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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 Steve Turre Sextet descended on the Pabst Theatre stage and delivered an evening of jazz not soon to be forgotten. Plentiful were the reasons that made this a memorable show. Articulate and infectious describes both the music and Mr. Turre's commentary between numbers. An All-Star band flexed their musical muscles throughout two sets of hard-driving jazz. Extremely democratic leading the band, Turre may have spent less time soloing than anyone else in the group. Everyone took multiple solos,
"Directions in Music," the theme for the celebration of the 75th anniversaries of the births of Miles Davis and John Coltrane, live at the Bovard Auditorium. The University of Southern California played host to the music of two jazz legends, Thursday evening October 11, 2001. Herbie Hancock; pianist, Michael Becker; saxophonist, and Roy Hargrove; trumpet and flugelhorn, preformed the honors in putting forth their best effort to recreate the legendary sounds of Davis and Coltrane. Who better
Friday evening, October 12, 2001 at 8:00 p.m. Swing Fever with special guest trumpeter Clark Terry, didn’t happen, instead the audience got an evening with Swing Fever and Terry Gibbs. As disappointing as it was that Clark Terry was a no show due to illness, his replacement, Terry Gibbs was a delight. Vibraphonist; Terry Gibbs, a great musician in his own right, preformed beautifully with Bryan Gould, bandleader, and trombonist, Jim Rothermal, clarinetist and saxophonist, Steve Campos, trumpeter
The second night of this year’s Bright Moments Festival at UMass Amherst on July 21 starred Antoine "Papa" Wendo Kolosoyi, a 75 year old Congolese vocalist, whose 39 year reputation as "a pioneer of African rumba" has been suppressed until very recently. In 1992, he put out a CD which brought him much attention, so much that he went on a European tour. It has not been until now that he has come to the United States, having produced another successful CD, MARIE-LOUISE. Papa Wendo’s group consi
MICHAEL BRECKER & PAT METHENY SPECIAL QUARTET Performing in the large Staten Hall, the special quartet of Michael Brecker-tenor sax, Pat Metheny-guitar, Larry Goldings-keyboards and Bill Stewart-drums bent the airwaves to a large crowd of cheering fans. The dream team quartet gave the crowd a nice blend from scorching too-hot-to-handle riffs to the dreamy smooth jazz styling with Brecker taking the lead. Brecker surprised me, however, with some funky stuff and simply went off on the openin

Reliving Trio X

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The Old Office at the Knit on July 22 saw the second of a three night run of the performance of Trio X, that is, Dominic Duval on contrabass, Jay Rosen on drums & percussion, and Joe McPhee on tenor sax & pocket cornet. I went to this gig with a clear mindedness that allowed me to hear in a way that carried no expectations. Trio X is finding its own voice. It is a voice that balances dynamics, that carries both soft and brash expressions and an increasing camaraderie of interaction. T
ARCHIE SHEPP QUARTET Striding coolly onto stage where Tom McClung, piano, Wayne Dockery, bass and Steve McCraven, drums lies in wait, Archie Shepp steps up to the microphone. Reminiscent of NY nights, Archie is sharp in his black suit, black hat and light blue, polka dot silk tie. The lights are low, but the overhead spotlight shines down to capture the character of that great looking jazz face. At 63, Archie is still a great musician, pulling harmonic structures, swing, tonal passages, a
Returning from a drizzly, sometimes sunny, but absolutely wonderful weekend of jazz, my head still echoes with the 27 (out of 200+) performances I saw during the 3-day event. It was impossible to see everyone on my list, but what I saw was memorable at this 25th anniversary year of North Sea Jazz in beautiful Holland. A Brief Founding History The Founding Father, Pilgrim and Godfather of the North Sea Jazz Festival was Paul Acket. He was an important figure in presenting the American jazz

Bill Watrous Quartet

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Bill Watrous brought his trombone and his quartet Shelly Berg (piano), John Leitham (bass), and Randy Drake (drums) to the Jazz Spot April 21st and 22nd for a wonderfully varied, virtuosic performance. Standards such as "You Don’t Know What Love Is" led into originals such as "El Cajon," a spoof on Johnny Mandel’s tribute to Al Cohn. The quartet served up both "Girl From Ipanema" and "Close Enough for Love" in a uniquely happy double-time. In slower ballads, Watrous reveled in a mellifluous l
The Plas Johnson trio played May 27th and 28th at the Jazz Spot in Los Feliz, with special guest Herman Riley joining in on Saturday night. Johnson and Riley dueled on their tenor saxes with a range of blues and jazz standards. The audience enjoyed the old-time blues sax sound with the organ shivering underneath it, and clapped and called out, "take it, Plas!" and "tell me 'bout it!" Riley complements Johnson nicely; he knows how to play just behind the beat to make it really swing. This subt

Oregon at the Bakery

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The members of Oregon may be getting older and balder, but this band’s music is still as fresh as it was 30 years ago. The four musicians (three of them original members) have an obvious joy for their unique jazz style, and they continually develop new sounds. This week, May 9-14, Oregon played at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City. It’s inevitable that Oregon be compared with easy-listening jazz, due to the instrumentation (heavy on the soprano sax) and the optimistic, relaxed sensibility of the
Jimmy Smith and his quartet offered a rousing wrap-up Sunday night to their week-long stint at Catalina’s. The Jimmy Smith Quartet has the supreme confidence of musicians who’ve been playing for 40-plus years. These guys don’t have to practice anymore -- they know their instruments so well that they can just play. Unfortunately, the audience didn’t get to hear much of Jimmy Smith’s renowned organ playing, as he spent most of his time wisecracking and left the solos (except a few five-second t
The North Sea Jazz Festival (NSJF) in The Hague, Netherlands is the largest indoor jazz festival in the world. Within these walls, where Miles, Mingus, Blakey, Dizzy, Duke and Ella all performed, North Sea's 25-year history is a celebration of a century of great jazz performances. More importantly, North Sea breathes new life into jazz, not only presenting the old and trusted, but the avant garde as well. It is this spirit that keeps jazz alive and moving. The most amazing thing is the realizati
On Thursday night, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Peter Brotzmann’s orchestra, this time, the Tentet + 1, penetrated the Middle East Club with sounds that are memorable and inimitable. Brotzmann has redefined the idea of jazz orchestra, which we know I suppose from Ellington’s orchestra at its best. Brotzmann has brought it into the 21st century. All the members are consummate performers and masters of their instruments. It seems unbelievable that so many wonderful musicians could be assembled
Amidst the splendor and power of the Hawaiian island of Maui, perched royally on Kaanapali Beach, jazz entrepreneurs John and Rebecca Rozenberg set a stage once again by bringing the ultimate jazz festival to aficionados from around the world. May 27th and 28th, 2000 saw the Maui Music Festival kick off once again with headliners Nestor Torres, Norman Brown, David Benoit, Peter White, Scott Wilkie, Acoustic Alchemy, Dave Koz and Jeffrey Osborne packing two days of solid, smooth vibes into the ag
It's a World-Music world these days, as musical influences from around the globe permeate and expand the genres of jazz, pop, rock, blues and everywhere else, and the du Maurier International Jazz Festival Vancouver is never one to lag behind. The always adventurous programming ears of Artistic Director Ken Pickering have lead him to seek out the new sounds and cutting edges of jazz as they're making their way into the musical stream, and he often books them long before they've broken big. (C
"A Wave Of Peace-The Unity Concert," a free benefit sponsored by 94.7 (KTWV-FM) The Wave, a smooth jazz radio station, in remembrance of the tragedy that took place September 11, 2001. Thousands lost their lives in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, as a result of terrorist attacks on America. Many notable smooth jazz musicians as well as jazz vocalist were scheduled to perform to make this event the most memorable in the history of smooth jazz. Sunday October 14t
Opening the 12th season of the Magic Triangle Music Series at UMass/Amherst was the first performance outside of New York City of William Parker's Little Huey Creative Music Orchestra. This group was put together in 1994 in tribute to the "dreamers" of our world: those who mindfully and naturally create beautiful expressions of their souls. The program consisted of four numbers, all Parker's compositions/conceptions/inspirations. Each piece had a story behind it, which fact is so instinctual
The Brad Mehldau Trio - Mehldau (piano), Larry Grenadier (bass), Jorge Rossy (drums) - has been heralded as the new breed of piano trio and acclaimed for its unique simpatico. A recent stop at Seattle's premier jazz club, Dimitrou's Jazz Alley, showed why the young group is so highly regarded but left room for growth. Mehldau has been regarded as the classic post-modern pianist - rough and ready and known for a combative edge and punk aloofness. There's more than a bit of the young Keith Jar

Tender Moments

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T'is the most tender of magical moments that I am happy to witness, why I doth not know. And sometimes who too, as I mistook Elton Dean for Tony Levin at the Jazz Cafe. But smiles or not, I cannot write the whole experience of listening to Tippett, the man of classical hugs, with both his line ups. But tomorrow, I will get my daughterthing to read me my notes about her uncle Keith and company. Nothing more now, except to say that there is nothing more impressive than listening to the cream i