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Jazz

May 20, 1999|DON HECKMAN

Amazingly, the Hollywood Bowl is taking the flagship position in the cruise through the Southland's summer jazz schedule. The season launches early with the 21st annual, two-days-of-jazz-and-partying Playboy Jazz Festival June 12-13. Among the many featured artists: Chick Corea, Ray Charles, Dianne Reeves, Joshua Redman, Jon Hendricks & Annie Ross and Terence Blanchard.

But that's just the beginning. The commitment to jazz signaled by the L.A. Philharmonic's appointment of bassist-composer John Clayton to the post of creative director of jazz has resulted in the scheduling of eight major jazz events at the Bowl: Diana Krall, July 7; Poncho Sanchez and Latin Jazz, July 21; Dee Dee Bridgewater and Ray Brown, Aug. 4; Dr. John, Aug. 11; Kevin Mahogany and Take 6, Aug. 18; John Pizzarelli, Russell Malone and Mark Whitfield, Aug. 25; the Count Basie Alumni Band, Sept. 8; a tribute to Johnny Mandel, Henri Mancini and Quincy Jones, Sept. 15.

There will also be plenty of action for fans who favor smaller venues. Lots of piano and keyboard players, for one thing, with Jacky Terrason at the Jazz Bakery May 25-28; Monty Alexander at the same venue, July 1-3; the inimitable Kenny Barron performing with Sphere at Catalina Bar & Grill Aug. 10-15; and Joe Zawinul at Catalina's, Aug. 17-22.

Don't overlook such other potentially rewarding bookings as: the Jim Hall/Scott Colley Duo at the Jazz Bakery, June 10-13; the smooth-jazz Rippingtons at Universal Amphitheatre, July 23; saxophonists Javon Jackson at the Bakery, June 29-30, and Kenny Garrett at Catalina's, July 27-Aug.1; and the big, annual Labor Day weekend mainstream jazz event, the Sweet & Hot Jazz Festival at the LAX Marriott Hotel.

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