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Bekken and Gjems: Spell

Read "Spell" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Dr. Bekken's last record, Live At Bar Moskus (Blue Mood, 2017), was nominated for a Norwegian Grammy (the Spellemannprisen). That was a hard-driving solo, boogie-woogie upright piano performance.

For Spell, the good doctor writes a new prescription for traditional Norwegian folk infused with New Orleans style jazz. Harmonicist Richard Gjems is co-featured. Bekken and ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Incendio: The Fire Within

Read "Incendio: The Fire Within" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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, ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Herbie Hancock: Quintessential Quintet Live

Read "Herbie Hancock: Quintessential Quintet Live" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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, ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

John Mayall: In The Pocket at 84

Read "John Mayall: In The Pocket at 84" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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 ...

Douye': Daddy Said So

Read "Daddy Said So" reviewed by Jim Worsley

Daddy Said So, and clearly father knows best. Raised with the epic jazz renderings of Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne and Etta James, Douye' harkens back to a jazz era rich with elegance and timbre. Her silky and deliciously subdued voice pulsates through a set list of choice jazz standards. With quiet intensity Douye' whispers ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Walter Trout: Thriving With The Blues

Read "Walter Trout: Thriving With The Blues" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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 ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

The Michael Landau Liquid Quartet

Read "The Michael Landau Liquid Quartet" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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 ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Simon Phillips Protocol at Catalina Jazz Club

Read "Simon Phillips Protocol at Catalina Jazz Club" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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 ...

ARTICLE: SOCAL JAZZ

Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come

Read "Leni Stern: Finally The Fame Has Come" reviewed by Jim Worsley

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, ...

ARTICLE: BEST OF / YEAR END

Jim Worsley's Best Releases of 2017

Read "Jim Worsley's Best Releases of 2017" reviewed by Jim Worsley

As 2017 was another exceptional year in new music, choosing the recordings that rise above is a daunting task. It is also a lot of fun. Yes, such “drudgery" to listen to countless strong musical efforts from artists all over the world. The vast spectrum of seasoned pros, to new blood, and everything in between provided ...