RUSSELL MALONE QUARTETThe talented improviser is best known as guitarist for Diana Krall and Harry Connick Jr. ORANGE COUNTY PERFORMING ARTS CENTER, Founders Hall, 600 Town Center Dr., Costa Mesa; Fri.-Sat., Jan. 13-14, 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. (714) 556-2787.
JOYCE COOLING, THE RIPPINGTONSCERRITOS CENTER, 12700 Center Court Dr.; Sat., Jan. 14, 8 p.m. (800) 300-4345.
BEN SIDRANIt’s an educational program, titled “Jews, Music, and the American Dream.” Which means he probably won’t be doing “When a Woman Say She Ready.” SKIRBALL CULTURAL CENTER, 2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd.; Thurs., Jan. 19, 8 p.m.; $15. (310) 440-4500.
GO THE BRAD MEHLDAU TRIOAfter 10 years, pianist Mehldau has brought drummer Jeff Ballard into his trio with bassist Larry Grenadier. And in deciding whom to play with, he makes few mistakes. EL REY THEATER, 5515 Wilshire Blvd.; Thurs., Jan. 19, 8 p.m. (323) 936-6400. (Greg Burk)
THE BACK ROOM AT HENRI’S, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park. Intimate, affordable, good eats, full bar. Fri.-Sat., 8 p.m.-mid.; weeknights 6:30-9:30 p.m. No cover. (818) 348-5582.
GO Fri.—Steeped in Warne Marsh (the pair’s Apogee is one of the monster battling tenor sessions), Pete Christlieb is always a joy to hear, especially in this intimate room.With the superb John Hammond Trio.
GO Sat.—Another fine tenor, Rickey Woodard, with The John HammondTrio.
Thurs.—Vocalist Cathy Segal-Garcia with pianist John Hammond, bassist Jim Hughart.
THE BAKED POTATO, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd. West, Studio City. 9:30 & 11:30 p.m. Cover varies. All ages. (818) 980-1615.
Sun.—Baked a Canella.
Thurs.—The Michael Landau Trio (with bassist Jimmy Johnson).
CAFE CORDIALE, 14015 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks. A session cats’ hang; lots of fusion and jazzy R&B. Beer & wine. Music begins 9:30 or 10 p.m. No cover. All ages. (818) 789-1985.
Fri.-Thurs.—Call club for info.
CAFE METROPOL, 923 E. Third St., dwntwn. Rocco sets up the jazz downtown. Food, beer/wine. Music 8-10:30 p.m. $5. (213) 613-1537 or www.roccoinla.com.
Fri.—Saxman Ian Vo, 8 p.m.; $5.
GO Sat.—The Mentones cut more popular barbed wire than bassist Steuart Liebig’s many other astral projections cuz: 1. Liebig and drummer Joseph Berardi whip insane groovitude. 2. They got the blues (and purples and other vivid world-spanning colorations). 3. The grapple of Tony Atherton’s caustic alto sax with Bill Barrett’s hell-howl harmonica just reams your guts; 8 p.m.; $5. (Greg Burk)
GO Thurs.—In from NYC is The Nick Mancini Collective, led by an exploratory young vibraphonist with two toes dipped in tradition who splashes gentle swing, understatedly bent shoogabooga and exotic undersea layerings of filtered light. Original and good. Pianist Otmaro Ruiz sits in; 8 p.m.; $5. (Greg Burk)
CAFE 322, 322 W. Sierra Madre Blvd., Sierra Madre. Fine Italian food at great prices, full bar — a cool hang and a great jazz room. Music 7-11:30 p.m. No cover, no min. (626) 836-5414.
Fri.-Sat.—Vocalist Leila Avila.
Sun.—Night at the Opera with pianist Danny Guerrero.
Tues.—Jazz violinist Chris Murphy solo.
GO Wed.—The Jennifer Leitham Triocontinue their weekly stay. Well worth checking out.
CATALINA BAR & GRILL, 6725 Sunset Blvd., Hlywd. Modern elegance. Tues.-Sat., 8:30 & 10:30 p.m.; Sun., 7:30 & 9:30 p.m. Cover varies. All ages. Full bar. Full menu. (323) 466-2210.
Tues.-Thurs.—Joshua Redman Elastic Band. I keep trying to love this skilled saxist, but I usually feel like he’s holding back. (Greg Burk)
CHARLIE O’S, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys. The best jazz at this players’ hang. No cover. Restaurant & full bar. 21 & over. (818) 994-3058.
GO Fri.—Like Sonny Stitt, alto saxophonist Lanny Morgan probably tires of the Bird comparisons; and like Stitt, Morgan is one helluva fleet-fingered soloist. With The John Heard Trio(pianist Larry Fuller, drummer Roy McCurdy).
GO Sat.—And saxophonist Plas Johnson must tire of the calls for “Pink Panther.” So just listen to what he has to say through his blues-soaked horn. With the The John Heard Trio (pianist Gildo Mahones).
Sun.—Pianist Karen Hernandez, with John Heard, drummer Lorca Hart.
Tues.—Trumpeter Jack Sheldon and pianist Ross Tompkins.