WHAT'S HAPPENING : MUSIC.Plenty of attitude: One of the finest local jazz groups of the '90s, the B Sharp Jazz Quartet, has made a strong impression with its albums.
Founded by drummer Herb Graham Jr. and saxophonist Randall Willis, the group got its start playing coffee shops and jazz clubs in the Crenshaw area.
Willis' aggressive style complimented Graham's explosive rhythms, leading some critics to dub the band's sound ``jazz with attitude.''
A few years ago, the quartet underwent a personnel change and bassist Osama Afifi was hired. Afifi was equally influenced by funk and r&b as well as straight-ahead jazz.
B Sharp appears Saturday at the Luckman Theatre at California State University, Los Angeles California State University, Los Angeles (also known as Cal State L.A., CSULA, or "'CSLA"') is a public university, part of the California State University system. . Also on the bill is the Lennie Niehaus Octet, featuring the award-winning jazz saxophonist, arranger and film composer.
The concert celebrates Cal State L.A.'s 50th anniversary.
Niehaus got his start as arranger for Stan Kenton's big band in the '50s. More recently, he has scored the music for Clint Eastwood films, including ``Play Misty for Me'' and ``Bird.''
Cal State's Luckman Theatre is at 5151 State University Drive, Los Angeles. Show time is 8 p.m. and tickets are $27.50 and $32.50. Information: (213) 343-6600.
- Fred Shuster
Strong attraction: Tune in your favorite jazz station and listen closely. That sound you hear in the background is scores of (mostly male) jazz critics, whipping themselves into a lather over Diana Krall. How come? Well, surely it has nothing to do with Krall's being blond and svelte, and everything to do with talent.
And, make no mistake, Krall has talent, though ironically it's been overshadowed by her media-friendly image. Equipped with a dry sense of humor Noun 1. sense of humor - the trait of appreciating (and being able to express) the humorous; "she didn't appreciate my humor"; "you can't survive in the army without a sense of humor"
sense of humour, humor, humour , Krall also boasts an alto that can sound husky or naughty, sensual or sad without a trace of self-pity. Usually backed by bass and guitar (no drums), the 32-year-old works hard to keep audiences focused on her piano playing, not her looks.
Krall paid her dues at bars in Toronto and Los Angeles after being weaned on Nat King Cole, Fats Waller, Bill Evans and Frank Sinatra in her hometown of Nanaimo, British Columbia There are several federal and provincial electoral districts with the name Nanaimo. These are listed on Nanaimo (electoral districts)
"Nanaimo" redirects here. For the SkyTrain station, see Nanaimo Station
Nanaimo (IPA: , a Vancouver suburb. Her 1996 tribute to Cole, ``All fr You,'' put Krall in the cultural zeitgeist and spent nearly 70 weeks in the Billboard Traditional Jazz charts' top 10. Her latest, ``Love Scenes,'' has sold more than 200,000 copies worldwide.
Already it's too late to describe Krall as ``up-and-coming.'' But it's not too late to see her in a rare 7 p.m. Sunday performance at the Veterans Wadsworth Theater. For information and tickets, call (310) 825-2101.
- Reed Johnson
Wine country L.A.: Yes, there were once as many as 90 wineries in Los Angeles. Now they are few and far between, but there is still one major one near downtown and it has a pretty good restaurant.
San Antonio Winery The San Antonio Winery is the only remaining winery in the city of Los Angeles, and has operated since 1917. It only produces white wine. However, it does not grow the grapes at its Los Angeles location as its former vineyards have been developed with dense industry. , 737 Lamar St., and its Maddalena restaurant are open on weekends for tours, tastings and regular lunch and early supper service.
The restaurant offers a casual, cafeteria-style setup with most lunches and suppers ranging from around $6 to $12 with sandwiches, salads, rotisserie chicken, pastas and the like. And there's live jazz music here for weekend lunchers.
Some of the more elaborate meal favorites include roast leg of lamb, fresh salmon and veal piccata pic·ca·ta
Sliced, sautéed, and served in a sauce containing lemon, butter, and spices. Used of meat or fish.
[Italian, feminine of piccato, larded, past participle of piccarsi .
The restaurant is open from 11 a.m. to 6 or 6:30 p.m. most days, and to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Visitors will also find both a wine store and gift shop on the premises.
Incidentally, San Antonio's wines are produced from grapes from the premium growing regions in California including Napa and Sonoma counties.
Information: (213) 223-1401.
- Larry Lipson
Example to follow: Debbie Allen may be the only woman in Hollywood with as many job titles as Barbra Streisand. An actor, dancer, director and producer, Allen has mastered virtually every format from Broadway musicals to TV and feature films. Her latest credential: helming production of ``Amistad,'' Steven Spielberg's Middle Passage epic.
Now, for the first time in a dozen years, Allen is back on stage, and the Geffen Playhouse in Westwood is the lucky beneficiary. She's the best - though not the only - reason to see ``Harriet's Return,'' Karen Jones Meadows' fluid, visually poetic fable about legendary abolitionist and underground railroad conductor Harriet Tubman.
Treating Tubman as a wily agitator ag·i·ta·tor
1. One who agitates, especially one who engages in political agitation.
2. An apparatus that shakes or stirs, as in a washing machine.
Noun 1. , not a waxworks wax·work
1. The art of modeling in wax.
2. A figure made of wax, especially a life-size wax effigy of a famous person.
3. waxworks (used with a sing. or pl. saint, Jones Meadows crafts a historical drama of uncommon emotional heft. Allen's earthy, lusty, wryly funny portrayal is leavened leav·en
1. An agent, such as yeast, that causes batter or dough to rise, especially by fermentation.
2. An element, influence, or agent that works subtly to lighten, enliven, or modify a whole.
tr.v. by Tubman's bouts of spiritual confusion and self-doubt. Tubman emerges as a natural leader, inspiring others by the sheer heat of her burning humanity.
Allen is assisted by a Greco-African chorus of four actors who use mime, dance, masks and kabuki-like choreography to create the illusion of a stage teeming teem 1
v. teemed, teem·ing, teems
1. To be full of things; abound or swarm: A drop of water teems with microorganisms.
2. with life. You're unlikely to see a more vital ensemble this year.
``Harriet's Return'' plays through March 1 at the Geffen, with performances Tuesdays through Sundays. For information, call (310) 208-5454.
- Reed Johnson
Fits all sizes: Make an effort to catch `The Borrowers'' with your children before it shrinks out of sight. A charming fantasy about 4-inch-high people who make their way through life by ``borrowing'' what they need from us full-size folk, it's got ample action to keep the kids amused and enough artistry to sustain a grown-up grown-up
1. Of, characteristic of, or intended for adults: grown-up movies; a grown-up discussion.
2. sense of wonder.
The movie seamlessly blends gigantic, elaborate sets with unique production designs that evoke a timeless, stateless Refers to software that does not keep track of configuration settings, transaction information or any other data for the next session. When a program "does not maintain state" (is stateless) or when the infrastructure of a system prevents a program from maintaining state, it cannot take urban dreamscape dream·scape
A dreamlike scene or picture having surreal qualities.
[dream + (land)scape.] . The story follows a family of Borrowers who battle a greedy speculator's (John Goodman) attempts to tear down to demolish violently; to pull or pluck down.
See also: Tear their home. Packed with impressive acrobatics and witty gags, ``The Borrowers'' is as successful as ``Babe'' at bringing a storybook sto·ry·book
A book containing a collection of stories, usually for children.
Occurring in or resembling the style or content of a storybook: storybook characters; a storybook romance. universe to life.
- Bob Strauss
Photo: (1) B Sharp Jazz Quartet will perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Luckman Theatre at California State University, Los Angeles.
(2) Tiny people try to stop a greedy speculator Speculator
A person who trades (i.e. derivatives, commodities, bonds, equities or currencies) with a higher-than-average risk, in return for a higher-than-average profit potential. (John Goodman) in ``The Borrowers.''