Roger Crane Song Scout: On the Lovely Mancini Melody, “Lujon”

Fellow Adagio Lovers: “Lujon” is a musical piece by Henry Mancini originally composed as a secondary theme for the ’50’s TV series Mr. Lucky. By the way, the origin of this TV show was the 1943 Cary Grant movie Mr. Lucky. The melody was subsequently included in the soundtracks for the films Hatari!, The Big Lebowski,… Read More Roger Crane Song Scout: On the Lovely Mancini Melody, “Lujon”

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Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Valley Performing Arts Center.

By Don Heckman Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra have been making regular appearances in the Southland for the past few years. And it’s always a musical delight to hear this stellar assemblage of jazz artists in action. On Sunday night they took the stage at the acoustically accurate environment of the… Read More Live Jazz: Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra at the Valley Performing Arts Center.

CD Review: George Benson “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole”

Inspiration: A Tribute To Nat King Cole (Concord Records) By Brian Arsenault Two versions of “Mona Lisa,” perhaps Nat King Cole’s most famous song, frame Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole. The first, opening the album, was recorded by “Lil” George Benson in 1951 after he won a singing contest at the age of… Read More CD Review: George Benson “Inspiration: A Tribute to Nat King Cole”

Live Jazz: The Mike Lang Trio at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Don Heckman It’s easy to take many musicians for granted.  The musicians, that is, who create the infinite array of melodies, textures and rhythms that are the soundtrack of daily life.  On television and film screens, Muzak, iTunes, videogame music tracks, favorite CD collections, and so on. “Studio musicians,” they’re called, usually with a… Read More Live Jazz: The Mike Lang Trio at Catalina Bar & Grill

Live Jazz: Cat Conner and Gene “Cip” Cipriano at the Out Take Bistro

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  Jazz performances don’t get any more up close and personal than the bi-weekly appearances of Cat Conner and Gene “Cip” Cipriano at the Out Take Bistro in Studio. City.  At their performance on Friday night, singer Conner and saxophonist/clarinetist Cipriano, with the aid of guitarist Jim Fox, were comfortably… Read More Live Jazz: Cat Conner and Gene “Cip” Cipriano at the Out Take Bistro

Live Soul: Smokey Robinson And The Los Angeles Philharmonic At The Hollywood Bowl

By Devon Wendell                Before Smokey stole a piece of the Hollywood Bowl stage forever Friday night, the Los Angeles Philharmonic demonstrated its love for American standards.  Half of the evening’s program was a dedication to the American classic song books of Bernstein, Mancini, and Gershwin by the Philharmonic under the conduction of Sarah Hicks, but… Read More Live Soul: Smokey Robinson And The Los Angeles Philharmonic At The Hollywood Bowl