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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 Zawinul Syndicate’s one-off gig in Europe was welcomed in Paris at La Villette (a truly amazing venue, an absolute miracle of post-industrial architecture consisting of a series of late 19th/early 20th century buildings restructured primarily for hosting concerts the so-called ‘Citè de la Musique’, The City of Music). Naturally, the concert was greeted by a full-house (around 1,200 people.) Manolo Badrena, on whose hands rests the only ‘trait d’union’ with Weather Report (apart from Z
Jazz concerts in the City of Houston are rarely if ever have a predictable measure of success. In many ways, they can best be compared to the flip of a coin, heads I win, tells you lose. Sometimes shows are successful, and to a large degree there are those instances when they are not. The reason being, Houston is an extremely difficult town for jazz, especially live performances. Factors determining the success or failure of a concert in the city are not clear cut. Shows that are expected to be
There is an amazing trio you will know about sooner or later anyway so I want to be the one to tell you about it - that way you can all see how hip I am. The Eddy Sambuaga Trio are based in the San Francisco Bay Area and I caught one of their first bi-weekly shows at Palo Alto's Rose and Crown Pub - a good place to take a break from the Palo-Alto-osity of the general Palo Alto vicinity - it is a laid back little place where you can grab a Guiness and try to plot how,…
Green Dolphin Street a classy Chicago jazz bistro/supper club was the setting for a two-night stand of drummer T.S. Monk’s sextet. It was essentially the same grouping of players as their latest platter Higher Ground (Thelonious/Hyena), albeit with two substitutions: Nick Rolfe, piano, and Keith Newton, reeds, in place of Ray Gallon and Willie Williams, respectively; Winston Byrd, trumpet & flugelhorn, Bobby Porcelli, alto sax & flute; David Jackson, acoustic bass. In front of a near-pack


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A beautiful sunny day in Southern California was the perfect atmosphere for the seventh annual Mercedes - Benz Wave Fest given at the L.A. Tennis Center on the campus of UCLA. Eager as ever the throngs of jazz enthusiast waited patiently for the gates to open and the concert to begin, that they may enjoy some high energy and exhilarating smooth jazz. However, before the main event began there was much to keep the jazz fans engaged. There were a variety of merchants’ booths to satisfy every need

The Message Lives

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The Chicago Jazz Festival, which has always been admission free, began this year with a paid event, a tribute to the late drummer/bandleader Art Blakey before a capacity crowd at Chicago’s Symphony Center, A former member of Blakey’s Jazz Messengers, Branford Marsalis, and a group of former Jazz Messengers named the Alumni All-Stars were the featured performers, but it was a non-Messenger who shone brightest. Marsalis and his quartet, pianist Joey Calderazzo, bassist Eric Revis, and drummer J
Vail Jazz Foundations’ 9th Annual Labor Day Jazz Festival Weekend Party was as well orchestrated as a symphony. This elegant event was conducted by the VJF’s ensemble of volunteers and was hosted by Vail Cascade Resort & Spa, the "jazziest resort in Vail". Composed of many world- renowned jazz musicians and in celebration of Colorado’s 40th year of the weekend jam tradition, jazz buffs merely had to show up to be uplifted. This year’s harmonious arrangements and repertoire of artists was well pu
In three short years, Tony Monaco has gained nationwide attention for his deep groove and over-the-top energy on the Hammond B-3 organ. Unmistakably evident on his four Summit Records releases, his overflowing enthusiasm for the instrument reaches even higher levels when he performs before an audience. Every time. Perpetually in motion as he plays, Monaco’s arms flail, his body sways, his feet dance over the pedals, and his head twists as governed by the music he plays as it appears to po
Django Bates (Synt/Sampling), Julian Siegel (sax), Josefine Lindstrand (voice), Martin France (Drums), Michael Mondesir (Bass) The Smith Quartet: Ian Humphries (violin), Charles Mutter (violin), Nic Pendlebury (viola), Deirdre Susanna Cooper (Cello) Joining in on one of the most controversial musical ‘Biennali’ of all times, Django Bates and his Human Chain project together with the Smith Quartet made a strong impact on their audience in Venice. Almost 30 people walked away visibly anno
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
Jean-Michel Pilc is a French piano player (let’s say post-bop, or hard bop with occasional avant-garde overtones) whose touring travels brought him to Chicago’s Green Mill (one of the oldest if not THE oldest jazz clubs in town) with a talented trio consisting of bassist Toma Bramerie and drummer Ari Hoenig, and we in Chicagoland (what "we" call the greater Chicago area) were all the better for it. Anyone expecting an evening of refined Gallic excursions was likely disappointed Pilc is a way-

A Well of Intimacy

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It had been raining. In the west toward the Hudson Valley, the sun broke through. The apparitions of how we are in the universe were evident. A stark contrast of clouds in the sky yawned with slate blues, grays and bright whites. The dark rich black-greens of the tree lines were slapped against the surface of the sky. The land and sky-scapes were concurrent with the sunset and moonrise. It was not raining. With this Samuel Beckettian backdrop, entrance to the Deep Listening Space in Kingston
Erik Truffaz is right when he highlights the difference between his own music, set towards research, and Miles Davis’s style. Although some critics have often matched his musical style to Davis, in actuality, he presents this no more than other jazz trumpet-players, since the Miles Davis style is, inevitably, the expressional template posed from bebop on. This difference is what soundly emerged from the fascinating concert Truffaz held for Brass Group at Church of "S. Maria dello Spasimo"
Jazz in all of its flavors was alive and well at Jones Hall on the night of October 2nd in Houston. Presented by the Society for the Performing Arts, the Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra directed by Wynton Marsalis played to a near capacity crowd that night. As one of the finest organizations in the United States, the LCJO is comprised of 15 of the best musicians in jazz today. In coming to Houston, Wynton Marsalis and company offered a multitude of commissioned originals and c
Schuba’s is a tasteful but thoroughly unpretentious music club/restaurant in/near the Lakeview/Wrigglyville section of Chicago very good live sound quality, very good food that usually hosts alternative/indie rock, folk and country sounds. But they’re branching out into this odd thing called "jazz music," and this past Sunday night, Schuba’s was the host to the Chicago debut of one of the grand-daddies of the UK avant-garde jazz/free-improv scene. British alto saxophonist Trevor Watts has
On Monday nights, Madrid´s premier jazz venue hosts The Dukaband, an 11 piece group that plays the music of Duke Ellington with a horn line up that includes tuba, trombone, two trumpets, Baritone, Tenor and Alto Saxophones. I went expecting to hear faithful renditions of Duke´s work in the style of the period but quickly realized that the themes and Structures of Ellington´s compositions were used as a starting point for wild creativity in approach, orchestrations and style. The group features s
Jason Moran and The Bandwagon My first music stop Friday evening was pianist Jason Moran and The Bandwagon. His trio included Tarus Mateen on acoustic electric bass and Nasheet Waits on drums. They performed three shows at the Coffee House Gallery. I caught him earlier in the week at Yoshi's and while the shows may have had similar openings, this show was definitely different. Wearing his trademark white felt fedora, he opened with his recorded "Bandwagon" intr
They looked like the elderly gentlemen that meet regularly at Tim Horton’s. Cornetist Tommy Saunders and a few members of his Detroit Jazz All-stars are senior citizens. They performed Wednesday night at the Grosse Pointe Unitarian Church sitting on stools. They maybe seniors, but their chops haven’t aged one bit. Saunders and his All-Stars open the 14th season of the Jazz Forum with a tribute concert to songwriter Hoagy Carmichael and cornetist Bix Beiderbecke. " Four years ago we did a prog
As part of his nationwide tour to promote his latest Blue Note release, Jason Moran Presents the Bandwagon, Moran's trio visited Columbus, Ohio for the first time, and it wasn't quite what they expected. On the other hand, the people who attended Moran's astounding performance found that his trio wasn't quite what they expected either...unless they were already familiar with his steadily growing discography. After the concert, a line of audience members formed to buy Moran's CD's at the t
The Saxophonic Tour brought a little funk to the newly built Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center at the University of Missouri St. Louis campus on October 17, 2003. Introduced by WSSM radio personality, Rick Sanborn, the night would be full of riveting vibes and outstanding talent. Revving up the crowd, Dave Koz on sax was first on the set. Guitarist Marc Antoine, trumpeter Chris Botti and pianist Jeff Lorber were to follow. Warming up the crowd, Lorber’