Live Music: “Vintage Masters of Swing” at Catalina Bar & Grill

By James M. deFrances Last Thursday when I walked through the door at Catalina’s Jazz Club it felt as though I had just walked through a portal to a different time. The club beamed with old Hollywood, from the bandstand on stage to the many recognizable industry folk who dotted the room. As far as… Read More Live Music: “Vintage Masters of Swing” at Catalina Bar & Grill

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: A Christmas Card to the Sensational Sidemen of Paul McDonald’s Big Band

By Norton Wright A jazzhead pal living in Europe just e-mailed me asking if he could find some big-band jazz in America when he comes vacationing this summer. Without hesitation I replied that lucky for us Los Angelinos, L.A. has become the nation’s showplace center for an abundance of jazz orchestras. Our treasures include Gerald… Read More Live Jazz: A Christmas Card to the Sensational Sidemen of Paul McDonald’s Big Band

Live Jazz: The Bill Holman Big Band Upstairs at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Bill Holman and his big band made one of their rare but always welcome Southland appearances Friday night at Vitello’s.  And, with a packed house listening avidly to every note, Holman once again displayed his remarkable mastery of the big band format. One could make a good case for big band instrumentation… Read More Live Jazz: The Bill Holman Big Band Upstairs at Vitello’s