Jazz preview: Angel City festival offers another compelling snapshot

Any discussion of the L.A. jazz landscape for the fall begins with the Angel City Jazz Festival. A cross-pollinated cornucopia of forward-thinking presented by Angel City Arts, the Jazz Bakery and the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, the sixth-annual festival again presents a compelling snapshot of jazz in 2013 that makes as much time for honoring the genre’s firmament as its vanguard.

Under the theme “Metamorphosis,” this year’s festival could again be considered a one-stop shop for a solid season of jazz offerings. Veteran bassist Dave Holland will appear at UCLA with his jam-leaning electric band Prism, and the lineup also features standout performances by flutist and recent Southern California transplant Nicole Mitchell, Grammy-wining jazz crossover star Robert Glasper, the knotty compositions of the Claudia Quintet with an ensemble featuring nimble drummer Jim Black, and Cuban-born drummer Dafnis Prieto leads a sextet with a piece commissioned by Chamber Music America.

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ACJF remains anchored by a multi-act, festival-styled night boasting a mix of young and old, with the Richard Sears Group featuring drummer Albert “Tootie” Heath, Greg Osby with Anat Cohen, Cuban saxophonist Yosvany Terry and the genre-skipping group Kneebody. The festival traverses five L.A. venues from Oct. 4-13, and while it offers a full menu of music, there’s still more to come (


SEPT. 28

Keith Jarrett, Jack DeJohnette and Gary Peacock

Celebrating its 30th anniversary, Jarrett’s enduring “standards trio” has few peers in terms of mining lyrical new worlds in familiar melodies. Though Jarrett’s onstage outbursts can be tough to take — do try and meet his exacting standards of audience behavior, by the way — his trio remains appointment viewing, particularly given the explorations shown on “Somewhere,” a new live album recorded in 2009.

Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive. $45-$105.


OCT. 3-6

Christian McBride Trio

The bassist and former creative chair for jazz with the L.A. Philharmonic took home a Grammy last year for “The Good Feeling,” which marked his first recording as a big band leader. This year, he’s back to exploring the small ensemble with two hard-swinging albums, “People Music” with his group Inside Straight and the nimble trio recording “Out Here,” which cooks through straight-ahead standards and originals with equal verve.

Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd. $22-$35.

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OCT. 19

SFJAZZ Collective

Even if you haven’t made the drive to the West Coast’s newest jazz temple in the SFJAZZ Center, you can hear its spirit in this exuberant ensemble. Celebrating its 10th anniversary, the octet testifies on behalf of the music with a songbook honoring the likes of Ornette Coleman, Stevie Wonder and John Coltrane with talent that include alto saxophonist Miguel Zenón, tenor saxophonist David Sánchez and trumpeter Avishai Cohen.


Zipper Concert Hall, the Colburn School, 200 S. Grand Ave. $35.

OCT. 30

Lucian Ban and Mat Maneri

European pianist-composer Ban teams with Maneri to celebrate their new, season-appropriate live album, “Transylvanian Concert.” Neither the record nor the show seems overtly intended to evoke Dracula’s fabled home, but the acoustic pairing of Ban’s restless piano and the churning hum of Maneri’s viola remains haunting as the duo ventures through darkened tributaries of jazz, blues and Baltic folk.

The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Suite 301. $15.

NOV. 15

Charles Lloyd and Friends featuring Bill Frisell

Recently celebrating his 75th birthday, saxophonist Lloyd has shown no signs of slowing down. “Hagar’s Song,” a duet with pianist Jason Moran, is one of the best jazz albums released in 2013, and this performance finds him in an adventurous ensemble that features bassist Ruben Rogers, drummer Eric Harland and ever-expressive guitarist Frisell, whose string-adorned album “Big Sur” marked another career highlight.


Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA, Royce Hall, 340 Royce Drive. $30-$60.

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