Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Disney Hall

By Michael Katz When Wynton Marsalis led his star-studded Jazz At Lincoln Center Orchestra onto the stage at a sold-out Disney Hall last night, he was greeted so warmly that you could sense the mutual appreciation before the first note was played. That feeling lasted throughout a memorable evening, underpinned by the band’s roots in… Read More Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at Disney Hall

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 Gerald Wilson Big Band at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Michael Katz Gerald Wilson took a near-capacity crowd at Catalina’s on a Tour De Jazz Thursday night. The 93 year old composer/arranger/leader,  possessed of undiminished enthusiasm, spun musical and verbal tales that began with his days in the Jimmie Lunceford Band and included Basie and Ellington, with deft nods to Stravinsky, Puccini and Miles… Read More Live Jazz: The Gerald Wilson Big Band at Catalina Bar & Grill

Live Jazz: Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman The performance by Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band at Vitello’s Friday night was a hearty reminder of the decades when big bands were the stars of popular music.  Some of those bands – Count Basie, Duke Ellington – were firmly rooted in jazz.  Others – Sammy Kaye, Guy Lombardo – played music… Read More Live Jazz: Gordon Goodwin’s Big Phat Band at Vitello’s