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Angel City Jazz Festival gets bigger, smaller

August 3, 2010 |  8:11 am

Hoff In only its second year, L.A.'s own Angel City Jazz Festival was one of the highlights of 2009, with a two-day blend of rich, forward-thinking jazz at the John Anson Ford Amphitheater last Labor Day Weekend. Yet this is a tough time for music festivals, and despite the overwhelming feeling that a beautiful musical tradition was coming into its own, it was easy to wonder if the brainchild of longtime local promoter Rocco Somazzi and Cryptogramophone Records' Jeff Gauthier could sustain itself after such an auspicious leap.

Luckily for jazz fans, the festival is not only continuing, it seems to be growing. Though the actual "festival" component at the Ford has been scaled back to a single day on Sunday, Oct. 3 (with performances by the Ravi Coltrane / Ralph Alessi Quintet, Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet and others), the festival overall has expanded to a full week, with shows planned across the city.

Partnering with Cryptogramophone and the L.A. County Arts Commission as well as REDCAT, L.A. Film Forum and the still-itinerant Jazz Bakery, the events planned for Oct. 2-8 indicate that the festival's taste for adventure remains undiminished. Among the highlights include avant-garde bassist Henry Grimes in a group with Wadada Leo Smith and Alex Cline at REDCAT, the John Abercrombie Quartet at the Musician's Institute Theater and an event at LACMA's Bing Theater celebrating the release of "Dirty Baby," a book that chronicles the meeting of the music of Nels Cline with the poetry of David Breskin and the art of Ed Ruscha.

Tickets are available separately here, as well as a five-night pass to every show for $75. Full details of the lineup after the jump.

Saturday, Oct. 2, 8 p.m.
Angel City Jazz Festival @ REDCAT at the Walt Disney Concert Hall
Henry Grimes & Friends, Dwight Trible / John Beasley Duo

Sunday, Oct. 3, 5 p.m. @ John Anson Ford Amphitheatre
Ravi Coltrane / Ralph Alessi Quintet
Wadada Leo Smith's Golden Quartet with Vijay Iyer
Sons of Champignon: Tim Berne, Nels Cline and Jim Black
Vinny Golia Sextet

Monday, Oct. 4, 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. @ Royal/T in Culver City
Myra Melford Trio, Oguri (butoh dance), Mark Dresser
Food by Chef Paul Canales of Oliveto

Thursday, Oct. 7, 7:30 p.m. @ LACMA's Bing Theater
"Dirty Baby": Nels Cline, Ed Ruscha and David Breskin
Cline will lead two ensembles and Breskin will read. Images projected by Ruscha.

Friday, Oct. 8, 8 p.m. @ Barnsdall Gallery Theater,
'Creative Music in Film,' featuring the premiere of Steven Elkins' "Reach of Resonance"
Solo piano performance by Motoko Honda

Saturday, Oct. 9, 8 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. @ Musicians Institute Theater
John Abercrombie Quartet

-- Chris Barton

Photo: Devin Hoff with the trio Plays Monk at the Angel City Jazz Festival in 2009. Credit: Ann Johansson / For The Times

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