The Jazz Diaries

las vegas jazz notes

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Friday, August 26, 2005
David Sanborn at the Suncoast Casino
David Sanborn in Las Vegas 2005

Las Vegas, Nevada * May 6th, 2005
by Don Brown Sr., Caught Live Too!

It has been thirty years since jazz saxophonist David Sanborn took his shot as an artist in his own right with the release of his debut album Taking Off. With time he proved that he was nobody's sideman. Yet David continues to help out his friends when asked. Now with the release of his latest cd Closer Sanborn proves once again that he is the man. So we headed out to the Suncoast to check out the opening night of his packed three night stand in Las Vegas.

Sanborn and his band turned it up from the opening number "Full House." Though I couldn't catch all the band members' names two men were easy to pick out, keyboardist Ricky Peterson and percussionist Don Elias. The rest of David's group would take their turns in the spot light all night long. Charlie Chaplin's "Smile" from David's new disc Closer sounded great with this terrific band.

Marcus Miller's "Maputo" gave the spotlight to the drummer and percussionist Elias. Sanborn lead the group through "Lisa" one of the few songs named after an old flame that he can still play. David said "I've Got To Stop naming songs after girls."

The band ended the set with "Chicago Song" and "Benny" which was the second song from his brilliant cd Upfront they played. The other was the first tune "Full House." David and his group then returned for their encores ending a night that will be remembered for a long time.

Photo by Don Brown Sr. copyright © 2005 Brown Ink

Monday, December 01, 2003
New Club Dates The Jimmy Wilkins Orchestra has found a new home. Recently having played Murphy's Pub, the big band (17 pieces) moves to the Tap House. Always drawing a local senior following, last night was no exception. His loyal fans love the music and enjoy to dine and drink in a comfortable atmosphere.

Present were the divine duo Don and Alicia Cunningham who told me they have a great musical project in the works. And no matter what jazz function I go to, it seems Paul 'Spyder' Evans can be found close by. If you've ever viewed photos of Vegas jazz personalities, more than likely they were taken by Spyder. Along with freelancing he was long associated with the Las Vegas Jazz Society.

Jimmy will perform two shows every Sunday from 5-8pm. The Tap House is located at 5589 W. Charleston Blvd. 702.870.2111

Sunday, August 17, 2003
Lezlie Anders: A Tribute To Miss Peggy LeeFEVER! A Tribute To Miss Peggy Lee. Lezlie Anders & Buddy Greco

Recorded live at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Judy Bayley Theatre in August of 2002. Includes: Why Don't You Do It Right?, It's A Good Day, Manana, The Dave Barbour Medley, Where Can I Go Without You?, Golden Earrings, He's A Tramp, I'm Gonna Go Fishin', Mr. Wonderful, Sing A Rainbow, Lover, Fever, The Folks Who Live On The Hill, I Love Being Here With You, It Was just One Of Those Things, When In Rome, I'm In Love Again, Just For A Thrill, Alright-OK-You Win, Big Spender, I'm A Woman, Is That All There Is?, I'll Be Seeing You and Bows.

August concert calendar Calendar

8/1 Boz Scaggs - House Of Blues
8/2 Reverend Horton Heat - House Of Blues
8/3 The Roots - House Of Blues
8/7 Dave Hole - Boulder Station, The Railhead
8/9 Zenbop, April Spain - Aliante Discovery Park
8/10 The Crusaders, David Sanborn - The Palms
8/13 Steve Reid & Bamboo Forest - Green Valley Ranch
8/14 Norton Buffalo - Boulder Station, Railhead
8/15 Stanley Clarke - Boulder Station, The Railhead
8/15 Lezlie Anders & Buddy Greco - Suncoast Showroom
8/15-16 Etta James - Las Vegas Hilton
8/16 Rick Arroyo Band - Black Mountain Aquatic Complex
8/20 ZZ Top - Mandalay Bay
8/21 Rick Holmstrom - Boulder Station, Railhead
8/22 Walt Boenig Band - Justice Court Park, Henderson
8/23 Ray Charles - Texas Station CANCELLED
8/28 The Wailers - House Of Blues
8/28 Walter Trout - Boulder Station, The Railhead
8/29 Gipsy Kings - Hard Rock, The Joint
8/30 Susan Tedeschi - Paris Las Vegas
8/30 Joe Cocker - Sunset Station Amphitheater
8/31 Blues Traveler - Mandalay Bay Beach

Saturday, August 16, 2003
KUNV Names New General Manager

In the ever-changing radio environment that is KUNV 91.5-FM, the university has named communication professor Anthony Ferri the station's general manager. What differentiates Ferri from the station's last two GMs is his title doesn't include "interim."

So with its rock roots ravaged, does the NPR-affiliate have any significant plans for the future under Ferri? He believes so -- but those changes won't have anything to do with the format.

"I hope to make this a greater artistic voice for UNLV, as well as a community voice for UNLV," Ferri said. "I think that's what KUNV is and should be."

Ferri's three priorities involve building a stable financial situation, establishing stronger ties to the university and community, and developing more accountability that follows Federal Communications Commission regulations. The 18-year UNLV professor would also like to see a KUNV-affiliated course -- or radio training program -- offered to students.

"I would like us to be much more involved with students, otherwise I think we are wasting a great resource here," Ferri said.

Ferri declined the general manager position when it was offered a year ago, but accepted it this year under conditions that he could maintain a teaching load. He will teach one course in the fall. Engstrom returns to her regular duties as associate dean of the College of Urban Affairs. -- Mike Zigler, Las Vegas City Life

Saturday, June 07, 2003
Love & Peace: A Tribute To Horace Silver Bridgewater Dee-lights Las Vegas Audience She's sassy, sexy, and scats more like Sarah Vaughn than Ella, who she paid tribute to in her 1997 two Grammy winner "Dear Ella." She's Dee Dee Bridgewater and this diva's been living in Las Vegas (Henderson) for four years now. Those in attendance at tonight's Jazz In The Park concert at the Government Center Amphitheater were in for a very special treat. It was Dee Dee's first appearance in front of her new hometown audience. Many in the crowd have her CDs but, like myself, have never seen her perform live. To do so is indeed special.

Much of Bridgewater's JazzSet (which, incidently, is a syndicated show she hosts on NPR) consisted of selections from her current CD "This Is New" tributing the German composer Kurt Weill. Songs included the title tune "This Is New," "Bilboa Song," "I'm A Stranger Here Myself," "Speak Low," and "September Song." Also heard was "Song For My Father" which she dedicated to all the fathers in the audience, and "Filthy McNasty," both from "Love & Peace: A Tribute To Horace Silver."

Prior to beginning the set Dee Dee gave us an idea of what we might expect to hear, but said she may not sing anything from the "Dear Ella" album. However, near concert's end she detoured from the set list and did a request. Surprising the audience, Dee Dee walked to the edge of the stage on her left and sang a beautiful rendition of "You Have To Swing It (Mr. Paganini)" a capella! That said and done, she dug in her heels for two great closers.

The night ended with a very bluesy, and sexy, "Dr. Feelgood/Rock Me Baby." And the last number, "Stormy Monday" was more like a "Sassy Monday" and included audience participation with the guys versus the girls. There was no doubt as to which gender won. Dee Dee Bridgewater tonight was "all women" and a songbird at her creative peak.

Thursday, May 01, 2003
LV Weekly Music IssueBop Culture The Hidden Life Of Jazz
In Blue Notes From the Underground, the April 24th LV Weekly Music Issue, Steve Bornfeld writes this about The Cunninghams:

"Vocalese, please. Make it a double:
Spousal singing duo Don and Alicia Cunningham stride onstage at the Winchester Community Center, unofficial headquarters of the Las Vegas Jazz Society. A polite but appreciative audience—mostly older, well-dressed and dignified—has gathered on a sunny Sunday to sample the vocal gymnastics of these jazz athletes; despite senior status, each is still blessed with a limber larynx capable of stretching from straight-ahead song styling to octave-leaping twirls and swirls à la Al Jarreau, the Manhattan Transfer and Lambert, Hendricks & Ross. Whether Latinizing “Here’s That Rainy Day,” boppin’ to “Cherokee” or tweaking the edges of “Lullaby of Birdland,” their warm, buttery tones and flights into the higher registers—particularly the missus, who approaches falsetto scats rivaling the miraculous Cleo Laine—please the loyalists".

Wednesday, April 30, 2003
Sergio Mendes Brazil66: Greatest HitsSergio Mendes in Las Vegas 3-16-03
Since his Brazil '66 album almost 40 years ago, Sergio Mendes has been delighting fans all over the world. A three night stand at the Suncoast showed his fans that Mendes can still cut it onstage after all these years.

Brazil 2003 took the stage and played while Sergio was introduced. "Pretty World" got the show underway. "Holografico" featured a fine guitar solo and a spot for the percussionists to play with the drummer for a drum trio. The classic "Girl From Ipanema" kept the show moving and a packed house happy. "One Note Samba" kept the Brazilian rhythms flowing from the stage. A trio of songs followed that flowed from one to the other leading into the percussion solo. The two percussionists played many different instruments, much to the enjoyment of the audience and themselves. The most interesting of these were a bow-like instrument called a berimbao.

"The Look Of Love/Fool On The Hill" medley took the crowd back to their youth. "Mas Que Nada" and "Tristeza" ended a wonderful performance. Mendes and his nine piece band returned for an encore. The song "Indiado" capped off a packed weekend at the Suncoast.

Review by Don Brown Sr. of Caught Live Too!