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Fall Arts Preview: Jazz

Times critic Chris Barton offers his picks.

September 07, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • Trumpter Ambrose Akinmusire.
Trumpter Ambrose Akinmusire. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles…)

SEPT. 13-15

Christian Scott

After recent turns with the Cuban jazz trio 90 Miles and paying tribute to Miles Davis' "Tutu" with bassist Marcus Miller, trumpeter Scott had plenty of his own vision to get out of his system with his latest recording. "Christian aTunde Adjuah" takes its title from Scott's new full name and is a nod to his heritage with New Orleans' Mardi Gras Indians. Merging contemporary jazz with flourishes of hip-hop and indie rock, Scott is an artist with so much to say that he'll easily fill this three-night residency.

The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., Suite 301, L.A. 9 p.m. $15. http://www.bluewhalemusic.com

SEPT. 24 AND 28

Pat Metheny

Unity Band

After two solo albums that explored how far Metheny could go alone (including a wildly ambitious extension of the one-man-band concept in his Orchestrion project in 2010), the jazz guitarist is back to exploring his collaborative side with his Unity Band, which released its first album this year. Joined by some new foils in Dave Holland's saxophonist Chris Potter and fiery young bassist Ben Williams, Metheny sounds every bit as unique sharing his talents with others.

The Broad Stage, 1310 11th St., Santa Monica, Sept. 24, 7 and 9 p.m. $67-$85. http://www.thebroadstage.com. Also Sep. 28 at Segerstrom Hall, 600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa. 7:30 p.m. $25-$72. http://www.scfta.org

OCT. 5-14

FALL ARTS PREVIEW: Critic's Picks

Angel City

Jazz Festival

Its multiple settings may be less picnic-friendly than its festival brethren, but this year's installment marks another can't-miss couple weeks for L.A. jazz fans. The festival is built around the theme of artists paying respect to their mentors; its centerpiece remains the Ford Amphitheatre, with a lineup boasting trumpeter (and USC faculty addition) Ambrose Akinmusire with fire-breathing saxophonist Archie Shepp. But later shows with Myra Melford, Anthony Wilson with Jim Keltner, Bill Frisell and Vijay Iyer with Steve Coleman are every bit as essential.

Also at LACMA, REDCAT and UCLA's Royce Hall. See http://www.angelcityjazz.com for details and tickets.

OCT. 6

Chick Corea

and Gary Burton

Even after 40 years together, Corea and Burton still haven't run out of topics for musical conversations, which have netted the evocative piano-vibraphone duo five Grammy Awards, including in 2009 for the album "New Crystal Silence." The pair's latest collaboration, "Hot House," features a diverse selection of covers, including the Beatles' "Eleanor Rigby" and Thelonious Monk's "Light Blue" delivered with the same sympathetic, inventive style sure to draw awards night attention again.

Valley Performing Arts Center, 18111 Nordhoff St., Northridge. $20-$80. http://www.valleyperformingartscenter.org

OCT. 9

The Bad Plus

This trio may have burst on the scene with a variety of inside-out covers of songs from the alt-rock universe, including Blondie, Aphex Twin and Nirvana, but beneath all the headlines was a group of ferocious, dedicated improvisers. Pianist (and thoughtful blogger) Ethan Iverson has proved himself to those who once thought his sound lay outside the tradition with recent performances with Tootie Heath and Billy Hart, and in the egalitarian confines of the Bad Plus, he's helping blaze a new trail.

The Mint, 6010 W. Pico Blvd., L.A. $25-$30; http://www.themintla.com

OCT. 25 AND 27

Robert Glasper

Experiment and Trio

The Houston-born Glasper had a lot of jazz fans scratching their heads with 2012's "Black Radio," a genre-blind record that merged the sounds of hip-hop, R&B and soul with his already restless piano in one of the most arresting albums of the year. This pair of shows presented by the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA showcases both of his musical personas, first with the Experiment joined by rising local keyboardist Austin Peralta, then followed by a trio date opening for the venerable bassist Ron Carter. He'll sound right at home in either context.

Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive, L.A. $15-$35; $20-$60; cap.ucla.edu

chris.barton@latimes.com

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