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ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 4-4

Read "Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival - Woodchopper's Ball: Part 4-4" reviewed by Simon Pilbrow

Los Angeles Jazz Institute Festival “Woodchoppers' Ball" Four Points by Sheraton at LAX Los Angeles, CA May 23-27, 2018 Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 Panel 3: Cousins -Moderated by Ken Borgers Moderated by Ken Borgers, this panel featured Woody Herman ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Armstrong: Burnt Hibiscus

Read "Burnt Hibiscus" reviewed by Dave Wayne

Now firmly ensconced as the Director of Jazz Studies at Idaho State University, Jon Armstrong may just be a little homesick. Well, more than a little. After all, Pocatello is a far cry from the multi-cultural hustle and bustle of his hometown of Los Angeles. It's not surprising that Armstrong's new album, Burnt Hibiscus is a ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Jon Armstrong Jazz Orchestra: Farewell

Read "Farewell" reviewed by Dave Wayne

I am beginning to wonder if every jazz musician has, in some dark corner of their psyche, a suppressed ambition to lead a big band. Economically unfeasible, logistically impossible--but artistically gratifying--a big band is perhaps the ultimate way to make manifest one's greatest musical ambitions. You get to conduct, pick your own solos, compose and arrange ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

Kirsten Edkins: Art & Soul

Read "Art & Soul" reviewed by Hrayr Attarian

Saxophonist Kirsten Edkins delivers a delightful and charming batch of mainstream jazz with her engaging and exuberant debut Art & Soul. The tracks alternate between soulful, smoky burners and cooler, airier ones with relaxed tempos and intricate arrangements. Keyboardist Larry Goldings' earthy, simmering Hammond B3 often drives the former type. For instance, “Mean Greens" ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

John La Barbera Big Band: Caravan

Read "Caravan" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Summoning Juan Tizol's travel-worn “Caravan" to raise the curtain on a big-band album poses a challenge for any arranger, one that John La Barbera easily brushes aside on the third recording as leader of his own ensemble. And while “Caravan" dazzles in La Barbera's capable hands, it is merely the opening salvo in a session that ...

ARTICLE: ALBUM REVIEW

The Mark Masters Ensemble: Everything You Did: The Music of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen

Read "Everything You Did: The Music of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Another tribute album from leader / arranger Mark Masters whose splendid ensemble has previously paid homage to trumpeter Clifford Brown, saxophonist Lee Konitz, trombonist Jimmy Knepper and the Gershwin brothers (Porgy & Bess Redefined). This time around it's the music of Walter Becker and Donald Fagen, better known by their collective name, Steely Dan. The album, ...

ARTICLE: LIVE REVIEW

MONK'estra at SFJAZZ Center

Read "MONK'estra at SFJAZZ Center" reviewed by Harry S. Pariser

MONK'estraSFJAZZ CenterSan Francisco, CAAugust 22, 2013The music of the legendary Thelonious Monk (October 10, 1917-February 17, 1982) has rarely been heard in a big band setting. The second most-recorded jazz composer after Duke Ellington, Monk's music is nothing if not popular. While Ellington composed over a thousand songs, Monk penned only ...

Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra: Artistry

Read "Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra: Artistry" reviewed by Jack Bowers

On Artistry, the Kim Richmond Concert Jazz Orchestra pays homage to one of Richmond's former employers, the legendary Stan Kenton, not by rehashing music performed by the Kenton Orchestra--no matter how forward-leaning that may have been--but rather by renovating a few themes associated with Kenton (and quite a few others that weren't) in the manner in ...

ARTICLE: BIG BAND REPORT

Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?

Read "Swingin' on a Riff . . . Hangin' by a Thread?" reviewed by Jack Bowers

Betty and I returned to Albuquerque on Memorial Day after attending Swingin' on a Riff, the latest in a series of marvelous semi-annual events presented by Ken Poston and the Los Angeles Jazz Institute for more than twenty years at venues in and around L.A. This one was held May 23-26 at the Los Angeles Marriott ...


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