SoCal Jazz

Daily articles carefully curated by the All About Jazz staff. Read our popular and future articles.

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

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SoCal Jazz

Philippe Coignet: The Fusion of Paris, Rio, and New York

Read "Philippe Coignet: The Fusion of Paris, Rio, and New York" reviewed by Jim Worsley


A thirteen-piece ensemble ensconced in the immersion of three unique and divergent cultures is enough to get your attention. Veteran musician Philippe Coignet [pictured above with saxophonist Sulaiman Hakim, on the right] set out to do just that, skillfully fusing the rhythms, harmonic structures, and variant melodicism of Paris, Rio de Janeiro, and New York City. The French guitarist, composer, and arranger let us in on the many-faceted process of creating this highly dense, and highly spirited creation.

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SoCal Jazz

Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way

Read "Bill Cunliffe: Always Doing It The Right Way" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most notably a jazz pianist, it comes as more than a surprise that Bill Cunliffe was not in the same orbit as jazz until he was in college. With the sheer volume of top shelf jazz he has written and recorded since, he would seem to have made up for any lost time. That time, those early years, were hardly lost. Instead filled with learning to play classical, pop, and Broadway. Cunliffe is remarkable not just in the ...

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SoCal Jazz

Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming

Read "Gergo Borlai: Talkin' Drummers and Drumming" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Most kids have heroes. Whether they be athletes, astronauts, artists, astrophysicists, (and that's just the “A's") or any of the many asundered possibilities. Gergo Borlai needn't go passed the “D's" to find his calling. Drumming came early, incredibly early, and he has never looked back. Determination and commitment can be a powerful force. Before long the powerful force was in the hands, feet, and mental acuity of Borlai. In this upbeat conversation Gergo gentlemanly fills the role of ...

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SoCal Jazz

Andrea Balestra: A Rich Sicilian Odyssey

Read "Andrea Balestra:  A Rich Sicilian Odyssey" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Guitarist Andrea Balestra makes a cerebral investment with every note he plays and with all of his compositions. A lot of guitarists like to jam. Balestra isn't one of them. Substance is preferred over droning speed. His highly intensified music is born of traditional Italian music...being from Sicily perhaps a factor...a deep integration of blues, a passion for traditional jazz, a further passion for the music of Jimi Hendrix, and other components, that create his dichotomy. Balestra deftly exposes the ...

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SoCal Jazz

Chick Corea: In The Present Tense

Read "Chick Corea: In The Present Tense" reviewed by Jim Worsley


This article was originally published at All About Jazz on November 12, 2020. RIP, Chick. What can you say about music icon Chick Corea that hasn't already been said? His past, his career has been honored, dissected, and revered. As it should be. A composer and pianist of unparalleled skills and accomplishments, Corea's place in music history continues to plateau. In conversation with Corea, we centered mostly on what hasn't been said. We talked extensively about his new ...

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SoCal Jazz

Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass

Read "Tom Kennedy: Stories From Behind and Beyond The Bass" reviewed by Jim Worsley


Tom Kennedy has never considered himself a prospector, but surely has tapped into a goldmine. As if releasing a hotshot new record wasn't enough, the world class jazz and fusion bassist is in compositional bliss with a bevy of new material yet to be recorded. Kennedy and I talk at length about his new writing technique and its impact on his music. Kennedy also shares memories of his much beloved and talented older brother, Ray. The versatile jazz ...

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SoCal Jazz

The Monk'estra Trilogy: The Genius of John Beasley and Thelonious Monk

Read "The Monk'estra Trilogy: The Genius of John Beasley and Thelonious Monk" reviewed by Jim Worsley


His music was ahead of its time. I know, how many times have you heard that said about the incomparable Thelonious Monk? Still, to sit on that thought for just a minute, his music has skyrocketed into the twenty-first century in a time capsule. A jazz icon in his lifetime, he is remarkably revered and understood today. Pianist, composer, and arranger John Beasley grasped Monk's music at the ripe old age of eleven. Noteworthy, in as much as ...


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