This CD is JAZZ with finger popping (want to get up and move) groove, with Dori Amarilio on guitar and organ, mixed in with a couple of latin grooves, featuring world renowned Percussionist, Ray Armando. On the title track, Life's Too Short, you'll find funky saxophone by Jay Leslye and vocals by Marguaret Love, Perline Thurston, Annie Pierce and Deidre Gilbert. This new CD by Karen Hernandez has a stong Gene Harris and Ramsey Lewis feel.
UTAH DIVA…………ONE OF LA’S BEST. KAREN HERNANDEZ, Utah’s own diva of jazz belongs to LA now and what a wonderful talent we have received.
Karen started her career at age four in church and has continued on from there. She performed in local clubs in Utah as a teenager. Karen came to California in the 60’s prompted and encouraged by Gene Harris after he heard her play. She first took up playing in South Central Los Angeles. Karen was one of a few women pianists to play soulful music in the black communities. Hernandez is a very well known name in jazz circles and much in demand with singers in the area. Karen is held in high esteem by fellow musicians and audiences everywhere. HERNANDEZ, celebrated and accomplished pianist, plays it all – straight forward, Latin and Gospel jazz – at its finest.
Karen Hernandez appeared many years, 1970’s and on, at the Money Tree in Toluca Lake and Monteleone’s in Encino with bassist, Eugene Wright and Leroy Vinegar and was accompanist for Marilyn King, Burrel Davis, Jimmy Spencer, Barbara McNair, Herb Jeffries, Johnny Brown and Bill Henderson, to name a few. She performs every year at the AME Church in Los Angeles at their annual Gospel concert. Hernandez is the featured pianist for the annual “Women In Jazz” concert in Hollywood.
She now performs with her own trio in many Los Angeles and San Fernando Valley clubs.
Karen Hernandez’s credits include original songs and performances in the movies “PRETTY WOMAN” and “FABULOUS BAKER BOYS”, as well as, many albums and CD’s. She writes many songs for her own use, to play alone or with the trio, and also for other musicians and singers.
A very valuable bassist, John Heard has appeared in a countless number of musical situations through the years, always distinguishing himself. He started out playing saxophone but switched to bass before joining the Air Force in 1958. After his discharge, Heard worked in Pittsburgh, spent time living in San Francisco (1966-68) playing with Al Jarreau, and primarily freelanced in New York and Los Angeles.
Among his many musical associations have been Booker Ervin, Wes Montgomery, Sonny Rollins, Randy Weston,Ahmad Jamal (1972-77), the Count Basie Orchestra (1974-76), Toshiko Akiyoshi, Louie Bellson, the Oscar Peterson Trio, Joe Williams, Barney Kessel, Eddie "Lockjaw" Davis plus many others.
Because he is a skilled artist, there have been times when it appeared that John Heard would retire from music, but his absences have been fortunately quite brief. His one date as a leader took place in 1983 for the tiny Los Angeles based ITJ label.
-Scott Yanow, All Music Guide
Lorca Hart (son of the drumming legend, Billy Hart) is a very talented, high-energy drummer.
He is part of a duo "Cross Hart Jazz Experience. In addition to their club engagements and personal appearances, they have created documentaries on NBC, PBS, Fox and scored music for Hollywood Records.