the word contemporary

After a nine-year hiatus England-based and Polish-born singer Basia, who’s sometimes compared to fellow Multi-Platinum vocalist Sade made a triumphant return that included a new CD and North American tour. In California she performed at nine different venues and one of them was The Rose in Pasadena to a sold out house. There with her were creative collaborators Danny White-keyboards (husband and guitarist Peter White’s brother), Giorgio Serci-guitar, Marc Parnell-drums, Andres Lafone-bass, Paul Booth-sax and Kevin Robinson-trumpet, she reprised her hits going back to the ‘80s, along with songs from the newly released Butterflies album.

New song, bossa-flavored “Pandora’s Box” started the show to spotlight Basia’s breezy style with her easy grooving band. Older songs like airy “Blame It on the Summer” and upbeat samba-pop “Take Him Back Rachel” with brass choruses and an acoustic guitar solo followed. Most of the songs included digital choral effects to supplement the singer’s voice. The audience didn’t seem to mind the electronic enhancement and quickly became spellbound to Basia’s remarkable talent and personable charm. For a changeup new tune “Bubble” was accented by light bluesy guitar and had a bit of a jazzy feel.

Alternately, the guitarist’s piece “Matteo” (also on his solo recording) was classical romantic-pop oriented, featuring Basia singing serenely and guitar soloing. Returning to more familiar bossa-pop orientation was “No Heartache” a new effervescent tune with lyrics that strongly resonated with the mostly female audience. Men responded to the groove and sax solo. Older songs “A Gift” was poetic and gentle, while “Cruising for Bruising” was danceable and bossa-grooving classic “Half a Minute” from her ‘80s jazz-pop group Matt Bianco drew strong reactions.

Also included was straightforward jazz tune “How Dare You” bolstered by a sax solo, Motown styled “Time and Tide” and airy bossa/samba “Third Time Lucky” to end the show. For the encore new ballad “Liang & Zhu” and vintage pop bossa “Promises” were performed with the audience still wanting more. Basia is definitely back.



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Battleship IOWA Museum has become the Southern California destination to celebrate our people in uniform. On Veterans Day, Sunday, November 11, 2018, the “Battleship of Presidents,” coinciding with the one-hundred-year anniversary of the end of World War I, will honor vets with the Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival. The family-friendly day will include a variety of fun experiences for everyone to enjoy, including but not limited to:

Live bands and DJ ·

Free food sponsored by Black Knight Patrol ·

Sailor’s Bar sponsored by West Coast Beverage ·



Vintage vehicles

5″ gun salute at 11-11 to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I (Active battle ended at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918). Sponsored by American Legion.

“We are a museum and a destination because of the heroic acts of those who volunteer to protect our freedoms and liberties,” says Battleship IOWA Museum’s President and CEO, Jonathan Williams. “Everything we do to preserve the history and missions of this vessel honors the veterans who continue to serve our country. It is our honor to support and celebrate them.”
Third Annual Veterans Day Music Festival Celebration and Centennial Anniversary of the End of World War 1 (Armistice Day) November 11, 2018
Battleship IOWA Museum 250 South Harbor Blvd.
San Pedro, CA, 90731
877-4-IOWA-61 (877-446-9261)/310-971-4462


Noted for his long and busy career as a producer and music director Steve Weisberg is bringing his orchestra, with a who’s who of LA’s top session musicians, together again for a variety show style concert at Magicopolis. Joining Weisberg’s amazing 17-piece orchestra will be NRBQ founder Terry Adams, Billboard Jazz Charting Ghanian-American singer Abiah, noted father/son act The Cages, Suzy Williams – long known and loved as the songbird of Venice, and up and coming singer Clara Zimm, with more special guests to be announced.

Weisberg has extensive experience as an arranger and musical director on recordings and live events often for famed producer Hal Willner with artists including Sting, Elvis Costello, Marianne Faithful, K.D. Lang, Macy Gray, BØRNS, David Byrne, Lou Reed, Carla Bley, Michael McDonald, Kesha, Tony Clifton, Howard Tate, Shane McGowan, Jill Sobule, Jackson Browne, Bill Frisell. and many, many more. Weisberg describes his orchestral aspirations to be “Lawrence Welk meets Spike Jones meets Frank Zappa.” Adding, “come on down and get ready to be amazed, surprised and thoroughly entertained!” Past SWO shows included performances by BØRNS, Victoria Williams, Jill Sobule, Petra Haden, Sussan Deyhim, Mocean Worker, and Perla Batalla, so attendees never know what surprise guests might pop upRed Ticket

Steve Weisberg & his Orchestra
November 14, 2018
1418 4th Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Tickets are $30 and are available at the door






image of the word fusion with person playing sax

Guitar god and former Return to Forever guitarist Al Di Meola performed at the City National Grove of Anaheim for a two-part show with his acoustic trio consisting of Fausto Beccalossi-accordion and Kemuel Roig-piano. Di Meola cordially greeted the audience and joked around before beginning with “Azzura” a selection from the highly regarded 1996 recording The Guitar Trio: Paco de Lucia/John McLaughlin/Al Di Meola that started as a savory mid-tempo melody and quickly shifted to fast paced guitar runs with flamenco textures from his cohorts and electric guitar effects through his acoustic guitar. Sprinkled into the show were compositions from Opus the guitarist’s latest CD influenced by a recent visit to Italy where he reconnected with his roots.

Highlighted new pieces were flamenco/gypsy flavored “Milonga Noctiva: Wandering in the Dark,” guitar ripping “Broken Heart,” world music tinged “Frozen in Time,” for his young daughter “Ava’s Dream Sequence Lullaby” and high energy suite “Cerreto Sannita.” It was homage to the village near Naples where Di Meola’s grandfather is from. Also included was a thematic piece based on a festival in Morocco and his interactions with the musicians and people there. Most of the show was a mixture of acoustic and electric effects, however from a purely acoustic standpoint were Beatle songs “I’ll Follow The Sun” (to be recorded) along with “Because” and beautifully played “She’s Leaving Home” from the guitarist’s 2013 All Your Life: A Tribute to the Beatles recorded at the Abbey Road Studio.


Another influence Di Meola acknowledged was Argentina tango master Astor Piazzolla. Prior to playing the icon’s captivating “Double Concerto” the guitarist cited “he tremendously inspired my next direction, and his music provided the widest range of sentiments, emotions and complexities. But at the same time it touched the heart; that was something I thought fusion and jazz in particular was lacking. So whatever show I do I always include some of his music and the Beatles too—very important.” Bookending the stimulating concert was zesty and highly stimulating “Mediterranean Sundance” from the landmark 1981 album Al Di Meola / John McLaughlin / Paco de Lucía-Friday Night in San Francisco to further astonish the attendees. Opening the show was prog-rock Dream Theater’s keyboardist Jordan Rudess, who played solo acoustic piano, doing classic
rock covers and his own band’s “The Dance of Eternity.”


Herbie Hancock made one his semi-annual appearances at Disney Hall, this time with its celebrated conductor Gustavo Dudamel. Also on hand was the keyboardist’s core quartet, Vinnie Colaiuta-drums, Terrace Martin-keyboards/sax and James Genus-bass, along with GrandMixer DXT-turntables. Hancock and Dudamel were enthusiastically greeted when taking the stage and got underway with a nuanced version of keyboardist/composer/arranger’s very popular Chameleon with orchestra and quartet adroitly intermeshing. Hancock jumped out front with his strap-on synthesizer soloing to further excite the audience.

Not mentioned on the program bassist Marcus Miller played bass clarinet for classic “Butterfly” with the orchestra subtly enhancing to draw a standing ovation. The lushness of the orchestra became the backdrop for dynamic hip-hop tinged “Rock-it,” featuring Hancock back on synthesizer and the DJ soloing/accenting significantly.

Without the LA Phil ensemble the bandleader and crew showcased a composite number, with atmospheric synth textures starting it off. When the band kicked in things became more heated and mixed in bits of songs from the Chameleon album with 21st century vocoder singing from Hancock and Martin. In the same mode from the same record the group jammed away playing “Actual Proof” and followed with a new tune overflowing with vocoder. In somewhat conventional fashion Martin wailed on saxophone with fiery rhythm accompaniment and synth soloing. Closing out the evening the band reprised Chameleon with much more emphasis on funk with sax and synth soloing extensively that generated a standing ovation.



Cornetist Ron Miles, guitarist Bill Frisell and drummer Brian Blade are all constantly on the move, doing a plethora of collaborations with constant performances, recording and touring, while also leading their own ensembles. Their first recording was seven years ago and most recent Circuit Rider was in 2014, akin to traveling frontier clergy centuries ago. Miraculously, the high caliber players have maintained a strong bond and doing limited touring, with the Jazz Bakery presenting them at the Moss Theatre to a sold-out house.

Before starting they were greeted tremendous applause and got down to business doing older piece “Since Forever,” a slow developing merging of Americana, spirituals and jazz that eventually became full blown. Blades trademark oft-kilter drumming maintained edginess with Frisell’s rangy and flowing riffs, while Miles the bandleader injecting willowy, yet also grounded playing. The Riders second selection currently unnamed was neo-bop oriented with them strongly engaging and playing off each other through band discourse and soloing that was astounding.

Incorporating classical motifs, the trio played MJQ signature piece “Django” with both elegant and lightly raucous flair featuring Miles’ superb playing with Frisell and Blade coolly accenting. The drummer lead off “The Flesh is Weak” that was enchanting and graceful fusing of styles, later followed by light and sophisticated blues themed “Dancing Close And Slow.” Contrarily, Lennie Tristano’s “No Figs” was pure bebop and mostly spotlighted the bandleader with Frisell and Blades also soloing. In addition to it the trio took things to an even higher level doing nuanced bebop to receive a standing ovation. For the encore the trio rendered a very gentle and subtle piece built around the bandleader’s delicate playing.

Wunderkind guitarist Pat Metheny hadn’t appeared at UCLA’s Center For The Art of Performance at Royce Hall for six years. But anyone who saw him there recently with his currently lineup Antonio Sanchez-drums, Linda May Han Oh-bass and Gwilym Simcock-keyboards probably will remember the concert for a long time. Mainly because beside being a phenomenal musician Metheny performs something from almost all of his various projects and groupings during his highly successful 45 year career as a solo artist. Of course, there were a few things not included during his two and a half-hour long show. Some of the omitted recordings are Orchestrion the Disney-like mechanical orchestra, Song X recorded with free jazz legend Ornette Coleman, Tap: John Zorn’s Book of Angels Vol 20 exploring ancient and mystical Jewish music, and Zero Tolerance For Silence a shrill metal-rocking experiment.

As is customary for Metheny, he began playing solely on his 15-string exotic Chinese lute-like sounding Pikasso guitar and then was joined by his quartet. Together they played bossa-fused “So May it Secretly Begin” with the bandleader tastefully playing a normal guitar. To the audience’s delight “Bright Size Life” one the guitarist’s compositions from the ‘70s was spotlighted to display the group’s prowess extensively. “Unity Village” from the same period was more lingering, featured Oh and the Metheny soloing intensely. Moving up a couple years when keyboardist Lyle Mays was in the band “Third Wind” soared with Sanchez turning in a dazzling solo to further amaze the crowd. Lighter and very melodic “James” was also bolstered by a smoldering guitar-drum interlude.

From the early ‘80s Falcon And The Snowman film soundtrack, lightly pulsating and very timely “This is Not America,” originally recorded with rock singer David Bowie surprised and pleased the attendees. Still slowly progressing on the timeline the group hit the ‘90s doing rocking, high octane “The Red One.” It was recorded with fellow guitarist John Scofield and featured Metheny wailing on his famed synthesizer guitar, along with Oh and Sanchez getting into it.

For a break from the hard jamming playing the guitarist played tranquil “Farmer’s Trust” mostly solely on acoustic guitar with light keyboard support. Afterwards Simcock took the helm for a solo interlude, with Metheny returning to do “Tell Her You Saw Me” as a soothing duet. With the bassist Metheny rendered “Change of Heart” and “Question and Answer” featured Sanchez as the bandleader burned on synth guitar. Intermixed between duets were electric full band pieces “Change of Heart,” “Better Days Ahead” and extremely popular “Phase Dance” to finish the show. For a series of encores the guitarist played on acoustic guitar a medley of songs beginning with world/Amazon River themed “Minuano” and finishes with high wire, synth adorned “Song for Bilbao.”


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The Santa Barbara Blues Society, the oldest existing U.S. blues society, founded in March 1977, is proud to present award winning Guitar Shorty and his band at the Carrillo Recreation Center, 100 E. Carrillo St., on Saturday, November 10, 2018 for two sets. Santa Barbara’s own Jimmy C and Robert E will play an opening set.

David Kearney was born in Texas and raised in Florida. His early influences included B.B. King, John Lee Hooker, and Guitar Slim. A valued musician since his teens, known since then as Guitar Shorty, he was lead guitarist in the bands of musical giants Sam Cooke and Ray Charles.

Shorty has lived in Los Angeles for more than 40 years and led his own band for more than 30. Nominated for multiple Blues Music Awards by the Blues Foundation, he has won two for Best Blues Album of the Year. The Chicago Reader called him “among the highest-energy blues entertainers on the scene.” Guitar Shorty’s last appearance for the SBBS was a rollicking party, which included Shorty playing his guitar while strolling through the ecstatic crowd. There will be free BBQ snacks, an outdoor patio, and a large, spring-loaded dance floor.Red Ticket

Guitar Shorty and his band
November 10, 2018
Carrillo Recreation Center
100 E. Carrillo St.
Santa Barbara
805) 722-8155



The Godfather of British Blues Rock, multi-instrumentalist John Mayall launched the careers or had a strong influence on classic rockers such as Eric Clapton, Peter Green, Jack Bruce, Mick Taylor and many others through his band institutional band The Blues Breakers. After vesting Southern California in the late ‘60s that spurred landmark records such as Blues From Laurel Canyon and Turning Point, Mayall decided to migrate to Los Angeles. He immediately got into the local and national blues scenes to work with Larry (The Mole) Taylor, Harvey Mandell, Mavis Staples, Albert Collins and others to eventually resurrect the Blues Breakers, who thrived until the blues legend decided to permanently disband the group in 2008. Despite that Mayall has carried on mightily with successive tours and recordings. His 85th birthday will be on November 29th.Red Ticket

John Mayall
The Rose
November 17, 2018
245 E. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
(888) 645-5006



Text Special Mention

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra lead by trumpeter Wynton Marsalis presented Spaces at the Hollywood Bowl. The program was one of the more interesting artistic endeavors the acclaimed big band has done and featured dancers Lil’ Buck Riley, Jared Grimes and special guest Myles Yachts. The bandleader described the piece, originally stage directed by The Juilliard School President, Damian Woetzel, as “focusing on the definitive traits of ten animals and on their infinite individual variations in each group. It also serves the spiritual, emotional, physical space that they inhabit and create. Some animals run on four legs, some fly on two wings, some slither and some swim.”

The musical proceedings began with Marsalis’s short description before the dancers comically imitating chickens and interacting while mixing tap and jazz dance to stylish big band music. “Monkees” was an elegant, swinging and mischievous interpretation. Contrarily, “Elephants” was depicted by low-end instruments mostly and lumbering movements with swinging moments. Tap dominated “Frogs” with the dancers playing off each other and the orchestra fluidly flowing along. Even more sophisticated was “Penguins” with the dancers dawning derbies and jackets to Benny Goodman-like swing.

“Snakes” as expected were mysterious musically and withering dance-wise. The majesty of “Lions” as well as the savagery of their defeats was boldly portrayed through percussion and tap. Most resembling jazz musicians were “Nightingales” who coolly swung and danced about. “Bees” couldn’t do anything but swarm and intensely work out through music and dance to conclude the program, with the orchestra doing a short non-animal interlude afterwards and receiving a standing ovation.

Also grand in scope and scale was the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra with the Gerald Clayton Trio. Prior to JLCO, the perennial So Cal ensemble with the emerging trio performed a thematic eight-movement suite Stories of a Groove (Conception, Evolution and Celebration) that was the Monterey Jazz Festival’s Commission Piece in 2017. The work embodied the CHJO’s signature swinging, but also encompassed social commentary, frustration, and prayer (for ailing Co-Leader Jeff Clayton) through music, along with a collaborative exploration by way of Gerald Clayton’s trio. Also highlighting the engaging segment was a thrilling drumming showdown between brush master Co-Leader Jeff Hamilton and young blood Obed Calvaire. Overall, CHJO was the perfect counterpart and concert opener for JLCO and drew a rousing standing ovation.


The link between jazz and skateboarding isn’t apparent, yet keyboardist, composer and educator Jason Moran brought the seemingly disparate realms together through Skateboarding, Music and Media at the John Anson Ford Theatre in conjunction with UCLA’s Center For The Art of Performance. With collaborators, skateboarding activist/creators, Ben Ashworth and Garth Ross it was done initially in Washington D.C. Locally creative minds Laban, Neftalie Williams and Diana Wyenn aided the effort. Staged in front of Moran with Daru Jones-drums, Tarus Mateen-bass, Benny Maupin-reeds and Chuck Treece-guitar was a large skateboarding ramp. About twenty boarders did their thing, sometimes very impressively with only several falls to amaze the audience, while the musicians mixed in elements of jagged rock, hip-hop and jazz seamlessly.

Monk’s “Straight No Chaser” became an imaginative, energetic and at times abstract jam with Moran and Maupin intensely improvising. MC Intelligence (Ron Elling) laid down social consciousness rapping as Moran’s ensemble flowed along with Maupin intermittently mixing effects and Treece soloing boldly as the boarders kept soaring. Jones on drums and Mateen-bass got into an interlude with sax and the bandleader that was funky, energetic and pushed the threshold some. For relief the players shifted to Monk’s “Round Midnight” featuring Moran doing musical soaring with saxophone also cutting loose. Guitar also did rhythmic James Brown-like grooving for the rapper to work off and coincided with the boarding activities as they wound down. In closing Moran said the whole thing “was about breaking down barriers and it was a porous atmosphere that hopefully will continue.”



Veteran Los Angeles-based singer Sandra Booker was recently spotlighted at the Broad Stage’s blackbox@ the edye special series curated and hosted by The Reverend Shawn Amos. Backing Booker for the special gig were Tamir Hendelman-piano, Tony Pullizzi-guitar, Santino Tafarella-bass and Thomas White-drums. In performance the singer embodied the persona of Sarah “Sassy” Vaughan and launched into “I Can Only Give You Love” swinging hard with the quartet. Shifting gears she lusciously sang “So Many Stars” and afterwards spoke about growing up in New Orleans and meeting Harry Connick, Jr. He questioned why she was singing opera and convinced her to sing jazz, but she didn’t completely give up opera.

In the manner of Vaughan the singer who’s nickname is “Little Sass” fearlessly sang and scatted “Lullaby of Birdland” and showcased the band members as they each soloed. Booker ramped up several levels when doing “Tenderly” and mesmerized the audience with her rich interpretation. Hendelman’s arrangement of “But Not For Me” was soulful with plenty of room for the singer to add her personal touches, along with drums and guitar soloing. While, “The Lady’s in Love With You” was bubbly featuring piano and Booker intensely working out.

Using some of her opera skills the singer gloriously sang and scatted with only piano “Send in The Clowns,” dedicating it to Vaughan and her former mentor Frank Collette. Not forgoing blues the singer reunited with full band for a strong dose of “Black Coffee.” Much more powerful was Booker talking about Vaughan dying from cancer and revealing she is a kidney cancer survivor just three months out of surgery, with the proceeds, excluding the band’s pay, going to her organization Jazz Musicians Against Cancer. Wrapping up the appealing concert was a hard swinging and highflying scatting number, bossa flavored “The Island” and gutsy “I Got a Right to Sing The Blues,” with classic swinging “Justin Time” as the encore. For more info go to:


Enjoying the sun and music during festivals traditionally ends as autumn begins. Notably for two weeks afterwards (September 30-October 14) the Angel City Jazz Festival in its 11th year follows Executive Producer Rocco Somazzi’s vision and fills the void with a different type of musical gathering. It brings together audiences and musicians in a variety of locations, while being local, national and even international in scope. Most importantly ACJF unapologetically focuses on artists and styles for musically adventurous spirits interested in going beyond the confines of conventional jazz.


This was the rundown for ACJF 2018:
At Zebulon Rova:: Orkestrova and No Favorites paid Homage to Butch Morrris
The Santa Monica Public Library hosted the Young Artist Competition Finals
The World Stage featured Silverscreen Sextet and Satoko Fuijii’s This Is It! Trio
LACMA showcased Azar Lawrence Experience
The John Anson Ford Theatre was the spot for Xenia Rubinos and THEBABAORCHESTRA
At Blue Whale Ches Smith/Craig Taborn/Mat Maneri and Subtle Degrees
REDCAT presented Tiger Trio and Noah Preminger’s Quartet
Also at Blue Whale was Lisa Mezzacapp’a Avanthoir and Christoph Irniger’s Pilgrim
REDCAT was the final location and highlighted Wadada Leo Smith’s Rosa Parks Oratorio

A sampling of the concerts included Lauren Baba, 2018 Los Angeles Jazz Society New Note Commission Artist premiering Marigold with her 17-piece experimental THEBABAORCHESTRA. It was a dense four-movement work with elements of big band jazz, classical, avant-garde, and monster rock that musically explored her family’s migration from Syria to Los Angeles and the complexities of life in general. The crux of the whole thing was being able to create without fear.


Brooklyn-based Xenia Rubinos-keyboard/bass/vocals and her trio, Marco Buccelli-drums and Jackson A. Hill-bass/keyboards were an unusual and powerful force. She definitely was a surprise with quirky and driving social identity based grooves with touches of modern and Latin Soul, 60’s pop-rock (? and the Mysterians, and Sam the Sham) and Caribbean jazz with some abstractness. Rubinos sang soulfully and powerfully with a punk attitude to driving backbeats from her sidemen as she played keyboard textures, with occasional bass playing and some dancing to blow the audience away.

Subtle Degrees consisted of Travis Laplante-tenor sax and Gerald Cleaver-drums who were raw and leaned profoundly to the east. Driving drumming fueled saxophone playing that melded John Coltrane and raga rhythms in a minimalist framework that was trance-like, but far too intense for mediation.

Ches Smith-drums/vibes, Craig Taborn-piano and Mat Maneri-viola were subtle and slow developing at the beginning while playing new compositions. They quickly shifted to fast-paced and intricate improvisation for their first selection. Afterwards the trio became more fluid with an underlying melody while also probing for other possibilities. The intensity increased from there with a crescendo and spiral down to light tension with viola soloing. Taborn inserted a rambling solo Cecil Taylor-like interlude before the other musicians joined in for a thematic sequence. They concluded with two other selections, with
the first being atonal featuring viola and the second being driving and provoking trio interaction.

Saxophonist Noah Preminger’s Quartet with Kim Cass-bass, Dan Weiss-drums and Jason Palmer-trumpet were somber and resounding. The bandleader’s sound was rich and free flowing with a robust rhythm section supporting him. On tune “For The King” Palmer on trumpet followed suit with his own artistic touches. The title track of the saxophonist latest CD The Genuine One began with a drum intro to set the tempo for an intermingling of the brass players with them also working in call and response mode for a section. For some variety the quartet played a Handel composition with an interesting slow drawn jazz spin.

The Tiger Trio was a superstar grouping bringing together the talents of Myra Medford-piano, Joëlle Léandre-bass/voicings and Nicole Mitchell-flute. They immediately generated a fiery tempest that fluctuated between being volatile to diminishing through their pieces. Alternatively, the musicians displayed ethereal, graceful and even playful aspects that further intrigued the concert attendees.

Acclaimed creative music trumpeter Wadada Leo Smith was the centerpiece performer and led a 13-piece ensemble that included a vocal trio and string quartet, with interpretive dance accompaniment. Smith presented his riveting and innovative work Rosa Parks Oratorio as a song-form suite to convey his vision of the important Civil Rights icon. Additionally, Smith employed special lighting and projected images to visually enhance his work. Overall, it was a fascinating and interesting performance for daring music connoisseurs. For more info go to:


As part of Performances à la Carte’s Jazz ‘n Paz series at Neighborhood UU Church in Pasadena, award-winning vibraphonist and composer Lolly Allen performed. In 2016 she was the first woman to be awarded the L.A Jazz Society’s Vibe Summit XXIII Honoree Award, and in 2017 was invited to present legendary vibraphonist Terry Gibbs with his Hall of Fame Induction at the World Vibes Congress. Supporting her for the Jazz ‘n Paz event was Rickey Woodard-saxophone, Mike Alvidrez-bass and Gary Fukushima-piano. “El Sarape” was the leadoff piece as homage to Victor Feldman spotlighted the vibe player’s superb talent and band leading abilities, with Woodard and Fukushima also soloing remarkably. Allen’s arrangement of “Coming Home” was full-bodied and swinging, with her and Woodard stretching out extensively for the crowd’s enjoyment.

Changing things up some “Lolly’s Folly” composed by trumpeter Carl Saunders and arranged by Tom Owens was easy flowing and bubbly featuring the bandleader working out and all the other players also soloing. Even more leisurely was the group rendition of “Girl Talk” that Allen who detested the lyrics wouldn’t sing. She did later delightfully sing
“Almost Like Being in Love” with band grooving along. Also “Little Hummingbird” her original was cheery with a hip upbeat rhythm perfect for her and band to play off of. As a surprise Performances à la Carte’s Jamie Perez President and Curator poignantly sang torch classic “Cry Me a River” with the band to enthrall the audience. For the show closer Allen chose “Blues Everywhere” with solid playing by her and the quartet to receive a standing ovation. For more info go to: or


Pianist George Colligan is best known for his work in bassist Buster Williams’ ensembles. However, at the Moss Theatre as part of the Jazz Bakery’s concert series Colligan was the bandleader, with Williams and Lenny White-drums as the all-star sidemen. They got things underway with the drummer’s hard swinging composition “L’s Bob,” which had plenty of room for the trio to interact and stretch out. Afterwards the pianist unleashed an impressive classical foray before solidly shifting to high-energy piece “Lost on Fourth Avenue” and doing enchanting ballad “Waltz One” featuring Williams’ sumptuous playing.

Also strongly related to the bassist is his composition “Christina” that Colligan made a point of highlighting. Possibly due to trio dynamics it was done slower than normal. Nonetheless, the piece was remarkable and beautifully showcased the trio’s astounding talents. Along the same lines was Pat Metheny’s ballad “Always and Forever.” Alternately, another Williams’ piece “A Different Place” was hard-driving neo-bop and full of explosive moments played powerfully by the pianist and cohorts. Venturing into be-bop was classic “Monk’s Dream” featuring amazing tangents from the pianist and a vigorous drum solo. Colligan ended the show with original “Hussain,” a burner influenced by the world record holding sprinter Hussain Bolt.


Vocalist Janis Mann’s Jazz Muse Concert series at the San Fernando Valley Arts Center flourishes with great talent, and recently included Ernie Watts-saxophone, Bill Cunliffe-piano, Bruce Lett-bass and Roy McCurdy-drums with the Jazz Bakery’s Ruth Price attending. Without Mann, the quartet began with one of Watts’ tracks from his latest CD that was vibrant and soulfully played. As would be expected the mood became more serious when the singer took the stage and emotively sang “Beautiful Love.” It began as a haunting ballad before shifting to an upbeat groove featuring sax and the other players wailing away. Mann continued beautifully singing “If You Could See Me Now,” “A Time For Love” and “Detour Ahead” with the band complimenting her tastefully and also blazing away.

When the singer took a short respite Watts played “Softly as in an Early Morning Sunrise” exhibiting his trademark resounding playing style solely before the other
musicians joined in for jaunting interaction and solos. After intermission the musicians continued with engaging playing and did fiery tradeoffs with McCurdy for cool grooving.
Upon Mann’s return they rendered bossa tinged “Gentle Rain” that showcased her refined singing and strong command of interpretation as the band coolly percolated bolstered by Watts.

Expressing her sentiment for fall colors, changing seasons and new love, the singer sweetly sang “Autumn in New York” with the band’s mellow support and soloing. “Devil May Care” was an excellent swing and scatting excursion for Mann that included ardent solos from sax, drums and keyboards. For another musical departure Watts spotlighted R&B/gospel original “Home Light” that stirred the audience. Wrapping up a delightful evening of singing and playing, was call and response vamping by way of the singer’s scatting and the saxophonist’s squawks for “Old Devil Moon.” An enthusiastic standing ovation followed and for upcoming shows go to:


For four days and nights The Los Angeles Jazz Institute under the guidance of its Founder and Director, Ken Poston presented Something Cool, a celebration of vocalists and arrangers of the west coast jazz era. The event held at the Sheraton Four Points adjacent to LAX entailed 16 concerts, with numerous related films, panels and special presentations. Included in the array of activities were notable performances featuring The Four Freshmen, Tierney Sutton, Stephanie Nakasian, Veronica Swift, Mark Winkler, Pinky Winters, James Torme, Barbara Morrison, John Proulx, Kurt Reichenbach, Calabria Foti, Michael Dees, Ginger Berglund, Denise Donatelli, Diane Hubka and Michael Berkowitz. During the concerts artists delved into the arrangements of Bill Homan, Shorty Rogers, Johnny Mandel, Russ Freeman, Pete Rugolo, Marty Paich, Fred Katz, Bob Cooper, Buddy Bregman, Nelson Riddle, Billy May and Jimmy Giuffre.

The festival was buzzing with excitement as the attendees, many retirees rekindled their interest in the classic and bygone era that some actually lived through and remembered well. Even during the day on Thursday and Friday there was respectable attendance, which certainly increased as the festival progressed into the weekend. Most importantly Something Cool scheduled its events in a way that allowed participants an opportunity to partake everything if they had the interest, drive and funds. Or they could just choose specific things depending on their taste and schedules.

A few of the many interesting happenings were Remembering the King Cole Trio, featuring bassist Luther Hughes & Friends, John Proulx-piano/vocals and William Brahm-guitar. They performed Cole’s tunes with Proulx singing such “Walking My Baby Home,” “Nature Boy,” “Straighten up And Fly Right” and of course “Route 66.” Lucky Lucy Ann spotlighted Lucy Ann Polk-Dave Pell Octet’s music, directed by Carl Saunders and featured vocalist Bonnie Bowden with arrangements by Shorty Rogers and Wes Hensel. Bowden was in great form for “For All We Know,” “Just Friends,” and “The Nearness of You” with Saunders also singing in addition to playing and leading the band.

But Not For Me celebrated Chet Baker with John Proulx singing and leading a trio, Kendall Kay-drums and Chuck Berghofer-bass with special guest trumpeter Ron Stout. They got down to business enchantingly playing “Let’s Get Lost,” “Just Friends” “I Fall in Love Too Easily” and “That Old Devil Moon.” Varying things some, Songs I Love featured singer Pinky Winters working in duet fashion with Jim Cox-piano. They gelled amazingly for “Yardbird Suite,” “Get Rid of Monday,” “I Wished on The Moon For You” and “When I Heard Thelonious Monk.” From historic and academic standpoints A Swingin Affair-The Vocal Arrangements of Nelson Riddle were explored and analyzed by Michael Berkowitz, who was his assistant arranger for the last 15 years of his life. For more info go to:


text previews

Jazz Muse Concert Series
Jazz Muse Concert Series featuring Kenny Werner!!!
Janis Mann – vocals,
Kenny Werner – piano,
Larry Koonse – guitar
Darek Oles – bass,
Roy McCurdy – drums

November 17, 2018
San Fernando Valley Arts and Cultural Center
18312 Oxnard Street
Tarzana, CA 91356
Doors open at 7 pm / Show starts at 8 pm

Mr. Musichead, celebrating 20 years as a premier boutique art gallery and its owner Sam Milgrom, teamed up with Los Angeles Jazz Radio Broadcaster and Producer LeRoy
Downs and All Music Television Founder & CEO Frederick Smith, Jr to present Just Jazz featuring a lineup of internationally recognized jazz artists. From 6:30pm to Showtime, before each show, tune into “The Jazzcat” LeRoy Downs as he spins one hour of supreme, eclectic jazz live on direct from the Mr Musichead Gallery! Downs will play music and interview the weekly artist as jazz patrons are arriving for the performance, enticing listeners to come on out and be a part of the Curated Jazz Experience!! A portion of the proceeds from each show will be donated to a local charity.

Doors Open: 6:00pm
Drinks & Appetizer Reception: 6:30pm
Live Music: 7:30pm

November 07 Tim Conley and MAST, Thelonious Monk Institute
November 14 Bennie Maupin

Other upcoming artists include Marquis Hill and more…

Mr Musichead Gallery
7420 W. Sunset Blvd (across from Guitar Center)
Los Angeles, CA 90046

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts

November 3rd, 8:00pm
Zebulon Concert Cafe
2478 Fletcher Dr.
Los Angeles, CA 90039

November 16 – 8:00pm
Moss Theater

Sunday November 18, 2018, 8:00 pm
Moss Theater

November 24 – 8:00pm
Moss Theater

Moss Theater
New Roads School at The Herb Alpert Educational Village
3131 Olympic Blvd.
Santa Monica, CA 90404

Jazz Bakery’s Moveable Feasts
(800) 838-3006

“Concerts and Conversations with Southern California Jazz Legends” made possible by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. KJAZZ 88.1 – official media sponsor.

CAP UCLA’s 2018-19 season highlights

Nov. 9
Terri Lyne Carrington
UCLA’s Royce Hall

Dec. 1
Luciana Souza: The Book of Longing
UCLA’s Royce Hall

March 23
Roberto Fonseca & Fatoumata Diawara
The Theatre at Ace Hotel

Subscriptions and individual tickets on sale at:


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