Notes From the Left Coast: The Dave Damiani Big band and Catalina Bar & Grill

By Don Heckman The right musical group, the right venue and the right book got together early last week at Catalina Bar and Grill. And the results were superlative. The group, Dave Damiani and his No Vacancy Orchestra, celebrating the Frank Sinatra 100th birthday, offered one of their high quality displays of hard swinging big… Read More Notes From the Left Coast: The Dave Damiani Big band and Catalina Bar & Grill

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I’ll Remember April”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Who would guess that such a lovely and enduring ballad – musically and lyrically – was written for and featured in a raucous Abbott and Costello movie, the 1942 Ride ‘em Cowboy. For jazz fans the movie holds yet another attraction. It was one of a handful of… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “I’ll Remember April”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”

By Roger Crane the Song Scout When I meet jazz performers, composers and fellow music fans I often inquire as to their favorite songs. I recall that the masterful jazz pianist Dave McKenna chose “I’ll Be Around,” giving particular praise to Alec Wilders’s bridge (where his lyrics state “Goodbye again.”). Another jazz pianist, Gerry Wiggins,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”

Live Musical Theatre: “Guys & Dolls” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Through December 20

By Jane Rosenberg Entering into the gambler’s paradise that is Guys & Dolls, with its beloved songs, is like sinking into a warm bath: comforting and rejuvenating all at once. In a pared down version by the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, directed by Mary Zimmerman and happily ensconced at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing… Read More Live Musical Theatre: “Guys & Dolls” at the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts Through December 20

Picks of the Week: Dec. 2 – 6 (Wed. – Sun.) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago and New York City

By Don Heckman Los Angeles   – Dec. 3 – 5. (Thurs. – Sat.) The Los Angeles Philharmonic, conducted by Gustavo Dudamel, presents a program of Bach and Mendelssohn. Violinist Gil Shaham is featured in a pair of Bach Concertos. The Philharmonic takes the spotlight with Mendelsohn’s Symphony No 1 and Overture for Harmoniemusik. An… Read More Picks of the Week: Dec. 2 – 6 (Wed. – Sun.) in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Oakland, Seattle, Chicago and New York City