Friday, November 16, 2007

LAJAZZ.COM -- WESTSIDE 11/16 - 11/23


Friday, November 16, 2007


6:00 - 8:00 PM -- Tony Jones
Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, 90036(323) 857-6000


8:00 PM -- Carl Saunders
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


8:00 PM -- Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


8:30 PM - 12:00 AM -- Special Night of Jazz and Brazilian Music!: Carol Bach-y-Rita
Il Moro, 11400 Olympic Blvd., (three blocks West of the 405, at Purdue), Los Angeles(310) 575-3530


Saturday, November 17, 2007


8:00 PM -- Bill Reichenbach
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


8:00 PM -- Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


Sunday, November 18, 2007


12:00 - 2:00 PM -- Mafuz (Allumettes -- tropical fusion jazz)
Farmers Market, 6333 W. Third St., At Fairfax, Los Angeles, 90036(323) 933-1693


1:00 - 5:00 PM -- Albert Alva Jazz Forum
Moose Hall, 16th and Ocean Park Blvd., Santa Monica(310) 809-2118


3:00 PM -- Judy Wolman's Sing! Sing! Sing! - Thanksgiving Harvest of Songs
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


6:00 - 10:00 PM -- Ken Song
Bandera Restaurant, Wilshire and Barrington, Los Angeles(323) 343-9080


7:00 - 10:30 PM -- Melissa Morgan
Chaya Brasserie, 8741 Alden Dr., Beverly Hills, 90046(310) 859-8833


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Louie Cruz Beltran Quintet
Four Seasons Los Angeles, 300 S. Doheny Drive, West Hollywood, 90048


8:00 PM -- Tenor saxophonist Benny Golson Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


9:00 PM -- Greg Poree
Hal's Bar and Grill, 1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 90291(310) 396-3105


Call for Event times -- Carol Welsman
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


Monday, November 19, 2007


7:30 - 11:30 PM -- Jazz Mondays: Cross Hart Jazz Experience
West Lounge and Restaurant - Hotel Angeleno, 170 N. Church Lane, 17th Floor (Penthouse), Los Angeles, 90049(310) 476-6411


8:00 PM -- Big Band Isaac Smith
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


9:00 PM -- Cal Bennett
Hal's Bar and Grill, 1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 90291(310) 396-3105


9:00 PM -- The Kevin Kanner Quintet
The Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., At Crescent Heights, Los Angeles(323) 954-9400


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


8:00 PM -- Banda Brothers
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


8:00 PM -- DFQ~Dale Fielder Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


9:00 PM - 2:00 AM -- DJ Big Kahuna
Air Conditioned Supper Club, 625 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, 90291(310) 2305343


10:00 PM -- Evan Stone and his Translucent Ham Sandwich Band
The Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., At Crescent Heights, Los Angeles(323) 954-9400


Call for Event times -- Charlie Chiarenza & Friends
Caffe Roma, 350 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills(310) 274-7834


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


6:30 PM -- Ron Kalina
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


8:00 - 11:30 PM -- James Love w/Ralph Gibson Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- M.v.A. QUARTET
Industry Cafe And Jazz, 6039 Washington Blvd, Culver City, 90232310-202-6633


8:00 PM - 12:00 AM -- Jazz Wednesdays: Gennine Jackson
Da Vinci Ristorante - Beverly Hills, 9737 S. Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills, 90212(310) 273-0960


Call for Event times -- Queen Latifah
Royce Hall, UCLA Campus, Westwood(310) 825-2101


Thursday, November 22, 2007


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Jazz Jam with host trio (piano/bass/drums)
El Baron Club and Salvadorian Restaurant, 8641 W. Washington Blvd., Culver City, 90232(310) 841-6298


9:00 PM - 2:00 AM -- DJ Big Kahuna
Air Conditioned Supper Club, 625 Lincoln Blvd, Venice, 90291(310) 2305343


Call for Event times -- Charlie Chiarenza & Friends
Caffe Roma, 350 N. Canon Dr., Beverly Hills(310) 274-7834


Friday, November 23, 2007


8:00 PM -- Altoist Jim Snidero feat. Joe Bagg - organ
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


8:00 PM -- Gary Foster
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


Call for Event times -- Poncho Sanchez
The Mint, 6010 Pico Blvd., At Crescent Heights, Los Angeles(323) 954-9400


Saturday, November 24, 2007
8:00 PM -- Altoist Jim Snidero feat. Joe Bagg - organ
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


8:00 PM -- Stacy Rowles
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


Sunday, November 25, 2007


3:00 PM -- Saxophonist Jessy J. Sextet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


6:00 - 10:00 PM -- Ken Song
Bandera Restaurant, Wilshire and Barrington, Los Angeles(323) 343-9080


6:30 PM -- Theo Saunders Duo
Vibrato, 2930 Beverly Glen Circle, Los Angeles, 90077(310) 474-9400


7:00 - 10:30 PM -- Ryan Cross
Chaya Brasserie, 8741 Alden Dr., Beverly Hills, 90046(310) 859-8833


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Louie Cruz Beltran Quintet
Four Seasons Los Angeles, 300 S. Doheny Drive, West Hollywood, 90048


8:00 - 11:30 PM -- A Night of Revelations: Azar Lawrence Quartet
Jazz Bakery, 3233 Helms Avenue, Los Angeles, 90034(310) 271-9039


9:00 PM -- Quentin Dennard
Hal's Bar and Grill, 1349 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 90291(310) 396-3105

LAJAZZ.COM - SAN FERNANDO VALLEY 11/16 - 11/23


Friday, November 16, 2007


8:00 PM -- Lou Shoch Trio
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400
8:00 PM -- Benn Clatworthy, Sax with John Heard Trio

Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058

8:00 PM -- John Hammond Trio - Recording Live
Back Room at Henri's Restaurant, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303(818) 348-5582


8:00 PM - 12:00 AM -- Jon Mayer Quartet
Sheraton Universal Jazz Bar, 333 Universal Hollywood Drive, Universal City


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Matt Harris Trio
Bellavino Wine Bar, 3709 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village, 91362(805) 557-0202


8:30 PM -- PRETZEL LOGIC - A STEELY DAN REVUE
La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-8158


9:30 PM -- CASMOSQUAD
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Saturday, November 17, 2007


7:00 - 10:00 PM -- Dale Fielder with The Sweet Baby J'ai Quintet
Airtel Plaza Hotel - Landings Restaurant, 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys, 91406(818) 997-7676


8:00 PM -- Stacy Rowles Quartet
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM -- Guitarist - Ron Eschete, John Hammond, Jim Hughart, Kendall Kay
Back Room at Henri's Restaurant, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303(818) 348-5582


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Midnight Train featuring Deidre Contino
Bellavino Wine Bar, 3709 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village, 91362(805) 557-0202


8:00 PM -- Rickey Woodard, Sax with John Heard Trio
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


8:30 - 11:30 PM -- Jesse Bradley
Alessio Ristorante, 9725 Reseda Blvd., Northridge(818) 709-8393


8:30 PM -- PONCHO SANCHEZ
La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-8158


9:30 PM -- FRANK GAMBALE GROUP
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Sunday, November 18, 2007


7:00 PM -- Scott Peters Trio
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM -- Larry Covelli Quartet
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


9:30 PM -- SOULBOP!
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Monday, November 19, 2007


8:00 PM -- Gustavo Ramirez Latin Jazz Quartet
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400

8:00 PM -- Frank Capp Juggernaut Big Band


Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


9:30 PM -- MONDAY NIGHT JAMMMZ
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Tuesday, November 20, 2007


5:30 - 9:00 PM -- A Taste of Art, Music, and Culture: Don Sweeney Trio
Warner Center Marriott Hotel, 21850 Oxnard Street, Woodland Hills, 91367(818) 887-4800


8:00 PM -- John Pisano's Guitar Night with Mark Towns
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM -- Jennifer Leitham Trio
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


8:30 PM -- Dave Hill Group
La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-8158


9:30 PM -- WALLY SCHNALLE - PHYSICS & MAGIC
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Wednesday, November 21, 2007


8:00 PM -- Tateng Katendig Trio
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM - 12:00 AM -- Jazz Jam w/Cathy Segal-Garcia
Sportsmen's Lodge, 12825 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 755-5000


8:00 PM -- Pete Christlieb, Sax with Jon Mayer Trio
Back Room at Henri's Restaurant, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303(818) 348-5582


Thursday, November 22, 2007


8:00 PM -- Doug MacDonald with Lou Shoch
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 - 11:30 PM -- Pat Tuzzolino and Sam Most Trio
Wine Bistro Restaurant, 11915 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 766-6233


8:00 PM -- Zane Musa Quartet featuring Austin Peralta
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


Call for Event times -- Jimmy Spencer
Mr. B, 1333 Hollywood Way, Burbank, 91505(818) 438-5299


Friday, November 23, 2007


8:00 PM -- Jim Szilagyi Trio
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Dominic Genova
Bellavino Wine Bar, 3709 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village, 91362(805) 557-0202


8:00 PM -- Jazz Legend Dave Pell with Vocalist - Bonnie Bowden, John Hammond Trio
Back Room at Henri's Restaurant, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303(818) 348-5582


8:00 PM -- Stacy Rowles, Trumpet with John Heard Trio
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


8:30 PM -- BISQUERA BROTHERS
La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-8158


9:30 PM -- THE MICHAEL LANDAU TRIO
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Saturday, November 24, 2007


6:00 - 9:30 PM -- Kate Mantilini Woodland Hills: Don Sweeney Trio
Kate Mantilini, 5921 Owensmouth Avenue, Woodland Hills, 91367(818) 348-1095


8:00 PM -- Bill Watrous Quartet
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM -- Azar Lawrence, Sax with John Heard Trio
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


8:00 - 11:00 PM -- Matt Harris Trio
Bellavino Wine Bar, 3709 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Westlake Village, 91362(805) 557-0202


8:00 PM -- Trumpet Virtuoso - Carl Saunders, John Hammond Trio
Back Room at Henri's Restaurant, 21601 Sherman Way, Canoga Park, 91303(818) 348-5582


8:30 - 11:30 PM -- Jesse Bradley
Alessio Ristorante, 9725 Reseda Blvd., Northridge(818) 709-8393


8:30 PM -- NICK SMITH AND SPECIAL FRIENDS
La Ve Lee, 12514 Ventura Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-8158


9:30 PM -- JAZZ MINISTRY
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615


Call for Event times -- Marilyn King Quartet
Airtel Plaza Hotel - Landings Restaurant, 7277 Valjean Ave., Van Nuys, 91406(818) 997-7676


Sunday, November 25, 2007
7:00 PM -- Bevan Manson Trio
Spazio, 14755 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, 91403(818) 728-8400


8:00 PM -- Doug Webb Quartet
Charlie O's, 13725 Victory Blvd., Van Nuys, 91401(818) 994-3058


9:30 PM -- JOHN DAVERSA CONTEMPORARY BIG BAND
Baked Potato, 3787 Cahuenga Blvd., Studio City, 91604(818) 980-1615

LAJAZZ.COM - PALM SPRINGS 11/16 - 11/23


Sunday, November 18, 2007

6:00 - 10:00 PM -- Johnny Meza
Bing Crosby's Restaurant and Piano Lounge, 71-743 A Highway 111, Across from the River in Rancho Mirage, Rancho Mirage, 92270(760) 674-5764


Monday, November 19, 2007

6:00 - 10:00 PM -- Johnny Meza
Bing Crosby's Restaurant and Piano Lounge, 71-743 A Highway 111, Across from the River in Rancho Mirage, Rancho Mirage, 92270(760) 674-5764

Thursday, November 22, 2007

5:00 - 10:30 PM -- Larry Flahive, Jeff Stover, James Nation
Sullivan's Steakhouse, 73-505 El Paseo Ste 2600, Palm Desert, 92260(760) 341-3560

Sunday, November 25, 2007

6:00 - 10:00 PM -- Johnny Meza
Bing Crosby's Restaurant and Piano Lounge, 71-743 A Highway 111, Across from the River in Rancho Mirage, Rancho Mirage, 92270(760) 674-5764

Thursday, November 15, 2007

A TRIBUTE TO THE GREAT JOHNNY HARTMAN!

SPY-FI!


ABOUT THE COOLEST SURF/SPY MUSIC AROUND!

'FOR YOUR EARS ONLY '

THE MISSION:

SPY-FI is dedicated to the advancement of spy, detective and surf instrumental music. They are focused on performing interpretive versions of classic spy and detective songs, as well as writing new instrumental music for film, television and soundscapes.

WHAT'S SPY YOU SAY?:

Spy Music is that derived from the famous spy/detective movies and shows from the '50's, '60's and '70's. Familiar themes include the James Bond Theme, Goldfinger, Hawaii 5-0, Perry Mason and Peter Gunn.

WHY NO VOCALIST?:

Typically, the theme music in this genre has no vocals, although there are several examples of vocal tunes. If you know of a leggy femme fatale who's a chanteuse wannabe... give us call.


That's JULIE LONDON, in the picture, just in case you didn't know!


We'd love to work a vocalist into our act. She's got to be able to hold a martini glass with style, or else FORGET it.

THE DOSSIER

Spy-Fi was founded in July 1996 by Tom Pervanje on guitar and Mick Zofcin on bass. It's mission was to perform Spy Music anytime, anywhere they could. As always, if they embarrassed themselves, their mothers would disavow any knowledge of their actions.

Scott - keyboards and Hank Levine - drums joined in August 1996. After working together and gigging for a couple of years, Hank left and was replaced by Bob Yeager - drums in January of 1999.

RAT PACK: LIVE @ THE SANDS!





Wednesday, November 14, 2007

MONEYPENY COMING TO AMERICA!


CommanderBond.net has scored a major Bond literary scoop with the news that Samantha Weinberg's excellent Moneypenny Diaries trilogy is finally coming to American bookstores.The first book, The Moneypenny Diaries: Guardian Angel will be released in the U.S. on May 13, 2008, under St. Martin's Press Thomas Dunne Books imprint, which specializes in suspense and mainstream novels. The book will be a hardcover and retail for $23.95.Guardian Angel was first published in the UK in 2005.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

CHRISTMAS GIFTS FOR RAT PACK LOVERS!

EVERYBODY KILLS SOMEBODY SOMETIME: A RAT PACK MYSTERY
By Robert Randisi


Robert Randisi provides a snazzy snapshot of a mythic 1960 Las Vegas in this enjoyable first of a new series. When Eddie Gianelli, former Brooklyn CPA turned Vegas pit boss, is asked to do a favor for Frank Sinatra, what's he gonna do, say no? Of course not. He wants to please his boss at the Sands casino, Jack Entratter, as well as the fabled blue-eyed Chairman of the Board, by catching the bozo who's sending Dean Martin threatening notes that have put the filming of Ocean's 11 in jeopardy. After two thugs break into Eddie's house and smack him around, though, things get complicated with further investigation turning up two dead dancers. Randisi's hilarious, pitch-perfect time capsule captures the swaggering era when the Rat Packers reigned in a city glittering with celebrities, gamblers, showgirls, gangsters and crimes that had to be solved without annoyingly clever CSI techs.

LUCK BE A LADY, DO'T DIE: A RAT PACK MYSTERY
By Robert Randisi

Vegas, 1960. Gamblin', drinkin', and everybody's misbehavin'. Six months ago, while they were filming Ocean's 11, the Rat Pack needed Eddie Gianelli's help to track down the mug who was sending threatening letters to Dino. Now they're back for the premiere and it's Frank who needs Eddie's help. Seems a babe he was planning to meet in Sin City took a powder---leaving behind her luggage and a stiff in the bathtub. She's on the lam, and it's up to Eddie to find her and figure out if she's a victim or a killer. Once again Eddie teams up with his P.I. buddy, Danny Bardini, and the Jewish New York torpedo, Jerry Epstein, who never met a pancake he didn't like. Together they scour the neon streets, smoke-filled lounges, casinos, and seamy back alleys, dodging bodies and thugs with guns. But when Sam Giancana arrives on the scene, Eddie starts to wonder if he's going to be able to keep himself out of jail---and alive.Celebrity cameos spice up the action, and Mo Mo Giancana brings a dark presence to the story. Once again, Randisi, the man Booklist says 'may be the last of the pulp writers,' gives readers a tour de force of bright lights, hot dice, and drop-dead-gorgeous dames in this second novel in the exciting, acclaimed series.

HOLLYWOOD AND CRIME
Edited by Robert Randisi

The 14 stories in this entertaining anthology from Shamus Award–founder Randisi span Tinsel Town history from the 1930s to the present and intersect, literally, at Hollywood and Vine. Top billing should go to Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch story, "Suicide Run," and to Lee Goldberg's "Jack Webb's Star"—the former for the detection and the latter for biggest laughs. Other highlights include Max Allan Collins and Matthew V. Clemens's reinvention of one of the Three Stooges, Moe Howard, as a detective in their clever "Murderlized," about the 1937 death of the Stooges' mentor, vaudevillian Ted Healy. Robert S. Levinson delivers a wicked portrait of gossip columnist Hedda Hopper in "And the Winner Is...," which turns on her lackey's efforts to stop a Nazi sharpshooter at the 1960 Academy Awards. From Harry Bosch's visit to a photographer at Hollywood & Vine Studios to Moe's meeting at a coffee shop at that intersection, all the tales pay homage to the storied Hollywood street corner.

FRANK SINATRA WALL CALENDARS 2008





TEEN SPIES!

Another great update from Tanner posting at doubleosection@blogspot.com/

There's been no lack of coverage on the Double O Section of Charlie Higson and his Young Bond novels. In fact, two such volumes have been published since my original posting on the subject a year ago, Double Or Die and Hurricane Gold (as well as a Young Bond Rough Guide To London). Higson's fifth and, as of now, final book in the series is due out in 2008. But that's not all that's happening on the Young Bond front.

The first Young Bond graphic novel, illustrated by Kev Walker, is also due next year. It's an adaptation of SilverFin, Higson's first Bond novel. I'm very, very excited for this, as I dearly want to see more James Bond comic books in general. (This will be the first new material since Topps published two issues of an aborted four-part adaptation of GoldenEye in 1995.) However, I would honestly rather see original Young Bond adventures in comics than adaptations of the existing novels. (The last original Bond comics came from Dark Horse in the early '90s, and also included a half-finished mini-series.)

I really hope that if the novel series truly concludes with Book 5, as it is supposed to, Higson turns his attention to penning some original comics about the teenage James Bond. I also hope that if the SilverFin adaptation is successful, Ian Fleming Publications doesn't stop with Young Bond comics, but goes on to license original stories about the adult 007 as well.On top of the new novel and the comic book, there are also rumors (courtesy of the Young Bond Dossier, naturally!) of a Young Bond short story in the offing. Higson told a group of fans that he was toying with the idea of writing one as a bridge between Hurricane Gold and the as yet untitled fifth book, wherein James is reunited with the SilverFin Bond girl Wilder Lawless aboard on ocean liner bound from Mexico back to England. He didn't indicate where the story would see print, but maybe it could form the basis for a whole, For Your Eyes Only-like collection of Young Bond stories down the road!

Of course, Anthony Horowitz has already beaten Higson and IFP to the punch with teen spy short stories, just as he did with teen spy novels. (Though to be fair, Young Bond is not strictly a teen spy, like Horowitz's Alex Rider, but a teenager who will one day grow up to be a spy.) Horowitz has produced two Alex Rider short stories so far, both of which are available online (which seems the most likely ultimate destination for a Young Bond story as well), one via The Daily Mail and the other on Horowitz's official website (though you have to register to access it). The former is a Christmas story that serves as a prequel to the entire Alex Rider series; the latter takes place between Alex's third and fourth adventures. These serve as good primers for potential readers to get a taste of Alex Rider without digging into an entire book (although the books are lightning fast reads).

I had thought that Horowitz's teen agent series was originally slated to last for seven volumes, but the seventh Alex Rider novel, Snakehead, is due out tomorrow in the US and I've seen no fanfare about it being the final one, so plans must have changed. The movie version of the first book, Stormbreaker, trickled into US theaters for about one week last fall (after making a decent performance at the UK box office), then got dumped on an initially Wal-Mart-exclusive DVD courtesy of The Weinstein Company. Sadly, I think we can take its lack of American success as a sign that no one's in a hurry to produce a sequel, which is too bad since the second book, Point Blanc, is a better story.

Fans who want to see Point Blanc adapted into another medium can at least look forward to a graphic novel adaptation this Christmas. The first Alex Rider comic was adapted from the film; the second is a translation of the novel. As with Young Bond, I'd rather see original adventures in this format, but I am looking forward to Point Blanc.

I've only read the first several Rider books, but so far I stand by what I said about them last year. They're not quite as well written nor as educational as the Young Bond books, but they are a lot of fun and quick, addictive reads. Alex Rider is definitely one of the better examples of the surprisingly fertile teen spy genre, even if the first few books are rather blatant repackagings of Ian Fleming plots.

YOUNG BOND ROUGH GUIDE TO LONDON!


Great review from our friend Tanner blogging at doubleosection.blogspot.com/

The Young Bond Rough Guide to LondonThe Young Bond Rough Guide to London was issued as a free giveaway with copies of The Guardian purchased in the London area the first weekend of April, 2007. Bond fans around the world subsequently paid through the nose to get copies on Ebay, and their money was well spent.

The Young Bond Rough Guide to London is no mere pamphlet, but a full, squarebound, 64 page book the size of other Rough Guides, like the full-length Rough Guide to James Bond. I'm not sure how big the print run was (but I'd be curious to know!), but due to the limited area in which it was available, and due to the perceived disposability of such material (many Guardian readers no doubt threw it out with the trash come Monday), it's likely to become one of the rarer modern titles sought after by James Bond collectors, perhaps even moreso than the limited editions of Charlie Higson's Young Bond novels.

It's also the first published guide of any sort to Higson's contributions to the Bond canon, edited by Paul Simpson, editor of The Rough Guide to James Bond and co-author of The Bond Files, one of the more comprehensive texts on 007 in all his incarnations.* And, as a final note for collectors, it is the first English language book to depict Young Bond himself on the cover, using an illustration by Kev Walker previously available on the website and on promotional items.

Beneath the attractive but incongruous cover depicting Walker's version of young James Bond in his 1930s attire standing in front of a stylized, modern-day London cityscape, the Guide is a quick and informative read. Like all Rough Guides, it's divided into sections.

The first, "The Back Story," contains a short overview on Ian Fleming and his creation of James Bond, then outlines how the Young Bond series came to be and briefly profiles Charlie Higson, including some choice quotes from the author. There's an interesting one-page interview with Higson in which he reiterates some thoughts he's shared fairly frequently (like not wanting all of his villains to be deformed so as to avoid unfairly stereotyping disfigured people as evil) and shares a few thoughts I hadn't read before.

Next come synopses of the three extant Young Bond novels (similar to the ones given of Fleming's books in The Rough Guide to James Bond), with the most space devoted to SilverFin. There are some misprints, such as a line that implies that Bond's schoolmate George Hellebore is "horribly deformed," rather than his benevolent uncle Algar, but there can't have been too much time for proofreading this project, so to me such infrequent oversights are forgivable. The most essential trivia is cited, like how the opening of SilverFin echoes Fleming's famous opening lines of Casino Royale, or how young Bond briefly encounters the strongman father of his later From Russia With Love adversary, Red Grant. There will probably be nothing new to true Young Bond experts, but I, for one, didn't realize that SilverFin's villain, Lord Hellebore, was named after a poisonous buttercup! Very appropriate, if you've read the novel.

The first section closes with two pieces on London, one giving an overview of its more famous espionage incidents, the other outlining the explosive social conditions that gripped the city in its prewar years. This part is actually quite fascinating, and, with further contributions from Higson, makes a great companion to Double Or Die, in which he paints a fairly vivid portrait of the extreme gap between rich and poor, between London's posh Cumberland Terrace and poverty-stricken East End docklands at the time. Some of the political background given here may go over the heads of Young Bond's youngest readers, but like the novels themselves, the Guide for the most part works as an all-ages resource, and should prove equally readable to fans young and old.

The bulk of the book is formed by the middle section, "On The Trail," which retraces James's Double or Die journey through London for the benefit of a modern-day tourist. Like most of the Rough Guide travel books, it makes an entertaining and informative travelogue. The writers do a great job of mixing specific references to and even quotes from Higson's book with pertinent historical facts and tips for today's tourists. It's even up-to-date enough to mention the gravesite of poisoned Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko in Highgate Cemetery, surprisingly located just "a stone's throw" from Karl Marx's final resting place!

Helpful sidebars highlight specific places of interest or historical events, and all prove captivating. Reading Double or Die, I wondered if the 1917 Brunner Mond docklands explosion Higson mentions was real. I assumed it was, but I'd never heard about it. This book answers all my questions on the subject! In fact, the whole Young Bond Rough Guide to London serves as much as an especially readable set of notations to Double or Die as it does a travel guide. You could easily refer to it again and again while reading the book.

I expected to flip around, as you do with most guides of this nature (or with annotations), but I found all the entries intriguing enough that I quickly ended up reading the entire thing straight through. On top of the London locations, it goes on to outline "Day Trips" to nearby Young Bond locations including Eton, Cambridge and Bletchley Park. Interestingly, it also includes Windsor, to which James hasn't yet traveled in Higson's books (I have, and hold fond memories of the place), but may soon, it seems! "The visitor is more likely to be struck by the lonely, grey splendour of Windsor Castle, the world's largest inhabited castle which will play a key role in the fifth Young Bond novel." I guess Paul Simpson knows something we don't! Nice of him to share.

The final portion of the book is entitled "Time Off" and identifies London locations that don't directly pertain to James Bond, but that a fan of the books might be interested in. It's mostly the regular touristy stuff, like Madame Tussaud's, the British Museum and London Dungeon, but still with a clever Bondian spin. The Guide duly notes, for example, that the Bramah Tea and Coffee Museum "wouldn't be Bond's cup of tea – he loathes the stuff – but he might have appreciated this museum's intriguing coffee exhibits." And special attention is given to a Q-like gun designed to shoot around corners on display at the Imperial War Museum. Clearly, this information isn't merely rehashed from the regular Rough Guide to London; it's been carefully selected and edited.

The Young Bond Rough Guide to London may have been intended as just a piece of publicity material, but it's really so much more than that. It succeeds both as a travel guide (it really makes me yearn to see London again) and as a compelling companion to the Young Bond novels–particularly Double or Die. Since it's a little bit surprising so much work and obvious dedication would go into such a slight publication, I sincerely hope this turns out to be a sampler for a full-length Young Bond Rough Guide, which provides the same sort of information for all the locations James visits in Higson's ultimate five book cycle. That way, all Bond fans would eventually have easy access to this great material (and more!), and not just the ones willing to pay foolish fortunes to savvy speculators.

Such a reference book would also be a great way to create a fun educational tie-in to the popular young adult series, which has to be appealing to Penguin. (Anything to get it in more classrooms and school libraries, I would think, and hook more readers, maybe even in America!)

*Despite its unimpressive appearance and total lack of illustrations, this mass market paperback is highly recommended to all Bond fans. Covering Bond in print, films, comics and more, it's in-depth enough to satisfy even the most knowledgeable readers, but also easily organized enough to serve as a good primer for the uninitiated. Granted, it owes a lot to Kingsley Amis's trail-blazing The James Bond Dossier and Raymond Benson's definitive work on the subject, The James Bond Bedside Companion, but it covers enough new ground to still be worth getting for people who have both of those. (After all, the Bedside Companion is now twenty years old, and neither Benson nor Amis covered Bond in comics.) It may contain a few errors, but I've yet to see a Bond tome that doesn't. And while some fans complain about how opinionated Simpson and co-author Andy Lane are, I find that refreshing. There are more than enough books out there that simply list the girls, the gadgets, the cars, etcetera, that to me it becomes the opinions that make any book on the subject worth reading. Consequently, books like The James Bond Files and Deborah Lipp's Ultimate James Bond Fan Book rise to the top of a very crowded field. I also recommend The Avengers Dossier in the same series (from Virgin Books), for the same reasons and with the same qualifications, which I know is a rather unpopular stance in the Avengers fan community.

RECENT QUIPS FROM LATE NIGHT!

"The writers are going on strike on Monday. ... They are calling this the toughest time for comedy writing since those three weeks back in the '90s when Bill Clinton stopped dating." --Jay Leno

"Did you see this Democratic debate this week? Wow! The six men all piled onto Hillary Clinton. It was like a porn movie. They were claiming she's not a real Democrat because she might actually win something." --Bill Maher

"Here's the kind of thing that makes this country great. A guy in Tennessee was in a food eating competition. ... He wins the competition. He ate 103 hamburgers in eight minutes. ... But you think about it, this has been a hell of a year for Al Gore. One thing after another." --David Letterman

"Anybody notice that for daylight saving, the change is later this year? It was supposed to be last week. According to the New York Times, Congress made this decision in part from pressure from the candy lobby, who wanted an extra hour for trick or treating. Isn't that unbelievable? I mean, the research lobby can't get stem cell research through. The consumer lobby, we can't get lead out of toys. But by God, when it comes to an extra hour of eating sugar, the candy lobby has the power." --Jay Leno

"Did you hear about this? There was a guy arrested in a hotel. ... He's in a hotel and he's trying to have sex with a ... bicycle. Please get some help, Senator Craig. I am begging you!" --David Letterman

"Pat Philbin, the man who staged a fake FEMA news conference on the California wildfires last week, has lost his promotion because of the event. Which begs the question, 'What does it take to actually get fired from FEMA?'" --Amy Poehler

"Hillary Clinton on Thursday visited Wellesley College and told students, 'This all-women's college prepared me to compete in the all-boys club of presidential politics.' Although she said afterwards, it was hard to speak at a school that was so pro-Bush." --Seth Meyers

RETURN OF THE CHAMPIONS!

The wonderful blog @ doubleosection.blogspot.com provides us with the following news.

Variety reports some extremely unexpected, out of the blue - and fantastic! - spy news today: Hellboy director Guillermo del Toro will write and direct a big screen version of the classic Sixties ITC series The Champions for United Artists. The Champions is a terrific (if dated) lesser-known show from the ITC stables that ran from 1968-69 and starred Stuart Damon, William Gaunt and the stunningly beautiful Alexandra Bastedo (The Blood-Spattered Bride).

They played secret agents whose plane crashed in the Himalayas, only to be rescued by an advanced civilization who not only healed them but imbued them with super powers. The trio worked for NEMESIS, an elite intelligence unit of the United Nations based in Geneva. They had to keep their powers a secret from everyone, from rival agents and organizations and even from their own boss. Del Toro has traditionally made only horror movies (and once said he had no interest in venturing outside of that genre), including the Oscar-nominated Pan's Labyrinth last year. The fantastic element of The Champions probably appeals to him, and it's great to see him lured into the secret agent genre! Among his horror movies is Blade II, in which he demonstrated a true gift for action scenes. Hellboy successfully blended that talent with the rich characterizations characteristic of his Spanish language work. Hopefully The Champions will provide another such opportunity.

The first half of The Champions' only season (it ran for thirty episodes) is
available on DVD in the US from A&E, but it's been available for years and there's still no sign of Volume 2. (Maybe the movie will prove the impetus for them to release the rest, but that's still years away.) In England, Network DVD released the whole series in a lavish special edition complete with actor interviews, commentaries, the Legend of the Champions TV movie which was cobbled out of existing episodes in the early '80s, and a new documentary. The Champions is one of the shows covered in James Chapman's excellent book Saints and Avengers: British Adventure Series of the 1960s.

WISEGUYS CD RELEASE CELEBRATION!

To celebrate the release of this CD, The Wiseguys are putting on a pre-Thanksgiving dinner dance at the WORLD famous Steven's Steakhouse in the City of Commerce, on Wednesday, November 21st 2007 at 8:00 pm. This will be an evening of great dining and great music. DINNER AND SHOW!!!!
There will be music by The Wiseguys, and a special performance by The Satin Dollz!!

TRIBUTE TO MARTIN & LEWIS!

WHEN:SATURDAY NOV 10, 2007AT 7:00 PM

WHERE::TANGO D'AMORE
19523-3 NORDHOFF AVE
(818) 727-7399
NORTHRIDGE, CA

A TRIBUTE TO DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS! ALL THE "HITS"...ALL THE "BITS". MUSIC, COMEDY, AND JUST A LOT OF FUN!!!! A FULL ON "VEGAS-STYLE" DINNER SHOW!

IT'S "A TRIBUTE TO MARTIN AND LEWIS". A HEART-FELT TRIBUTE TO THE SONGS, THE COMEDY, THE ANTICS, THE ZANINESS, AND THE PURE FUN OF TWO OF AMERICA'S MOST BELOVED ENTERTAINMENT ICONS, DEAN MARTIN AND JERRY LEWIS!ALL OF DEAN'S "HITS"...ALL OF JERRY'S "BITS" AND CHARATCTERS...LOTS OF COMEDY AND SONGS...MUSIC AND MAYHEM!

THIS IS OUR LAST LOCAL SHOW BEFORE HEADLINING ON THE PRINCESS DIAMOND CRUISE OF HAWAII. THEN, AFTER THAT, ITS SEATTLE, THE MID-WEST, RENO AND VEGAS.IF YOU'VE SEEN OUR SHOW BEFORE, YOU KNOW THAT NO TWO SHOWS ARE EVER THE SAME...IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE SHOW BEFORE, YOU'RE GOING TO BE BLOWN-AWAY! A FULL-ON "VEGAS-STYLE" DINNER SHOW.

PLEASE MAKE RESERVATIONS ASAP...SEATING IS LIMITED. (818) 727-7399.HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!! ALOHA!!!