Fri.-Sat. Jan. 17-18 -- Openhearted melodic jazz with a modern tinge: pianist Josh Nelson heads a quintet with guitarist Anthony Wilson, saxist Walter Smith II, bassist Dave Robaire and drummer Dan Schnelle. (On Saturday, substitute trumpeter John Daversa for Wilson.) Nelson also fits a duo with singer Sara Gazarek in there somewhere on Friday; on Saturday the singin' interludes are with Kathleen Grace and Lillian Sengpiehl. 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. Jan. 18 -- Bust yer brain on the Brad Dutz Quartet, which combines the percussionist's jagged avant-jazz compositions with chamber instrumentation: Brian Walsh on clarinets, Dr. Paul Sherman on oboe and English horn, and Chris Votek on cello. And grab their current "Peripheral Hearing," beautifully packaged with art by Kaoru Mansour. At Alva’s Show Room, 1417 W. Eighth St., San Pedro 90732; 8pm; $20; www.alvasshowroom.com; (800) 403-3447.
Sat. Jan. 18 -- LATE ADD: Visuals & musical avantitude mingle in Open Gate Ensemble (visualist Ted Lamoureux plus Jie Ma, Trevor Anderies, Vinny Golia and Will Salmon); guitar perverter Antony DiGennaro abstractifies with Fear for the Dust (David Tranchina, James Barry, Lauren Baba, Ulrich Krieger, Max Kutner and Laura Jean Anderson). At Live Arts L.A., 4210 Panamint St., Eagle Rock; 8pm; $15; (626) 795-4989.
Sat. Jan. 18 -- Big-grooving drummer Kenny Aronoff (Tony Iommi, Bombastic Meatbats, Chili Peppers, et al.) always associates with super musicians, this time Zakk Wylde bassist James LoMenzo, GNR auxiliary Gilby Clarke, heavy sloggers Phil X & the Drills and more tattooed rockers you don't usually see at this fusion hangout. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $25; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Sat. Jan. 18 -- '90s industrialized metal with an edge of true shred, Dino Cazares and Fear Factory keep on celebrating the Whisky's 50th anniversary year with committed homeys Soulbleed plus Grimefield, Kauze, Hail of Shrapnel, Natas Lived. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; www.whiskyagogo.com; 6:30pm; $25; (310) 652-4202.
Sun. Jan. 19 -- The drums-guitar-bass trio of Adam Czerwinski-Larry Koonse-Darek Oles swings with cool yet full-bodied modern intelligence. 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.
Wed. Jan. 22 -- Early Megadeth guitarist Chris Poland's Ohm slings a distinctively cosmic brand of fusion with bassist Robert Pagliari and drummer David Eagle. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $20; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Wed.-Fri. Jan. 22-24 -- From his 1970 "Bitches Brew" spotlight to his days with Return to Forever and beyond, drummer Lenny White has collected some mighty powerful fusionistic Friends, tonight including bassists Victor Bailey & Foley, Miles/Headhunters windman Benny Maupin and Phil Woods-Gary Bartz keyboardist George Colligan. An intriguing ensemble. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30 & 10:30pm; $20-$25; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Thurs. Jan. 23 -- Want a nasty slice of rockfunky improvisational fusion? Sample Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith's Bombastic Meatbats, with superguitarist Jeff Kollman, keyboardist Ed Roth and bassist Kevin Chown. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $30; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Thurs. Jan. 23 -- For a night of unfettered rock shred, you could hardly improve on the fluid mania of Uli Jon Roth ('70s Scorpions, Electric Sun) and the technical ecstasy of Bumblefoot (GNR, Tony Harnell). Probably with opening acts the web site doesn't mention. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; doors 7pm; $20; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.
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