HUNTINGTON BEACH — It's sad but true. Often, many out-of-town jazz artists of not-quite-star-status don't work Southern California for two reasons: They either aren't strong enough draws to play a six-night stand at a club such as Hollywood's Catalina Bar & Grill, or are too expensive for such rooms as the Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles to hire them for more than a night or two.
Jim Vaughan, talent booker at Maxwell's in Huntington Beach, says he's found a way around such roadblocks. He's banded together with booking agents for three other Southern California jazz clubs and started an alliance to bring out-of-town artists to the Southland.
The first co-presentation for the alliance--which is made up of Ruth Price at the Jazz Bakery, Holly Hoffman at the Horton Grand Hotel in San Diego and Terry Briggs of the Sea Cove in Santa Barbara--will be reed man Ken Peplowski and guitarist Howard Alden.
The New York City-based pair will appear Dec. 4-5 at the Bakery, Dec. 10 at Maxwell's and Dec. 11-12 at the Horton Grand. (The Sea Cove was not in the alliance when the first deal was done.)
"I'm really excited," said Vaughan, who has expanded his seaside room's policy to include such major artists as pianists Roger Kellaway and Cedar Walton and singer Anita O'Day, all appearing in November. "It's beneficial for both the clubs and the artists."
Distance between the establishments and similar seating capacity--between 80-to-100--were key factors in choosing the members of the alliance, Vaughan said. "We didn't want to be in competition with each other," he added.
Each club negotiates its own price with the artist or manager, Vaughan said. Although nothing has been finalized, the four rooms are seeking to present guitarist Steve Khan; and singers Jackie Cain and Roy Kral, and Denise Perrier in early 1993.