singer/songwriter returns, selling out concert-sized venues wherever he goes. And with good reason. He’s one of the true ’60s/’70s originals. Nokia Theatre. (213) 763-6030. http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com
– April 12. (Sun.) Jennifer Leitham Trio. Left-handed bass playing, delivered with dancing, swinging enthusiasm and imagination. Lighthouse Café. (310) 376-9833. www.lighthousecafe.net.
– April 8. (Wed.) Take 6. A cappella meets the lush, moving harmonies of contemporary jazz in the always startling music of this remarkable ensemble. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600. www.yoshis.com
New York City
– April 7 & 8. (Tues. & Wed.) Allan Harris: Songs of Strayhorn. And what songs they are, starting with “Lush Life,” written – incredibly – when Strayhorn was still a teen-ager. Harris brings the right sort of panache to a collection of music that deserves a far wider hearing. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc
– April 9 – 12. (Thurs. – Sun.) Jimmy Scott & the Jazz Expressions. You haven’t really heard the full possibilities of a ballad until you’ve heard it sung by Scott, at one of his glacial, but utterly captivating tempos. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc