By Norton Wright Wondrous was on November 2nd to see and hear Stephan Oberhoff and his “Heartbeat Brazil” quintet DAZZLE at the Catalina Jazz Club. Large visual screens displayed gorgeous photographic sequences of Brazilian beaches, beautiful people, sunrises, and sunsets synced to Oberhoff’s bossa nova compositions. Vocals, and instrumentals were backed by spectacular woodwindist Robert… Read More “Heartbeat Brazil” CD Release at Catalina Bar & Grill in Los Angeles
By Norton Wright Los Angeles, CA. Trying to review a performance of pianist Alan Broadbent is like trying to describe lightning in a bottle. Broadbent’s playing is electrifying, so charged with power, substance, and beauty that descriptions like “swinging,” “groovy,” “funky,” etc. are wholly inadequate. On Saturday night at the elegant and so well-suited Zipper… Read More Live Jazz: Alan Broadbent At Zipper Concert Hall, Los Angeles.
By Norton Wright Los Angeles, CA. Over eleven hundred jazz buffs streamed into the Walt Disney Concert Hall last Saturday night for the first every KJAZZ Radio Summer Benefit Concert to hear three separate groups, each with its own unique style. There was something for every taste. Kicking off the evening was Harvey Mason’s powerhouse,… Read More Live Music: “Jazz At The Philharmonic.” The KJAZZ Radio Summer Benefit Concert At Walt Disney Concert Hall.
By Norton Wright Blues For Smoke, a giant and MIND-EXPANDING visual art-and-recorded jazz exhibit is currently at Los Angeles’ Geffen Contemporary Museum at MOCA. Featuring listening posts, video viewing stations, and over one hundred contemporary paintings/photographs/ installations/& sculptures by visual artists from the 1950’s to the present, the show posits that “the blues” is more… Read More Jazz and Art: The “Blues For Smoke” Jazz Exhibition at the Geffen Contemporary Museum
By Norton Wright New to the L.A. jazz scene is the all-singing, intensely swinging, dynamic duo of “Bonnie & Bill.” That’s Grammy-nominated Bonnie Bowden and songster Bill Jones of Fox TV’s Glee staging their own jazz show of over 20 songs backed by Pat Longo’s Hollywood Big Band last weekend at the Leisure Village Auditorium… Read More Live Jazz: Bonnie Bowden and Bill Jones at Leisure Village, Camarillo
By Norton Wright It was another extraordinary afternoon on Sunday with SING! SING! SING!, the unique 9-person group of rehearsed singers led by Artistic Director Judy Wolman. Sprightly swinging on piano with Chris Conner on bass, Jack LeCompte on drums, Wolman and raconteur Howard Lewis melded the history of composer George Gershwin and lyricist Ira Gershwin… Read More Live Music: Gershwins With A Groove: SING! SING! SING! at Keyboard Concepts
By Norton Wright It was such a class act, it reminded me of those sophisticated nights long ago at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City where the ballroom shows were graced by the likes of Lena Horne and Peggy Lee. So it was no surprise that jazz songstress Bonnie Bowden’s date on Sunday afternoon… Read More Live Jazz: Bonnie Bowden at Vitello’s
A few weeks ago we published a commentary from Brick Wahl regarding today’s jazz clubs, the musicians who perform in them, and the audiences who come (or don’t come) to hear them. Click HERE to read Brick’s entire post. In many respects, the commentary was directed at the musicians themselves. We’ve had many responses –… Read More Keeping It Real: A Minority(?) Opinion From Norton Wright
By Norton Wright On Gotham’s frigid December 31, a sold-out house of 250 or more at the Blue Note in Greenwich Village (131 West Third Street) was treated to a dazzling performance by Grammy Award winning jazz trumpeter Chris Botti and his band. It was an hour and a half of sonorous beauty, a vivid… Read More Live Jazz: Chris Botti on New Year’s Eve at NYC’s Blue Note
Judy Wexler’s Jazz and Wistful Romance Warm Vitello’s By Norton Wright Judy Wexler, a diminutivel 4’10” package of big singing talent wow’d a rapt and sold-out audience at Vitello’s on Saturday night reprising all twelve songs on her latest CD, Under A Painted Sky. It was an emotionally moving evening, for no contemporary songstress does… Read More Live Jazz: Judy Wexler at Vitello’s