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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.

On a damp Chicago night that had the first feel of fall, Patricia Barber showed that she is one of jazz music’s top artists. The singer-pianist performed a solid, sometimes daring, two-set show that featured instrumental and vocal numbers, originals and covers. Barber performed with her stunning quartet, which includes longtime bassist Michael Arnopol, guitarist Neal Alger and drummer Eric Montzka. Each musician is given room to stretch and take off on flights of improvisation before bring
George Benson is one of the most successful performers in contemporary jazz, a fine singer and exceptional guitarist. In over forty years of professional playing, Benson has enjoyed all but unprecedented popular success for such an accomplished jazz performer. So much so that seeing him live in person and hearing him play his hits, you can't help but be impressed by just how many of them there are. Opening for Benson at the Long Beach Terrace Theatre was local legend Al Will
The 1st Annual Toronto Independent Music Awards, known as the TIMA’s, took place in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on Wednesday, October 5, 2005. It was hosted by Josie Dye of The Edge/102 FM. This diversified music extravaganza was held at the Phoenix Concert Theatre. In August 2005, the Rolling Stones performed a surprise concert at the Phoenix, prior to their 2005 World Tour. Martin Brown, originally from Britain (and still retaining a very-George Formb

Rhythm Delights

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From the days he was playing with the trailblazers of this music (Charlie Parker, Sarah Vaughn) through the many years he has led his own ensembles, Roy Haynes has always been recognized as a rare gem. Over the decades, he has earned his place among the worlds’ rhythm masters. One of the greatest individuals to ever pick up a pair of sticks, Roy Haynes keeps evolving as a leader and a soloist. Roy’s development of young talent is well documented. The jazz greats that cut their teeth on his wa
The Marsalis family deserves its notoriety as a jazz dynasty. The four sons of the fine New Orleans pianist Ellis Marsalis represent a great generation of jazz musicians. But while they may have a fair claim as the first family of jazz, they aren't the music's first great family. Long before Wynton & Branford Marsalis made their mark as outstanding musicians, the brotherhoods of Percy, Jimmy and Albert ("Tootie") Heath and also Hank, Thad and Elvin Jones were already wel
The Pike Bar & Fish Grill is a friendly neighborhood bar and restaurant located in my little corner of Long Beach. A nice, comfortable place to have a beer and eat seafood, with a great sign featuring a giant octopus and the establishment's name out front. I've always liked The Pike--it just doesn't happen to be a place where I expect to hear world-famous musicians live in person. Yet, that was exactly what happened last Saturday, when local legend Carlos Guitarlos and ex-Eric Clapton/Shakespear
Mr. Billy Bang knows nothing but reverence to his violin, the music he makes with it and the inspiration behind the music. He takes nothing for granted. He is in love with his life and how it means to be alive. The inherent quality of these characteristics were expressed intensely, energetically and with determination when tiny Mr. Bang stood with his violin as a larger than life soloist on a moderately-sized stage in a moderately-sized hall, packed with dedicated listeners who travele
When it comes to jazz, the City of Houston has a rich and vibrant history that can be traced back to venues such as Club La Veek, La Bastille, The Jazz Connection, The Jazz Emporium, The El Dorado, Club Supreme and last but not least the highly regarded Rockefellars. Through those doors, some of the finest and best known names in jazz came to Houston to play. Most notably, Houston has a resume filled with native residents, which includes Joe Sample, Wayne Henderson, Eric Harland, Jason Moran, Bu

Guitar Boogie

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The Rockin' Blues Revue tour made its final stop at the Carpenter Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of California State University, Long Beach. The attractive lineup included three outstanding performers from different generations (and offering three different interpretations) of the blues. These were John Mayall, the Godfather of the British Blues, the jazz-inflected Robben Ford, and Eric Bibb, a modern acoustic blues player somewhat in the mold of Keb Mo and Taj Mahal. The local jaz

Hit The Road Jack

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The tour supporting "That's What I Say: John Scofield Plays The Music of Ray Charles" is sort of a full circle journey for guitarist Scofield, as he's played the music since he was a child. And though Scofield has always been a soul/funk/blues aficionado, this is his first tribute effort of this kind and it is a classic. Some music is just universal and Charles left a long, deep legacy of groove, lyric and phrasing alike. None of this legacy or vibrancy is lost on this band. They channel
Petula Clark, iconic pop singing star of the mid-1960s, made a special appearance, performing at the Hummingbird Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, on the night of Monday, July 12, 2004. For some attending this great concert, it was a chance to relive memories of their youth, when life was simpler, definitely less expensive, and in some respects a lot more fun! Some in the audience like the lady holding the Petula-autographed show brochure from 50 years ago in England, have

Pat Metheny and....

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Pat Metheny's concert at Disney Hall in Los Angeles was billed as featuring a trio performance with bassist Christian McBride and drummer Antonio Sanchez and a quartet that added the wonderful saxophonist David Sanchez. The longer than two-hour, intermission-less concert included those permutations as well as a solo performance by the guitarist to open the show and a duet between Metheny and David Sanchez. All of the segments were musically brilliant, though as a matter of taste I imagine each m

Extolling Ecstasy

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It is a privilege for me to experience the performances of musicians who are unmistakably committed to what they do musicians who live and breathe the music musicians whose acquaintance with newness leads to an outpouring of fearlessness in how to build music from seeming nothingness, starting with one note. And the note came from Peter Brõtzmann’s bass clarinet----the note seared the air to open wide a field of possibilities. The note was dark .the drums, Nasheet Waits lightly brushed
First off, the "obvious" intro-type stuff: Pat Metheny is one of Our Time’s primo jazz guitarists and bandleaders, a virtual "jazz ambassador" in that he’s valued by hardcore jazz fans as well as casual jazz fans and folk who aren’t particularly jazz fans at all. While a dedicated jazz musician, Metheny’s approach encompasses influences of folk, rock, country, and "free" improvisation, and accents bright, engaging, festive melodies. Further, he makes full use of the available sound-altering tech
At the Monterey Jazz Festival there is always something to please all types of jazz lovers. Whether your taste is mainstream or cutting edge, contemporary or the blues, small groups or large bands, you can take your choice. In addition, you can hear a famous jazz veteran or check out up-and-coming young talent. They are all there to be seen in several venues over three days and nights packed with music. This year, September 16-18, a record crowd of 40,000 attested to the fact that, in its 48t
Call it "the people’s alternative concert space," even if it is at a chain store. Many Borders stores host not only touring authors, but also touring singers & players from time to time. Best part is: "it don’t cost nothing." This particular Borders in Chicago, the relatively new uptown store, played host to the outstandingly talented Brazilian singer/guitarist/songwriter Badi Assad, in town for the Chicago World Music Festival. Ms. Assad i
Like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, Eldar Djanjirov lives up to and exceeds the hype, which means that it isn’t hype but the improbable truth. Why improbable? Because, few - if any, pianists can play with the speed that Eldar can. Fewer still can play nuanced, emotion packed music at that speed. And no one living has put it all together at such a young age with the promise of a long and very brilliant career. That said, the concert was magnificent for still more reasons. Eldar
Musically speaking, Joe Sample stands as one of the most consistent and significant artists in jazz today. During his 45 years, first as a Jazz Crusader and then as a solo musician, Joe’s contributions to jazz are widely known and he has become a cultural icon amongst his fans and peers alike. His world-class prominence as one of the genre’s most prolific pianists has not tarnished him in any way and he is down to earth and personable by most standards. On any given day when he

Come Ride With US

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The concert pairing of the 21st century editions of the Sun Ra Arkestra and the MC5 might at first glance strike some observers as a retro kind of gig. After all, the two groups do have a history of performing together that goes back to the late 1960s. Of course, I'm speaking of outside observers here; surely no one who was present at Royce Hall on the campus of the University of California at Los Angeles when the DKT/MC5 and Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen touched d
Since being founded in 1985, the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra has earned the title of Southern California's premiere big band. Tonight's performance at the Ford Amphitheatre, nestled in the Hollywood Hills, marked the group's 20th anniversary. The program featured a variety of congratulatory notes for the group, including a full-page, four-color one from a Diana and Elvis, whoever they might be. And that wasn't the only cause for celebration on the evening; as Jeff Hamilton explained from the