Saturday, December 08, 2007

Ring-a-Ding-Ding in the New Year!!

Hello there! Can you believe 2007 is winding down? Seems like just yesterday I was stuck in Times Square wondering how I’d make it uptown before the ball dropped. Now I’m trying to keep a bunch of balls in the air getting ready for another year-end blitz. WOWZA!

In the midst of it all, I’ve had to deal with totaling yet another car (this makes 4 since I moved to Los Angeles 17 years ago – I am an insurer’s nightmare). I’ve also lost some great (and not so great) CDs. Check out the story, “Ruby, My Dear,” at!

And without further delay, and with apologies for the delay (so I guess that IS further delay), here are some December jazz picks. Please note that due to circumstances I’ve missed flagging some really amazing shows, so my apologies to those musicians and jazz fans who I missed. Okay, I’m finished apologizing and delaying – NOW here are the picks!!

Saturday, December 8: Gerald Clayton Trio at the Airtel, Van Nuys. This young piano virtuoso has energy and sensitivity for days. Take a break from the mall and stop in!

Tuesday, December 11: Evan Stone’s Translucent Ham Sandwich Band at the Mint, Los Angeles. This isn’t mainstream jazz – there are magicians, and belly dancers, and a rabbi juggler, and ham sandwiches – but it’s a fascinating improvisation project. You’ll be thinking about it for days afterwards!

Thursday, December 13: Howlett Smith at Hollywood Studio Bar & Grill, Hollywood. A friend recommended this show and she’s got great taste. I understand this is a holiday concert too – how fun is that??

Wednesday, December 19: Chuck Berghofer and the Midnight Jazz Band at Charlie O’s, Van Nuys. This will be a great way to wind down 2007, by listening to some textbook straight-ahead jazz.

Saturday, December 22: Details to be confirmed, but trumpeter Bijon Watson is leading a Latin jazz band at a hip new spot in Santa Ana. The O.C. is tough for me, but much easier on a Saturday night… Let’s make an evening of it!

Thursday, December 27: Bill Cunliffe Trio at Spazio, Sherman Oaks. One of my favorite pianists, I’d love to hear him one more time before the year is over.

Saturday, December 29: Ernie Andrew’s 81st birthday celebration at the Jazz Bakery, Culver City. In my ‘hood and a part of Los Angeles’ jazz history, this is a must-see.

Oh, I fibbed – one more apology… The Jazz Tasting for December 15 has been postponed, with a new date to be announced. I was over-ambitious with the timing, and hopefully the new post-holidaze date will be easier for everyone!

That’s it for 2007 – next jazz update will be in the new year!! Happy holidays to all of you, and I wish you a holiday season and year filled with every good thing you can imagine, especially great live jazz!