Picks of the Week: Oct. 4 – 10

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Oct. 6. (Wed.) Josh Nelson.  The Music of the 60s’ Blue Note Albums. Pianist Nelson takes on some of the classic themes from the great Blue Note catalog.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Oct. 6. (Wed.) Carol Robbins Quartet.  It’s an evening with many strings attached – from the rare jazz sounds of Robbins’ harp to the always swinging guitar of Larry KoonseVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

– Oct. 6. (Wed.) Emil Richards-Joe Porcaro Quartet. The jazz heat gets turned up high whenever vibist Richards and drummer Porcaro get together with dynamic pianist Mike Lang and the rhythmic drive of bassist Abraham LaborielCharlie O’s.   (81) 994-3058.

Elaine Miles

– Oct. 6. (Wed.)  Elaine Miles.   A warm embracing voice and an intuitive way with a song are Miles’ special gifts.  She sings with guitarist John Chiodini, bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Kendall Kay.   Steamers.   (714) 871-8800.

– Oct. 7. (Thurs.) Disney Hall Opening Night Concert and GalaGustavo Dudamel kicks off the new season with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the bel canto singing of Peruvian tenor Juan Diego Florez, the music of Rossini and a selection of works by South American composers. Disney Hall.  (323) 8502000.

– Oct. 8. (Fri.)  Ernie Watts Quartet.  The Southland’s saxophone player for all seasons steps into the spotlight to display his extraordinary musical versatility.    LACMA.  (323) 857-6000.

– Oct. 8. (Fri.) An Evening with Judy Collins. One of the great songbirds of pop and folk music, At 71, she’s an honored icon and a persistent social activist.  But her latest album, Paradise, affirms that she can also sing a song with the same mesmerizing intensity of her work in the ‘60s and ‘70s. Broad Stage. (310) 434-3200.

– Oct. 8. (Fri.)  The Trio.  If any three musicians deserve the all embracing title of “The Trio,” its Terry Trotter, Chuck Berghofer and Peter Erskine, whose togetherness defines what can happen when three gifted players get together to make music.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Oct. 8. (Fri.)  The Canadian Tenors with Due Voci.  The four Canadian tenors each bring a unique quality to the colorful mixture of classical and pop songs that is making them one of the concert world’s hottest acts.  Opening for them – the equally dynamic voices of Due Voci – Kelly Levesque and Tyler Hamilton.  Club Nokia.   (213) 765-7000.

Roslyn Kind

– Oct. 8 & 9. (Fr. & Sat.)  Roslyn Kind.  I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Roslyn Kind may be Barbra Streisand’s kid sister, but she’s a stunning talent in her own right.  Expect to be completely captivated by the stories she tells with her songs.  Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– Oct. 8 – 10. (Fri. – Sun.)  The Color Purple.  It’s called “The Musical about Love,” and both the music and the script bring Alice Walker’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel to vivid life.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.

– Oct. 9. (Sat.) Jim Kweskin and the Jug Band.  Here’s a troupe that reaches way back, redolent with echoes of the folk sounds that preceded the rock revolution of the ‘60s.  McCabe’s.   (310) 828-4497.

– Oct. 9. (Sat.)  Gary Foster.  In an era of busy-fingered saxophonists, altoist Foster sustains the tradition of finding the music inside the line, the swing inside the rhythm.  He performs with the Pat Senatore TrioVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. 

– Oct. 9. (Sat.)  Divas Simply Singing.  Sheryl Lee Ralph’s annual presentation of the latest stars of diva-dom returns with a stirring line up of talent.  Among this year’s divas: Teena Marie, Ledisi, Loretta Devine, Jenifer Lewis, Gloria Loring, Jody Watley, Chaka Khan, Patti Austin and much more.  The Saban Theatre.  (323) 655-0111.

Reorge Kahumoku

– Oct. 9. (Sat.)  George Kahumoku, Jr. and the Masters of Hawai’ian Music. Slack key guitarist Kahumoku celebrates the vibrant history of Hawaiian music in the company of guitarist Dennis Kamakahi, singer Uncle Richard Ho’opi’i and steel guitarist Bobby InganoIrvine Barclay Theatre.   (914) 854-4646.

– Oct. 9. (Sat.) John Abercrombie Quartet.  Breakout contemporary jazz guitarist Abercrombie is joined by violinist Mark Feldman, bassist Thomas Morgan and drummer Joey Baron as the Angel City Jazz Festival wraps its 2010 series with a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast. The Musicians Institute Theatre.

– Oct. 9. (Sat.) Shake, Rattle & RollGreatest Hits of Fifties and Sixties Celebration. The Cruisin’ Oldies Show Band, fronted by Mark Curran and Tom Haney revive memories reaching from Elvis Presley to Chubby Checker, songs embracing “Rock ‘Round the Clock,” “All Shook Up,” “The Twist” and much more.  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza Forum Theatre.   (805) 449-2787.

– Oct. 9 & 10. (Sat. & Sun.)  Peter Smith’s Live Recording Project.  Pianist Smith leads the fine ensemble of Allen Mezquida, saxophonist Kamasi Washington, vibist Nick Mancini, singer Patrice Quinn, guitarist Jacques Lesure, bassist Trevor Ware, and drummer Clayton Cameron in a pair of intimate, live recording performances.  Alvas Showroom.   (800) 403-3447.

Nikki Yanofsky

– Oct. 10. (Sun.) Nikki Yanofsky. Teen-aged Canadian jazz vocalist Yanofksy has been attracting attention wherever she performs.  Her musicality, charisma and jazz intuition display all the characteristics of a potentially major talent. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

– Oct. 5. (Tues.)  Mel Martin Big Band.  Saxophonist Martin, one of the Bay area’s most adventurous resident jazz artists, fronts a large ensemble performing his envelope-stretching music. Yoshi’s Oakland= (510) 238-9200.

– Oct. 5 & 6. (Tues. & Wed.)  Renee Rosnes. Canadian-born pianist has thoroughly established herself as one of the innovative artists of her generation, performing with everyone from Wayne Shorter to James Moody. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

Oct. 10. (Sun.)  Third SF Filipino American Jazz Festival.  The surprising compatibility between jazz and Fililpino musical culture is on full display in this annual event.  Headliners include singer/pianist Primo Kim, vocalists Jo Canion, Charito and Sandra Lim Viray.   Yoshi’s San Francisco= (415) 655-5600.

New York

– Oct. 5 – 10.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Jason Moran and the Bandwagon.  Pianist Moran showcases the skills that made him one of this week’s recipients of a McArthur “genius” award.  Village Vanguard.   (212) 929-4589.

– Oct. 5 – 10.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Kenny Barron Quintet. Everyone’s A-list jazz pianist steps out with his own ensemble.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

Gato Barbieri

– Oct. 8 – 10. (Fri. – Sun.)  Gato Barbieri.  Tenor saxophonist Barbieri’s long, checkered career has reached from the avant-garde years of the ‘60s through his Grammy-winning score for The Last Tango In Paris to more recent smooth jazz outings.  But whichever of his musical persona’s turn up for this appearance, the results will be compelling.The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

– Oct. 7 – 9. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Kenny Garrett Band. Versatile, musically probing alto saxophonist Garrett follows up on his live album, Sketches of MD with a performance at the venue where the CD was recorded.  Iridium. (212) 582-2121.

– Oct. 10. (Sun.)  Lionel Loueke Trio. Benin’s gift to contemporary jazz guitar matches his singular sound and style with an equally intriguing approach to jazz vocals. Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.

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