Picks of the Week: Oct. 26 – Nov. 1

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

charitoOct. 26. (Mon.)  Charito.  Japanese singer Charito performs convincingly in areas reaching from jazz to r&b and soul music.  She also appears at Yoshi’s Oakland on Oct. 27 (see below).   Catalina Bar & Grill  (323) 466-2210.

Oct. 27. (Tues.)    John Pisano’s  Guitar Night is always one of the Southland’s most enjoyable jazz events.  And this week it’s even better, with Pisano swapping riffs with the veteran guiratist Gene Bertoncini.(who’s played with everyone from Benny Goodman to Wayne Shorter).  Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

– Oct. 28. (Wed.)  Sony Holland.  One of the most interesting members of northern California’s prolific crop of first rate jazz singers, Holland has now moved to Los Angeles.  Here’s the first local opportunity to see and hear this adventurous new addition to the Southland’s own gallery of world class jazz performers.   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– Oct. 29. (Thurs.)  The Diva Den.  With Kristen Korb, Kathleen Grace and Inga Swearingen. Divas they may be, but Korb, Grace and Swearingen are far more focused on the impressive musicality of their singing than their status as young prima donnas.   Vitellos Restaurant.  (818) 769-0905.lewsoloff_photo

– Oct. 29. (Thurs.)  Lew Soloff Quintet Veteran trumpeter Soloff, once a stalwart with Blood, Sweat & Tears, has also been a first call player for every imaginable musical style.  THis time out, catch Lewie doing his own thing.    Charlie O’s.   (818) 989-3110.

– Oct. 29. (Thurs.)  William Galison  Quintet.  Harmonica virtuoso Galison – who’s worked with Sting, Barbra Streisand and Jaco Pastorious, among others, makes a rare Southland appearance.  Toots Thielemans calls him “The most original and individual of the new generation of harmonica players.”  The L.A. Modern Jazz Series at the Whitefire Theatre, Sherman Oaks.   323.251.0748.

– Oct. 29 – Nov. 1. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Eldar. He’s been an adventurous pianist since he was fourteen.  Now a more mature player, he’s finding a way to balance his enviable virtuosity with  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.IngaSwearingenSide

– Oct. 30. (Fri.)  Inga Swearingen.  In addition to her participation in the Diva Den (see above), Swearingen is a compellingly original singer in her own right.  A frequent guest on A Prairie Home Companion, she brings diverse musicality – from jazz to Swedish folk songs – to everything she sings. In this performance, she celebrates the songs of Johnny Mercer.  LACMA (323) 857-6000.

– Oct. 30. (Fri.)  Bill Cunliffe.  “The Blues & the Abstract Truth, Take 2.” Pianist/composer Cunliffe, always exploring intriguing creative areas, does his own interpretation of the Oliver Nelson classic.   The Culver Club in the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside. (310) 649-1776.  .

– Oct. 30 (Fri.)  Dengue Fever.  Lead singer Chhom Nimo provides offbeat element in Dengue Fever’s Cambodian power rock sound.  The Broad Stage.

– Oct. 30 & 31. (Fri. & Sat.)  Sandra Booker.  Her New Orleans roots are the fundamental source of Booker’s singing, which also blossoms into straight ahead jazz, r&b, soul, Brazilian and beyond.  No wonder she has a resume that reaches from Wynton Marsalis to Billy Higgins.  Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-9917.

– Nov. 1. (Sun.)  First Annual Asian-American Jazz Festival. Any doubts about either the quality or the quantity of jazz taking place in Asia will be completely dispelled by this all-star line of talent.  Among the headliners:  Hiromi. Charmaine Clamor. Prelude. Mon David. Gary Fukushima.   Japanese America National Museum Forum.  Asian-American Jazz Festival (617) 281-7285.

San Francisco

– Oct. 27. (Tues.)  Charito.  Japanese jazz singer makes her second Mads TollingsCalifornia appearance in two nights (see above).  She performs in collaboration with the San Francisco American Jazz Festival.  Yoshi’s Oakland (510) 236-9200.

– Oct. 29. (Thurs.)  Mads Tollings Quartet. Violinist Tollings, a two-time Grammy Award winner takes some time off from his work with the Turtle Island Quartet to front his own group.    Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

Nov. 1. (Sun.)  Pamela Rose. Adventurous singer Rose presents “Wild Women of Song: Great Gal Composers of the Jazz Era.”  It’s a multi-media production with music, narrative and visuals.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600

New York

– Oct. 27 – 31. (Tues. – Sat.)  Pat Martino Organ Quartet.  Guitarist Martino, always an exciting player on his own, leads an especially fiery band, with Eric Alexander, sax, Jeff “Tain” Watts, ron-carter-pic-1drums, Tony Monaco, organ.  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– Oct. 27 – Nov. 1. (Tues. – Sun.)  Ron Carter Trio with Mulgrew Miller and Russell Malone.  A stellar trio if there ever was one, with Carter’s magnificently creative bass playing leading the way.  Opening act is the trio of drummer Francesca Mela. The Blue Note.    (212) 475-8592.

Click here to check out Mike Katz’s iRoM review of the Carter trio during their recent  Los Angeles appearance.


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