By Don Heckman
– Jan. 18. (Tues.) John Pisano Guitar Night. With Larry Koonse and Tom Warrington. Koonse is everybody’s first call guitarist. Here’s a too rare chance to hear him in the spotlight. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 18. (Tues.) Theo Saunders Quartet. Pianist Saunders has a resume with activities covering every area of the music world. This time out, he leads his own group. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– Jan. 18. (Tues.) The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra. One of the Southland’s superlative large jazz ensembles, the Grammy nominated CHJO makes an up close club appearance. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Jan. 18 – 23. (Tues. – Sat.) A Chorus Line. Winner of nine Tony awards and a Pulitzer Prize, A Chorus Line, with its memorable music and stellar dancing, should be seen by everyone who loves the musical theatre. Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza. (805) 449-2700. Also Jan. 28 – 30 at Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– Jan. 19. (Wed.) L’Arpeggiata. The highly praised French early music ensemble are joined by singer Lucilla Galeazzi, and directed by Christina Pluhar in a program of engaging Baroque classics. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Jan. 19. (Wed.) Emil Richards Big Band. Vibist/percussionist has displayed his extraordinary skills with everyone from Frank Sinatra to Frank Zeppo. This time out he leads his own big bandful of Southland musical stalwarts. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 20. (Thurs.) David Garfield Group. With Luis Conte and Emil Richards. A trio of L.A.’s best studio artists – pianist Garfield, percussionist Conte and vibist Richards join forces in an evening of dynamic rhythm tunes. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Jan. 20 – 22. (Thurs. – Sat.) Kenny Burrell Quintet. One of the gifted products of Detroit’s prolific jazz sceme, guitarist/educator Burrell continues – as he has done for decades – to create delightfully memorable evenings of jazz. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 21. (Fri.) Brad Mehldau’s Highway Rider with Chamber Orchestra and jazz ensemble. Composer-pianist Mehldau performs an in-concert version of the music from his new 2-CD set, Highway Rider — a through-composed work opening up the possibilities in a musical setting replete with jazz improvisation, classical chamber music textures and pop melodies. He’s accompanied by the all-star ensemble of Joshua Redman, Larry Grenadier, Jeff Ballard and Matt Chamberlain. Scott Yoo conducts the Chamber Orchestra. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– Jan. 21. (Fri.) Kristin Korb. She sings, she plays the bass, she entertains, and does it all with the sort of entertaining flair that demands attention in everything she does. Steamers. (714) 871-8800.
– Jan. 21. (Fri.) Al Jarreau. He’s such an impressive entertainer that it’s easy to overlook the extraordinary depth of his jazz skills. Back on track after some health problems, Jarreau is one of a kind, as good as the vocal art ever gets. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– Jan. 21. (Fri.) Patrick Williams Big Band “Aurora.” A week filled with big band music continues with Williams’ “Aurora,” featuring a line-up of L.A.’s (and the world’s) most extraordinary players. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 21. (Fri.) Suzanne Vega. The folk music revival of the ‘80s wouldn’t have been the same without singer/songwriter Vega, whose music still simmers with cool, but telling emotional atmosphere. Irvine Barclay Theatre. (949) 854-4646.
– Jan. 22. (Sat.) Roberta Flack. Multiple Grammy winning Flack was named one of VH-1’s “100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll.” But her rich sound and tender interpretations reach into expressive territories far beyond the world of rock. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– Jan. 22. (Sun.) Jack Sheldon California Cool Quartet. Some cool trumpet playing, appealing vocals and bawdy humor are on the music menu for this week’s jazz brunch. Helen Borgers hosts. KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch. The Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood \Hotel. (562) 985-2999.
– Jan. 23. (Sun.) Jazz Vespers with Bob Mintzer and Russell Ferrante. Saxophonist Mintzer and pianist Ferrante, founding members of the Yellowjackets, team up for the January Jazz Vespers. All Saints Church, Pasadena.
– Jan. 23. (Sun.) Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. A dramatic evening of music with Ignat Solzhenitsyn conducting the LACO in a performance of Lutoslawski’s Musique Funebre, Haydn’s Symphony No. 103 (“Drum roll”) and performing the Mozart Piano Concerto No. 20. Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101.
– Jan. 18 & 19. (Tues. & Wed.) Ladysmith Black Mambazo. The Grammy winning South African a cappella group’s music brilliantly displays the deep African linkage between music and dance. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– Jan. 19 – 22. (Wed. – Sat.) Roy Hargrove Quintet. Trumpeter Hargrove takes a break from his big band activities to perform in the wide open improvisationa setting of his small group. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.
– Jan. 18. (Tues.) JALALA. Three of the most musically adept female singers in the music world – Lauren Kinhan, Laurel Masse and Janis Siegel get together to display their wares in a harmonious vocal setting. The Cornelia St. Café. (212) 090-9319.
– Jan. 18 & 19. (Tues. & Wed.) Blood, Sweat & Tears with Arturo Sandoval. The ultimate jazz rock band joins forces with the master of Latin jazz. Expect musical fireworks. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– Jan. 18 – 22. (Tues.- Sat.) David Murray Big Band. Saxophonist Murray, a Grammy winner and a Guggenheim Fellow, applies some of the techniques he learned as a major avant-garde figure to the rich textures of a large ensemble. Birdland. (2120 581-3080.
– Jan. 18 – 23. (Tues. – Sun.) Lewis Nash Quintet. Drummer Nash leads a stellar ensemble, with trumpeter Jeremy Pelt, vibist Steve Wilson, pianist Renee Rosnes and bassist Peter Washington. Village Vanguard (212) 929-4589.
– Jan. 18 – 23. (Tues. – Sun.) Marcus Roberts Trio. The piano trio continues to be one of the jazz world’s ever-evolving ensemble styles. And pianist Roberts, with drummer Jason Marsalis and bassist Rodney Jordan, has perfected his own unique approach to the instrumentation. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9800.
– Jan. 23. (Sun.) Jane Ira Bloom. Soprano saxophone master Bloom celebrates the release of her fascinating new CD, Wingwalker. The Cornelia St. Café. (212) 090-9319.
Kenny Burrell and Jack Sheldon photos by Tony Gieske.