SoCal Jazz

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

SOCAL JAZZ

Chick Corea Trio Live: Food For Thought

Read "Chick Corea Trio Live: Food For Thought" reviewed by Jim Worsley

An all-you-can-listen-to two and a half-hour buffet was generously served up Wednesday night October 2nd, 2019 at the Balboa Theater in San Diego. Head chef Chick Corea prepared a tasty assortment of selections to be sampled and delightfully devoured throughout both courses of the evening. His sous chefs, Christian McBride and Brian Blade, brought their own seasonings and accoutrements to spice up the many decadent and sumptuous delicacies. Improvisational jazz requires no recipe. The Chick Corea Trio, instead, ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller: The Lost Tour

Read "Bob James, David Sanborn, and Marcus Miller: The Lost Tour" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Backing a new record with a live tour is, of course, standard practice. So, a tour in support of Double Vision (Warner Brothers, 1986) would be nothing out of the ordinary. The Bob James and David Sanborn classic, that also features Marcus Miller and Steve Gadd, proved to be visionary in its scope and profound in its significance. So much so, that it won a Grammy for Best Improvisational Jazz Album in 1986. The tour seems like it was only ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Lydia Pense & Cold Blood: The Endless Summer of Love

Read "Lydia Pense & Cold Blood: The Endless Summer of Love" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Fifty years ago, the Woodstock Festival blazed the music scene and put modern society on the map. Yes, it was the era of hippies, counterculture, peace, love, and dope. The west coast made its own lasting impression with the far-out, peaceful, yet happening, streets of San Francisco. The rich music scene was as potent as the LSD doled out at Haight-Ashbury. People were turning on to Bay Area artists such as the Jefferson Airplane, Carlos Santana, The Grateful Dead, Elvin ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Sam First: L.A.'s Hottest and Coolest New Jazz Haunt

Read "Sam First:  L.A.'s Hottest and Coolest New Jazz Haunt" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Architecturally designed as a listening room, Sam First has created its own vibe in west Los Angeles. From the time you are greeted and clued in by the doorman, before you even enter the club, there is a sense of something special or unique about to happen. While listening to and watching the Sam Hirsh Quartet play two sets, it was quickly apparent that it was all about the music. The acoustics are sensational, and the ambiance of the room ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 2

Read "Peter Erskine: Up Front, In Time, and On Call, Part 2" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Part 1 | Part 2 This past February Peter Erskine greeted me at his studio with a warm smile and welcoming handshake. Nearly two hours later we had discussed many aspects of his long and storied career. We talked at length about his experiences with Jaco Pastorius, Wayne Shorter, and Joe Zawinul in Weather Report, and his subsequent book, No Beethoven, that chronicles and fuses it in time. Even the amusing aside as to how that title came ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Alvas Showroom: The Art of Listening

Read "Alvas Showroom: The Art of Listening" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Allan Holdsworth was a giant, a genius, a gifted guitarist who had a great gauge for sound. An upper level musician can become less than that playing in a room, club, or hall that is beneath the caliber of their artistry. Holdsworth played the intimate and superbly sound engineered Alvas Showroom in San Pedro, CA many times. The coastal town of San Pedro can be found some thirty-five miles southwest of jny: Los Angeles. The uniquely conceived Alvas Showroom is ...

SOCAL JAZZ

House of Waters: The Fresh Fountain of Fusion

Read "House of Waters: The Fresh Fountain of Fusion" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Fascinating is the first word that comes to mind, followed by insightful, sophisticated, adventurous, engrossing, and perhaps even astounding. Am I making reference to House of Water's most recent record, Rising (GroundUP, 2019) or am referring to a conversation with the three accomplished and notably bright musicians who comprise House of Waters? The answer is yes. Moto Fukushima is a melodic and rhythmic bassist beyond borders. Drummer Ignacio Rivas-Bixio traverses on imaginative percussive journeys. Then there is Max ZT. What ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Eliane Elias: For The Love of Jazz

Read "Eliane Elias: For The Love of Jazz" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Grammy award winner. Child prodigy. Internationally renowned artist. Sophisticated and improvisational jazz pianist. A vocalist of style and grace. A woman of beauty and integrity. Yes, I am speaking of Brazil's gift to the jazz world, Eliane Elias. To be so fortunate to recently speak with this remarkable woman was a treat and memorable moment in time. We spoke about the past, present, and future. We certainly talked about her superb, and soon to be released, new album. We spoke ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Maureen Choi: A Fusion of Passion and Intent

Read "Maureen Choi: A Fusion of Passion and Intent" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Maureen Choi is certainly not the first musician to find their way into the improvisational jazz world after years of training as a classical violinist. It was an unlikely direction for a woman who grew up with formal classical training and further had never really listened to jazz. Fast forwarding to the present, we now have the Maureen Choi Quartet. A nothing-short-of-brilliant ensemble of musicians who play and compose with intense and fiery passion. Choi's music is a seamless symmetry ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Mike Stern: Different Orbits

Read "Mike Stern: Different Orbits" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Having arrived in jny: London from jny: New York City to play two nights at legendary Ronnie Scott's with Dave Weckl, Tom Kennedy, and Randy Brecker, Mike Stern was understandably jet lagged. The revered guitarist and composer has no doubt become used to it. Traveling the world for many years now, the gifted artist can be found annually in Poland, Switzerland, Italy, China, Morocco, Japan, France, England, Sweden, Denmark, Canada, Germany, Czech Republic, and, well the list goes on. Darting ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE

Read "Maureen Choi Quartet at BacchusLIVE" reviewed by Jim Worsley

We live in an era where chit chatting now, most annoyingly, rivals actual listening to the music at many concerts. It is with supreme delight then, that I share my enthralling experience of an evening of musical brilliance that was free of any such boorish clutter. You could have heard a pin drop at Bacchus' Kitchen in Pasadena, California during the Maureen Choi Quartet performance. A virtuoso violinist, Choi, and her bandmates treated an attentive and appreciative audience to two ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Douye: At Last, A Sophisticated Lady

Read "Douye: At Last,  A Sophisticated Lady" reviewed by Jim Worsley

On a quiet night if you listen very carefully you can still hear the timeless echoed voices eminating from the golden age of the jazz songstress. Perhaps it is the lingering tone of Sarah Vaughan, or the still haunting expressions of Billie Holiday, or the pure magic of Ella Fitzgerald. Or maybe, just maybe, there is a fresh voice that is the embodiment of that greatness past. Emerging on the jazz scene in 2017 with Daddy Said So and furthering ...


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