January 13, 1991 |
Dizzy Gillespie has become such a high-level cultural icon lately that it's sometimes easy to overlook the fact that he continues to be a vigorously creative jazz musician. A new CD, "The Paris All-Stars: Homage to Charlie Parker"--an all-star collection recorded on June 15, 1989--prominently features the be-bop trumpeter.
February 25, 1993 |
Abbey Lincoln is an enigma. Critically acclaimed as a singer and actress, she has never received broad-based public acceptance. "Abbey Lincoln: You Gotta Pay the Band" (at 10 tonight on KCET-TV Channel 28, and Friday at 8 p.m. on KVCR-TV Channel 24) is an hourlong documentary by producer-director Gene A. Davis and writer Ifa Bayeza that tries to explain Lincoln's life of artistic ups and downs, but leaves viewers with unanswered questions.
February 4, 2002 |
Raising the bar for sheer physical prowess, Ailey II, the second company of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, scorched the roof off Pepperdine University's Smothers Theatre on Friday. Under Sylvia Waters' direction, the dozen dancers proved indefatigable, virtuosic and relentlessly sexy in an eight-part program that included three works new to Southern California. Terrence A. Poplar kicked things off in "Takademe."
June 9, 1987 |
Jazz drummers, like dancers, seem to retain their light-footedness well into their mature years. Drummer Max Roach--a precise and swinging Fred Astaire to, say, Elvin Jones' athletic Gene Kelly--is a classic example. Making one of his rare Los Angeles appearances Sunday night at the Palace, the 62-year-old jazz veteran looked as lean and dapper, and sounded even more musical than he did during his salad years in the '40s and '50s with Charlie Parker and Clifford Brown.
February 9, 1991 |
Bumpy Johnson led two lives: numbers racketeer and mainstay of Harlem society. The title of the Amiri Baraka/Max Roach production about Johnson, at San Diego Repertory Theatre, notes the duality: "The Life and Life of Bumpy Johnson." The intersections where those two lives met should be the source of considerable dramatic tension. Forget it. Playwright Baraka is primarily interested in paying homage to Johnson, not in exploring his contradictions.
February 1, 1991 |
Bumpy Johnson led two lives: numbers racketeer and mainstay of Harlem society. The title of the Amiri Baraka/Max Roach production about Johnson, produced by the San Diego Repertory Theatre, notes the duality: "The Life and Life of Bumpy Johnson." The intersections where those two lives met should be the source of considerable dramatic tension. Forget it. Playwright Baraka is primarily interested in paying homage to Johnson, not in exploring his contradictions.
December 14, 2005 |
Bassist Charlie Haden's Liberation Music Orchestra has surfaced periodically since the late '60s as a vehicle for his reactions to shifting social and political currents. The ensemble's initial recording in 1969 was his response to the angry partisanship of the Vietnam War era; "Ballad of the Fallen," in 1982, dealt with the Central American policies of the Reagan years; "Dream Keeper," in 1991, responded to the presidency of George H.W. Bush and the Persian Gulf War conflict.
July 15, 1995 |
Pianist Jessica Williams is one of the West Coast's under-recognized jazz treasures. The Northern California-based artist, who rarely appears in Los Angeles, opened a three-night booking at the Jazz Bakery in Culver City on Thursday with a set that underscored both the sensitivity and the adventurousness of her playing.
September 3, 1990 |
A triple treat of jazz music was served up in healthy doses Saturday night by a triple threat of jazz talent at L.A. Jazz '90, the third such festival presented by the International Assn. of Jazz Appreciation. Though the crowd at UCLA's Royce Hall was small, those in attendance were treated to a pair of legends (Dorothy Donegan, Gerald Wilson) and a legend-in-the-making (Dianne Reeves), each of whom demonstrated his or her crafts with style and originality.