July 26, 2006

Summer Storm In Vegas

Kyle Eastwood, respected jazz bassist, composer, and arranger, who even collaborated with his father, Clint, for the Oscar-winning Mystic River a few years ago, will be performing at the Suncoast Hotel, August 4th-6th.

The Summer Storm is coming to Vegas, specifically on August 18th at the Railhead Showroom inside the Boulder Station Hotel. The Summer Storm members include Norman Brown, Patti Austin, Alex Bugnon, and Paul Taylor.

The Steven Lee Group, featuring saxophonist Rocco Barbato, still holds down the Monday night shift at the new Redrock Station Hotel and Casino.

Ronnie Foster, legendary keyboardist, is still at the Artisan Hotel on Thursdays and Saturdays starting at 10pm.

Rocky Gordon
is back at the District, at the Greens location, with his band KGB on Friday, August 11th.

Jerry Lopez (Ricky Martin, Bill Champlin, Clint Holmes) has brought his band, Santa Fe And The Fat City Horns, to the Palms hotel on Mondays. This is a great band, featuring Jerry on guitar and vocals.

On an editorial note:
Vegas is not known for original music or launching innovative talent. Culturally the city has been challenged with too many magicians and celebrity impersonators for years. So it comes as no surprise when you hear the varied sounds of the city that you might define as jazz on occasion.

As far as what I have witnessed over the last few years regarding smooth jazz groups, if I hear one more Benson-guitar clone performing Affirmation or Breezin'; or one more saxophonist perform the songs Europa, Mister Magic, or Chicago Song; or one more wannabee jazz vocalist sing Just The Two Of Us, This Masquerade, or Summertime, or Chaka Khan's Ain't Nobody, then I will pray with the voodoo doctor to bring Jimi Hendrix back from the dead to come and burn their instruments and microphones. It's been done already, and overdone.

If this dilemma is plaguing your community, tell your local club and restaurant owners you've had enough.

Give the people what they want, but remember, those people who like those tired sounds are usually in the upper demographic, and not necessarily members of the affluent class. Younger thinking, hip audiences are looking for more. And they also have the disposable income to buy music.

Gen X has entered the smooth jazz arena. Recruit them now!

Posted by Danny Desart at July 26, 2006 3:43 PM