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Top of the Bop

Eddie Henderson plays a trumpet not heard out here much, except maybe at Oscar Brashear’s rare gigs. He played it out front at a Mingus Big Band gig at UCLA, played it loud, clear . . . think Miles superheated to a Roy Eldridge temperature, lines that went from pretty and pure to wild streaks, piercing those massive Mingus arrangements. Even better is his work on compadre Billy Harper’s Somalia: He is blowing hard around Harper’s well-Traned sax, then in beautiful unison passages over African syncopation and ethereal voices; even shimmering bugle tones reflecting his conservatory training . . . Hard bop, post bop, free — whatever the writers are calling it, Eddie Henderson will bring it all together at Billy Higgins’ place, The World Stage, Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27.

Eric Dolphy–inspired saxophonist/conductor Charles Owens and The Luckman Jazz Orchestra (including Bennie Maupin, Nolan Shaheed, Ndugu . . .) honor Buddy Collette at The Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State L.A., Sat., Jan 27. Collette’s own “Jazz for Humanity” benefit (with Ernie Andrews, Linda Hopkins, Plas Johnson) is at Catalina Bar and Grill, Mon., Jan. 29.

Original alto stylist Arthur Blythe (check out Lennox Avenue Breakdown) is back at Café Metropol, Fri.-Sat., Jan. 26-27. Fine NYC tenor Mark Turner and Fly play the Jazz Bakery, Fri.-Sun., Jan. 26-28. The great iconoclast Pharoah Sanders (who made some creative music with the late Alice Coltrane) begins his Catalina stand on Thurs., Feb. 1.

Nice run of saxmen at Charlie O’s this week: Trane fans will dig Azar Lawrence on Fri., Jan. 26; Hank Mobley fans will dig Rickey Woodard, on Sat., Jan. 27. Some inspired Bird with an old bopper’s attitude? Check out Med Flory, Tues., Jan. 30. Warne Marsh? Try Pete Christlieb (with The Jon Mayer Trio) on Thurs., Feb. 1. (Christlieb is also back recording at the Back Room on Fri., Jan. 26.) And if you dig those old Basie charts, the hard-charging Frank Capp Juggernaut has them on Mon., Jan. 29.

Up at Vibrato, Don Fagerquist–inspired trumpeter Carl Saunders plays Fri., Jan. 26; and tenor Chuck Manning (Joe Henderson was his mentor) on Sat., Jan. 27. Lee Morgan inspiration from Elliott Caine is at Jax on Sat., Jan. 27, and Chaya, Sun., Jan. 28. Dig Sonny Rollins on Impulse? Booker Ervin? Check out Benn Clatworthy at Jax on Tues., Jan. 30. And “world jazz” guitarist Chris Mello celebrates a new CD (with pianist Otmaro Ruiz flying through the Latin changes) at La Ve Lee on Wed., Jan. 31.

Finally . . . “Not a jive bone in his body” — drummer Steve Shaeffer on Michael Brecker. R.I.P.

—Brick Wahl


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