Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s

By Don Heckman Studio City, CA.  It wasn’t quite Johnny Mandel’s birthday last night.  Not yet.  But it was close enough to the actual date – November 25 – to celebrate the 87th anniversary of the great composer and arranger. And the packed crowd at Vitello’s enthusiastically joined in a group singing of “Happy Birthday.” … Read More Live Jazz: The Johnny Mandel Big Band at Vitello’s

Live Music: Nellie McKay at Catalina Bar & Grill

By Tony Gieske It’s a Churchillian task to write about Nellie McKay‘s performance Saturday at Catalina’s. There she stood  in all her Debbie Reynolds-ness, offering  a figurative “blood, toil, tears and sweat,” among other exudations, in a skit that rivalled the works of Imogene Coca, Fran Leibowitz, Dorothy Parker, Fran Landesman  or Alice  Ghostley, with… Read More Live Music: Nellie McKay at Catalina Bar & Grill