Picks of the Week: Jan. 25 – Jan. 31

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Jan. 25. (Mon.)  The Saxtet.  A cluster of L.A.’s finest jazz saxophonists get together.  Dave Angel, Gene Cipriano, Phil Feather, Roger Neumann, Bob Carr, Dave Koonse, Kendall Kay Charlie O’s.    (818) 989-3110.

– Jan. 25. (Mon.)  Larry Goldings Organ Night. It’s boogaloo night this time, with a dance floor set up for the exhibitionists in the crowd.  Upstairs at Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 26 – 28. (Tues. – Thurs.)  Celebrating Django Reinhardt at 100.  Gypsy guitarists Dorado Schmitt and Samson Schmitt, Marcel Loeffler, accordion, Pierre Blanchard, violin, Brian Torff, bass. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

Josh Nelson

– Jan. 27. (Wed.)  Karmetik Machine Orchestra.  Featuring appearances by North Indian sarodist Ustad Aashish Khan, electronic artist Curtis Bahn, Balinese gamelan master I Nyoman Wenten, vocal synthesizer Perry Cook, with a theatrical set designed by Michael Darling. SCREAM Festival.  REDCAT.   (213) 237-2800.

– Jan. 27. (Wed.)  Josh Nelson Duo.  With Pat Senatore.
An intgriguing combination — Pianist Nelson’s youthful adventurousness and the always solid, veteran bass work of Senatore.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

– Jan. 28. (Thurs.)  Mary Ann McSweeney Quartet.  Bassist McSweeney’s program explores an unusual range of music, from Harold Arlen and Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Featuring special guest Claire Daly, trombone, Bill Cunliffe, piano and Paul Kreibich, drums.  The Crowne Plaza Hotel LAX.  (310) 642-7500.

– Jan. 28.  (Thurs.)  John Beasley Jazz Circle.  Pianist Beasley will perform music scanning his career, from his first album, Cauldron, to the recent, heavily charted Positootly.   Upstairs at Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 28 – 31. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Joffrey Ballet. Cinderella.”  The scintillating Joffrey dancers perform the classic version by Sr. Frederick Ashton to the gorgeously atmospheric Prokofiev score.  The Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.   (213) 972-7211.

Roseanna Vitro

– Jan. 29. (Fri.) Roseanna Vitro Quartet. Vitro doesn’t bring her warmly intimate singing to L.A. very often.  Don’t miss this rare chance to hear her up close and personal. Upstairs at Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 29. (Fri.)  Bern.  Drummer Bernie Dresel’s played with just about everyone.  But he seems to have most fun when he’s propulsively driving his own band, Bern.   Spazio. (818) 728-8400. 

– Jan. 29. (Fri.)  Herb Alpert and Lani Hall.  The music world’s ultimate power couple.  And they can still deliver it.  Hall has been, and remains, one of the underrated jazz singers.  And trumpeter Alpert knows how to find both the space and the center in an improvisation.  Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000.

– Jan. 29. (Fri.)  Sony Holland.  Singer Holland’s recent move to the Southland has brought another imaginative jazz voice to Los Angeles.  She sings with Theo Saunders QuartetThe Culver Club in the Radisson Hotel Los Angeles Westside.  (310) 649-1776.  l

– Jan. 29 & 30.  (Fri. & Sat.)  Django 100 A Century of Hot Jazz.  Gypsy guitarists Dorado Schmitt and Samson Schmitt, Marcel Loeffler, accordion, Pierre Blanchard, violin, Brian Torff, bass.  Orange County Performing Arts Center.  (714) 556-ARTS.

– Jan. 29. (Fri.)  Feb. 5 & 6. (Fri. & Sat.)  Laurence Hobgood Trio.  Grammy-nominated pianist/composer Hobgood celebrates the release of his CD When the Heart Dances, with Hamilton Price, bass and Kevin Kanner, drums.  Hobgood is a long-time accompanist for singer Kurt Elling, also Grammy nominated, who will be in town to co-host the pre-telecast Grammy program.  Will Elling make a surprise appearance at one of Hobgood’s gigs?  Stay tuned.  Cafe Metropol.  (213) 613-1537.

Ellis Marsalis

– Jan. 29 – 31. (Fri. – Sun.)  Ellis and Delfeayo Marsalis. Favorite Love Songs.  The patriach and the trombonist of the Marsalis clan perform some classic material with John Clayton and Marvin “Smitty” Smith Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– Jan. 30. (Sat.)  Los Lobos.  The pride of East L.A, the Grammy winning masters of Latin roots music.  With an afternoon family performance of Disney tunes, and an evening set of their signature classics.  UCLA live at Royce Hall.   (310) 825-4401.

– Jan. 30. (Sat.)  Christian Howes, Robben Ford.  The encounter between Howes’ adventurous electric violin playing and Ford’s blues guitar should generate some colorful creative sparks.  Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

– Jan. 30. (Sat.)  Mark Winkler.  Singer/songwriter Winkler not only interprets the American Songbook with convincing ease, he also writes songs with equally timeless potential. Upstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

Alfredo Rodriguez

– Jan. 26. (Tues.) Alfredo Rodriguez.  The young Cuban pianist has been startling audiences with his uniquely inventive improvisations.  To check my review of his Los Angeles appearance a few months ago click here.   Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

– Jan. 29 – 31. (Fri. – Sun.) Mark Hummel’s Blues Harmonica BlowoutA Muddy Harp Tribute with blues of every stripe and color.  Featuring James Cotton, Paul Oscher, Mojo Buford, Willie Smith, Johnny Dyer.      Yoshi’s Oakland (510) 238-9200.

– Jan. 29 – Feb. 4. (Fri. – Thurs.)  SF World Music Festival.  Forty-three bands in 11 showcases over 7 days, featuring The Action Design, Rykarda Parasol, Dave Smallen and The Trophy Fire.  At the Bottom of the Hill (1233 17th Street), Thee Parkside (1600 17th Street) and DNA Lounge (375 11th Street).   SF World Music Festival.

New York

– Jan. 25 – 27. (Mon. – Wed.) Gato Barbieri.  Still one of the true unique saxophone sounds in jazz, Barbieri recaps his classics and tries a few new things as well. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

– Jan. 26. (Tues.)  Somi. The American born daughter of parents from Rwanda and Uganda, Somi’s songs — and her singing — are compelling blends of traditional music, jazz and her own utter originaliy.  Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

Tierney Sutton

– Jan. 26 – 27.  (Tues. – Wed.)  Cindy Blackman Explorations. her dynamic drumming traces in a direct line to the innovative playing of her mentor, Art Blakey, and to her source of inspiration, Tony Williams. The brilliant young trumpeter Dominick Farinacci is opening act on Wed.   Zinc Bar.   (212) 477-9462.

– Jan. 26 – 30.  (Tues. – Sat.)  Tierney Sutton.  Sutton brings an impressive blend of musicality, imagination and believeable story telling to everything she sings. Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

– Jan. 28. (Thurs.) Wayne Krantz Trio.  The Trio, with Tim LeFebvre on bass and Keith Carlock on drums is one of the major pace-setters in contemporary jazz fusion. 55 Bar(212)  929-9883.

– Jan. 29. (Fri.)  Sam Sadigursky.  The saxophonist/composer celebrates the release of Words Project III: Miniatures, the third installment in his Words Project series.  The unique set of works combine his diverse compositional views with poetry from Emily Dickenson, Carl Sandburg, Maxim Gorky and others.  Galapagos Art Space, Brooklyn. (718) 222-8500


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