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Brick's Picks: Horny Weekend

Wallace Roney is in town. You know his trumpet playing (and if you don't, he really digs his mentor, Miles). He's at Spazio Friday and Saturday night, the cover is $25 (plus a minimum) and it's a good idea to call for reservations for this one, as the man is a jazz star (something hard to become in this town, no matter how good you are). Jack Sheldon is a jazz legend, which isn't the same thing as being a star, as legends still play the local joints for scratch. Sheldon's got a rare gig at the Baked Potato on Friday, which is more of a fusion hangout, but then he's got Mitch Forman on keys, who always brings a touch of heavy to the sound. It might just be wild ... Now the CJS Quintet — with saxist Chuck Johnson and trumpeter James "Smitty" Smith — prefer their straight ahead straight up. In fact, they've been working with the Japanese guitarist Hideaki Tokunaga

on the music of Wes Montgomery. They'll be performing a mess of it Friday at the Hollywood Studio Bar and Grill. CJS are never less than solid — Smitty blows a hot horn and Johnson a pure one. There's a $10 cover, plus minimum.

You'll get the exact same instrumentation on Sunday at Spazio when trumpeter Sal Marquez brings along saxist Chuck Manning, guitarist Rick Zunigar, bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Steve Hass. (The same cover even, $10.) But Sal is a little nuts, he has that long background with the classic Mothers of Invention for starters, and when he's on, he plays with a crackling beauty. Manning is the perfect partner for him. Another favorite local trumpeter of ours, Steve Huffsteter, is at Spazio on Tuesday, laying out his beautiful West Coast jazz playing. And then there's one hell of a young trumpeter at Vibrato on Thursday. This Dominick Farinacci, he plays some of the most striking horn we've heard in ages: It's beautiful, it's hot, it's just bursting with ideas (all of which he seems to execute with ease) and there's a lot of Clifford Brown in his sound. His latest, Lovers, Tales and Dances covers an amazing range of material (Piazzolla, Billie Holiday and Ornette's "Lonely Woman," for instance), so you can't say he's taking any safe way out. We like his band, too — pianist Dan Kaufman, bassist Hamilton Price and drummer Kevin Kanner. Very highly recommended, and there's no cover.

Getting away from trumpeters, virtuoso drummer and percussionist Ndugu Chancler — this time on vibes — is featured at Bones and Blues on Friday at the Watts Labor Community Action Committee's Phoenix Hall (10950 Central Ave., 323-563-5639). Cover is $25 (though buy in advance and you could save yourself 10 bucks), and the soul food feast is only a little extra. Ndugu has a serious résumé (Miles, Freddie Hubbard, Bobby Hutcherson, Stanley Clark and even Monk — and that is just a light skim) and has a serious quintet here too, including saxist Bob Sheppard, pianist John Beasley (who also played with Miles and Freddie) and drummer Marvin "Smitty" Smith. This will be an event. And if you are wondering, the parking is on-site, secure and well-lit. Watts is cool, people — don't believe the hype.

Also Friday, saxist Rickey Woodard will be working it hard at the Radisson Hotel in Culver City on Friday, and has a fine band here too, with pianist Llew Matthews, bassist Edwin Livingston and drummer Roy McCurdy. If you're not yet hip to Rickey, you ought to be. You'll dig the Hank Mobley inspiration, plus he does such a great job blending the hard bop and his own bluesy background (he's a Ray Charles vet) that he makes even the hoariest old bop chestnut come alive. No cover, either (and you'd be drinking that $15 minimum anyway). Alto Richie Cole is still in town, doing his impassioned and entertaining pure bebop at Vibrato on Friday.

On Saturday, the Jazz Bakery's Ruth Price — still on the hunt for a new location — puts on the latest in their string of Movable Feasts around town. This time she features NYC drummer Antonio Sanchez (with saxist David Binney), at the Musicians Institute Concert Center (1655 N. McCadden Place in Hollywood, 310-271-9039) at 8 p.m, $25. Heady stuff and recommended (check out his latest, Migration). When that's over, you can drop by Charlie O's, where saxist Don Menza plays some mighty, muscular tenor, or head out to Bleecker Street (18640 Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana, 818-996-3008), where vibist Nick Mancini has a regular Saturday quartet gig.

And in Hollywood at the Foundry on Melrose, the good weekend jazz with Zach Harmon on the drums happens till late (1 a.m. or later — sadly, that counts as late around here), which makes it a great last stop.

(Brick can be reached at brickjazz@yahoo.com.)

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Musicians Institute Concert Hall

1655 N. McCadden Place
Los Angeles, CA 90028


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