By Devon Wendell It’s still hard to believe that Kenny Dorham is not mentioned alongside such fellow trumpet masters as Dizzy Gillespie, Miles Davis, Fats Navarro, Clifford Brown, Lee Morgan, and Freddie Hubbard. Dorham was one of the most extraordinarily unique musical thinkers to pick up the trumpet in the entire history of jazz. He… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Trumpet Bop: Kenny Dorham’s “Whistle Stop” (Blue Note)
By Devon Wendell When I think of Horace Silver I think of how challenging it must have been to bring that old style of blues and gospel back into jazz during the heyday of bebop. Sure the blues was a part of bop; Bird, Dizzy, Miles, and Monk loved it, played it, and used it… Read More A Remembrance: Horace Silver
By Devon Wendell For tenor sax players, the late ‘50s and early ‘60s were a time for hard blowing, fitting in as many notes as possible within a few bars, and trying to break free from familiar patterns. Sonny Rollins was the reigning king of articulation and might on tenor sax until Coltrane’s second stay… Read More A Twist Of Doc: Hank Mobley – The Unsung Hero Of Bop.
Review by Devon Wendell Photos by Bonnie Perkinson Hollywood, CA. For the most part, it’s not just the music that has made The Annual Playboy Jazz Festival a Los Angeles summer tradition, but instead, it’s the music combined with the ever present party atmosphere. And this year was no different. Amidst the clouds of pot… Read More Live Jazz: the 35th Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Day #2)
By Devon Wendell The Playboy Jazz Festival presented its second free community concert at The Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Plaza Mall on Sunday June 2nd with two artists (Patrice Rushen and Ndugu Chancler) who have a very special, long time musical partnership and chemistry, along with special guest, guitar session master Paul Jackson Jr., and Bassist… Read More Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival Free Concert At Baldwin Hills Crenshaw Presents 1+One, with Patrice Rushen, Ndugu Chancler, Paul Jackson Jr. and The Harmony Project Jazz Ensemble.
By Michael Katz I’m going to tell you about the second set at Vitello’s Saturday night, featuring the Wolff & Clark Expedition, led by pianist Michael Wolff and drummer Mike Clark. Not that there was anything wrong with the first set. It was, in fact, quite wonderful. It’s just that some of you were no… Read More Live Jazz: The Wolff and Clark Expedition at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. The stage setting for Cheryl Bentyne’s performance at Vitello’s Friday night seemed surprisingly spare. An acoustic bass and a music stand on the left, a pair of guitars and a music stand on the right, and a stool and a vocal mic in the middle. That was it. “Up… Read More Live Jazz: Cheryl Bentyne at Vitello’s
By Michael Katz Northridge, CA. There were lots of good vibes, not to mention some friendly apparitions, circulating through the Valley Performing Arts Center Wednesday night, as the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars brought their tour to the campus of Cal State Northridge. The sextet, which had closed the curtain on the 55th MJF last September,… Read More Live Jazz: The Monterey Jazz Festival All Stars at the Valley Performing Arts Center
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. On any given night in Los Angeles, world class jazz can be found in venues stretching from Orange County to Ventura County, with many stops in between. And Saturday night was no exception, when the prime quartet of saxophonist Bob Sheppard and pianist Otmaro Ruiz (with bassist John Belzaguy… Read More Live Jazz: the Bob Sheppard/Otmaro Ruiz Quartet at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman There was a celebratory mood in the air at Vitello’s Saturday night. And with good reason. Cheryl Bentyne – one of the four vocal stars in the Manhattan Transfer constellation – was returning to action after successfully confronting a life threatening illness. In characteristic fashion, she did it in full out, take… Read More Live Jazz: Cheryl Bentyne and Mark Winkler at Vitello’s