Fri. Jan. 6 -- The Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble cuts the melodically modernistic trombonist some floor space for his floaty grooves and distinctive harmonies. At the Blue Whale on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Fri. Jan. 6 -- Van man Mike Watt lends his riffin', rumblin' bass to one of his several dozen punkjazzy ensembles. At the Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 W. Second St., downtown; (310) 245-0273; www.theredwoodbar.com.
Sat. Jan. 7 -- Diehard devotees of mane-shakin' banshee trad metal: Seattle's Sanctuary are right there for ya, bro. With neothrash humpers Warbringer, and Huntress, who've got a screeching femme singer. At Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown 90015; 8pm; $25; www.ticketmaster.com.
Sun. Jan. 8 -- The Vinny Golia Sextet looks suspiciously like Daniel Rosenboom's ensemble: multiwindman Golia plus trumpeter Rosenboom, saxist Gavin Templeton, guitarist Alex Noice, bassist Jon Armstrong and drummer Andrew Lessman. But they're playing Golia's whirling, challenging charts. Opening, our local flute & vocal mind expander Emily Hay is teaming up with Seattle composer/multi-instrumentalist Amy Denio for off-the-trail excursions as The Curiosities. Super bill. At Center for the Arts, 2225 Colorado Blvd., Eagle Rock 90041; 7pm; $10; (626) 795-4989.
Wed. Jan. 11 -- Three groups revolving around saxists Matt Otto and Ariel Alexander establish the second installment of a monthlong Wednesday Whale residency of the Los Angeles Jazz Collective, which usually keeps at least one foot in the tradition while exploring new avenues. At the Blue Whale on the third floor of Weller Court Plaza, south of East First Street between South Los Angeles Street and South San Pedro Street, Little Tokyo 90012; 9pm-midnight; $10; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs. Jan 12 -- Long have I admired Jean-Michel Pilc, a pianist of rare economy and emotion. "Threedom," his current Motema record with his long-running trio mates (bassist Francois Moutin and drummer Ari Hoenig), mixes reimaginings of the Trane-Monk-Miles-Duke tradition with improvisations from their shared mind for an experience beyond entertainment where heart and mind combine. Highly recommended, and a great chance to continue supporting the efforts of the Jazz Bakery, which will rise again in a new space. A presentation of the Jazz Bakery's Movable Feast at the Musicians Institute, 1655 N. McCadden Place, Hollywood 90028; 8:30pm; $25; www.jazzbakery.org.
Thurs. Jan. 12 -- Saxist Justo Almario swings wide & sensitive within all the traditions, bringing a special warmth to his Latin side. At Vibrato Grill, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, way up the canyon in Bel Air 90077; (310) 474-9400; www.vibratogrilljazz.com.
Thurs. Jan. 12 -- Did you say lap-steel guitarist Paul Lacques and Double Naught Spy Car will be chasing around the surf & crank instrumental raceway every Thursday this month? Better make that a double. In the bar of Taix Restaurant, 1911 Sunset Blvd., Silver Lake 90026; 10:30pm; free; www.taixfrench.com.
Not everyone shares my enviable privilege of receiving e-mails with subject lines like "Wormrot Arrested in Kuala Lumpur During New Year's Eve Hotel Raid." After a show, the male Singapore grindcore trio had reconnoitered with three female friends in their hotel room prior to heading down for some lobby relaxation, or at least that's their story. Imagine their surprise when the religious police (Malaysia has those) burst in and dragged them off to the clink: Local Islamic law prohibits unmarried Muslim men and women from occupying a hotel room, even temporarily. You will be glad to learn that Wormrot were released after a couple of hours.