Chuck Manning has played a lot of saxophone around town — with the much-missed L.A. Jazz Quartet and countless other bands. His sideman skills will be on display Friday at LACMA with Bobby Bradford’s Mo’tet. (His solo on “Sideman” off their Live at LACMA is perfection.) Joe Henderson was a mentor, and there’s plenty of Joe in his sound, that confident swing that occasionally steps just out of bounds. But it’s mostly all Manning: smart, inventive solos exploring themes and tones inside and a little bit out, returning to a perfectly logical place. Leader gigs are rare, but Saturday night at the intimate Metropol he fronts his own quartet (pianist Jim Szilyagi, bassist Richard Giddens and drummer Tim Pleasant), playing originals and lesser-played Trane and Newk and Loesser. It’s straight-ahead that veers a little off. Café Metropol, 923 E. Third St., dwntwn.; Sat., Aug. 5, 8 p.m.; $5. (213) 613-1537.

—Brick Wahl

LA Weekly