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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.

Hollywood-36,000 people descended upon the Hollywood Bowl for the 25th Annual (Silver Anniversary) of the internationally acclaimed festival and premier jazz event: The Playboy Jazz Festival. The distinguished L.A. County High School For The Arts Jazz Ensemble, directed by Jason Goldman opened the program with their interpretations of jazz standards and Latin jazz tunes. The future of jazz rest in good hands thanks in part to Dr. Dan Castro-Chair of the Music Department at Cal State Los Angel
The group Valle Son is a little known Cuban group first encountered by Canadian tourists in Cuba. They were enchanted by the groups unpretentious, folkloric style and brought them to Canada, recorded them and sent them out on tour. Juneau Salsa Dancers Antonio and Heather Diaz had heard the group in Canada and for 3 years battled Visa restrictions until they finally got permission to bring the group to the Alaskan Capital, one of the most beautiful cities in the world, snuggled at the foot of a
Blues Fest Got Soul The Monterey Bay Blues Festival will be history by the time you read this review. This year’s festival was historical for several reasons. Congress have declared the year 2003 as the Year of The Blues, this festival concluded Black Music Month on a soulful note, and this was the 18th anniversary of the Monterey Bay Blues Festival, which called for a celebration. The operative phrase for the weekend of June 27-29 was hot, hot, hot. The weather person called for a weekend of
29.01.2011

Schuur Still Shines

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One of the finest singers around, Diane Schuur continues to shine. The two-time Grammy winner was in strong form during a recent 90-minute show at Yoshi’s in Oakland. The evening featured a good blend of material from Schuur’s upcoming Concord Records CD, "Midnight," as well as some songs from her past. Produced by Barry Manilow, the new album is scheduled to be released Aug. 12. Schuur appeared on his 1987 jazz-oriented record "Swing Street." One of the night’s highlights was "What
The crowd had thinned out a bit at Tony's Steak and Seafood in Ventura, Ca. The ambiance began to take on the air of a Parisian jazz club. The duo of Drew Salperto at the Piano and Carl Saunders on Trumpet were playing with finesse and controlled fury, there was an underlying sense of urgency to the beauty they were creating, almost as if the moment would end too soon. It was a clinic in flawless craftsmanship. "Round Midnight" was performed with the delicate nuances that this tune engenders.
It is always a pleasure to spend a summer evening at the Hollywood Bowl, especially when that evening features three great blues singers with ties to Los Angeles. The Bowl’s annual jazz series kicked off on July 9th with a concert featuring Etta James, Keb’ Mo’ and Ernie Andrews, each with their own individual approach to the blues. While Los Angeles and Southern California may lack the blues cachet of, say, Chicago and the Mississippi Delta, you couldn’t tell that by the masterful performances
29.01.2011

Sacred Song

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Duke Ellington’s "discovery" of Abdullah Ibrahim (then Adolf Johannes "Dollar" Brand) in the early sixties was less a case of Western jazz imperialism and more a case of Ellington discovering an authentic tributary of the jazz continuum flowing from its African source. The South African pianist had already established himself as a musical innovator on his native continent and in Europe (he was living in Switzerland when Ellington came upon him). His 1959 group with Hugh Masekela, the Cape Tow
"My niche is that I’m nicheless. I like taking music that you don’t normally think of as jazz, changing it all around and playing it as jazz. If jazz is really improvisation, let me improvise." - René Marie Singer/songwriter/storyteller René Marie brings us into her life in song whether it is the interpretation of a time trusted standard or an original composition from her personal diary. You cannot help but be drawn in for her music is real. Her new MAXJAZZ album, <
Last week, I went to Yoshi's to hear the Mulgrew Miller Trio for $8. It was cheaper than a movie and the trio was outstanding. It was also a live recording which will hopefully be used for one of his future MAXJAZZ albums. Mulgrew opened the set with the Duke Jordan composition "Jordu" and then serenaded us with a slow intro into Cole Porter's "Night and Day" which flowed into a mid-tempo groove. He also moved slowly into "Comes Love" w
Gilad Atzmon - Alto and Soprano Sax, Clarinet; Yaron Stavi - Double Bass; Frank Harrison - Piano ; Steve Keogh - Drums. Gilad Atzmon’s extensive touring activity has finally landed in one of the richest, most interesting summer jazz festivals in London: the Ealing Jazz Festival, known for the free-stage formula that allows audiences of the most diverse backgrounds to meet jazz for the first time, or simply for those already hooked by jazz to enjoy for free well known UK ensembles performing.
Okou: Vocals; Daddy Ous: Vocals; Teppo Mäkynen: drums; Abdissa ‘Mamba’ Assefa: percussion; Jukkis Kiviniemi: bass; Kim ‘Kasio’ Rantala: keyboards; Jukka Eskola: Trumpet; Aleksi Ahoniemi: sax; Matti Lappalainen: trombone; Tuomas Kallio: guitar/sampler. Nuspirit Helsinki couldn’t choose a better venue for their London gig the Jazz Café (www.jazzcafe.co.uk,) its lounging atmosphere and the coolest of reputations, proved the perfect frame for a very enjoyable concert. Their debut at the venue
Southern California area fans of avant-garde improvised music received a rare treat on Monday night when New York reed player Rob Brown gave his first area solo performance on alto saxophone and flute, followed by the first public performance by the locally based free jazz trio of Dan Clucas, Henry Grimes and Rich West, the trio marking a further chapter in Mr. Grimes' incredible comeback story. The evening was part of the Line Space Line series curated by Chris Heenan and Jeremy Drake, a series
Wayne Shorter stands as one of the living giants of jazz, a towering presence over the last half-century of the music both as a saxophonist and a composer. With his seventieth birthday coming on August 25th, a celebration entitled "Wayne Shorter: Life & Music" was held at the Hollywood Bowl as part of the Wednesday Night Jazz Series. Performing alongside Mr. Shorter were his working quartet--bassist John Patitucci, drummer Brian Blade and Danilo Perez on Piano--the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra under
To call last nights performance a 'gig' is like calling the Bolshoi Ballet a dance team from Russia. A very expensive lithograph of Charlie Parker was on display near the bandstand and it was more than just decoration it was a reminder that this presentation was honoring a man who changed the course of musical history with his genius. Freddie Redd was right in the middle of the NYC bop scene and was privy to the likes of Bird, Bud Powell, Dizzy et al. Redd is the essence of Powell in spiri
It has often been opined by your 'humble correspondent' that the human voice is the ultimate musical instrument. The ability of the voice to give life to a tune not only by way of the lyrical aspect but by the nuances that it can generate, makes it unique. Certainly the brasses and the woodwinds and some percussion ie; the Piano can move one from laughter to tears but the voice alone has the ability to send emotions to another level in sensitivity. Pale imitations of the voice though they may
29.01.2011

Osby: Wizard

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[For a description of the remarkable old, old-school rococo, slightly funky Chicago institution The Green Mill, please refer to my concert review of the Matt Wilson Quartet elsewhere on this very site.] The 40-something Greg Osby is one of the premier alto saxophone wizards of his generation, that generation of musicians whose commitment to jazz is unwavering, but open to the influences/inspirations of not only hard bop and the jazz avant-garde but to pre-bop styles and even [gasp] non-jazz musi
The Long Beach Jazz Festival is an event remarkable for the way it involves and reflects the community it serves. It is not designed for jazz purists; popular artists are booked, players that can project a certain vibe and know how to create and sustain a good groove. The musical fare is heavy on smooth jazz, R&B and Latin jazz. The audience that turns out for the festival is down with that and, as the musicians booked are among the best those genres have to offer, anybody with an open mind, ear
It must be the pure love of the music that drives them Jane Bunnett and husband Larry Cramer. The rigors of the road can take a toll as they shepherd their ever-evolving band of Cuban artists and they do it in a home-style relaxed manner with Trumpeter Larry Cramer also serving as road manager for the crew. For their Sunday night date at Victors on the Bay in San Diego the Bass did not arrive with the band a full sized acoustic bass mysteriously vanished without a trace. After many frantic calls
It appears that the Pearly Gates were left open for a little on Tuesday night allowing Los Angeles to enjoy a voice from above. Jacki DePiro wowed a packed house at Level One Supper Club to a diverse and flavorful set of originals and jazz standards. Exuding confidence, Jacki entered the stage waving to fans and smiling; enjoying the evening almost as much as the crowd. With a high-energy show mixed of standards and original compositions, the variety kept everyone on their toes wondering
29.01.2011

Idlewoogie

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The 2003 Idlewild Jazz Festival felt like a big family reunion picnic. The festival was held at Williamson Island, in Idlewild, Michigan. (During the 1920’s, Idlewild was a popular summer resort for African-Americans. It was called the Black Eden because African-American could engaged in cultural activities. Prominent writers, musicians, artists, and scholars from the Harlem Renaissance vacationed there.) "We decided to hold the festival here because Idlewild is a jewel," Janice Jones said. L