Picks of the Week: July 15 – July 20. (Tues. – Sun.) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York City, London and Paris.

July 15, 2014

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour

Dave Grusin and Lee Ritenour

– July 16. (Wed.) Lee Ritenour and Dave Grusin, Boz Scaggs, Eliane Elias. It’s a line-up filled with masters of far-reaching jazz genres (and beyond). Expect an evening of jazz for every taste. Look for an iRoM review later this week. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000. .

– July 16. (Wed.) Gina Saputo. She still hasn’t been recognized for her rapidly growing skills as a new jazz vocal star. See Saputo now and join her growing cadre of fans. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (223) 466-2210.

– July 16. (Wed.) The Ron Eschete Trio. Veteran guitarist Eschete displays his impressive mastery of the seven-string instrument. Don’t miss him in action. Steamer’s.  (714) 871-8800.

Tatiana Parra

Tatiana Parra

– July 17. (Thurs.) Tatiana Parra with the Vardan Ovsepian Trio. Her name may not yet be as familiar to American audiences as it should be. But Parra is a remarkable talent, fully capable of blending the best qualities of jazz and Brazilian music. Click HERE to read an iRoM review of a recent album by Tatiana. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

– July 17. (Thurs.) Sara Gazarek and Josh Nelson. Singer Gazarak and pianist Nelson have become an impressive musical team, interacting with intuitive creativity. The Blue Whale. (213) 620-0908.

Pat Senatore

Pat Senatore

– July 18. (Fri.) Pat Senatore Trio. Bassist Senatore’s remarkable versatility is on display almost every night at Vibrato with a variety of artists. This time out he leads his own masterful trio, with Josh Nelson, piano, and Mark Ferber, drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

– July 18. (Fri.) Nutty. You may not have heard of Nutty, but you’ll never forget them after you experience their enhancement of classic rock tunes with swinging jazz settings. Vitello’s  (818) 769-0905.

– July 18 & 19. (Fri. & Sat.) Dreamworks Animation in Concert. Actor Jack Black hosts an evening celebrating 20 Years of Dreamworks animation shows. Thomas Wilkins conducts the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000. http://www.hollywoodbowl.com/tickets/calendar.

– July 18 & 19. (Fri. & Sat.) Denise Morgan. Completely at ease with gospel, classical, jazz and beyond, Morgan is an impressively eclectic vocal artist. The Gardenia.  (323) 467-7444.

Carol Welsman

Carol Welsman

– July 20. (Sun.) Carol Welsman. Singer/pianist Welsman offers her first Sunday Vespers appearance with her trio — bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Dave Tull.  Welsman’s richly interpretive vocals and briskly swinging piano work are a pleasure to hear under any circumstances.  And this performance offers, as she says “a unique experience of jazz and spiritual reflection.”  All Saints Church, 132 N. Euclid Ave., Pasadena, CA. (626) 583-2725. (Admission is free.)

– July 20. (Sun.) Midnight Caravan. Actress/singer Linda Purl celebrates ‘The Great Ladies of the Glamorous Nightclub Era. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (223) 466-2210.

San Francisco

Benny Green

Benny Green

– July 17 – 20. (Thurs. – Sun.) The Benny Green Trio. Pianist Green has sustained, in stellar creative manner, the Oscar Peterson jazz piano legacy. An SFJAZZ event in Joe Henderson Lab.  (866) 920-5299.

New York City

– July 15 & 16. (Tues. & Wed.) Julian Lage Trio. A prodigy as a young guitarist, Lage has matured into an impressive new jazz star. The Jazz Standard. (212) 576-2232,

London

Leny Andrade

Leny Andrade

– July 15 & 16. (Tues. & Wed.) Leny Andrade. She’s arguably Brazil’s most convincing jazz-based vocal artist. Don’t miss this chance to hear her live. Ronnie Scott’s.  +14(0)20 7439 00747.

– July 19. (Sat.). (Fri. & Sat.) Take 6. There’s no vocal group quite like Take 6, with its blend of irresistible rhythms, lush harmonies and far- ranging vocal imagination. Ronnie Scott’s. +14 (0) 20 7439 00747.

Paris

– July 16. (Tues.) Ambrose Akinmusire Quintet. Trumpeter Akinmusire has been embraced, with good reason, as one of the new jazz stars of his generation. Paris New Morning.  +33 1 45 23 51 41
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Picks of the Week: Jan. 16 – 22

January 15, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Clare Fischer

– Jan. 16. (Mon.)  Clare Fischer Big Band.  The multiple Grammy-winning composer/arranger/pianist (and more) has a resume reaching from Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd to Prince and Paul McCartney, with numerous stops in between.  His own groups have reached from small to large, covering a brilliantly eclectic array of creative styles.  This time out, it’s his dynamic, colorful music for big band.  However, because Fischer is recovering from a recent heart attack, the performance will be conducted by his son, arranger/composer Brent FischerVitello’s.    (818) 769-0905.

– Jan. 17. (Tues.)  Pia Zadora. Singer, actress, Golden Globe winner and Grammy nominee Zadora has always been at her best in live performances, when her natural skills as an entertainer are on full display, as they undoubtedly will be here. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

– Jan. 17 – 21. (Tues. – Sat.)  Gilad Hekselman.  Critically praised Israeli jazz guitarist Hekselman is the winner of the 2005 Gibson Guitar Competition.  This week he introduces himself to the Southland via a string of appearances around L.A., mostly with Ben Wendel, tenor saxophone, Dave Robair, bass and Ferenc Nemeth, drums.  On Tues. with John Pisano and Robair at Vitello’s.  On Wed. with the Matt Otto Quartet at the Blue Whale.  On Thurs. with his Quartet at Alva’s Showroom.  On Friday with his Trio  at Agoura High School.  And on Saturday with his Quartet at the Blue Whale.

– Jan. 19. (Thurs.) Billy Childs Electric Band.  Ever eager to take his probing musical curiosity into different territories, pianist/composer Childs takes a break from his chamber jazz ensemble to turn on the switches of his Electric Band.  The Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

– Jan. 19 – 21. (Thurs. – Sat. ) Chris Minh Doky.  Danish bassist/producer Doky has thoroughly established himself – via his own groups, his producing, and the band he formed with his brother, Chris – as one of the vital players in today’s contemporary, crossover jazz scene.  His group, the Nomads, is energized by the vibrant drumming of Dave Weckl. Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Jan. 20. (Fri.) OVOCirque d’Soleil’s latest extraordinary adventure opens at the Santa Monica Pier. This time out, the company’s incredibly gifted performers, musicians and artists take on the world of insects, a world enlivened by elements that are “tender and torrid, noisy and quiet, peaceful and chaotic. ” All of which becomes even more engaging when a mysterious egg appears in their midst.  Cirque d’Soleil’s  OVO.  Under the big top at the Santa Monica Pier.

– Jan. 20. (Fri.) KALPA.  A fascinating multi-media event takes place in the wide open spaces of the Getty Center Entrance Hall Steps and Arrival Plaza.  Created by Hirokazu Kosaka, it has a score by Yuval Ron.  Performers include Tetsuya Nakamura, harmonica and Japanese circular pan flute, Yuval Ron, autoharp and electronics, Rafael Lopez-Barrentez, vocals.  The Getty Center.    (310) 440-7300.

Elis Regina

– Jan. 21.  (Sat.)  “Elis: A Celebration.”  Singer/dancer Katia Moraes has assembled a tribute to the legendary Brazilian singer, Elis Regina – an influence on Moraes’ musical growth from the time she was a teen-ager.  The event includes a photo art exhibition, a video screening, and a live performance, all focused on memories of the remarkable Elis.  Brasil Brasil Cultural Center.   (310_ 397-3667.

– Jan. 21. (Sat.) Kathleen Battle.  The gorgeous voice of soprano Battle is applied to a program of spirituals, backed by pianist Cyrus Chestnut and the Albert McNeil Jubilee Singers.  Royce Hall. UCLA Live.    (310) 825-2101.

Gretchen Parlato

– Jan. 21. (Sat.)  Gretchen Parlato.  In a jazz world populated by a continuing line of newly arriving female singers, Parlato continues to hold her own.  Applying her subtle range of vocal sounds with creative insights, telling musical stories enriched with flowing rhythms, she is a memorable performer – one of a kind. The Musicians Institute Concert Center.  A Jazz Bakery Movable Feast.    (310) 271-9039.

Jan. 21 – 22. (Sat. & Sun.)  New Shanghai Circus.  Acrobats, tumblers, contortionists and strong men, aerial ballet and flying trapeze acts  – and that’s just the beginning of the astonishing sights presented by this extraordinary collection of talented artists.  Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts.    (562) 916-8501.

– Jan. 22.  (Sun.)  Los Angeles Chamber OrchestraMostly MozartAndrew Shulman conducts the versatile and gifted players of the LACO in Mozart’s Symphony No. 29, the Violin Concerto No. 3 (featuring violinist Nigel Armstrong) and the Walton Sonata For Strings. Royce Hall.  UCLA Live.   (310) 825-2101.

Ojai

Ron Eschete

– Jan. 21. (Sat.)  Ron Eschete Trio.  Seven string guitar master Eschete joins forces with Joe Bagg, B-3 organ and piano and Paul Kreibich, drums, to generate an irresistible example of the musical pleasures of the classic jazz organ/guitar/drums trio,.  Ojai Jazz Concerts at the Ojai Valley Community Church.    (805) 746-0936.

San Francisco

– Jan. 20 – 21. (Fri. & Sat.)  Bobby Hutcherson Birthday.  The veteran vibist shares the excitement of his 71st birthday (On Jan. 27) via a musical celebration featuring a musical encounter with the impressive young vibes player, Warren WolfYoshi’s San Francisco.     (415) 655-5600.

Santa Cruz

– Jan. 19. (Thurs.)  Mads Tolling.  A Grammy-winning, former member of the Turtle Island String Quartet, Danish-American violinist Tolling offers a musical tribute to electric violin path-finder, Jean-Luc Ponty.   Kuumbwa Jazz.   (831) 427-2227.

San Diego

– Jan. 18. (Wed.)  The Family Stone. Some of the most electrically exciting music of the ‘70s is still vibrantly alive in the hands of original members of Sly’s Family Stone: Cynthia Robinson, Jerry Martini and Greg ErricoAnthology.    (619) 595-0300.

Seattle

– Jan 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Jeff Lorber Fusion.  When keyboardist Lorber first came up with the concept of jazz fusion in the late ‘70s, it was invigorated by deep jazz roots.  As it is today, especially with a line up like this, with Randy Brecker, trumpet, Eric Marienthal, alto saxophone, Lionel Cordew, drums and Ron Jenkins, bass.  Jazz Alley.     (206) 441-9729.

Washington, D.C.

Rudresh Mahanthappa

– Jan. 19. (Thurs.)  Rudresh Mahanthappa.  Rapidly establishing himself as one of the most critically praised new voices on the jazz alto saxophone, Mahanthappa is bringing new ideas and sounds to jazz.  He’s featured here as one of four India-related jazz artists (with Sachel Vasandani, Sanjay Mishra and Rez Abbasi) appearing in the “Indian Jazz Series” from Monday through Thursday.  Blues Alley.   (202) 337-4141.

Boston

– Jan. 21. (Sat.)  Pat Martino Organ Trio. Despite a pair of career absences that took him completely away from music for more than a decade (the first due to a brain aneurysm, the second when his parents became ill) Martino – one of jazz’s most virtuosic guitarists – has continued to build a solid musical career.  Here he performs in classic organ trio setting. Regatta Bar.    (617) 661-5000.

New York

– Jan. 17 – 22. (Tues. – Sun.)  The Chris Potter Quartet.  Sometimes taken for granted, for his ability to make other groups sound compelling, tenor saxophonist Potter is nonetheless a unique talent in his own right, one who deserves every jazz listener’s full attention.  The Village Vanguard.    (212) 255-4037.

– Jan 17 – 22.  (Tues. – Sun.)  Bill Frisell, Ron Carter and Joey Baron. It would be hard to imagine a more inventively adept, musical versatile trio of players than this stellar group.  Expect something new and magical every night. The Blue Note.    (212) 475-8592.

Lou Donaldson

– Jan. 19 – 22. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Lou Donaldson Quartet.  At 85, alto saxophonist Donaldson is still going strong.  The traces of his early allegiance to Charlie Parker are still present, but Donaldson long ago embraced them with his own stirring improvisational methods.  The Jazz Standard.    (212) 889-2005.

– Jan. 22. (Sun.)  Carnatic Sundays.  South Indian music is on full display in this intriguing evening of music.  Karavika is a string and tabla ensemble exploring the intersection between Carnatic music and American blues, jazz and folk music. The Arun Ramumurthy Quartet features the virtuosic violin of Ramumurthy in a quartet with bass, jazz drum set and the two-headed South Indian mridangam drum.  Cornelia St. Café.    (212) 989-9319.

London

– Jan. 16 & 17. (Mon. & Tues.)  Carmen Lundy. Singer/songwriter/actress Lundy is a jazz rara avis, a female  vocalist who also writes her own songs.  And who does so with imaginative skill.  Add to that the fact that Lundy also finds new stories in the standard jazz songbook, bringing fascinating perspectives to material old and new.  Ronnie Scott’s.  020 7439 0747.

Milan

– Jan 17. (Tues.)  John Abercrombie and Mark CoplandSpeak To Me, the first duo recording of guitarist Abercrombie and pianist Copland, released late 2011, was a classic display of subtle, thoughtfully conceived jazz interplay at its most mesmerizing.  The Blue Note Milano.   02.69.01.68.88.

Tokyo

Pat Metheny

– Jan. 20 – 28.  (Fri. – Sat.)  An Evening With Pat Metheny.  With frequent musical associate bassist Larry Grenadier on hand, inventive Metheny will no doubt offer the  full range of sounds and music – hopefully including his 42 string Pikasso guitar – he’s been exploring lately in his constant creative adventuring.   The Blue Note Tokyo.    03.5485.0088.

Ron Eschete photo by Bob Barry.


Picks of the Week: Aug. 30 – Sept. 4

August 30, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

MIchael Wolff

– Aug. 30 & 31. (Tues. & Wed.)  Michael Wolff Quartet.  Pianist and television personality Wolff does a live recording with the stellar ensemble of trumpeter/film composer Mark Isham, bassist John B. Williams and drummer Mike ClarkVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905.

– Aug. 31. (Wed.)  George Benson, George Duke, Marcus Miller and David Sanborn.   It’s an evening of blues, funk, crossover and smooth jazz.  But straight ahead jazz fans can rest assured that all of these high visibility artists are also firmly rooted in traditional jazz skills.  The Hollywood Bowl.  (323) 850-2040.

Janis Mann

– Aug. 31. (Wed.)  Janis Mann Quartet.  Versatile singer Mann’s soaring vocals are underscored by solid musicality and a masterful story-telling skills.  She performs with pianist Andy Langham, bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Roy McCurdyCharlie O’s.  (818) 994-3058.

– Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  Pat Tuzzolino.  Watching Tuzzolino in action is to marvel at his eclectic skills, as he plays a synth keyboard with one hand, a bass synth with the other, while delivering warm, engaging, hard swinging vocals.  He performs with guitarist Barry Zweig and drummer Billy PaulVitello’s.  (818) 769-0905

– Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  The Ron Eschete Trio.  Seven string guitarist Eschete manages to generate the sort of rich, harmonic textures and flowing rhythms that would seem to only be possible on a keyboard instrument. And he does so with far reaching creative imagination. Keyboardist Joe Bagg and drummer Kendall Kay will back him.  Steamer’s.    (714) 871-8800.

Charlie Haden's Quartet West

– Sept. 1 – 4. (Thurs. – Sun.)  Charlie Haden’s Quartet West.  Haden’s veteran, all-star band, one of the West Coast’s great jazz ensembles, celebrates their 25th anniversary.  And it comes at an appropriate time, with pianist/arranger Alan Broadbent moving to the New York area in the near future.  Hopefully Haden will find a way to keep the Quartet together, from time to time.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Sept. 2 – 5. ) Fri. – Mon.  Sweet & Hot Music Festival.  The 16th annual celebration of the timeless pleasures of classic jazz.  The names are too numerous to mention.  But suffice to say there’ll be over 200 musicians, 20 bands, 8 venues, 180 scheduled events and 4 dance floors – all sizzling with everything from New Orleans jazz to Swing and Bebop.  The LAX Marriott Hotel.  http://www.sweethot.org

– Sept. 3. (Sat.)  Steve Huffsteter.  Trumpeter Huffsteter’s extensive resume includes appearances with a complete lexicon of jazz and pop artists.  Much honored by his musical associates, he’s too rarely heard on his own, in the spotlight.  Here’s a great opportunity to experience the articulate subtlety of his playing.  He’s backed by the Pat Senatore Trio.  Vibrato.

San Francisco

– Sept. 1 – 3. (Thurs. – Sat.)  Ivan Lins Quartet.  Singer/songwriter/pianist Lins has been one of Brazil’s – and the world’s – great musical treasures for decades.  Like all iconic artists, he should be heard at every opportunity – especially in a musically compatible setting such as Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

Ron Carter

– Aug. 30 – Sept. 4 (Tues. – Sun.)  Ron Carter Big Band.  At the pinnacle of a career that has embraced every imaginable musical setting, bassist Ron Carter celebrates the release of an album expressing his affection for classic big band jazz: Ron Carter’s Great Big Band.  His assemblage of horn-playing all stars will be backed by the solid rhythm team of Carter, guitarist Russell Malone, pianist Mulgrew Miller and drummer Willie Jones III.   Jazz Standard.    (212) 576-2232.

– Sept. 1. (Thurs.)  Roseanna VitroThe Music of Randy Newman.  Vitro’s jazz-driven exploration of the emotionally multi-layered songs of Newman has been one of the headline items of 2011’s vocal CDs.  Hopefully the Recording Academy voters will have the good sense to give it a Grammy nomination.  Here, she offers her interpretations up close and live.  The Iridium.    (212) 582-2121.


Picks of the Week: Feb. 15 – 20

February 15, 2011

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra

– Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis. The JLCO under Marsalis has firmly established itself as the definitive jazz repertory big band, performing programs that keep the spirit of large ensemble jazz – from Duke Ellington and Fletcher Henderson to the present – alive and kicking.   Disney Hall.  Disney Hall.  (323) 850-2000.

– Feb. 15. (Tues.) Strunz and Farah. The dangerous duo of high powered guitar playing, Strunz and Farah match their fast fingered virtuosity with spirit and imagination.  Click HERE to read an earlier iRoM review of Strunz and Farah.   Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400.

– Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Matisyahu.  Every performance by Matisyahu is a banquet of international styles, from reggae and Judaic hymns to Middle Eastern rhythms and American pop.  Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza.   (805) 449-2787.

Gregory Porter

– Feb. 16. (Wed.)  Gregory Porter.  The rapidly rising, Grammy-nominated  jazz vocal star makes a rare Southland appearance.  Check him out now, while his star is in the ascendancy.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210.

– Feb. 17. (Thurs.)  CJS Quintet“A Dexter Gordon Tribute” Saxophonist Chuck Johnson and trumpeter James Smith lead their quartet in a tribute to the music of the dynamic tenor saxophonist.  LAX Jazz Club at the Crown Plaza LAX.  (310) 258-1333.

– Feb. 17 – 20. (Thurs. – Sun.) Newport Beach Jazz Party.  It’s a cornucopia of traditional and mainstream jazz.  Highlight artists include Anat Cohen, Bill Cunliffe, Ron Eschete, Benny Green, John Clayton, Tamir Hendelman, Bob Mintzer, Lewis Nash, Ken Peplowski, Houston Person, Jack Sheldon, Barbara Morrison, Tom Rainier, Eric Reed and a lot more.  Along with a rare appearance by songwriter/singer Alan Bergman.  Newport Beach Jazz Party.   (949)759-5003.

– Feb. 18. (Fri.) The Borodin Quartet, the Red Quartet and Dwight Trible. The Los Angeles Concert Seasons Series debuts with an extraordinary musical encounter between the Russian classical Borodin String Quartet, the off-beat Red Quartet (a combination of cello, violin, guitar and vocals), the idiosyncratic but fascinating vocal improvisations of Trible and eclectic sounds of DJ Mando Fever.  Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club.

Larry Goldings

– Feb. 18 & 19. (Fri. & Sat.)  Larry Goldings Organ Trio.  Goldings plays anything with a keyboard impressively.  But he’s especially gripping when he’s digging into a Hammond B-3, and even more so when he’s backed by the stellar playing of Peter Bernstein, guitar and Bill Stewart, drums.   Vitello’s\ (818) 769-0905.

– Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Frank Marocco Quartet.  Accordionist Marocco, who celebrated his 80th birthday in January, performs selections from his new CD with alto saxophonist Jon Whinnery (back in action after a bout with cancer), bassist  John Gianelli and drummer Kendall KayGiannelli Square of Northridge. (818) 772-1722.

– Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Bobby Rodriguez with The John Heard Trio.  Dr. Bobby takes a break from his academic chores to display his dynamic trumpet playing.  Charlie O’s\ (818) 994-3058.

– Feb. 19. (Sat.)  Jazz and the Orchestra.  Pianist/composer/arranger John Beasley and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Joshua Weilerstein in an original concert production illustrating jazz in small ensemble and large orchestral settings, as well as the subtleties of scatting and improvisation.  11 a.m. Pre-concert workshops for children at 10 a.m.  The program is repeated on Sat., Feb. 26.  Disney Hall.\ (323) 850-2000.

– Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Alan Broadbent/Pat Senatore Duo.  The rumor is out that Broadbent, one of the Southland’s most gifted pianists (and arrangers) may be moving to another area.  So don’t miss this chance to hear him in an intimate musical setting, accompanied only by bassist Senatore.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400. \

Barbara Morrison

– Feb. 20. (Sun.) “A Tribute To Billie Holiday Barbara Morrison, Corky Hale and Tricia Tahara. Pianist/harpist Hale brings the solid accompaniment style she used in her gigs with Holiday to a set of Lady Day songs performed with versatile vocalists Morrison and Tahara. The Barbara Morrison Performing Arts Center.    (310) 330-0178.

– Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Phil Norman Tentet.  Norman’s big little band revives the cool, inner-moving musical groove of the West Coast jazz of the ‘50s, spicing it with a few contemporary seasonings as well. Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Fred Katz.  Skirball Center.  Cellist and master musician Katz returns to the Skirball after his performance last summer – his first in more than two decades.  He will be joined by his son, flutist Hyman Katz, bassist Richard Simon, plus special guests the Flying Pisanos — guitarist John Pisano and vocalist Jeanne PisanoThe Skirball Center.  (310) 440-4500.

– Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Sing! Sing! Sing!  “Academy Award Winning Songs: The Early Years” There’ll be plenty of memories coursing through the room at this week’s singalong, with a collection of songs harking back to the days when Academy Award winning songs really were songs to remember.  Sing!Sing!Sing! at Keyboard Concepts .  (310) 990-2405.

Al Di Meola

– Feb. 20. (Sun.)  Al Di Meola and World Sinfonia.  Guitarist Di Meola and his ensemble kick off their 2011 tour with familiar items from his catalog as well as selections from his upcoming album Pursuit of Radical Rhapsody. The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano (949)  496-8930.

San Francisco

– Feb. 15. (Tues.)  Anat Fort.  New York based, Israel-born pianist Fort is finally beginning to attract some much deserved attention beyond her Manhattan base.  She and her trio will be playing selections from her highly praised, recently released album, And if. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

– Feb. 16 & 17. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Bill Frisell and Vinicius Cantuaria.  An unlikely pair of guitarists – featuring Frisell’s jazz Americana and Cantuaria’s percussively exciting Brazilian style — get together for what should be a pair of unpredictable but utterly compelling evenings of music. Yoshi’s Oakland. (510) 238-9200.

New York

McCoy Tyner

– Feb. 15 – 17. (Tues. – Thurs.) McCoy Tyner Trio with vocalist Jose James.  Together they revisit the classic musical partnership of John Coltrane and Johnny Hartman.  The Blue Note.  http://www.bluenote.net/newyork/schedule/index.shtml (212) 475-8592.

– Feb. 15 – 19.  (Tues. – Sat.) Oregon.  It’s hard to believe, but true, that Oregon is now celebrating its 40th year.  And the music on their new album, In Stride, affirms that their blend of classical, jazz and world music elements is as intriguing as ever.  Birdland.   (212) 581-3080.

– Feb. 15 – 19. (Tues. – Sat.)  Eric Gillett“Widescreen: Songs From & About the Movies” Gillett’s warm baritone and emotive style have the power as well as the subtlety to fill a cabaret room.  This time out, his show combines movie songs with music from theater and contemporary pop.  Feinstein’s at the Regency.  (212) 339-4095.

– Feb. 17. (Thurs.)  Roscoe Mitchell 70th Birthday concert.  The veteran avant-gardist woodwind artist celebrates, first via a duo improvisation with electronic music pioneer David Wessel, then with his own quartet, featuring pianist Dave Burrell, bassist Henry Grimes and drummer Tani Tabbal. Roulette (Concert Space).     (212) 219-8242.

Portland, Oregon

– Feb. 18 – 27.  The Portland Jazz Festival. The ten day Portland Jazz Festival is a true city event, with more than 120 programs taking place at locations around town.  Leading the stellar line up of featured artists is bassist/singer Esperanza Spalding, (right) winner of this year’s Best New Artist Grammy.  She is  the first jazz artist to receive the coveted award.

The balance of the program reaches impressively across genres and generations.  Among the highlights: the SF JAZZ Collective, Regina Carter, Joshua Redman,  Dave Frishberg, Don Byron, Nik Bartsch, Randy Weston, The Three Cohens (Anat, Avishai and Yval), as well as a round up of fine jazz talent from Portland and the Northwest…. and much, much more.  The Portland Jazz Festival. (503) 228-5299.

Wynton Marsalis and Esperanza Spalding photos by Tony Gieske.


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: 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: June 29 – July 4

June 29, 2010

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Sally Kellerman

-June 30. (Wed.)  Sally Kellerman. Hot Lips is back. And, as convincing as she was in M*A*S*H, she’s even more so as a singer, crafting tunes simmering with traces of jazz, folk, soul and country.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

– June 30. (Wed.)  Open Hands.  One of the Southland’s authentic all-star jazz ensembles, featuring the invigorating bass work of Abraham Laboriel and the dynamically versatile tenor saxophone of Justo Almario, with Greg Mathieson, keyboards and Bill Maxwell, drums.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400.

– June 30. (Wed.)  Kevin Eubanks Group. He’s no longer on the air with Leno, but Eubanks is still one of the most listenable guitarists in jazz.  And on this gig you won’t have to worry about being interrupted by a commercial break. Baked Potato.  (818) 980-1615.

– June 30. (Wed.) Nancy Sanchez.  She may have been a mariachi singer as a teen-ager, but Sanchez is now an intriguing, up and coming jazz vocalist who comfortably combines some pop and crossover elements in her coolly expressive vocalizing.  Steamers. (714) 871-8800.

Linda Ciofalo

– July 1. (Thurs.)  Linda Ciofalo. With an appealing voice and a perky rhythmic manner, Ciofalo is the right interpreter for the Johnny Mercer tunes on her brand new CD, Dancing With Johnny.  She’s backed by pianist Otmaro Ruiz, bassist John Belzaguy and drummer Jimmy Branley.  Crowne Plaza. (310) 642-7500.

– July 2. (Fri.)  Charles Owens Quartet. The versatile Owens can play any saxophone, in almost any style, and do it with utter believability.  But the best time to hear him is on a gig like this, when he’s up front, doing everything his own way.  The Culver Club in the Raddison.   (310) 649-1776 ext. 4137.

– July 2 – 4. (Fri. – Sun.)  July 4th Fireworks SpectacularVince Gill, with twenty Grammy Awards and more than 22 million albums sold, is the perfect headliner for the annual pyrotechnical celebration.  Expect to hear such country hits as “I Still Believe In You” and “One More Last Chance.”  Hollywood Bowl.    (323) 850-2000.

– July 3. (Sat.)  Ira Nepus and Friends.  Trombonist, Nepus, one of L.A.’s fine first-call players, steps into the spotlight with his own group.  And the set will be even more highlighted by the engaging vocals of Bonnie Bowden.  Willy’s BBQ and Grill.  Agoura Hills.   (818) 991-7227.

San Francisco

– June 29 & 30 (Tues. & /Wed,)  Joyce (Joyce Moreno) The Brazilian singer/guitarist is keeping the bossa nova flame still burning, while adding her own more contemporary tunes to programs rich with the rhythms of Rio. Yoshi’s Oakland.   (510) 238-9200.

– July 4. (Sun.) Kiosk.  There’s something appropriate about the presence of the highly praised Iranian rock band, Kiosk, at Yoshi’s on Independence Day.  Prevented from performing in public in their native land (because of “inappropriate” lyrics), they re-formed outside Iran and now perform around the globe.  Yoshi’s San Francisco.  (415) 655-5600.

New York

Lew Tabackin and Toshiko Akiyoshi

– June 29 – July 3. (Tues. – Sat.) Lew Tabackin & Toshiko Akiyoshi Quartet. The husband and wife team, innovative figures in the contemporary jazz world for decades, make a too-rare live appearance.  They’re backed by bassist Boris Kozlov and drummer Mark TaylorBirdland. (212) 581-3080.

June 29 – July 4. (Tues. – Sun.)  Fourplay.  Grammy-nominated Fourplay – Bob James, Chuck Loeb, Nathan East and Harvey Mason – have successfully created an audience-pleasing crossover jazz style without sacrificing any of their substantial array of pure jazz skills. The Blue Note.   (212) 475-8592.


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