By Don Heckman
– July 12. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night. With Mundell Lowe and bassist Jim Hughart. Guitar Night’s always a pleasure, but here’s one not to miss – a pair of veteran jazz guitarists in action with the support of a fine bassist. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– July 13. (Wed.) Chris Botti and Bobby McFerrin with the Yellowjackets. One of the highlights of the Hollywood Bowl summer jazz schedule. Botti’s trumpet playing, delivered with surging rhythms and an elegantly expressive melodic flow have currently established him as the best-selling American instrumentalist. McFerrin is always a wonder and even more so when he’s having fun with the dynamic Yellowjackets players. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000
– July 13. (Wed.) Alex Iles and Bill Reichenbach Quintet. A pair of primo trombonists get together with a sound and style that will hopefully recall the delights of Kai Winding and J.J. Johnson. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– July 14. (Thurs.) The Bill Cunliffe Quartet. “Bill in Brazil” The ever-versatile pianist displays his love of the irresistible rhythms and soaring melodies of Brazil. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– July 14. (Thurs.) Della Reese. “I’m still here, celebrating my 80th birthday,” says the ever energetic Ms. Reese. And indeed she is, still singing up a storm, bringing imagination and entertainment to everything she does. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– July 15 & 16. (Fri. & Sat.) Sarah McLachlan with the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, Thomas Wilkens conducting. Multi-Grammy winning McLachlan makes her Hollywood Bowl debut in her first tour with an orchestra. She’ll sing songs from her recent CD, Laws of Illusion. Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.
– July 16. (Sat.) Golden Boys: Frankie Avalon, Fabian Forte, Bobby Rydell. Three of the teen idols of the ‘50s and ‘60s appear in the Cerritos season opener. The Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts. (562) 916-8501.
– July 16. (Sat.) An Evening with the Monkees. Forty five years after they first hit the television screens original members Davy Jones, Mickey Dolenz and Peter Tork revisit their catalog of hits. Greek Theatre. (323) 665-5857.
– July 16. (Sat.) Rickey Woodard with the John Heard Trio. Saxophonist Woodard’s hard swinging, harmonically and melodically adventurous improvisations are among the Southland’s great jazz delights. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.
– July 16. (Sat.) “From California With Love” CD release party. The CD and the performance benefit Japanese disaster relief. Among the stellar list of performers are Jim Cox, Michael Dees, Sue Raney, Diane Hubka, Pinky Winters and many more. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– July 17. (Sun.) Freda Payne. The gorgeous Ms. Payne applies her far reaching interpretive skills to a Tribute to the Great Ladies of Jazz: Ella, Lena and Sarah. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– July 17. (Sun.) Shahrzad Sepanlou. The lovely Iranian singers warm, expressive voice moves freely from traditional songs to intimate contemporary balladry. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.
– July l5 & 16. (Fri. & Sat.) Charlie Hunter/Scott Amendola Duo. Hunter’s seven string guitar virtuosity has a chance to fully express itself in the company of Amendola’s subtle drumming. Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. (510) 644-2020.
– July 14 – 17. (Thurs. – Sun.) Steve Turre Quartet with pianist Willie Pickens. Jazz trombonist and remarkable conch shell player Turre explores colorful jazz territory with Chicago jazz great Pickens. Jazz Showcase. (312) 360-0234.
– July 13. (Wed.) Jane Bunnett and Hilario Duran. Soprano saxophonist/flutist Bunnett and pianist Duran display some of the unusually eclectic Cuban material on their new album, Cuban Rhapsody. Jazz Standard. http://www.jazzstandard.com/red/index.html (212) 576-2232.
July 14 – 17. (Thurs. – Sun.) Airto. The great Brazilian percussionist, fascinating with a group or as a soloist, plays with the all-star aggregation of Mark Egan, bass, Jose Neto, guitar, Helio Alves, piano, and Lew Soloff, trumpet. D Booker, the daughter of Airto and Flora Purim, will sing. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– July 12 & 13. (Tues. & Wed.) “The Music of Charlie Parker” Alto saxophonist Gilad Atzmon evokes the spirit and the soul of the great bebop alto saxophonist, performing – with a string ensemble – selections from Bird’s classic “with strings” recordings. Ronnie Scott’s. 020 7439 0747.
– July 12. (Tues.) Ceu. Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Ceu is an intriguing songwriter and a compelling performer, blending her unique skills with her admiration for Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald and Lauryn Hill. New Morning. 01 45 23 51 41.
– July 15. (Fri.) Return To Forever IV. Chick Corea, Lenny White, Stanley Clarke, Jean-Luc Ponty, Frank Gambale. The latest incarnation of Return to Forever may well be the best one yet. With Ponty and Gambale bringing their fiery skills to the dependable platform provided by Corea, White and Clarke, the results are musically irresistible.The Blue Note Milano. 02.69.01.68.88.
– July 13 & 14. (Wed. & Thurs.) Lionel Loueke and Raul Midon, the Duwala Malambo Projekt. A pair of uniquely idiosyncratic guitarist/singers find common ground in a wide open arena of improvisational adventuring they call the Duwala Malambo Projekt. A-Trane International Jazz Club. 030/313 25 50.
Chris Botti photo by Tony Gieske.