Picks of the Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 3

By the iRoM Staff Los Angeles – Jan. 31. (Thurs.) The Don Williams Group.  Percussionist Williams, a busy studio musician (not the country singer), takes a break to lead an all-star collective featuring saxophonist Bob Sheppard, trumpeter Carl Saunders, trombonist Bill Reichenbach, pianist Christian Jacob and bassist Dave Stone.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905. – Jan. 31.… Read More Picks of the Week: Jan. 30 – Feb. 3

Live Jazz: Denny Seiwell, John Chiodini and Joe Bagg at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Drummer Denny Seiwell, who made a rare appearance at Vitello’s Friday night, has a resume reaching from Zoot Sims and Al Cohn to Joe Cocker, the Who, Art Garfunkel, James Brown and many other jazz and rock luminaries.  But his most significant musical association may have been the time he spent as… Read More Live Jazz: Denny Seiwell, John Chiodini and Joe Bagg at Vitello’s

Live Jazz: the Bob Mintzer and Bill Cunliffe Big Bands

By Don Heckman Anyone who doubts the excitement, the imagination and the contemporary vitality of big band jazz should have been at Vitello’s last weekend.  Over the course of Friday and Saturday nights, two stellar ensembles – the Bob Mintzer Big Band and the Bill Cunliffe Big Band – offered invigorating reminders of the still-potent… Read More Live Jazz: the Bob Mintzer and Bill Cunliffe Big Bands

Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  It wasn’t quite Johnny Mandel’s birthday last night.  Not yet.  But it was close enough to the actual date – November 25 – to celebrate the 87th anniversary of the great composer and arranger. And the packed crowd at Vitello’s enthusiastically joined in a group singing of “Happy Birthday.” … Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s

Picks of the Week: Aug. 27 – Sept. 2

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Aug. 27. (Mon.)  Jason Marsalis Quartet. He may be the youngest member of the illustrious Marsalis jazz family, but drummer/vibraphonist Jason has already established his own impressive musical identity.  Catalina Bar & Grill.  (323) 466-2210. – Aug. 28 & Aug. 30/ (Tues. & Thurs.)  Carmina Burana. German composer Carl… Read More Picks of the Week: Aug. 27 – Sept. 2

Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Vitello’s was packed to the gills Saturday night.  And with good reason.  Johnny Mandel was making one of his rare appearances, leading an assemblage of Southland jazz all-stars in an evening surveying his long, productive career as a composer, arranger and songwriter. At 86, recovering from hip problems and walking with a… Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s