Picks of the Week: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Nov. 30. (Mon.)  Gala Opera Night.  Demetra George and Ralph Cato perform “Villains and Heroines at the Opera,” selections from Puccini, Verdi and Strauss.  Frank Fetta is music director.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.   (310) 474-9400. – Nov. 30. (Mon.)  Slide FX  Trombone Tentet.  Not quite enough trombones to play “76… Read More Picks of the Week: Nov. 30 – Dec. 6

Blues CDs: Grandpa Elliott, Arthur Adams, Brian Lee

By Devon Wendell Grandpa Elliott Sugar Sweet (Playing For Change) New Orleans’s own Grandpa Elliott’s debut is pure down home blues and southern fried soul without the usual over production that plagues most modern blues recording today. (Elliott was first recognized on The Play For Change project with his rendition of Stand By Me.) He… Read More Blues CDs: Grandpa Elliott, Arthur Adams, Brian Lee

Here, There and Everywhere: A Few (More) Things I’m Thankful For

By Don Heckman This was first published in its original form a year ago.  Everything in that post still holds true, and I thought I’d add a few more musical reasons to be thankful. – Every note Charlie Parker ever played. – Ditto for Louis Armstrong. – Bebop, Dizzy Gillespie, Bud Powell, Tadd Dameron, Ray… Read More Here, There and Everywhere: A Few (More) Things I’m Thankful For

Live Jazz: The Bob Mintzer Big Band at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.

By Don Heckman Full time big bands are in short supply these days.  True, the ghost bands, bearing the names of Swing Era leaders tour the arts centers of America.  And a few stable ensembles work to keep the instrumentation alive — some as institutional entities (the Jazz Orchestra of Lincoln Center, the Chicago Jazz… Read More Live Jazz: The Bob Mintzer Big Band at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.