• George Duke is a multi Grammy Award winning legend. So, when I called him to get a few quick quotes for my France Joli interview (he produced her album 'Witch Of Love') I quickly realized I needed to milk this…
  • Kem Owens
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    Adekemi Owens, known professionally and affectionately to music fans as "Kem," has come a long way from Nashville, Tennessee to his current hometown of Detroit, Michigan. So, one figures that is why this musical genius has written and performed songs…
  •  New Orleans trumpeter Nicholas Payton has never conformed to anyone or anything. Reading his Facebook posts and Twitter “tweets”, you sort of get an idea about how un-traditional he is. He speaks his mind and, should someone attempt to challenge…
  • Born in Dallas, Texas and now happily domiciled in Los Angeles, bass player Edwin Livingston could be described as being on the crest of a wave.  His CD 'Transitions' was released in late 2010 and when recently I caught up…
Edward Kane

Edward Kane

For the last two weeks of April, and not for the first time, the Jazz Bakery in Culver City was the place to be in Los Angeles County if you wanted to hear world class jazz. From the 20th to the 25th the club hosted the great vocalist Andy Bey and his quartet in an all-too-rare California appearance, followed by a five day engagement with the mixture of grace and power that is the Larry Coryell Trio that began on April 27th. Both artists are touring behind particularly strong new releases and, w
Tonight was a special night at Clancy's Crab Shack in Glendale, one in which everyone had something to celebrate. The club was marking its first full year of presenting live jazz and reveled in presenting, in the person of legendary saxophonist James Moody, perhaps its most prestigious performer to date. For Moody & his wife Linda, it was an auspicious date as well, coinciding with their fifteenth wedding anniversary.

Moody, a young 79, leading a superb rhythm section consisting of such vete

There’s nothing quite like an evening of holiday music to get you into the spirit of the season and, if the musicians are as good as the Klezmer Conservatory Band and the setting as compelling as the breathtaking new Disney Hall in downtown Los Angeles, it doesn’t even matter if the holiday that the music belongs to-in this case Chanukah-isn’t the exact same one that you are slated to celebrate. In fact, it just makes the night that much more memorable and exciting. The KCB’s Oy, Chanukah
Southern California is noted for its periods of craziness, and right now certainly seems to be one of them. Still trying to make sense of the tragicomedy of the statewide recall election and the ascendancy of the Governator, the Southland has been further challenged by strikes affecting the area’s largest grocers and public transit authority and, last but far from least, a series of wildfires that has taken lives, destroyed homes and devastated thousands of acres of forest in five different coun
Bay Area jazz singer Jennifer Lee recently came down to Los Angeles to give a performance celebrating the release of her debut CD J-Walkin' at Catalina's Bar & Grill. Leading a drummer-less trio, Ms. Lee's nearly two-hour set naturally highlighted numbers from that collection and was most interestingly included several bossa novas and folk songs sung convincingly in the original Portuguese. Rounding out the group quite capably were saxophonist Tripp Sprague, guitarist Steve Cotter and bas
The Long Beach Jazz Festival is an event remarkable for the way it involves and reflects the community it serves. It is not designed for jazz purists; popular artists are booked, players that can project a certain vibe and know how to create and sustain a good groove. The musical fare is heavy on smooth jazz, R&B and Latin jazz. The audience that turns out for the festival is down with that and, as the musicians booked are among the best those genres have to offer, anybody with an open mind, ear
Wayne Shorter stands as one of the living giants of jazz, a towering presence over the last half-century of the music both as a saxophonist and a composer. With his seventieth birthday coming on August 25th, a celebration entitled "Wayne Shorter: Life & Music" was held at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Wednesday Night Jazz Series. Performing alongside Mr. Shorter were his working quartet--bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and Danilo Perez on Piano--the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under
Southern California area fans of avant-garde improvised music received a rare treat on Monday night when New York reed player Rob Brown gave his first area solo performance on alto saxophone and flute, followed by the first public performance by the locally based free jazz trio of Dan Clucas, Henry Grimes and Rich West, the trio marking a further chapter in Mr. Grimes' incredible comeback story. The evening was part of the Line Space Line series curated by Chris Heenan and Jeremy Drake, a series
It is always a pleasure to spend a summer evening at the Hollywood Bowl, especially when that evening features three great blues singers with ties to Los Angeles. The Bowl’s annual jazz series kicked off on July 9th with a concert featuring Etta James, Keb’ Mo’ and Ernie Andrews, each with their own individual approach to the blues. While Los Angeles and Southern California may lack the blues cachet of, say, Chicago and the Mississippi Delta, you couldn’t tell that by the masterful performances

Soul at the Bowl

Published in Concert Reviews
The 25th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival was held over a picture-perfect weekend in mid-June at the venerable Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles. Featuring a who’s who line-up of performers befitting the historic nature of both the event and venue, it is all the more remarkable-and encouraging-that one of the most engaging performances of the first day came from neo-soul singer Lizz Wright, two years younger at age 23 than the festival itself. Ms. Wright’s enchanting blend of jazz and soul grabbed the a