By Devon Wendell For tenor sax players, the late ‘50s and early ‘60s were a time for hard blowing, fitting in as many notes as possible within a few bars, and trying to break free from familiar patterns. Sonny Rollins was the reigning king of articulation and might on tenor sax until Coltrane’s second stay… Read More A Twist Of Doc: Hank Mobley – The Unsung Hero Of Bop.
By Don Heckman The stage was almost empty Tuesday night at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. Almost, that is, except for one notable exception. Seated at the club’s large concert grand, pianist/arranger/composer Alan Broadbent performed several generous sets over a memorable three hours. Originally scheduled as a duo with bassist Pat Senatore, it became a solo night… Read More Live Jazz: Alan Broadbent at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.
By Don Heckman Jazz singer Cat Conner gave a birthday party to remember at Vitello’s Thursday night. Actually, a “Birthday Bash,” as she described it, in which she and her close friend, Lee Hartley, sang their way through a delightful evening of song. Backed by the stellar trio of pianist Christian Jacob, bassist Chuck Berghofer… Read More Live Jazz: Cat Conner’s “Birthday Bash” at Vitello’s
By Devon “Doc” Wendell The 2013 NAMM (National Association Of Music Merchants) convention took place in Anaheim California between Thursday, January 24th and Sunday, January 27th. Despite throngs of inebriated metal heads roaming the Anaheim streets, instrument booths in the convention hall, and thousands of music merchants packed into the Anaheim Convention center like sardines,… Read More A Twist of Doc: The 2013 NAMM Convention Performance Highlights
By Don Heckman Studio City, CA. Jazz performances don’t get any more up close and personal than the bi-weekly appearances of Cat Conner and Gene “Cip” Cipriano at the Out Take Bistro in Studio. City. At their performance on Friday night, singer Conner and saxophonist/clarinetist Cipriano, with the aid of guitarist Jim Fox, were comfortably… Read More Live Jazz: Cat Conner and Gene “Cip” Cipriano at the Out Take Bistro
By Don Heckman Bill Holman and his big band made one of their rare but always welcome Southland appearances Friday night at Vitello’s. And, with a packed house listening avidly to every note, Holman once again displayed his remarkable mastery of the big band format. One could make a good case for big band instrumentation… Read More Live Jazz: The Bill Holman Big Band Upstairs at Vitello’s
The 2012 Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place at the Hollywood Bowl this weekend, features the rare presence of three world class female jazz drummers. Writer/musician Devon Wendell describes his reaction when he first saw the Festival line up. By Devon Wendell Growing up, I always thought of the drums as being this potent… Read More The Playboy Jazz Festival: The First Ladies of the Skins
By Devon Wendell Growing up as an aspiring musician, besides practicing the guitar, bass and harmonica obsessively like a geek, I also read a lot of books, articles, reviews, and interviews on all kinds of music. In doing so I found myself most aggravated by the writing in the “major” music publications like Rolling Stone, Spin, etc. There were… Read More Humor: The Top Ten Words And Phrases Over Used By Rock/Pop Journalists.
Mike Lang has been a busy member of the Los Angeles musicians’ community for most of his adult life. He’s been an accompanist for performers reaching from Ella Fitzgerald to John Lennon. He’s recorded more than 2000 film scores And he’s written songs for Stan Getz, Fourplay, Herb Alpert and numerous others. On many of… Read More An Appreciation: Jimmy Bond 1933 – 2012
By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Feb. 14. (Tues.) Nedra Wheeler. Bassist/vocalist Wheeler is a convincing performer as an instrumentalist and a singer. and she’ll no doubt be in rare form with the backing of Lanny Hartley, piano, Clarence Webb, saxophone and Munyungo Jackson, drums. Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. (310) 474-9400. – Feb. 15. (Wed.) Spanky… Read More Picks of the Week: Feb. 14 – 19