Playboy, Jazz and the Hollywood Bowl – Dianne Reees Take Me Away Again

A few lessons learned first…

Do not ever eat the Tuna Balls at the Hollywood Bowl Market.  They may be one of the most disgusting things I have ever put in my mouth… ever.

Blockbuster’s new one day rental policy blows and will certainly lose me as a customer.  You are NOT a kiosk, you are a store who keeps changing your own business plan to try to keep up with the Netflix and the Jones’.  Not good on any level.

Here is a new definition of depression:  When it’s late at night and you need to get the taste of the Tuna Balls out of your system, and you are trying to make a left turn into a one lane In-N-Out Burger and 5 cars make right turns in front of you, completely blocking the driveway.

Yesterday was my first Playboy Jazz Festival at the Hollywood Bowl.  My friend Russ has been asking me for years and for some reason I have never been able to go.  He used to work for Playboy, so we sat with a group of other Playboy alums.  They were all quite fun and generous and a good time was had by all.  I have been to the Bowl many times, and I have to say the crowd for this festival was by far the craziest and most into it I’ve ever seen.

We walked in just as the Rebirth Brass Band took the stage with their fantastic and get-out-of-your-seat New Orleans jazz.  With guest artists Donald Harrison, Jr., Kermit Ruffins, Dr. Michael White and Big Sam Williams they worked the crowd into a frenzy.  Mardi Gras beads were flying, and after a woman threw me one (apparently my thank you was not enough), she screamed, “Aren’t you gonna show me something?!”

Strangely and almost instinctively I lifted my shirt.  That made her happy although I am not quite sure why.

Dianne Reeves was divine and blew us all away.  Her scat singing and energy are tops.

Eddie Palmieri’s Salsa Orchestra kept the crowd on their feet and dancing, especially our group.

Fourplay featuring Bob JamesNathan EastChuck Loeb and Harvey Mason were great and reminded me a lot of my college jazz listening tastes… Bob James was there… and Spyro Gyra, Pat Metheny and Stanley Jordan and all that fusion.  They were a bit more mellow, which gave us time to rest.

The Roots with special guest Terence Blanchard blew me away with their non-stop, amazingly energetic, always moving, hip hop/jazz fusion set.  I have never been into them on recording, or I should say I have not really listened that much, but most definitely need to go back and explore.  Wow.  I have seen Terence Blanchard and he is always sensational.

All that leaves me very little words to talk about…

Dianne Reeves – A Little Moonlight

I have not spoken about jazz a lot, so there will definitely be more of that… I am tracking down some Teremce Blanchard and already have a great jazz collection, so keep an ear out.  This one is definitely a lot more mellow than she was last night, and apparently more “subdued” than earlier efforts, so I will be getting some other albums of hers to listen to.  She is an amazing scat singer, as evidenced on the first track here and at the Bowl.  She was just so much fun last night.  I enjoy this one to relax to.  It’s a nice, simple take on some standards.  Her clear and remarkable voice warmly embraces you and is just so lovely.  Comparisons to Sarah Vaughn are right on.

Would love to see her do a full live show and am looking forward to her more energized records, but this is what I had and it’s a fine place to start.


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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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