Fri. Sept. 21 -- High on Fire’s new “Death Is This Communion” album -- brisker, kickier, less sludgy? Guitarist/barfer Matt Pike -- drinking less Jack? These could have been dreadful omens, but no, the band sounds absolutely rejuvenated, and Pike’s twirling out delirious leads all over the place. Yay! Plus straight-ahead hardcore from Coliseum. At El Rey.
Fri. Sept. 21 -- The metal-funk fusion of Cosmosquad at Baked Potato. Check my review of their new album on MetalJazz this week.
Fri. Sept. 21 -- John Coltrane birthday celebration with a great lineup of Tapscott et al. vets: Jesse Sharps, Kaeef Ali, Sonship Theus, Henry Franklin, Donald Dean, Lewis Spears, Kafi Roberts, Billy Harris, George Taylor and more. At the Underground Railroad (South Central Station), 3205 W. 54th St., 9pm. Thanks to Jeannette Lindsay and Steve Isoardi for this listing.
Fri. Sept. 21 -- Heavy saxophone vibrations and more Coltrane channeling from The Azar Lawrence Quintet. At LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., 6pm; free.
Fri.-Sun. Sept. 21-23 -- For a luxury date night, trumpeter Roy Hargrove is hard to beat. I mean, Aretha Franklin hired him for her party when she was in town a few years back. Terrific band: pianist Gerald Clayton, saxist Justin Robinson (one of the few Young Lions I really liked in the early ‘90s), bassist Danton Boller and drummer Montez Coleman. At Catalina’s.
Sat. Sept. 22 -- A really spectacular night of electronic music from Henry Strange, Reed Rothchild, Zeitpunkt, and John von with Steve Tavaglione and Peter Maunu, with avant visuals by Optical Light Pipe. Special remodeled venue, too: Partikel at the Goethe Institute, 5750 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 100, 8pm.; $10; free parking.
Sat. Sept. 22 -- Trancy ambient tuba, didgeridoo and electronics from Tom Heasley, drummer Makoto Izumitani and cellist Kevin Mitchell. At Folly Bowl, 1601 E. Loma Alta Drive, Altadena 91001; 7pm; (626) 398-9939; $12; potluck dinner/reception at intermission.
Sun. Sept. 23 -- Groove, soul and total freakery: Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood. Yeah, the Scofield is famous guitarist John, who rounds out this outfit beautifully. At House of Blues Sunset Strip.
Sun. Sept. 23 -- You mean Dwight Trible is vocalizing his own tribute to John Coltrane this weekend, too? Come on, you’re gonna make Trane blush up in heaven (which makes for a great sunset). At Jazz Bakery, two evening sets; $25.
Sun. Sept. 23 -- Three duo sets from L.A.’s finest freakers: guitarist Jake Vossler and flutist/processperson Emily Hay; then violinist Ronit Kirchman and windman Andrew Pask; then electrovocalist Kaoru and bass extrapolator Steuart Liebig. At Dangerous Curve, 1020 E. Fourth Place, downtown 90013; 4pm; $10.
Sun. Sept. 23 -- Return of the Coltrane celebration at Underground Railroad (see Friday).
Wed. Sept. 26 -- Some crazy old guy named Ornette Coleman plays with his son Denardo Coleman on drums plus three bassists (Tony Falanga and Charnett Moffett on acoustic, Al MacDowell from Prime Time days on electric). My February interview with him in LA Times is no longer available without paying, but you can read my 1996 LA Weekly interview with him here and my 2004 interview with Denardo Coleman here. And I’ll review the show on this site next Friday. Oh, by the way, this sucker changed the face of modern music. At Royce Hall, UCLA, 8pm; www.uclalive.org.
Wed.-Sat. Sept. 26-29 -- This other saxist turned a few things around himself in the ‘70s and since: Oliver Lake, in an organ trio (whoa) with Jared Gold on keys and Bill McClelland on drums. At Jazz Bakery.