By Devon Wendell Paul Bley, who passed away at the age of 83 on Sunday, January 3, was always different. His polytonal approach to the piano stood out from the flocks of imitators copying Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, and Herbie Hancock. There was this amazing dissonance to his playing that reminded me of Bud… Read More An Appreciation: Paul Bley
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 Don Heckman The stage was almost empty Tuesday night at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. Almost, that is, except for one notable exception. Seated at the club’s large concert grand, pianist/arranger/composer Alan Broadbent performed several generous sets over a memorable three hours. Originally scheduled as a duo with bassist Pat Senatore, it became a solo night… Read More Live Jazz: Alan Broadbent at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Mar. 27. (Wed.) Sascha’s Bloc. A gifted group of players, many from Russia and/or Eastern European backgrounds, showcasing music that crosses easily and compellingly across lines of genre and tradition. Led by the dynamic guitar playing of Alex (Sascha) Gershman, with the intimate vocalizing of Carina Coper. Vibrato Grill… Read More Picks of the Week: Mar. 27 – 31.
By Don Heckman Pasadena CA. It was a night to remember. A jazz concert in a printing company. The machine-filled Castle Press in Pasadena, to be precise. With some of the performers positioned on a stage that consisted of a 460-ton printing press. Add to that the party-like atmosphere, with listeners scattered across folding chairs… Read More Live Jazz: Charlie Haden, Larry Goldings and Tri-Tone Asylum at Castle Press
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Aug. 30 & 31. (Tues. & Wed.) Michael Wolff Quartet. Pianist and television personality Wolff does a live recording with the stellar ensemble of trumpeter/film composer Mark Isham, bassist John B. Williams and drummer Mike Clark. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. – Aug. 31. (Wed.) George Benson, George Duke, Marcus Miller… Read More Picks of the Week: Aug. 30 – Sept. 4
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – June 6. (Mon.) Candi Sosa: Bolero Meets Jazz. Cuban born singer Sosa finds surprisingly compatible musical linkages between jazz and the lyrical Latin ballad style. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. – June 7. (Tues.) Jennifer Leitham Trio. Bassist/singer Leitham celebrates the release of her DVD, The Real Me Live!, the chronicle… Read More Picks of the Week: June 6 – 12
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Mar. 22. (Tues.) Lisa McClowry. Eclectic singer McClowry –nominated for International Vocalist of the Year in the 2011 Wave Awards — ranges freely across pop, rock, jazz and folk boundary lines. She’ll be backed by a group that features guitarist/singer/Grammy winning songwriter Jim Peterik. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. – Mar.… Read More Picks of the Week: Mar. 22 – 27
By Michael Katz The list of violinists who have made a visible imprint on the jazz scene is a short but impressive one: Joe Venuti, Stephane Grappelli, Jean-Luc Ponty, Regina Carter come to mind. The briefness of the list is a measure of the virtuosity required to gain a foothold in the public consciousness. Christian… Read More Live Jazz: Christian Howes at Pierre’s Fine Pianos
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – July 27. (Tues.) and 29. (Thurs.) Heroic Beethoven. A pair of evenings overflowing with the splendor of Beethoven’s boundless imagination. Pianist David Fray plays the Piano Concerto No. 3. And Pablo Heras-Casado conducts the Los Angeles Philharmonic in the Eroica Symphony No. 3. The Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000. –… Read More Picks of the Week: July 26 – August 1