For the second time in as many weeks, Houston’s 57 West Jazz Café brought to bear a sorely needed entertainment resource that is best described as an intimate and personal club jazz experience. Having only opened for business on November 10th for the very first time, 57 West Jazz Café began an auspicious debut with guitarist Joyce Cooling; what came next was nothing short of a party waiting to celebrate a victory of sorts. To highlight an underlying commitment to bring
Houston, Texas is the fourth largest city in the United States. Culturally speaking, the city is internationally diverse, artistically enhanced and economically sound with as much to offer as any other major city. But the jazz scene in Houston does leave much to be desired. Historically, Houston once had a strong and distinctive jazz presence. There were numerous venues and any number of native jazz artists calling Houston home. Eddie "Cleanhead" Vinson, Bubbha Thomas, Joe Sa
In an ever increasing environment where smooth jazz radio programming is in a continuing state of flux, it is refreshing to note a few successes as they occur. KHJZ 95.7 "The Wave" celebrated its 4th year of programming on October 28th; a feat that is very significant, especially in an arena where station after station has flipped to a more attractive format.
Most recently, Dallas’ KOAI 107.5 and Philadelphia’s WJZZ 107.5 decided to change formats while dropping their smooth jazz conn
Reviewing smooth jazz related activities is not a very easy endeavor to embark upon; in fact and in all actuality, providing an unbiased perspective on these opportunities often generates a myriad of emotions. On one end of the spectrum I am torn between my ambivalence for smooth jazz radio and my loyalty to jazz as an indigenous American art form. At various times I must admit to being overly critical of certain aspects pertaining to smooth jazz. But I have come to believe that when radi
In 1995, Bob Engel and John Harrington launched one of the most celebrated jazz acts of its kind ever observed in recent history. What has since become a multi-talented touring package made up of a wide and varied group of artists commonly referred to as "Guitars & Saxes" is now one of the most phenomenal franchises in performance history. At various times during eleven years of existence, "Guitars & Saxes" has fea
In the whole scheme of what smooth jazz should be about, the subject is a hotly debated topic of discussion. Traditionalists will tell you that the music is nothing more than instrumental pop. Smooth jazz enthusiasts insist that this is jazz filled with a contemporary flavor, music that crosses demographic lines. Nowadays, radio stations having this type of format far exceed stations playing more traditional styles of jazz. There lies the impact on society as a whole. In the United States, sm
Individuals who adopt worthy causes in support of the disadvantaged and disenfranchised people in society have a very difficult endeavor, especially when attempting to rise above other organizations trying to achieve the same objectives. Often times, the overall approach becomes easier when a celebrity or person of note becomes involved to garner support for a given charity. That is exactly what happened when pianist Bobby Lyle and some of his friends put on a special benefit performance