You’re much too much, and just too ‘very, very,’ Frankie

Language & ideas · Music
In this holiday season, we show how Frankie does lyricist Harold Arlen SO RIGHT. You’re just too marvelous, too marvelous for words Like “glorious”, “glamorous” and that old standby “amorous”. It’s all too wonderful, I’ll never find the words That say enough, tell enough, I mean they just aren’t swell enough. You’re much too much, ...

At Zardi’s in Hollywood … with Ella Fitzgerald 1

Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for Ella Fitzgerald material. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee excerpts his liner notes to ‘Ella at Zardi’s.’ ♣               ♣               ♣               ♣ In his enviable career as a jazz entrepreneur, Norman Granz (1918-2001) balanced far-reaching vision and a social change agenda with shrewd business acumen. His ...

Kirk Silsbee’s 2017 holiday-music picks

During the 1950s, the United States was rebuilding Western Europe and creating the highest standard of living ever enjoyed by the most people in world history. But by year’s end, most Americans just wanted to be with family and friends. It’s ironic how many contemporary holiday recordings still tap that era’s home-and-hearth heritage. The holiday ...

Buy Neil Young toy trains, guitars, ‘grunge’ shirt

Fashion · Music
An upcoming auction includes singer/songwriter Neil Young’s exceptional collection of model trains, gobs of sound equipment, cool rock clothing and, hey, how about a Neil Young guitar? That would make some lucky twanger pretty happy at Christmas Julien’s Auctions will honor the rock legend in an auction presenting the multi-Grammy and Juno award winning singer/songwriter’s ...

Influential Brazilian-beat album recreated in CAP UCLA concert, That Bad Donato

In 1970, two landmark recordings changed the world. On Bitches Brew, Miles Davis infused jazz with the rhythms and textures of cutting-edge pop, exemplified by James Brown and Jimi Hendrix. The fusion genre sprang from that album. Concurrently,  keyboardist and composer João Donato thrust electronics and the cross-rhythms of funk into Brazilian jazz with A ...

Thanksgiving love for Lydia the Tattooed Lady 1

Film · Music
Our holiday pick: The Brothers Marx in their ode to the much-marked Lydia the Tattooed Lady. In Thanksgiving gratitude for Yip Harburg‘s brilliant lyric, “And a torso even moreso!” Kermit loves her too. Guitarist Gary Lucas plucks the polyphony – and poetry – in Groucho Marx’s torch song to the scribbled dame.

Luminario Ballet’s festive winter’s tale at the California Club

Dance · Music
For those who have loved and lost. For those for whom great art can assuage life’s forays into the forlorn. For those who love wine, a great meal, live chamber music and dance in a singularly splendid setting: the Luminario Ballet Viennese Winter Gala is the thing. Good cheer, live art and companionship go far, ...

Jason Moran, in a Monkish mood @ CAP UCLA

“The horn is blowing according to what the drummer is playing, you know?” –Thelonious Monk to Hall Overton, 1959 Thelonious Monk’s 1959 Town Hall concert was an artistic landmark and a personal triumph for the iconoclastic pianist and composer. His pieces, conceived for the small ensemble format, had been orchestrated for the evening by the ...

REVIEW: Golden-voiced Jack Jones, a golden performer

Irvine Barclay Theatre, where we have enjoyed so many wonderful dance performances, hosted a super-special treat Saturday evening, a show by the master pop and jazz song stylist, Jack Jones. Jones was in his living room. A boffo performer, the guy settled into the theater’s intimate quarters with an ease and control that reflected his ...

Awake to the world, with Jacaranda

The onslaught of bad, breaking news has us numbed. Howling winds, gushing waters, marauding mass murderers, predators of pretty movie stars, all pummel our sensitive souls.  That’s where the artistic director of Jacaranda music has stepped into the breach. In launching AWAKE, Jacaranda’s 15th season, Patrick Scott is pushing back against the bad noise, and replacing ...