By Don Heckman
– April 19. (Mon.) Pat Metheny. The ever-adventurous, all-star guitarist has put together a computerized, remote control ensemble that allows him to play all the instruments in his band. The Orchestrion Tour. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.
– April 19. (Mon.) Larry Goldings. Organ Night. The B-3 rules on Monday nights at Vitellos, and Goldings is the guy who takes it to the limit.. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905.
– April 19. (Mon.) The Ed Vodicka Big Band. Multi musical hyphenate Vodicka takes a night off from composing, arranging, conducting and producing to lead his own big jazz band. Vocal chores will be handled by the versatile cabaret jazz singer, Marlene VerPlanck. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.
– April 20. (Tues.) Strunz and Farah. The guitar duo were among the first artists to fit into the emerging world music genre, via the musical encounters between Costa Rican Strunz and Iranian Farah. Vibrato. (310) 474-9400.
– April 20. (Tues.) RATT. The Southland’s own hard rock, glam metal band is back again, ready to release a new CD, Infestation, and a new video. The Key Club. (310) 274-5800.
– April 21. (Wed.) Suezenne Fordham Jazz Trio. Veteran pianist/composer Fordham continues to find creative potential in the 3rd Stream concept, blending classical and jazz into a unique musical entity. Glendale Noon Concerts. First Baptist Church of Glendale. (818) 242-2113.
– April 22. (Thurs.)Monterey Jazz Festival On Tour. The MJF’s own all-star jazz band – Kenny Barron, Regina Carter, Kurt Elling, Russell Malone, Johnathan Blake and Kiyoshi Kitagawa – display some of the world class musicality that’s always present every September in Monterey. UCLA Live. Royce Hall. (310) 825-2101. Also April 24 at Orange County Performing Arts Center . (714) 556-2787.
– April 22. (Thurs.) Lizzy Williams Band. The multi-talented singer/songwriter/actress performs with virtuoso guitarist David Williams, drummer Laura Bilobeau, bassist Chief and iRoM’s very own Devon “Doc” Wendell on harmonica. The Green Room Lounge at the Viper Room. (310) 358-1881.
– April 22 – 24. (Thurs. – Sat.) Dick Gregory. Still one of the world’s great humorists, Gregory has an unerring eye and ear for detecting cant, pretentiousness, hubris and arrogance in public figures, nailing them with a sardonic phrase or an imaginative story. Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.
– April 23 & 24. (Fri. & Sat.) World premiere of Dice Thrown, a contemporary opera composed by John King using aleatoric techniques pioneered by John Cage. Musical direction by Marc Lowenstein. CalArts Walt Disney Modular Theatre.
– April 24. (Sat.) Ron King. The versatile trumpeter, a mainstay with almost every big band in town, takes a break to display his chops as a fine jazz soloists. Backing him — the John Heard Trio. Charlie O’s. (919) 994-3058.
– April 24. (Sat.) Benny Golson. Tenor saxophonist Golson has composed some memorable jazz standards. But he’s an equally convincing an improviser with a personal sound and an adventurous imagination. Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast. Grammy Museum Sound Stage. (310) 271-9039. He’s also at Anthology in San Diego on Friday (see below).
– April. 24. (Sat.) Christine Ebersole. Tony Award-winning Broadway musical star Ebersole has had an equally stellar career in film, television and cabaret. She brings all that, and more, to her far-ranging collection of songs and stories. CSUN Performing Arts Center. (818) 677-1200.
– April 25. (Sun.) Sing! Sing! Sing! Remembering Jerome Kern. Judy Wolman’s entertaining Sunday singalong celebrates the richly diverse songbook by the legendary composer of Show Boat – and much, much more. The Victorian Mansion. Sing! Sing! Sing! (310) 990-2405.
– April 25. (Sun.) Shelly Berg – Greg Abate Quartet. Pianist Berg takes time off from his teaching and administrative duties at the University of Miami to get together with saxophonist Abate, bassist Darek Oles and drummer Peter Erskine in the intimate setting of a home in the Hollywood Hills. A-Frame Jazz. (310) 659-9169. By reservation only.
– April 25. (Sun.) Gail Pettis. An impressive new jazz singer from out of the Northwest is drawing a lot of attention. And there’s no better place to hear her special way with a song than at the KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch hosted by the inimitable Bubba Jackson at Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. (562) 985-2999.
– April 23. (Fri.) Benny Golson. The day before his gig in the Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feast series, Golson brings his muscular tenor saxophone and memorable song book to Anthology in San Diego. (619) 595-0300.
– April 24. (Sat.) Ronnie Laws. Smooth jazz comes alive with soul whenever Laws picks up his horn. No wonder he’s had a long string of Top 40 albums and and singles. Anthology San Diego. (619) 595-0300.
– April 22 – 25. (Thurs. – Sun.) In the Mood For Moody: A Tribute to James Moody. Moody’s been recovering from health problems and won’t be able to make this stellar tribute. But there’ll be plenty of all stars to fill in the gaps: including Frank Wess, Joey DeFrancesco, Nnenna Freelon, Randy Brecker, Jon Faddis and others. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.
– April 25. (Sun.) Charles Lloyd New Quartet. Tale of a Cloud. Lloyd always surrounds himself with extraordinary players, and his New Quartet is no exception, eoyj Jason Moran, piano, Reuben Rogers, bass and Eric Harland, drums. SFJAZZ at the Palace of Fine Arts Theatre. (866) 920-5299.
-April 20 – 21. (Tues. & Wed.) Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green. A pair of alto saxophonists from different generations and different styles get together. Expect to see and hear musical sparks. Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232.
– April 20 – 25. (Tues. – Sun.) The Geri Allen Quartet. The superb, and too little acknowledged pianist challenges her skills by leading a quartet overflowing with talent and imagination: Ravi Coltrane, saxophones, Joe Sanders, bass, Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums. Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.
April 20 – 25. (Tues. – Sun.) Michel Camilo Trio. With Charles Flores, bass, Cliff Almond, drums. The Blue Note. Pianist Camilo has released eighteen recordings, garnering a Grammy Award, two Latin Grammy Awards, two Grammy nominations and an Emmy Award. He obviously should be heard at every opportunity. The Blue Note. (212) 475-0049.
– April 20 25. (Tues. – Sun.) George Coleman Quintet. Veteran saxophonist Coleman leads a group that positions him in the front line with the fast-fingered young saxophonist Eric Alexander and the crisp, articulate piano work of Harold Mabern. Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595.