Ornette was fantastic. Frances Davis was also fantastic.

Dance · Music
“Miles liked Ornette,” noted the restaurant hostess as though first-name-basis chatter about two jazz world geniuses was the most natural thing to say in the world. Adam and I were grabbing a bite at Hamburger Hamlet before what would be a wonderful Ornette Coleman concert at Royce Hall. Yes, that Miles. And this beautiful lady ...

Ornette Coleman, at 80, can still change the way you listen . . . or even scare you 2

Music
Jazz enthusiast Adam Hyman contributes this appreciation of Ornette Coleman to arts·meme: Ornette Coleman, who returns to UCLA Live on November 3, is one of jazz’s few remaining legends to walk among us. He’s usually credited with creating “free jazz.” In fact, a variety of free-jazz experimentations preceded him. What Coleman created, as part of his truly ...

Herb Alpert @ Disney Concert Hall

Music · Reviews
Herb ‘n Lani Bringing his cool and laid-back vibration to Disney Hall’s golden circle of sound Friday night was Herb Alpert — leading a five-piece combo in a freewheeling but tightly professional rendering of the American songbook. The ever-handsome, now grey-haired Los Angeles homeboy interspersed jazz standards — Fascinating Rhythm, Paper Moon, Let’s Face the Music and Dance, Laura ...

Satchmo sings “Stardust”

Music
This nattily dressed young man is Louis Armstrong, age 30. The photo was taken in 1931, the same year in which Armstrong made his groundbreaking recording of Hoagy Carmichael’s plaintive “Stardust.” Here Carmichael plays his own great song. Here’s Nat King Cole. Now here’s Satchmo. Armstrong was by then an experienced Chicago musician, and the ...

Maurice Ravel, meet Billy Childs

Music · Reviews
One of better-kept secrets of Los Angeles cultural life is Pacific Serenades, the chamber music series now 23 years in existence, but who knew? I was the privileged guests of artistic director Mark Carlson at an utterly civilized outing that combined a ripping string quartet, well-chilled chardonnay, and little fruit tarts. What could be better on ...

Thelonious Monk’s piano 4

Music
Amidst the brouhaha over Polish pianist Krystian Zimerman’s anti-U.S. protest during a recital at Disney Hall, arts•meme was struck by this information nugget in Mark Swed’s L.A. Times story: Zimerman is a magnificent obsessive.  He travels with his own Steinway, is his own piano technician, and even his own truck driver.  He typically spends half a year ...