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Fall Arts Preview | JAZZ AND WORLD MUSIC

Groundbreaker Coleman to pay visit to Disney Hall

The Sax Legend's Stop Tops A Varied, Inviting Season That Includes Luminaries From Brazil And Beyond.

September 19, 2004|Don Heckman | Special to The Times

The most important local event in jazz and world music this fall takes place Nov. 12 at Disney Hall, with an appearance by the influential alto saxophonist Ornette Coleman on a bill that also includes the Latin-tinged sounds of Charlie Haden's "Land of the Sun" (featuring pianist Gonzalo Rubalcaba).

It's been almost 45 years since Coleman stunned the jazz world with an approach to improvising that kicked out most of the jams of the then-established styles.

Viewed as everything from a musical poseur to the successor to the iconic Charlie Parker, he nonetheless opened the gates to a new view of improvisation -- one that had a profound effect upon, among many others, John Coltrane, Wayne Shorter and a generation of Manhattan loft musicians. Still stretching the envelope at 74, he is one of the rare jazz artists who should be heard at every possible opportunity.

The three other intriguing programs are provided by UCLA Live's new season.

Start with Caetano Veloso's performances at Royce Hall on Oct. 13 and 14. The extraordinary Brazilian artist's far-ranging musical interests always result in a not-to-be-missed event. This time he'll feature music from his latest album, "A Foreign Sound," which consists of his insightful takes (sung in English) on the American songs (from Irving Berlin to Kurt Cobain) that have influenced his art.

Two other unique Brazilian performers -- Hermeto Pascoal and Monica Salmaso -- arrive at Royce on Nov. 4. Pascoal, a multi-instrumentalist and composer, has been producing a blend of jazz and Brazilian rhythms that has been influencing musicians for decades. And Salmaso is one of the best of a new generation of Brazilian artists successfully resisting the blandishments of Americanized pop music.

Finally, on Nov. 19 at Royce, there's saxophonist Charles Lloyd and Indian percussionist Zakir Hussain in a concert titled "Which Way Is East: Homage to Master Billy Higgins," a tribute to the great jazz drummer. Higgins was the real deal, his life and times worthy of a celebratory tribute using video and live performance, energized by the always galvanizing presence of the two headliners.

On the CD front, it's going to be a good season for reissues. Heading the list is the seven-CD "Seven Steps: The Complete Columbia Recordings of Miles Davis 1963-1964." Equally worthy: Telarc's four-CD "The Legendary Oscar Peterson Trio Live at the Blue Note," Blue Note's three-CD "Chet Baker: Prince of Cool" and Blue Note's four-CD "Jimmy Smith: Retrospective."

Keep an ear open, too, for new vocal CDs from Jane Monheit ("Taking a Chance on Love" on Columbia), Patricia Barber ("Live: A Fortnight in France" on Blue Note), Madeleine Peyroux ("Careless Love" on Rounder) and the Manhattan Transfer ("Vibrate" on Telarc), as well as instrumental albums from the Chick Corea Elektric Band ("To the Stars" on Stretch), the Keith Jarrett Trio ("The Out-of-Towners" on ECM), Brad Mehldau ("Solo Piano Live in Tokyo" on Nonesuch) and Alice Coltrane ("Translinear Light" on Impulse!).

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