September 3, 2000 |
One evening last month, trumpeter Dave Douglas and his sextet were blowing into the twilight at Lincoln Center's North Plaza in Manhattan, a stone's throw from the famous Jazz at Lincoln Center program that trumpeter Wynton Marsalis built. As even non-jazz fans know, Marsalis is the long-standing personification of a musical back-to-basics movement emphasizing fealty to Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and the near-metaphysical imperative of "swinging."
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.
April 13, 1987 |
Pianist/composer Horace Silver has remained a popular presence on the international jazz scene for more than 25 years with good reason: He writes enchanting, often exotic, melodies that are underpinned by catchy, foot-tapping rhythms; and he finds top--and mostly young--talents to bring these evocative vehicles to life with feeling and precision.
March 25, 2010 |
The Jazz Bakery is a nonprofit organization. To followers of the scene, that statement is a redundancy, of course. In Los Angeles, saying a jazz club doesn't make money is like saying a restaurant doesn't serve scrap iron. In 18 years as president and artistic director of the Jazz Bakery, Ruth Price has always known that fresh music doesn't translate into hefty profits. Lately, though, Price has found it harder to offer quality at a discount. Last May, the Jazz Bakery lost its space in Culver City's old Helms Bakery complex when its philanthropic landlord, Wally Marx Jr., died.
April 4, 2002 |
Trumpeter Dave Douglas leads so many different ensembles--from the Tiny Bell Trio to Parallel Worlds--that it almost takes a scorecard to keep track of what he's doing. But none of his other enterprises is any better than the group he brought to the Jazz Bakery on Tuesday, which he simply calls the Dave Douglas New Quintet.
October 7, 2012
UNDERRATED 'The Master' : It's a gorgeously filmed meditation on the mentor and protege dynamic and the rise of a cult, and features an acting tour-de-force from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix, whose posture alone is twisted in such a puzzle of demented humanity he's practically the embodiment of the border between beast and manhood. And at the helm is Paul Thomas Anderson, one of the few filmmakers unafraid to allow you to leave the theater with more questions than answers.