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L.A. Jazz Collective Fall Festival Saxophone Summit 2008

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The biggest jazz event of the week has to be the L.A. Jazz Collectives Fall Festival, a three-night, four-venue bash that begins Friday at the Pasadena Jazz Institute.

Headlines with the Josh Aguilar Group, Damon Zick and Friends, the Joe Bagg Quintet (with trumpeter Ron Stout) and the Steve Cotter Group; then Saturday at PJI again with the Scott Cummings Group, the Mike Scott Quartet (with pianist Josh Nelson), the Josh Welchez Quartet and the Ryan McGillicuddy Quartet. Matt Otto such a tone is scattered throughout. Bagg, too.

On Sunday, catch your breath, nap, watch football, then head over to the Jazz Bakery on Monday for the Gary Fukushima Quartet (with Otto again), a kinda Getz-meets-Bird vibe from the David Sills/Gary Foster Quintet, and drummer Jason Harnells trio. Solid.

Finally everyone piles into their jalopies for the quick run to the whiskey bar at Seven Grand downtown (7th between Grand and Olive) for SLanG thats trumpeter Brian Swartz, keyboardist Andy Langham and incredible drummer Gerry Gibbs. All four events might be a stretch, but you can easily make one of those gigs and see L.A.s new jazz on display, with some fine veteran company in the mix. The young cats can be hard to find, playing little joints on underpublicized nights around downtown, but this time, the LAJC has flipped on the lights. Check it out.

Of course, if you prefer your avant-garde, funk-flavored, polyrhythmic sounds combined with European new music in a performance of a series of song cycles by Charles Ives, theres Kneebody with Theo Bleckmann on Friday night at the Broad Stage in Santa Monica (broadstage.com has the details). Kneebody features local favorites, like radically innovative drummer Nate Wood and the brilliant saxist Ben Wendel; just about anything these guys do seems to work. Even Ives, apparently.

And Saturday theres a monster gig at the Musicians Union and the highpoint of the two day Saxophone Summit 2008. Check this lineup: James Carter, FrankCatalano, Azar Lawrence, Donald Harrison and Red Holloway. Damn, man, all here for one crazy night. Runs from 8 till 11 p.m. (at 817 N. Vine St. in Hollywood). Call (323) 462-2161 for details.

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