Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop and Beyond with Roland Kirk’s “Rip, Rig, And Panic” (Emarcy)

By Devon Wendell By the mid 1960s, Roland Kirk had already established himself as one of the most unique forces in jazz. Being blind and able to play up to 3 horns simultaneously (and even a nose flute) was enough to get people’s attention. But aside from the visual stage performance, Kirk’s music was texturally… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop and Beyond with Roland Kirk’s “Rip, Rig, And Panic” (Emarcy)

Live Jazz: The Branford Marsalis Quartet at the Valley Performing Arts Center

By Don Heckman Northridge, CA. I couldn’t help but wonder, Saturday night at the Valley Performing Arts Center, whether the Branford Marsalis Quartet was anticipating the hard driving energies of Sunday’s NFL Super Bowl game.  Playing at a peak level of intensity, much of what they offered could have served as the sound track for… Read More Live Jazz: The Branford Marsalis Quartet at the Valley Performing Arts Center

The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

The 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, features the rare presence of three world class female jazz drummers.  Writer/musician Devon Wendell describes his reaction when he first saw the Festival line up.   By Devon Wendell Growing up, I always thought of the drums as being this potent… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins

CD Review: “Winterland — The Jimi Hendrix Experience”

By Devon Wendell Listening to this new four-CD box set of The Jimi Hendrix Experience live at The Winterland Ballroom in San Francisco between 10/10/68-10/12/68, it’s very apparent that Hendrix was growing faster than his audience.   By October of ’68, Hendrix had just released his third LP, Electric Ladyland, and his live shows had become… Read More CD Review: “Winterland — The Jimi Hendrix Experience”

Live Jazz: KPFK 90.7’s First Annual Hero Award Tribute to Billy Higgins at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Tony Gieske You wouldn’t figure that an event honoring the late Billy Higgins would have drawn a full house to Catalina’s on a Sunday night. We here in musician-creamy Los Angeles understand that Higgins — always smiling! — was the go-to guy if you wanted to record with a cat who was there mainly… Read More Live Jazz: KPFK 90.7’s First Annual Hero Award Tribute to Billy Higgins at Catalina Bar & Grill