Wynton Marsalis has long been enthralled with the music of Thelonious Monk, and last year his septet recorded an album of Monk's unique compositions.
Monk's music will also be on the program when Marsalis appears Wednesday at the Hollywood Bowl, fronting a first-rate 12-piece band that includes Ryan Kisor (trumpet), Kent Jordan (flute), Wessell Anderson (alto sax), Wycliffe Gordon and Ronald Westry (trombones), Eric Reed (piano), and Herlin Riley (drums). Also on the bill is Joshua Redman's quartet with guest trumpeter Nicholas Payton, and pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba's trio with Ron Carter (bass) and Lewis Nash (drums).
At the Bowl, Marsalis' band will play a few classic Monk tunes, among them the rigorous "Four in One," pieces that were arranged by Hall Overton for the great composer-pianist's concert at New York's Philharmonic Hall on Dec. 30, 1963. The works were transcribed by Westry from a recording of the concert that was released on Columbia Records.
"Monk's music is deeply soulful, and also very funny," said Marsalis. "And the tunes are difficult to play on. They're meaty. Wherever we go and announce that we'll play a tune by Monk, someone in the audience says 'Yeah!' "
Marsalis' set will also spotlight his music for ballet. His band will play excerpts from two suites: "Jazz (Six Syncopated Movements)," written for the New York City Ballet, which is directed by Peter Martins, and "Jump Start," commissioned by Twyla Tharp for her company.
The suites, Marsalis said, cover a lot of ground. "There are be-bop pieces, there is ragtime, one portion is based on the Japanese Gagaku form and there's one that's based on a circular type of African music. Dance music is fun because, once you have the rhythm section playing, jazz is all dance music. So this gives me a chance to fulfill another function of jazz and I think that's important."
Information: (213) 850-2000.
Boppin' at the Beach: A host of jazz stars from the music's contemporary and mainstream camps highlight the schedule of the eighth annual Long Beach Jazz Festival, a three-day event starting tonight at Rainbow Lagoon Park in downtown Long Beach.
The lineup from 7:30 to 10:30 tonight includes Dave Koz, Hiroshima, Alphonse Mouzon, Grant Geissman and Brandon Fields. On Saturday from 1 to 10:30 p.m., you'll hear Najee, Diane Schuur, Hank Crawford and Jimmy McGriff, Richard Elliott, Carl Anderson and Marlena Shaw. Performers on Sunday's show, which also runs from 1 to 10:30 p.m., are Nancy Wilson, the newly re-formed Jazz Crusaders with singers Randy Crawford and Bobby Caldwell, Poncho Sanchez, Al Williams with Barbara Morrison and Pieces of a Dream.
Information: (310) 436-7794.
Holman at Bakery: Bill Holman's "A View From the Side," just out on JVC Records, is his first album in seven years. The recording finds his exhilarating ensemble delivering such numbers as "I Didn't Ask"--a brooding piece inspired by Charles Ives' "The Unanswered Question"--and "No Joy in Mudville," dedicated to Southern California's pro baseball teams.
"These are tunes that we've been playing that we thought would make a good album," said Holman, who leads his group Monday at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City. "The tunes are sequenced in the order that we might play them at a gig, and that's refreshing, since it puts the heavier tunes at the end."
Information: (310) 271-9039.
Hargrove Cancels: Trumpeter Roy Hargrove has canceled his scheduled Tuesday through next Sunday appearance at Catalina Bar and Grill in Hollywood. Hargrove's father died recently in Texas of a heart attack and the trumpet player has decided to take some time off to be with other members of his family.
Replacing Hargrove will be pianist Hadda Brooks' trio from Monday through next Friday, and bassist Christian McBride's quartet on Aug. 19-20. Also canceled: Benny Carter, scheduled for Aug. 29-Sept. 3. No replacement for Carter has been announced.
Information: (213) 466-2210.
Hubbard Scheduled: Freddie Hubbard, hoping to get his injured lip back in shape for some possible touring, is playing tonight and Saturday (as well as Aug. 18-19 and Aug. 25-26) with a band led by drummer Bob Marks at Legends of Hollywood in Studio City. Hubbard has a new album out, "Freddie Hubbard Live!," on Just Jazz Records, and has another, "MMTC (Monk, Miles, Trane & Cannon)," due from MusicMasters on Sept. 12.
Information: (818) 760-6631.
Scanning the Jazzwaves: For those who can't go to the Bowl on Wednesday, catch Wynton Marsalis in concert on BET's Jazz Central at 9:30 p.m. Also featured this week: the Modern Jazz Quartet on Monday, Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers on Tuesday and Chick Corea and Gary Burton on Thursday, all at 9:30 p.m. . . . Famed saxmen Sonny Rollins, Coleman Hawkins and Lester Young are presented on "Tenor Titans," showing tonight at 7 p.m. and1 a.m. on the Bravo channel.
Free Music: Bluesy tenorman Rickey Woodard plays Saturday, 1:30 to 4 p.m., at Pedrini Music in Alhambra, (213) 283-1932. . . . Eric Reed's trio plays on Thursday, 5:30 p.m., at the Museum of Contemporary Art, (213) 621-1749.. . . Billy Childs performs Wednesday, 7 p.m., at the Century City Shopping Center, (310) 277-3898.