MORE

Along Came Benny

{mosimage}Benny Golson began with Lionel Hampton, played bop in Dizzy’s big band and hard bop with Blakey’s Messengers, trading solos with Lee Morgan. There was the Jazztet with Art Farmer, and countless sessions with everyone from Clifford Brown and Tadd Dameron to Roland Kirk and Eric Dolphy. His hundreds of compositions and scores of scores would fill a book; his standards are in every book; think “Along Came Betty,” “Whisper Not,” “Killer Joe.” Still busy composing and playing, Golson remains a master of the horn, blowing some terrific tenor, tough and tender both. But maybe what makes his sets so special is hearing jazz standards interpreted by the man who wrote them; finding out just who that Betty was that came along, or just how Golson remembers Clifford, and how, playing it half a century later, it still hurts. The Jazz Bakery, Fri.-Sun., Jan. 12-14, 8 & 9:30 p.m., $30.

Also recommended this week: Herman Riley’s deeply moving tenor-saxophone playing is a must-see at Charlie O’s, Fri., Jan. 12. Or see tenor great Pete Christlieb (his Apogee with mentor Warne Marsh is essential) record live with the John Hammond Trio at the Back Room, Fri., Jan. 12. Christlieb also appears with The Jon Mayer Quartet at the Westin LAX Hotel, Wed., Jan. 17; Mayer’s beautifully voiced bop is something special. Intense blower Azar Lawrence celebrates Trane (think A Love Supreme and beyond) at the Jazz Bakery, Mon., Jan. 15. And Javier Vergara brings plenty of Trane’s fire (and some of Wayne Shorter’s) to the extended descargas of Poncho Sanchez at La Ve Lee on Sat., Jan. 13.

Trumpet fans, catch the beautiful tone and emotional colors of Richard Grant at the World Stage, Fri.-Sat., Jan. 12-13. And the music of vibraphonist Nick Mancini is awash with color, and with pianist Otmaro Ruiz it’ll be a night of energetic horn-free jazz at the Vic, Wed., Jan. 17.  The up-and-coming players of The Dave Brubeck Institute Jazz Quintet play at Vibrato, Wed., Jan. 17.

Looking for bigger things? There’s the hard-blowing Tim Messina Octet at Charlie O’s, Wed., Jan 17. Or add a bassoon, an oboe, a French horn and a mess of progressive charts for the 13-piece Doug MacDonald Jazz Coalition at Spazio, Thurs., Jan. 18. Not enough? Too many weird chords? Try The Harry James Orchestra, all 19 pieces, at Charlie O’s, Mon., Jan. 15.


Click here to see L.A. Weekly's full jazz listings.