August 29, 1997 |
Kansas City, as anyone who experienced Robert Altman's movie of the same name knows, was a hotbed of jazz in the '20s and '30s. The launch point for the bands that toured throughout Texas and the Southwest, it was a magnet for young musicians eager to perform with, among others, the influential ensembles led by Bennie Moten, Alphonse Trent, Andy Kirk, Jay McShann and, above all, Count Basie.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 6, 1991 |
They'll be singin' the blues this weekend at Cal State Long Beach. But no one within earshot is gonna be unhappy because the blues is just what they'll be there to hear. This is the blues that emerged from the rural South, the blues that talks about love, sex, working and all the hardships that go with them. The blues that spawned Elvis and rock 'n' roll, and the blues that influenced the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
September 7, 1991 |
"This is everything about the blues on one weekend," boasts Ken Poston, producer and artistic director of the 12th annual Long Beach Blues Festival, which will take over the Cal State Long Beach athletic field today and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. "The concept," Poston says, "is to represent all the different styles of blues with the major artists in each." It is harder to get more major than B. B. King, the legendary "King of the Blues" who headlines Sunday.
September 6, 1989 |
Jazz is the art of renovation. At the 27th annual Dick Gibson Jazz Party, held here Saturday through Monday in a ballroom at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, there was rewarding evidence of the degree to which musicians mature with age, while the younger ones, listening and learning, pick up on their ideas and expand them. As always, Gibson hired the 60 musicians individually, dispersing them into dozens of combinations that changed every 45 minutes.
January 13, 2003 |
They came from New York and Los Angeles and the South Side of Chicago, and though they may not have intended it, they were on the front lines of desegregating America -- years before anyone had heard of Rosa Parks or Martin Luther King Jr. Moreover, they helped pry open a predominantly white institution -- the United States Navy -- simply by playing their horns and drums and bass fiddles.
November 23, 1992 |
Good singers are said to be "transporting," able to fire up the imaginations of their listeners and create a picture of a song's lyrical scenario. In other words, their singing has magical properties. Pianist-vocalist Betty Bryant practiced that magic Saturday during her trio's first set at the San Juan Capistrano Regional Library Auditorium.
September 1, 1995 |
Jazz, while not thriving, has definitely entered a new phase of increased artistic activity, which makes the timing ideal for the Bravo channel's eight-week series "Masters of American Music."
June 22, 1990 |
There's an atmosphere hovering near singer Jimmy Witherspoon, but it's not the storm clouds that dog other bluesmen. Witherspoon radiates optimism, personal charm and enough charisma to whip a substitute organist into shape in a matter of minutes. Witherspoon, who opened five nights at Elario's on Wednesday, leaned on the blues standards he's favored for years. That sounds potentially boring, but by the end of the set he had proved how a true blues master can give an old song a fresh turn.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
September 21, 1997 |
Blues singer Jimmy Witherspoon, whose deep, smoky voice was the trademark of a career that spanned more than five decades, has died, authorities said Saturday. He was 74. Witherspoon died of natural causes Thursday in Los Angeles, said Claudine Ratcliffe, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office. No other details were available, she said. "He was one of the greatest blues performers of all time," said Gary "Wagman" Wagner, a disc jockey at KLON-FM (88.1) in Long Beach.
July 26, 2001 |
Jazz seems to have a never-ending capacity to surprise. Whenever it shows signs of slipping into a predictable mode, something turns up to reveal yet another avenue of unexpected musical twists and turns. Sometimes it can be as unanticipated as heading out to hear one thing and experiencing something completely different. On Tuesday night, for example, a shift of schedule for a planned review opened the possibility of attending the weekly guitar night at Spazio's in Sherman Oaks.