L.A. previews December 26-January 1: Death Angel, Ben Wendel, Kwanzaa in Leimert with Dwight & Kamasi, Jazz Funk Fest, Michael Landau, Joe Bonamassa, Barbara Morrison.

Fri. Dec. 26 -- Bay Area thrash forefathers Death Angel (featuring two '80s members) don their gay Satan Claus apparel for a heartwarming Xmas show. With Orchid, Thrown Into Exile, Revmatix, Concrete Sledge. At the Whisky, 8901 Sunset Blvd., West Hollywood 90069; 7pm; $25; www.whiskyagogo.com; (310) 652-4202.

Fri.-Sat. Dec. 26-27 -- Kneebody saxist Ben Wendel gangs up with an all-star local post-traditional ensemble featuring saxist Walter Smith III (Ambrose Akinmusire), pianist Gerald Clayton (son o' John), bassist Dave Robaire (Roy Haynes) and drummer Jeff Ballard (Brad Mehldau). 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; $20; 21+; parking $5 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.

Fri.-Tues. Dec. 26-30 -- Leimert Park is celebrating the hell out of Kwanzaa with super shows every night: Dwight Trible with Justo Almario Friday; Ethio-Cali Saturday; Kamasi Washington Sunday; Nick Rosen Monday; and Michael Session Septet Tuesday. At the World Stage, 4344 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park 90008; 8pm; $15 at www.eventbrite.com; www.theworldstage.org.

Sat. Dec. 27 -- Jazz Funk Fest hurls together spoken word, free improv and ass-freein' rhythm with Rag'nBones (7pm) and Eric Ahlberg's Jazz Workshop (8:30pm). At UnUrban, 3301 Pico Blvd., Santa Monica 90401; 7-10pm; FREE; (310) 315-0056.

Sat. Sun. Dec. 27-28 -- Axman Michael Landau rocks big crafty fusion with a different group each night. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $25; (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.

Mon.-Wed. Dec. 29-31 -- I thought the NYE Rock Candy Funk Party with blues-heavy guitarist Joe Bonamassa & friends would be sold out, and it probably will be, even at $240 (includes food & drinks), which must surely include platinum-plated spuds. The group's $35 Monday and Tuesday warm-ups (ingestibles sold separately) are in fact full. At the Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City 91604; 9:30 & 11:30pm; $240 (818) 980-1615; www.thebakedpotato.com.

Wed. Dec. 31 -- Singer Barbara Morrison, who knows about blues and jazz from the roots up, fronts a big-band and quartet for a bang-up New Year's Eve. At Encore Dinner Theater, 690 El Camino Real, Tustin 92780; doors 7:30pm; $135 includes true Southern food.

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Read Don Heckman’s jazz picks here and MoshKing's metal listings here. Read John Payne's plutonic Bluefat.com here.