Edward Kane

Edward Kane

The week of 11/10/03 should be a good one for fans of jazz vocals in Los Angeles. Carmen Lundy will be gracing the stage of the Jazz Bakery from 11/12-11/16 with violin sensation Regina Carter as a special guest, while Feinstein's at the Cinegrill in Hollywood will feature another fine female singer in Keely Smith. Devotees of the avant-garde should find the next two offerings from the line space line series at the Salvation Theater in Silverlake interesting. On 11/10, line space line features o …
Carmen Lundy has been living in Los Angeles for over a decade but her recent engagement at the Jazz Bakery represented an all-too-infrequent local appearance from the talented singer and songwriter. Backing her on stage, as on her excellent new Justin Time recording Something to Believe In, was Regina Carter, the very talented and busy violinist. In a week that included a performance from Keith Jarrett at new Disney Hall downtown, Lundy’s dates at the Jazz Bakery were the talk of the L.A. …
29.01.2011

Best of 2003

Published in Jazz Viewpoints
2004 may already be a couple weeks old but it's not too late to run down some of the highlights of 2003. While it seems that playing the time honored game of "things ain't what they used to be" is a perfectly nice thing to do for some jazz fans and critics, the joke is on them if they don't realize that there are plenty of great albums being made in the present tense. The following is by no means to be considered a complete list of the best of '03.

One trend that happily continued in 2003 is …

The release of Genius Loves Company would've been a big deal no matter what. Any new release from Ray Charles--the Genius not only of Soul, but also jazz, rock, country and western, gospel and probably a few other genres that I can't think of right now, a man who touched virtually every style of American music and left his own mark on it--would be noteworthy. That Ray's guests include such music royalty as B.B. King & Sir Elton John, rising stars Norah Jones & Diana Krall and fellow grayb …
Ah...late fall, when a music critic's thoughts turn to Best of the Year lists. I think it may be just a little premature to write a top ten article just yet, but what I do intend to discuss here is the bumper crop of fine jazz guitar albums that have crossed my desk in 2004. These include worthy offerings from grizzled veterans and recordings by talented newcomers alike. Where appropriate, links are included to reviews of individual titles and homepages for artists and labels discussed herein.

Looking retrospectively at all the CD's that came my way in 2004, a few patterns emerged. Last month I wrote about several notable jazz guitar albums from this year; today, on the eve of 2005, I'm looking at some of the outstanding live releases of the year now ending. 2004 was a great year for live music old and new, with new releases from the likes of Bob Dorough, Calvin Keys & Mike Wofford, among others, as well as some strong reissued dates from legends like Dexter Gordon and a whole host of …
The story of Porgy and Bess, or rather the story of the telling of the story of Porgy and Bess, is a long and involved tale of continual adaptation. Whether it be Leontyne Price singing the role of Bess at La Scala, Janis Joplin belting out "Summertime" with Big Brother and the Holding Company at the Fillmore, or even the memorable recitation of that tune's lyrics by the cast of Seinfeld Gershwin's dramatic creation, informed by his careful study of jazz and African American spirit …
Alison Moyet's latest CD Voice is the most successful example of a standards recording by a singer initially famous for their work in rock and pop. Everything about the album works. The arrangements and orchestrations are lush and the songs chosen are a strong and diverse bunch, including jazz standards, English folk ballads, arias from Purcell and Bizet and a couple songs by Elvis Costello. Most importantly, the title element, Moyet's voice is wonderfully expressive.

An …

Roy Hargrove is more than a fine trumpeter and bandleader, he's an ambitious and versatile one as well. In a day and age when artists sometimes go years between releases, Hargrove has separate discs with two different groups out simultaneously on Verve. One is a fairly straight-ahead set with the Roy Hargrove Quintet entitled Nothing Serious, while the other is Distractions, a funky workout from his neo-soul grou …

Texas has a proud tradition of blues guitar players, from T-Bone Walker and Lightnin' Hopkins through to Jimmie and Stevie Ray Vaughan. Right in the middle of that tradition, hiding in plain sight, is Billy F. Gibbons of the 'rock' band ZZ Top. And not to denigrate rock and roll; fact is, they do rock, no question. But, then, so did the Muddy Waters Blues Band. All I'm saying, don't let their broad appeal mislead you, because ZZ Top is also one of the premi …

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