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

Here, There and Everywhere: Halloween Jam with Bob Sheppard and Friends

By Don Heckman I can never recall trick or treating having much connection with jazz.  So when Vitello’s announced a “Halloween Costume Party and Jam” featuring saxophonist Bob Sheppard with a stellar band, it sounded like the potential for an unusual and entertaining evening. As it was.  Sheppard’s band included guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Dave… Read More Here, There and Everywhere: Halloween Jam with Bob Sheppard and Friends

Picks of the Week: Oct. 31 – Nov. 4

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Oct. 31. (Wed.)  Bob Sheppard and Friends.  Halloween Party and Jam.  With Larry Koonse, guitar, Dave Robaire, bass, Charles Ruggiero, drums.  Wear a Halloween costume and get in free.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905. –  Nov. 2. (Fri.)  David Grisman Sextet.  Special guest David Lindley. Mandolin virtuoso Grisman, moving easily across… Read More Picks of the Week: Oct. 31 – Nov. 4

Picks of the Week: Sept. 25 – 30

By Don Heckman  Los Angeles – Sept. 25. (Tues.)  John Pisano’s Guitar Night.  It’s an all-star congregation, with John Pisano celebrating the 15th anniversary of his always-entertaining Guitar Nights. Expect to see and hear a stage full of the Southland’s finest 6-stringers.  Lucy’s 51.    (818) 763-5200. – Sept. 27. (Thurs.)  The Los Angeles Philharmonic. … Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 25 – 30

Live Jazz: April Williams with Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles and Peter Erskine at Vitello’s.

By Don Heckman April Williams spends a lot of nights – and a few afternoons, too – at Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City.  Under her guidance, Upstairs at Vitello’s has become one of L.A.’s best new jazz venues. She was there on Saturday night, as well.  But not for her usual routine of cruising the… Read More Live Jazz: April Williams with Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles and Peter Erskine at Vitello’s.