4th of July Blast with Jazz and Blues

By Ricky Richardson

Los Angeles-Councilmember Bernard C. Parks and Bobbie Parks and the staff of the 8th District welcomed thousands gathered in the Vision Theatre Backlot in Leimert Park Village for the 8th Annual 4th of July Jazz Festival.

Celebrating country, community and freedom with family and friends on Sunday, July 4, 2010 with a nice summer breeze. James Janisse served as Master of Ceremonies.

Rev. Alvin McKinney got the program under way properly by leading the crowd with the �National Anthem� on saxophone.

Phyllis Battle, former vocalist with the 5th Dimensions, belted out some jazz and blues with a lot of soul on �Amen�- acapella, Do I Do,� �Fever,� �What a Wonderful World,� and �Joy Spring� by Clifford Brown.

CJS Quintet delighted the crowd with some be-bop, hard bop. The band were swinging hard on �Hanky Panky� by Dexter Gordon, �Subtle Intensity� composed by keyboardist Art Hillary, �Melody for Thelma� by Blue Mitchell and closed with another composition by Art Hillary �What Now My Love.� You can find several of these tunes on their latest CD Let�s Play.

An added treat to the festival were two dynamic and funny stand up comics to entertain the crowd between acts. Roz Browne and Rose Nelson had the crowd laughing hard until their sides hurt. I look to hear more from these talented comics in the future.

Guitarist Ray Bailey fired up the already enthusiastic crowd by taking us down south for some good down home blues. He demonstrated his virtuosity on �Sugar� by Stanley Turrentine. He cranked up the throttle up a notch on �Why I Sang The Blues� by B.B. King, �Black Night� by Lowell Fulson and closed out his set with �Caldonia� by Luis Jordon.

Mark Felton aka The Panther closed out another successful and thrilling day with a set of up tempo contemporary jazz.

The festivities switched over to Exposition Park for the annual KJLH Radio Music Festival. The day was capped off with fireworks spectacular at the Los Angeles Coliseum.