SoCal Jazz

Sometimes poignant.... sometimes humorous....always about jazz. The musings of a lifetime jazz listener in stories, concert reviews, profiles, interviews, and more.

9

The Music of Thelonious Monk: John Beasley's MONK'estra Live

Read "The Music of Thelonious Monk: John Beasley's MONK'estra Live" reviewed by Jim Worsley


If you are familiar with John Beasley's MONK'estra, then you may understand my excitement level at the prospects of seeing and hearing his music in a live show. The brilliance of Thelonious Monk's compositions propelled by the power and sass of big band swagger. This recent performance took place at The Barclay Performing Arts Center on the campus of UC Irvine. The city of Irvine is located on the south end of Orange County, about forty miles south of Los ...

4

The Weckl/Kennedy Project: Live at The Catalina Jazz Club

Read "The Weckl/Kennedy Project: Live at The Catalina Jazz Club" reviewed by Jim Worsley


If you are a fan of fusion, you likely know that Tom Kennedy and Dave Weckl started playing together in their early teens. Recently, Weckl reminisced about that glorious time in their lives, while on stage at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood. Yes, it was the Weckl/Kennedy Project playing the finale of a three-night engagement. The quartet also includes tenor and soprano saxophonist Bob Franceschini and keyboardist Stu Mindeman. Weckl's fond memories were of a young trio learning, pushing ...

24

Dennis Chambers: Heartbeats and Backbeats

Read "Dennis Chambers: Heartbeats and Backbeats" reviewed by Jim Worsley


We all know that Dennis Chambers is among the world's greatest drummers. In a spontaneous conversation, the gentleman proved to be as kind and generous as he is with his backbeats and grooves. He spoke candidly about the life threatening battles he has faced. Spanning from intense to humorous, Chambers opened up on his medical ordeals, the road back to health, and getting back behind his kit. And oh yes, we talked about music. Led Zeppelin might seem ...

14

Lukasz Pawlik: Making Long Distance Connections

Read "Lukasz Pawlik: Making Long Distance Connections" reviewed by Jim Worsley


It would come as no surprise if the last name Pawlik is familiar to you. Grammy-winning jazz composer and pianist Wlodek Pawlik, from Poland, has been a vital part of the jazz community for many years now. As it turns out, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. His son, Lukasz Pawlik, is a multitalented multi-instrumentalist who has surely raised the fusion bar of intelligence and melodic sensibilities. His cast on Long Distance Connections (Summit Records, 2021) ...

28

Hiromi: Dancing and Smiling With Every Note

Read "Hiromi: Dancing and Smiling With Every Note" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Few musicians have impacted the jazz and music world with the zeal and character of Hiromi. She paints on the finest palette, on par with the finest wine or richest chocolate. Her ambitious and superlative skills as a pianist are matched by the complexities and sheer genius of her compositions. Whether flying solo, in trio, quartet, and beyond, Hiromi brings her vibrance and innate chemistry to all that she touches. Now there are strings attached...to her bold new record. Hiromi ...

7

Dolby ATMOS: Now HEAR This

Read "Dolby ATMOS: Now HEAR This" reviewed by Jim Worsley


I almost entitled this “A Vacation For Your Ears." Seemed a bit wordy, although surely accurate. An invitation to Studio1LA from owners and masters of immersive engineering Karma Auger (yes he is Brian Auger's son) and Erich Gobel (pictured left to right, respectively) was accepted with high expectations. Auger, the drummer, and Gobel, the guitarist, bring a musician's vibe and outlook to their projects. The thought of twelve separate channels being filtered into twelve separate speakers has a way of ...

22

Pasqua, Erskine, and Oles: The Art of the Jazz Trio

Read "Pasqua, Erskine, and Oles: The Art of the Jazz Trio" reviewed by Jim Worsley


"We've known each other and have been playing together for fifty years now," was proudly, if even more sentimentally, reminisced by pianist Alan Pasqua in reference to drummer Peter Erskine to an intimate and appreciative audience at Sam First in Los Angeles during a recent performance. Bassist Darek Oleszkiewicz, who has been part of the mix for a “mere" twenty years, rounded out this stellar and superbly connected trio. Pasqua's warm hearted moment also included a remembrance of the late ...


Engage

Contest Giveaways
Enter our latest contest giveaway sponsored by Craft Recordings
Jazz Polls
Vote for your Favorite Hammond B-3 Organists, Favorite Living Guitarists, Favorite Living Pianists, Favorite Living Bassists and Favorite Living Drummers.
Publisher's Desk
One click contest entry
Read on.

Get more of a good thing!

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories, our special offers, and includes upcoming jazz events near you.