Sept. 16, 17
As a member of Art Blakey's Jazz Messengers, Javon Jackson toured and recorded with the legendary drummer, but he's made quite a name in his own right, working with Elvin Jones, Freddie Hubbard, Betty Carter, Ron Carter and Dr. Lonnie Smith, among many others. His most recent album, 'Once Upon a Melody,' hit the top of the jazz radio charts, and it's no surprise, given his gift to take a melody everywhere it wants to go but still hinting at its origins even as the band swings, rocks and funks behind him. Pianist Les McCann, one of the godfathers of soul jazz and funk jazz, may be best known for his 1969 recording with Eddie Harris of 'Compared to What' but he's still breaking new ground with the younger cats.
Javon Jackson Band, Les McCann, 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 16, and Friday, Sept. 17, Jimmy Mak's, 221 N.W. 10th Ave. $25 in advance for guaranteed seating, $22 general admission. Info: 503-295-6542, www.jimmymaks.com.
A tapestry of molecules
Some bands play it cool, others play it funny, but Cloud Cult plays it with passion. Led by Craig Minowa, these progressive indie rockers, with a distinctly orchestral edge, have planted trees to offset their carbon input from touring, pioneered eco-friendly CD packaging and generally seem committed to saving the earth that holds its audiences rapt with joy. This is a group seriously glad to be alive and even jaded skeptics will find it hard to resist the band's gloriously anthemic melodies and ardent baroque rockers. Portland's dreamy, reflective, folk-favored Mimicking Birds open the show.
Cloud Cult, Mimicking Birds, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 17, Wonder Ballroom, 128 N.E. Russell St. $15. All ages. Info: 503-284-8686, www.wonderballroom.com.
The Eastside Bluegrass Series kicks off its second season with a show featuring The Rogue Bluegrass Band with Ed Hershberger as a banjo technician; Don Tolan as a professor of mandolin; Ben Trump a fiddlin'; Paul Hirschman, a flat pickin'; and Deb Smith-Hirschman, a bass thumpin'. Meanwhile, Small Towne, which features Tygh Trachsel on bass, Dave Elliott on mandolin, Peter Schwimmer on banjo, and Randy Weese on guitar, combines traditional, contemporary, gospel and original bluegrass music. If you show up at 5:30 p.m. you can join in an informal jam in the foyer.
To say Portland multi-instrumentalist Scott Head has talent is like saying the Pacific Ocean contains water. His solo show is called Musica Melodia, and he uses loops to create a one-man band singing in English, Spanish and Portuguese, utilizing guitar, trumpet and flute as accompaniment. He studied and performed in Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Mexico, Portugal and Spain for more than five years, so he can deliver a heaping plate of Latin musical dishes, as well as jazz and classical flavors.
Scott Head's Musica Melodica, 7 to 10 p.m. Monday, Sept. 20,
Andina's Bar Mestizo, 1314 N.W. Glisan St. Free. Info: 503-228-9535, www.andinarestaurant.com.
Sept. 23, 25
Lucky Brown, aka Joel Ricci, sounds like Sun Ra, Hugh Masekela, James Brown and
Little Steven's Underground Garage radio show all at once. This is one cool cat who allows his clearly HUGE musical ambitions express themselves through The Lucky Mystery Now Orchestra, one of our fair city's most danceable and just plain fun bands. Not to mention he welcomes audio and video tapers, so even you Deadheads will feel at home when this band gets to jumpin'.
Lucky Brown and The Lucky Mystery Now Orchestra, Ivy Ross and The Pillowfight, 9 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 23, Goodfoot, 2845 S.E. Stark St. $7. Info: 503-239-9292, www.thegoodfoot.com; Lucky Brown, 3 p.m. Cherry Sprout Produce Market, 722 N. Sumner St.