March 1, 2002 |
The lineup for the 24th annual Playboy Jazz Festival, which takes place June 15-16 at the Hollywood Bowl, isn't going to surprise anyone. The upside to the schedule is that it is more firmly within the jazz arena than has been the case in recent programs. The downside is that most of the acts have made Southland appearances in one venue or another within the past year. But there's no denying the high quality of the talent on the bill.
May 3, 1991 |
Albert Marx, founder of Discovery Records, a Los Angeles-based jazz label, and a music innovator whose insight led him to record Benny Goodman's legendary 1938 Carnegie Hall concert, died Wednesday. His wife, Patricia, said the 60-year veteran of the music business, who produced Sarah Vaughan's first records and later broadened the appeal of Dizzie Gillespie and Duke Ellington, was 79 when he died of the complications of a stroke at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center.
March 16, 1986 |
The condition of big-band jazz, and the dogged spirit that has enabled it to survive, is nowhere better illustrated than in the case of Juggernaut, the Los Angeles-based orchestra co-directed by drummer Frankie Capp and pianist/arranger Nat Pierce. Typically, Juggernaut does very little traveling. No less typically, the band works only a few nights a month and most of its members earn their living as free-lancers in the TV, movie and recording studios.
September 16, 1994 |
Ornette Coleman, Billy Higgins, Dexter Gordon, Howard Rumsey's Lighthouse All-Stars, Shelly Manne and His Men: These artists and bands are all considered giants of jazz. And they all made their mark in Southern California. Jazz has long had a healthy tradition here, and one of the strongest centers for the music was the Lighthouse Cafe in Hermosa Beach, where, from 1949 until the late '60s, bassist Rumsey's band held forth six nights a week--including the legendary 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.
October 12, 1999 |
Fifteen years after Count Basie's death, the big band that bears his name continues to sustain his legacy of hard-swinging, large ensemble jazz. On Sunday night at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts, the current edition of the Count Basie Orchestra, now directed by trombonist Grover Mitchell, managed to stir up memories of the original while speaking with its own collective sound.
December 31, 1998
9:30 am: Jazz "New Year's Jazz at Indian Wells" is one of the year's biggest jazz parties with some 21 bands performing at three desert resort hotels. Take your pick between New Year's Eve shindigs--"Traditional Jazz Dance" or "Swingin' Blues"--then unwind through Saturday at all-day sessions that include performances from the Bobby Rodriguez Latin Jazz Band, singer Ernie Andrews, vibraphonist Charlie Shoemake, Lisa Hayley & the ZydeKats, the Don Miller Orchestra and others.
October 18, 1998
MOVIES Gary Ross' modern fairy tale "Pleasantville" finds a fictional town granted a chance to experience the wonders, comedies and dangers of real life. Jeff Daniels, Tobey Maguire and, at right, William H. Macy and Joan Allen head the cast of the film, which opens Friday in general release. MOVIES Roberto Benigni's "Life Is Beautiful" is a Chaplinesque fable about the power of imagination, set against the harrowing backdrop of Europe in the throes of World War II.
May 20, 1994 |
Movies about jazz through the years (whether theatrical or made-for-TV) have maintained a low level of authenticity. It is a rare pleasure to report that "Lush Life" is an exception to the rule. The story line might well be dismissed as just another disease-of-the-week melodrama. But the relationship between the two principal characters is warmly convincing, thanks to the writing (by director Michael Elias) and the performances. Jeff Goldblum is a saxophonist, Forest Whitaker a trumpeter.
July 13, 1991 |
Countless jazz fans are familiar with the magic of Stan Getz: his abundant lyricism, his precise technique, his soothing-yet-never-saccharine sound. But for newcomers looking for an introduction to the saxophonist, who died June 6, "Vintage Getz" is a timely and inviting starting place. The two-hour video package from A*Vision Entertainment was shot during an '83 concert at a Northern California winery and features pianist Jim McNeely, bassist Marc Johnson and drummer Victor Lewis.