Taking care of business at the very edge of the continent, three veteran West Coast musicians, each with roots back East, reunite a year after their live recording for a series of swinging evenings in December. Guitar virtuoso Al Viola, flute legend Sam Most, and bassist/producer Richard Simon get together on three consecutive Tuesdays--December 3, 10, and 17--at the Sheraton Four Points LAX, 9750 Airport Boulevard, from 7 to 11 pm.
Creatively re-shaping familiar tunes, this trio manages to make the old sound new, and generates plenty of rhythmic excitement, despite the absence of drums.
Perhaps no other guitarist can draw from so varied a background as Al Viola. He starting playing with pianist Page Cavanaugh in the Army, and his work in Page's trio so impressed Frank Sinatra that he was hired away by the singer for a gig that lasted nearly forty years. Alnot only became a mainstay of the jazz scene in LA, but also became a first-call studio musician, amassing hundreds of movie and tv credits. He can be heard playing solo guitar on "Mello as a Cello."
Music historians generally agree that Sam Most is one of the pioneers of jazz flute. Even today, his improvisational ingenuity is unsurpassed. Here lately, Sam has been making increasing appearances on the jazz fetival cicuit, stopping in Colorado, Arizona Japan and Italy just within the past year.
Bassist Richard Simon started UFO-BASS Records in 1995 to document the often-overlooked masters of jazz on the West Coast. In the debut recording "Groove Therapy," Simon features the playing and the original compositions of some stellar Left Coasters, including Buddy Collette, Gabe Baltazar (a Stan Kenton star), and Gerald Wiggins. Mssrs. Viola and Most appear on "Jazz for Thousand Oaks," along with Collette, Ndugu Chancler, Ronnell Bright and trombonist George Bohanon. "Covering the Basses" adds tenorist Gil Bernal (a teen-age sensation with Lionel Hampton's band) and pianist/organist Art Hillery. The holiday season simply wouldn't glisten without a serious listen to these merry gentlemen.
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