Fri. June 13 -- I guess I first heard Ernie Watts blow with the Stones 'round '81, but then it was Charlie Haden and plenty of his own fluidly precise and soulful stuff as a leader, like today with this here quartet. At LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90036; 6-8pm; FREE; Friday summer jazz schedule here.
Fri. June 13 -- Taylor Eigsti is a damned versatile and accomplished pianist, made more appealing cuz at 29 he no longer has that "child prodigy" albatross around his neck. With a trio tonight. 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. June 13 -- Get hungry for thick waves of fish soup with Pelican, plus Tombs (Brooklyn metal adventurers on Relapse Records), and ex-Isis guitarist Mike Gallagher's Mustard Gas & Roses. At El Rey Theater, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A.; 8pm; $16; www.theelrey.com.
Sat. June 14 -- I won't tar Unearth with the metalcore brush cuz I dig the psychotic abandon and human borderline tunefulness of front man Trevor Phipps. With Texas in July, Cruel Hand, Armed for Apocalypse, Invisible Monsters, Envision, The End of an Age, Throne to Tides. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 6pm; $15; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.
Sat. June 14 -- Poet-artist John Tottenham rises off his couch to mock himself and every manifestation of mortal aspiration; reward him by buying his book and his drawings, which I had no idea were so starkly striking. His exhibition is called "The Indifferent Sublime." At Maloney Fine Art, 2680 S. La Cienega Blvd., L.A. 90034; opening reception 6-8pm; free; (310) 570-6420; www.maloneyfineart.com.
Sat. June 14 -- Try on the more clubby side of Billy Childs' intelligent, original and Grammy-winning keyboardations, with bassist Reggie Hamilton, drummer Joey Heredia and windman Katisse Buckingham. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $26; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.
Sat.-Sun. June 13-14 -- This year's Playboy Jazz Fest is highlighted on Saturday by an all-star tribute to the recently deceased George Duke, plus Arturo Sandoval, Jamie Cullum, Dianne Reeves, and the interesting Hot 9 of blind New Orleans pianist Henry Butler & eclecto-artistic trumpeter Steven Bernstein (don't come too late and miss 'em). Sunday it's Venezuelan David Byrne faves Los Amigos Invisibiles, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Dave Holland's Prism, and The James Cotton Blues Band with Big Jay McNeeley (true-true vintage veterans). And others more and less famous. At the Hollywood Bowl, 2301 Highland Ave., Hollywood 90068; 3pm; $39-$180; (323) 850-2000; www.hollywoodbowl.com.
Sun. June 15 -- The avant org SASSAS raises funds at a classy private residence with a silent art auction and a horde of my favorite local musicians: Kristian Hoffman & the Roswell Sisters, the all-accordion Free Reed Conspiracy, Joe Baiza's Hare's Breath Ensemble, and Dublab's DJ Lady C. In Silver Lake, 4-8pm; $70, kids $10 (food & drink included); details here.
Mon. June 16 -- Kenny Burrell's L.A. Jazz Orchestra Unlimited does fresh stuff with the most seasoned players & composers. At Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hollywood 90028; 8:30pm; $20; (323) 466-2210; www.catalinajazzclub.com.
Tues. June 17 -- An intriguing take on the East Coast avant: Thumbscrew, featuring guitarist Mary Halvorson, formidable bassist Michael Formanek and drummer Tomas Fujiwara. 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. June 18 -- U.K. dub mastermind Adrian Sherwood (On-U Records chief, member of Tackhead, mixer of Einsturzende Neubauten) spins his head off; The Lions celebrate the release of their new "This Generation in Dub"; the eight-piece Israeli dub band Zvuloon (clean & rooted) and the Dub Club DJs churn up the early waters. A real good one. Dub Club at the EchoPlex, 1154 Glendale Blvd., Echo Park 90026; 9pm; $15; 21+; www.attheecho.com.
Thurs.-Fri. June 19-20 -- Drummer Billy Hart's résumé stretches back through the biggest stars in jazz, including Charles Lloyd, Tyner, Herbie, Miles & Wes. He's got a new record out on ECM with his all-star quartet featuring double-down saxist Mark Turner, Bad Plus pianist Ethan Iverson and top-call bassist Ben Street, and that's the fine sustenance you receive tonight. 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.
* * *