Sunday, February 25, 2007

Some Non-Jazz Tidbits

True confession time: how many reality show fans are out there? I admit it - I spend a significant portion of my relatively insignificant TV watching time on the genre, and although there's no "American Jazz Idol" yet, there are 2 shows I want to point out.

#1 - Tuesday, March 6 on the CW network:
The Search for the Next Pussycat Doll. I am so not kidding folks - I'm going to tune in religiously because John Beasley is the musical director for this show! John's a phenomenal local musician with a resume as long as my arm and talent out the wazoo. Now, while the stalwart jazzers may poo-pooh the notion, I think it's fabulous for a jazz musician to get exposure to such a young demographic and demonstrate musical versatility. And it gives us jazz fans an excuse to watch fun reality TV while supporting our local musicans.

#2 - Wednesday, March 7, also on the CW network: America's Next Top Model. Please don't judge me but I love this show. I am indifferent (leaning toward mild dislike) toward Tyra Banks, but I actually kind of like seeing models cry. (I'm not completely mean; I like the pretty pictures too.) Anyhow, on March 7 (date to be confirmed) my hairdresser Neeko is going to be a guest judge on the show - and his salon will be the setting for massive makeovers of the contestants. This particular episode is always a season favorite for me as at least one model historically cries.

Be sure to set your TiVo and check out these shows!!!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Ides of March? You Don't Scare Me!!

Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your forgiveness for the butchered Shakespeare references! I promise to stop now. I think.

I have some very exciting jazzevents to share with you coming up in March! My February jazz adventures were on the slim side but most notable was the
Newport Beach Jazz Party, in part because of the fabulous music (highlights included The Clayton-Hamilton Jazz Orchestra featuring John Pizzarelli, and a tribute to Ray Brown with Benny Green, John Clayton and Jeff Hamilton), but primarily because I had a jazz buddy!!! My sister Kim joined me for the weekend and we had a phenomenal time. You should totally ask her what she thought about a jazz-centric weekend as not necessarily a jazz fan.... In fact, maybe she'll even comment to this post and tell you!!

Put on your seatbelts because there is a TON of great jazz coming up in March.


Are you fond of jazz vocals? If so, here are 2 shows still in February you may want to see...

Tuesday, February 27: The
Dwight Trible Ensemble, featuring John Beasley at The Jazz Bakery, Los Angeles. John Beasley is a brilliant composer and pianist with a rich jazz history. Check him out!

Wednesday, February 28: Vicki Von Eps Trio at
Cavallino Ristorante and Jazz Bar, Huntington Beach. I got the heads-up about this show from Tony Inzalaco, who I've heard several times and who happens to be Vicki's husband (and drummer!). Pay them a visit if you're in the area on Wednesday!

And now, the March stuff...

As usual, there is a LOT of great music happening in March, and as I am only going to scratch the surface I'd love for folks to comment to this blog with additional shows they'd like to share. I'm moving in a couple of weeks and because of that won't have much time to check out shows, but once I get settled it's ON! In the meantime, here is a handful of "don't miss" shows. I will do my level best to make all of these so if you are interested in going, you know the drill! (Or perhaps you don't - call or email me. You could've figured that out on your own though.)

Wednesday - Sunday, March 7-11: Russell Malone at
The Jazz Bakery. Do you like jazz guitar? Then you'll love Russell Malone. He plays with phenomenal sensitivity and beautiful phrasing and is a character to boot. I'm going to try to make it out to one of the weeknight shows and hope to see you there!

Thursday, March 8: Chuck Berghofer and the Midnight Jazz Band at Charlie O's. You know me. I'm always making an effort to hear this band - they're money in the "straight ahead" bank every time!

Friday-Saturday, March 16-17: Jeff Hamilton Trio at Pasadena Jazz Institute. This happens to be my favorite trio playing right now in a rare Southern California concert. This promises to be less, um, complicated than the Spazio Back Room debacle of nearly a year ago, plus this venue needs support. Those of you who have heard this trio before know that this is a must see. I'd love to get a lot of folks out to experience this so be sure to come if you can!

Sunday, March 18: The California Jazz Foundation is sponsoring "Jazz on a Sunday Afternoon" at the Musicians' Union in Hollywood. This is a great opportunity to hear fabulous jazz, hang out with the Jazz Society folks who will be there en masse, and support a great cause. I'll be selling raffle tickets and I know you won't want to miss that.

Wednesday, March 21: Tony Inzalaco Quintet at Charlie O's. Here's another of my personal "must see" performers; all original tunes in the bop tradition. Lots of fun every time!!

Saturday, March 24: Graham Dechter Trio at Native Cafe. Speaking of jazz guitarists with sensitivity and phrasing skill, you've GOT to hear this guy. I'm sure he gets tired of people saying how young he is (I think he's 12) but I'm constantly befuddled by the amount of maturity in his playing. Gotta check him out.

Wednesday, March 28: Chuck Berghofer and the Midnight Jazz Band at Spazio. As I said before, these are the straight ahead masters. Don't miss them.


The Los Angeles Jazz Society is actively seeking members to support our jazz programs. Many of you have already become members, and I'm urging those who haven't to consider coming on board! It's a small financial commitment (as low as $15 annually for musicians) and that's IT! For your membership dues, you'll receive a quarterly newsletter, notification of Jazz Society sponsored and endorsed shows, and discounts at local jazz (and even a few non-jazz) establishments. Your membership funds important programs that keep jazz alive in Los Angeles schools. Please consider signing up today!!