July 19, 2005 |
It's taken three years for the Smithsonian's traveling exhibition on Latin jazz to get to L.A., leisurely winding through Washington, New York, Denver and even Kalamazoo, Mich., on its way West. Historically, that's much the same route taken by this eclectic strain of music, cultivated by migrations of musicians in the U.S. melting pots of New York and New Orleans during the first half of the last century.
June 26, 2005
The Year's Best (So Far) POP White Stripes "Get Behind Me Satan" (Third Man/V2) Two brilliant works -- the first a folk-flavored look at the intimacies of life that's as penetrating as Joni Mitchell in the '70s; the second a set of rock-based tales of innocence and betrayal so bold and imaginative that it defies you to guess what is coming next.
December 30, 2004 |
It was an intriguing idea -- combining the rich, lustrous voices of the Los Angeles Master Chorale with the instrumental prowess of some of the Southland's finest Latin jazz musicians. And, in "Celebrar," Tuesday at Walt Disney Concert Hall, it worked well, although not in precisely the fashion originally envisaged. The first half of the program displayed the appealing aspects as well as the problems in the concept. Peruvian singer Eva Ayllon's presence was a definite asset.
August 13, 2004 |
Rhythmic energy was bursting in all directions at the Hollywood Bowl on Wednesday in a performance modestly titled "Latin Jazz Night." Three impressive groups -- Jazz at Lincoln Center's Afro-Latin Jazz Orchestra, the New Orleans-based Los Hombres Calientes and the stirring ensemble of salsa great Willie Colon -- sustained a virtually nonstop flow of musical jubilation.
July 15, 2004
General Record of the Year "A Festa," Maria Rita (Tom Capone, Marco da Costa and Maria Rita, producers; Alvaro Alencar and Tom Capone, engineers/mixers); "Mas y Mas," Robi Draco Rosa (George Noriega and Robi Draco Rosa, producers; Seth Atkins Horan and Chris Lord-Alge, engineers/mixers); "No Es Lo Mismo," Alejandro Sanz (Lulo Perez and Alejandro Sanz, producers; Mick Guzauski and Rafa Sardina, engineers/mixers); "Dois Rios," Skank (Tom Capone and Skank, producers; Alvaro Alencar, Tom Capone,
May 30, 2004 |
For an album of classic Latin Love songs, "Lagrimas Negras" (Black Tears) sounds like nothing you've ever heard before. The collection's nine carefully chosen standards, as familiar to Spanish-speaking listeners as Gershwin and Cole Porter compositions are in the English-speaking world, have been radically trans- formed by the unexpected pairing of two musicians living worlds and ages apart.
April 24, 2004 |
Pianist Bill Cunliffe is one of the Southland's most versatile musicians. His resume spans big-band playing (with the Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra) and his own small ensembles to arranging and composing as well as writing a standard book on jazz keyboard. On Thursday at the Vic in Santa Monica, he added another brightly colored entry to that resume via his Latin Jazz Big Band.
April 18, 2004 |
Latin jazz is generally focused on the Caribbean in general and Cuba in particular. But as a general category, it is far more inclusive. The gifted Colombian saxophonist Justo Almario is correct when he insists that the scope be widened to include the many transformative aspects of the art emerging from Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Argentina, Spain and Portugal. This month, two jazz singers from opposite coasts of South America -- Luciana Souza and Claudia Acuna -- are releasing new albums.
December 5, 2003 |
"Like Jazz," the suave, supper-club outing of a show that opened Wednesday at the Mark Taper Forum, deliberately raises the question: What is jazz like? There's no easy way of answering that, of course, though any number of top-drawer writers and critics, from Langston Hughes and Julio Cortazar to Frank O'Hara and Toni Morrison, have tried to put jazz's ineffable essence into words. By its fluid nature, jazz resists being pinned down, whether by lyric, melody, tempo or emotion.
May 3, 2003 |
There she is, blond hair flipping as she swings her violin around, vigorously accenting her phrases, moving in time with the rhythm. It's Susie Hansen in action, leading her eight-piece band, playing Latin jazz and salsa. Latin jazz and salsa? Wait a minute. A blond, female violinist of Scandinavian descent leading her own jazz and salsa band. Is something out of sync there? Not at all.