Picks of the Week: Sept. 11 – 16

September 11, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Sarah Chang

- Sept. 11. (Tues.)  Sarah Chang. A gifted child prodigy, violinist Chang has matured into a superb interpretive artist. In this far-reaching program, she performs a suite from Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Bramwell Tovey.  Also on the bill – works by Copland and Gershwin.  The Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 12. (Wed.)  Dave Matthews Band.  Hollywood Bowl. Twenty years after singer/songwriter/guitarist formed the Band, the Grammy-winning ensemble continues to produce fascinating music – most recently in the just released CD Away From the World.   The Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 13. (Thurs.)  Patrick Berrogain’s Hot Club Combo.  The hard swinging sounds and rhythms of Django Reinhardt’s gypsy jazz are alive and well in the hands of Berrogain’s Hot Club.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

Itzhak Perlman

- Sept. 13. (Thurs.)  Itzhak Perlman plays Tchaikovsky. The final classical concert of the 2012 Bowl season climaxes, appropriately, with the incomparable Perlman, performing the irresistible Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with the Los Angeles Philharmonic conducted by Bramwell Tovey.  Call it a winning combination.  The Hollywood Bowl.  The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 13. (Thurs.)  Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra. “Music and Story” The LACO’s first “Westside Connection” of the new season features writer Mark Salzman in a musical narrative piece describing the way Bach’s Cello Suite No. 3 (here performed by Andrew Shulman) relieved his struggles with writers’ block.  The Broad Stage.  (213) 622-7001.

- Sept. 13. (Thurs.)  Sons of Etta.  A celebration of the life and music of the great Etta James.  Featured performers include Thelma Jones, saxophonist/harmonica player Jimmy Z and Donto James – the Grammy-winning son of James and the leader of her Roots Band. Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- Sept. 14. (Fri.)  Sascha’s Bloc Band.  A stirring evening of music tinged with an Eastern European flavor, while reaching out to encompass gypsy jazz, contemporary jazz, flamenco, swing, blues and country.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

Fiona Apple

- Sept. 14. (Fri.)  Fiona Apple. The Grammy winning singer/songwriter celebrates the release of The Idler Wheel…, her first album in seven years.  The Greek Theatre.    (323) 665-5857.

- Sept. 14. (Fri.)  Joe Bagg Organ 4.  Keyboardist Bagg brings some ear-opening new ideas to the traditional organ jazz trio, with the enthusiastic aid of trumpeter Ron Stout, guitarist Jamie Rosenn and drummer Ryan Doyle.  The eminently listenable duo of pianist Jeff Colella and pianist Putter Smith open the evening.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

- Sept. 14 – 16. (Fri. – Sun.)  Brian Setzer OrchestraThe Fireworks Finale.  The Grammy winning rockabilly swingster leads his big band, aided by conductor Thomas Wilkins and the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in a glorious, season-topping grand finale.  The Hollywood Bowl. The Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

- Sept. 16. (Sun.)  Phil Norman Tentet.  Swinging West Coast jazz of the ‘50s is alive, well, and completely contemporary in the arrangements and the playing of Norman’s talented Tentet.  Vitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

San Francisco

- Sept 14 – 16. (Fri. – Sun.)  John Scofield Trio.  Guitarist Scofield’s eclectic musical path has now arrived at a classic musical encounter with a pair of gifted musical associates – bassist Steve Swallow and drummer Bill Stewart. Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

Seattle

Pat Metheny

- Sept. 13 – 16. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The Pat Metheny Unity Band.  Ever on the lookout for new ideas, guitarist Metheny now finds inspiration in an older instrumentation – the jazz quartet, with the stellar aid of Chris Potter, saxophones, Ben Williams, bass and Antonio Sanchez, drums.  Jazz Alley.  (206) 441-9729.

Chicago

- Sept. 13 – 16. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Mulgrew Miller Trio.  Everybody’s a-list pianist, Miller – active as a musician and an educator – steps into the spotlight to display his invigorating improvisational style.  Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

Boston

- Sept. 13 & 14. (Thurs. & Fri.)  Joe Lovano “Us Five.”  Saxophonist Lovano’s new band is overflowing with talent: Grammy-winning bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, pianist James Weidman, and drummers Francisco Mela and Otis Brown IIIScullers.    (617) 562-4111.

New York

- Sept. 11. (Tues.)  Roz Corral and Judi Silvano.  A pair of the jazz vocal art’s most adventurous practitioners share the stage with equally venturesome accompanists – Alan Broadbent and Boris Kozlov with Corral, and Frank Kimbrough and Ben Allison with Silvano.  Expect to experience some compelling musical surprises.  Cornelia St. Cafe.   (212) 989-9319.

- Sept. 11 – 15.  (Tues. – Sat.)  The Dave Liebman Group. NEA Jazz Master Liebman continues to set the contemporary jazz pace on the soprano saxophone, while adding in some impressive flute and tenor saxophone playing, as well.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

Randy Brecker

- Sept. 11 – 16. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Brecker Brothers Band Reunion.  A revival of one of the jazz world’s great fraternal ensembles, in memory of the incomparable Michael Brecker.  With Randy Brecker, trumpet, Mike Stern, guitar, Rodney Holmes, drums, Ada Rovati, saxophone, George Whitty, keyboards, Will Lee, bass and Oli Rockberger, vocals and keyboards.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

- Sept. 13 – 16. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Oliver Lake.  The veteran alto saxophonist performs in three very different musical settings.  On Thurs. with the Oliver Lake Organ Quartet; on Fri. with the Oliver Lake Big Band; on Sat. and Sun. with the Oliver Lake Trio (with Reggie Workman, Andrew Cyrille and speial guest Geri Allen).  Jazz Standard.    (212) 576-2232.

London

Frank Sinatra Jr.

- Sept. 13 – 15. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Frank Sinatra, Jr.  The entertainment world is filled with Sinatra tributes and imitators.  But no one comes closer to the original than #1 son, Frank Sinatra, Jr.  Hearing his familiar vocal timbre and well-crafted phrasing in the Sinatra classics is an experience to remember.  Ronnie Scott’s.     (0) 20 7539 0747.

Milan

- Sept. 12. (Wed.)  Benny Golson. Saxophonist Golson has composed some memorable jazz classics, among them “I Remember Clifford,” “Killer Joe,” “Whisper Not,” “Along Came Betty” and more.  Here’s a chance to hear them from the originator. The Blue Note Milano.  02.69016888.

Tokyo

- Sept. 11 &o 12. (Tues. & Wed.)  Joe Sample.  Keyboardist and one of the founders of the Jazz Crusaders, performs selections from his new album, Creole Joe Band.  Blue Note Tokyo.    03-5485-0088.


Picks of the Week: Aug. 23 – 28

August 23, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Aug. 23. (Tues.)  Clay JenkinsGood Signs  CD concert.  Trumpeter Jenkins celebrates the September release of his new CD with the stellar band on the album — guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe LaBarbera Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

- Aug. 24. (Wed.)  Alan Ferber Quartet. Versatile trombonist Ferber moves easily across numerous jazz styles, always with imaginative creativity.  Here he makes one of his rare Southland appearances, working with bassist Pat Senatore, pianist Josh Nelson, and his brother, Mark FerberVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

Omara Portuondo

- Aug. 24. (Wed.)  Arturo Sandoval, Natalie Cole, the Buena Vista Social Club with Omara Portuondo and Ninety Miles, featuring Stefon Harris, David Sanchez and Christian Scott.  The Bowl sizzles with a far-ranging evening of Latin jazz in a wide array of manifestations and styles.  Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2000

- Aug. 25. (Thurs.) Theo Saunders Quartet with Dave Binney.  Pianist Saunders, a probing musical artist on his own, gets together with alto saxophonist Binney, whose career has been filled with adventurous musical explorations.   Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

- Aug. 25. (Thurs.)  Mr. Vallenato.  The Skirball’s free Sunset  Concerts for 2011 close with a performance by Jorge Villarreal. a Mexican-American accordion virtuoso whose emotional romps through cumbia and vallenato music have prompted some reviewers to compare the excitement of his playing to that of the legendary Jimi Hendrix.  The Skirball Cultural Center.   Free.  Doors open at 7 p.m. for an 8 p.m. performance.  (310) 440-4500.

- Aug. 25. (Thurs.)  Ken Peplowski.  Clarinetist Peplowski has been doing an effective job of keeping the jazz clarinet alive (along with his equally impressive tenor saxophone work.  He’s backed by pianist Mike Wofford, bassist Chuck Berghofer and drummer Paul Kreibich LAX Jazz Club Crowne Plaza Hotel.    (310) 642-7500.

Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.

- Aug. 25 – 27. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr.  Married for more than forty years, McCoo and Davis continue to celebrate the entertaining music of the group that brought them together, the Fifth Dimension.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

- Aug. 26 & 27. (Fri. & Sat.) John Williams, Maestro of the Movies.  With one of the most impressive catalog of film scores in his resume, Williams fully deserves the “Maestro” title.  He conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in a collection of his memorable music.  In an added highlight, James Taylor will be guest narrator.  Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 27. (Sat.)  Brian Wilson.  One of the rock music figures who truly warrant the label “legendary” makes a rare concert appearance.  Wilson – whose awards reach from Kennedy Center honors to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – will offer selections from many of his greatest Beach Boys hits.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

San Francisco

Oliver Lake

- Aug. 25. (Thurs.)  Oliver Lake Organ Quartet.  Alto saxophonist Lake, a true Renaissance man, is also a poet, painter and performance artist.  For this appearance, he’ll focus on expanding the arena of the jazz organ quartet with organist Jared Gold, trumpeter Freddie Hendrix and drummer Chris Beck. Yoshi’s Oakland.    (510) 238-9200.

Chicago

- Aug. 25 – 31. (Thurs. – Wed.)  Ira Sullivan and Friends. Eighty year old multi-instrumentalist Sullivan has always been one of jazz’s most impressive, but also elusive performers, sticking close to the Chicago area.  Here he is again in his home territory, displaying his remarkable skills as a trumpeter, saxophonist, flutist and composer.   Jazz Showcase.    (312) 360-0234.

New York

- Aug. 23 – 27. (Tues. – Sat.)  Richie Beirach Quintet. Veteran pianist Beirach burst onto the jazz scene in the early ‘70s with Stan Getz.  And his multi-layered style is still a marvel of improvisational imagination.  He performs with the cutting edge ensemble of Randy Brecker, trumpet, Gregor Huebner, violin, George Mraz, bass and Billy Hart, drums.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

Jon Faddis

- Aug. 23 – 28. (Tues. – Sun.)  Jon Faddis Quartet with special guests Sean Jones and Terell Stafford.  Trumpeter Faddis, a protégée of Dizzy Gillespie, does his own mentoring in the company of young trumpeters Jones and Stafford.  The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.

London

- Aug. 23. (Tues.)  Buddy Greco and Lezlie Anders.  Veteran pianist/singer Greco, who turned 85 earlier this month, is still adeptly offering the blend of bop-tinged piano and soaring vocals that have characterized his music since he left the Benny Goodman band in the late ‘40s for a solo career.  He’ll perform with his wife, singer Lezlie Anders.  Ronnie Scott’s.   020 7439 0747.

Tokyo

- Aug. 23 – 25. (Tues. – Thurs.)  Ramsey Lewis Electric Band.  Pianist/keyboardist Lewis continues to tour with his five piece electric band, mixing standards and new works with material from his 1974 gold album, Sun Goddes.   The Blue Note Tokyo.   03-5485-0088.


Picks of the Week: Sept. 20 – 26

September 21, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Sept. 21. (Tues.)  Further. Featuring Phil Lesh and Bob Weir. The music of the Grateful dead still lives, as Lesh and Weir, with an all star band take the classics “further” out.  The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Sept. 21. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night. Pisano teams up for an evening of duets with the guitarist Frank Sinatra loved — Ron Anthony. Bassist John Belzaguy keeps the rhythm together.  Vitello’s (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 22. (Wed.)  Sally Kellerman.  “Hot Lips” returns with another display of Kellerman’s entertaining way with a song.  Andy Langham’s piano and arrangements provide the backing.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 23. (Thurs.) Denise Donatelli.  Her enchanting voice and intuitive way with a song are rapidly elevating Donatelli to the highest levels in the crowded field of female jazz vocalists.   Charlie O’s.   (818) 994-3058.

Debbie Reynolds

- Sept. 23 – Oct. 3. (Starting Thurs.)  Debbie ReynoldsAlive & Fabulous. The title tells it all.  MGM’s hottest musical property from the ‘50s still knows how to light up a stage. The El Portal Theatre, North Hollywood.   (818) 508-4200.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Kristin Korb.  Versatile bassist/singer Korb supports her new CD, In the Meantime with a free performance and two bands: Llew Mathews and Steve Barnes in the first set; Bruce Forman and Aaron Serfaty in the second.  LACMA.  (323) 857-6000.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.) Phil  Ranelin and Tribe Renaissance.  Trombonist Ranelin and his players apply their own unique mainstream sound and style to a musically stimulating encounter with the veteran trumpeter Marcus BelgraveThe Culver Club at the Radisson.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Willie Nelson & Family. The one and only Willie performs selections from his latest CD, Country Music. Ryan Bingham and the Dead Horses open the show.  The Greek Theatre.   (323) 665-3125.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Doug Webb.  One of the Southland’s most popular go-to saxophonists, Webb explores the nocturnal selections on his latest CD, MidnightVibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Babatunde Lea Quintet.  With Patrice Rushen, Ernie Watts, Gary Brown and Dwight Trible.  African, Cuban,, Caribbean and South American rhythms are blended into an irresistibly appealing jazz feast by Lea’s world class ensemble. Holy Nativity Episcopal Church, Westchester.  (310) 670-4777.

Dave Liebman

- Sept. 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  Dave Liebman. Saxophonist – and 2011 Recipient of the NEA Masters of Jazz Award – brings his New York Quartet, with guitarist Vic Juris, bassist Marko Marcinko and bassist Tony Marino to a rare Southland club engagement.  Don’t miss this one.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Sept. 24 & 25. (Fri. & Sat.)  BeauSoleil avec Michael Doucet.  They’ve been performing traditional creole, cajun and zydeco music since the mid’’70s, and they’re still utterly compelling.  On Friday at McCabe’s. (310) 828-4497.  On Sat. in a free concert with Big Chief Monk Boudreaux & the Mardi Gras Indians. at Orange County Great Park.  (949) 854-4646.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.) Sound of Music Singalong. It’s the ultimate singalong, complete with a giant screen to keep everyone on the same beat in the same scene.  There’ll be a pre-show parade for audience members courageous enough to wear costumes.The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000.

Charles Lloyd

- Sept. 25. (Sat.) Charles Lloyd. Saxophonist/flutist Lloyd, one of the true – if sometimes under-appreciated – originals to emerge from the post-Coltrane era, performs selections from his new CD, Mirror, with the world class backing of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland.   Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.  Nate Holden Performing Arts Center.   (310) 271-9039.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Kris Kristofferson.  A solo acoustic show from the Grammy-winning Kristofferson, one of the stellar talents of the singer/songwriter era .  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.  http://www.cerritoscenter.com (562) 918-8501.  Also Sept. 26. (Sun.) at the Civic Arts Plaza in Thousand Oaks.   (805) 449-2700.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Symphonic Jazz Orch.  A far too-rare performance by the 67 person SJO, performing jazz, Brazilian music, soul music, classical music and a few world premieres.  With guest stars George Duke, Luciana Souza and Raul Midon. Conducted by Mitch Glickman.  Host for the evening is comedian Tommy DavidsonRoyce Hall. (310) 876-8130.

- Sept. 25. (Sat.)  Fiesta Mexicana VIIISones, Bailes y Cantares. A colorful evening celebrating the rich folkloric music and dance of Mexico.  Among the groups performing – Tamborazo Pancho Villa and Trio Jacaranda.   Ford Amphitheatre.  (323) 461-3673.

- Sept. 26. (Sun.)  Red Holloway and Plas JohnsonBubba Jackson hosts.  KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch. The Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel. h

- Sept. 26. (Sun.)  17th Annual Brazilian Summer Festival. The spirit of Brazil has been vividly alive in these Summer Festival events for nearly two decades.  And Sunday night will be no exception, with a spectacular performance by the 23-member percussion and dance ensemble Olodum, the group that created samba reggae.  Opening the performance, Brasilidade Samba and Pagode show combine body-moving pagode and samba rhythms with a coterie of stunning Brazilian dancers.  Ford Amphitheater.   (323) 461-3673.

San Francisco

George Wein

- Sept. 20 & 21. (Mon. & Tues.)  George Wein and the Newport All-StarsAn Evening of Conversation and Jazz. The inventor of the outdoor jazz festival displays his chops as a pianist and as an entertaining, anecdote-filled conversationalist. Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

- Sept. 21. (Tues.) Fred Hersch and Nancy King.  Pianist Hersch and singer King, A pair of he jazz world’s most consistently inventive, musically adventurous artists, find common musical ground.  Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

- Sept. 22 & 23. (Wed. & Thurs.)  The Charles Lloyd New Quartet.  Saxophonist/flutist Lloyd, one of the true – if sometimes under-appreciated – originals to emerge from the post-Coltrane era, performs selections from his new CD, Mirror, with the world class backing of pianist Jason Moran, bassist Reuben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

- Sept. 23 – 26. (Thurs. – Sun.)  The McCoy Tyner All-Stars. “All-Stars” is precisely the right title, with Roy Hargrove, trumpet, John Patitucci, bass and Willie Jones III, drums on stage with the ever-stellar Tyner.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

Geri Allen

- Sept. 24 – 26. (Fri. – Sun.)  Fri. – Sun.)  Geri Allen: Tribute to Eric Dolphy. Allen has assembled the right collection of players for a long overdue tribute to one of jazz’s most remarkable innovators — Oliver Lake, alto sax, Don Byron, bass clarinet, Dwayne Dolphin, bass and Jeff “Tain” Watts, drums.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

New York

- Sept. 21 – 25. (Tues. – Sat. )  “Coltrane Revisited’ Joe Lovano, Steve Kuhn, Lonnie Plaxico and Andrew Cyrille.  Combine Lovano’s affection for Coltrane with Kuhn’s remembrances of having worked with Coltrane, add the solid bass and drum work of Plaxico and Cyrille, and expect a musically energizing evening.  Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

- Sept. 21 – 26. (Tues. – Sun.)  Ravi Coltrane Quartet. He comes from noble lineage, but the most intriguing aspect of Coltrane’s saxophone work is the way he has shaped it into a style which is uniquely, creatively his own.  Village Vanguard.  (212) 255-4037.

Sept. 23 – 26. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Taylor Eigsti Trio with singer Becca Stevens.  A former child jazz prodigy, now impressively in his mid-‘20s, Eigsti displays his versatility with his own group, with singer Stevens and with special guests Julian Lage, guitar (Thurs.), singer Gretchen Parlato and pianist Gerald Clayton (Sun.).  Jazz Standard.   (212) 576-2232.

- Sept. 24. (Fri.)  Mike Melvoin Trio.  L.A.’s master jazz pianists hits the Big Apple with his favorite New York rhythm team, bassist Jay Leonhart and drummer Bill GoodwinKitano.   (212) 885-7119.


Picks of the Week: Aug. 16 – 22

August 16, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

- Aug. 17. (Tues.) Tuesday Classics at the Bowl. Leon Fleisher plays Ravel’s Piano Concerto for the Left Hand.  Pietari Inkinen conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Sibelius’ Finlandia and Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 17 & 18. (Tues. & Wed.)  Steve Tyrell.  Singer Tyrell continues to affirm his fascination with the classics of the Great American Songbook.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

The Neville Brothers

- Aug. 18. (Wed.)  The Neville Brothers.  It’s a night to celebrate the great musical heritage of New Orleans.  Also on the bill, the Preservation Hall Jazz Band, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, and the Trey McIntyre Project.    The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 18. (Wed.) Cheryl Bentyne & Mark Winkler.  The Manhattan Transfer’s Bentyne teams up with singer/songwriter Winkler to celebrate the swinging legacy of West Coast CoolCatalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 18. (Wed.)  Chopin, Schumann and the Bliss Oboe Quintet. Music to honor the bicentennial’s of Robert Schumann and Frederic Chopin.  Glendale Noon Concerts.  At twelve noon in the Sanctuary of the First Baptist Church of Glendale.  Free.

- Aug. 19. (Thurs.)  The Clare Fischer Latin Sextet. Fischer’s compositions and arrangements are always impressive, and never more so than when he’s writing in a Latin mood for the group he once called Salsa Picante. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

- Aug 19. (Thurs.)  Jews on Vinyl. A live performance of music linked to the exhibition, Jews On Vinyl, celebrating Jewish recorded music from the ‘40s to the ‘80s.  Featured artists include International vocalist Hedva Amrani, veteran jazz cellist Fred Katz and singer Sol Zim (“the Tom Jones of cantoral music”)  The Skirball Center.   (310) 440-4500.

- Aug. 19. (Thurs.) Henry Franklin Quartet. Bassist Franklin leads a dynamic group of Southland’s finest.  With Kasami Washington, tenor saxophone, Theo Saunders, piano, Tony Austin, drums.  Charlie O’s. (818) 994-3058.

- Aug. 20. (Fri.)  Bobby Bradford Mo’Tet with visual artist George Herms. A fascinating evening of interplay between music and visual art.  LACMA (212) 857-6000.

Carol Welsman

- Aug. 20. (Fri.)  Carol Welsman.  Singer/pianist Welsman knows how to bring a song to life, whether she’s delivering a Peggy Lee classic, a memorable bossa nova or a French chanson.  While doing so in an irresistibly swinging setting.  Boston Court Performing Arts Center, Pasadena.  Jazz Bakery Moveable Feast. (310) 271-9039.

- Aug. 20 – 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Tchaikovsky Spectacular.  And “Spectacular” it is, with Baiba Skride playing the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto.  Adding to the music pyrotechnics, Bramwell Tovey leads the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Capriccio Italien and concludes with  the 1912 Overture complete with fireworks and the USC Trojan Marching Band. The Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000.

- Aug. 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Lenny White’s Anomaly. Drummer White supports his fascinating new recording, Anomaly, once again demonstrating the musical versatility that has marked his high flying career since the days with Chick Corea’s Return To Forever.   Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210.  .

- Aug. 21. (Sat.)  Al Green.  The Pointer Sisters. It’s rhythm and soul night at the Greek with the Reverend Al’s legendary groove and the Pointers’ memorable hits from the ‘70s and ‘80s.  The Greek Theatre. (323) 665-3125.

- Aug. 21. (Sat.)  Ron Eschete Trio. Guitarist Eschete presents his unique, seven-string stylings in Henri’s intimate jazz room.  The BackRoom at Henri’s.   (818) 348-5582.

- Aug. 21. (Sat.)  Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles. The GCLA singers celebrate their third performance at Disney Hall with a program of contemporary choral classics as well as the newly commissioned The End of It All, by John Tejada.  The program also includes the mixture of music and spoken word in the Harvey Milk Schools Project. Disney Hall.

Fiesta Argentina

- Aug. 21. (Sat.) Fiesta Argentina: Tango, Cancion de Buenos Aires.  A dynamic evening of Argentine music and dance, featuring clarinetist Zinovy Goro, flutist Pablo Goldstein, singers Esther Segovia, Osvaldo Roval, Carlos Bossio and Claudio Ortega with the Otero Dance Company. Ford Amphitheatre.  (323) 461-3673.

- Aug. 21 & 22. (Sat. & Sun.) Sunset Junction Fair. The 30th annual Sunset Junction Fair has its familiar collection of music (on five stages), arts, crafts, rides and games.  Check the website for the lengthy program of acts, but don’t overlook Saturday’s live Miles Davis Bitches Brew Remix led by Davis’ nephew, drummer Vince Wilburn, Jr. Sunset Junction Fair.

- Aug. 22. (Sun.)  Gail Pettis.  Seattle jazz singer Pettis takes time off from her orthodontics practice to showcase her first rate jazz vocal skills.  Helen Borgers hosts.  KJAZZ Sunday Champagne Brunch at the Twist Restaurant in the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel.

San Francisco

Patrice Rushen

- Aug. 20 & 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Patrice Rushen. Keyboardist Rushen makes the most of her ability to reach across the spectrum of jazz genres.  Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

- Aug. 20 – 22. (Fri. – Sun.)  Charanga Habanera.  A youthful band of Havana players mix traditional sounds and rhythms with contemporary textures in a strikingly visual presentation.  Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Aug. 17 – 21. (Tues. – Sat.)  Geri Allen Trio 3.  Pianist Allen leads the stellar trio of Andrew Cyrille, Reggie Workman and Oliver Lake in a celebration of the Mary Lou Williams Centennial.  Birdland.  (212) 581-3080.

Hiromi

- Aug. 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  Hiromi. Japanese keyboardist Hiromi accomplishes the rare feat of juxtaposing her convincing straight ahead playing against well-crafted fusion sounds. The Blue Note. (212) 475-8592.

- Aug. 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Music of Antonio Carlos Jobim. An evening of works by the man who created some of the most memorable songs of the late 20th century. Performed expertly by The Trio Da Paz, with Joe Locke, Harry Allen and Maucha AdnetDizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.   (212) 258-9595.

- Aug. 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Al Foster Quartet. Veteran drummer foster leads the way with a pack of superb young jazz lions. With Gerald Clayton, piano, Chris Potter, tenor saxophone, Doug Weiss. Bass.  The Iridium.   (212) 582-2121.


Picks of the Week: Jan. 19 – 24

January 19, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Victor Wooten

- Jan. 19 – 20. (Tues. – Wed.)  Victor Wooten Band.  Award winning bassist Wooten’s performances with the Bela Fleck Band have always been impressive feats of musical magic.  Here he conjures up his own creative surprises.   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Jan. 19. (Tues.)  John Pisano Guitar Night.  Now firmly established at Vitello’s Guitar Night begins its duo performances.  This time, Pisano gets together with former Oscar Peterson standout, Swedish guitarist Ulf WakeniusVitellos. (818) 769-0905.

- Jan. 21. (Thurs.)  Simplexity.  The innovative electronic jazz group celebrates the release of their CD “Extreme Measures.” With  John von Seggern, Gary Novak, Steve Tavaglione and John Beasley ResBox at the Steve Allen Theatre.

- Jan. 21. (Thurs.)  John Altman Quartet.  English alto saxophonist and multi-hyphenate composer/arranger/songwriter Altman makes one of his too-infrequent Southland appearances. Charlie O’s (818) 989-3110.

Kenny Burrell photo by Bob Barry

- Jan. 21. (Thurs.)  Gerry Gibbs Quintet.  Inventive drummer Gibbs leads a stellar ensemble — accordionist Frank Marocco, multi-instrumentalis Rob Hardt, pianist Llew Matthews and bassist Lyman Medieros.     Crowne Plaza LAX Hotel.  (310) 642-7500.

- Jan. 21 – 23.  (Thurs. – Sat.)  Kenny Burrell Quartet.  One of the icons of jazz guitar, Burrell spends most of his time in educationsl settings these days.  So don’t miss this relatively rare chance to hear him in action.   Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210.

- Jan. 22. (Fri.)  Julie Esposito.   She has an enviable blend of skill, training and natural ability.  But what really makes Esposito special is her interpretive ability to find the heart of a song.   Café 322 (626) 836-5787.

Anna Mjoll

- Jan. 22. (Fri.)  Tom Peterson with the Pat Senatore Trio.  Saxophonist Peterson has played with just about everyone at one time or another.  Here he is up front, doing it his own way with Senatore’s solid backing.    Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

- Jan. 22. (Fri.)  Anna Mjoll.  The Icelandic singer moves easily across traditional pop and jazz genres with upbeat swing and an engaging on stage manner.  She performs with the John Heard TrioCharlie O’s. .  (818) 989-3110.

- Jan. 22. (Fri.)  Lincoln Mayorga.  “Chopin and the Piano.”  A discussion of the composer’s life and a performance of all of the 24 Preludes, the Grande Polonaise in A flat, the Scherzo in C sharp minor and selected mazurkas, etudes, and waltzes.  At the new Steinway Piano Gallery.  314 N. Robertson Blvd. (near Beverly Blvd.)  Information: Jeannine@FrankEntertainment.com (310) 476-6735

- Jan. 23. (Sat.)  Madeline Eastman.  San Francisco-based Eastman has skills too rarely heard in most alleged jazz singers — the ability to paraphrase, the implicit understanding of how a song is constructed, and a deep understanding of the relationship between words and music.  She sings with the Randy Porter Trio.  The Red Carpet Jazz Series.  Upstairs at Vitellos.  (818) 769-0905.

Carol Bach-y-Rita

- Jan. 23. (Sat.)  Carol Bach-y-Rita.   Jazz, Brazilian music and Salsa are, says Bach-y-Rita says, her “great loves.”  And she sings them with the affection that only a true lover can express.   Spazio. (818) 728-8400.

- Jan. 23. (Sat.)  Doug MacLeod and Lawrence Lebo. Here’s a typically entertaining, typically eclectic McCabe’s program: the traditional blues and soulful guitar and vocals of MacLeod, and the jaunty swing and blues stylings of the inimitable Lebo.  McCabe’s. (310) 828-4497. 

- Jan. 24. (Sun.)  Ron McCurdy and the Vocal Collective.  Trumpeter (and educator) McCurdy interacts with the superb harmonies and briskly swinging vocals of the Vocal Collective.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.    (310) 474-9400.

San Francisco

Ann Hampton Callaway

- Jan. 18. (Mon.)  Kat Parra and The Sephardic Experience.  Parra’s beguiling voice expressively blends traditional elements with contemporary sounds and rhythms.  Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

- Jan. 19. (Tues.)  Ann Hampton Callaway.  The busily traveling Callaway makes a too brief, one-night stop.  Too brief because her singing and her piano playing are always as entertaining as they are illuminating. Yoshi’s San Francisco. (415) 655-5600.

- Jan. 19 – 31. (Tues. – Mon.) Andrea Marcovicci.  Always an insightful interpretive artist, the “Queen of Cabaret” applies her dramatic musicality to “Skylark: A Centennial Tribute to Johnny Mercer.”    The Rrazz Room (415) 781-0306.

Kenny Garrett

- Jan. 21 – 24. (Thurs. – Sun.)  “Django Reinhardt at 100.” There will be numerous celebrations this year of the Reinhardt centennial.  Here’s one that brings together a pair of stylistically diverse guitarists:  Dorado Schmitt with special guest Dave Grisman Yoshi’s Oakland.  (510) 238-9200.

- Jan. 22 – 24.  (Fri. – Sun.)  Kenny Garrett Quartet.  Alto saxophonist Garrett continues to stretch the envelope of contemporary jazz improvising.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.   (415) 655-5600.

New York

- Jan. 19. (Tues.)  Groove CollectiveD J Logic, Bernie Worrell, Dr. Lonnie Smith, among others, perform in a Benefit for Haiti.  100% of ticket proceeds go to Haiti Action and Hands Together.  At Le Poisson Rouge.   (212) 228-4854.

- Jan. 19 – 23 (Tues. – Sat.)  M’Boom Percussion Ensemble meets the World Sax Quartet in a spectacular musical encounter.  Featuring percussionists Joe Chambers, Warren Smith, Ray Mantilla, Eli Fountain and Steve Berrios and saxophonists David Murray, Hamiet Bluiett, Oliver Lake & James Carter. Birdland. (212) 581-3080.

Lee Konitz

- Jan. 19 – 24. (Tues. – Sun.) Lee Konitz Trio. The great alto saxophonist, one of jazz history’s true originals, is still — at 82 — in rare form.   W. Dan Tepfer, piano, Matt Wilson, drums. Village Vanguard. (212) 255-4037.

- Jan. 19 – 24. (Tues. – Sun.) Frank Wess 88th Birthday Celebration. A week long birthday musical gala for the veteran saxophonist, featuring his Nonet with special guests Mulgrew Miller, Renee Rosnes, Bill Charlap, Billy Taylor, Mike Ledonne and Hank Jones. Dizzy’s Club Coca-Cola.  (212)  258-9595.

- Jan. 19 – 31. (Tues. – Mon.)  Winter Latin Jazz Festival. This year’s Festival touches a far-ranging set of jazz styles with the starry line-up of Dave Valentin, Candido, Arturo Sandoval, Gato Barbieri, Poncho SanchezBlue Note.  NYC.  (212) 475-8592.

- Jan. 21 – 24. (Thurs. – Sun.)  FLY.    Mark Turner, tenor saxophone, Larry Grenadier, bass and Jeff Ballard, drums.  The combination of saxophone, bass and drums is both a challenging and an invigorating instrumentation.  These guys handle it with spirit and imagination.   The Jazz Standard.  (212) 576-2232.


Picks of the Week: Jan. 26 – Feb. 1

January 26, 2009

Los Angeles

- Jan. 26. (Mon.) Remembering Russ Freeman.  A long overdue remembrance of the bop-driven pianist/composer who was so vital to the West Coast jazz of Art Pepper, Shorty Rogers, Shelly Manne and others.  Featuring trumpeter Bobby Shew, vocalist Tyia Wilson and a string ensemble performing Nathan Tanoue‘s new arrangements of Freeman works. Jazz Bakery  (310) 271-9039.  www.jazzbakery.com.

- Jan. 27.  (Tues.)  Hoenig-Pilc Project.  The combination of drummer Ari Hoenig and pianist Jean Michel Pilc, enhanced by the presence of virtuosic bassist Hans Glawischnig should make for a rare evening of envelope stretching jazz. The group also performs at the Atheneum in San Diego on Thursday.  Jazz Bakery  (310) 271-9039.  www.jazzbakery.com.

- Jan. 27. (Tues.)  Afro Cuban Latin Jazz Project.  A program of authentic Afro Cuban jazz, enlivened by the presence of the fiery young tenor saxophonist, Kamasi Washington.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  www.catalinajazzclub.com.

ray-brown

Ray Brown

- Jan. 28. (Wed.)  A Ray Brown Tribute featuring a pair of his most illustrious musical offspring — Christian McBride and John Clayton.  With pianist Benny Green, guitarist Russell Malone and others)  Walt Disney Concert Hall. (323) 850-2000.  http://www.laphil.org.

- Jan. 28 – 31. (Wed. – Sat.)  The Bud Shank Quartet revisits the cool, swinging grooves of West Coast Jazz.  With pianist Bill Mays, bassist Bob Magnuson and drummer Joe La Barbera.  Jazz Bakery  (310) 271-9039.  www.jazzbakery.com.

labelle1

LaBelle

- Jan. 29 (Thurs.)  An Evening with LaBelle.  The great ’70s trio reunited with Patti LaBelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash.  Nokia Theatre. (213) 763-6030.   http://www.nokiatheatrelalive.com.

- Jan. 30 & 31. (Fri. & Sat.)  Jazz saxophone weekends continue at Charlie O’s with appearances by Azar Lawrence on Friday and Rickey Woodard on Saturday.  The John Heard Trio, with bassist Heard, pianist Jon Mayer and drummer Roy McCurdy, provides solid backing. Charlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.  www.charlieos.com.

- Jan. 30 – Feb. 1. (Fri. – Sun.)  Florence Henderson.  She may be best known for her iconic TV role in “The Brady Bunch,” but Henderson is also a gifted singer, comedienne and musical theatre artist.  Here’s a rare opportunity to see her in an up close night club setting.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.  www.catalinajazzclub.com.

- Jan. 31. (Sat.)  Borodin Quartet.  Founed in 1845, the Borodin is listed in Guiness as the world’s longest-lived string quartet.  They’ll demonstrate their togetherness with a program of Shostakovich, Shebalin and, of course, Borodin.  At the Doheny Mansion.  Chamber Music In Historic Sites.  The Da Camera Society.  Chamber Music in Historic Places. 213.477.2929.  http://www.dacamera.org.

lee-ritenour-and-dave-grusin

Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin

- Jan. 31. (Sat.)  Pianist Dave Grusin and guitarist Lee Ritenour.  Long time musical companions Grusin and Ritenour get together for a live rendering of the music from their Grammy-nominated Decca recording, :”Amparo.”  The Broad Stage, Santa Monica. (310) 434.3412.    http://www.thebroadstage.com.

San Francisco

- Jan. 26. (Mon.)  Hoenig-Pilc Project.   The combination of drummer Ari Hoenig and pianist Jean Michel Pilc, enhanced by the presence of virtuosic bassist Hans Glawischnig should make for a rare evening of envelope stretching jazz. The group also performs at the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles on Tuesday and the Atheneum in San Diego on Thursday.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.  www.yoshis.com.

- Jan. 30. (Fri.)  Another Evening with LaBelle.  The great ’70s trio reunited with Patti Labelle, Nona Hendryx and Sarah Dash.  The Paramount Theatre, Oakland. ( 510) 465-6400   http://www.paramounttheatre.com/

bobby_hutcherson

Bobby Hutcherson

- Jan. 30 – Feb. 1. (Fri. – Sun.)  Bobby Hutcherson and Anthony Wilson. Vibes and guitar might seem to make an odd couple, but expect both musical empathy and improvisational fireworks from this gifted pair.  Yoshi’s Oakland. . (510) 238-9200.  www.yoshis.com.

San Diego

lou-donaldson

Lou Donaldson

. – Jan. 29. (Thurs.)  Hoenig-Pilc Project.  Atheneum Music and Arts Library (858) 454-5872 www.ljathenaeum.org.

New  York City

- Jan. 27 – Feb. 1. (Tues. – Sun.)  Lou Donaldson Quartet. At 82, alto saxophonist Donaldson is still out there, playing the post WWII history of jazz and blues in every note.  Dizzy’s Club Coca Cola. (212) 258-9595.  www.jalc.org/dccc

- Jan. 28 – 29. (Wed & Thurs.)  Holly Cole.  Jan. 30 – Feb. 1. (Fri. – Sun.)  Robin McKelle.  Blue Note. It’s jazz vocalist week at the Blue Note, with a pair of uniquely talented singers.   (212) 475-8582.  http://www.bluenote.net/newyork/index.shtml.

- Jan. 29. (Thurs.)  Oliver Lake, saxophone, Wendy Sutter, cello, and the Joel Harrison String Choir.  Jazz and classical seek common ground in a program of three major works encompassing extended composition and free flying improvisation.  Merkin Concert Hall at Kaufman Center.  (212) 501-3330.  http://kaufman-center.org/merkin-concert-hall


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