* indicates events in Angel City Jazz Fest.
* Fri. Sept. 30 -- Pianist Josh Nelson and bassist Dave Robaire (Los Angeles) meet saxist Josh Johnson and drummer Christian Euman (Chicagoans who moved here) and add renowned local guitarist Larry Koonse to form the widely accessible L.A./Chicago Project. Opening is the winner of the Angel City Arts Young Artist Competition, the quartet of saxist Steven Gordon (featuring players from USC and UCLA). At LACMA, 5905 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90036; 6-8pm; FREE; Friday summer jazz schedule here.
Fri. Sept. 30 -- Justo Almario plays tenor from every direction, the one common factor being deep soulfulness. He's widely loved, so expect a super ensemble. At the World Stage, 4321 Degnan Blvd., Leimert Park 90008; 9pm (two sets); $20; www.theworldstage.org.
Fri.-Sat. Sept. 30-Oct. 1 -- Look out when the strong-willed tenor of Ben Wendel dances with the wildly creative, intuitive piano of Gerald Clayton (dig him with Charles Lloyd lately); bassist Joe Sanders and drummer Henry Cole keep 'em honest. 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; 21+; parking $9 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
* Sat. Oct. 1 -- You bet your ass multiwindman Vinny Golia will mess your mind up with his thorny compositions and lung-busting runs, especially when he's got a disciplined partner in ROVA Sax Quartet alto man Steve Adams; bassist Matt Small and drummer John Hanes lay down the framework. Opening is London (by way of her German birthplace) saxist Ingrid Laubrock, in duo with one of my fave drummers, the exquisitely subtle and imaginative Tom Rainey. At LACC's Clausen Hall, 855 N. Vermont Ave., L.A. 90029; (323) 953-4000; $15-$25; www.angelcityjazz.com.
Sat. Oct. 1 -- Saxist Azar Lawrence concentrates the Miles/Trane DNA better than anyone, and always has a toppermost group, this time trumpeter Nolan Shaheed, pianist Theo Saunders, drummer Roy McCurdy and bassist Edwin Livingston. At Roscoe's Seabird Jazz Lounge, adjacent to Roscoe's Chicken & Waffles, 730 E. Broadway, Long Beach 90802; $15; 9pm-1am; (562-787-0899); www.seabirdjazzloungelbc.com.
* Sun. Oct. 2 -- Is it the L.A. jazz event of the year? If I'm king, yeah. Pharoah Sanders brings the enormous tenor sound he exploited with John Coltrane 'round '65 to his regular quartet featuring pianist William Henderson, bassist Mike Gurrola and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith. And DO NOT FAIL to arrive in time for the 22-piece Gurrisonic Orchestra. Not only is supertalented up & coming composer-drummer José Gurría-Cardénas presenting a new L.A.-centric work commissioned by the Los Angeles Jazz Society; he's also worked out an exciting interpretation of Ornette Coleman's groundbreaking 1972 orchestral jazz masterwork, "Skies of America." Read my extensive spelunk on this fascinating story here. At the John Anson Ford Amphitheater, 2180 Cahuenga Blvd. East, Hollywood 90068; 6-10pm; kids $10, adults $35, VIP $60; get tix and appreciate the wide range of accessibility options (you too can avoid stacked parking at this wonderful outdoor venue, though that hasn't been much of a concern) here.
Tues. Oct. 4 -- Blind Guardian deal prog the ole-fashuned way; '80s German power metalmen Grave Digger deny your right to exist. At the Henry Fonda Music Box Theater, 6122 Hollywood Blvd., Hollywood 90028; doors 7pm; $30; (323) 464-0808; www.fondatheatre.com.
Tues. Oct. 4 -- Alice in Chains bring back the '90s Zep-influenced revival with that moaning gray-sky Seattle twist. At the Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90010; 7pm; $63-$150; (213) 388-1400; www.livenation.com
Wed. Oct. 5 -- Not exactly a Frosty & Lee Michaels thing, Amendola vs. Blades features drummer Scott and organist Wil cookin' low over a soul burner. You can trust anything with which Amendola entangles himself. 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; 21+; parking $9 underneath off Second Street at the sign of the P in a circle; (213) 620-0908; www.bluewhalemusic.com.
Thurs. Oct. 6 -- Between the Buried and Me progs the modern metal till the dogs howl; producer-axman Devin Townsend shreds yer shirt; Fallujah supply an awesome mix of heft, noise, melody and atmospherics. At the Novo, 800 Olympic Blvd., downtown 90015; doors 6pm; $33; all ages; www.axs.com; (213) 765-7000.
Thurs. Oct. 6 -- Too bad Gregg Allman had to take a rest, but ZZ Top and country rocker Kenny Wayne Sheppard is still a show you kin drank to. At the Greek Theater, 2700 N. Vermont Ave., Los Feliz 90027; 7:30pm; $47 and way up; www.greektheatrela.com.
Thurs. Oct. 6 -- France's Gojira whams trippy midtempo metal that lands right in the midsection. At the Wiltern, 3790 Wilshire Blvd., LA 90010; 7pm; $25-$30; (213) 388-1400; www.livenation.com.
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Through Oct. 16 -- It ain't over: The biggest Angel City Jazz Festival yet continues looking forward with Steve Lehman + David Binney (Fri. Oct. 7), Craig Taborn + Kris Davis (Sat. Oct. 8), David Gilmore + Samuel Blaser (Sun. Oct. 9), Steuart Liebig & extreme bassists (Fri. Oct. 14), Rudresh Mahanthappa + Joshua White (Sat. Oct. 15) and Thumbscrew + Joel Harrison (Sun. Oct. 16). Get details and buy tickets here.
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