Live Jazz: A Busy Friday Night at Vitello’s and the Out Take Bistro

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  Sometimes a music reviewer just has to do a lot in a single night – often unexpectedly.  As I did on Friday.  Even though it hadn’t actually started out that way. My schedule for the evening originally included a stop at Vitello’s  to hear the Bill Cunliffe big band… Read More Live Jazz: A Busy Friday Night at Vitello’s and the Out Take Bistro

Live Jazz: Sinne Eeg Upstairs at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  One of the great pleasures of writing about music arises on those rare occasions when a relatively unknown artist makes an unheralded, but irresistibly appealing first appearance. As happened Friday night in the performance of Danish singer Sinne Eeg (pronounced ‘Seen-uh Eeg) at Vitello’s upstairs jazz room.  Although Eeg… Read More Live Jazz: Sinne Eeg Upstairs 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

Here, There and Everywhere: Halloween Jam with Bob Sheppard and Friends

By Don Heckman I can never recall trick or treating having much connection with jazz.  So when Vitello’s announced a “Halloween Costume Party and Jam” featuring saxophonist Bob Sheppard with a stellar band, it sounded like the potential for an unusual and entertaining evening. As it was.  Sheppard’s band included guitarist Larry Koonse, bassist Dave… Read More Here, There and Everywhere: Halloween Jam with Bob Sheppard and Friends

Live Jazz: The Carol Robbins Sextet Upstairs at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Among the many instruments listed in jazz polls as “miscellaneous,” the harp is surely one of the most rare participants. As unlikely an actual jazz voice as it may seem, however, the instrument has been played in strikingly innovative fashion by the likes of Alice Coltrane, Dorothy Ashby, Corky Hale and Betty… Read More Live Jazz: The Carol Robbins Sextet Upstairs at Vitello’s

Picks of the Week: Sept. 18 – 23

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Sept 19. (Wed.) Catharine Russell.  Her resume includes gigs and recordings with the likes of Paul Simon, Steely Dan, David Bowie, Michael Feinstein.  But she’s very much the “real thing” according to critic Nat Hentoff.  And why not?  Her father, pianist Luis Russell, was Louis Armstrong’s music director.  Catalina… Read More Picks of the Week: Sept. 18 – 23