Van is The Man

Adieu Placido Domingo, what a tragic waste of talent and reputation, leaving all that wreckage in his wake, those shattered lives and careers of those he abused. I’m glad I got to see and hear him perform before we knew all this. I’ll always have that memory, though now tainted. LA Opera remains a precious gem for our city.


TONIGHT! — CHICK COREA, CHRISTIAN MCBRIDE, BRIAN BLADE (yes, for those of you paying attention, I did bump this up to HIGHLY from last week’s RECOMMENDED because, well, what was I thinking? hear the 2013 three-disc hit world tour live recording by these three music giants come to life and you don’t even have to go to Slovenia, I fell in love with McBride’s playing years ago when he played a free concert at SMC, opined Allmusic, “the three have an uncanny connection, filling space with gorgeous and subtle phrasings, gliding through all manner of styles with a seemingly effortless elegance, grace, and freshness”), Thurs 8 p.m., Royce Hall, UCLA, $15-$140.

TONIGHT! — JAKE SHIMABUKURO (I’ve seen him a couple of times, yes he is a ukulele player, let me just say this dude will blow your mind with what he can do on that little four-stringed thing and you will be itching to jump to your feet to give him the standing O he deserves), Thurs 7:30 p.m., The Broad Stage, SM, $60-$90.

LA OPERA — LA BOHEME (LAST PERFORMANCE!) (I’m not a Boheme expert, saw it just once before, at LA Opera in ‘93, boy have a lot of fat ladies sung since then, for me and them, it’s a chestnut but you’ll want to see this one, it’s gotten a boost from Berlin’s star stager Barrie Kosky, nothing too radical, not set in the Kremlin or underwater, but with some appealing modern touches, the big rotating stage for the Cafe Momus scenes is so packed with frantic characters you can’t take it all in, the singing is outstanding, especially the four main actors and the characters are so endearing and strong, especially the women, that you won’t need your handkerchief unless you want to wave it in the air, huzzah! ), Sun 2 p.m., Dorothy Chandler Pavilion, DTLA, $24-$354.


TONIGHT! — SOUNDWAVES presents MICHAEL VINCENT WALLER (post-minimalist composer Waller’s work will be performed by R. Andrew Lee on piano and William Winant, percussion), Thurs 7:30 p.m., Main Library, DTSM, free.

TONIGHT! (ONLY) — MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL film (musical giant, cultural icon Miles Davis, visionary, innovator, originator who embodied the word cool but was fiercely independent, featuring never-before-seen archival footage, studio outtakes, rare photos, the story of a singular talent unpacks the man behind the horn, I learned a lot, it is so well done), Thurs, Monica Film Center, DTSM.

TONIGHT! — LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE (this great doc will perhaps open your eyes with more respect for a woman who blazed early trails in male-dominated rock, 11 platinum albums, first artist ever to simultaneously top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts, 26 Grammy noms, 10 wins, always advocated for human rights, shared a mattress on the floor of the Governor’s Mansion with Jerry Brown, lived life and her art on her own terms and succeeded wildly, and as Dolly Parton declares, “that girl could sing ANYthing!”), Thurs – ?, Monica Film Center DTSM, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

LA PHIL – DUDAMEL CONDUCTS GERSHWIN AND COPLAND (and Barber and Previn, launching their season with masterworks by beloved American composers), Thurs, Fri, Sat 8 p.m., Sun 2 p.m., Walt Disney Concert Hall, DTLA, $72-$222.

VAN MORRISON, Melody Gardot (a legend for sure but also legendary for the unpredictability of his performances, he could blow through a jaw-dropping two hours or he could give up after three songs and coast or some combination thereof but he’s worth the gamble and how many artists are still putting out really good new albums 55 years later, and don’t miss opener jazz singer Melody Gardot, a good pairing because I’ve been trying to tell people since the ‘60s that Van is really a jazz singer, I hope they duet some), Sun 7 p.m., Hollywood Bowl, $40-$808.

JAZZ BAKERY Monster weekend, just take your sleeping bag Fri night for acclaimed Brazilian singer-pianist ELIANE ELIAS, go get some coffee and come back Sat night for one of my faves, JOEY DEFRANCESCO, student-who-learned-very-well of the late great jazz organist Jimmy Smith, then come back from church and reach the heavens with legendary jazz and classical double bassist, big bandleader, and Gerald’s dad JOHN CLAYTON and his BASS MONSTERS Sun, eight great local bassists in myriad combinations, you don’t want to miss any of these, really!) Fri ($45-$60), Sat 8 p.m., Sun 5 p.m., Jazz Bakery, SM $25-$40.

ROGER WATERS (film) US + THEM (ONE NIGHT ONLY!) (Pink Floyd co-founder Waters’ legendary live performances are knnown for immersive sensory experiences featuring state-of-the-art audio visuals and unprecedented quad sound, the US + THEM 2017-18 world tour took audiences on a musical journey of “human rights, liberty and love”), Sun, Laemmle Monica Film Center, SM, Landmark Theater, Westwood.

LEO KOTTKE (Leo Kottke’s still alive?! so is Peter Lang but the other two ‘60s Takoma American primitive acoustic guitar wizards John Fahey and Robbie Basho are not, so what am I tellin’ you, get on out to Pepperdine and bask in the singular wonder of how a guitar can be played like you may never have heard, I’m sure he’s picking and sliding as well or better than ever), next Thurs 8 p.m., Smothers Theatre, Malibu, $23-$45.

LITTLE MISS NASTY (not everyone’s cuppa whiskey but they have a regular residency in Vegas and tour the area and boys and girls, young and old turn out, what it is is burlesque to loud rockandroll on Harvelle’s very good sound system, excellent choice of songs, mostly, that’s what I enjoyed but the four women are pretty sexy, not wearing a lot, bumping and grinding all night like a champion gymnast couldn’t keep up with, worth a look), next Thurs 9:30 p.m., $20-$35, Harvelle’s, DTSM.

COMING ATTRACTIONS: NORTH MISSISSIPPI ALL STARS 10/11, CACHE VALLEY DRIFTERS, Crary, Evans, & Barnick 10/20, McCabe’s, SM; PHAROAH SANDERS 10/12-13, Jazz Bakery, SM; LAEMMLE LIVE presents Elemental Music 10/13, Monic Film Center, DTSM; LIBRARY GIRL 10th Ann. Show + Party 10/13, Ruskin Group Theater, SMO; TINARIWEN 10/13, The Mayan, DTLA; Ace 20 Year Celebration with RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, Serpentwithfeet, Zola Jesus 10/18, Theater at the Ace Hotel, DTLA; LA PHIL – SALONEN conducts TCHAIKOVSKY and BARTOK 10/18-19, Centennial Birthday Celebration Concert & Gala with DUDAMEL and SALONEN conducting 10/24, MEHTA’S MAHLER 10/25, SALONEN & SIBELIUS 10/26, DUDAMEL conducts BEETHOVEN’S 9TH 10/27, Walt Disney Hall, DTLA; TY WOODWARD 10/20, Jacaranda, First Presbyterian Church, DTSM; PHIL NORMAN TENTET 10/20, Smothers Theatre, Malibu; TOOL 10/20, Staples Center, DTLA..

BODACIOUS BIRTHDAYS: EDDIE COCHRAN (1938), STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN (1954), STEVE REICH – minimalist composer (1936), KEB’ MO’ (1967), LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM – Fleetwood Mac (1950), THOMAS WOLFE – author (1950), AL SHARPTON – minister, Civil Rights activist (1954), ZLATAN IBRAHIMOVIC – Swedish soccer star, now on LA Galaxy (1982).

Charles Andrews has listened to a lot of music of all kinds, including more than 2,000 live shows. He has lived in Santa Monica for 33 years and wouldn’t live anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at

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