The Best Jazz Concerts to See in L.A. This Month
Cecil Taylor wants to break some strings
Angel City Jazz Festival
The theme of the fifth annual Angel City Jazz Festival is "artists and legends" which might as well be the theme for L.A.'s whole jazz scene in October. Legendary L.A. trombonist Phil Ranelin hits LACMA on Friday night while guitarist Anthony Wilson reprises the awesome trio he put together at his Blue Whale residency last April (organist Larry Goldings, drummer Jim Keltner) on the 6th at the Redcat. The 7th sees a long-awaited return from saxophonist Archie Shepp as part of a four-band line-up at the Ford. The following weekend sees guitarist Bill Frisell (13th) and pianist Vijay Iyer (14th) at Royce Hall. A truly amazing lineup.
Tues, Oct 9th
The Bad Plus
Midwestern jazz trio the Bad Plus must love playing the Mint. And who wouldn't? But they could certainly fill a bigger venue than that if they wanted. Nonetheless the frenetic trio, who found success on a lot of college radio station playlists with their interpretations of the rock canon (Bowie, Pixies, Blondie), have been pushing their own challenging compositions lately and with great effect. Pianist Ethan Iverson is also a lightning rod for debate on his blog (Do The Math) which only adds to their interesting combination of academia and goofiness.
Thurs, Oct 11th
Consumate professional Alan Broadbent left Los Angeles for the Big Apple about a year and a half ago, depriving our city of a great arranger and lyrical pianist. He came back this summer to twirl the baton for Diana Krall's Hollywood Bowl appearance. For this show, however, the Jazz Bakery will provide him with a fine piece of furniture to lay down a solo set of standards and originals. Few people can tackle the great American songbook like Broadbent. Expect a set of hushed reverie and unmatched delicacy.
Sat, Sun, Oct 13, 14
John Daversa Small Ensemble
Local trumpeter John Daversa seems to be everywhere. His big band makes a monthly date at the Baked Potato while his smaller ensemble regularly pops up amid the muddled mint crowd at Seven Grand. For this weekend of shows, Daversa will be celebrating the release of his newest album, "Artful Joy," with his small ensemble that includes saxophonist Robby Marshall and drummer Gene Coye. Daversa can make any ensemble sound like a large ensemble with a richness that few can match. Plus he's not afraid to get into the strange, with his electric valve instrument.
Wed, Oct 24
If you really want to get out, here's your man. 83-year-old pianist Cecil Taylor has an unmatched musical spirit and a freewheeling disposition. He is one of the pillars of the free jazz movement and an enemy to all piano tuners. When he started out in the '50s, Taylor was grounded in the classics by the likes of Duke Ellington, but by the end of the decade he was speaking his own language behind the piano. It's a rare treat for Taylor to come out to Los Angeles, and witnessing him in a room that holds less than 250 people will be nothing short of amazing.
Sat, Oct 27
Ron Carter Quartet w/ Robert Glasper
Upright bassist Ron Carter held down the low-end for Miles Davis' quintet in the mid-'60s. A man of taste and sturdiness, Carter has since brought his bass (and his beard) to over 2000 recording sessions including a lion's share of famed 1970s label CTI's output. He doesn't make the trip out west all that often and Royce Hall has paired his band with young phenom Robert Glasper's trio. It's a great double-bill that bookends a month of intriguing, generation-hopping double-bills.