Picks of the Week: Mar. 2 – 7

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Larry Goldings

– Mar. 2. (Tues.)  Larry Goldings All-Stars.  Keyboardist Goldings is completely worth hearing on his own.  But it’ll be even better with this group of solid veteran players:  Tom Scott, saxophones, Chuck Berghofer, bass, Jeff Hamilton, drums.  Spazio.

– Mar. 2. (Tues.)  John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  Always one of the week’s best musical events, this time with Pisano trading riffs with guitarist Jamie Rosenn, guitar. Tim Pleasant, drums and Ryan McGillicuddy, bass add solid support.  Spazio.  (818) 728-8400

Anna Mjoll

– Mar. 3. (Wed.)  Anna Mjoll. Iceland’s queen of pop jazz, Mjoll blends a solid sense of swing with an engaging way with a song.   Vibrato.   (310) 474-9400.

– Mar. 4. (Thurs.)  Ron Eschete Trio.  One of the rare masters of the seven-string jazz guitar, Eschete’s harmonies are things of musical beauty. Steamers. (714) 871-8800

– Mar. 4. (Thurs.)  Chris Standring. Contemporary jazz guitarist celebrates the release of his “Blue Bolero” CD with a performance enlivened by the appearance of a string quartet.  How often does that happen at the Baked Potato?  (818) 980-1615.

– Mar. 5. (Fri.)  Experience Hendrix Tour.  The fourth edition of the tour that celebrates the life of Jimi Hendrix features, among others, Joe Satriani, Jonny Lang, Eric Johnson, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, as well as Billy Cox, the bassist with Hendrix’s Band of Gypsies.  Gibson Amphitheatre.   (818) 622-4440.

Tierney Sutton

– Mar. 5. (Fri.)  Mon David. Filipino singer David is a standout in the sparse field of male jazz vocalists, with a style all his own and a rhythmic lift in everything he sings. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Mar. 5 – 7. (Fri. – Sun.)  Tierney Sutton. Blessed with a beautiful voice, Sutton uses it with subtlety, musicality and a fine interpretive style. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– Mar. 6. (Sat.)  Azar Lawrence performs selections from his new CD, “Mystic Journey.”  With pianist Benito Gonzalez, trumpeter Gilbert Castellanos, bassist Tony Dumas and drummer Lorca HartAlvas Showroom, San Pedro.  (800) 403-3447.

– Mar. 6. (Sat.) A Night of Arab and Brazilian Music. Dr. A.J. Racy of the UCLA Department of Ethnomusicology performs traditional Arabic music on the ney flute and the lute-like buzuq with Souhail Kaspar (darabouka/hand drum), Naser Musa (‘ud/lute), and Petro Ammar (riqq/tambourine). The program’s other half features the Samba Society, directed by Beto González, performing the partido alto and samba de terreiro of urban samba.  Guest artists include Mitchell Long (cavaco) and Kátia Moraes (vocals).  UCLA’s Schoenberg Hall.  Free.  Center For Near Eastern Studies. (310) 825-1455.

Allen Toussaint

– Mar. 6.  (Sat.) The Blind Boys of Alabama and Allen Toussaint.  Always capable of lifting an audience with their stirring gospel singing, the Blind Boys’ program will be even more enhanced by the presence of New Orleans music icon Toussaint. UCLA Live.  (310) 825-2101.

– Mar. 7 (Sun.)  CJSQ Tribute to Dexter Gordon. The Chuck Johnson and James Smith Quintet celebrate the life of the great tenor saxophonist at a brunch gig – 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.  The Lighthouse.   (310) 376-9833.

San Francisco

– Mar. 2. (Tues.)  Sacha Boutros. Latin jazz singer Boutros applies her far-ranging voice to an entertaining blend of Latin jazz, bossa nova and pop.  Rrazz Room. (415) 394-1189.

– Mar. 2 & 3. (Tues. & Wed.)  Cyrus Chestnut.   Pianist Chestnut’s range reaches from solid straight ahead jazz through soul music, gospel and – on one of his recordings – a brand new interpretation of songs associated with Elvis Presley.   Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600

New York

– Mar. 2. (Tues.)  Leni Stern Quartet. Guitarist Stern recalls her time in Africa with a group in which she’s supported by bass, oud and talking drum.  55 Bar.  (212) 929-9883.

Gil Scott-Heron

– Mar. 2 & 3. (Tues. & Wed. Gil Scott-Heron and Friends. Before there was rap and hip hop, there was Scott-Heron’s spontaneous poetry.  And few of his successors have come close to the depth and the innate musicality of his work.  CD release show for “I’m Here Now.”  Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

– Mar. 2 – 6. (Tues. – Sat.)  Monty Alexander. Alexander’s ensemble combines the sounds of a straight ahead jazz quartet with the rhythms of his native Jamaica.  The ensemble includes Santi Debriano (bass) Obed Calvaire (drums) Yotam Silberstein (guitar) and Jamaican musicians Courtney Panton (electric bass/percussion)and Karl Wright (drums).  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– Mar. 4 – 7. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Toots Thielemans, harmonica. Kenny Werner, piano, Oscar Castro-Neves, guitar and Airto Moreira, percussion. That’s a line-up with something to please anyone with a taste for the finest in jazz.  Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

– Mar. 4 – 7. (Thurs. – Sun.) Delfeayo Marsalis. The trombone playing, record producing Marsalis leads his sextet in Charlie Parker (with a Twist)!
an imaginative look back at a great jazz icon.    Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

Washington, D.C.

Keiko Matsui


– Mar. 4 – 7.  (Thurs. – Sun.)  Keiko Matsui. Keyboardist Matsui was one of the first – after Toshiko Akiyoshi —  of the talented female jazz keyboardists to arrive from Japan Blues Alley. She was also a pioneer in the popularity of smooth, easy listening jazz.  Blues Alley.  (202) 337-4141.


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