By Don Heckman Vitello’s was packed to the gills Saturday night. And with good reason. Johnny Mandel was making one of his rare appearances, leading an assemblage of Southland jazz all-stars in an evening surveying his long, productive career as a composer, arranger and songwriter. At 86, recovering from hip problems and walking with a… Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s
By Tony Gieske Not to dis the Baked Potato, but listening to that great John Daversa big band at Vibrato Tuesday was a revelation to the ear compared to what he sounded like in the venerable but cramped Studio City venue that has been his home. On the swifter numbers from the Daversa pen, such… Read More Live Jazz: The John Daversa Big Band at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Tony Gieske Waiting for the great Chris Walden band to begin its performance at Vibrato Tuesday, that old Louis Jordan classic “Coleslaw” kept going through my head. Down in Arkansas They call it coleslaw… It wasn’t because of anything on the dinner plates on the tables of the waiting listeners; you don’t order coleslaw… Read More Live Jazz: The Chris Walden Band with Tierney Sutton at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Tony Gieske Let’s say you had Ralph Burns and Bela Bartok come down from on high and write some brilliant 21st century stuff for a big band of Berklee post-graduate superstars. You would then be at the starting line for the elaborations of John Daversa. Of course, he’s way past all that. When he… Read More Live Jazz: John Daversa’s Progressive Big Band at Vitello’s
By Tony Gieske The myriad kudos Ron King has collected saluting his work as one of the town’s greatest professional trumpet players were nowhere in evidence on the bandstand at Charlie O’s Saturday night. There was not so much as a T-shirt. He got right down to business with a strange black plastic mute in… Read More Live Jazz: Ron King at Charlie O’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – April 19. (Mon.) Pat Metheny. The ever-adventurous, all-star guitarist has put together a computerized, remote control ensemble that allows him to play all the instruments in his band. The Orchestrion Tour. Disney Hall. (323) 850-2000. – April 19. (Mon.) Larry Goldings. Organ Night. The B-3 rules on Monday nights… Read More Picks of the Week: April 19 – 25
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Oct. 7 & 8. (Wed. & Thurs.) The Stanley Clarke Trio with Hiromi and Lenny White. They initially seemed an unlikely musical combination – the Return to Forever team of Clarke and White, with the adventurous jazz fusion pianist Hiromi. But the blend has turned out to be remarkably… Read More Picks of the Week: Oct. 5 – 11