By Mike Finkelstein If you have even a kernel of curiosity about the legend of Janis Joplin or if you simply want to see some great rock-related live musical theater, you will want to get to the Pasadena Playhouse and see A Night with Janis Joplin before it closes on August 23. Putting this production… Read More Musical Theatre: “A Night With Janis Joplin” at the Pasadena Playhouse
By Don Heckman Bel Air CA. There was music in the air Thursday night at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. Not that it was especially unusual to hear an engaging program of songs at Herb Alpert’s elegant Bel Air jazz club. But on this evening, with singer/pianist Betty Bryant displaying the full range of her remarkable skills,… Read More Live Jazz: Betty Bryant at Vibrato Jazz…etc.
By Devon Wendell On Saturday, June 15, Gregory Porter will be headlining the 35th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival at The Hollywood Bowl. The trailblazing jazz vocalist and songwriter has become one of the most important male jazz singers to come along in decades since the release of his debut album Water (Motema) in 2010, which… Read More Q&A: Gregory Porter at the Playboy Jazz Festival
By Don Heckman Pasadena, CA. The Janis Joplin legend surfaces once again in the powerful music and dramatic story telling of One Night With Janis Joplin at the Pasadena Playhouse. It’s shown up earlier in the film, The Rose, and the theatre piece, Love, Janis. But never before with such convincing musical and historical authenticity.… Read More Live Musical Theatre: “One Night With Janis Joplin” at the Pasadena Playhouse
By Mike Finkelstein Westwood, CA. On Friday night at Royce Hall, CAP UCLA presented a very attractive double bill featuring Meshell Ndegeocello and James Blood Ulmer (backed by Memphis Blood and Vernon Reid). Although the floor level of Royce Hall was mostly full and the upper level was closed, the people who came to Westwood… Read More Meshell Ndegeocello and James Blood Ulmer at Royce Hall
Had he lived, Sam Cooke would be 80 on January 22, 2011. Though his tragic death, at the age of 33, deprived successive generations of new music from Cooke, known as ‘the man who invented soul,’ his legacy and influence endure. A feature film biography, based on Peter Guralnick’s critically acclaimed book Dream Boogie: The Triumph of… Read More News: Sam Cooke’s 80th — January 22, 2011
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – June 2. (Tues.) Drummer Willie Jones III’s band, with special guest pianist Eric Reed. A summit encounter between a pair of the Southland’s finest home-grown jazz artists. Catalina Bar & Grill. (323) 466-2210. – June 2. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night. Pisano trades licks with the fast-fingered, but ever-lyrical… Read More Picks of the Week: June 1 – 7