L.A. previews December 21-27: Azar Lawrence, Ben Wendel, Ches Smith, Heat/Assjack/Pussy.

Fri. Dec. 21 -- Saxist Azar Lawrence drives out your demons with his ‘60s-derived tenorphonics, plus world-class pianist Nate Morgan, bassist Dave Carpenter and drummer Roy McCurdy. At Charlie O’s, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, (818) 994-3058, no cover as long as you keep ordering.

Fri. Dec. 21 -- Saxist Ben Wendel applies a postmodern whip to the jazz-funk along with an awesome band: the great Darek Oles on bass, longtime scene lurker Mark Ferber on drums and the incisive Anthony Wilson (son of orchestral-jazz patriarch Gerald) on guitar. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10; (213) 613-1537.

Sat. Dec. 21 -- Ches Smith and These Arches (West) is the Nels Cline mafia -- drummer Smith, bassist Devin Hoff and guitarist Cline -- plus saxist Ben Wendel (who returns from the previous night), focusing on Smith’s material, one imagines. Gonna be untamed. At Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., downtown 90013; 8pm; $10; (213) 613-1537; reserve or go unserved.

npussy.jpg Thurs. Dec. 27 -- Talk about raisin’ hell, Jayzus H. Chr . . . I mean, happy birthday week, our Lord and Savior. Ya git moonshine rockabilly from The Reverend Horton Heat (“Baby I’m Drunk”), Cro-Magnon country from Hank Williams III & Assjack (“My Drinkin’ Problem”) and balls-out storytellin’ riff-rock from my personal recommendation, Nashville Pussy (“Hate and Whisky”), pictured herein. Would you care for a ginger ale? At the Wiltern.