Picks of the Week: Sept 5 – 11

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Quincy Jones

– Sept. 7. (Wed.)  Quincy Jones Band featuring the Global Gumbo All-Stars and Friends.  No one knows how to put together an evening of immensely entertaining music as well as Quincy Jones.  And he’s assembled one of his characteristically spectacular programs for an event that easily promises to be one of the principal highlights of this summer’s programs at the Bowl.  The line-up, reaching from jazz to soul to pop, hip-hop and beyond includes Patti Austin, the Brothers Johnson, Richard Bona, James Ingram, Alfredo Rodriguez, Nikki Yanofksky, Gloria Estefan, an all-star big band and a lot more.  Thank you, Q.  It just doesn’t get much better than that.  So don’t miss this one. The Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

– Sept. 7. (Wed.)  Teka Brazilian Jazz.  Brazilian born singer/guitarist Teka brings striking authenticity to the mixture of jazz and Brazilian rhythms she calls New Bossa.  She performs with Aaron Serfaty, drums and Jeff Elliot, trumpet and keyboards.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Sept. 8. (Thurs. )  Mark Dresser and Jen Shyu.  Bass and voice duos have appeared from time to time in the jazz world, but rarely with the adventurousness of this remarkable pair of talents.  Dresser has had an extensive career as a bass soloist, and Shyu’s vocalizing has been impressing audiences for nearly a decade with Steve Coleman’s Five Elements.  Together, they make a memorable musical experience.  This time out, they’re celebrating the release of Synastry, their new CD on Pi Recordings.  The Blue Whale.  (213) 620-0908.

Due Voc:

– Sept. 8. (Thurs.)  Due Voci.  Diane Warren, who’s probably written more memorable songs than anyone in the past few decades, showcases her remarkable catalog in a performance by the superb vocal duo of Kelly Levesque and Tyler HamiltonVitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Sept. 9 & 10. (Fri. & Sat.)  Tchaikovsky Spectacular with FireworksBramwell Tovey conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic one of the Bowl’s great annual audio and visual spectaculars.  On the program: Romeo and Juliet, Rococo Variations, Swan Lake and the 1812 Overture, complete with fireworks, cannons and the assistance of the U.S.C. Trojan Marching BandThe Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

– Sept. 9 & 10 (Fri. & Sat.)  Miles Evans Band.  Trumpeter Evans returns to Catalina’s, leading his band in a set of his own compositions, as well as arrangements of works by Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and Buddy Miles, written by his father, Gil EvansCatalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Sept. 10 (Sat).  Don Rader quartet.  Trumpeter Rader’s resume includes gigs with the stellar big bands of Woody Herman, Stan Kenton, Count Basie, Louis Bellson, Terry Gibbs, Henry Mancini and Frank Foster, among others.  But he’s also led his own fine small groups, and here he is, on his own in the spotlight, backed by pianist Tom Ranier and bassist Pat SenatoreVibrato Jazz Grill…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

Arturo Sandoval

– Sept. 10. (Sat.)  Arturo Sandoval“Tribute To My Friend Dizzy Gillespie.”  Inspired by Gillespie, musical Renaissance man Sandoval has evolved into a brilliant jazz trumpeter, pianist, percussionist, vocalist and more.  Let’s hope there’s room on this program to display the full range of his far-reaching talents.  Valley Performing Arts Center.    (818( 677-3000.

San Francisco

– Sept. 7 – 9 (Wed. – Fri.)  Dr. John and the Lower 911.  Multiple Grammy award winner Dr. John has been storming through pop music, investing it with his own combination of blues, rock, Zydeco and more since ‘70s.  And he’s still going strong. Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

New York

– Sept. 6 – 10. (Tues. – Sat.)  Dave Liebman.  The veteran saxophonist/composer celebrates his 65th birthday with performances by his small group on Tues. and Wed., and with his big band on Thurs. though Sat.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

Roy Haynes

– Sept. 7 – 11. (Wed. – Sun.)  Roy Haynes Fountain of Youth Band.  The Fountain of Youth in drummer Haynes’s band is primarily centered around his own amazing playing.  At 86, with a career reaching back to Charlie Parker, he’s bringing astonishing young vitality to every beat he plays.  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola.   (212) 258-9800.

– Sept. 8 – 11. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Robert Glasper Trio. Pianist Glasper, whose credits reach from Mos Def and Jay-Z to Carly Simon and Roy Hargrove, has been successfully searching for ways to open pathways into jazz for youthful listeners. Jazz Standard.    (212) 576-2232.


– Sept. 8. (Thurs.)  The Either/Orchestra.  The eclectic, musically adventurous E/O has been stretching the limits of large (ten pieces, actually) jazz for more than two decades.  They kick off their 2011-2012 season with a performance at their home base.  Regatta Bar.   (617) 395-7757.


Eliane Elias

– Sept. 8 – 11. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Eliane Elias.  Always a superb pianist, Elias has gradually matured into a  convincing singer as well.  And her latest album, Light My Fire, is a rich, mesmerizing collection of eclectic material (including a gripping version of the title track) that demands a Grammy nomination (and more).  Jazz Alley.     (206) 441-9729.


– Sept. 6 – 9.  (Tues. – Fri.)  Till Bronner.  The Grammy nominated German trumpeter Bronner has established himself as one of his country’s most visible, most honored jazz artists, as well as a top selling pop star.  Here he puts on his jazz cap.  A-Trane. Charlottenburg.  /  030/313 25 50.


– Sept. 6 – 9. (Tues. – Fri.)  The Legendary Count Basie Orchestra.  Few ensembles deserve the title “Legendary” as much as the still vital, still swinging Basie Orchestra.  With a first rate set of players, performing some of the greatest classic big band jazz repertoire, it’s hard to go wrong. Blue Note Tokyo.  03-5485-0088.

Quincy Jones photo by Greg Gorman.


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