So last Sunday night we're writing this column, snickering, feeling pretty good. We flip on the TV and some newscaster's babbling, just beside himself with excitement. Osama's dead, Osama's dead, Osama's dead. The foreign correspondent agrees. Osama's dead. The experts chime in. Osama's dead. The kids singing the national anthem outside the White House chime in. Osama's dead. The people in New York City agree. Osama's dead, so dead.
But you're reading this Thursday or later (ah, print media …), so Osama is already history — literally. And the (L.A.) jazz goes on.
Roy Hargrove is a daring jazz trumpet player, with his wide-open imagination and willingness to mix genres. He's got his excellent quintet at Catalina's through Sunday. Veteran NYC altoist Will Vinson plays great, smart stuff and has a beautiful tone, too. He composes like mad and his pieces and playing are a perfect fit for the Blue Whale, which is home to L.A.'s like-minded jazz players. In fact, one of our favorite L.A. drummers, Zach Harmon, is there with a quartet on Saturday. His drumming, his material and a lineup that includes viola player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson make it highly recommended.
Things get really weird on Monday night at REDCAT (Disney Hall, 631 W. Second St., 213-237-2800), when the Herb Alpert Creative Music Series presents the Gutbucket Chamber Orchestra (see Music Picks). Their latest, Flock (on Cuneiform), was a bit of a turn away from horn-crazed rock heaviness and into more inventive territory that is the jazzy, arty, out-prog stuff Cuneiform Records specializes in. Jazzier is Slumgum at the Blue Whale on Thursday. Quardboard Flavored Fiber is their best yet, we think; the jazz is torn to shreds in places by pianist Rory Cowal's huge, gnarly Rhodes and then Jon Armstrong's tenor puts things back in place. It's weird and beautiful — pick it up.
And check out tenor Louis Van Taylor at Charlie O's with the John Heard Trio on Friday and with his own quartet at Café 322 on Tuesday. He's a major local player not heard nearly enough, and we really dig his sound. We're always raving about tenor Bob Sheppard. He's at Vibrato on Friday, but show up around 10 to hear the sounds (instead of the diners). The exceptional trio of pianist Alan Pasqua, bassist Darek Oles and drummer Peter Erskine is at Vitello's Saturday, always a good couple of sets.
Solid drummer Dave Tull has tenor Doug Webb along at Alva's in San Pedro on Saturday. Tull's been getting airplay like mad on KKJZ with his “I Just Want to Get Paid.” Don't stiff him. At 7 p.m. on Saturday, the great tenor Pete Christlieb is at gorgeous St. Andrew's Catholic Church (311 N. Raymond Ave., Pasadena, 626-792-4183), where $15 includes a reception and forgiveness. Trumpeter Elliott Caine's great quintet (including pianist Mahesh Balasooriya and bassist Trevor Ware) gets religion at 5 p.m. on Sunday at the Bryant Temple AME Church (2525 Vernon Ave. at Fourth Ave., 323-293-6201), $20. You won't have to confess, but the Baptists make everybody sing. On Thursday, John Altman plays some crazy curved soprano on some old tunes at Charlie O's, always an entertaining show; the Preservation Hall Jazz Band play even older tunes at UCLA's Royce Hall; and Bruce Forman's Cow Bop play their jazzed-up Bob Wills at Café 322 on Thursday.
Oh, and Osama? Still dead.
(Brick can be reached at email@example.com.)