Angel City Jazz Festival events are marked with *.
* Fri. Oct. 4 -- SoCal's lucky to have oft-awarded Chicago flutist-singer Nicole Mitchell on board as a teacher at UC Irvine; she's been poking her head out in local clubs for the last couple of years with her deeply African, often rhythm-heavy and sometimes tres avant music, and now presents her all-star Sun Dial Ensemble, featuring bassist Mark Dresser, trombonist Michael Dessen, singer Dwight Trible, guitarist Jeff Parker and Nigerian percussionist Najite Agindotan. Totally kick-ass opener for the Angel City Fest, and if you get here at 6 you also get to hear the winners of the Angel City Jazz Young Artist Competition, the ensemble of trumpeter Zach Ramacier, and marvel at what kidz can do. At LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90036; 6-8pm; FREE; Friday summer jazz schedule here.
Fri. Oct. 4 -- I dug the funky electronix of keyboardist Joshua White when I saw him with John Daversa, and I bet he's even wilder leading his own quartet. 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; $15; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Fri. Oct 4 -- Biff Byford and Saxon, one of the heavier Brit bash gangs from the turn of the '80s ("Denim and Leather"), actually rock harder and deeper with age, so don't pin them as a throwback. With wrestler Chris Jericho's trad-metal band Fozzy. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 9pm; $25; (323) 848-5100; www.livenation.com.
Fri. Oct. 4 -- When musician and sleazapreneur (Runaways) Kim Fowley writes a TRILOGY memoir and reads from the first volume, "Lord of Garbage," you may not know exactly what'll come at you, but you know it'll be entertaining. At La Luz de Jesus Gallery, 4633 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90027; 7pm; free I guess; www.laluzdejesus.com.
Fri.-Sun. Oct. 4-6 -- A solid composer and an amazing bassist, Christian McBride ain't gonna let ya down, and in this trio setting you'll get to hear more o' that wood. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30 & 10:30pm; $22-$35; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
* Sat. Oct. 5 -- When I heard the new ECM record by Dave Holland's Prism featuring guitarist Kevin Eubanks, pianist Craig Taborn and drummer Eric Harland (biggies all), I was surprised and glad to hear the bassist revisiting the fusionistic realms he skirted with Miles Davis 40-some years ago. Although the music eschews Miles' evil, it sparks a ton of energy and an inventive conceptual sense, and live it's gonna be even more fun. Add the bluesy groove of guitar marvel (and former Miles dude) John Scofield's Uberjam Band with guitarist Avi Bortnick, bassist Andy Hess and drummer Tony Mason, and there might be some kind of gray-haired riot. A CAP presentation at UCLA's Royce Hall; 8pm; $20-$50; get a discount via www.angelcityjazz.com.
Sat. Oct. 5 -- Soul-jazz piano great Les McCann gets together with monster fusion drummer Alphonse Mouzon (now finished with his Azar Lawrence gig at Club RG) and singer Lee Hartley to span the genres. "Jazz at the Rad" in the Palmira Room at the Radisson Airport Hotel, 6225 W. Century Blvd., L.A. 90045; 7:30-10:30pm; no cover but $20 minimum; validated parking; reserve at (310) 216-5861.
Sun. Oct. 6 -- Vet Swedish folk-metal doomsters Katatonia flog a new slab in an interestingly varied bill featuring the dark textural atmospherics of younger Swedes Cult of Luna, plus superb prog soundscapes from L.A.'s Intronaut (pictured), and djent djenerators Tesseract. At El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; doors 6pm; $25; www.ticketmaster.com.
* Sun. Oct. 6 -- If you can do only one Angel City event, here's the ticket: saxist Greg Osby (on the very forefront of hard-edged yet funky conceptualism for a quarter century) with rising multihistorical clarinetist Anat Cohen (8:45); Cuban saxist and Steve Coleman protege Yosvany Terry's quintet (7:30); new horizons in groove & jam synthesis from Kneebody (6:15), as exemplified on their hot new "The Line"; smart young melodic pianist Richard Sears (5:00) in a unit featuring jazzroot drummer Tootie Heath, who's played with everybody from Trane to Dex to George Russell; and screenings of segments from the "Icons Among Us" documentaries (4:00 & 5:45). I love this relaxed old outdoor venue, too. At the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, 2180 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood 90068; $40, students $17, kids $12; www.angelcityjazz.com.
Tues. Oct. 8 -- For the roots of modern prog metal (blazing weird riffs, instrumental-oriented extended forms, extra strings on the guitar), historians should not neglect Mike Lerner and Behold . . . the Arctopus, which doesn't play L.A. often. Plus Botanist. At the Joint, 8771 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. 90035; doors 8pm; $11; (310) 275-2619; www.8thdaytix.com.
Wed. Oct. 9 -- A pianist of exceptional skill, vision and emotional commitment, Motoko Honda returns to L.A. to play her personal favorite Mendelssohn Piano Trio in D minor and one of her own highly original compositions. At MiMoDa Studio, 5772 W. Pico Blvd. (enter through Paper or Plastik Café); 8:30pm; $10.
Wed. Oct. 9 -- On the second Wednesday of his October residency, vibraphonist Nick Mancini ropes in the core of the group that created his finely wrought new "The Storyteller" (pick one up from the man's own hands): bassist Kaveh Rastegar, drummer Dan Schnelle, pianist Mahesh Balasooriya and windman Katisse Buckingham. 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; $15; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs. Oct. 10 -- Phil Ranelin knew Freddie Hubbard as a youth, played trombone with him too; now he celebrates the late trumpeter's 75th anniversary year with windman Pablo Calogero, windman Jacob Scesney, bassist Aneesa Al-Musawwir, pianist Mahesh Balasooriya and drummer Don Littleton. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30pm; $20; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Thurs. Oct. 10 -- Welcome heartland singer Julie Christensen back to SoCal from Nashville, where she lives now (hope she's got an appropriate belt buckle). And pick up a copy of her current "Weeds Like Us," which brings together her folk & soul roots in a package you can wear out whilst simmering chili on the corncob stove. Or maybe while laughing at "American Idol" with the TV muted. Julie's got John McDuffie, Wendysue Rosloff and special guests with her; Bliss Bowen opens around 8:30. At Cinema Bar, 3967 Sepulveda Blvd., Culver City 90036; 9:30pm; no cover; (310) 390-1328; thecinemabar.com.
Thurs. Oct. 10 -- H&W team Billy Mintz (drums) and Roberta Piket (piano) do a lotta stuff together. Right now the Mintz Quartet has a varied and delicately colored record featuring Piket's rose-petal touch plus the storied bass of Putter Smith and the wonderfully breathy/smoky sax of John Gross (Stan Kenton, Woody Herman, Toshiko Akiyoshi); all four are present tonight. Piket has also dropped a living-room-friendly solo disc drawing from Monk, Duke and Shorter, as well as her own tunes; a special attraction is "In the Days of Our Love" by Marian McPartland, the influential pianist who died in August. An involving artist and a fitting pair. 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; $15; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs.-Sun. Oct. 10-13 -- Europeans sure do improvise, whether you like to call it jazz or not, and they prove it with Eurojazz Fest. At UCLA's Schoenberg Hall; check here for details.
The Angel City Jazz Festival concludes next week. Visit here for tickets and more info on:
Fri. Oct. 11 -- John Hollenbeck's Claudia Quintet, Jim Black-Tim Lefebvre-Chris Speed Trio, plus jazz symposium, at REDCAT.
Sat. Oct. 12 -- Terence Blanchard Quintet, at Zipper Hall.
Sun. Oct. 13 -- Dafnis Prieto, at REDCAT.
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