CD Review: Dave Stryker’s “Messin’ With Mister T”

By Devon Wendell What could be better than guitarist Dave Stryker and his famed organ trio (Jared Gold: Hammond B3 organ, and McClenty Hunter: drums with Mayra Casales guesting on Percussion) paying tribute to Stryker’s ex-employee and mentor, the legendary tenor sax giant Stanley Turrentine? On Messin’ With Mister T (Strikezone), Stryker has assembled an… Read More CD Review: Dave Stryker’s “Messin’ With Mister T”

Picks of the Week: Oct. 24 – 30

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Oct. 26. (Wed.)  Goran Bregovic Wedding and Funeral Orchestra.  Sarajevo’s wildly eclectic bandleader Bregovic leads an orchestra that combines Roma gypsy music, a brass band, strings, a male choir, Bulgarian back-up singers and traces of rock into an inimitable evening of mind-bending music.   Disney Hall.   (323) 8502000. – Oct.… Read More Picks of the Week: Oct. 24 – 30

Live Jazz: Celebrating Miles at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

By Fernando Gonzalez Almost by definition, tribute concerts are safe gambits.  The honored figure provides a brand name, a ready-made repertoire, and a marketing narrative. Feature in the bill artists who were part of the honoree’ s career or were influenced by the master, stir and sell out the hall. Consider Celebrating Miles, the entertaining… Read More Live Jazz: Celebrating Miles at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami, Florida

Picks of the Week: Jan. 25 – 31

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Jan. 25. (Tues.) John Pisano Guitar Night features the always compelling playing of Anthony Wilson in the downstairs lounge.  Upstairs, the jazz voices take over, with the Peter Eldridge Group and Dollison & Marsh’s Vertical Voices.  Grammy nominated pianist Geoff Keezer provides his usual scintillating accompaniment.  Vitello’s.   (818) 769-0905.… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 25 – 31

Picks of the Week: Sept. 7 – 12

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Sept. 7. (Tues.)  Chris Walden’s Big Band with Tierney Sutton.  The combination of Walden’s well-crafted arrangements, a band full of L.A.’s finest players, and the superb musicality of Sutton’s vocals should make for a memorable, entertaining  evening.  Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Sept. 9. (Thurs.) Music of the… Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 7 – 12

Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Further Thoughts)

by Devon Wendell It’s become harder and harder to discern whether what has been designated as a “Jazz Festival” is aimed at die hard jazz aficionados — studying each chord change and nuance — or those music lovers who just want to dance to more commercially infectious R&B grooves and have fun. This was certainly the case at the 32nd… Read More Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Further Thoughts)

Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival, Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl

By Don Heckman The 32nd Playboy Jazz Festival wrapped a long weekend of music yesterday with yet another program perfectly illustrating the qualities that make it one of the world’s most engaging celebrations: tradition, youth, stylistic range and global diversity. Bill Cosby, the Festival’s irrepressible master of ceremonies and the leader of his own Cos… Read More Live Jazz: The Playboy Jazz Festival, Saturday at the Hollywood Bowl

Q & A: Jimmy Cobb, Kind of Blue and the Playboy Jazz Festival

By Don Heckman The Playboy Jazz Festival this weekend at the Hollywood Bowl offers its familiar cornucopia of musical delights. But there’s another, more unusual slant to this year’s festivities – two of them actually. And both center around the number 50. The first is the fact that it was 50 years ago, in 1959,… Read More Q & A: Jimmy Cobb, Kind of Blue and the Playboy Jazz Festival