Fri. July 26 -- One of the more proficient of the traditionalist hard & heavy outfits, Pasadena's Holy Grail, rock & melodicize, not omitting a touch of yer blues. With Legal Tender, Sirion, Selanum, King Battle, Azimuth. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 7pm; $13; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.
Fri. July 26 -- Pianist Geoff Keezer brought a certain intellectuality to the retro young-lion years at the turn of the '90s; good to see him in town promoting his new solo recording, "Heart of the Piano." At Vitello's Restaurant, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City 91604; 8pm; $25; (818) 769-0905; www.vitellosjazz.com.
Fri. July 26 -- Guitarist Chris Poland (ex-Megadeth), bassist Rob Pagliari and drummer David Eagle are Ohm, slipping ya some distinctive fusion grease. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $20; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Sat. July 27 -- After grokking the Rick Griffin cover illustration, you might expect Volto's new "Incitare" to exude a Dead vibe. But no, Tool drummer Danny Carey's fusical quartet feels a lot more like Tony Williams or '70s Jeff Beck. Heavy riffs, stereophonic psycho trips and rumbling drums make for a headbangin' orgy, as John Ziegler's sustain-soaked, reverberative guitar rips into the corners of your cranium, Lance Morrison's bass rubberizes the walls, and Carey's skins (recorded in hi-def analog) thump & thunder with relaxed authority; dig especially the lysergic atmospheres generated by keyboardist Jeff Babko. Don't listen to it while driving, cuz sobriety is contraindicated. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $25; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com. Photo from voltoband.com.
Sat. July 27 -- Younger pianist Josh Nelson, adept at shadings and harmonic subtleties, puts together a quartet worth driving to hear: morning-glory guitarist Larry Koonse slips into the seasoned groove of pals Dave Robaire (bass) and Dan Schnelle (drums). At the Blue Whale on the third level 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; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Sun. July 28 -- See the highly amusing Urs Fischer exhibit and catch some topnotch improv with the quartet of artist/drummer Charles Gaines, featuring the great trumpeter and conceptualist Wadada Leo Smith, longtime Smith bassist John Lindberg and saxist Loren Pickford. At MOCA, 250 S. Grand St., downtown 90012; 3:05pm; free with museum admission.
Sun. July 28 -- Sharp event: Chicago chamber/jazz septet Wrack, with The Vinny Golia Saxophone Ensemble (the multiwind head-spinner plus Gavin Templeton and Jon Armstrong). It'll be out there in a really focused way. A SASSAS presentation at West Hollywood Library, 625 N. San Vicente Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 7pm; $12; two hours free parking in the library garage; www.sassas.org.
Sun. July 28 -- Bring the family for the individualistic urban foke songs of Garretson & Gorodetsky, plus Swords of Fatima and Labor Camp (with Kurt Schellenbach) At the Redwood Bar & Grill, 316 W. Second St., downtown; 3pm; cheap; (310) 245-0273; www.theredwoodbar.com.
Wed. July 31 -- The duo of Stanton Moore & Marco Benevento (New Orleans drums & fun keyboard melodies) plug you into the world of instrumental music that normal people actually like. At the Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., LA 90035; 9pm; $18 (7pm drum clinic $10); (323) 954-9400; www.themintla.com.
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