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

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

Picks of the Week: Sept. 7 – 12

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Sept. 7. (Tues.)  Chris Walden’s Big Band with Tierney Sutton.  The combination of Walden’s well-crafted arrangements, a band full of L.A.’s finest players, and the superb musicality of Sutton’s vocals should make for a memorable, entertaining  evening.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Sept. 9. (Thurs.) Music of the… Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 7 – 12

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

By Don Heckman Hearing the compositions and arrangements of Bill Holman up close and live has to be identified as one of the finest contemporary jazz experiences.  The performance of Holman’s music by a band of L.A.’s A-list players before a packed house audience at Vitello’s Friday night offered solid evidence of Holman’s unique creative… Read More Live Jazz: The Bill Holman Big Band at Vitello’s