By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. What is there to say about a bassist who is a prime jazz player, sings, and writes his own hilariously whimsical songs? A lot, actually, if his name is Jay Leonhart, who had a full house audience in stitches at Vitello’s Saturday night, aided by the brilliant support of… Read More Live Music and Humor: Jay Leonhart and Josh Nelson at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Sherman Oaks, CA. Call it a welcome double value for jazz fans Wednesday night at Jazz at the Cap. Why? First of all because it offered a performance by a group of the Southland’s prime jazz artists. And second, because they were appearing at an attractive new jazz venue. Let’s start with… Read More Live Jazz: Cat & Cip and More at Jazz at the Cap
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Feb. 19. (Wed.) Brenna Whitaker. She’s a blonde beauty with a voice to remember. Michael Buble has called Whitaker “one of the finest singers of our generation. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Feb. 20 – 23. (Thurs. – Sun.) ”TchaikovskyFest.” The Los Angeles Philharmonic celebrates Tchaikovsky with performances… Read More Picks of the Week: Feb. 18 – 23
By Don Heckman Jazz singer Cat Conner gave a birthday party to remember at Vitello’s Thursday night. Actually, a “Birthday Bash,” as she described it, in which she and her close friend, Lee Hartley, sang their way through a delightful evening of song. Backed by the stellar trio of pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Chuck Berghofer… Read More Live Jazz: Cat Conner’s “Birthday Bash” at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Studio City CA. Jackie Ryan’s appearance at Vitello’s Monday night was one of the most musically gripping performances of recent memory. Listening to her two extended sets of songs before an enthusiastic, packed house crowd, I found myself wishing that the entire evening had been videotaped. Why? In part for the pleasure… Read More Live Jazz: Jackie Ryan at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Studio City CA. A loudly expressive full house crowd was waiting for singer Lauren White when she came on stage Saturday night at Vitello’s. Which was somewhat of a surprise, given White’s still emerging visibility as a jazz artist. But, although she hasn’t yet found the full audience her singing deserves, she… Read More Live Jazz: Lauren White at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Seeing Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. Thursday night had the vibe of a Swing Era performance. Most of the big bands of the thirties and forties prominently featured singers, sometimes two or more. And among the most popular combinations was the dueting of the band’s guy and girl… Read More Live Jazz: Ginger and Scott at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
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 Dave Frishberg brought his one man show to L.A. last week for a nonstop performance of nearly two hours in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast. Seated at a darkly shining piano positioned in solitary splendor at the center of the vast, enveloping stage of the Kirk Douglas Theatre, the balding, bespectacled Frishberg… Read More Live Jazz: Dave Frishberg in a Jazz Bakery Movable Feast
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – June 27. (Wed.) A Celebration of Miles Davis. Herbie Hancock hosts a trio of Davis tributes: Miles’ Electric Band, Marcus Miller leading “Tutu Revisited” and Jimmy Cobb leading his “So What” band in “Kind of Blue.” Hollywood Bowl. (323) 850-2000. – June 28. (Thurs.) Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz… Read More Picks of the Week: June 27 – July 1