April 17, 1989 |
Les McCann, whose broadened musical scope in the late '60s and early '70s brought him new-found success, took what on the surface amounted to a trip down memory lane before a full house at Birdland West on Friday evening in Long Beach. But more than an exercise in nostalgia, his opening set was a solidly musical hour that showed that the pianist could find plenty of new adventures along familiar paths. Opening with a standard, "I'm in Love," McCann showed his be-bop roots as he introduced the impressive talents of trumpeter Jeff Elliott.
November 23, 1995 |
Ralph Penland's life in music has been the stuff of dreams. Just look at some of the masters the drummer's worked with: Frank Sinatra, Freddie Hubbard, Herbie Hancock, Nancy Wilson, Stan Getz, Hubert Laws, Dianne Reeves and Carlos Santana. Ask Penland to pick a favorite and he courteously declines.
July 8, 1990 |
Based in Chicago for 30 years and now president of the International Assn. of Jazz Educators, Green has earned scant recognition for his Parker-inspired yet personal alto sax. The ballads are the meat of this season; as he says, "I shape and bend the harmonic structures to my own expressive ends." This is true of "The Thrill Is Gone" (a 1931 pop song, not the B.B. King hit), also of "Who Can I Turn To" and "Goodbye."
November 15, 1990
If seeing the world's jazz greats is on your list of entertainment priorities, you won't want to miss trumpeter Freddie Hubbard at the Wheeler Hot Springs restaurant Friday evening. Playing everything from be-bop to free jazz to '70s fusion, Hubbard displays a virtuosity equalled by few. His long list of accolades includes a Grammy. Recently, he was chosen the "best trumpet player in the world" in a Down Beat readers' poll.
May 22, 1998 |
George Coleman is a talented, veteran tenor saxophonist with fast fingers, a quick imagination and a powerful sense of swing. He also receives far less recognition than he deserves--he is best known, perhaps, for his brief but impressive stint with Miles Davis in the early '60s. On Tuesday at the Jazz Bakery, in the opening performance of a six-night run, he experienced some of the consequences of high talent and low visibility.
November 14, 1988 |
The career of Freddie Hubbard has taken as many turns as a politician makes promises. After two decades of indecision about whether to pursue the straight-ahead route or go for the gold via fusion, he landed on stage Saturday at Royce Hall with one of the best pure all-star jazz groups he has ever fronted. Reading from left to right there were Cedar Walton at the piano, Andy Simpkins on bass, Joe Henderson on tenor saxophone and Ralph Penland on drums.