Hollywood Jazz Tribute

NOVEMBER 18, 2015 by Shelea Music

by Annick J. Downhower
November 18, 2015 • 223 views


The many moods of jazz – energizing, romantic, playful, and sexy – were expressed at the Los Angeles Jazz Society’s 2015 Tribute Awards. Held November 7 at the Montalban in Hollywood, the event drew music and entertainment figures such as producer Quincy Jones, director Norman Jewison, and actor Hal Linden and was hosted by Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis, Jr. of The 5th Dimension.

Lifetime Achievement Award recipient George Bohanon recalled that his musical journey began at age 8 when he pestered his father to buy him a pawn shop trombone. Young Bohanon stuck by his music studies and after college accompanied stars such as Diana Ross and Marvin Gaye at Motown Records. A vacation to Los Angeles turned into a permanent move and Bohanon and his wife started The Cultural Link to encourage future generations of musicians. After accepting his award, Bohanon and his group entertained with “When We Were Young” and “Caravan.”

12227070_998825690160779_1304938299515804540_nLos Angeles County High School for the Arts’ senior Julian Gomez received the Shelly Manne Memorial New Talent Award. Bass player Gomez was joined by classmates Jamael Dean (piano) and Alex Smith (drums) to perform a mellow “Stardust” and Gomez’s own “Red Glow,” truly impressing the audience with their depth of talent.

Lyricists Alan and Marilyn Bergman received the Jazz Tribute, presented by their longtime friend and neighbor, composer and music producer Quincy Jones. The Bergmans have been nominated sixteen times for Academy Awards, winning three. They created such classic hits as Frank Sinatra’s “Nice ‘n’ Easy,” Barbra Streisand’s “The Way We Were,” and Ray Charles’ “In the Heat of the Night.” Congratulatory messages were sent by Streisand and composers Michel Legrand and Dave Grusin who were unable to attend the event.

Vocalist Shelea took time away from touring with Stevie Wonder to bring down the house with “Make Me Rainbows” and “What Are You Doing the Rest of Your Life?” Steve Tyrell soulfully crooned “Nice ‘n’ Easy” and Alan Bergman took the stage with singer Tierney Sutton and composer Johnny Mandel to perform some of the Bergmans’ compositions. The Los Angeles Jazz Society All-Star Big Band, under the direction of John Clayton, helped keep the house swinging all evening.
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