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

SOCAL JAZZ

Marcus Miller: America's AmBASSadoor

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Marcus Miller is most often described as a jazz, funk, soul, fusion, and R&B bassist. As much as that is accurate, it is a description that falls well short of the mark. Miller is a high-end musical sponge who manages to incorporate today's cultures and rhythms into his compositions, layered within the framework of sound he has polished over the past four decades. He is perhaps best known as a musician in connection with Miles Davis, David Sanborn, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Michael Landau: The Guitarist's Guitarist

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"He is the best guitarist in the world," states guitarist and Grammy winner Steve Lukather. Indeed, Michael Landau is an important figure in the modern era and one of the most widely respected guitar players on the planet. Landau made his mark as an A list session player in the '80s and '90s. He has, perhaps, recorded on more records than any other guitarist in history. I did say perhaps. I don't believe that category is in the ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Incendio: The Fire Within

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If sophisticated, richly dense, multi-layered instrumental music is your thing, then you may already be a fan of the critically acclaimed band Incendio. Co-founded in 2000 by guitarist Jim Stubblefield, bassist Liza Carbe, and guitarist JP Durand, Incendio boldly blends a plethora of genres. Jazz, flamenco, rock, Latin, Spanish, world, classical, pop, Middle-Eastern, and Celtic, are amongst the lively mix. The Los Angeles-area based band boasts an energy and passion that suits their vivid genre exploration. It could ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Herbie Hancock: Quintessential Quintet Live

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It was a thunderous, sprawling, and intoxicatingly brilliant performance. And that was just the first fifteen minutes of Herbie Hancock's extraordinary concert Wednesday night, March 7, at the Balboa Theater in downtown San Diego, presented by the La Jolla Music Society. Before introducing his exceptionally talented bandmates, Hancock jokingly told the crowd that he, “didn't want to show up empty handed." There was no danger of that, given Hancock's band consisted of bassist James Genus, guitarist Lionel Loueke, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

John Mayall: In The Pocket at 84

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For the past five and a half decades, John Mayall has written scores of both relevant and joyous music. It should come as no surprise that at the tender age of 84 he continues to do so. It soothingly, and ingeniously, seems to flow out of him like a calm, yet telling, river.Many years ago, he was dubbed the Father of the British Blues. Rightfully so, as in the early 1960's he created, or revolutionized (depending on your ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Walter Trout: Thriving With The Blues

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I considered using the word surviving, instead of thriving, in the title. However, as you will see, Walter Trout has done much more than “just survive" his real life blues. Trout speaks candidly about his struggles and near fatal experience with liver disease and the ensuing transplant. He also spoke with humor, vigor, and a renewed energy and zest for life. Oh, and we talked about music too.All About Jazz Thank you so much for taking the time ...

SOCAL JAZZ

The Michael Landau Liquid Quartet

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Always free flowing and sometimes raging, The Michael Landau Liquid Quartet is currently traversing through Europe. The tour features stops in Austria, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, and Italy. I was quite fortunate to see and hear this powerful blues rock influenced band on January 27th in a pre tour show as part of the NAMM Show festivities at The Baked Potato in North Hollywood. Guitarist extraordinaire Landau was accompanied by bassist Jimmy Johnson, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Simon Phillips Protocol at Catalina Jazz Club

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Simon Phillips Protocol Catalina Jazz Club Hollywood, CA February 6, 2018 Early on, the very engaged crowd at the Catalina Jazz Club in Hollywood knew we were in for a treat. Perhaps it was enough that drummer Simon Phillips and his quartet Protocol were ready to take the stage for an evening of high-energy fusion. After an opening number, Phillips announced, “We will be playing Protocol 4 in it's entirety." ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come

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Leni Stern has long been a triumphant voice of inspiration. The truth and steadfast beauty of her lyrics and music has touched many hearts around the world. Recognition is a slippery slope, especially when one is not seeking or prioritizing it. Stern has stayed true to her roots and focused her impressive compositions, vocals, and guitar skills in a manner befitting of a woman steeped in authenticity and artistic vision. Still, it is also befitting that her critically ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Mike Stern: Half Crazy

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SoCal Jazz is back from safari to the auspicious Musical Instrument Museum in Phoenix, Arizona. A follow-up with guitarist Mike Stern was the primary itinerary for this trip. Trip is the name of Stern's new record, just in case you missed the play on words. Unfortunately, Stern had a trip of another kind in 2016. How it happened, the devastating injuries sustained, how it has impacted his playing and more were detailed in Mike Stern: What A Trip, from earlier ...