Picks of the Week: July 24 – 29

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Street Corner Renaissance

– July 25. (Wed.) Street Corner Renaissance. With a quintet of singers whose age ranges from 50 to 72, the lush a cappella harmonies and crisp rhythms of the Renaissance convincingly bring the sound of groups such as the Ink Spots and the Chiffons vividly into the present. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466=2210.

– July 26. (Thurs.) Frank Petrilli Ttrio, A protégé of the great jazz accordionist Frank Marocco, Petrilli continues the musical quest to keep the creative subtleties of the Marocco style alive. He’ll perform with bassist Pat Senatore and drummer Enzo Tedesco. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

– July 26. (Thurs.) Jean-Yves Thibaudet Plays Ravel. French pianist Thibaudet plays the jazz-influenced Ravel Concerto in G on a program rich with other jazz-influenced pieces. Among them: Bernstein’s Cadide and On the Town, along with Gershwin’s An American In Paris. Pure Ravel fans will also be pleased by the presence of his atmospheric Daphnis and Chloe. Stephane Deneve conducts the Los Angeles PhilharmonicHollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

Sherry Williams

– July 27. (Fri.) Sherry Williams. She’s always been a fascinating singer, but as Williams has matured, her interpretations have gained rich emotional depth, enhanced by the embracing warmth of her voice and the subtle rhythms of her captivating phrasing. Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– July 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.) The Producers. Mel Brooks’ riotous story, first an Academy award-winning film, then a hit Broadway musical – the winner of 12 Tony awards – is this year’s annual fully staged Bowl musical, Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000.

– July 28 (Sat.) Bibi Tanga and the Selenites. Multi-instrumentalist Tanga has been effectively blending funk, African rhythms, French cabaret with traces of Prince and Curtis Mayfield, and making it all work as an irresistible mix.  The performance opens with the hip hop breaks and soul jazz grooves of Breakestra.  Grand Performances. (213) 687-2159.

– July 28. (Sat.) The Baked Potato All-Stars. All-Stars is the right label for a stellar band that includes Ernie Watts, saxophone, Mitch Forman, keyboards, Mark Ferber, drums, Brian Bromberg, bass, Jeff Richman, guitar. The Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

Bonnie Bowden

– July 29. (Sun.) Bonnie Bowden. Bowden’s impessive resume reaches from singing solos at Disneyland and bossa nova with Brazil 66 to television, musical theatre and gigs as a big jazz band chanteuse. Dipping into her small band jazz routines, she’ll be backed by the world-class support of pianist Llew Matthews, saxophonist Rickey Woodard, bassist Luther Hughes and drummer Roy McCurdy  Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

– Jul 28 & 29. (Sat. & Sun.) Michael Franks. Singer/songwriter Franks was one of the life-giving musical voices of the ‘70s, bringing appealing traces of jazz and Brazilian music to such endearing songs as “Popsicle Toes” and “Mama Wants To Know.” At 67, he’s still going strong, still an engaging singer and writer. Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.


– July 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.) Claudio Roditi Quintet. Brazilian trumpeter Roditi has carved his way into the American jazz scene without losing touch with his Brazilian roots.  Jazz Showcase.  (312) 360-0234.

New York

– Jan. 25 – 28. (Wed. – Sat.) Pablo Ziegler’s Tango Connection. A close musical companion of the iconic Astor Piazzolla, pianist/composer Ziegler has been one of the pathfinding exponents of Nuevo Tango. Starting with the Piazzolla style, he’s added improvisational jazz, bossa nova-like harmonies and a crisp, percussive style to his music. He’ll be joined by special guest Regina Carter. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

Anat Cohen

– July 26 – 29. (Thurs. – Sun.) Anat Cohen’s Invitation Series. Clarinetist/tenor saxophonist Cohen seems to become more versatile with every performance. This time out, she fully demonstrates her eclecticism in a succession of musical encounters. On Thurs: with guitarist Romero Lubambo. On Fri.: with guitarist Howard Alden. Sat.: On With the Anzic Orchestra. On Sun.: With pianist Fred Hersch. Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.


– July 26. (Thurs.) Al Jarreau. Tickets may be hard to locate, but it’s worth every effort to hear one of the world’s most uniquely gifted jazz singers up close and personal. Ronnie Scott’s.  (0)20 7439 0747.


– July 28. (Sat.) Roberta Gambarini Quartet. Italian born Gambarini has thoroughly established herself as a jazz singer whose skills transcend her origins, thoroughly linking to the jazz mainstream while bringing new imagination and ideas to everything she sings. New Morning. 01 45 23 51 41.


– July 28 – 30. (Sat. – Mon.) Larry Carlton Quartet, Guitarist Carlton has crossed over easily from blues and funk to straight ahead jazz and smooth jazz, blending all those styles into his own personal form of expression.  Blue Note Tokyo. 03.5485.0088.

Street Corner Renaissance photo courtesy of Bobby Holland.

Bonnie Bowden photo by Bob Barry

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