Picks of the Week: Dec. 4 – 9

By Don Heckman

(Because of a software glitch there are no photos this week.)

Los Angeles

– Dec. 4 – 9. (Tues. – Sun.)  Roy Hargrove Quintet.  Versatile trumpeter Hargrove moves easily from big bands to small groups.  This time out, he’s leading his fine young quintet. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

– Dec. 4 & 5 (Tues. & Wed.)  The Gipsy All-Stars.  If like the Gipsy Kings, you’ll be just as fond of the Gipsy All-Stars, who do a superb job of keeping the Kings’ music alive and well.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.     (310) 474-9400.

– Dec. 6. (Thurs.)  Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band.  After two fine big bands last week, Vitello’s continues the trend with the always-swinging, always-entertaining Phat Band. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

Dec. 7. (Fri.)  Meshell Ndegeocello and James “Blood” Ulmer’s Memphis Blood featuring Vernon Reid.  Singer/bassist Ndegeocello applies her genre-crossing rock/jazz/funk,etc. style to everything she sings.  Expect some creative fireworks when harmolodic guitarist/singer Ulmer joins the fray.  CAP UCLA at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

– Dec. 7. (Fri.)  LeAnn Rimes.  Grammy-winning country pop singer Rimes has been a star since she was a teen-ager, her music career now expanding into film and television acting. Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (800) 300-4345.

– Dec. 8. (Sat.)  Tessa Souter.  New York-based jazz vocalist Souter doesn’t make a lot of appearances in the Southland, so don’t miss this opportunity to hear her richly interpretive style up close and personal.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute.     (310) 271-9039.

– Dec. 8. (Sat.)  Pete Christlieb Quartet.  Busy saxophonist Christlieb is everyone’s first call reed and flute artist, with good reason.  But it’s great to hear him in the spotlight, too, doing it all his way.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.     (310) 474-9400.

– Dec. 9. (Sun.)  The Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra.  The musically adventurous GPO, conducted by Mikael Avetisyan, offers a grand program of holiday music, reaching from Verdi and Schubert to Khachaturian, Anderson and Armenian folk songs.  Soloists include the gifted cellist Ruslan Biryukov, sopranos Nune Genjoian and Marine Abrahamyan-Abdasho, and tenor Haqumai Sharp.  First Baptist Church of Glendale.  The Glendale Philharmonic Orchestra.   (323) 663-3601.

– Dec. 9. (Sun.)  The Long Beach Symphony Orchestra“Christmas Fantasy.”  The LBSO celebrates its 10th annual holiday concert with another performance of familiar seasonal classics.  Conducted by Thomas Wilkins. With Broadway stars Elizabeth Southard and Gary Mauer with the Long Beach Camerata Singers.   The Long Beach Terrace Theatre.   (562) 436-3203.

– Dec. 9. (Sun.)  The Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra.  Rhapsody in Blue.  Gershwin’s classic will be performed and conducted by LACO director, Jeffrey Kahane.  The far-ranging program also includes works by Adams, Copland and Dvorak.  CAP UCLA Royce Hall.  CAP UCLA at Royce Hall.    (310) 825-2101.

– Dec. 9. (Sun.)  The John Clayton Holiday Quartet.  “2012 Holiday Celebration Brunch.” And a great celebration it is, with bassist/composer/bandleader Clayton leading the fine ensemble of Chris Dawson, piano, Graham Dechter, guitar, Clayton Cameron, drums.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

San Francisco

– Dec. 4 – 8. (Tues. – Sat.)  The Del Sol String Quartet.  Celebrating their 20th anniversary with a five-day festival of music.  There program includes four world premieres, the Del Sol String Quartet, a ZOFO duet (pianos), a didjeridu virtuoso, and new music that is both challenging and audience-friendly.  Z-Space  (415) 626-0453. 


– Dec. 6 – 9. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Larry Coryell Trio. Guitarist Coryell, who roves freely from contemporary styles to mainstream, does it all with imagination and style. Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

New York

– Dec. 4 – 8. (Tues. – Sat.)  Phil Woods.  Already an iconic jazz figure, alto saxophonist Woods, at 81, continues to define the identity of the contemporary jazz saxophone while holding on to his appealing bebop qualities. Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– Dec. 6 – 9. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Miguel Zenon & Laurent Coq “Rayuela.”  Alto saxophonist Zenon and pianist Coq perform selections from their CD, inspired by Julio Cortaza’s Argentinian novel, “Rayuela.”  The Jazz Standard.    (212) 576-2232.

– Dec. 7 & 8. (Fri. & Sat.)  “The Music of Nina Simone,”   Singer Kim Nalley has the vocal skills and the musical imagination to authentically revive the Simone songbook.  Her guest artist is multi-saxophonet player James Carter.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9800.


– Dec. 4 – 7. (Tues. – Fri.)  The Motown Christmas Review.  With Natalie Williams and Soul Family. In these weeks of holiday celebrations, here’s one with an appealing blend of soul styles applied to classic seasonal songs.  Ronnie Scott’s.    (0)20 7439 0747.


– Dec. 6 – 8.  (Thurs. – Sat.)  Georgie Fame. Singer/keyboardist Fame’s jazz and rock roots have brought intriguing qualities to his partnerships with the likes of Van Morrison and Bill Wyman.  Jazzhus Montmartre.  (+45) 70 15 65 65.


– Dec. 4 – 7. (Tues. – Fri.) The Clarke-Duke 4 “Bring It!” Tour.  The tour title is an accurate description of an exciting musical encounter between bassist Stanley Clarke and pianist George Duke.  Tokyo Blue Note.    03.5485.0088.


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