CD Review: Van Morrison’s “Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue”

By Brian Arsenault I started getting happy listening to Van Morrison’s Duets:Re-Working the Catalog” (RCA) about the time George Benson was singing as smooth as he always is on “Higher Than The World” and I was downright grinning through Van and Georgie Fame’s “Get On With The Show.” Pure 50s jukebox. Drifters, Coasters, gratuitous but… Read More CD Review: Van Morrison’s “Duets: Re-Working the Catalogue”

Live Music: The Thelonious Monk 2014 International Jazz Competition Gala

By Don Heckman Hollywood, CA. The 2014 Thelonious Monk International Jazz Competition came to a dramatic conclusion Sunday night in a All-Star Gala event at Dolby Hall in Hollywood. This year, the Competition was for trumpet players. And the three finalists each offered a display of their considerable skills in a setting that allowed each… Read More Live Music: The Thelonious Monk 2014 International Jazz Competition Gala

Live Jazz: the 35th Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Day #2)

Review by Devon Wendell Photos by Bonnie Perkinson Hollywood, CA.  For the most part, it’s not just the music that has made The Annual Playboy Jazz Festival a Los Angeles summer tradition, but instead, it’s the music combined with the ever present party atmosphere.  And this year was no different. Amidst the clouds of pot… Read More Live Jazz: the 35th Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl (Day #2)

Picks of the Week: June 12 – 16

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – June 12. (Wed.)  Julian Coryell.  He’s received an impressive guitar-playing legacy from his father, Larry Coryell.  But Julian has thoroughly developed a creative style of his own.  Vitello’s.    (818) 769-0905. – June 13. (Thurs.)  Cindy Lauper.  30th Anniversary: She’s So Unusual Tour.  The inimitable Cindy Lauper celebrates the anniversary… Read More Picks of the Week: June 12 – 16

Blues CD Review: “True Blues” by Various Artists

True Blues (Telarc)  By Devon Wendell In a time when most practicing blues artists pay more attention to the overly guitar driven indulgences of late 60s blues-rock and, for the most part, have lost sight of the music’s richest traditions and subtleties, it’s refreshing to hear a compilation dedicated to the true originating masters of… Read More Blues CD Review: “True Blues” by Various Artists

Picks of the Week: Oct. 19 – 24

By Don Heckman Los Angeles – Oct. 19 (Tues.)  Robert Glasper Trio.  More than most of his contemporaries, pianist Glasper has found ways to compatibly combine hip-hop, rock and r & b elements with his solid jazz skills.  Catalina Bar & Grill. http://www.catalinajazzclub.com (323) 466-2210. – Oct. 19. (Tues.)  Henry Franklin’s Big 70th Birthday Celebration. … Read More Picks of the Week: Oct. 19 – 24

Live Jazz: Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Dianne Reeves, John Scofield, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal at the Hollywood Bowl

By Michael Katz There was a pleasing aura of comfort that emanated over the Hollywood Bowl Wednesday night, the result of a group of musicians closely associated with L.A. that turned the sometimes imposing amphitheatre into their own personal living room on a chilly mid-summer’s night. From former L.A. resident and recent director of the… Read More Live Jazz: Lee Ritenour, Dave Grusin, Dianne Reeves, John Scofield, Keb’ Mo’ and Taj Mahal at the Hollywood Bowl

Q & A: Lee Ritenour

By Don Heckman Lee Ritenour’s latest album, 6 String Theory, is a landmark recording in his long, high profile career as a versatile, high visibility guitarist.  His career – reaching back to his first professional gigs as a teen-ager – has been remarkable.  Performing in thousands of sessions as a young guitarist with the likes… Read More Q & A: Lee Ritenour