By Norton Wright Los Angeles, CA. Trying to review a performance of pianist Alan Broadbent is like trying to describe lightning in a bottle. Broadbent’s playing is electrifying, so charged with power, substance, and beauty that descriptions like “swinging,” “groovy,” “funky,” etc. are wholly inadequate. On Saturday night at the elegant and so well-suited Zipper… Read More Live Jazz: Alan Broadbent At Zipper Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
By Devon Wendell So the year 2015 is quickly winding down. And although there are no signs of any healthy seasonal changes here in the belly of Hollywood California, the cold and heartless calendar never lies. This means the Grammy awards are rapidly approaching. It has become an invalid and overly predictable cliché to bash… Read More The Grammy Awards: Hope, Love, and Jazz
By Devon Wendell Jennifer Leitham is a true seeker, a southpaw bassist supreme, fearless songwriter, and a jazz master to be reckoned with. Her new album MOOD(S)WINGS is a lush and beautiful musical tapestry that crosses mainstream pop and jazz with an introspective brilliance that places her in a class all by herself. Her music continues… Read More CD Review: Jennifer Leitham’s “Mood(S)wings”
By Devon Wendell I simply cannot write about jazz or music in general without doing a piece on Charlie Parker and Dizzy Gillespie. After all, these pieces are written out of love, and Bird and Dizzy were my initial introduction to the world of jazz and possibly still my favorites of all time.… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription for Ultimate Bebop: Charlie Parker & Dizzy Gillespie’s “Diz ‘N Bird At Carnegie Hall” (Blue Note)
By Devon Wendell When it comes to purchasing an essential jazz recording, one often only has to look at the group of musicians listed on that specific record sleeve to know that the music is going to be incredible. That’s one of the great joys of being obsessed with this music; looking for that perfect… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop Bone: The Curtis Fuller Sextette’s “Imagination” (Savoy)
By Devon Wendell Romance is deadly. No matter how it’s glamorized in books, poems, songs, plays, or movies, it’s a dangerous state of being. It’s chaos driven by pure impulsivity without measuring the consequences of what waits for you on the other side of it all. For a musician it means exposing your vulnerabilities for… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bebop: Art Farmer’s “Early Art” (Prestige)
By Roger Crane What is left to say about the lovely and iconic “Over the Rainbow?” Well, some basics. The music is by Harold Arlen and the lyric by E. Y. “Yip” Harburg. As many of you know, it was written for and featured in the 1939 Judy Garland movie The Wizard of Oz. The… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Over the Rainbow”