July 17, 1992 |
The series Best of the Big Bands '92 has been under way at the Moonlight Tango Cafe since May. Produced by singer Diane Varga, who also books the artists for Lunaria in West Los Angeles, the series initially featured just instrumental ensembles but now spotlights a singer along with each band. "I think this is a good way to draw an audience, and most listeners like to hear a vocalist, even if it's two or three numbers a set," said Varga. Here's the upcoming program.
March 6, 1988 |
At a recent concert by Woody Herman's orchestra, the present leader, saxophonist Frank Tiberi, referred to big bands as an endangered species. After some four decades of such observations, it is time to set this canard at rest once and for all. The impact of rock, of fusion, of mass concern for small groups, has been immense; but this does not mean that the big band is following the route of the dinosaur.
August 18, 2003 |
The Henry Mancini Institute's seventh-annual session wound up in grand fashion Friday and Saturday with a pair of programs spanning the organization's far-reaching interests in music education. Large ensemble jazz was on display in Friday's HMI Big Band event at UCLA's Schoenberg Hall via the arrangements and compositions of Bob Mintzer and Bill Holman. There was a striking contrast between the two.
February 19, 2003 |
Most jazz composers would love to have the opportunity to write for the ensemble that saxophonist Kim Richmond brought to the Jazz Bakery on Monday. The 22-piece group, filled with some of the Southland's most versatile musicians, augmented the usual big band instrumentation (four trumpets, four trombones, five saxophones and rhythm) with an additional pair of French horns, tuba, a percussionist and a mallet player.
July 30, 2010 |
"Big bands are definitely not coming back," George Carlin once declared in a bit from the '80s, where he posed as Jesus Christ sitting down for an interview. While their golden age certainly has passed, what was as true then as it is now is that big bands have never entirely disappeared, and in fact, there is considerable evidence that the classic format may be enjoying a bit of a revival. Last year's Grammy-nominated John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble and the eclectic steampunk jazz of Darcy James Argue's Secret Society are just two recent examples, and a triple bill at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday night headlined by the venerable Count Basie Orchestra honored the form's rich history while also showing where it stands in the present.
March 2, 2011 |
Even if you haven't heard the John Hollenbeck Large Ensemble, you might think you have its sound pegged. It's an 18-piece big band, after all, one that's twice been nominated for a Grammy in the jazz category, most recently for its acclaimed 2009 album "Eternal Interlude. " But jazz fans coming to the group's show at REDCAT Monday night looking for the familiar structures of, say, last month's performance at Walt Disney Concert Hall by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra might be surprised.