Picks of the Week: Jan 10 – 15

January 9, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Youngjoo Song

– 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 SheppardThe 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.

Judy Wexler

– 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.

Gustav Mahler

– 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. 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.


J D Souther

– 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.

New York

– 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 CalvaireDizzy’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.


Kurt Rosenwinkel

– 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,

Picks of the Week: Jan. Feb. 1 – Feb. 6

February 1, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– Feb. 1. (Tues.)  Jules Day.  The rising young jazz singer performs an evening of new, original music from her latest CD, Day DreamsCatalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– Feb. 2. (Wed.)  Teka and Aaron Serfaty.  “Brazilian Jazz.” Guitarist/singer Teka and percussionist Serfaty team up with pianist Otmar Ruiz and bassist Dave Robaire to illuminate the amiable connections between jazz and Brazilian music.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Feb. 3. (Thurs.)  Tom Peterson/Alan Ferber Quartet. Saxophonist Peterson and trombonist Ferber, veterans of the recordinging studios with sounds and styles all their own, take center stage with the sterling backing of pianist Tom Ranier, drummer Kevin Kanner and bassist Pat SenatoreVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

Sally Kellerman

– Feb. 3. (Thurs.)  Sally Kellerman. The one and only Hot Lips returns to the musical stage.  What new mysteries will be revealed?  Only long, tall Sally knows.  But you can bet they’ll be entertaining.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Feb. 3. (Thurs.)  Ron Eschete Trio.  One of the rare jazz masters of the 7-string guitar, Eschete displays his remarkable skills in the company of bassist Todd Johnson and drummer Kendall KaySteamers (714) 871-8800.

– Feb. 3. (Thurs.) Paul Kreibich’s “Salute To Gene Harris” Drummer Kreibich, a veteran musical companion of the great pianist, in an evening of engaging, briskly swinging Harris reminiscences.  With pianist Bradley Young, guitarist Frank Potenza and bassist Luther Hughes LAX Jazz Club at the Crown Plaza LAX.  (310) 258-1333.

– Feb. 3 – 5. (Thurs. – Sat.)  George Herms: “The Artist’s Life.” The Bobby Bradford Mo’tet, the Theo Saunders Group and the voice of Diana Briscoll come together for the world premiere of a free-jazz opera by one of the founders of the California school of assemblage sculpture.  Plan to experience a spontaneous extravaganza of sights and sounds.  REDCAT.  (310) 237-2800.

– Feb. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Kenny Garrett Quintet. Grammy award-winning alto saxophonist Garrett has a resume reaching from Duke Ellington to Miles Davis.  This time out, he offers his envelope-stretching sounds at the front of  his own quintet.   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– Feb. 4. (Fri.)  The Ethnic Heritage Ensemble. The E.H.E. has been celebrating the confluence of African roots and American jazz from a Chicago perspective for more than three decades.  The group’s current installment features percussionist and founder Kahil El’Zabar, trumpeter Corey Wilkes and saxophonist Ernest Khabeer Dawkins.  They perform for a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute Concert Hall.  (310) 271-9039.

Randy Weston

– Feb. 5. (Sat..) Randy Weston. The sounds that issue from Weston’s piano playing find the essential common ground between African music and jazz by way of Duke Ellington, Thelonious Monk and Weston himself.  A Friends of Jazz concert at  Fowler Museum,  UCLA.   (310)  206-3269.

– Feb. 5. (Sat.)  Shawn Colvin and Loudon Wainwright III. A pair of veteran singer/songwriters, each with a fascinating history, tell their irresistible musical tales of whimsy and woe.  CSUN Performing Arts.   (818) 677-8800.

– Feb. 5. (Sat.)  Michael Feinstein. The multiple platinum selling, five-time Grammy nominate singer/pianist/pop historian performs selections from his 2008 album, The Sinatra Project. Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

– Feb. 5. (Sat.) Christian Howes Quartet.  “There’s nobody better than this guy,” said the iconic guitarist Les Paul, while praising jazz violinist Howes’ impressive blend of classical technique with a soaring improvisational imagination.  He’s backed by the equally fine support of Donald Vega, piano, Lyman Medeiros, bass, Bob Leatherbarrow, drums.  Christian Howes performs at Pierre’s Fine Pianos.  (310) 473-0600.

Billy Childs

– Feb. 5. (Sat.)  Billy Childs Chamber Jazz Ensemble with the Sonus String Quartet.  Grammy nominee Childs assembles the full company of his current jazz perspective, linking his atmospheric piano and sterling jazz ensemble with the rich timbres of the Sonus string players.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

– Feb. 2 – 5. (Wed. – Sat.)  The Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute BandJack Bruce, bass and vocals, Vernon Reid, guitar, John Medeski, keyboards/organ and Cindy Blackman, drums get together once again to revive the extraordinary fusion sounds of the Lifetime.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

Shawn Colvin

– Feb. 3 & 4. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Shawn Colvin. Two decades after she arrived on the scene from South Dakota, Grammy-winning, platinum-selling songer-songwriter Colvin still has gripping musical stories to tell. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York

– Feb. 1. (Tues.) Jean-Michel Pilc, Francois Moutin and Ari Hoenig.  A trio of international players – Pilc and Moutin from France, Hoenig from Philadelphia – demonstrate the irresistible global reach of jazz.  55 Bar.  (212) 929-9883.

– Feb. 1 – 5. (Tues. – Sat.) Saxophone Summit: Joe Lovano, Dave Liebman and Ravi Coltrane. “Summit” is the right word to describe this assemblage of world class tenor and soprano saxophonists.  Don’t miss this one.  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080

– Feb 1 – 6. (Tues. – Sun.)  Aaron Goldberg Quartet.  Pianist Goldberg’s superb quartet – Mark Turner, saxophone, Reuben Rogers, bass and Eric Harland, drums display live versions of selections from his latest album, Home.Village Vanguard (212) 255-4037.

– Feb. 3 – 6. (Thurs. – Sun.)  George Coleman Quintet.  Still going strong at 75, tenor saxophonist Coleman works out his muscular tenor saxophone sounds in the company of Larry Goldings, Hammond B-3, Peter Bernstein, guitar, George Coleman, Jr., drums and Daniel Sadownick, bass.  The Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

Sally Kellerman, Billy Childs and Randy Weston photos by Tony Gieske.

Picks of the Week: Nov. 16 – 22

November 16, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Nov. 16. (Mon.) Devon Wendell, Kevin Kelly and Tyler Kidd.    Blues on the loose, featuring iRoM’s own “Doc” Wendell playing electric and acoustic guitars and harmonica.  A chance to hear the reviewer in action.   The Viper Room.  (310) 652-7869.

– Nove. 16. (Mon.)  Elvis Schoenberg’s Orchestre Surreal.  Schoenberg’s large collective of L.A. studio players claims to perform music that “fuses classical, jazz, rock, hip hop, world music and just about anything else.”  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.


Charlie O

– Nov. 17. (Tues.)  Remembering  Charlie OThe Bill Cunliffe Trio.  Charlie Ottaviano passed away a year ago.  But his widow Jo-Ann has made sure that the club that bears his name continues to be the Southland’s ultimate jazz bar and restaurant, presenting world-class music seven nights a week.  There will undoubtedly be a few tears and a lot of jamming taking place to celebrate his memory.  Charlie O’s. (818) 989-3110.

– Nov. `17. (Tues) Charlie Haden Family & FriendsRambling Boy.  Bassist Haden, one of the jazz world’s most versatile artists, recalls his early years in country and bluegrass music.  Family members, bluegrass players and Jack Black join the party.  Disney Hall.   (323) 850-2000.

– Nov. 19. (Thurs.)  John Altman.  Sixtieth Birthday Party. Alto saxophonist/composer/arranger and humorist Altman celebrates a milestone birthday. Charlie O’s (818) 989-3110.

Lainie Kazan

Lainie Kazan

– Nov. 19. (Thurs.)  Thom Rotella Quartet.  Guitarist Rotella performs with the sterling backing of pianist John Beasley, bassist Kevin Brandon and drummer Roy McCurdy.  Crown Plaza Brasserie Jazz Lounge.  (310) 642-7500.

– Nov. 19 – 21. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Lainie Kazan.  The star of stage, screen, television and beyond is also a jazz-oriented, always engaging vocalist.  Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

– Nov. 20. (Fri.)  Graham Dechter Trio performs with guest star trumpeter Gilbert CastellanosSpazio. (818) 728-8400.

– Nov. 20 – 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Joey DeFrancesco Trio.  The master of the B-3 keeps alive the tradition of big, blues-driven, irresistibly swinging jazz organ music. Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  The Kronos Quartet, Terry Riley, Matmos and Michael Einziger“Eureka” The opening event in the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s West Coast, Left Coast Festival features four artists whose skills were honed in the cultural environment of California.  The evening’s works are frequently interrlated, especially during a combined version of a piece titled “For Terry Riley,”  performed by the Kronos Quartet and the electronica of Matmos.  Walt Disney Concert Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Tommy Tune and the Manhattan Rhythm Kings: “Steps In Time” Dancer, choreographer and director Tune recalls some of the classic, high-stepping moments in Broadway musical history.  CSUN Performing Arts Center (818) 677-5768.

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Bernadette Peters. The Broadway musical star, who can command a stage with a sultry phrase and a playful twist of her hips, stars in the 15th Anniversary Celebration of the Thousand Oaks Civic Plaza.   (805) 449-2700.


Hubert Laws

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Hubert Laws, Larry Koonse and Tierney Sutton. The Jazz Bakery continues its Moveable Feast series of concerts with a Holiday Celebration featuring veteran flutist Laws, versatile guitarist Koonse and jazz vocalist Sutton.    Fowler Museum.  UCLA.   (310) 271-9039

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Bob Sheppard.  Name the style you want to hear from a saxophonist, and Sheppard can deliver it in A-class style.  This time out, he’s doing things his own way, backed by the sturdy support of bassist Pat Senatore’s TrioVibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

– Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Hans Groiner & Larry Goldings Quartet.  Here’s an intriguing two-fer.  Pianist and humorist Groiner, making his West Coast debut is allegedly a “Thelonious Monk scholar.”   Goldings is a solid talent, one of the Southland’s most imaginative keyboardists.  The Red Carpet Jazz Series.  Upstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

– Nov. 22. (Sun.) Suezenne Fordham Chamber Jazz LA. Fordham’s expands upon the lineage of avant-garde jazz reaching back to the ‘60s.  South Pasadena Music Center and Conservatoryhttp://www.southpasadenamusic.com (626) 403-2300

San Francisco

– Nov. 18. (Tues.)  Fred Hersch.  Solo piano.  Gersh is always a pleasure to hear, but never more so than when he plays alone.  Hopefully he’ll include some selections from his recent album of music by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  Yoshi’s Oakland )510) 238-9200.

– Nov. 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Wallace Roney Quintet.  Trumpeter Roney’s playing style flows from the Miles Davis wellspring, but what he does with it is uniquely his own.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

Savion Glover

Savion glover

– Nov. 20 – 22.  (Fri. – Sun.)  Patti Austin.  Who will show up this week?  The Jazz Patti, the Blues Patti, the Soul Patti.  Doesn’t matter.  All of Austin’s musical manifestations are great.  With any luck she’ll include something from all her sources.  Yoshi’s  San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

– Nov. 17 – 22. (Mon. – Sun.)  Savion Glover“Jamming with the Masters” The brilliant tap artist performs with special guests McCoy Tyner, Roy Haynes, Eddie Palmieri, Jack DeJohnette and others TBA.  Check with club for schedules.  The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

– Nov. 17 – 22.  George Wein & the Newport All-Stars.  At 84, Wein – a swinging pianist as well as jazz’s most successful impresario – still loves to get up on the stage and do it himself.  He performs with the true all-star backing of saxophonist Lew Tabackin, trumpeter Randy Sandke, guitarist Howard Alden, drummer Winard Harper and others.  Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212) 258-9595.

. – Nov. 21. (Sat.)  Mariza and Friends.  The Portuguese diva and her passionate fado interpretations are joined, in a diverse program, by Peru’s Eva Ayllon and Cuban jazz pianist Gonzalo RubalcabaCarnegie Hallhttp://www.carnegiehall.org/SiteCode/Intro.aspx

– Nov. 22. (Sun.)  Jean-Michel Pilc Quartet. French pianist is one of the most adventurous members of the new generation of players taking their music beyond the powerful influence of Bill Evans. 55 Bar (212) 929-9883.

Picks of the Week: July 27 – Aug. 2

July 27, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– July 28. (Tues.) Regina Spektor. The Soviet-born singer/songwriter manages to combine influences from Ani DiFranco, Tom Waits, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith, Edith Piaf — as well as her own unique personal history — into one of the more offbeat contemporary pop styles. The El Rey. (323) 936-6499


Jessica Polaskey and John Pizzarelli

– July 29 – Aug. 2. (Wed. – Sun.) John Pizzarelli and Jessica Molaskey. Musically, they’re constantly engaging — a blend of instrumental swing and delightful vocalizing. Add in the humor and byplay between this attractive couple and expect an evening of irresistible entertainment. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.

– July 30. (Thurs.) Gadji-Gadjo. Accordionist Melanie Bergeron leads the Quebec-based band in their L.A. premiere, performing a colorful array of Roma and klezmer-based music Skirball Cultural Center. (310) 440-4500.

– July 30. (Thurs.) The Anthony Wilson Trio and Nonet and the L.A. Jazz Collective. The Hammer Museum’s JAZZPOP series outdoes itself with this far-reaching display of the Southlands fine, young jazz talent. Not to be missed. Hammer Museum. (310).443-7000.

– July 31. (Fri.) Bruce Forman. He’s been highly praised by no less an expert on jazz guitar than Barney Kessel. And Forman, a versatile guitarist/educator — who is also a published novelist (“Trust Me”) — deserves that praise and more. Steamers. (714) 871-8800

galison cowboy

William Galison

– July 31. (Fri.) William Galison has been called “the most original and individual of the new generation of harmonica players” by Toots Thielemanns. Like Toots, he also plays the guitar (along with soprano sax and various other instruments). Galison’s resume includes gigs with, among others, Sting, Barbra Streisand, Chaka Khan, Ruth Brown and a creative partnership with Madeleine Peyroux. He’s backed by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, clarinetist John Tegmeyer, bassist Greg Swiller and drummer Nate Wood with special guest pianist Adrianne Duncan. Pasadena Jazz Institute. http://www.pasjazz.org. (626) 398-3344.

– July 31 – Aug. 2. Guys and Dolls. The Frank Loesser musical, one of the certified classics of the Broadway musical stage, receives an inimitable Hollywood Bowl treatment. The star-studded cast includes Jessica Biel, Ellen Greene, Scott Bakula, Beau Bridges and Brian Stokes Mitchell. Kevin Stiles conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchesatra, and director Richard Jay Alexander and choreographer Donna McKechnie lead the same creative team that produced last summer’s highly praised production of Les Miserables. Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

– Aug. 1. (Sat.) Stacy Rowles. Combine her Jimmy Rowles genes with her own impressive talents, and trumpeter/vocalist Stacy is always a pleasure to hear. This time out, shes backed by the Pat Senatore trio. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.eo

Leo Kottke

Leo Kottke

San Francisco

– July 29 – 31. (Wed. – Fri.) Leo Kottke. A guitarist’s guitarist since the release of his first major label album, “Mudlark,” in 1971, Kottke is making his first appearance at Yoshi’s. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.


– July 30 – Aug. 2. (Thurs. – Sun.) Monty Alexander Trio. Straight ahead jazz piano trio playing at its best, further enlivened by the rich Caribbean undercurrent that flows through everything Monty touches. Jazz Alley. ( 206) 441-9729.

New York

– July 28. (Tues.) Alfredo Rodriguez. The young Cuban pianist, a protege of Quincy Jones, performed recently at the Playboy Jazz Festival, displaying imagination, technique and adventurousness of a major new arrival on the jazz scene. The Jazz Standard (212) 576-2252.

– July 28 – Aug. 2. (Tues. – Sun.) Bob James and Earl Klugh. The veteran duo celebrate the 30th anniversary of their Grammy-winning album, One on One. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.


Lou Donaldson

– July 29 – Aug. 1. (Wed. – Sat.) Lou Donaldson Quartet. He may have started out as a disciple of Charlie Parker, but Donaldson’s been laying down his own groove-driven, bop-tinged alto saxophone style for decades. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

– August 1 & 2. (Sat. & Sun.) The Caramoor Jazz Festival. This’ll be a weekend to remember for fans of jazz piano. It doesn’t get much more divers than this lineup:, Jean-Michel Pilc, Cedar Walton, Randy Weston, Gerald Clayton, Chuchito Valdes, Junior Mance and Cyrus Chestnut. Singers Luciana Souza and Dianne Reeves add some vocal variety. Caramoor Jazz Festival (914) 232-5035.


– July 31. (Fri.) Tim Reis. The Rolling Stones Project. After touring the world with the Rolling Stones, Reis knows the music of Jagger and Richard well. He performs music from his album, The Rolling Stones Project, illuminating such classic numbers as “Honky Tonk Women,” “Gimme Shelter” and “Ruby Tuesday” from a jazz perspective. The Regatta Bar. Cambridge. (617) 395-7757



Joan Baez

Highlight- August 1 & 2. (Sat. & Sun.) George Wein’s Folk Festival 50. Wein virtually invented the concept of summer jazz and folk festivals. And still does it better than almost anyone. His celebration of the 50th anniversary of the first Newport Folk Festival is a great example. Characteristically, Wein has created an event to be remembered, assembling a brilliant line-up that includes, among others, Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Judy Collins, Arlo Guthrie, Judy Collins, Ramlin’ Jack Elliott, Mavis Staples. George Wein’s Folk Festival 50. Fort Adams State Park, Newport, Rhode Island. (800) 514-3849. .


– July 31. (Fri.) Dave Liebman. He’s close to home for this gig, but saxophonist Liebman’s creative imagination knows no boundaries. He’s backed by pianist Phil Markowitz, bassist Tony Marino, and drummer Mike Stephans. The Dearhead Inn. Delaware Water Gap, PA. (570) 424-2000.

Picks of the Week: April 27 – May 3

April 27, 2009

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

– April 28. (Tues.) The Trio: Terry Trotter, Peter Erskine, Chuck Berghofer. The label might seem a little prepossessive in some hands, but not with these guys, whose playing defines the notion of interactive musical intimacy. Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058 http://www.charlieos.com.

– April 29. (Wed.) Mitch Forman Trio, with Darek Oles and Gary Novak. Forman and his associates offer a another approach to the piano trio, reaching into areas of free-flying expressionism. Spazio. (818) 728-8400. www.spazio.la/jazz.php

– April 29. (Wed.) Jon Mayer Trio. Mayer’s worked with just about everyone who values sterling piano backing. On his own, he’s even better, finding new riches in the treasure trove of post bebop jazz. Steamers. (714) 871-8800 http://www.steamersjazzcafe.com.

– April 29 – May 2. (Wed. – Sat.) Dave Valentin – Bill O’Connell A pair of always swinging, Latin jazzers present selections from their new CD, “Triple Play.” Jazz Bakery (310) 271-9039. www.jazzbakery.com.


Sonny Rollins

– April 30 (Thurs.) Sonny Rollins. The master at work. One of the remaining iconic figures of jazz, of course, but beyond that an improviser with an unparalleled capacity to stretch the limits of imaginative jazz invention. Samueli Theatre Orange County Performing Arts Center. http://www.ocpac.org.

– April 30. (Thurs.) Miles Mosley. Bassist Mosely continues his popular residency at the Edison, turning on the crowds with what he describes as “Cadillac Funk.” The Edison. (213) 613-0000. www.edisondowntown.com. (Also May 14 and May 28).

– April 30. (Thurs.) Charles Owens Quartet. Woodwind specialist Owens still hasn’t found a jazz style that he can’t master. Which makes for entertaining performances, no matter what he’s playing The Lighthouse Café. (310) 376-9833. www.thelighthousecafe.net


Chuck Loeb

– May 1 – 3. (Fri. – Sun.) The Chuck Loeb Trio w. Dave Weckl and Brian Bromberg. Contemporary crossover jazz from three of its masters. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. www.catalinajazzclub.com.

– May 3. (Sun.) Celtic Spring. The Wood family band of Irish musicians range freely across the Celtic universe, offering selections from Ireland and Scotland to Cape Breton and Nova Scotia. Cerritos Center. (562) 467-8818 www.cerritoscenter.com

– May 3. (Sun.) Playboy Jazz Festival Free Community Concert. Johnny Polanco Y Su Conjunto Amistad, Maurice Spears and Bonesoir. The Playboy Festival kicks off its always entertaining series of free concerts with a sunny afternoon of piquant Latin jazz and briskly swinging, straight ahead trombone sounds. Expect to groove. The Beverly Hills Civic Center. 3 to 5 p.m. Free. (310) 450-1173. www.playboyjazz.com.

San Francisco


John Handy

May 3. (Sun.) Mingus Dynasty with special guest John Handy — a musical match-up not to be missed. SFJAZZ Festival. Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. San Francisco.

New York City

– April 27 (Mon.) Ari Hoenig Trio w. Jean-Michel Pilc and Francois Moutin. The combination of drummer Hoenig, pianist Pilc and bassist Moutin always ignites cutting edge jazz pyrotechnics. Small’s (212) 252-5091. http://www.smallsjazzclub.com

– April 28 – May 3. (Tues. – Sun.) Samba Jazz and the Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. Duduka Da Fonseca, Helio Alves, Claudio Roditi, Maucha Adnet, Toninho Horta & special guest Eddie Gomez. With a line-up like this, it’s a fair bet that Jobim would have loved every minute. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595. www.jalc.org/dccc

– April 28 – May 3. (Tues. – Sun.) Barry Harris Trio with Ray Drummond and Leroy Williams. Bebop at its best; nobody does it better. The Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037. www.villagevanguard.com.


Karrin Allyson

– April 29 – May 2. (Wed. – Sat.) Karrin Allyson. The always fascinating Allyson perfroms selections from her latest CD, “Imagina: Songs of Brazil.” Birdland. (212) 581-3080. www.birdlandjazz.com

New Orleans

April 27 – May 3. ( Mon. – Sun.) New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. The line-up for this massive event speaks for itself. To mention only a few scheduled artists: Tony Bennett, Doc Watson, Bonnie Raitt, Esperanza Spalding, Randy Brecker, John Scofield, Nicholas Paytojn, Emmylou Harris, Dr. John, Bon Jovi, the Neville Brothers, Neil Young, and dozens of others.(504) 522-4786. www.nojazzfest.com


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