Fri. Nov. 22 -- When piano giant Randy Weston calls his partnership with alto ace Billy Harper "The Roots of the Blues," he's not talking about the Louisiana Delta, he's talking about Africa, whose mud he's soaked up at ground level. Highly recommended. A Jazz Bakery presentation at the Nate Holden Performing Arts Center, 4718 Washington Blvd., LA 90016; 8pm; $37; www.jazzbakery.org.
Fri. Nov. 22 -- Warm & green SoCal jazz guitarist Anthony Wilson leads his star Curators ensemble for an appropriate art-lounge entrée into the weekend. 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.
Sat. Nov. 23 -- The 22-piece Jon Armstrong Orchestra presents compositions that the Slumgum saxist has been sweating over for about a year. Gonna be wide-ranging, and gonna be good. Friends include Gavin Templeton, Brian Walsh, Daniel Rosenboom, Joey Sellars, Trevor Anderies, Randy Gloss, Gary Fukushima, Dave Tranchina and Alex Noice. 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.
Sat.-Sun. Nov. 23-24 -- Foundational jazz guitarist Kenny Burrell must've performed more this year than anytime since about 1965, so savor the shed, this time with his own quintet. The guy should have a hammock here, so he can just roll out of it onto the stage when he feels like it. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30 & 10:30pm Sat., 7:30 & 9:30pm Sun.; $22-$30; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Sun. Nov. 24 -- Japanese heavy rock don't come no stronger, denser or showier than Dir En Grey, now in their 15th year and not slowing down. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 8pm; $32; (323) 848-5100; www.livenation.com.
Sun. Nov. 24 -- Music. Spoken word. Good snax. Arty humans. Hang out with Garretson & Gorodetsky (urban wildlife songs), Andy Woll (written words spoken) and Bonnie Barnett (jazzish improv, extended vox & concepts with Dan Clucas, Richard Wood and Garth Powell). At Pilates & Arts, 1844 Echo Park Ave., Echo Park 90026; 4pm; FREE.
Sun. Nov. 24 -- If you missed the Ford Amphitheater show at this year's Angel City Jazz Festival featuring Greg Osby, Yosvany Terry, Kneebody and Richard Sears, some kind of synopsis will be shown on local television's LA36 at 6pm; check your listings. Read my review here.
Wed. Nov. 27 -- Monster Magnet got slowed down when the dog ate the homework of leader (and now sole remaining original member) Dave Wyndorf in the mid-2000s, but now they're here to belch forth the crossover '70s-derived hard rock. Plus Anti-Mortem, and come early for the exciting femme-fronted sludge caterwaul of Royal Thunder. At House of Blues, 8430 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 8pm; $25; (323) 848-5100; www.livenation.com.
Wed. Nov. 27 -- Maria Brink of In This Moment: naughty nurse, naughty Alice, or future of heavy metal? You decide. With Motionless in White, Kyng, All Hail the Yeti. At Club Nokia, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., downtown 90015; 7pm; $22; www.clubnokia.com.
Matt Duersten tells me that L.A. pianist Nate Morgan just died. He was a big man and a big talent, big enough to take over the keys when piano great Horace Tapscott was conducting the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, big enough to write songs with Rufus, big enough to encompass most of jazz history in his fluid, soulful and technically unassailable keyboard expression. His gruff demeanor could not hide a generous heart, and a lot of people in his South Los Angeles community loved him, as evidenced by several benefits held during his long illness -- events where dozens of his musician friends donated their services and many more contributed to the fund. He will be long remembered.
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