At 62, the boyishly enthusiastic jazz singer and songwriter Mark Winkler has the moxie and perspective to mine and enlarge the jazz elements of pop songs from the 1960s and ’70s.
Audrey Koz was a pharmacist, but her best medicine was the love she baked into her chocolate chip cookies.
"It's the harmonies of Ravel and Debussy that attract jazz musicians," he said. "I once showed Dizzy Gillespie Ravel's 'Histoires naturelles' for voice and piano. He heard one passage and said, 'Oh, this will go well with Monk's 'Round Midnight.' From then on we had to play it with the Ravel chords."
One of the great joys of L.A. jazz, from the mid-1970s to the mid-'80s, was the blossoming of jazz pianist Dave Frishberg into a singer-songwriter of quirky, yet warmly satisfying, material.
In 1945, the hippest Hollywood nightlife destination was Billy Berg's, on the corner of Vine and DeLongpre. A tall, suave black man named Slim Gaillard, who favored pinstripe suits, held court there. Black entertainers were seldom booked west of Western Avenue in those days, and Gaillard's appearances at Berg's were, in a very real sense, where Hollywood's racial integration began.
In this June 1947 production, Al Jolson reprises his most famous silver screen role as "The Jazz Singer."
Preservation Hall's formula was simple and is followed to this day: No reservations, no food, just music in a small room. Shows began at 8 p.m. Each set lasted around 35 minutes, and tickets were priced low (they're now $10 a show, Wednesday through Sunday)
Video jukebox clip from the 1940s has that shimmy and shake -- and a stereotyped 'yehudi'
Ten years ago, this would not have been: Steven Bernstein, a jazz trumpeter whose most popular bands include the Sex Mob and a Kansas City-style big band, leading a group playing jazz-inflected cantorial tunes. But at a recent Sunday night gig at the Jazz Standard in New York, Bernstein was doing just that.
Jewish music of 2007 reviewed.
Practitioners of world music are constantly exploring ways to fuse disparate musical strains in new and interesting ways. Given all that, it should not be a surprise that there is a new group that combines klezmer with salsa. Odessa/Havana -- "The Explosive Jewish/Cuban Musical Mash-Up" -- a musical project that brings together these two musical traditions in a jazz context will perform at the Skirball Cultural Center at 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29.
Producer, songwriter and musician Larry Klein is having a good year. In a way, one could say his current success is the culmination of a process of recontextualizing his background, his experience, his talents and his interests.
Picks and Clicks
Picks and Clicks
For Israeli violinist Miri Ben-Ari, doing the unexpected is standard fodder; so it should come as no surprise that her new single, "Symphony of Brotherhood" (featuring the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech weaving in and out of an extended string solo) topped the charts just one month after its radio release.
7 Days in the Arts
When a person is slightly famous mostly for one thing, that thing becomes the one thing about him when he dies. So it was that Dave Blume, my father, over and over again in late March was noted as the composer of that likably odd 1966 hit, "Turn Down Day," a pop turn on what began as one of his jazz compositions.
It'll be nostalgia time at the Ford Amphitheatre when Harold Arlen's greatest tunes come alive again for the concert "The Wonderful Wizard of Song.
Caine credits his successes today to a willingness to stick with his musical vision through lean times.
"Follow that instinct," he urges young musicians. "It'll happen, if you work hard, and you can keep moving somehow."
Earlier this summer, Shana Leonard gave up her Fairfax District apartment to move to New Orleans and be near her 82-year-old father, legendary jazz photographer Herman Leonard. But late last month, the 33-year-old single mother, who also cares for her wheelchair-bound 10-year-old daughter, India, found the three of them among the thousands racing to escape from New Orleans.
Who says chicks can't be funny?
Israel Prize laureate Ehud Manor passed away in April but his beloved songs live on in the hearts of Israelis.
Free tunes at the Skirball this afternoon, as part of their continuing "Café Z" series.
7 Days in Arts
A documentary about an old-age home. Sound like a snoozefest?
Marshall Sosson, concertmaster at many Hollywood studios, died on April 29, 2002, at the age of 91.
In the world of moviemaking, Woody Allen is an auteur. In the world of jazz, Woody Allen is a rock star.
The number "three" doesn't play an especially important part in Jewish lore and customs. But the pre-High Holy Day musical rush brought to my desk several trios of related recordings, so it's fitting to deal with them in groups of threes.
Her name is derived from the Hebrew word for "light," and her voice radiates heat. So it seems only natural that the jazz vocalist performs torch songs.
British director Tyrone Guthrie, a non-Jew, once said: "If all the Jews were to leave the American theater, it would close down about next Thursday."
Maybe that explains why there's so much Jewish theater now in Los Angeles. Here's a roundup of the offerings: We can't guarantee they're good, but we can guarantee they're Jewish.
At the Dixieland Jubilee in Sacramento, the annual super bowl of jazz, the band that got the most ecstatic reception a couple of years ago was cradled a few thousand miles east of New Orleans.
It was the Jerusalem Jazz Band, whose members hail each other by such fine old Southern names as Boris, Mika, Shmulik, Stanislav and Aaron.
What is there about klezmer music that sends feet flying and excitement levels of certain Jewish audiences soaring? Nostalgia for the past or a just-found fondness for a "new" music"? Whatever it is, when the klezmer band struck up a "Freylach," almost instantly, a woman in a red baseball cap jumped to her feet, raised her arms to the sky and began bouncing joyfully to the music. She was quickly joined by someone in a jaunty straw hat and a T-shirt emblazoned with the word "Danceaholic." Soon, there was an impromptu circle of happy bouncers -- young and old -- stepping lively under the warm California sun.