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In 'Vegas for a week- any bass dealers or good jazz bands?

Discussion in 'Basses [DB]' started by squarewave, Nov 1, 2004.

  1. Hi- I'l be in Las Vegas from Nov. 4th through the 13th. Can anyone recommend shops or jazz acts to check out?
  2. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    Check out Wayne DeSilva, a great tenor/soprano player originally from Hawai'i. He's listed in the Las Vegas phone book, you could call him and find out where he's playing. If you see him, tell him "Aloha" from Marcus.

    Here is a link to Wayne's new CD, with some sound clips:
  3. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Try to catch bassist Morrie Louden if you can. I think he's playing at one of the places in the Belagio Hotel. Also, you may want to head downtown and catch the Lon Bronson All Stars at the Golden Nugget on Monday night. Shows at 10 and midnight, I believe. Not really jazz but it's a great band with top-notch Vegas musicians playing the horn band stuff like Tower of Power, Chicago, Blood Sweat & Tears, etc., but they stretch and let the horn players shine and have guest singers sit in. It's a local musician hang and there's no cover - just a two drink minimum if you want to sit inside.

  4. Thank you gentlemen!

    MJ- Does Wayne use an upright bass player?

    Any other suggestions?
  5. Marcus Johnson

    Marcus Johnson

    Nov 28, 2001
    He always has in my experience. Tom Warrington was the bassist on his current CD, along with Elliot Zigmund, who was one of Bill Evans' last drummers.

    I'm happy to count myself among the double bassists who've shared the stage with Wayne.
  6. Thanks again guys. Anyone else have suggestions for bands or double bass shops in LV?
  7. With the passing of the great jazz trombonist Carl Fontana a couple years ago, i'm at a loss on who you'd call to find out what's happening there right now.
    There's (I hope I have this right) a good bassist there named Bob Bagley . He's well recorded, especially in the big band jazz genre. Call the union and try to get his #. My memory just sucks. There's a great European piano player who worked alot with Eddie Gomez and teaches at one of the colleges.
    While you're on the phone with the union, try to get Rocky Lombardi's #. He's a real good trumpet player who married to an old friend of mine from Denver named Ruthie Holloway...who's a good little piano player and was married to A bassist named Larry Holloway who won the Red Mitchell 5th bass tuning competition in the Northwest a few years back.
    I know this sounds complicated, but should give some results.
    Unless things have changed alot in the last five years. there ain't much happenin' there in terms of jazz. They used to have it at least once a week downtown at a place called the Four Queens...but, who knows?
  8. Thanks Paul. I'm leaving tomorrow morning, so I'll just print this thread for reference. I'll report back to let you guys know what/who I find.

    Hopefully I will be pleasently surprised, but I'm not too optimistic about the general music scene in Las Vegas. I'm afraid that what appeals to the average Vegas tourist might not be my cup of tea (e.g. Sigfreid and Roy, Celine Dion) ;-)

  9. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    I believe the European piano player Paul's referring to is Stefan Carlson, who hails from Sweden and is one of the heads of the Jazz Studies program at UNLV. He's excellent and I would highly recommend checking him out. I think Morrie Louden has been playing with him, if my memory serves me correctly.

    Speaking of passings, I was very sad when I heard of the passing of Carson Smith. I always wanted to study with him when I was living in Vegas but never got around to it.

    It's been a few years since I've lived in Vegas but I understand that the jazz scene has become better since the openings of a lot of the newer hotels. Several of them have live jazz. The scene is just different than a city like NY or SF. Instead of having a club in a basement downtown it's a little cafe in a giant hotel. The level of musicianship is good, IMO. Drew Carey has used the Lon Bronson All Stars for his HBO specials. Don Menza used to play around quite a bit and is an excellent tenor player as is Joe Romano and Jay Rassmussen. The list goes on. There's some cats in Vegas and they play around. Don't let the glitz image fool you. Even the cats playing on those shows you mention are probably playing fun little gigs on the side and burning on them. It's not like you can afford to support your family playing jazz

    Do a google search on '"Las Vegas" jazz' and you will find some listings. You can probably grab a guide on the street somewhere and get the live jazz listings as well. I would be surprised if you spent a week in Vegas and weren't able to hear some good live jazz.

  10. Monte


    Jan 9, 2001
    DFW Area, Tejas
    Unless things just changed, Stefan is at U. of North Texas.

    He's not my favorite, but lots of people dig him so what do I know.... :bag:

  11. Scot, thanks for coming up with Stefans name. I worked a couple of gigs with him when he lived and taught here in Denver...hell of a player. Very much Bill like!
    I when I was a youngin' (here he goes again!) I played that Vegas, Reno, Tahoe circuit for years. I spent some years playing with a great rhythm section incuding pianist Joe Kloess, crazy drummer Mike Buono who you've probably heard TBDBer Marcus Johnson and I, tell hard to believe stories about. Most of the time we worked as the road band for 'Jazz Comedian' Pete Barbutti. We also worked on the road with Cal Tjader (including one record: 'Latin + Jazz= Cal Tjader')
    This same band also worked alot with the great jazz singer Ethel Ennis.
    Anyway, during these years Vegas was hopping with jazz in the lounges. The players from L.A. would drive to Vegas for week-end gigs. Some guys actually moving there incuding the great jazz bassist Carson Smith, who Scot mentions. Carson was a friend of mine...we did some of those Denver based jazz parties of Dick Gibsons together. Great days!!