Live Jazz: The Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars at Royce Hall

By Michael Katz When I last saw the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars, they were opening the 52nd MJF before a raucous Friday night crowd, the hour allotted to them not nearly enough to hold all their collective talents. Seven months later, in the more restrained environment of UCLA’s Royce Hall, I caught up with them… Read More Live Jazz: The Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars at Royce Hall

Jazz CD Review: John Pizzarelli “Rockin’ In Rhythm”

John Pizzarelli Rockin’ In Rhythm (Telarc) By Don Heckman John Pizzarelli’s recordings have almost always reached well beyond the level of simply jamming a few tunes with his quartet.  His thematically oriented tributes to Richard Rodgers, Nat “King’ Cole, Frank Sinatra, the Beatles and Bossa Nova, among others, have been superb settings for his singing,… Read More Jazz CD Review: John Pizzarelli “Rockin’ In Rhythm”

Live Jazz: The Laurence Hobgood Trio at Cafe Metropole

By Michael Katz Laurence Hobgood provided a perfect antidote to a rainy weekend at Café Metropole Friday evening, displaying his panoply of talents as musician, composer and arranger over two sets of intriguing and engaging music. Hobgood is best known as pianist and arranger for Kurt Elling; his presence in LA over the past two… Read More Live Jazz: The Laurence Hobgood Trio at Cafe Metropole

Here, There & Everywhere: The Jazz Winners at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

By Don Heckman The jazz Grammys have been awarded and – Surprise! – there are no surprises.  Which, given the nominations, is not particularly surprising. Even so, that’s not to question the worthiness of winners such as the Joe Zawinul album 75, (recorded a couple of months before the composer/keyboardist’s death) – despite its peculiar… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: The Jazz Winners at the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards

Live Jazz: “A Night at the Beats” with Charles Lloyd, Joshua Redman, John Handy, Kurt Elling, Michael McClure, Exene Cervenka and others at Disney Hall

By Michael Katz Disney Hall and the LA Phil continued their West Coast Left Coast series Tuesday night with A Night at the Beats, featuring two fine jazz ensembles, two classic West Coast poets and two singers from divergent backgrounds. A slight disclaimer before I go further: I was seated in the so-called “Orchestra View”… Read More Live Jazz: “A Night at the Beats” with Charles Lloyd, Joshua Redman, John Handy, Kurt Elling, Michael McClure, Exene Cervenka and others at Disney Hall