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 Los Angeles – Jan.21. (Tues.) The Pat Senatore Trio. Bassist Senatore, Josh Nelson, piano, and Mark Ferber, drums, assemble to celebrate a CD release party for the Trio’s new album, Ascensione. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Jan. 22. (Wed.) Aaron Weinstein. Violinist Weinstein, still not a highly visible jazz artist, is… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 21 – 26
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 Studio City, CA. One of the great pleasures of writing about music arises on those rare occasions when a relatively unknown artist makes an unheralded, but irresistibly appealing first appearance. As happened Friday night in the performance of Danish singer Sinne Eeg (pronounced ‘Seen-uh Eeg) at Vitello’s upstairs jazz room. Although Eeg… Read More Live Jazz: Sinne Eeg Upstairs at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 9. (Wed.) Ariana Savalas and Corky Hale. Yes, the name “Savalas” is familiar; Ariana is the daughter of the veteran actor Telly Savalas. But as a singer, she has an appealing style that is uniquely her own. She’s backed by the musically supportive accompaniment of pianist/harpist Hale. Vibrato… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 7 – 13
By Don Heckman Among the many instruments listed in jazz polls as “miscellaneous,” the harp is surely one of the most rare participants. As unlikely an actual jazz voice as it may seem, however, the instrument has been played in strikingly innovative fashion by the likes of Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, Corky Hale and Betty… Read More Live Jazz: The Carol Robbins Sextet Upstairs at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Sept 19. (Wed.) Catharine Russell. Her resume includes gigs and recordings with the likes of Paul Simon, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Michael Feinstein. But she’s very much the “real thing” according to critic Nat Hentoff. And why not? Her father, pianist Luis Russell, was Louis Armstrong’s music director. Catalina… Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 18 – 23
By Don Heckman April Williams spends a lot of nights – and a few afternoons, too – at Vitello’s Restaurant in Studio City. Under her guidance, Upstairs at Vitello’s has become one of L.A.’s best new jazz venues. She was there on Saturday night, as well. But not for her usual routine of cruising the… Read More Live Jazz: April Williams with Alan Pasqua, Bob Sheppard, Darek Oles and Peter Erskine at Vitello’s.
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – July 18. (Wed.) The Chris Walden Big Band with special guest Tierney Sutton. Walden takes a break from his busy schedule of studio arranging and composing to lead his always dynamic big band. And it will be especially fascinating to hear the versatile Ms. Sutton singing in a setting… Read More Picks of the Week: July 18 – 22
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Feb. 14. (Tues.) Nedra Wheeler. Bassist/vocalist Wheeler is a convincing performer as an instrumentalist and a singer. and she’ll no doubt be in rare form with the backing of Lanny Hartley, piano, Clarence Webb, saxophone and Munyungo Jackson, drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Feb. 15. (Wed.) Spanky… Read More Picks of the Week: Feb. 14 – 19