Book Review: “Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music” by Patty Farmer (Beaufort Books)

By Devon Wendell Patty Farmer’s insightful book, Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music, tells the story of how Hugh Hefner changed the way jazz and American music were perceived and accepted by an ever changing culture. The intellectual male “jet setters” were Hefner’s initial target audience but “Hef” attracted… Read More Book Review: “Playboy Swings: How Hugh Hefner and Playboy Changed the Face of Music” by Patty Farmer (Beaufort Books)

Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bass BeBop: Paul Chambers: “1st Bassman” (Vee Jay Records)

By Devon Wendell Paul Chambers or “Mr. P.C.” was one of the most prolific and inventive bassists to emerge from the hard-bop era. His presence was so strong on classic albums by Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Cannonball Adderley, J.J. Johnson, Sonny Rollins, Art Pepper, Bill Evans, and Thelonious Monk, (to name only a few) that… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bass BeBop: Paul Chambers: “1st Bassman” (Vee Jay Records)

Live Jazz: The Monterey Jazz Festival All Stars at the Valley Performing Arts Center

By Michael Katz Northridge, CA.  There were lots of good vibes, not to mention some friendly apparitions, circulating through the Valley Performing Arts Center Wednesday night, as the Monterey Jazz Festival All-Stars brought their tour to the campus of Cal State Northridge. The sextet, which had closed the curtain on the 55th MJF last September,… Read More Live Jazz: The Monterey Jazz Festival All Stars at the Valley Performing Arts Center

Picks of the Week: June 27 – July 1

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – June 27. (Wed.)  A Celebration of Miles Davis. Herbie Hancock hosts a trio of Davis tributes: Miles’ Electric Band, Marcus Miller leading  “Tutu Revisited” and Jimmy Cobb leading his “So What” band in  “Kind of Blue.” Hollywood Bowl.   (323) 850-2000. – June 28. (Thurs.)  Donald Fagen, Michael McDonald, Boz… Read More Picks of the Week: June 27 – July 1

Q & A: Nathan East

By Devon Wendell Nathan East’s long, illustrious career has firmly established him as one of the world’s top bass players and an impressive composer.  Recently I had the chance to speak with with him about his latest release with the group Fourplay, “Let’s Touch The Sky,” as well as some of the high points in… Read More Q & A: Nathan East

Live Jazz: The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.

By Tony Gieske When the Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra starts a set, John Clayton likes to have it sound a strong — never loud — chord that is shockingly  lovely and foreshadows the rich and sonorous banquet of sound that is about to be served up. This he did at Vibrato Tuesday, and the night… Read More Live Jazz: The Clayton Hamilton Jazz Orchestra at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.