Fri. May 22 -- Paul Lacques and Double Naught Spy Car do indeed careen around those instrumental bends, Bond-style. Following Susan James and Marshweed. At Echo Curio, 1519 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park 90026; 11pm; donation requested.
Fri.-Sun. May 22-24 -- Multiple Grammy nominee Billy Childs delves deep into a fresh concept with his Jazz Chamber Ensemble, featuring the pianist with drummer Antonio Sanchez, bassist Scott Colley, guitarist Larry Koonse, windman Bob Sheppard, harpist Carol Robbins and the string group Ying Quartet. Quite an event. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $30-35; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Sat. May 23 -- Country-rock of the here and now: I See Hawks in L.A. acoustic, with Tony Gilkyson and Kip Boardman. At Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake St., Altadena 91001; 8pm; (626) 398-7917; http://funkylittlecoffeehouse.com.
Sun. May 24 -- Gojira’s writhing, metamorphic French progressive metal is really peaking now. Read my review of their latest album here. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; around 11pm I’m guessing; $20; 15+; www.keyclub.com; (310) 274-5800.
Mon. May 25 -- L.A.’s Empty Cage Quartet (MTKJ -- saxist Jason Mears, trumpeter Kris Tiner, drummer Paul Kikuchi and bassist Ivan Johnson) represent the truest legacy of early-‘60s Ornette/Shepp adventure, going well out on a limb without losing the melody. Opening, Johnson leads a quintet that includes four of his students at Oakwood Secondary School, who may surprise you with their coloristic modernism. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $25; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Tues.-Wed. May 26-27 -- Ornette Coleman bassist Charnett Moffett leads a ragafied quartet -- fresh-sounding stuff. Read my review of his latest album here. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8 & 10pm; $20; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Tues. May 26 -- Special event: the only U.S. appearance during the current world tour of guitar mastermind Trey Azagthoth and Morbid Angel, Tampa death-metal originators and purveyors of the slipperiest, weirdest sh*t around. It’s a classic lineup, too, with bassist-vocalist David Vincent and drummer Pete Sandoval, plus touring second guitarist Destrukthor (of Zyklon). Opening are rattlin’ L.A. death vets Letum Ascensus. A friend apparently told them the name means “for sudden death” -- it does not; that would be Leto Subito. But bad Latin doesn’t prevent me from enjoying Procol Harum, either. At the Key Club, 9039 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7:30pm, which means little; $38; 15+; www.keyclub.com; (310) 274-5800.
Tues. May 26 -- Local metal mistress Michelle Meldrum died last year of a brain cyst. Tonight’s benefit/tribute features two of her bands (Meldrum and Phantom Blue), as well as performances by supercolossal L.A. theatrical metal vets Lizzy Borden, and Iron Maidens, who play the music of some group or other. Lemmy Kilmister, Nick Oliveri and various additional rock gods will stop by. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7:30pm; $20; advance tickets at www.michellemeldrum.com.
Tues. May 26 -- Tuba luber William Roper and percussionist Joseph Mitchell produce conceptual abstractions and improvisations as Judicanti Responsura. The Latin is correct this time; it comes from the liturgical threatsong “Dies Irae” (“Day of Wrath”) and means something like “sh*t you’re gonna have to account for.” At Beyond Baroque, 681 Venice Blvd., Venice 90291; 7:30pm; $15; (310) 822-3006.
Tues. May 26 -- Jazz. Reggae. Jazzreggae. Thelonious Dub, dude. At Jax, 339 Brand Blvd., Glendale 91203; (818) 500-1604.
Wed.-Sat. May 27-30 -- Top-call bassist Scott Colley gets to take his own intelligent, thoughtful, original trip with terrific bandmates: trumpeter Ralph Alessi, drummer Brian Blade and pianist Kevin Hays. At Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Ave., West L.A. 90034; 8 & 9:30pm; $30; (310) 271-9039; www.jazzbakery.org.
Thurs. May 28 -- Jimi Hendrix came in a dream and told me to plug Robin Trower’s show featuring singer Davey Pattison, bassist Glenn Letsch and drummer Pete Thompson. Play “Twice Removed From Yesterday” for Reg Isidore, dudes. Photo by Michael G. Stewart. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 7:30pm; $25; (323) 848-5800; www.ticketmaster.com.
It’s okay to start getting excited about this year’s Angel City Jazz Fest, September 9 at the John Anson Ford Theater. Check the great lineup and listen to clips of the artists here.