April 21, 1990 |
When left to his own devices, pianist/composer Frank Strazzeri--an adaptive fellow who has backed everyone from Chet Baker and Stan Getz to Elvis Presley--most always returns to the be-bop-based jazz that has long been the foundation of his craft. That was how it was Wednesday at St. Mark's in Venice, where the compact, soft-spoken artist led a first-rate quintet in a "live" recording session for the Fresh Sounds label of Barcelona, Spain.
May 23, 1989 |
It was Blue Sunday at the Pacific Amphitheatre in Costa Mesa for the Pacific Jazz Festival's second day, as blues performers Robert Cray and Etta James each lifted the small crowd to its feet. Happily, the sonic problems of the first day were largely resolved, though there was volume to spare when it was needed. James accompanied her hot-and-nasty vocals with suggestive moves around the piano and wild-eyed, dramatic pauses. Backed by an eight-piece band that tracked her every step and provided punctuation for the singer's strong ways, James roamed the stage with abandon--taunting, crying and raising her voice in anger.
May 14, 1993 |
Distinctive works of art often arise from the strangest places, and two new recordings by pianist Frank Strazzeri and tenor saxophonist Teddy Edwards, best known as straight-ahead, be-bop-based improvisers, attest to the fact. Strazzeri's album "Woodwinds West" (JazzMark Records) features the three saxophone-woodwind front line of Bill Perkins, Bob Cooper and Jack Nimitz playing succulent Strazzeri originals and versions of standards.
August 19, 1990 |
Niehaus, the respected movie music writer who first gained a name as a jazzman, took his alto sax out of mothballs for this, his first blowing date since the '50s. Of his seven originals, three were heard briefly in his score for Clint Eastwood's "Bird." Teamed with Bill Perkins on various saxes, Niehaus offers good, healthy, updated bebop, with a few arranging touches that avoid the rut of convention. Fine piano, too, by Frank Strazzeri.
October 18, 1990 |
Because most of Louie Bellson's Los Angeles appearances are made at the helm of a full orchestra, his six-day stand this week at Catalina Bar & Grill in Hollywood is something special, with the virtuosic drummer leading an all-star quintet. For his front line he wisely chose Pete Christlieb, whose tenor saxophone has been a vocal point of the larger Bellson groups since 1967, and trumpeter Conte Candoli, who like Christlieb is moonlighting from the "Tonight Show."
May 27, 1993
Big bands dominate this year's schedule for the Hyatt Newporter and jazz radio station KLON-FM's Jazz Live at the Hyatt series, held Fridays (except July 9) from May 28 to Sept. 10. Highlights include fluegelhornist Art Farmer's tribute to the music of the late Gil Evans on July 30 and an appearance by Charlie Haden's Quartet West on Aug. 6. Gates to the outdoor amphitheater open at 6:30 p.m., with the first of two sets beginning at 7:30 p.m.