By Don Heckman
– Jan. 10. (Tues.) Youngjoo Song. Korean jazz pianist Youngjoo Song brings an affection for classical music and American gospel song to her creatively eclectic view of jazz, as both a player and a composer. In this rare Los Angeles appearance, the rising jazz star’s group features the similarly versatile, fast-fingered, multi-saxophone playing of the always inventive Bob Sheppard. The Blue Whale. (213) 620-0908.
– Jan. 11. (Wed.) Nora Rothman. The talented young jazz singer/pianist, just barely into her ‘20s, has the skill and the style of a major talent in the making. She’s backed by Nick Chuba and Charlie Mischer. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 12. (Thurs.) Judy Wexler Quintet. One of the many great things about hearing jazz singer Judy Wexler in action is the unpredictability of what to expect. Always compelling, she makes a song her own, whether it’s American Songbook, Jazz Standard, Top 40 Pop or Singer/Songwriter. The LAX Jazz Club at the Crowne Plaza. l (310) 258-1333.
– Jan. 12. (Thurs.) Paul Jacobs. The winner of a 2010 Best Solo Instrumental Grammy – the first organist ever to do so – Jacobs presents a challenging program of 20th century works, including Messiaen’s Livre du Saint Sacrement. Royce Hall Organ Recital. UCLA Live. (310) 825-2101.
– Jan. 12. (Thurs.) Pilc – Moutin – Hoenig. The world class trio of pianist Jean-Michel Pilc, from France, bassist Francois Moutin, also from France, and drummer Ari Hoenig, from Philadelphia have been affirming the true international nature of jazz for more than a decade with their cutting edge version of the jazz piano trio. The Musicians Institute Concert Center. A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast. (310) 271-9039.
– Jan. 12. (Thurs.) Kate Reid and Larry Koonse. Singer/pianist Reid’s recent CD, The Love I’m In, offers a potent display of her rich, intuitive way with a song. Working in tandem with the superb guitar of Koonse should produce similarly intriguing results. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– Jan. 12 – 14. (Thurs. – Sat.) George Duke’s Fusion Band. He’s got the skills to go in any musical direction. This time out, celebrating his 66th birthday (on Thurs.) the versatile keyboardist is digging into his rich bag of funk. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.
– Jan. 13. (Fri.) through Feb. 5. (Sun). The Mahler Project. 9 Symphonies, 3 Weeks, 2 Orchestra, 1 Conductor. Gustavo Dudamel takes on the Herculean task of conducting Gustav Mahler’s nine completed symphonies in performances by the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela at venues in Los Angeles and Caracas. The Mahler Project. (323) 850-2000.
– Jan. 13 & 14. (Thurs. & Fri.) Vardan Ovsepian Chamber Ensemble. Part I and II. Armenian-born pianist-composer Ovsepian is musically inhabiting the broad land between jazz and concert music with remarkably intriguing results. The Blue Whale. (213) 620-0908.
– Jan. 14. (Sat.) Benn Clatworthy. England-born saxophonist Clatworthy has thoroughly established himself as a player whose skills are beyond global definition, via gigs with, among numerous others, Lionel Hampton and Cedar Walton. This time out, he’s backed by the Pat Senatore Trio. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.
– Jan. 15. (Sun.) Sing! Sing! Sing! This week’s singalong with the Sing! Sing! Sing! vocalists and the adroit backing of pianist Judy Wolman focuses on the incredible song catalog of Irving Berlin. Between songs, Howard Lewis will provide some fascinating nuggets of information about the Great American Songwriter who was born Israel Baline. Sing! Sing! Sing!
– Jan. 12 – 15. (Thurs. – Sun.) Arturo Sandoval. The gifted trumpeter/pianist/percussionist/singer (and more) takes a band of L.A.’s finest players up to the Northwest for a display of Southern California/Cuban Latin jazz. Jazz Alley. (206) 441-9729.
– Jan. 12. (Thurs.) J. D. Souther. He may be best known as the writer of some compelling hit songs for Linda Rondstat, the Eagles and himself (among others), but Souther – his performances spiced with his affection for jazz – is best to see and hear on his own. Click HERE to read iRoM’s review of Souther’s latest recording. Regatta Jazz Bar. (617) 395-7757.
– Jan. 10 – 12. (Tues. – Thurs.) The Clayton Brothers. Not just the Clayton Brothers, bassist John and alto saxophonist Jeff, but also the next generation’s impressive new star – John’s son, pianist Gerald Clayton. All these hugely talented, interrelated genes will be backed by trumpeter Terrell Stafford and drummer Obed Calvaire. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9800.
– Jan. 10 – 15. (Tues. – Sun.) Geri Allen, Esperanza Spalding, Terri Lyne Carrington. Here they are, all in one incredible package – a trio of three of the contemporary jazz world’s most gifted female artists. Don’t miss this one. The Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.
– Jan. 14. (Sat.) Kurt Rosenwinkel Berlin Quartet. In a world filled with ambitious guitarists, Rosenwinkel has managed to hold his own, developing a style that is both unique, appealing and immensely musical. A-Trane. 030/313 25 50. Guitarist Rosenwinkel,