Lloyd Bringing Swedish Pianist to Catalina's

SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

Tenor saxophonist Charles Lloyd is a man who creates a stir.

He did it in the late '60s, when his quartet, which featured the now-renowned pianist Keith Jarrett, had a multi-generational appeal. The band drew in jazz fans and a younger rock audience, attracting the latter via successful performances at unlikely venues such as San Francisco's Fillmore West.

In 1992, making his first Los Angeles appearance in more than a decade, Lloyd was a hit at the Playboy Jazz Festival, delivering a stellar, moving set with a splendid quartet that featured pianist Bobo Stenson and drummer Billy Hart.

Chances are Lloyd will make a splash when he brings that same quartet--with Jeffrey Littleton subbing for bassist Anders Jormin--to the Catalina Bar & Grill for a six-night stand starting Tuesday. Lloyd, who also plays flute and whose latest ECM album is "All My Relations," is thrilled to be presenting Stenson in a nightclub setting.

"He is one of the greats of the music," says Lloyd of the 51-year-old Swedish pianist, whom many first heard in a quartet he co-led with saxman Jan Garbarek in the mid-'70s. "He's right up there with Bill Evans and Bud Powell. He has that sensitivity for the music and still comes out of the tradition."

Lloyd, who turns 58 later this month, has a nickname for his band. "I call it the Full Service Orchestra, because we try to bring the real goods," says Lloyd, who studied at USC in the late '50s, and was later a member of Cannonball Adderley's sextet before stepping out as a leader. "I never know what we'll play. We have a huge catalog of work, and I just go up on the bandstand open. I'm just a conduit for the music to come through."

Information: (213) 466-2210.

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New Club: The Rose Cafe in Venice is now offering jazz Fridays and Saturdays from 8 to 11 p.m. Tonight, catch violinist Susie Hansen's vital Latin jazz band, while on Saturday, it's post-bop contemporary jazz from guitarist Jeff Richman. No cover, no minimum. (310) 399-0711.

Grill Club: As a way of saying thank you to her regular customers and attracting new ones, Catalina Popescu, the owner of Catalina's, has started the Catalina Bar & Grill Club. Members receive 25% off on cover charges to any Sunday through Thursday show, a T-shirt, a free drink or dessert on birthdays and invitations to special events. Membership is $55.

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Higgins Update: Superb drummer Billy Higgins remains at home awaiting a liver transplant, wearing a beeper to notify him when a liver match has been found. Reached recently, Higgins was in good spirits. "I'm hanging in, just looking down the road," he said. "I'm feeling OK but I'm not getting out that much. I wanted to see Elvin Jones [last week] at the Jazz Bakery but couldn't make it. But tell everybody I said, 'Hey.' "

A benefit concert for Higgins, tentatively set for mid-May at the Veterans Wadsworth Theater, will feature a quartet with Charlie Haden and Pat Metheny, among many others.

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Band Benefit: The Washington Preparatory High School Jazz Ensemble is one of Los Angeles' best: It won the Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award from the Los Angeles Jazz Society last year and has been selected to perform at the Hollywood Bowl on June 16 as part of the Playboy Jazz Festival. That's the upside. The downside is that vandals broke into the group's room at the school and destroyed almost all the ensemble's instruments. To help buy new instruments, the group will play Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at Bjlauzezs. The cover charge, $5, goes to the band's instrument fund. (818) 789-4583.

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