By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. An evening of well prepared Italian food, fine wine and even finer music at Vitello’s is a great way to experience world class jazz. And this past weekend offered a superb opportunity to all that and more. On Friday night… Read More Here, There & Everywhere: A Weekend at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Aug. 27. Tues.) Lyn Stanley “Lost in Romance.” Jazz vocalist Lyn Stanley celebrates the release of her new album in the stellar company of Tamir Hendelman, Mike Lang, Llew Matthews, Dominic Genova, Jim DeJulio, Bernie Dresel, Rickey Woodard, Bob McChesney and Grant Geissman. Add to that an appearance by… Read More Picks of the Week: August 26 – Sept. 1
By Don Heckman Seeing Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. Thursday night had the vibe of a Swing Era performance. Most of the big bands of the thirties and forties prominently featured singers, sometimes two or more. And among the most popular combinations was the dueting of the band’s guy and girl… Read More Live Jazz: Ginger and Scott at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Mar. 27. (Wed.) Sascha’s Bloc. A gifted group of players, many from Russia and/or Eastern European backgrounds, showcasing music that crosses easily and compellingly across lines of genre and tradition. Led by the dynamic guitar playing of Alex (Sascha) Gershman, with the intimate vocalizing of Carina Coper. Vibrato Grill… Read More Picks of the Week: Mar. 27 – 31.
By Don Heckman Johnny Mandel was at Vitello’s again Saturday night, leading a big band at the venue for the third time in a year. Despite the familiarity of the music – or, perhaps, because of it — one couldn’t ask for better evidence of the long term quality of his achievements, as a composer,… Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band
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 Don Heckman The Phil Norman Tentet’s music is a refreshing reminder of the fine jazz that has been produced over the years by medium sized – 9, 10, 11 pieces – bands. Some sterling examples come quickly to mind, headlined by the classic Miles Davis Birth of the Cool band. In their performance at… Read More Live Jazz: The Phil Norman Tentet at Vitello’s
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Nov. 2. (Tues.) John Pisano’s Guitar Night. Brasil Night. Pisano expands his usual two-guitar format into an evening simmering with the irresistible rhythms of Brazil. With Federico Ramos, guitar, Jose Marino, bass, Enzo Todesco, drums. Vitello’s. (818) 769-0905. – Nov. 3. (Wed.) Ornette Coleman. Jazz in the post-bebop era… Read More Picks of the Week: Nov. 1 – 7
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Mar. 30. (Tues.) Ginger & Scott. Jackie Cain and Roy Kral? Not exactly, but Cain herself has described Ginger Berglund and Scott Whitfield as “a new duo who provide hope and inspiration.” Catalina Bar & Grill (323) 466-2210. – Mar. 31. (Wed.) Susan Krebs Jazz Aviary. Krebs and her… Read More Picks of the Week: Mar. 30 – April 4
By Tony Gieske Saturday night at Catalina’s in Hollywood, Jack Sheldon sat silently on his little stool while the hornfolk in one of his cherry-picked big bands did the same on theirs. Coming up was his classic vocal on Count Basie’s old track about yo’ mama’s absence of drawers, but first the left hand of… Read More Live Jazz: The Jack Sheldon Big Band at Catalina Bar & Grill