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Concert Reviews (826)

Nothing beats experiencing live jazz music as its being created right in front of you.  Stop here for reviews of your favorite jazz artists live and in concert.

The Cellar in Vancouver is exactly that. You go down a flight of stairs to enter an intimate and tastefully appointed old school Jazz Club. The red walls are adorned with black and White photos of Jazz Artists, and behind the small stage, graced with a shining baby grand piano, hangs thick black curtains. Dinner is served at the small tables and the food is delicious and served almost silently. Cellar Co-owner Cory Weeds, (who is also an amazing alto saxophonist) welcomes the audience and re

Night of The Cookers

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The cookers, as they were known, were the irrepressible Freddie Hubbard and Lee Morgan on trumpet, James Spaulding on alto saxophone and flute, Harold Mabern Jr. on piano, Larry Ridley on bass and Pete La Roca on drums. The sextet took stage at, long defunct, Club La Marchal in Brooklyn over two evenings on April 1965. Collectively and singularly, they strutted and soared to ever individualistic displays of tenacity, stamina and fire. Blue Note Records appropriately called the date, "Nigh
One of the most energetic explosive events known, is a supernova. While many supernovae have been seen in the past (in other galaxies) they are rare events in our own galaxy. The same can be said of jazz musicians, an explosive event is rare in this day and age where most singers sound like Minnie Mouse on helium and the intrumentalists sound like new years eve noise makers. In the past week at the Crowne Plaza in Los Angeles, Tony's Steak And Seafood in Ventura and The Lighthouse at Hermosa
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

Jim Hall Trio

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The room was packed for the second set of the Jim Hall Trio at the Village Vanguard. Upon hearing the first notes, it was no mystery why this trio filled the club each night during their 3-night stay at the Vanguard. Throughout the evening, Jim Hall, who is now 73 years old, played his hollow-bodied electric guitar with great taste and sophistication. The amazing Scott Colley and Lewis Nash were on bass and drums respectively. This was my first time hearing this trio live. They were truly amazin
Full house again at The PizzaExpress Jazz Club in Soho, for Italian guitarist Antonio Forcione. The Britts seem to have literally fallen for his act. Forcione mainly relies on solid technique, charm and a pleasant melting-pot of styles: a blend of mild yet articulate folkloric playing paired with warm quotations from the Mediterranean, Africa and Brazil. Flamenco and Arabic influences share the stage with Italian Tarantella or Neapolitan folk songs, rearranged for an ensemble in itself op
During the first fifty years of its development, the vast majority of women performers who broke into jazz were either singers or pianists. It was only with the onset of World War II that women started to make major inroads into brass and reed sections. Like Rosy the Rivetter they were replacing men who had been drafted into military service. Post 1945, women retained many of their gains but, as in other fields, they have been engaged in an uphill struggle and, while there are many fine female m
This was simply a night of beautiful music. For years I have been wanting to hear McCoy Tyner live and it was definitely worth the wait to see him with Charnette Moffett on bass, Eric Harland on drums and Ravi Coltrane on tenor and soprano saxophones. McCoy and this band are really able to take the modal jazz form that became prominent in the late 1950s and early 1960s and make it sound just as new and exciting as it did 45 years ago. McCoy, now age 65, plays with amazing precision and freedo
Friday evening at the Kennedy Center saw another performance in their Beyond Category series. The group in question was the Joe Lovano Nonet presenting their Miles Davis "Birth of the Cool" Suite. It turned out to be a highly enjoyable evening, although it was not exactly what I was expecting from the concert's title. The Birth of the Cool refers to trumpeter Miles Davis' nine piece ensemble that made a series of historic recordings in 1949, while appearing briefly at Ne
The Manhattan Transfer came to Columbus on May 22, and they went away as popular as ever with their followers in Ohio’s Capitol City. As Tim Hauser mentioned, seemingly without exaggeration, The Manhattan Transfer has played the Palace Theater more often than any other in the country and that doesn’t include the quartet’s appearances at the Ohio Theater and the Columbus Zoo. A glance at the audience suggested that these were fans who have been listening to The Manhattan Transfer for years, from
Another weekend night at one of America's coolest jazz clubs, the Green Mill in Chicago, this time with one of the finest, most underrated American jazz singer, Ms. Sheila Jordan. Ms. Jordan (b. 1928) was a contemporary of Charlie Parker, and was briefly married to one of Parker's pianists, Duke Jordan. Until about 20 years ago, a day job kept her from pursuing singing full-time -- before then, Jordan sang with George Russell, Carla Bley and Roswell Rudd, and in the early 1960s recorded her debu
Jazz has since endured 50 years of growing pains and hard fought success but by the end of the sixties, it seemed old hat and circumspect. Hard Bop and West Coast had all but been exhausted, funk-inflected buggaloo and Latin-tinged jazz hammered the airwaves and the new kids were hip to the Beatles and Rock and Roll. Jackie McLean, Bobby Hutcherson and Grachan Moncur III helped to define a sound during this period of jazz by releasing a series of albums: One Step Beyond, Destination Out and Evol
Sonny Rollins plays at London’s Barbican Hall, as if 50 years never passed. The Colossus is still capable, at 73, to keep a full-house audience glued to their seats with his never-ending plastic improvisations. He explores the instrument from head to toe; he talks to you though the sax, his phrase iridescent and hypnotizing as a notational chameleon. Rollins chooses for this tour an unusual ensemble, that leaves him completely free at expressive level: electric bass (whose contribution is red
Once again tenor/soprano saxophonist Wayne shorter proves why he is the recipient of eight Grammy Awards and thirteen Grammy nominations. Shorter is joined by his quartet, drummer Brian Blade, pianist Danilo Perez and bassist John Patitucci also featuring the USC Thornton Jazz Orchestra. The evening was set at the University Of Southern California in the Bovard Auditorium as the jazz fans awaited the start of the show. Thelonious Monk Institute @ USC Ensemble began the evening with great con

Good Times

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Summertime is here, regardless if you are ready for all of the good times that this season brings. This festive season officially began during Memorial Day Weekend. The weekend was celebrated in various ways: trips to Las Vegas, camping, daily trips to the beach and of course partaking in outdoor festivals. Saturday-Perhaps you were fortunate enough to attend the Old Pasadena SummerFest at Brookside Park in Pasadena. This event had something for the entire family as well for the entire community
There are drummers, and then there is Bob Moses. [Holy Hyperbole, Batman!] Well, it’s true: there aren’t many jazz drummers like Bob Moses. To say his resume is impressive is a gross understatement (Gary Burton, R. Roland Kirk, Pat Metheny’s 1st album, Steve Kuhn, etc.); he’s a fascinating, effective and engaging composer/arranger a la Gil Evans and Carla Bley (a bunch of discs on Gramavision, officially out of print but well worth seeking); and he’s a helluva drummer, a descendant of Art Blakey
The crowd was small but enthusiastic during the 24th annual Alcorn State University Jazz Festival, held at the state-of-the-art Vicksburg Convention Center in Vicksburg, Miss. The headliner was the Heads Up recording group, the Yellowjackets. Before the quartet of Russell Ferrante, Bob Mintzer, Jimmy Haslip and Marcus Baylor took the stage, however, audiences were treated to performances by several Mississippi high school and college jazz ensembles. And during the afternoon, shortly after
On a typical night, jazz masters Jack DeJohnette and Dave Holland are leading their own groups in any number of theatres and clubs around the globe. On this particular night, they were part of another jazz master’s trio, the venerable Herbie Hancock. Including the encore, an inspired version of Maiden Voyage that began with a brief bluesy run that transformed into an extended introduction by Hancock, the trio delivered a 105-minute set covering six selections. The evening started with Herbie
The day before Easter it was, that for the first time I saw Billy Bang play live with his Trio. A friend of mine once said it is good to refrain from corrupting an experience with words. The following words are intended to elucidate on a past experience not an anticipatory one. If there is anything I did not anticipate, it was being totally in awe of Bang’s commitment to his instrument and to his music. That some one can be this astute within his discipline, as are many other musicians I have wr
As usual, I'm honored to be asked to 'sit in' & peruse the awesome combined talent of our local treasure........Sarasota's Florida West Coast Symphony. For their Casual Classics 'Great Escape' series (2/5/04), the orchestra delved into the area of 'Sophisticated Ladies.' Maestro Leif Bjaland with his bent for taking both the classics & the jazz/pop idiom to the edge, succeeded once again with wowing his audience in his musical choices. With an athletic, warm, & imposing conducting style, Bjal