Rat Pack-ish, with Chris Walden Big Band at The Wallis

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Chris Walden is the most ubiquitous musician you’ve never heard of, but whom you’ve heard everywhere. He’s one of the busiest of the current Hollywood composer-arrangers, and just a sampling of his recent album credits includes Michael Bublé, Jessie J., Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion. His film and TV writing is voluminous (your kids hear ...

John Scofield jazz combo at cozy Theater Raymond Kabbaz

Music
John Scofield, the creative, distinctive and versatile guitarist and composer first burst on the scene playing with greats like Charles Mingus, Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock and Billy Cobham in the late ’70s . Possessed of a distinctive sound and stylistic diversity, Scofield is a masterful improviser whose music falls between post-bop, funk edged Jazz, and ...

Vijay Iyer/Teju Cole ‘Blind Spot’ syncopates jazz, photography, text

Language & ideas · Music
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The intriguing image above represents the visual component for “Blind Spot,” a much-anticipated live performance soon presented by CAP UCLA at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. The collaborative effort showcases two artists at the top of their respective fields: jazz pianist/composer Vijay Iyer  and writer/photographer Teju Cole. A familiar face on the covers of Downbeat ...

The art of the jazz song: Tadd Dameron for Sarah Vaughan 2

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Ed. note: Guest writer Mark Miller deconstructs a jazz standard, “If You Could See Me Now,” for our appreciation. Music: Tadd Dameron Lyrics: Carl Sigman Jazz panist Tadd Dameron was known for his lyricism, an ironic attribute for an important bebop musician. Widely recognized as the bop era’s definitive arranger/composer, Dameron concocted this distinctive ballad ...

The look of jazz: Warhol-designed album covers

Architecture & Design · Music · Visual arts
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Before he became the king of pop art, Pittsburgh native Andy Warhol moved to New York to make it. Warhol wanted to be part of the elite strata inhabited by Gore Vidal, Truman Capote, Tennessee Williams and other sanctioned artists. He didn’t have what it took to be admitted to those circles but he did ...

Our pick: Daryl Sherman swinging at the Gardenia 1

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Though she writes original songs, few contemporary artists have scoured the hidden corners of the Great American Songbook like singer-pianist Daryl Sherman. She’s a regular at New York’s Algonquin Hotel who gracefully straddles jazz and cabaret singing, essaying songs from both renowned and neglected tunesmiths like Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, Walter Donaldson, Jimmy McHugh, ...

Terence Blanchard’s jazz message, in cabaret seating, at The Soraya

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Trumpeter Terence Blanchard has been visiting this part of the country for years. Starting in the ’80s, he shared the valedictory frontline of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers with alto saxophonist Donald Harrison. Leaving the venerable drummer (“Our father, who art Blakey” quipped trumpeter Valery Ponomarev), Blanchard and Harrison co-led a good mainstream jazz band. They ...

Delicious, de-lovely, demonstrative Lena Horne, in centenary tribute 1

Dance · Music
Vocalist Candice Hoyes, draws from rare cinema, musical theater, jazz and soul music to debut a night of music inspired by the life of Lena Horne.  One of the most iconic jazz vocalists, Horne blazed a trail of remarkable song discography and bravery as one of the leading American civil rights activists across a sixty ...

Juan de Marcos’s Afro-Cuban beat to pulsate The Soraya

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Cuban music has tantalized and insinuated itself into the United States since the 19th Century. New Orleans-born composer Louis Moreau Gottschalk (1829-1869) was smitten with the Cuban tresillo, cinquillo and habanera, and incorporated those elements into his compositions. Ragtime pianists were subsequently taken with what Jelly Roll Morton called “the Spanish tinge.” Then came the ...

Low-key & tasty: Kenny Burrell’s swinging guitar a generation ago today

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Ed. note: Universal Music continues to mine the Verve catalog for jazz treasures. arts·meme jazz writer Kirk Silsbee shares his liner notes for‘’A Generation Ago Today.’ When Kenny Burrell’s A Generation Ago Today was released in the spring of 1967, a debate was raging in jazz. It was the dawn of the Age of Aquarius, ...