By Roger Crane the Song Scout When I meet jazz performers, composers and fellow music fans I often inquire as to their favorite songs. I recall that the masterful jazz pianist Dave McKenna chose “I’ll Be Around,” giving particular praise to Alec Wilders’s bridge (where his lyrics state “Goodbye again.”). Another jazz pianist, Gerry Wiggins,… Read More Keeping the GAS (Great American Songbook) Flame Alive: “It Had To Be You”
“A perfectly wonderful jazz vocal album” By Roger Crane, the Song Scout A classically trained mezzo-soprano who swings? Yes – and her name is Lena Seikaly. Although only 25, she is an established composer who has written many classical and jazz arrangements for small ensembles, choirs and full orchestra. She is also an educator, a… Read More CD Review: Lena Seikaly’s “Looking Back”
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.
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
By Tony Gieske Johnny Mandel, of whom we all know who that is, is quite a sight when he conducts a big band, first of all because he does this standing up for two entire sets. This is of course remarkable for a guy who will be 85 years old next Tuesday [Nov. 23]. Another… Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vibrato