Fri. March 9 -- You don't normally flash on electronic freakery when a drummer leads a trio, but when it's Scott Amendola, why sure -- the Bay Arean represents a veritable 120-volt junction box of effects devices, and with Tortoise/Chicago Underground Trio guitarist Jeff Parker on board (along with universal bassist John Shifflett), you know you're headed in the direction of outer space as well as heavy groove. 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. March 9 -- Art Night Pasadena includes a segment called Untamed (parking) Spaces, which displays various kinds of performances on pop-up stages. And part of it is audiovisual artist Kira Vollman's "Do Not Enter," which she calls a "metaphonical hysterectomy." Bring the kids! At Side Street Projects Mobile HQ, 730 N. Fair Oaks Ave., Pasadena 91103; 6pm; free.
Sat. March 10 -- Conducted by Charles Owens, The Luckman Jazz Orchestra presents another in its series of imaginative tributes (not reproductions!), this time honoring the astute and overlooked composer/trombonist J.J. Johnson, a proto-bebopper and ever-evolving modernist who died in 2001. I wonder if they'll tap Johnson's Afro-funk film scoring for the blaxploitation classic "Across 110th Street"? At Cal State L.A.’s Luckman Fine Arts Complex, 5151 State University Drive, L.A. 90032; 8:30pm; $25-$35; (323) 343-6600; www.luckmanarts.org; www.ticketmaster.com.
Sat. March 10 -- Longtime L.A. extreme vocalist Bonnie Barnett and saxist Dick Wood are celebrating the release of their separate but equal pfMentum recordings tonight. In addition to abstract laryngeal contortions, Barnett does the best readings (with peppy improv from a trio including Wood) of Sartre and Gertrude Stein; and Wood's sextet (featuring the always righteous Dan Clucas) offers the closest approximation of 1964 Eric Dolphy that I've heard, and that means it's good. The rootsy Crane Lake Serenaders play in between. Might seem far, but it's only a half hour east of Hollywood. At Café 322, 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre 91024; 8pm; cheap; (626) 836-5414.
Sun. March 11 -- From The Billy Childs Quartet you get chamber-jazz beauty and swinging improv. (See my review here.) From Kronos Quartet you get chrome-plated modernism. (The two outfits play separately and together.) From guitarist Bill Frisell (pictured) you get texture and atmosphere, here with Beautiful Dreamers -- violist Eyvind Kang and drummer Rudy Royston. Buncha Grammy winners, history all over the place. If you're rich, it's worth it. At Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown 90012; 7:30pm; $47-$121; (323) 850-2000; www.laphil.org.
Mon. March 12 -- It's Small Stone Records night, which is rock code for fire drills, blunt objects and chronic intrigue syndrome with Sasquatch, Backwoods Payback and Dwellers. At Los Globos, 3040 Sunset Blvd., Echo Park 90026; 9:30pm; $8.
Tues. March 13 -- Early Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland slides into a distinctive funky fusion place (watch his left hand) with his power trio, Ohm. Robert Pagliari on bass and David Eagle on drums. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $15; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Tues. March 13 -- Willie Nelson & Family. Need I say more? The world's most recognizable voice, and talk about a guy who slides wildly around the nylon strings on that termite-eaten old acoustic . . . Beyond country. At Walt Disney Concert Hall, 111 S. Grand Ave., downtown 90012; 8pm; sold out, but sometimes they cut loose a few tix at the last minute; call (323) 850-2000; www.laphil.org.
Thurs. March 15 -- I have reservations about any Mingus band without the late Charles, and I can't recommend Mingus Dynasty if they won't even tell us who's in it, but hearing any of the maestro's great compositions played live is a temptation. A UCLA Live presentation at Royce Hall; 8pm; $20; www.uclalive.org.
Thurs.-Sat. March 15-17 -- Kneebody are back for another stand, and judging from attendance, their rumble-grooving blend of jazz, rock, R&B and electronics has hit a substantial slice of the younger music-loving public in just the right place. 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; $15; validated parking underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.