Live Jazz: The KJAZZ Summer Benefit Concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall

By Don Heckman Los Angeles.  There was a full house, enthusiastic crowd in attendance Saturday night at Disney Hall for the KJAZZ benefit concert. As there should have been. The importance of FM radio station KJAZZ 88.1 to jazz fans cannot be under-estimated. I may not agree with the programming 100% of the time, but… Read More Live Jazz: The KJAZZ Summer Benefit Concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall

Live Jazz: The John Beasley MONK-estra Upstairs at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  John Beasley described the 18 piece ensemble he brought to Vitello’s Wednesday night as a MONK’estra.  He also called it “A Big Modern Jazz Band.” Both labels were right on target for this performance.  First, the great majority of the program was dedicated to the music of Thelonious Monk. … Read More Live Jazz: The John Beasley MONK-estra Upstairs at Vitello’s

Live Jazz: the Bob Mintzer and Bill Cunliffe Big Bands

By Don Heckman Anyone who doubts the excitement, the imagination and the contemporary vitality of big band jazz should have been at Vitello’s last weekend.  Over the course of Friday and Saturday nights, two stellar ensembles – the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the Bill Cunliffe Big Band – offered invigorating reminders of the still-potent… Read More Live Jazz: the Bob Mintzer and Bill Cunliffe Big Bands