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Jazz picks: Ryan Cohan, Robert Glasper in concert this week

November 14, 2013|By Chris Barton
  • Keyboardist Robert Glasper and his band the Experiment play the El Rey Theatre tonight.
Keyboardist Robert Glasper and his band the Experiment play the El Rey Theatre… (Michael Buckner / Getty…)

A selection of performances heading into the weekend:

Ryan Cohan: Inspired by a trip to Africa, the Chicago-based pianist and bandleader released one of the more ambitious jazz records of the year in "The River." Rising out of a lush, gospel-infused solo turn and meandering through a buoyant, album-length suite delivered by a nimble seven-piece band, Cohan explores the sounds of Rwanda and Zimbabwe as filtered through the Windy City's fertile jazz scene.

Here Cohan performs with a quartet that includes drummer Joe La Barbera and saxophonist Bob Sheppard, but the explorations should remain every bit as inviting. The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., No. 301., L.A. 9 p.m. Thursday. $15.

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The Robert Glasper Experiment: Not content with simply turning the jazz world on its head with the Grammy-winning "Black Radio," pianist Robert Glasper goes a step further with his venture into the hip-hop and soul music dear to his heart with "Black Radio 2." Inspired by the similar ventures of fellow pianist Herbie Hancock, Glasper is armed with bigger hooks and a sound fully aligned with his awards win in the R&B category. It may not be for jazz purists, but regardless of where Glasper's music is classified, it keeps moving ahead. The El Rey Theatre, 5515 Wilshire Blvd., L.A. 8 p.m. Thursday. $35

Charles Lloyd: Recently celebrating his 75th birthday, the saxophonist shows no signs of slowing down. "Hagar's Song," a duet with pianist Jason Moran, is one of the top jazz albums released in 2013, and this performance finds him in an adventurous ensemble that features his regular rhythm section of bassist Ruben Rogers and drummer Eric Harland paired with the ever-expressive guitarist Bill Frisell, whose string-adorned album "Big Sur" marked another career highlight. (Look for a full feature on Lloyd in this space and The Times' Calendar section Friday.) Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive. 8 p.m. Friday. $30-$60,


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Twitter: @chrisbarton


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