You are here:Home>Concert Reviews

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.

Long Beach-Here we go again. Another jazz festival is upon us. Not just any jazz festival, this is the annual Long Beach Jazz Festival. This is by far the premier jazz festival of Southern California. This is the most anticipated festival of the year. August 13th-15th was a busy weekend in Los Angeles. Think of all of the various events available to attend, such as the Watts Summer Festival, St. Andrews Place Jazz Festival, St. Elmo Village Festival, and of course the Olympic Games broadcast
The 17th edition of the popular Long Beach Jazz Festival closed today on a successful and funky note with a veteran-heavy lineup including Roy Ayers, George Duke and Poncho Sanchez along with saxophonist Steve Cole, soulful crooner Kem, local legend Al Williams & the Jazz Society with Niki Haris and 2004 Jazz Search winner Julie Burrell. The annual three day event once again drew over 35,000 Jazz and R&B fans from all over Los Angeles County and Southern California to Rainbow Lagoon Park overloo
A night of glistening guitar-led ensembles started with the Larry Coryell Trio, featuring Mark Egan on bass and Paul Wertico on drums. They performed several tunes off their new CD, Tricycles. The title track really moved with Mark Egan setting a solid bass groove. Another selection from the new CD, Good Citizen Swallow, was also noteworthy. After highlighting tunes from the new CD, Larry Coryell broke out his octaves arsenal on the Wes Montgomery classic Bumpin’ On Sunset. Coryell commented tha
The story of David "Honeyboy" Edwards reads like the history of the blues itself. Born in Shaw, Mississippi in 1915, he not only witnessed such originators of the Delta blues style Charley Patton firsthand but also performed as a young man with such historic players as Robert Johnson and "Big" Joe Williams. He was recorded by Alan Lomax for the Library of Congress in 1942 and has lived in Chicago for the last forty years. With each passing year Honeyboy's pre-eminence as a living master of the f
Today marks the long-awaited release of Karrin Allyson's latest CD, Wild For You. For most jazz lovers this will be the first opportunity to hear this new music, but several lucky fans here in Los Angeles were lucky enough to get a preview of her new material during her engagement at Catalina Bar & Grill in late May. Fronting a quintet consisting mainly of her long term bandmates, Ms. Allyson captivated the crowd with an enchanting mix of jazz standards, Brazilian ballads and songs from 1
The East coast has always been a driving force in jazz, and it was no exception on this night as award winning pianist Lenore Raphael from NYC, was joined by bassist Chris Colangelo and drummer Tim Pleasant, who both reside on the left coast, but whose musical roots are in New Jersey and New York respectively. Each combined to show an appreciative audience some hard hitting bebop sounds. Now the 'Middle' East has given us Milcho Leviev, who joined forces with this magnificent trio and all thi
After fifteen years the Old Pasadena Summer Fest moves to Brookside Park, Brookside is much larger, roomier and more accessible. The summer fest is one of the largest free jazz events in Southern California, attracting visitors in the thousands. The Playboy Jazz Fest offered plenty of live music-with various styles of jazz from traditional / contemporary smooth to Latin and Afro-Cuban-R&B and traditional blues as well. Percussionist Poncho Sanchez, blues guitarist Zac Harmon, smooth jazz
The 26th Annual Playboy Jazz Festival presented in co-operation with the L.A. Philharmonic Association ushered in a new era for the Historic Hollywood Bowl. The newly renovated bandshell at the Hollywood Bowl cost a hefty 24 million dollars. Ask any of the 35,000 jazz fans in attendance, they would say that it was worth every penny. An improved sound system was installed as well as a new giant screens, so that people in the nosebleed section could enjoy the entire action taken place on stage.

Phil Woods Quartet

Written by
Tonight’s jazz was a diet served up high in carbs; rich with the American songbook standards, easy on the ears and a swing that was as elastic as granddaddy’s pants. In JVC’s 19th year sponsoring jazz in the Big Apple, a Jazz Party for Phil Woods celebrated this jazz giant in an evening filled with many little highlights and surprises. The Kaye Playhouse Auditorium which was filled to capacity would shortly be soaked in music, energy and fun.The core band mates are pianist, Bill Charlap and J
One of the more stimulating aspects of any live concert or musical performance is its entertainment value, especially when it comes to jazz related events. Across the United States, many jazz concerts are either under-attended or have little interest for the general public. In most instances, only die-hard jazz aficionados attend these concerts and festivals, and even then the numbers may not add-up to a successful number of attendees. But every once in a while, a matched set of musicians will t
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

Written by
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

Written by
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