Train in Vain

Wayne Hancock still a genius, the Damned getting damned old

An amazing jazz extravaganza in LA on Sunday afternoon: veteran tenor saxophonist JOE LOVANO and young hotshot trumpeter NICHOLAS PAYTON appear as part of an ensemble tribute to the small-band music of Duke Ellington at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex at Cal State LA. Lovano has come into his own as a leader in the '90s, following stints with the likes of Lonnie Smith, Jack McDuff, the Woody Herman Thundering Herd, Chet Baker, Elvin Jones, Bill Frisell and Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra, among others. Lovano's style is explosive bop with one foot in the avant school of John Coltrane and Dewey Redman. Payton, meanwhile, takes a traditional stance, but his last album, Payton's Place, found the 24-year-old New Orleans native edging closer to more modern bop and funk-jazz territory. Still, Payton's huge, fat tone and roots in Crescent City heritage will always elicit comparisons to Louis Armstrong. The sparks should fly as these two contemporary giants meet.

Wayne "The Train" Hancock plays at the Galaxy Concert Theatre with the Spurs and the Graveyard Farmers, 3503 Harbor Blvd., Santa Ana, (714) 957-0600. Sun., 8 p.m. $10; the Damned perform with Diablo 44 at the Galaxy. Sat., 8 p.m. $22.50;Rockin' in Rhythm: The Small Band Music of Duke Ellington, featuring Joe Lovano and Nicholas Payton, at the Luckman Fine Arts Complex, Cal State LA, 5151 State University Dr., Los Angeles, (323) 343-6600. Sun., 3 p.m. $15-$32.50.
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