By Devon Wendell What could be better than trombonist J.J. Johnson joined with Clifford Brown, Jimmy Heath, John Lewis, Percy Heath, and Kenny Clarke all in one band? I can’t think of anything at the moment. This was the band on J.J. Johnson The Eminent Volume One on Blue Note Records, recorded on June 22,… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Bop ‘Bone: J.J. Johnson The Eminent Volume One (Blue Note)
By Devon Wendell For many occasional jazz listeners there are only 3 great trumpeters that come across their minds and lips, and they are of course Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie and occasionally Louis Armstrong. For those of us obsessed with the music’s many genres and glorious history (like myself) the list is much longer and… Read More Doc Wendell’s Prescription For Fat Girl: Fats Navarro Memorial No. 2: Nostalgia (Savoy)
By Devon Wendell When listening to “Dizzy Atmosphere” recorded live on September 29th, 1947, with Dizzy Gillespie at Carnegie Hall, it’s hard to believe that tomorrow, March 12th, Bird will have been dead 59 years. In that solo alone, Bird captured the future, present, and the entire history of jazz in a frenetically beautiful but… Read More Bye Bye Bird From Hollywood: The 59th Anniversary of the Death Of Charlie Parker
Pianos On The Loose By Don Heckman Gerald Clayton: Life Forum (Concord Music) I’ve been listening to and marveling at the playing of Gerald Clayton since he was displaying all the makings of a unique jazz artist while still a teen-ager. Now 28, with three Grammy nominations, his credentials have been thoroughly established, and never… Read More Record Rack: Gerald Clayton, Steve Kuhn and Roberta Piket
By Michael Katz There were generations bumping into each other Tuesday night, both on the stage and in the crowd at Lucy’s 51 in Toluca Lake, the current home of John Pisano’s Guitar Night. Much of that is by design. For fifteen years, Pisano has been bringing guitarists from anywhere and everywhere to share an… Read More Live Jazz: John Pisano’s Guitar Night with Graham Dechter
By Brick Wahl Beverly Hills, CA. Saw Jon Mayer Tuesday in Beverly Hills at a club called H.O.M.E. A trio gig, with rock solid down the middle Chris Conner on bass, always good, and Roy McCurdy on drums. They don’t make drummers like Roy anymore. All that power. Not Elvin Jones power, but metrical power,… Read More Live Jazz: The Jon Mayer Trio at H.O.M.E.
By Don Heckman It’s always a good night at Herb Alpert’s Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc. when the club’s Music Director, bassist Pat Senatore, books some of L.A.’s finest players for a laid-back, quasi-jam session performance. On Friday night, it was a quartet led by alto saxophonist/flutist Gary Foster, with pianist Tom Ranier, drummer Ramon Banda and… Read More Live Jazz: The Gary Foster Quartet at Vibrato Grill Jazz…etc.