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Critic's Notebook: Adding some edge to the Hollywood Bowl's jazz season

July 16, 2011 | 11:00 am

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As a music fan in Los Angeles, it's a beautiful thing to have an organization like the L.A. Philharmonic  at our back scheduling a menu of jazz among its offerings at the Hollywood Bowl year after year. The Bowl has few peers in the U.S. as far as outdoor music venues go, and for all of its sales struggles and occasional drifts into identity crisis, jazz is without question just as deserving of our city's finest platform as any genre.

And while this year's Bowl season features tempting, outside-the-box pop offerings such as TV on the Radio with a battery of rising indie rock acts and a star-studded tribute to Serge Gainsbourg, the jazz segment of its lineup takes a safer, more commercial turn with multiple nights dedicated to the crowd-pleasing crossover hybrid smooth jazz.

A critic's notebook running this Sunday calls for a similar sort of diversity in the Hollywood Bowl's tilts in the rock arena to be applied to its jazz selections. If jazz is to remain a presence on the city's premier stage, it needs to be seen from all angles at its still expanding, still evolving best. Read more here.

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-- Chris Barton

Photo: The Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra opened the 2011 Hollywood Bowl jazz season in June. Credit: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times

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