By Don Heckman
– Jan. 4. (Wed.) Kris Bowers. 22 year old pianist Bowers, a graduate student at Julliard, was the winner of the Thelonious Monk Piano Competition in 2011.) Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 5. (Thurs.) Jon Mayer Quintet. Veteran pianist Mayer, whose resume includes gigs with the likes of Chet Baker, Sarah Vaughan, John Coltrane and the Manhattan Transfer, leads the all-star assemblage of saxophonist Bob Sheppard, trumpeter Steve Huffsteter, bassist Chris Conner and drummer Roy McCurdy. LAX Jazz Club in the Crowne Plaza Hotel. (310) 258-1333.
– Jan. 5. (Thurs. Alan Ferber Quartet. Versatile trombonist/educator Ferber, a Down Beat poll winner, makes a rare Southland appearance. He performs with pianist Josh Nelson, bassist Pat Senatore and his twin brother Mark Ferber on drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Jan. 6. (Fri.) The Tierney Sutton Band. Together for nearly two decades, the Sutton Band, with Tierney’s rich-hued voice surrounded by an irresistible instrumental embrace, is one of the jazz world’s most musically appealing ensembles. Expect to hear some selections from the TSB’s remarkable new album, American Road. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 7 & 8. (Sat. & Sun.) Barbara Morrison. Despite her recent medical difficulties, Morrison is courageously back in action, bringing insightful musical versatility to everything she sings. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 5. (Thurs.) Roberta Donnay Jazz Quartet. Donnay’s stylish jazz vocalizing will be the opening entry in a newly established jazz policy at San Rafael’s sleek, 40ish night club. George’s Nightclub. (877) 568-2726.
– Jan 5 – 8. (Thurs – Sun.) Mose Allison. The sage of the bayou, always fun to hear, balances sardonic wisdom with an infectious rhythmic swing. Blues Alley. (202) 337-4141.
– Jan. 4 – 7. (Wed. – Sat.) Cassandra Wilson. Grammy winner Wilson’s dark, seductive sound and intuitive way with a song are applied to material ranging from straight ahead jazz to pop, always delivered with fearless musicality. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.
– Jan. 4 – 8. (Wed. – Sun.) Jimmy Owens: The Monk Project. Trumpeter Jimmy Owens takes on the challenging music of Thelonious Monk in the company of a world-class musical ensemble: trombonist Wycliffe Gordon, saxophonist Marcus Strickland, tuba and baritone saxophonist Howard Johnson, pianist Kenny Barron, bassist Kenny Davis, and drummer Winard Harper. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola. (212) 258-9800.
– Jan. 4 – 8. (Wed. – Sun.) Nicholas Payton. Trumpeter Payton puts his far-reaching musical versatility on full display, leading his stellar quartet on Tues. – Thurs. as well as the Nicholas Payton Television Studio Orchestra on Fri. and Sat. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.
– Jan. 4 – 8. (Wed. – Sun.) Brad Mehldau Trio. Always musically compelling, regardless of the setting, pianist Mehldau kicks off the new year in the familiar creative environment of his trio, with Larry Grenadier, bass and Jeff Ballard, drums. Village Vanguard. 9212) 255-4037.
– Jan. 5 & 6. )Thurs. & Fri.) Tom Harrell Chamber Ensemble. Veteran trumpeter Harrell leads an octet that supplements his jazz quintet with flute, violin and cello to explore the subtle connections between jazz, Debussy, Ravel and beyond. The Jazz Standard. (212) 447-7733.
– Jan. 5 – 8. (Thurs. – Sun.) Lalah Hathaway. Donny Hathaway’s “First Daughter of Soul” continues to produce chart-topping r & b and soul classics in the idiom of her gifted father. The Blue Note Tokyo. 03. 5485. 0088.
Brad Mehldau photo by Tony Gieske.