On Esa-Pekka envy & the glory of Ory Shihor

Dance · Music
Classical music notes … Esa-Pekka Salonen‘s departure after “helming” the Los Angeles Philharmonic for 17 years was sad. I’m not over it! But at least he’s been tucked away, out of range, in faraway London. Now, in a shock to the classical music world and a great coup for the city of San Francisco, he ...

Ornithology, at Piano Spheres special season-opener

Music
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Red-flanked Bluetail ed. note: We are pleased to re-enter life as we knew it, and feature, in this special post, writing by Kirk Silsbee and photography by Mark Levine As performing-arts presenters take tentative steps toward resuming full programming, the prudent path would mandate familiar fare to reconnect with cautious audiences. Piano Spheres is having ...

Jazz trombone man, Richard Nash, in conversation 1

Music
One of the most sought-after trombone players in Hollywood, Dick Nash played with Henry Mancini, Billy May, Lalo Schifrin, Pete Rugolo, Quincy Jones, and the list goes on. Most associated with swing and big band music, he is admired by the best trombone players all over the world. Richard Taylor Nash is celebrating his 93rd year. ...

Broadbent & Mancio, a musical partnership by intuition & osmosis 2

Music · Reviews
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One of the most sublime vocal albums of this, or any recent, year was released a few months ago. London-based singer and lyricist Georgia Mancio and pianist Alan Broadbent committed duets of nine of their own songs onto Quiet Is The Star (Roomspin). The collaboration is one of the all-too-rare instances where voice, text, piano ...

Tenor-sax somersaults & trampolines: Sonny Rollins in 1967

Music · Reviews
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SONNY ROLLINS photography by John Abbott Each December, the marketplace offers up some must-have jazz-related item. A newly-minted LP collection, a CD or DVD box, or doorstop book—something that pushes aside everything around it. In 2020, that was unquestionably Sonny Rollins in Holland (Resonance). The two-CD compilation of previously unissued live performances by the tenor ...

The Hollywood Hills are alive … with ‘The Sound of Music’

Music
julie & the hills It’s the holiday season and we’re all nearly croaking of isolation in our cobbled, separated, lonely, despairing but well-worn nests at home. There’s one remaining way to go out and safely be with others. No, not a walk in mother nature. Rather, a big spin on a cinematic mountain-top with Julie ...

‘Sittin’ In’ at golden-era jazz clubs 1

Architecture & Design · Music · Reviews
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bird & friendscourtesy of jeff gold These days, every self-respecting college and civic performing arts center has a subscription jazz series. It’s no surprise, then, that many people see jazz as concert music. But it wasn’t always so. 1930s and ‘40s jazz musicians mostly worked in ballrooms with dance bands, but they stretched out and ...

I get by with a little help from Gwen Verdon

Dance · Music
carol burnett, phyllis diller, bobby gentry, gwen verdon Dateline Nov 20: It’s been a wretched week. A crazy person, with “a little help” from his equally crazy friends, is foisting a coup d’etat on our democracy; the very air of my neighborhood has become a dicey thing to breathe; and the Doris Duke Theatre where ...

Jazz serendipity: Alan Broadbent Trio’s ‘Trio in Motion’

Music · Reviews
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The longstanding professional relationships of the Alan Broadbent Trio might indicate that the recording at hand is the result of a comfy, well-worn process. Nothing could be further from the truth. Each selection of their new album, Trio in Motion (Savant) is a journey, and the performances are travelogues that sometimes surprise the musicians as much ...

In ‘jazz quarantine’ with Josh Nelson Trio 2

Music · Reviews
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For jazz musicians and their audience, the spring and summer months of 2020 have been, to paraphrase the rebel leader Don Jose in The Wild Bunch, the months of sadness. Musicians need to communicate, exchange, and create with each other. And most thrive before an audience. As clubs and music spaces shutter due to the ...