By Roger Crane, the Song Scout Background/Discussion Jazz players have an expression “too hip for the room,” meaning the music is too good to be commercial. Popularity and quality are separate attributes and, only occasionally, mesh, especially in the world of music. Hoagy Carmichael had already proven 15 years earlier with “Stardust” that he could… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Burning: “Skylark”
By James DeFrances Bel Air, CA. Piano legends from years gone by came to mind during John Proulx’s show Tuesday night at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz etc. If you’d have blinked you may have thought Art Tatum or Thelonious Monk were caressing the mighty grand piano on that stage. Proulx’s emotive playing style is… Read More Live Jazz: The John Proulx Trio at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
Teka So Many Stars (Blue in Green Productions) By Brian Arsenault I think my biggest miss of 2013 may have been not hearing Teka’s marvelous bossa nova infused album So Many Stars. If you missed it too, here’s another chance. Especially for those of us in northern climes in this cold, cold endless winter. Bossa… Read More CD Review of the Day: Teka’s “So Many Stars”
Of West Coast Girls By Brian Arsenault The Left Coast is not taken seriously enough by the New York centric jazz “world” as a producer of any jazz, but maybe particularly female jazz singers. Of course, Queen Bentyne is based there now but she’s late of Manhattan Transfer so the East Coast still claims her.… Read More Record Rack: Lyn Stanley, Lisa Engelken
By Don Heckman Maybe the drops of rain that were scattering across the seats at the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night should have been a warning. Not that we were going to be driven away by a rare July thunderstorm. No. Although a few sprinkles persisted, there was no significant rainfall. But there was a program… Read More Live Music: Queen Latifah and Roy Ayers at the Hollywood Bowl.
Two Songbirds and the American Songbook By Brian Arsenault The so-called American Songbook doesn’t get old. It gets better. Because artists of the day keep reinterpreting and expanding it. The branches of the tree grow gracefully and the songbirds perch higher. Robin Bessier other side of forever (Whispering River) In On the Road, Sal Paradise… Read More Record Rack: Robin Bessier, Eliane Elias (and a few words for Boones the Cat)
By Don Heckman Northridge, CA. One of the first times (and there were many) that I reviewed a Michael Feinstein performance was in 1991 for the Los Angeles Times. I described him then as a “reincarnation of a classic movie juvenile lead. Slicked-back Dick Powell hair, flashing Russ Columbo eyes, a smile that would charm… Read More Live Music: Michael Feinstein at the Valley Performing Arts Center