Jazz composer/pianist Billy Childs brings new ‘Acceptance’ to musical life

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There have been two hallmarks—standards if you will—that have been a part of every Billy Childs album. The first is the journey he’s traveled as a composer.  He has always written and, to great acclaim: he has received five GRAMMY ® awards and 16 nominations—many for composition and arrangement. Presently in continual demand for symphonic ...

Saturday afternoon with the in-crowd — and Ramsey Lewis

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How much more of an in-crowd guy can you be? The cool cat seated in front of the yellow backdrop is the GRAMMY® Award-winning pianist Ramsey Lewis. Lewis, an NEA Jazz Master who is still rocking it at 85, has a nice invitation to get onto your Saturday schedule — it’s a way to check ...

Awaiting the return of Amir ElSaffar’s eclectic & enchanting soundstream 2

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Ed. note: This article was commissioned and first published by The Soraya in conjunction with an April 16, 2020 performance, unfortunately cancelled by COVID-19. It is republished on artsmeme with permission. This young jazz-fusion artist, who mixes an Oriental and Western sound, merits your attention. Musical eclecticism is built into the DNA of the 43-year-old ...

Exit the jazz giant: McCoy Tyner

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Meandering, plucking-and-picking, pouring forth, cascading. In the video, pianist McCoy Tyner (1938-2020) both reveres and rips into “My One and Only Love.” It’s a ditty with underpinnings so thin it’s just humbling the mighty mountain of sound Tyner constructs of it. Personnel include McCoy Tyner (piano), Azar Lawrence (saxophones), Juini Booth (contrabass), E. W. Wainwright, ...

Bird Lives — to 100 — at CAP UCLA

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Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken. We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who ...

‘Disappearing guitars’ of Bill Frisell & Julian Lage @ CAP UCLA

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Guitarist Bill Frisell has proven himself as one of the most interesting conceptualizers of the past twenty years or so in jazz. His albums are a continual source of delight and amazement, as he takes his audience down one musical rabbit hole or another. Whether he’s playing his own original scores to Buster Keaton’s silent ...

Music in the key of joy: bossa nova with Sergio Mendes @ CAP UCLA 1

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Sergio Mendes, Bebel Gilberto, Royce Hall Nov 16 In 1966, rock and soul dominated American pop music charts. But there was room for the infectiously swinging “Mas Que Nada”—the first international hit song in Portuguese. If Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto opened the door with “The Girl From Ipanema,” Sergio Mendes put an authentic Brazilian ...

Jazz gladiator Joshua Redman brings it to Royce Hall

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Ever since he came to national attention at the beginning of the 1990s, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman has defied the narrative of the wunderkind who bears prodigious talent, then declines. He’s taken on ambitious formats, often in the company of seasoned jazz gladiators, and Redman has more than held his mud. In the face of ...

Review: a Bowl-ful of Playboy jazz

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angelique kidjo, photo credit: matthew imaging The Playboy Jazz mold was set a long time ago. Saturday openers are for socializing and getting the crowd up and moving. Sunday is where the bulk of the serious jazz ensembles and features will be heard. That framework continued unabated, at the 41st anniversary edition of the Playboy ...

Alan Broadbent: fire in the residency

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Alan Broadbent – Photo by Jon Frost When he left Santa Monica for New York in the fall of 2011, pianist and composer Alan Broadbent wasn’t missing out on many playing opportunities. One night a month at Vibrato wasn’t exactly stoking his pianistic fires. Chalk it up to one of the failures of this city ...