The Playboy Jazz Festival is one of those big names in the world of music spectaculars that you just know, whether you're a jazzy-jazzer or not. Think Coachella, or Glastonbury. You know the name, and you know it is big.
And the 2009 line-up is as big as the festival's name -- Wayne Shorter Quartet, The Dap Kings, Kenny G, the Neville Brothers -- but that is to be expected, of course. What we're really liking are the surprises on the roster, like the jazz ensemble from North Hollywood High. Local. Love it.
And, the master of ceremonies, the man in charge, the guy keeping the show running, the crowd lively, the weekend memorable: Bill Cosby. We have the urge to type his name again, and maybe three more times after that. Bill Cosby, Los Angeles. There are few stars like him, in the past, today, ever, with his credits, his charisma, his ability to say something hilarious that sticks forever in our hearts and heads.
Grapefruit juice and chocolate cake? Yes. We've watched that bit 100 times, and hope to 100 more.
The Playboy Jazz Festival is a two-day deal, boasting hours and hours of tuneage, and friends report you just come and relax more than you've relaxed all year while letting the notes flow all around. Jazzy. June 13-14, Hollywood Bowl