Catalina Jazz Club, Los Angeles

3 Reviews

Know about this? Rate It!

hide
  • The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com
    The Sony Holland Quartet...
    by poetjo
  • The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com
    The Sony Holland Quartet...
    by poetjo
  • The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com
    The Sony Holland Quartet...
    by poetjo
  • poetjo's Profile Photo

    Catalina Jazz Club: Cool Jazz on a Hot Night

    by poetjo Written Nov 11, 2009
    The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com

    Sony Holland Quartet:
    Theo Saunders, piano: Steve Cotter, guitar: John B. Williams, bass: Tony Austin, drums: Special guest appearance by Jerry Holland, guitar.

    I am so happy I flew to Hollywood to see this concert at the Catalina Jazz Club. It was one of those experiences that I will never forget.

    Seeing Sony Holland in concert is always something I look forward to and she never disappoints. This concert was nothing less than magical. Her quartet which consisted of the players listed above are in a league all their own.

    The piano player, Theo Saunders, played those keys to heights of which I have never heard. He was smooth as silk and fire on ice depending on the melody and tempo of the tune. A stellar class act.

    Steve Cotter on guitar had those strings singing along with drummer Tony Austin who had dancing drums at his feet. These two as a duo would be fantastic.

    Now I have to admit that I had never heard any bassist of whom I really enjoyed. I've always thought to myself "why even have a bass player" because there has never been any bass player who in my opinion has stood out on a concert stage. Well, John B. Williams certainly answered that question for me. He was absolutely on fire that night. He made that bass perform as if it were a living and breathing entity. I don't remember which song it was but he did a solo that simply rocked the house. It was amazing to see.

    My favorite guitarist/songwriter Jerry Holland made a special guest appearance which added a special dynamic to the entire show. Jazzy Jerry plucks those strings to a frenzy like no one I've ever seen or heard. He contributed to the show that unmistakable edge only he can provide.

    These players are of a totally different caliber than most I have heard. Maybe it's because they play with jazz greats or maybe it's because they are just that good. I don't know really but whatever the case they are THE BEST I've ever heard.

    Sony Holland and that delicious voice I have heard on many occasions. The last time I saw her perform with a full band was at the San Jose jazz festival. I've always thought she had the most silky smooth and alluring voice around, no matter the song choice. Well, to hear her with these musicians at the Catalina jazz club was magical. She was simply on another level that evening. A level to which not only complimented and fit the music but a level that I never even thought existed. She was above and beyond sheer perfection and at her best - the best I have ever heard her sing.

    Many tunes stood out. The Etta James classic "At Last" is a favorite of Sony's fans and a tune that is expected during her shows. This song in my mind is a true test of the musicians' abilities. They absolutely blew this tune out of the water, again, to a higher level. Sentimental Mood has been performed in the past by Sony and her various players both as a standard and swing tune. At the Catalina, the band performed it as a samba - it was fiery, sexy and hot! The Elton John hit Honky Cat had concert goers dancing in their seats. By the time the concert was ready to close Sony and her band had the audience in a frenzy, wanting more and more. With a couple of standing ovations and after about and hour and a half, we still wanted more. It was phenomenal.

    The concert had us in complete awe. At one point during the concert my friends and I turned to each other in unison and uttered WOW! We were blown away. This was, in my opinion one of if not the best concerts I have ever seen or heard. I would fly anywhere to see Sony and this band again. Excellence does not even come close to describing Sony Holland and her quartet @ The Catalina Club.

    Dress Code: Casual but no jeans.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Business Travel
    • Music

    Was this review helpful?

  • poetjo's Profile Photo

    Catalina Jazz Club: Cool Jazz on a Hot Night

    by poetjo Written Nov 11, 2009
    The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com

    Sony Holland Quartet:
    Theo Saunders, piano: Steve Cotter, guitar: John B. Williams, bass: Tony Austin, drums: Special guest appearance by Jerry Holland, guitar.

    I am so happy I flew to Hollywood to see this concert at the Catalina Jazz Club. It was one of those experiences that I will never forget.

    Seeing Sony Holland in concert is always something I look forward to and she never disappoints. This concert was nothing less than magical. Her quartet which consisted of the players listed above are in a league all their own.

    The piano player, Theo Saunders, played those keys to heights of which I have never heard. He was smooth as silk and fire on ice depending on the melody and tempo of the tune. A stellar class act.

    Steve Cotter on guitar had those strings singing along with drummer Tony Austin who had dancing drums at his feet. These two as a duo would be fantastic.

    Now I have to admit that I had never heard any bassist of whom I really enjoyed. I've always thought to myself "why even have a bass player" because there has never been any bass player who in my opinion has stood out on a concert stage. Well, John B. Williams certainly answered that question for me. He was absolutely on fire that night. He made that bass perform as if it were a living and breathing entity. I don't remember which song it was but he did a solo that simply rocked the house. It was amazing to see.

    My favorite guitarist/songwriter Jerry Holland made a special guest appearance which added a special dynamic to the entire show. Jazzy Jerry plucks those strings to a frenzy like no one I've ever seen or heard. He contributed to the show that unmistakable edge only he can provide.

    These players are of a totally different caliber than most I have heard. Maybe it's because they play with jazz greats or maybe it's because they are just that good. I don't know really but whatever the case they are THE BEST I've ever heard.

    Sony Holland and that delicious voice I have heard on many occasions. The last time I saw her perform with a full band was at the San Jose jazz festival. I've always thought she had the most silky smooth and alluring voice around, no matter the song choice. Well, to hear her with these musicians at the Catalina jazz club was magical. She was simply on another level that evening. A level to which not only complimented and fit the music but a level that I never even thought existed. She was above and beyond sheer perfection and at her best - the best I have ever heard her sing.

    Many tunes stood out. The Etta James classic "At Last" is a favorite of Sony's fans and a tune that is expected during her shows. This song in my mind is a true test of the musicians' abilities. They absolutely blew this tune out of the water, again, to a higher level. Sentimental Mood has been performed in the past by Sony and her various players both as a standard and swing tune. At the Catalina, the band performed it as a samba - it was fiery, sexy and hot! The Elton John hit Honky Cat had concert goers dancing in their seats. By the time the concert was ready to close Sony and her band had the audience in a frenzy, wanting more and more. With a couple of standing ovations and after about and hour and a half, we still wanted more. It was phenomenal.

    The concert had us in complete awe. At one point during the concert my friends and I turned to each other in unison and uttered WOW! We were blown away. This was, in my opinion one of if not the best concerts I have ever seen or heard. I would fly anywhere to see Sony and this band again. Excellence does not even come close to describing Sony Holland and her quartet @ The Catalina Club.

    Dress Code: Casual but no jeans.

    Related to:
    • Music
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel

    Was this review helpful?

  • poetjo's Profile Photo

    The Catalina Jazz Club: Jazz @ The Catalina

    by poetjo Written Nov 6, 2009
    The Sony Holland Quartet www.sonyholland.com
    1 more image

    I made a special trip from San Francisco to Los Angeles to attend the Sony Holland concert at the Catalina Jazz Club. I had never been to the Catalina so I had no idea what to expect.

    I arrived the morning of the concert and decided to take a walk along Sunset Blvd. to get a feel for the area. The club is actually located inside an office building. Their marquee is mounted outside the building with flashing lights displaying the club and artist names. It was exciting to see Sony's name in lights.

    Since I had never been there I decided to arrive early at 7:00 p.m. when the doors opened. The person cleaning the outside area of the building buzzed me in the front door of the building and the club was identifiable by a simple sign on a door located on the first floor of the building. I walked in the door and was pleasantly surprised. The host was so friendly and welcoming that I felt as if I had walked onto the set of "Cheers." The club had that distinct feeling all evening. I was also thrilled to see two of my friends from the Bay Area there as well.

    The club itself has an L shape to it which is very interesting and I think well thought out for the venue. The main club area has table vignettes which seat anywhere from two people to around ten people situated around the stage so that no matter where you are the stage is the main focal point in the room. Even if you are at the bar which is the longer part of that L shape, you still have a good view. Each table was set with tablecloths, menus and flyers with the artist information. I found these extras very appealing which high end jazz clubs normally do not provide.

    The lighting I found to be the best I have ever encountered in any club, jazz or otherwise. I was able to actually see my bill when presented with the dim lighting during the concert as well as the menus and upcoming show information. Normally clubs are so dark, especially during a concert that you cannot see anything. Here the lighting in my opinion was perfect. Even the lighting on the stage was good enough that we were able to get photos without a flash as can be seen in this post. Usually in clubs, the lighting is such that it will distort the actual colors of the musician's attire though not the case here. I really liked that.

    The sound was crisp and clear. You could hear each instrument along with the vocals without anyone drowning out the other. It wasn't too loud or too soft but right on key, throughout.

    I do not drink alcohol so it's always tough to find something I enjoy. They have a full bar which offered non alcoholic drinks including beer of which I ordered Buckley's and enjoyed it very much. I did not eat here as I had dinner earlier but my friend did order dinner and seemed to enjoy what he ordered. This brings me to another point I would like to mention. Most clubs require two drink minimum when attending a show. The Catalina gives you a choice of either a two drink minimum or dinner. I love the fact that they provide a choice. I also want to mention that when reading reviews of the Catalina I found so many people stating how expensive it was to attend a show here. NOT TRUE. If you frequent music venues, especially high end premier venues like the Catalina as I do on a regular basis, you'll find their prices to be in line and competitive with all the other venues out there. The cover charges vary depending on the artist and the dinner and drink prices are standard. They are not expensive at all. My bill? One non alcoholic beer and a ginger ale with a 30% tip = $17.00. Now I normally never tip 30% but I loved this venue.

    The service was friendly, quick and non intrusive. The servers knew when to approach for your second drink and were very cautious not to interrupt or obstruct the view of the patrons. They were helpful, knew what they were doing and very friendly.

    When Sony Holland performs at premier jazz clubs, her friends provide a champagne and dessert reception after the show. Normally the champagne and dessert is buffet style located in the bar area. At the Catalina, servers provided the dessert trays to the audience which I thought was very special. It was that extra touch provided by the club that makes this venue so wonderful.

    As I said in the beginning of this post, I had that friendly feeling all evening. Now I know why this club is considered to be the premier jazz club in LA. I've been to many in the Bay Area and have to admit I enjoyed this club over and above any other I've experienced. I will definitely go back to see Sony if and when she again performs at the Catalina. In fact, if anyone I really like will be performing there, I will absolutely make that trip from SF to LA to see them. That is exactly how much I enjoyed the Catalina.

    Dress Code: I would say no jeans or sneakers though casual is acceptable.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Music
    • Romantic Travel and Honeymoons

    Was this review helpful?

Instant Answers: Los Angeles

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

87 travelers online now

Comments

View all Los Angeles hotels