Jazz Pick of the Week – Henry Franklin Quartet

With his huge, buoyant sound and a supple sense of swing veteran Los Angeles bassist Henry “The Skipper” Franklin has been a dependable rhythm section sparkplug for five decades. In the late 1960s and 70s he gained international prominence with a series of high profile gigs, touring and recording with resurgent LA piano legend Hampton Hawes, gigging with trumpet firebrand Freddie Hubbard, and freelancing with tenor sax giants Pharoah Sanders, Harold Land, and Sonny Rollins. He collaborated with South African trumpeter Hugh Masekela on the chart-topping hit “Grazing In the Grass” and contributed to another pop landmark, “The Secret Life of Plants” by Stevie Wonder.

Art Deco Chic Meets Gilles Apap & The Transylvanian Mountain Boys

This Monday evening, Gilles Apap, the former concertmaster of the Santa Barbara Symphony and classically trained French violinist, is joined by The Transylvanian Mountain Boys at Cicada at the Oviatt. Hailed by Yehudi Menuhin, his mentor, as “a true violinist for the 21st century,” Apap is a musician clearly adept at blurring the boundaries of different musical styles and integrating a diverse range of music into his repertoire, including gypsy music, swing, Irish music and bluegrass, as well as the masterpieces of classical music.

Jazz Pick of the Week – Allison Miller’s Boom Tic Boom

When Allison Miller arrived in New York City in the mid-90s, she was looking to establish herself as a straight ahead jazz drummer with the chops and taste to accompany the city’s elite improvisers. Within a few years she attained her ambition, working regularly with singular bandleaders such as organist Dr. Lonnie Smith, reed master Marty Ehrlich and Sex Mob trumpeter Steven Bernstein. But she had also grown up loving rock, folk and funk, and her other musical passions have led her into a double musical life, touring and recording with charismatic singer/songwriters Ani DiFranco, Brandi Carlile and Erin McKeown.

Free Community Conversation with Tenor Ben Heppner

Seldom does the public have the opportunity to hear a leading figure in the music world speak about his or her work in person. Rarer still is the opportunity to participate in such an event at no cost, which is why our community is so fortunate that the Los Angeles Children’s Chorus is presenting a free community conversation with internationally acclaimed tenor Ben Heppner.

Follow the beat: Three jazz drummers play LA

If you missed Andrew Gilbert’s most recent Los Angeles Times article, which appeared in today’s Arts & Books Section (p. E12), check it out if you enjoy live Jazz. Andy profiles three drummer-bandleaders (Brian Blade, Steve Smith and Allison Miller) who will perform in and around Los Angeles in the coming weeks.

Charlie Haden’s LA Dreams

When Charlie Haden was growing up in the rural Midwest, images of the big city filled his thoughts. It was the early 1950s, the waning flicker of the Hollywood studio dream factory, and Haden found himself obsessed with the sights and sounds of Los Angeles filtered through a smoky film noir lens.

Not that the bucolic life was boring. During his childhood in Iowa, Missouri, and Nebraska, Haden came of age surrounded by country music’s biggest stars as the youngest member of his family’s country western band. But early on the lure of Los Angeles took hold of his imagination and haunted his grade school consciousness. Even after decades as one of jazz’s most innovative bassists and bandleaders, Haden has continued to mine the dark, doomed, romantic imagery that lured him to Los Angeles as a teenager. His cinematically inspired Quartet West has turned into a singularly evocative excavation of LA’s mythic past, a history built from Raymond Chandler’s acid prose, moody Hollywood scores, and Haden’s own experiences in the jazz underground.