Reviews & Comments

The Ed Vodicka Trio at Catalina Jazz Club

— Hollywood, California
Scott Yanow — LA Jazz Scene July 2023 (


Throughout his prolific and very productive career, pianist-arranger Ed Vodicka has been involved in a countless number of projects, usually in a supportive role. At Catalina Bar & Grill, he made a rare appearance as the leader of his own trio.


Vodicka’s upcoming recording will find him paying tribute to Oscar Peterson, Wynton Kelly and Red Garland. At Catalina’s, with swinging support provided by bassist Edwin Livingston and drummer Kendall Kay, the pianist emulated each of the giants on various pieces. Peterson was saluted with “It Happened In Monterey” and a rollicking version of “Put On A Happy Face,” Kelly was remembered on “Temperance” and “If You Could See Me Now,” and Garland was recalled on the famous Ahmad Jamal arrangement of “Billy Boy.” Other selections either paid tribute to several of the pianists or discarded the concept altogether. These included Jobim’s “So Danco Samba” (which really found Vodicka cutting loose), “Love Dance,” “Just Squeeze Me,” and “No More Blues.”


Vodicka is a virtuoso pianist who played many impressive solos that were both tasteful and concise. Livingston was well showcased on “Just Squeeze Me’ and his bowed bass on “When Your Lover Has Gone,” and Kay had occasional drum breaks.


Ed Vodicka should perform with this trio more often. He is too good a player to be relegated to the background.

-Scott Yanow


The Ed Vodicka Trio at Catalina Jazz Club

— Hollywood, California
John-Giovanni Corda Music Blog — August 2018

“A Concise Genius”

It was this august August when Ed Vodicka played for the chasm of the classic Catalina Jazz Club, Hollywood, California.  Still there in the air were the repercussions of echoes of what I had heard “back when,” when Woody Herman’s band or Arturo Sandoval had aggrandized the room and the lives of us aficionados forever clinging to the great music form of “Jazz.”

Ed is a friend of those who truly like and want music to “go right.”  This kind of learned genius just automatically sets the air aright with the strict ear markings of conservatory learning and “decades of dues,” the kind paid for . . .

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The Ed Vodicka Trio at Catalina Jazz Club
— Hollywood, California
L.A. Jazz Scene Review — July 2010

Pianist Ed Vodicka has appeared at Catalina’s recently on a monthly basis.  He has led a big band featuring singer Marlene VerPlanck, and played organ with Plas Johnson.  For his third appearance, Vodicka paid tribute to the records of his youth (by Oscar Peterson, Red Garland and Wynton Kelly) in a trio with bassist Jim Hughart and drummer Roy McCurdy.  He often sounded close to the pianists, particularly Oscar Peterson on “Soon,” “I’ve Got The World On A String” and “Tin Tin Deo,” and Kelly on “If You Could See Me Now” and “On Stage,” but also infused the music with his own fresh personality.  All  of the performances swung and Ed Vodicka showed throughout the evening that he is one of the finest jazz pianists currently in the Los Angeles area.

–Scott Yanow

The Ed Vodicka Quintet at Catalina Jazz Club

— Hollywood, California

L.A. Jazz Scene Review — June 2010

Pianist Ed Vodicka switched from piano to B-3 organ for an invigorating evening of jazz at Catalina’s.  He picked top-flight cohorts;  Plas Johnson on tenor sax, Nolan Shaheed on trumpet, guitarist John Chiodini and drummer Roy McCurdy. . .  [more]


The Ed Vodicka Big Band with Marlene VerPlanck

at Catalina Jazz Club

— Hollywood, California

L.A. Jazz Scene Review — May 2010

Talented pianist Ed Vodicka fronted his big band, which was roaring all night, then added the delightful vocalist Marlene Ver Planck for an extra special evening of jazz. When I arrived at 7:30 the room was already packed with a happy buzz as patrons ate dinner and enjoyed grown-up beverages. There was a definite excitement in the air, as vocalist Marlene Ver Planck was making a rare West Coast appearance.
After a funny introduction by the bartender, Mike Dusalt, Vodicka went right to work on his own arrangement of “It Might As Well Be Spring,” which was clever and very effective.  Billy Kerr took the first solo on alto sax and . . .  (click here for full review)

Marlene VerPlanck with The Ed Vodicka Trio
LAX Crowne Plaza — April 15, 2010
by Roger Crane, International Review of Music
“. . . absolutely Rolls Royce trio, who could give lessons in how to accompany a singer.”