December 7, 2006 |
When Charmaine Clamor's warm, luscious contralto slips into a rhythmically seductive version of "I'm in the Mood for Love" or purrs through the tender lyrics of "The Very Thought of You," there's no doubt that a first-rate jazz talent is present.
November 15, 1999 |
Communication, the ability to connect and interact with an audience, is something that is often misunderstood in jazz. Players who take the easy route of repetitious riffing to generate crowd excitement run the risk of not being taken seriously as imaginative artists. Those who ignore the audience in favor of an inner-directed involvement with their personal muses often fail to connect at all.
August 8, 1994 |
Improvisation may be at the heart of jazz, but the blues is in its soul--a fact convincingly demonstrated Saturday night in the opening session of the two-day Pasadena Jazz Festival at the Ambassador Auditorium. Wisely, the program did not cast its net too far in the direction of pure blues, sticking instead with acts--Jeannie and Jimmy Cheatham, Hank Crawford, Jimmy Smith and Marlena Shaw--whose music is both blues-based and jazz-expansive.
March 7, 1997 |
There's a bargain double bill this week at the Cinegrill in the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Singers Linda Hopkins and Maxine Weldon are each headliners in their own right so hearing them on the same program, two for the price of one, has to be considered one of the best musical deals in recent memory. The booking is taking place because Hopkins and Weldon have just spent a year working together in Europe with a touring company of the hit musical "Black & Blue."
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
December 22, 2006 |
Tina Mayfield was a guardian of the blues, a patron who treated its performers as if they were family and the music as if it were a precious heirloom. Through her work as a promoter she helped keep the blues alive and accessible to audiences in Southern California. But it was her efforts on behalf of artists themselves, some of whom knew her as "Mama Tina," that may prove most enduring.
August 19, 1995 |
The bass solo, the butt of uncountable musicians' jokes, is considered by many to be the down time of a jazz tune. After the excitement of the horns and the harmonies of the piano, the lowly bass gets a quiet chorus or two as if to say, "I exist, too, damn it!" It's the time fans often start to fidget and the bartender fires up a blender full of margaritas. If you've got something to say to your companions, the bass solo is the time to do it.
March 19, 1998 |
The husband-and-wife team of Janiva Magness and Jeff Turmes, performing at the Onion in North Hills Friday night, are a good match in more ways than one. They're blues-based musicians, the kind who currently thrive here in L.A. And like all good teams, their talents complement one another in such a way as to create something that's greater than the sum of its parts. Magness sings with a smoky, savvy quality. And Turmes writes intelligent, catchy songs that reveal a rare lyrical-melodic prosody.
July 25, 2002 |
San Francisco singer Kitty Margolis made her Los Angeles club debut at Catalina Bar & Grill on Tuesday night. And the first thought that came to mind during her exhilarating set was to wonder why in the world it hadn't happened sooner. Yes, Margolis has previously appeared in various concert venues around the Southland, but never before, she reported, in a traditional jazz nightclub setting. Better late than never, as it turned out, even if it was only a one-nighter.
January 7, 1996 |
VAN MORRISON WITH GEORGIE FAME & FRIENDS "How Long Has This Been Going On" Verve * "Van Morrison's first jazz recording," trumpets the publicity for this new release by the veteran Irish singer-songwriter. And it's probably a pretty good marketing ploy these days when the music's return to prominence makes a connection with jazz considerably more politically correct for a pop artist than it was a decade ago. But "Van Morrison's first jazz recording?" Not this time.
May 8, 1997 |
Even after a 30-plus-year career, blues man Finis Tasby can't explain the recent resurgence in popularity of the 12-bar form. "There's just an explosion of the blues now," Tasby said. And with that popularity, many blues novices are quickly putting out records to cash in. But Tasby, who released his debut album only two years ago, doesn't resent these Johnny-come-latelies. "It really doesn't upset me," Tasby said.