Picks of the Long Weekend in Los Angeles: October 23 – 25

By Don Heckman Friday and Saturday Oct. 23 & 24 Thelma Houston. “My Motown” Grammy-winning r&b singer Houston recalls the glories of the Motown era.  Catalina Bar o& Grill. Friday Oct. 23 Doug Webb and the Webb Allstars. Saxophonist Webb is a master of every kind of woodwind instrument.  Here he is, in action.  The… Read More Picks of the Long Weekend in Los Angeles: October 23 – 25

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Big Band Swing: “Count Basie At Newport” (Verve)

By Devon (Doc) Wendell There is no genre in jazz that has become as disrespected, forgotten, and dismissed as big band jazz. Generations of brainwashed lazy music dabblers often come to this warped and naïve conclusion that the entire history of jazz is made up exclusively by the likes of John Coltrane, Miles Davis, and… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Big Band Swing: “Count Basie At Newport” (Verve)

CD Review: Jennifer Leitham’s “Mood(S)wings”

By Devon Wendell Jennifer Leitham is a true seeker, a southpaw bassist supreme, fearless songwriter, and a jazz master to be reckoned with. Her new album MOOD(S)WINGS is a lush and beautiful musical tapestry that crosses mainstream pop and jazz with an introspective brilliance that places her in a class all by herself. Her music continues… Read More CD Review: Jennifer Leitham’s “Mood(S)wings”

Live Music: “Crosscurrents” (Zakir Hussain, Dave Holland, Shankar Mahadevan et al) at Royce Hall

    By Mike Finkelstein On Tuesday night the Center for the Art of Performance at UCLA presented Crosscurrents, a truly special ensemble of legendary Western and Indian virtuoso musicians, to a full house. The group members are Zakir Hussain (tablas), Louiz Banks (piano/keyboards), Dave Holland (bass), Shankar Mahadevan (vocals), Sanjay Divecha (guitar), Vikku “V”… Read More Live Music: “Crosscurrents” (Zakir Hussain, Dave Holland, Shankar Mahadevan et al) at Royce Hall

Picks of the Week: Sept. 21 – 27 in Los Angeles, Oregon, Chicago, New York, London, Copenhagen, Milan and Tokyo.

By Don Heckman  Los Angeles – Sept. 23. (Wed.) Laura Dickinson. She’s probably your nine year-old daughter’s favorite singer, her voice familiar from the Disney Channel’s animated hits Phineas and Ferb and Sofia The First. But Dickinson’s vocal skills also include far-reaching jazz abilities, as well. She will offer them in an evening that celebrates… Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 21 – 27 in Los Angeles, Oregon, Chicago, New York, London, Copenhagen, Milan and Tokyo.

A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “Chelsea Bridge”

By Roger Crane, the Song Scout There is a Chelsea Bridge and it is located on the Thames in north London. According to David Hajdu’s intelligent, comprehensive and most readable 1996 biography of Billy Strayhorn, Lush Life, his evocative instrumental of the same name resulted from his viewing of a James McNeill Whistler painting. But,… Read More A ROGER SONG SCOUT AURAL BACK RUB: “Chelsea Bridge”

Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”

  By Roger Crane, the Song Scout BACKGROUND / DISCUSSION “These Foolish Things” was composed by two Brits, Jack Strachey and lyricist Eric Maschwitz (writing under the name Holt Marvell). The structure is what’s known as a “list song” or sometimes a catalog song. Such songs typically develop by working through a list – sometimes… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “These Foolish Things”