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August 4, 2008

Jesse Sharps: The Downbeast Interview

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Jesse Sharps [photo by Jared Zagha]

At high noon on October 10, 2005 -- on what would have been the 88th birthday of Thelonious Monk -- a unique group of musicians gathered for a recording session at the California Institute of the Arts in Valencia, California, about 45 minutes north of Los Angeles. Many of the elders there were graduates of pianist Horace Tapscott's mighty Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra, a musical insurgency formed in almost complete cultural isolation amidst one of the most violent and confrontational decades in American life.

Los Angeles in the 1960s was a city, like the nation, split down the middle over the subject of race, both sides staying behind their battle lines, eyeing the other with suspicion and rage, rarely venturing over to the other side, preferring to let their minds run rampant with the worst nightmares of what "They" were capable of. But, as Rick Perlstein writes in his current book Nixonland, in which the 1965 Watts Riots plays a central role: "Only one had the power to put the other in jail.”

What does this have to do with jazz? In South Central, this "hot" time gave new urgency to the Arkestra's gelling as a unit of musical and social change; Tapscott, whose mantra was "Contributive, Not Competitive,” adored children and used his "guerilla street band" to draw them from the dark lures of street life into musical transcendence and self-reliance via the Ark's signature woodwind-heavy Afro-jazz. One of those children was a 13-year-old named Jesse Sharps.

When the curfew was lifted after days of violence in Watts in August 1965, Sharps wandered out onto the National Guard-patrolled 113th Street, leaving behind a violent and tense home life, and wandered through the smoking ruins of his neighborhood ten blocks north to 103rd Street, the main artery of South Central. "I thought it was the end of the world," Sharps later told an interviewer. He came across a towering figure in a leather jacket and black tam tilted to one side, standing on the street with his arms crossed, looking out over the razed city with a wounded scowl on his face. "I thought he was a Black Panther, I thought he was one of Huey Newton's guys," Sharps recalled. It was Tapscott. "He was mad. I could read his mind: 'What happened to my community?' He didn't like what he was looking at. He did not like it one bit." Behind him, the Ark was playing in front of the embers of their destroyed concert space. "They weren't just 'playing' -- you could tell the music was telling you what just happened in the riots." If there ever was a life changing moment in Sharp's life, this was it.

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The Gathering, Cal Arts, October 10, 2005

Flash forward forty years later to the stage at CalArts. Sharps, now in his 50s and a formidable composer/bandleader in his own right, is the driving force behind The Gathering, a CD and accompanying DVD released this week that chronicles a meeting of minds between, as its subtitle says, "The Roots and Branches of LA Jazz." The "roots" included many who began their distinguished careers in the Ark: saxophonist Michael Session (the current bandleader after Tapscott's death in 1999), singer Dwight Trible, poet Kamau Daaood, bassist Roberto Miguel Miranda, flautist Kafi Roberts, saxophonist Azar Lawrence, French horn player Fundi Legohn -- as well as other elder statesman of the SoCal scene: trombonist Phil Ranelin, drummer Ndugu Chancler, trumpeter Richard Grant, and percussionist Taumbu. The "branches" were up-and-comers young players like saxophonists Kamasi Washington and Randall Fisher, bassist Nick Rosen, pianist Brandon Coleman, trombonist Nathaniel Brooks, bassoonist Sara Schoenbeck and violinist-viola player Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, cellist Peter Jacobson, bassist/clarinetist Tracy Wannomae and English horn player/oboist Myka Miller.

Recently, we sat down with Mr. Sharps and producer Tom Paige at the World Stage in Leimert Park -- Taspcott's base of operations for many years and where he made connections with many of the musicians listed above -- to talk about the motivation behind The Gathering project. As Paige told writer Mimi Melnick, the title of the CD and film "truly conveys both the past and present Leimert Park connection that all the musicians shared, whether members of the Ark, friends of Jesse Sharps, longtime as well as recent players from the area, or other musicians who came in through their connection with those involved." (For a wonderfully comprehensive account of The Gathering session, as well as the deep history behind it and a virtuoso run-down of the songs performed, read Melnick's superb liner notes here,)

Continue reading "Jesse Sharps: The Downbeast Interview" »

August 8, 2008

Nelsapoppin!

Our axe-pal Nels Courtney Cline has always been a little bit of a fashion clotheshorse -- we're thinking in particular of that trippy 1970s-era Givenchy Shirt he likes to wear onstage with Das Wilco -- but Holy Crap, that Day of the Dead-themed Nudie suit he sported at the Wilco Lollapalooza set last week absolutely blew us away:

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[Photos by Amrit]

Amy Phillips of Pitchfork Media saw the Wilco show and gave this appropriately Pitchforkian assessment:

About halfway through Wilco's set, I thought that I already had my review figured out: Make a joke about Barack Obama not showing up, make a joke about how the band's snazzy rhinestoned Nudie suits couldn't cover up the numbing mediocrity of the music on their last two albums. Point out that "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" (which they played second) is still a fucking amazing song, and Nels Cline is still a fucking amazing guitar player (see: his solo on "Spiders [Kidsmoke]"). Say something about how the whole thing was pleasant but dull, whatever.

But then, during "Pot Kettle Black", a guy in a Hawaiian shirt standing next to me with a beer in his hand asked me how I was enjoying the show. I said I was kind of bored. He looked stunned. "But it's such a nice night!" he exclaimed. "Everybody's having such a good time!" He waved his arms around to indicate all of the happy people around us.

You know what? Fuck it. He's right. How can I hate on a Wilco show on a beautiful (and not humid!) night in downtown Chicago? Regular dudes having a good time making music for regular people having a good time listening to them. Couples with their arms around each other, families sitting on picnic blankets, high school kids sneaking cigarettes. Everybody singing along to "A Shot in the Arm".

I'm not that mean. It was a great time. There, I said it.

A couple of newsy notes: Wilco played a new song, apparently called "One Wing". It started out as a pretty, melancholy jam with lyrics falling squarely in the Tweedy self-hatred canon ("I was a curse," "I cast a shadow on this world," etc.) But then it built to a nasty, noisy climax complete with a ripping Cline solo. Right on.

Yes, Amy, we agree: Nels is one great fucking face-melter. He'll be demonstrating said chops in a bunch of Post-Wilco summer tour shows in September, two of which we'd like to highlight: Monday, Sept. 1st sees Nels and his Quintet of Crypto pals Becca Michalek, Ben Goldberg, Joel Hamilton and Scott Amendola performing the music of the late great SoCal composer Jimmy Giuffre as part of the inaugural Angel City Jazz Festival. (Nels' twin bro, the formidable drummer Alex Cline, will be appearing on the same day with the Arthur Blythe Quintet.) Anyone who heard Nels' critically acclaimed New Monastery, which celebrated the music of avant-garde pianist Andrew Hill, will know it won't be just a rehash but a total systems refit of the most radical order. Mr. Giuffre, prepared to be "Nelsed."

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On Friday, September 12, Nels will pop up onstage at the NYC's Knitting Factory for the Fender 50th Anniversary Jazzmaster Concert along with Tom Verlaine, Thurston Moore and J Mascis. Should be a killer show. Unfortunately, we're too poor to go. Ahem. Yes.

CRYPTOGRAMOPHONE: WILL BLOG FOR PLANE TICKET

August 15, 2008

Day-O

You know, we're a bit leery of turning this blog into a never-ending New Orleans funeral parade of obituaries for fallen masters: Johnny Griffin, Hiram Bullock, Lee Young, Joe Beck, Brother Yusuf Salim, Michael Berniker and Jo Stafford all left us in the last few weeks. (Whoops, wait, add Mr. Isaac Hayes and Chris Calloway.) Then there's the stuff that's a little too close for home, like Dave Carpenter, who will be honored with a free memorial concert at the Jazz Bakery this weekend. I've read many times over the impulse of many music writers to use this as a metaphor for how the art form of jazz is dying out -- which is preposterous. I'm not saying that jazz is not on shaky legs lately, especially here in Los Angeles. Just because, say, the last of four U.S. Army soldiers to discover Buchenwald died last week, does this mean World War II history is dying out? Last time I checked, it had two full walls at the local Borders.(Then again, the "Jazz" section was only one shelf, and hidden within the general "Music" section. Oh crap...)

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No matter. A terrific new film opens next week in L.A. covering the LIFE of the late great certifiably nuts jazz singer Anita Belle Colton O'Day. I can say this because I spent a couple months with Ms. O'Day in 2001 working on an in-depth profile of her for Flaunt (back when such an article was even possible in that magazine -- thanks to Larry Schubert!). It was exhausting because the little lady was still so much alive and quite tempestuous. She HATED being interviewed; the only way I could pull it off was sign on as her driver and just watch her create chaos wherever she went. We got into a couple of screaming matches. After it was all done and the wreckage cleared way, she quietly thanked me for putting up with it all. Lady was a class act. Her singing was more akin to Charlie Parker's saxophone than Billie Holiday's throat. I always thought one of those old Apple computer adds -- the ones that said "Think Different" -- should include the famous shot taken by Bill Claxton of Anita leaning back and laughing, a crumpled score in her hand. My father used to say: Be like everybody else? What's the goddammed point?

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Anita O'Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer premieres here next Friday, August 22nd. Check out the short review by The New Yorker's Hilton Als:

If Anita O’Day didn’t invent the role of the hip white chick, she certainly held the patent on it. All you have to do is watch Bert Stern’s strange, almost hallucinatory 1958 documentary, “Jazz on a Summer’s Day,” to get a fairly good idea of O’Day’s particular talents. In the film, the Chicago-born singer—who died in 2006, at age eighty-seven—is dressed in a black hat and a tight-fitting cocktail dress, the epitome of cool. O’Day admitted to having been high on heroin during the concert, and she was unaware of being filmed. But her rendition of “Sweet Georgia Brown” is the hit of the movie, revealing her need to communicate how joyful, tough, smart, and shy she was, all at once. Those qualities are on display in Robbie Cavolina and Ian McCrudden’s moving, heartfelt documentary, “Anita O’Day: The Life of a Jazz Singer,” which opens on Aug. 15. In it, we see O’Day dismiss a journalist’s questions about her personal life with the skill she evinced as a singer: with utter clarity of intention and absolutely no room for bullshit.

That journalist, by the way, was the always-hep Bryant Gumbel; her reply to his smarmy insensitivity: "Well that's just the way it went down, Bryant."

Currently, there is no electronic copy of my Flaunt piece on Anita that Jonathan Lethem and Paul Bresnick chose for the 2002 edition of Da Capo Best Music Writing. (Whoop, ahem, let me just pick those names back up off the floor.) In the meantime, here's a brief (and blurry) excerpt from Google Book Search.

August 18, 2008

"Jazz bass players rarely hang out together..."

Apparently, they are solitary souls who, when they pass on, draw so many mourners that it stuffs a performance space like the Jazz Bakery's back room to capacity. That was the unsurprising case of David E. Carpenter, whose memorial concert yesterday at the Bakery in Culver City was stuffed to the proverbial rafters with distinguished collaborators, admirers and colleagues. "Dave Carpenter played with a lot of musicians," Peter Erskine and Bob Sheppard wrote in the programme. "If you're reading this, the chances are pretty good that he played with you."

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"Oh, how I love to say ciao! Ciao, ciao, CIAO!" (11/4/59 - 6/24/08)

There was John Beasley checking out Alan Pasqua's piano solo; there was the great Putter Smith checking out the free buffet (but not indulging); there was Jeff Gauthier sitting cross-legged on the floor watching Mike Lang's performance; and there was 80 years young Clare Fischer sitting next to his son Brent checking out the supple lines of surprise guest Billy Childs. And here's your humble dumbass blogger, sweatily running around trying to get the lineups for each song before realizing someone has posted the entire performance list on the wall. Ahem. Yes.

Drummer Peter Erskine made the appropriate opening remarks, apologizing for the lack of chairs and noting the "fantastic array of CostCo cheeses" laid out in the main foyer. Then came a brief video remembrance of Mr. Carpenter, a linear narrative from his first baby photo to the last picture taken of him in the recording studio on the last day of his life -- June 24, 2008. The show -- run by "Carp's Rules" ("no speech to last more than THREE minutes; no more than THREE chrouses per solo") -- kicked off with a rambunctious Clare Fischer being helped to the piano bench. "I may look old and decrepit," he told us, "but that's only because I am" -- to accompany his bassist son Brent Fisher, clarinetist Don Shelton and drummer Steve Barnes on one of Carpenter's favorite tunes, the elder Fischer's Latin-flavored "Pensativa," which the younger Fischer recalled Carpenter could solo "playing the harmony, the melody, accompanying himself, and even adding some inner lines between it all. Just the most amazing thing I've ever seen." Mr. Erskine and saxophonist Bob Sheppard followed with a fractured, street-corner take on "Young At Heart" sans bass -- intentionally leaving one to imagine what wonderful lines Carpenter would have added.

The next jam saw Erskine and Sheppard joined by pianist John Beasley (whom Jesse Sharps says I resemble but frankly I don't see it -- he's much better looking), guitarist Larry Koonse and bassist Chuck Berghofer. Unfortunately, we wrestled our way out to the food tables and could not wrestle our way back in until they were finished, but we did make it back in to catch pianist Bill Cunliffe, bassist Tom Warrington and drummer Joe La Barbera run through a trumpet-less take on Miles Davis' "All Blues." This was followed by a sublime and mournful version of "Love Lost" from bassist Kenny Wild, trumpeter Larry Williams and drummer Aaron Serfaty. (If it sounds like a bummer, believe me, it wasn't.) A brief speech by Head Baker Ruth Price led into a short jam by bassist Mitch Foreman and saxophonist Brandon Fields (with special surprise guest Walt Fowler on flugelhorn) on the Foreman original "Gorgeous." The show was rounded out nicely by a pianist Mike Lang, Joe LaBarbera and bassist Mike Valerio.

Quote of the day: "Dave Carpenter could complete ANY band."

August 20, 2008

Propulsion and Lilt

Todd Sickafoose's Tiny Resistors reviewed in the current issue of Downbeat by Jim Macnie:

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When I first saw Todd Sickafoose's Blood Orange group a couple years ago, I was puzzled about where all the sound was coming from. The five-piece outfit swaggered like a little big band, sending a scad of intersecting lines into the air to make a series of thickly braided flourishes. Evidently, that's a signature trait of Sickafoose the composer-arranger, because the medium-sized ensemble that creates the music on Tiny Resistors can claim a similar victory.

For a guy smitten with elaboration, the New York bassist builds his oft-genial, mildly exotic and somewhat dreamy tunes from simple melodies that state themselves and then multiply into little labyrinths. I occasionally hear it as a blend of the late-period Lounge Lizards and Greg Osby's Sound Theatre. John Lurie and the M-Bass gang milked orchestral ideas from intricate cross-hatches, and Sickafoose does something similar. One of the marvels of the new disc is "Bye Bye Bees," a sweeping piece that starts out in one spot, but ends up in another. The conclusion has elements of its origin, but they're two discrete places -- nice trick. Something similar happens on "Pianos of the 9th Ward," a bittersweet tune that introduces itself as a simple keyboard lament but bids adieu as a brass-'n'-reeds prayer; slow, steady morphing is a key strategy here.

Sickafoose isn't working in a swing vernacular per se. He grew up on rock, has spent lots of time onstage with Ani DiFranco, and claims Tortoise and Bill Frisell as influences. Propulsion and lilt are in full effect on these peices, however. "Everyone Is Going" manages to blend a martial undercurrent and a sweeping grace. Trumpet, trombone, two guitars, drums and some effects help from DiFranco (ukelele) and Andrew Bird (violin) make the program rich.

Rather than each piece being a showcase for a specific soloist, the group is perpetually playing hot potato with shards of melody and textural colors. With this rather selfless tack, this remarkable music -- especially in the ersatz African bounce of "Warm Stone" and the Middle Eastern blues of "Cloud of Dust" -- is bolstered by the one-for-all atmosphere. By holding hands, they've created something unique. *** 1/2 stars

Tiny Resistors is also mentioned in the same issue's "Hot Box" section:

Richly varied in texture and form, Sickafoose's multilayered compositions are full of surprises -- a quirky sound, a sudden shift, a spectral melody. The production and conception is clearly articulated, and the band responds nicely to the changing densities and dynamics. The whole band sounds organic, the two guitars play well off one another and Andrew Bird's violin is especially righteous. -John Corbett

Lost of creative ideas on this mysterious nonet journey, and some cool sounds, both acoustic and electronic...I like the sad textures of "Pianos of the 9th Ward," and "Paper Trombones" is cute. -Paul de Barros

Though a bassist, Sickafoose depends largely on slithering Frisellian guitar lines for his music's identity. But the horn figure prominently, too, bringing almost a big-band feel to the title cut. Alan Ferber's muted trombone is chamringly Ellingtonian on two cuts. -John McDonough

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Mr. Sickafoose is also mentioned in a recent Utne Reader article entitled "Bohemia in Brooklyn." Check it out aqui.

Bill Shoemaker reviews the Jeff Gauthier Goatette's House of Return in Downbeat:

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Jeff Gauthier is in a distinct minority, having made eclecticism a virtue as a musician, label founder and producer. Spanning wispy ballads and thumping fusion lines, House of Return, the violinist's fifth as a leader, is as resolutely all over the lot as the Cryptogramophone catalog.

Were it not for the obviously close rapport between Gauthier and his cohorts, this would be a scattershot, if not schizoid, album. However, essential continuity is provided by Gauthier's 30-year history with the Cline twins -- Nels and Alex. They were three-quarters of Quartet Music, a woefully unheralded acoustic group that included the late bassist Eric Von Essen, whose nuanced compositions still loom large in his colleagues' repertoire. Von Essen's "Biko's Blues" opens with the mix of airiness and melancholy Wayne Shorter coined on his early Blue Note dates, while "Dissolution" surrounds a heart-rending melody with swells of brushed drums and cymbals, 12-string guitar and piano. They don't just bookend the album, they gauge the depths the Goatette explores.

There are sufficient reminders of these capacities in the intervening tracks. Some are improvised, like Gauthier and Nels Cline's flinty duet on the violinist's often searing title track. Others reflect well-honed compositional strategies, like drummer Alex Cline's use of delicate, violin-led lines on "Dizang." Initially, they cohere washes on gongs, electric guitar and keyboards, and then soothe the ensuring, seething ensemble improvisation. Subsequently, the occasionally obtuse effect and pugilistic passages are destractions, not deal-breakers. Still, someone almost instantly steps to the foreground to re-engage the listener, and it is just as likely that it is bassist Joel Hamilton and keyboardist David Witham who provides the spark as it is Gauthier or the Clines, a measure of the well-balanced talents that comprise the Goatette. ***1/2

Speaking of Downbeat, their 2008 Critics' Poll is in and Crypto scored on their radar yet again:

Guitarist: Nels Cline (#8)

Rising Star, Bass: Devin Hoff (#10)

Rising Star, Producer: Jeff Gauthier (#5)

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Steuart Liebig's new disc with the Tee-Tot Quartet is getting some great reviews. Check out this one from AAJ's Troy Collins.

There's also an interesting AAJ article on "Telematics" ("the interface of computers, communication and performance") penned by our pal Mark Dresser.

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Two new discs in one day?! What is this, Cryptogramophone Records? Naw, it's our violinist pal Jenny Scheinman, who has been all over the place these days. (She won the #1 spot for "Rising Star Violin" category in Downbeat, fer starters.) Check out her home page for all of the press that's been afforded -- among many other things -- her vocal debut.

August 22, 2008

Young 'Uns

Next month, the CalArts Jazz Studies Program will launch a website to mark the 20th Anniversary of their invaluable CalArts Jazz CD compilations. which features compositions from the school's student musicians. The archival site, according to the CalArts website, "will contain downloadable versions of all of the cuts produced over the last 19 years. This unique musical resource will also link to musician's biographies and additional information, as well as offer a complete gallery of cover art and liner notes."

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Why is this invaluable? Because graduates of the Jazz Studies program over the last 20 years include Beth Schenck, Nate Herrera, Chris Heenan, Nick Rosen, Lorca Hart, Jason Mears, Jeremy Drake, Gary Fukushima, James Carney, Ralph Alessi, Ravi Coltrane, Sara Schoenbeck, Adam Rudolph and Nedra Wheeler. This ensures the site will be an invaluable resource for not just fans or audiophiles but of scholars and students of the development of modern L.A. jazz.

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A rare Paul Bley interview from 1979 just went up online, courtesy of Bill Smith's Imagine The Sound blogsite. Check it out here.

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Amusing Nat Hentoff article in Wall Street Journal on why kids like John Coltrane.

August 25, 2008

Unsubstantiated Trivia Dept.

We were at a private concert in Encino yesterday -- one in which Jesse Sharps, Roberto Miranda, Kamasi Washington, Kamau Daaood, Dwight Trible, Nate Morgan and Karon Harrison rocked the literal house -- and we heard an interesting bit of trivia concerning the Michael Mann thriller Collateral (2004), where taxi driver Jamie Foxx drives white-haired hitman Tom Cruise around Los Angeles while Cruise -- in his last great performance before becoming terminally annoying -- offs witnesses in a federal drug case.

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One of those scenes (pictured above) takes place inside a Leimert Park jazz club (which was actually filmed inside of the Quon Bros. jazz club in Chinatown), and there is a brief but tre cool performance clip featuring local stalwarts Donald Dean and Trevor Ware kicking out some turgid Bitches Brew-esque jams. (The actual song they played was a note-for-note "Spanish Key.") The club is owned by a aging jazz musician (played by the great Barry Shabakla-Henley) who engages in a duel of wits with Cruise over a bit of Miles Davis trivia. Well, as it turns out, if our sources are correct, the original choice for the jazz club owner was bassist Henry Grimes (pictured below), who was just on the cusp of his great comeback a few years back. Of course it never happened, but man, what an entirely different scene that would have made.

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Kamau Daaood clued us into a terrific new book coming out in the U.S. on Sept. 10. Three Wishes: An Intimate Look at Jazz Greats collects a cornucopia of personal photographs from the Baroness Pannonica de Koenigswarter (a.k.a., "Nica"), the jazz-loving heiress to the House of Rothschild who is most famous as Thelonius Monk's patron-slash-squeeze.

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The book itself is a stunning record of an amazing life amidst one's musical heroes (how many of us can claim that?); the photos themselves aren't the crystalline black and white photos one associates with classic jazz photography (a la William Claxton) but are often grainy, blurry and in washed-out colors. But therein lies their power. I don't think I've ever seen a photo record of jazz musicians that is so intimate and present-in-the-moment. I love the usual iconic perfomance photos of Monk, sweating and pounding his piano keys, but there's something even more magical of shots of him lying in his underwear taking a nap, or caught on a New York patio looking out at the skyline. The book is filthy with these priceless unrehearsed moments.

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We've been reading the blogs lately and came across a nice review of Jeff Gauthier's House of Return from Jazz and Music Reviews.

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Also, our pen pal in blogitude Greg Burk is on a brief haitus from his invaluable MetalJazz site, but some unidentified soul is putting up some of the best of the last year or so of Greg's posts. Check 'em out!

August 29, 2008

Rocco Somazzi: The Downbeast Interview

How do you piss off a musician?
Get them a gig.

-old witticism

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Rocco Somazzi is juggling two cellphones, and a third might be in order. It's Tuesday, less than one week before the highly anticipated Labor Day debut of his Angel City Jazz Festival. Many will be watching (and, no doubt, grousing at) this newest attempt to re-shine the spotlight on the city’s Creative Jazz community. Yet the guy is calm in that breezy, effusive European way. It’s probably what has gotten him through the last decade of being (a) a novice restaurateur (b) a jazz music promoter (c) a club owner (d) broke and near homeless (e) a waiter (f) a restaurant manager and, now (g) jazz-festival organizer. Which of course is all shorthand for one title: survivor.

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Rocco is five years into his latest (4th) incarnation of his Rocco in LA club at the Café Metropol, which has achieved a steady rep as a space to hear The Weirdness in a profoundly sublime and romantic setting: a candlelit brick-walled European-style café in the heart of the scruffy downtown Artists’ District. Rocco is married to the bewitching Japanese pianist Motoko Honda, who will also play the festival alongside some pretty big names from the extended Crypto crew: Vinny Golia, Steuart Liebig, and chief boo-pah Jeff Gauthier. (For more on the lineup, go here. Go here for Brick Wahl's preview in the L.A. Weekly.)

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During our sit-down at Cafe Metropol, Rocco jumps phones yet again to arrange the buying of his first official L.A. "commuting car." As it turns out, at 8am sharp the day after the festival he’s starting a new full-time day job (!?!) managing a new cafe/art gallery/teahouse in Culver City called the Royal T. He’s still doing his Saturday night shows at Metropol, but he’s already thinking of bringing his music-promotion skill sets to the new venue, featuring more electronic-based fare than the contemporary acoustic improv he’s been showcasing downtown. Oh yes, AND he's putting together two shows at the Barnsdall Gallery Theatre and Redcat in November for Dutch ensemble the Willem Breuker Kollektief.

Which, taken with this weekend's festival, arguably means Rocco Somazzi is all healed up and ready for further punishment. And we can thank those temperamental Gods of Adventurous Music for it.

Continue reading "Rocco Somazzi: The Downbeast Interview" »

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