Live Ballet: Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet at Royce Hall

April 30, 2012

By Jane Rosenberg

The UCLA Dance department and dance lovers from all over Los Angeles turned out Friday night at Royce Hall for the first of two UCLA Live performances by the singular Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.  With versatile dancers who are as comfortable en pointe as they are perched flat footed on tabletops, the Cedar Lake ensemble of sixteen dancers executed the three evening’s offerings with arresting style.

On a bare set, white paper helixes suspended above them, the dancers proved their mettle in Regina van Berkel’s poetic ballet, Simply Marvel. Nowhere else was their versatility more in evidence, as when elegant classical line merged and morphed into modernist gesture.  Accompanied by a recording of solo piano, the first variation offered more posing than dancing and a series of disconnected, seemingly chaotic patterns. Rather than the music propelling the dance forward, it created a mood of contemplation, interrupted by sudden outbursts of movement that worked in juxtaposition to the score.

When the piano concluded and the violin took up one of Paganini’s Variations, the mood changed and the piece took off.  Partnerings became compelling; patterns gained in interest and complexity; and humor was injected into the proceedings.  There was a freshness and vibrancy to the dancing, particularly in the lovely lyricism of Soojin Choi.  The insouciant pseudo-tutus on the ballerinas and peplum vests on the male dancers abetted the humor, reminding me of a Commedia dell’Arte cast of characters and their childlike antics.

Echoing footsteps, the roar of traffic and trains, relentlessly coming and going, provided the soundtrack for Crystal Pite’s Grace Engine.  With Jim French’s stark lighting, she has created a dystopian universe set in a black void with a single neon strip of light to illuminate the chaos on stage.  This dance/drama is an apocalyptic vision of man trying to cope in a hostile world. Left to crawl, hobble, and struggle against an invisible crowd, a single male dancer opened the drama.  More frightened characters entered, all dressed in dull business attire, all at the mercy of forces beyond their control.  They appeared to be faceless, nameless workers, toiling in a subterranean world, attacked by a row of flashing floodlights that suggested approaching subway trains.  Running away from pursuers or facing off in lines approximating a gang war or crazed sporting event, they found no relief from their crippling anxiety.

All this was admirably conveyed with movement, sound, and light; undercut when the dancers occasionally contorted their faces into screaming masks of pain – then the piece became too literal minded and lost some of its power.  In an all male pas de quatre, the dancers effectively segued from classical form to the rigorous movement-vocabularly of Pite.  Two pas des deux, one all female, offered the only moments of real human contact, but true to Pite’s vision, they were moments of shared pain, devoid of warmth or eroticism.  In another potent sequence, the dancers, their arms connected, formed an anguished parade, marching without volition into an indifferent world.

Concluding the program was Alexander Ekman’s Hubbub, a comical romp, set in a rehearsal hall where an omniscient narrator provided the voice-over for the doings of the dancers.  Alternately teasing the audience or satirizing the art of contemporary performance, the narrator unfortunately overpowered the proceedings.  The dance had humor and charm, but the drone of the overly long voice-over distracted.  A few choice comments would have sufficed, and then, the joke understood, we could be left in peace to appreciate Ekman’s choreography.

Toppled chairs and bodies in varying states of crooked repose opened the piece. The ensemble put us through the paces of ballet basics, ending ultimately in invented, comic positions.  In one inspired section, the dancers’ breaths grew louder and louder until its rhythms sounded like a locomotive, and the performers became engines of their own creation as they heaved and rocked in synchronization.  In another charming variation, a couple rehearsed a dance, accompanied by a background track of their internal thoughts – clipped choreographic directions or bemused commentary on their states of mind.  This created an hilarious push and pull of comic brilliance – a kind of Annie Hall/Alvie Singer delight, danced effectively by Nickemil Concepcion and Harumi Terayama.

All and all a provocative and fascinating night of dance provided by the exhilarating Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.

* * * * * *
Jane Rosenberg is the author and illustrator of DANCE ME A STORY: Twelve Tales of the Classic Ballets and SING ME A STORY: The Metropolitan Opera’s Book of Opera Stories for Children. 

Jane has also just published “The Story of La Boheme,”  an online flip book, in cooperation with the Los Angeles Opera,  based on the story and the art from “La Boheme” in her book, “Sing Me A Story.”

Photo by Francois Rousseau courtesy of Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.


CD Review: Carole King’s “Legendary Demos”

April 28, 2012

 Carole King

Legendary Demos (Hear Music/Concord Music Group)

by Devon Wendell

Carole King has earned legendary status under her own name as a singer/songwriter since her first solo album, Writer, in 1970 and her most critically acclaimed and top selling recording, Tapestry, in 1971. Prior to that she earned her stripes as a songwriter in NYC for Don Kirshner’s Aldon Records, creating hits for some of the most influential musicians of the 60s and 70s.  These artists included The Monkees, Aretha Franklin, The Turtles, The Righteous Brothers, Gene Pitney, Bobby Vee, and dozens of others.

Hear Music/Concord music Group has finally released King’s original demos ranging from the early to the mid-‘60s (with her then writing partner and husband Gerry Goffin) through the Tapestry era. It was well worth the wait.

Some of the demos are recorded with just King on vocals and piano and others with some top session players such as Al Gorgoni: guitar, Charles Macey: guitar and bass, as well as Garry Chester and Buddy Saltzman on drums.

The early 60s demos not only shine a light on the stellar songwriting chemistry between King and Goffin but also the effect they would have on producer Phil Spector, who was churning out hit after hit.

From the very first tracks recorded with a band, we go right into the heart of ‘60s pop with 1966′s “Pleasant Valley Sunday,” soon to be covered by the Monkees, and 1967′s “So Goes Love,” a hit for The Turtles.

What is immediately evident from the start of this historic collection is that the power of King’s performances makes you temporarily forget about the other artists who made these songs famous.

There’s a sense of vulnerability, longing, and sensuality to King’s vocals and piano playing that is beautifully haunting. This is especially clear on performances of  “Yours Until Tomorrow” (Covered by Paula Wayne) from 1966, and “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman” from 1967, before it was taken by Aretha Franklin and put on the map of pop music history.

King’s grasp of composition and arrangement is astounding, with or without a band backing her. She knows exactly how her songs are supposed to sound for herself and other artists. The proof is in her solo Aldon demos, from 1961′s “Take Good Care Of My Baby,” (which is far more soulful and introspective than Bobby Vee’s hit version) to sketches of songs that would later appear on Tapestry such as “Beautiful,” “It’s Too Late,” and the pure gospel of “Way Over Yonder.” It’s these recordings that are the highlights of this collection.

By the late ‘60s, King had divorced Goffin, moved to California, and signed to Screen Gems-Columbia Records (which had bought out Aldon Records). And much of the material recorded for Tapestry was written by King with California based songwriter/poet Toni Stern.

Throughout The Legendary Demos It feels as if you’re right there in the room with King with every nuance, hook, and chorus. There’s also none of the bubblegum pop feel of a lot of the chart toppers of the day who were made famous by these songs.  King’s piano playing is as tough, clear and confident as the strongest gospel players of and before her time, including that of Aretha Franklin’s — without losing dynamics.

King has always had the key to the universal song that would last forever and appeal to all genres of music from rock, soul, gospel, blues, pop, folk, and even jazz.

This is an historical collection for all music lovers to enjoy, from past to future generations to come.  King alone on piano singing this never before released rendition of “You’ve Got A Friend” is an apt description of her music.

Photos by Jim McCrary. 


Live Music: “A Birthday Tribute To Billie Holiday” at Catalina Bar & Grill

April 27, 2012

By Don Heckman

There was a party mood in the air at Catalina Bar & Grill Wednesday night.  And with good reason.  An enthusiastic, full house crowd had turned out to celebrate what would have been Billie Holiday’s 97th birthday.  In fact, it was a few weeks beyond the actual birthdate of April 7.  But no matter.  The memory, the music and the spirit were all in the right place in a program of songs closely associated with Lady Day.

Corky Hale

The architect and the centerpiece of this evening of  stirring jazz nostalgia was pianist/singer Corky Hale, who – when she was in her ‘20s — was Holiday’s accompanist.  Joining her in the front line – the always-appealing sight and sounds of Freda Payne and the energetic singing of the fast-emerging young Tricia Tahara.

Finding fresh ways to approach anything from the Great American Songbook can be a challenge.  And when the songs have had a close association with an iconic performer such as Billie Holiday, the challenge is even more daunting.  But to the credit of Payne and Tahara – with Hale’s accompaniment — they wisely steered clear of any effort to simulate the memorable Holiday sound and phrasing.

Freda Payne

Payne’s take on “Lover Man” captured the poignancy of the song, while retaining the intimate musicality that has always been an essential part of her style.

Tahara’s interpretations were broader, filled with an occasional overflowing of gospel-tinged phrasing.

Tricia Tahara

Singing “The Very Thought of You” and “God Bless the Child,” Tahara was at her best when the expressive warmth of her voice came through, and she opened up the space for the lyrics to tell their stories.

Hale, fully in charge of the evening, was a witty, humorous master of ceremonies.  And her piano accompaniment, as always, was rich with lush, chordal harmonies and surging rhythms.  She was solidly aided by the support of John Chiodini’s sterling guitar work, the dependable bass playing of Jim DeJulio and the sturdy drumming of Jim DeJulio, Jr.

The evening closed with a buoyant, all-join-in rendering of the lyrically modified, “We’re Gonna Love You Come Rain or Come Shine.”  Hale joined Payne and Tahara in the vocals, with Jeff Lass filling in at the piano for an upbeat climax. It was a perfect way to blow out the candles and wish one more happy birthday to the incomparable Lady Day.


Live Music: Bettye LaVette at Royce Hall

April 25, 2012

By Mike Finkelstein

On Saturday night Bettye LaVette laid it down (and I mean way down) powerfully at Royce Hall for one of the final performances of this year’s UCLA LIVE calendar.   She pithily interpreted each song, cutting it to the quick.  These were songs we’ve all likely heard before, but in this show LaVette used them to take us into a very intense emotional realm.  There were several times where it looked as though she might actually have been ready to weep.

Ms. LaVette is one of the most compelling soul singers around and she is currently riding a wave of unprecedented recognition after some 50 years in the music business.  Her latest album is the Grammy nominated Interpretations: The British Rock Songbook, in which she takes a set of ubiquitous top shelf album rock tracks and makes them into something very personalized.   There is certainly some irony to the idea of a project like this.   She pointed out that these songs “were written by a bunch of young English guys, who were high, and now they are being interpreted by a 66 year old black woman…who’s drunk.”

Bettye LaVette

It’s an intriguing idea for a howling female soul singer to tackle British rock ‘n roll and it has been touched on before by Tina Turner.  LaVette’s voice does resemble Turner’s, particularly when she speaks over the band.  But where Tina moves on to a polished delivery, LaVette stays with the core sentiment and goes much farther into the emotional realm.

Her voice is not silky smooth, it’s actually husky and gravelly, but man, is it ever expressive.  She also has a classic snarl, but she doesn’t overdo it with this or any other technique.  Instead, she uses every drop of what she’s got to bring out all the meaning in the song.

LaVette’s takes on familiar songs were far from simple nods to classic rock.  The arrangements were dark, sparse, deliberate, slow, and they basically left the performers and the audience nowhere to hide from the raw emotion of each song.  This type of expression is rare and as satisfying as it gets to watch…but it is draining, too.

From George Jones (“Choices I’ve Made”) to Dolly Parton (“Little Sparrow”) to George Harrison (Isn’t It A Pity”) to Ringo Starr (It Don’t Come Easy”)and The Who (“Love Reign O’er Me”), Lavette and her band broke down each song to its most poignant and painful emotional essence — and then built it up again in their own style.   But this was mesmerizing, sweet pain — you couldn’t help but be drawn into the spectacle of a standard FM rock song being transformed into something new, with teeth.  There were very deliberate bass lines from Charley Bartels, haunting volume swells and bouncing vibrato from guitarist Brett Lucas, as well as steady support from Alan Hill (keyboards and music director), and Darryl Pierce (drums).

Plainly put, they actually did reinvent the tunes — marvelously slowing them down, and then paring them down to suck the marrow from each.  Not long into every number, it really seemed that this was her song, way beyond just a cover and perhaps written just for her.

There were several show-stopping moments in this show, but LaVette’s version of George Harrison’s “Isn’t It a Pity”  was astonishing.   While George’s words are deep and reflective, his arrangement is rather lush, somber yet beautiful – an arrangement that dulls the edge of the lyrics a bit.  So, LaVette and her band took those very same words and slowed them down, holding them up like a water snake for us to really get a load of the power they held.  Most of the time, she barely did more than speak the words but it was her rasp and her slow, knowing voice of pain that made them so powerful.   A performance like that knocks an audience right on its ear with the emotions that such immediacy can create.  Here, as in most of the other songs, the words took on several new magnitudes of sharpness when LaVette sang them:

Isn’t it a pity
Isn’t it a shame
How we break each other’s hearts
And cause each other pain
How we take each other’s love
Without thinking anymore
Forgetting to give back
Isn’t it a pity         

Opening the show was Jon Cleary’s Philthy Phew, who gave the audience a tutorial in New Orleans flavor.  The trio set up facing each other more than facing the house.  The piano was turned back towards the drums (Doug Belote) and the bass (the incomparable Matt Perrine) faced the piano.  It was actually a nice effect for the band to feed off each other and for the crowd.   We could see Cleary’s hands, which at times were in an unbelievable state of motion, cascading up and down both extremes of the keyboard with the boogie-woogie runs.

Cleary is a very interesting cat who, at age 17, made a sojourn through New Orleans just before beginning University in his native England.  But he never left and has spent his career learning from and playing the music of some of the best musicians the Big Easy has produced.  For this show he displayed his complete grasp of their styles, delving several times into the likes of Allen Toussaint, Earl King and Jellyroll Morton.

*   *   *   *   *   *

To read more reviews by Mike Finkelstein click HERE.


Picks of the Week: April 25 – April 30

April 24, 2012

By Don Heckman

Los Angeles

Freda Payne

- April 25. (Wed.)  Corky Hale and Freda PayneA Salute to Billie Holiday’s Birthday.  Lovely Freda Payne has a convincing way with the musical riches of the Holiday legacy.  And  the versatile pianist/harpist Hale, once Lady Day’s accompanist, provides the perfect setting.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- April 25. (Wed.)  Anthony Wilson residency Part 4. Guitarist Wilson wraps up his residency with special guests Donald Vega, Mark Ferber, Dave Robaire, Gilbert Castellanos, Matt Otto, Matt Zebley and Adam SchroederThe Blue Whale.    (213) 620-0908.

- April 25. (Wed.)  The Academy of St. Martin in the Fields with Joshua Bell. The rightly much-honored violinst Bell performs the Beethoven Violin Concerto with the accompaniment of the Academy’s superb ensemble.  Valley Performing Arts Center.  (818) 677-8800.         Bell and the Academy perform a similar program Thursday, 4/26 at Segerstrom Center for the Arts.    (818) 677-8800.

- April 26, 27 & 29.  (Thurs., Fri. & Sun.)  Pepe Romero and the Los Angeles Philharmonic.  Veteran classical/flamenco guitarist Romero performs Rodrigo’s great Concierto de Aranuez with the L.A. Phil under the baton of Christoph Konig.  Also on the program: Dvorak’s Scherzo Capriccioso and Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.  Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000.

Della Reese

April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  Della Reese. She may have reached her largest audience as a star of the hit ‘90s television series, Touched By An Angel, but Reese has been an eminently listenable singer since the ‘50s.  And she’s still going strong.  Catalina Bar & Grill.   (323) 466-2210.

- April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  Nnenna Freelon and Earl Klugh.  Jazz vocalist Freelon and guitarist Klugh are at the top of their form, skilled jazz individualists and engaging performers.  Samueli Theatre at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts.   (714) 556-2787.

- April 27 & 28. (Fri. & Sat.)  The Cedar Lake Contemporary Ballet.  The 15-member Cedar Lake company concentrates on the works of innovative choreographers.  For this performance they’ll feature works by Regina van Berkel, Crystal Pite and Alexander Ekman.  A UCLA Live event at Royce Hall.  (310) 825-4401.

- April 28. (Sat.) Nailah Porter and Billy Childs.   Porter’s been a Capitol Hill attorney as well as a singer/songwriter. Currently working on a new album, she’ll no doubt be trying out some of the material with her producer – pianist/composer Childs.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.

* * * HIGHLIGHT EVENT * * *

 - April 30. (Mon.)  1st International Jazz Day Celebration.  Herbie Hancock’s first initiative as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador was to create International Jazz Day – the climactic event celebrating April as Jazz Appreciation Month.  Concerts will take place in Paris, New York, New Orleans and dozens of other countries.  In Los Angeles, Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. has stepped up with a major jazz event featuring an all-star line-up of the Southland’s finest players in an evening of continuous jazz.  The stellar list of names is too long to include here – check the Vibrato web site for the full line-up: Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.  (310) 474-9400.

* * * * *                                                     * * * * *

San Francisco

Anat Cohen

- April 29. (Sun.)  The 3 Cohens and the Gilad Hekselman Trio.  It’ll be a celebration of the impact jazz has had on young Israeli musicians – and vice versa.  With Cohen siblings Anat, clarinet and tenor saxophone, Yuval, soprano saxophone, and Avishai, trumpet, as well as guitarist Hekselman’s Trio. SFJAZZ at the Jewish Community Center of San Francisco.    (866) 920-5299.

Washington

Jon Faddis

April 25 – 28.  (Wed. – Sat.)  Jon Faddis.  Arguably one of the most virtuosic trumpeters of his generation, Faddis’ performances are virtual seminars in the length and breadth of jazz trumpetry.  Blues Alley.   (202) 337-4141.

New York

- April 24 – 28.  (Tues. – Sat.)  Bossabrasil.  Featuring Marcos Valle and Paula Morelenbaum.  Fifty years after the girl from Ipanema, keyboardist Valle and singer Morelenbaum get together to explore the broad connections Brazilian music has established with pop, jazz, world music and beyond.  Birdland.    (212) 581-3080.

- April 25 – 29.  (Wed. – Sun.)  “Endangered Species: The Music of Wayne Shorter.”  It may not actually be endangered, but Shorter’s works  surely deserve more attention than they’ve received in recent years.  And there’s no better collection of interpreters than Ravi Coltrane, Jeremy Pelt and Marcus StricklandDizzy’s Club Coca Cola.  (212) 258-9800.

London

- April 25 & 26. (Wed. & Thurs.)  Clare Teal. BBC Jazz Singer of the Year in 2006, Teal’s busy career includes a pair of Radio 2 weekly shows featuring her eclectic vocal stylings.   Ronnie Scott’s.   020 7439 0747.

Paris

David Sanchez

- April 27. (Fri.)  David Sanchez.  Puerto Rican born saxophonist Sanchez enlivens his solid jazz skills with occasional seasonings of Caribbean rhythms.  New Morning.  01 45 23 51 41.

Berlin

- April 29. (Sun.)  Vijay Iyer Trio. Starting out as violinist, while absorbing some Carnatic music along the way, holder of a PhD in music cognition, Iyer has brought a rich creative perspective to his art as a jazz pianist.  A-Trane.  030 / 313 25 50.

Milan

- April 27. (Fri.)  Patti Austin.  Few singers can match Austin’s remarkable stylistic versatility, her ability to move with great authenticity from jazz to pop to rock to r & b and beyond.  Blue Note Milano.    02.69.01.68.88.


CD Review: David Basse’s “Uptown”

April 24, 2012

David Basse

Uptown (Cafe Pacific Records)

By Brian Arsenault

Uptown opens with another (yawn) jazz ode to Manhattan which is made more curious by the fact that David Basse is the acknowledged “leader” of the Kansas City jazz scene.  In fact, two of the first three tracks are New York-centric which would be a little bit tedious even by a New York based jazz singer. And a mention of stepping out in a top hat, really, in 2012?

I don’t mean to be disrespectful and I know that Mike Melvoin — who penned five tunes, including the New York songs, on the album and lends his considerable talents on piano — unfortunately passed away in February.  But I can’t help feeling I’ve heard this all before. Basse is compared by some critics and the album’s publicity to Mel Torme, Ray Charles and Dr. John (Dr. John, really?) but in truth he’s a lot closer to Harry Connick, Jr. without as much sparkle and wit.

Oh, Basse can sing all right. He’s sly on Mark Winkler’s “Like Jazz,” a tribute to some other jazz luminary. And he’s wry about the aftermath of a break up on the clever “Living Without You.”  There’s some welcome emotional depth on Melvoin’s “You Won’t Hear Me Say Goodbye,” but the song is still more tenderly sentimental than sharply insightful.

That’s the best stuff.  His version of “Slow Boat to China” is pretty much like every other treatment you’ve heard over how many decades.  By the obligatory Gershwin tune, “Bidin’ My Time,” I had pretty much emotionally checked out of the album.  You can do old stuff, standards as they say, but it’s a lot more satisfying when you bring something new to the depth or pacing or phrasing, like Halie Loren provides on her recent CD, Heart First.

Still, one of my favorite tracks on the album is Harold Arlen’s familiar “I’ve Got The World On A String” where some subtle piano work by Mr. Melvoin and Bill Goodwin’s precise drumming support Basse’s subtle vocal. The piano break is a little long on a four and a half minute studio version.  It would have worked better on a concert recording of eight to nine minutes, no doubt.

Or maybe I just wanted Basse to sing more, he’s so good here. How about a nine minute studio version?

Everyone associated with this album — including alto saxophonist/clarinetist Phil Woods and bassist Steve Gilmore — is top shelf in his own right.  For me, though, the album just doesn’t come together as tightly as it should. Seems like a collaborative effort where everyone was just being too nice to everyone else.  Here, you take a solo, then me, then him.

And I just couldn’t escape my initial reaction to the opening bars of the first tune, “Uptown,” which was “I wonder if this album would have sounded exactly the same if it was recorded in 1959, even the new stuff?” That, of course, would still be darn good if not uptown exciting.

A final word on Mike Melvoin, whose song writing and piano work contributed so much to this album:

I have an old vinyl record which I believe is Coleman Hawkins’ last studio album.  As such, for me it has a value well beyond gold or diamonds or critic’s comments. I expect that if this is Mike’s final studio work his many fans and admirers will feel the same about Uptown.


Here, There & Everywhere: Jazz at the Federal

April 23, 2012

This post is part of the Jazz Journalists Association’s international “Blogathon.”

By Don Heckman

It’s always a significant event when a new room for jazz opens. Whether it’s small or large, daily or weekly, it’s still something to acknowledge, at a time when existing music venues are struggling to survive and new arrivals are in short supply.

So I was glad to be part of an enthusiastic crowd at the Federal Bar and Restaurant in North Hollywood’s NoHo district last Wednesday, when April Williams kicked off her Jazz at the Federal. In its beginning stages, it will only be scheduled for Wednesday nights, But given the success that hard-working April has had with her Upstairs at Vitello’s jazz programs, it’s a fair expectation that she’ll do similarly well with her Federal programs. At least one hopes so.

Underscoring her desire to program first rate jazz – ranging from big bands and straight ahead jazz to funk and TK – the opening night headliner was the Bob Sheppard’s stellar quintet, with the leader on soprano and tenor saxophones, John Beasley on piano and keyboards, Tim Lefebvre on bass and Steve Hass on drums.

The program ranged from Sheppard originals to a line by Freddie Hubbard (once an employer of both Sheppard and Beasley), And the ensemble interaction during the more intricately arranged passages was first rate. But the musical focus of the evening had less to do with complex charts than with some prime, showcase playing from the two principal soloists, Sheppard and Beasley.  World class players with impressive resumes, both have enhanced the bands of leaders with far broader visibility. But each can stand on his own – as they did this night – as avid improvisational adventurers. And with the equally intrepid support of Lefebvre and Hass the musical expeditions journeyed through one fascinating musical territory after another.

All this took place in the Federal’s large, high ceilinged second floor – a space alternately recalling a Greenwich Village jazz club of the ’60s and a timeless French cellar bistro. Although the brick walls and exposed beams tended to muddy low tones somewhat, it was a problem that sound reinforcement can resolve. Otherwise, the room is an amiable audio location.

When April Williams begins to present her continuing shows in May, Jazz at the Federal will begin to establish itself as the jazz destination it has all potential for becoming. The schedule forecast includes Arturo Sandoval’s 20 piece big band, the jazz funk of Bernie Dressel’s supercharged instrumental/vocal band, Bern, and Grammy winning Gordon Goodwin’s 18 piece Big Phat Band.

Only time – and the audiences – will tell, of course, but the future of Jazz at the Federal looks promising. Let’s hope the room and its programs become well attended additions to the rich diversity of jazz in Los Angeles.

For more information about April Williams’ Jazz at the Federal, click HERE.


 


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