By Don Heckman
– April 28. (Tues.) The Trio: Terry Trotter, Peter Erskine, Chuck Berghofer. The label might seem a little prepossessive in some hands, but not with these guys, whose playing defines the notion of interactive musical intimacy. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058 http://www.charlieos.com.
– April 29. (Wed.) Mitch Forman Trio, with Darek Oles and Gary Novak. Forman and his associates offer a another approach to the piano trio, reaching into areas of free-flying expressionism. Spazio. (818) 728-8400. www.spazio.la/jazz.php
– April 29. (Wed.) Jon Mayer Trio. Mayer’s worked with just about everyone who values sterling piano backing. On his own, he’s even better, finding new riches in the treasure trove of post bebop jazz. Steamers. (714) 871-8800 http://www.steamersjazzcafe.com.
– April 29 – May 2. (Wed. – Sat.) Dave Valentin – Bill O’Connell A pair of always swinging, Latin jazzers present selections from their new CD, “Triple Play.” Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.
– April 30 (Thurs.) Sonny Rollins. The master at work. One of the remaining iconic figures of jazz, of course, but beyond that an improviser with an unparalleled capacity to stretch the limits of imaginative jazz invention. Samueli Theatre Orange County Performing Arts Center. http://www.ocpac.org.
– April 30. (Thurs.) Miles Mosley. Bassist Mosely continues his popular residency at the Edison, turning on the crowds with what he describes as “Cadillac Funk.” The Edison. (213) 613-0000. www.edisondowntown.com. (Also May 14 and May 28).
– April 30. (Thurs.) Charles Owens Quartet. Woodwind specialist Owens still hasn’t found a jazz style that he can’t master. Which makes for entertaining performances, no matter what he’s playing The Lighthouse Café. (310) 376-9833. www.thelighthousecafe.net
– May 1 – 3. (Fri. – Sun.) The Chuck Loeb Trio w. Dave Weckl and Brian Bromberg. Contemporary crossover jazz from three of its masters. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. www.catalinajazzclub.com.
– May 3. (Sun.) Celtic Spring. The Wood family band of Irish musicians range freely across the Celtic universe, offering selections from Ireland and Scotland to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. Cerritos Center. (562) 467-8818 www.cerritoscenter.com
– May 3. (Sun.) Playboy Jazz Festival Free Community Concert. Johnny Polanco Y Su Conjunto Amistad, Maurice Spears and Bonesoir. The Playboy Festival kicks off its always entertaining series of free concerts with a sunny afternoon of piquant Latin jazz and briskly swinging, straight ahead trombone sounds. Expect to groove. The Beverly Hills Civic Center. 3 to 5 p.m. Free. (310) 450-1173. www.playboyjazz.com.
May 3. (Sun.) Mingus Dynasty with special guest John Handy — a musical match-up not to be missed. SFJAZZ Festival. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. San Francisco.
New York City
– April 27 (Mon.) Ari Hoenig Trio w. Jean-Michel Pilc and Francois Moutin. The combination of drummer Hoenig, pianist Pilc and bassist Moutin always ignites cutting edge jazz pyrotechnics. Small’s (212) 252-5091. http://www.smallsjazzclub.com
– April 28 – May 3. (Tues. – Sun.) Samba Jazz and the Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves, Claudio Roditi, Maucha Adnet, Toninho Horta & special guest Eddie Gomez. With a line-up like this, it’s a fair bet that Jobim would have loved every minute. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc
– April 28 – May 3. (Tues. – Sun.) Barry Harris Trio with Ray Drummond and Leroy Williams. Bebop at its best; nobody does it better. The Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037. www.villagevanguard.com.
– April 29 – May 2. (Wed. – Sat.) Karrin Allyson. The always fascinating Allyson perfroms selections from her latest CD, “Imagina: Songs of Brazil.” Birdland. (212) 581-3080. www.birdlandjazz.com
April 27 – May 3. ( Mon. – Sun.) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The line-up for this massive event speaks for itself. To mention only a few scheduled artists: Tony Bennett, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Esperanza Spalding, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Nicholas Paytojn, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Bon Jovi, the Neville Brothers, Neil Young, and dozens of others.(504) 522-4786. www.nojazzfest.com