Independence Day weekend has always been good for John Phillip Sousa but bad for jazz.
Seems everyone is out picnicking and watching fireworks or at least drinking and playing with sparklers and not in the clubs, so we were pleasantly surprised to see such a strong run of stuff this week.
Let's start with tenor Rickey Woodard, a regular in town here with a career that includes a long stint with Ray Charles, and you sure can hear the blues in the man's sound.
You serious jazzers will pick up the Hank Mobley in his playing, too, which is always a good thing (come to think of it, you jazz neophytes might want to check out Mobley's classic Soul Station). Woodard's at LACMA on Friday at 6 p.m., and it ought to be a perfect night for it.
Then, if you want to see him in his element, get down to Charlie O's on Saturday, where he's backed by the ever-muscular John Heard Trio. Saturday is bassist Heard's birthday, in fact, so no surprise if there are some big names coming through. We really dig Charlie O's.
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