Sunday, October 28, 2007

The Young(ish) Woman and the Sea - Part the First

November is nigh, and so is my second venture aboard The Jazz Cruise! I'm hoping that jazz isn't a metaphor for Hemingway's marlin, but I am planning to come back with jazz critiques to dazzle and amaze you. If I come back with a carcass though, you've been duly warned.

October was a slow month jazz-wise but inexcusably and soul-searchingly so. Please check out my update called "
Don't Get Around Much Anymore", or, "DUDE! What the bleep happened to October!" As a reminder, I am splitting my jazz commentary between this blog and, so please be sure to check out that site - not just for my posts, but also for their other fabulous jazz content. I should also interject here that any feedback you have on my jazz natterings is quite welcome and in fact desired right now; clearly I can be a bit of a windbag and would love to hear thoughts on how to better inform and/or force feed jazz to those near and dear.

Anyway. November promises to be much more populated with jazz, in part because my jazz-centric vacation will give me an opportunity to hear several shows a day for an entire week.


I just fainted with gleejazzhappiness.

But besides that, there are so many phenomenal local shows too!! I'll be gone for some of these, but back for others - so if you would like to get together, you know what to do!* Here are some of November's highlights, but as always, please do post comments if I've missed any goodies!

Saturday, November 3: Bob Sheppard at Vibrato, Bel Air. Bob is a super groovy, clearly Coltrane inspired tenor player who never fails to entertain.

Monday, November 5: (and other dates) Howlett "Smitty" Smith at Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, Hollywood. I have it on good authority that this will make for a fun evening out. I defintely plan to catch a show soon!

Tuesday, November 6: (and other dates) Ahmad Jamal at Catalina Bar & Grill, Hollywood. There are not one, but TWO non-LA-based jazz pianists on my must see list this month. Ahmad Jamal's "Live at the Pershing" is among my favorite jazz recordings, and although this isn't likely to be a rehash of the good old days, I'd love to hear him live.

Wednesday, November 7: Tony Inzalaco Quintet at Charlie O's, Van Nuys. A regular on my "must see" list, Tony's having a CD release party and I want to be sure to get my copy of the new music!

Saturday, November 10: Kathleen Grace Band at Rosalie & Alva Performance Gallery in San Pedro. 1 - Kathleen Grace is awesome. 2 - I've heard great things about this venue.

Thursday, November 15: (plus other dates) McCoy Tyner at Catalina Bar & Grill, Hollywood. The other non-LA-based jazz pianist and living legend is not to be missed - he is really a very significant part of jazz history.

Tuesday, November 20: Dale Fielder at the Jazz Bakery, Culver City. This time it's for real - I am definitely going to this show! Very much looking forward to hearing this reed man at last!

Wednesday, November 21: Queen Latifah at Royce Hall, Westwood. Seriously. Queen Latifah. I heard her sing at the Bowl this year and she has the makings of a real live jazz diva. If you're not on the road for Turkey Day, try to get tickets!

Tuesday, November 27: Bill Cunliffe explores Billy Strayhorn at the Jazz Bakery, Culver City. So Bill is doing this discussion / performance series on various musical figures and it's really pretty cool. I'm looking forward to seeing this one!

And last but not least (or, considering the talent I've just named, it really IS least but that's OK), it's time to SAVE THE DATE for the 2nd annual "Tramp House Jazz Tasting"!!! Please mark your calendar for Saturday afternoon, December 15 as the day when those who are interested will get together, location pending depending on how many bodies are interested, and we'll chew the fat about jazz, nosh a bit, listen to some tunes, sip some wine, and break down why jazz is so groovy, in a very non-threatening environment. Last year's theme, "
How Pam Listens to Jazz" will be replicated in part, but we are going to narrow the focus a bit to have an even livelier discussion. Some preliminary thoughts (but all suggestions are welcome):

"Pot Luck: Here's My Favorite Song!"

"Why Ella Fitzgerald is so awesome"

"Jazz Genres: Latin jazz, cha cha cha? Bebopaloobop? Swing a ding ding?"

"I still think it's weird when people clap in the middle of a song."

"Cantaloupe Island (Herbie Hancock) versus Cantaloop (Us3) - or, When jazz meets pop - Tasty melange or train wreck?"

At this point I am gauging preliminary interest, so if you are available and interested in this fun fun fun adventure, please email me no later than Saturday, November 17 so I can confirm the session and location. CAN'T WAIT!!

Thanks for listening,


*um, that means call or email me.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Singin' the Blues

Well, folks - it's time for some jazz recommendations for October, but I'm writing this with a heavy heart. This past Monday we lost one of our most dedicated local jazz ambassadors. Dave Ameele wasn't necessarily a household name, but odds are if you ever went to hear Joe La Barbera play in the area, Dave was there too. A talented drummer, arranger and instructor in his own right, his rich jazz history, ready smile and penchant for spinning a jazz yarn made him easy to be around. Click here to read my little tribute to Dave...

But in a testament to how the universe's cruelty can be matched by its generosity, the very next day my newest niece was born! Jordyn Natalia has joined Jasmine Nicole (aka "Jazzy") and Jada Noelle (she's the one in the blogspot photo with me) as the next generation of jazz fans in my family. One of these days I'll get all three of those ladies out to a jazz show!

And speaking of shows, they are abundant in October. My personal availability is limited, but if any of these (or any others) appeal to you, do let me know and I'll do my level best to join you. Here are a few of my October picks (but know that there are tons more good shows happening):

Sunday, October 7
Tony Inzalaco Quintet at the Lighthouse, Hermosa Beach. Time and again I've said to go out and hear this group; they perform original tunes in the bebop tradition and sound oh so good. Rumor has it that they have some new material too!

Tuesday/Wednesday, October 9-10
Houston Person at Vibrato, Bel Air. Bring your hankies; you'll need them to wipe the tears during the ballads and to wave when he gets his groove going.
Bill Cunliffe at The Jazz Bakery, Culver City (Tuesday, 10/9 only). Bill is doing a part performance / part informal lecture to celebrate Thelonious Monk. I went to the George Gershwin show and thought it was fun, informative and comfortable (the Bakery has new chairs! WOOT!).

Friday, October 12
Tamir Hendelman Trio at The Jazz Bar at the Universal Sheraton, Universal City. This newest addition to the jazz bar scene in LA is in the thick of things at Universal - with validated parking and fabulous music by one of my very favorite musicians - don't miss it!

Sunday, October 21
The Los Angeles Jazz Society is having their 24th annual Jazz Tribute Awards Dinner & Concert! Last year's show was amazing so I am very excited about the upcoming show! Please let me know if you'd like more information; I can send you an invitation or information on sponsorship opportunities. And if you would like to attend and try to sit together, please contact me!

Monday, October 22
Dale Fielder Quartet at The Jazz Bakery, Culver City. I'm hoping to get a chance to hear this fine baritone player at last, after several failed attempts to make it to a show. I've heard nothing but good things!

That's just a teeny tiny subset of all of the jazz excitement in October. Hope to see you out there!