Jazz picks: Albert ‘Tootie’ Heath, Alon Nechushtan and more

Tootie Heath will be performing at the Blue Whale.
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

A selection of jazz and jazz-adjacent shows coming this weekend.

Jesse Harris, Anthony Wilson and Petra Haden

Maybe best known for his longtime work with Norah Jones (those are his fingerprints on the Grammy-winning “Don’t Know Why”), singer-songwriter Jesse Harris has also collaborated with Conor Oberst, Madeleine Peyroux and Solomon Burke. Here he’s paired with two more powerhouses in local guitar favorite Anthony Wilson and eclectic vocalist-violinist Petra Haden, who recently put her distinctive stamp on film soundtracks with “Petra Goes to the Movies.”


The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., No. 301, Los Angeles. $15, Thurs., 9 p.m.

Charnett Moffett at Catalina Bar & Grill

A firecracker of a bass player, Moffett has backed a wealth of jazz artists that includes Ornette Coleman, Mulgrew Miller and Wynton Marsalis. More recently he’s been exploring Eastern sounds in his music, most recently with the raga-dusted 2013 album “Spirit of Sound.” Here he performs from that recording in a trio with drummer Brijesh Pandya and pianist Michael Ragonese.

Catalina Bar & Grill, 6725 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. Fri.-Sat., 8:30 p.m. $20

Alon Nechushtan at Vitello’s

A composer-pianist who has performed with a range of ensembles around the world, Tel Aviv-born Alon Nechushtan offers joyfully drawn hints of his travels on his latest album “Venture Bound,” which features bright touches of classical and klezmer music.

The album features a crack lineup in saxophonists Donny McCaslin and John Ellis as well as drummer Adam Cruz, but for this L.A. run of shows he’ll be backed by an ensemble that includes Brian Walsh on saxophone and a rhythm section of David Tranchina and Chris Wabich.

Upstairs at Vitello’s, 4349 Tujunga Ave., Studio City. Fri., 8 p.m. $20 Also performing at Levantine Cultural Center, 5998 W. Pico Blvd., Thurs., 8 p.m. $15; and Curve Line Space, 1577 Colorado Blvd., Los Angeles, Sat., 8 p.m.

“Tootie’s Tempo” at the Blue Whale

A study in honoring tradition while maintaining a sharp focus on forward motion, the gorgeous and joyful “Tootie’s Tempo” by Albert “Tootie” Heath was one of the top jazz releases of 2013.

A musical treasure behind the drums, Heath has performed with titans that include Lester Young, John Coltrane, Anthony Braxton and Herbie Hancock. Much like Heath’s album, this show should find him in ageless form backed by two of this generation’s best in the Bad Plus’ pianist Ethan Iverson and in-demand bassist Ben Street.

The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., No. 301, Los Angeles. $25, Fri.-Sat., 9 p.m.

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