Fri. Jan. 30 -- Singer-songwriter Eleni Mandell concludes her residency before going on tour. For a review of an earlier show and a link to my review of her new album, check here. At the Hotel Café, 1623 1/2 Cahuenga Blvd., Hollywood 90028; $12.50; www.hotelcafe.com.
Fri.-Sat. Jan. 28-31 -- One of the last links to true bop alto: 82-year-old Bud Shank, a real good one with a classic band: pianist Bill Mays, bassist Bob Magnusson and drummer Joe La Barbera. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $25-$30; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Fri. Jan. 30 -- Top local trumpeter Elliott Caine stretches the jazz, but not so much that it hurts. At Jax, 339 Brand Blvd., Glendale 91203; all night; (818) 500-1604; free.
Fri. Jan. 30 -- Roots in a relaxed atmosphere with The Honorable DHC, his band, his singers and his guitar. In the bar of Taix Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake 90026; 11:30pm; free; www.taixfrench.com.
Sat. Jan. 31 -- Punky blues-jazz with top musicianship: Joe Baiza Congress Of, featuring guitarist Baiza, cornetist Dan Clucas, drummer Wayne Griffin and ballsy yet supertechnical electric bassist Steuart Liebig. With Atomic Sherpas. In the bar of Taix Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake 90026; 10:30pm; free; www.taixfrench.com.
Sat. Jan. 31 -- Americana harmonies never sounded as sweet, complex and deeply informed as Moira Smiley, Jess Basta, Christine Enns and Jessica Catron, a.k.a. Voco. Check out their MySpace page if you want to sample something unusual. The Boulevard Music Series, 4316 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90230; 8pm; $15; (310) 398-2583.
Sat. Jan. 31 -- Former Megadeth guitarist and world-scoping solo artist Marty Friedman puts on a clinic -- I mean, literally. At Musicians Institute, 1655 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood 90028; 4pm, first come first served; free.
Sun. Feb. 1 -- You may know vibraphonist Mulatu Astatke from his numerous bits in the great Ethiopiques series of ‘70s reissues. Well, he’s a great one, he never comes here, and there’s a big buzz about the show, so if you won’t be tied up in post-Super Bowl bowl-hugging, make yer plans. If you can’t get a native Ethiopian band, the Luckman Orchestra is the next best thing, featuring Munyungo Jackson behind the hand drums and Azar Lawrence, Bennie Maupin and Phil Ranelin among the horns. Major event. DJ sets by Cut Chemist, Quantic and Egon open. At Cal State L.A.’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. 90032; 7pm; $22.50; (323) 343-6600; www.luckmanarts.org.
Sun. Feb. 1 -- Avant all-stars night. Closing is the quartet of guitarist Noah Phillips, supersaxist Phillip Greenlief, electroman Tim Perkis and thingstriker Alex Cline. Opening is The Michael Vlatkovich Trio, featuring the trombonist, percman Christopher Garcia and bassist Anders Swenson. Read my review of a different Vlatkovich trio here. At Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 7pm; $10; (626) 795-4989.
Sun. Feb. 1 -- Double Naught Spy Car screams tires squealing around the instrumental surf bend, with guitarist Paul Lacques at the wheel and drummer Joseph Berardi riding bitch. At Liquid Kitty, 11780 Pico Blvd., LA 90064; 10pm-1am; friggin free.
Sun. Feb. 1 -- The Honorable DHC (Dean Chamberlain) loads his set tonight with rootsy covers of AC/DC, I knot U kyd. At Cinema Bar, 3976 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90036; 9pm; free.
Tues. Feb. 3 -- The biggest modern prog-metal show of the year comes at ya from two very different directions. Sweden’s Meshuggah bring the grit and the horror, with their current “obZen” striking an excellent balance between offbeat rhythmic fistfacery and ear-tweaking riffs -- makes my head twitch in a good way. Meanwhile, Florida’s Cynic (above) took 15 years to follow up the slingshot energy of their influential “Focus” with the stunningly recorded “Traced in Air,” whose ethereal Yes-like beauty, ripping/chiming guitars and blast-ya-down rumbletumble drums put it on a lotta 2008 Top Ten lists. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 8pm; $18.50; (323) 848-5800; www.ticketmaster.com.
Tues. Feb. 3 -- Keyboardist Wayne Horvitz’s Sweeter Than the Day is civilized and intelligent, but not so as you would barf. Basically the sensitive side of Zony Mash. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $25; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Wed.-Sat. Feb. 4-7 -- Feels like Euro-American pianist Jacky Terrasson ain’t been showing up much stateside in recent years, which is too bad. The guy is one of the most exciting and imaginative improvisers I’ve seen, with a ton of technique and a way of turning a standard into a fireworks display. His band here is bassist Ben Williams and drummer Jaz Sawyer. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $25-$30; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Wed. Feb. 4 -- When I blind-audited Al DiMeola’s current CD, I thought it was incredibly well arranged and produced, with a lotta variety, yet it didn’t move me much. So I figured out right away who it was. The guy sure has an amazing touch on the guitar strings, electric or acoustic, but I like him better with Return to Forever or (especially) Derek Sherinian. At the Roxy, 9009 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood; $31.50; (310) 278-9457; www.ticketmaster.com.