Monday, April 11, 2005

the school of jazz

I love dim sum. And no one does it better in Chinatown than Ocean Seafood. So we braved the crowds on Sunday morning to get the best dim sum in town. We managed to stuff ourselves thoroughly and make it to the REDCAT at the Walt Disney Hall in plenty of time for the 2pm Jazz Jam With David Roitstein, Larry Koonse, Aaron Serfaty & Ivan Johnson.

I hadn't been to the REDCAT before, but I think I'll be spending a lot more time there. Adrienne from the LAist assured me that the lounge at the REDCAT was a worthy hang, what with their free wi-fi and strong drinks. The concert itself was a riot. Roitstein certainly knows his way around the piano and by explaining to the audience what they were trying to accomplish, how improvisation in jazz reveals a musician, well he demonstrated what a wonderful teacher he is. Koonse has great technique and plays very well with Roitstein, their chemistry as musicians was very much evident throughout the concert. Serfaty is an amazing drummer and together with bassist Johnson, they drove that quartet. They were enjoying themselves so thoroughly it was infectious. After a few numbers David Roitstein asked if anyone in the audience brought their instruments and wanted to come up and jam with them. Suddenly, it was The School of Jazz. A small group of teenage musicians took the stage, improvising, laughing, and playing the hell out of Ellington, Miles Davis, and original works by Roitstein and Koonse. They ended the concert with a Latin jazz number and had members of the audience singing along enthusiastically. It was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon in downtown Los Angeles, jazz and dim sum.

David Benoit, after playing in Bernard's kitchen at the Biltmore for Celia and friends.

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