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

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 ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Jeff Lorber: Chemistry in Fusion

Read "Jeff Lorber: Chemistry in Fusion" reviewed by Jim Worsley

I don't know that anyone would confuse Jeff Lorber with a mad scientist, but you know, as they say, if the shoe fits. Lorber is far from mad, so okay, let's take that out of the equation. However, if the art of music can be further developed and shaped by scientific measures then Lorber resembles Albert Einstein. Perhaps more on his mother's side (that's a joke). Seriously now, the chemistry that the Grammy winning multi-talented keyboardist, composer, and producer captures ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Michael Lauren: Give My Regards To Portugal

Read "Michael Lauren: Give My Regards To Portugal" reviewed by Jim Worsley

From Broadway to jazz to Portugal. A circuitous route for sure. One that has, however, served international musician Michael Lauren well. The now seventy-year- old multi-styled drummer came out of the womb with a kick pedal and has been holding down a symphony of beats ever since. Over the years he has played or recorded with Chuck Berry, Tom Jones, Mike Stern, Paul Anka, Bill Frisell, Darlene Love, Tom Harrell, Jerry Jemmott, Bob Mintzer, and many more. Along the way ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Dave Weckl: The Cymbal of Excellence

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Attention to details and impeccable standards coupled with a desirous curiosity and a wealth of talent have served Dave Weckl well. The savvy and astute musician has meticulously traversed the jazz and fusion world over the past few decades. Weckl is on a very short list when the topic of drumming icons is broached. Perhaps best known for his work with Chick Corea, Mike Stern, and Oz Noy. Weckl is in constant motion both behind the kit and in his ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Arturo Sandoval: Two Counties, Two Lives, One Trumpet de Oro

Read "Arturo Sandoval: Two Counties, Two Lives, One Trumpet de Oro" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Arturo Sandoval is widely considered the world's premier living trumpet player. You will get no argument from me. After a tumultuous life in Cuba, he and his family successfully sought political asylum in the United States. His story is well documented in For Love or Country (HBO, 2000). Andy Garcia portrays Sandoval in this movie that accurately depicts the human side of his difficult, yet fascinating life and the events leading up to his escape from Cuba. It, however, tells ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Oz Noy: Fun With Fusion

Read "Oz Noy: Fun With Fusion" reviewed by Jim Worsley

From Israel to jny: New York City to the inner sanctum of our brains, Oz Noy has engaged us along his journey with his commanding depth and flavorfully diverse sound. He is most often referred to as a guitar wizard. As much as that is true, it doesn't convey the level of artistry and compositional complexities that are both the foundation and pillars of strength that have propelled Noy into the spotlight in the jazz fusion arena. His most recent ...

SOCAL JAZZ

John Beasley: Master of All Trades

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In today's busy world, sometimes you just can't do it all. Apparently, John Beasley never received that memo. The pianist, composer, arranger, producer, music director, and film and TV composer is in high demand, and has an enormity of projects that would seem to belie the twenty-four hour day reality. It is perhaps the variance in scope and style of these collaborations that heighten the bar and, frankly, boggle the mind. The Louisiana born Beasley has a non-stop schedule (outlined ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Ron Carter: The Paragon of Bass Virtuosity

Read "Ron Carter: The Paragon of Bass Virtuosity" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Some half a century ago, iconic bassist Ron Carter had already dynamically impacted the jazz world with his advanced rhythmic cadences and his artistic vision with the second great Miles Davis quintet. The sumptuous and indelible mark that Carter and his bandmates left on jazz history is well-documented. An educated, articulate and determined man, Carter's journey led to countless groundbreaking recordings and live performances. His intuitive and brilliantly conceived projects as a leader have paved a career that has enlightened ...

SOCAL JAZZ

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

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

Peter Erskine is affable, engaging, and humorous. He, of course, is also one of the finest drummers of his generation. He has left his mark on the jazz and fusion world for nearly fifty years now. An icon, whose name is mentioned with the greats of all time, Erskine continues to gift us as he forges ahead by crafting new music, sharing his knowledge and expertise with aspiring young musicians, and continuing to reinvent himself again and again with a ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Tom Kennedy: In A New York Minute

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Riding high on the low end since arriving in New York City in 1984, premier jazz and fusion bassist Tom Kennedy has shared his groove and innate musicality all over the world. He has shared the stage and recording studio with a long list of varied and talented artists. Names like Michael Brecker, Steve Gadd, Lee Ritenour, David Sanborn, Freddie Hubbard, Dave Weckl, Joe Sample, and Nat Adderley merely scratch the surface of Kennedy's association with outstanding musicians. Signature deep ...

SOCAL JAZZ

Erik Palmberg: Swiss Time Was Running Out

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2018 has been a year of many outstanding and surprising new records. One worth special notice is First Lines by Swedish trumpeter Erik Palmberg and his quartet. Featuring mostly original compositions, the music is fresh and crisp yet steeped in jazz tradition. The 37-year-old instrumentalist spoke about his new album and musical background with All About Jazz. All About Jazz: Do you consider First Lines to be a triumphant first record as a leader? How did this record ...