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 Norton Wright Santa Monica, CA. One of the unique experiences on today’s jazz scene is “Big Band Night” at Typhoon Restaurant at Santa Monica Airport in Los Angeles. On Memorial Day evening listeners are ready to experience a veritable bacchanal as the band on stage is Paul McDonald’s big, powerhouse, 17-piece orchestra. The band… Read More Live Music: The Best Memorial Day Party Ever! Paul McDonald’s Big band at the Typhoon Jazz Restaurant.
By Fernando Gonzalez Miami, Florida Puerto Rican percussionist Sammy Figueroa is a versatile, resourceful player whose extraordinary career includes performing, recording and touring with a dizzying list of jazz, pop and rock stars and groups, including trumpeter Miles Davis, saxophonist Sonny Rollins (his current employer) and the Brecker Brothers but also David Bowie, David Lee… Read More Jazz With An Accent: A Conversation with Sammy Figueroa
By Don Heckman The 55th annual Grammy Awards are now history. But not exactly history-making, especially in the Jazz categories. It’s hard to imagine anyone being surprised by most of the results. Or, in fact, by most of nominations. That’s not to demean, in any way, the work of the jazz artists who did receive… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: The 2013 Jazz Grammy Awards
By Michael Katz Santa Monica, CA. Anyone who has followed the Latin jazz scene in Southern California is well acquainted with the work of Clare Fischer. The keyboardist and composer, who passed away in January, 2012, left a trove of compositions, including “Pensitiva” and “Morning” and a large jazz ensemble that his son, Brent, has… Read More Live Jazz: The Clare Fischer Big Band at Typhoon
By Don Heckman It’s always a good night at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. when the club’s Music Director, bassist Pat Senatore, books some of L.A.’s finest players for a laid-back, quasi-jam session performance. On Friday night, it was a quartet led by alto saxophonist/flutist Gary Foster, with pianist Tom Ranier, drummer Ramon Banda and… Read More Live Jazz: The Gary Foster Quartet at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman The 2012 Grammys are in, and once again there’s not much sound of surprise in the results. Certainly nothing in the same ballpark as last year’s Best New Artist award for Esperanza Spalding. That’s not to say that any of the wins were undeserved. Because they all were the products of gifted… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: The 2012 Jazz Grammy Winners
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 16. (Mon.) Clare Fischer Big Band. The multiple Grammy-winning composer/arranger/pianist (and more) has a resume reaching from Dizzy Gillespie and Donald Byrd to Prince and Paul McCartney, with numerous stops in between. His own groups have reached from small to large, covering a brilliantly eclectic array of creative… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 16 – 22
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Aug. 2 (Tues.) Yes and Styx. Two of the classic rock franchises — still going strong — team up for a display of some of the archetypal music of the ’70s and ’80s. The Greek Theatre. (323) 665-5857. – Aug. 3 – 7. (Wed. – Sun.) John Pizzarelli and… Read More Picks of the Week: August 2 – 7
By Tony Gieske Let’s talk about that undermeditated topic, lighting. The lighting at Vibrato’s voluminous listening room, for instance, is without stain and healthy, which is to say clean and well. Equally clean and well lighted, if you’ll forgive the segue, was the Steve Huffsteter big band, a precision ensemble that played the room last… Read More Live Jazz: The Steve Huffsteter Big Band at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.