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June 2009 Archives

June 3, 2009

Friday at MONA

MONA and Cryptonight Present


Friday Night June 5th - 8PM
Museum of Neon Art
136 W. 4th St., LA 90013
Tel. (213) 489-9918
Tickets are $10 at the door
Free parking is available on the street, or in two paid lots 1/2 block away.

Jeff Gauthier - violin, effects
Joel Hamilton - bass
David Witham - piano, keyboards, effects
Andrew Pask - woodwinds, effects

Cryptonight and the Museum of Neon Art present an evening of electric and acoustic improvisation featuring violinist Jeff Gauthier, bassist Joel Hamilton, saxophonist Andrew Pask and pianist David Witham. These musicians have collaborated in a variety of contexts over the years, but on Friday night they will create musical soundscapes on the spot, drawing inspiration from each other and MONA's unique collection of neon art. Cryptonights are curated by Cryptogramophone Records, which was voted #4 Jazz Label in the 2007 Downbeat Critics Poll.

June 10, 2009



Is Jazz Times magazine dead? Howard Mandel and Marc Myers weigh in....Thurston Moore interviewed by Decibel magazine (posted by a "J. Bennett," hmmmm)....Sonic Youth is in the middle of a unique residency over at Pitchfork TV and is also featured along with Carla Bozulich, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Devendra Banhart and Explosions in the Sky in Yeti Publishing's new Art of Touring, "a book of art, photographs, and writing reflecting life on the road, plus a DVD of live footage." (Why should we care? 1/3 of the profits from the sales of the book will be donated to the Musicians' Emergency Fund administered by the Jazz Foundation of America)....If that isn't enuff SY 4 U, check out Sashe Frere-Jones' New Yorker article on their 30th anniversary....Nostalgic thoughts on new Jane’s Addiction DVD....Peter Breslin listens to Trout Mask Replica
....Hilarious: “Jazz, A Drug” via Soundslope....Rust Never Sleeps: L.A. musician rescues Lester Young’s horn....Dave Douglas' new Spirit Moves now streaming....AVN plumbs the recently discovered 1957 recordings of Edgar Varese conducting a free jazz workshop that included Art Farmer, Teo Macero and Charlie Mingus....AAJ's Tom Greenland reviews the new John Zorn bio....The Bad Plus announces a sh*tload of summer dates....John Kelman summarizes of awesome anti-Burns jazz documentary Icons Among Us and Eric Benson documents its making....Word from the BBC on another another jazz doc 1959: The Year That Changed Jazz....Kyle Gann on Morton Feldman book....NPR’s A Blog Supreme profiles Jazz Icons DVD series creator Hal Miller....Salient thoughts on the Jazz “Tradition” from Pi Recordings....Bela Fleck’s banjo tour of Africa is documented in Throw Down Your Heart, which just opened in LA (read a review here)....Missed the Harry Partch tribute at REDCAT last week? Greg Burk reviews it here.

Jeff Hanson
Hugh Hopper
Kenny Rankin
Koko Taylor

Love at Goon Park by Deborah Blum (Berkeley Books)
The Birth of Bebop by Scott DeVeaux (University of California Press)
Carter Beats the Devil by Glen David Gold (Hyperion)
Lowboy by James Wray (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux)

June 11, 2009

Son of Blogtrollin'


CHECK(IT)OUT: via Tim Niland, a link to WBGO's The Checkout podcasts....HEAD IN ARMS MUSIC: Mark Geelhoed essays Josh Haden/Charlie Haden/Johnny Cash....UNDER YOUR SKIN ON YOUTUBE: interviews with Anthony Braxton, Ornette Coleman, Sam Rivers, Yusef Lateef, Satoko Fuji, Gary Lucas, and recent Vison Festival Lifetime Achievement Award winner Marshall Allen....FINALLY: LA Weekly profiles Busdriver....ONE GREAT NIGHT: Free Jazz reviews new Ellery Eskelin/Andrea Parkins/Jim Black live CD..."HOW LONG, OH LORD?": impassioned jazz rant from Graham Collier...REALLY??!!: Pop & Hiss stops short of admitting the Playboy Jazz Festival sucks....PASTE PULLS ONE OUT: "Six Gateway Jazz Albums for Rock Elitists"....TAPE CHANTS: Peter Margasak on Oakland electro-experimentalist Greg Kowalsky....UPPER-CLASS TWITS: Sounds & Fury wrings its hands over Twittering during classical music performances....FROZEN MUSIC: Of no musical interest except to those who spent time in Minneapolis from 1986 to 1991....THE MEMPHIS MAFIA: David Brent Johnson on Memphis’s little known jazz legacy....THEY CALL ME MISTER RHODES: requiem for an Angeleno....AND SPEAKING OF REQUIEMS: Kris Tiner’s photos of the last night of the Jazz Bakery....HAPPY ENDINGS: Anvil get their due after how many years?!!!....THE NUTJOB: Ornette Coleman’s “Meltdown”....POINT OF DEPARTURE: New issue is out....THE TALIBAN CAN'T: David R. Adler on Sufi music in Pakistan....THIS PRETTY MUCH EXPLAINS ITSELF: "A Musicologist’s Companion to American Idol"....SUBBACULT: Will Friedwald on the arcane world of jazz discographers.

And if between these three obsessives you can't find a head's up on great music in L.A. this week(end), we don't know what to tell you:
Greg Burk’s Jazz Picks of the Week (June 5-11)
Don Heckman’s Jazz Picks of the Week (June 9-14)
Brick Wahl’s Jazz Picks of the Week (June 11-17)

Albert Ayler - Holy Ghost (Revenant)
Arctic Monkeys - Live in Texas (Domino)
The Bird and The Bee - Ray Guns Are Not Just the Future (EMI)
Iron & Wine - Around the Well (Sub Pop)

June 16, 2009



First off, let's celebrate our endlessly classy First Lady for hosting a series of jazz workshops at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. Unfortunately, the Marsalis family was well-represented. Oh well, it's a start -- at least they performed "A Night in Tunisia." As Mrs. Obama is a sophisticated city sista from Chicago, here's hoping she'll bring in the AACM for some truly 21st century noise. Check out NPR's podcast of the event, as well as their A Blog Supreme.


Not to be outdone, the L.A. Times's Mark Swed summarizes the new sounds heard last week at the Ojai Festival.

June 18, 2009

Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Lineup & Schedule


Here This, Here This! Ye Newe Angel City Jazz Festival, Los Angeles' only alternative non-commercial jazz festival, has announced its 2009 artist lineup for concerts taking place Labor Day weekend (Sept. 6-7, 2009) at the intimate (and affordable!) John Anson Ford Amphitheatre in Hollywood. The Angel City Jazz Festival is a two-day outdoor event featuring innovative and original jazz musicians from the west coast and around the world. The 2009 festival -- expanded from one to two days -- presents established jazz artists as well as lesser known emerging talent, with a focus on west coast creative jazz. The Angel City Jazz Festival was founded in 2007 by jazz promoter Rocco Somazzi (pause for applause), and the first event was held last year at Barnsdall Art Park in Hollywood. Co-Producing the festival this year is Los Angeles based Cryptogramophone Records (pause for riotous ovation).


Headlining this year's festival will be veteran woodwind player/composer Bennie Maupin [pictured] and Dolphyana, with an all-star band performing west coast premiers of newly discovered compositions by the great Eric Dolphy. Also headlining will be world renowned trumpeter Dave Douglas and Brass Ecstasy, a recently formed band with the unique instrumentation of trumpet, french horn, trombone, tuba, and drums. Other artists appearing at the festival are Grammy award-winning pianist Billy Childs' Jazz-Chamber Ensemble, The Nels Cline Singers with Jeff Parker of Tortoise, Nels' percussionist bro Alex Cline leading his cheekily named Band of the Moment, The Larry Goldings Organ Trio, The Satoko Fujii Four, Seattle-based pianist Wayne Horvitz's Gravitas Quartet, pianist Motoko Honda with Butoh master Oguri, Jesse Sharps' The Gathering featuring vocalist Dwight Trible, and many others.

Here's the schedule:

4:00 PM Plays Monk (Ben Goldberg, Devin Hoff, Scott Amendola)
5:15 PM The Satoko Fujii Quartet
6:30 PM Jesse Sharps' The Gathering with Dwight Trible
8:00 PM The Billy Childs Jazz-Chamber Ensemble
9:15 PM Larry Karush - solo piano
9:50 PM Dave Douglas & Brass Ecstasy

Drummer Nate Wood, bassist Edwin Livingston and vibraphonist Nick Mancini perform at ACJF 2008

4:00 PM Alex Cline's Band of the Moment
5:15 PM The Wayne Horvitz Gravitas Quartet
6:30 PM The Nels Cline Singers with Jeff Parker
8:00 PM The Larry Goldings Organ Trio
9:15 PM Motoko Honda & Oguri
9:50 PM Bennie Maupin and Dolphyana

Nestled in the Hollywood Hills, the 1200-seat John Anson Ford Amphitheatre is one of the oldest performing arts venues in Los Angeles. But there's more to this choice of venue than just it's rustic and endearing location. ACJF hopes to resurrect the Ford as a nexus for west coast creative jazz. The Ford Theatre was originally known as the Pilgrimage Theater, and in the 1960s and 70s the "Jazz at the Pilgrimage" series on Sundays was a destination for many Left Coast artists like Art Pepper, Mundell Lowe, Chico Hamilton, Henry Franklin, Harold Land, Oscar Brashear, Buddy Collette, Barney Kessel, Shelly Manne, Don Ellis, Sonship Theus, Charles Owens, Oscar Brashear, George Bohannon, Kemang Sunduza and Bill Henderson. In fact, many -- if not all -- of these concerts were attended by young musicians who would make up the next generation of LA's postmodern creative jazz scene, including two blonde twin teens named Alex and Nels Cline. So, in many ways, it's some sort of spiritual homecoming.

For tix (you know you want them), log-on to www.fordtheatres.org, or call the Ford Box Office at (323) 461-3673. Tickets are priced at $35 for adults, and $12 for full-time students with ID and children 12 and under. Through the Ford's early buyer incentive, adults who buy tickets on or before August 30th pay only $30!

And, as an added bonus having nothing to do with ticket prices, Downbeast will be doing in-depth non-press releasey profiles of each of the 12 acts that will be performing Labor Day weekend. So stay tuned!

Free improv between virtuoso harmonica player Gregoire Maret and pianist/composer Andy Milne at ACJF 2008

June 20, 2009

Mingus Returns from the Dead and Punches Someone

Well, no, no of course not. Just kidding. But wouldn't that be awesome? He could start with Larry King and then move right on to a one-two of Dick Cheney and Karl Rove.

"I'm baaaaaack"

Just a reminder: tomorrow (Sunday, June 21) there will be a screening at the Watts Towers Art Center of Charles Mingus: Past, Present, and Future, a new documentary film by Rosie Lee Hooks and Paul S. Rogers. The film will be shown in the Center's Noah Purifoy Gallery at 1:30pm and is free to all. From the L.A. Dept. of Cultural Affairs: "The film features an all-star line-up of world-class musicians, singers, dancers, and artists who come together in an exceptional, jam packed hour of television that not only entertains and informs, but inspires as well. Interviews and performance excerpts from many notable musicians, include world renowned Patrice Rushen, the luminous Nedra Wheeler, the extraordinary Ndugu Chancler, the Center for Celebration Arts amazing Giant Puppets, and jazz great Buddy Collette who discusses his life-long friendship with the legendary Charles Mingus. In addition, Nedra Wheeler's Bass Choir will perform live in the Mingus Gallery, playing Mingus, Mingus, Mingus!!!"
Well, we were going to go to a condo open-house tomorrow, but FERGET IT NOW.

Hank Jones holds Hank Jones at the 2009 JJAs

Also, the verdicts are in from the 2009 Jazz Journalists' Awards at the Jazz Standard in New York City this week past. Go here to view all the winners.

Greg Burk's Live Jazz Picks for June 19-25
Brick Wahl's Live Jazz Picks for June 18-24

Bob Bogle
Dini Clarke
Andy Hughes
Michael Joseph Jackson
Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy
Ali Akbar Khan
Charlie Mariano
Jack Nimitz
Sky Saxon
Steven Wells

June 24, 2009

Music (The Brain)

Tonight on TV there are two music-related offerings that we'll be queuing up on our DVR:


The Music Instinct: Science and Song, a PBS documentary about the physical and emotional effects of music on the human body. Heady stuff. Read the LA Times review of the program here.

And our pal Nels Cline will be running the changes with Das Vilco on The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien or Jimmy Fallon or Craig Ferguson or whatever...

Wilco (The Album) isn't even out in physical form yet but it's streaming has yielded all sorts of reactions: from Rolling Stone's thumbs up to Nels' guitarwerks on "Bull Black Nova" to these crotchety seniors at Sulimay's diner in Philly:

Read the LA Weekly's review of Wilco's first night at the Wiltern here.

Wilco, with special guest Leslie Feist dueting with Jeff Tweedy, perform "You and I" at the Wiltern Theatre (6/25/09)

June 29, 2009

ANGEL CITY JAZZ FESTIVAL 2009: Larry Karush's New World Boogie

"Follow pianist Larry Karush around the musical world; it’s a hell of a lot cheaper than American Airlines, and he won’t lose your luggage."
Greg Burk, MetalJazz


“I’m basically a boogie-woogie piano player,” Larry Karush told the crowd gathered last summer for a Q&A session at his undergrad alma mater, Portland's Reed College. “And sometimes I think that all the stuff that I’ve developed goes back to that root of rhythm or energy, and how you work with that. Over the course of the last number of years I’ve tried to expand the vocabulary of what I can spontaneously play with.”

Yet to call Karush merely a “boogie-woogie” pianist would be like calling Salman Rushdie merely a typist. An interpreter and absorber of a startling array of world music textures, Karush is the Left Coast musician incarnate, representing the state’s diverse cultural stewing pot by synthesizing sounds from North India, West Africa and Brazil with jazz, classical music and 20th century minimalism.

Continue reading "ANGEL CITY JAZZ FESTIVAL 2009: Larry Karush's New World Boogie" »

Tag cloud

Adam Rudolph Alex Cline's Band of the Moment Alex Cline; Nels Cline: Alex & Nels Cline; Downbeat; Continuation; Coward Alma Lisa Fernandez Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 1) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Live Review (Day 2) Angel City Jazz Festival 2009 Photos Antonio Sanchez avant-garde Ben Goldberg Bennie Maupin Bennie Maupin & Dolphyana Bill Stewart Billy Childs Jazz-Chamber Ensemble Billy Corgan Billy Hart Bob Sheppard California Jazz Foundation Cameron Graves Captain Beefheart & The Magic Band Carol Robbins Charles Mingus; Son of Watts Musical Caravan Project; Azar Lawrence; Nate Morgan; Henry Franklin; Alphonse Mouzon; Prayer for My Ancestors Charles Owens Chops: The Movie Chris Barton Cryptogramophone Records Cryptonight Darek Oles Dave Douglas Brass Ecstasy David Anderson Pianos David Witham Denman Maroney Devin Hoff Double M Jazz Salon Downbeat 57th Annual Critics Poll Dwight Trible Eagle Rock Center for the Arts Eclipse Quartet Edward Vesala Electric Lodge Eric Dolphy Eric Von Essen First Friday Series at the Museum of Neon Art G.E. Stinson Global Village Monday with Maggie LePique Go: Organic Orchestra Gravitas Quartet Greater St. Louis Jazz Festival; Peter Erskine Greg Kot Gregg Bendian Hale Smith Hannah Rothschild Hans Fjellstad Harry Partch; L.A. Weekly; John Schneider; REDCAT Horace Tapscott; Horace Tapscott Tribute Concert; Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra; the Ark; Jazz Bakery; Ruth Price; Jesse Sharps; Austin Peralta; Isaac Smith Huffington Post Hugh Hopper Ikeda Kings Orchestra improvisation Initiate Ivan Cotton James Newton Jason Robinson Jay Bennett Jay Hoggard jazz Jazz at the Plgrimage Jazz Bakery Jazz Explosion III Jazz Journey with Eddie B. Jeff Gauthier Jeff Tweedy Jesse Sharps Jim Black Joe Zawinul John "Drumbo" French John Fumo Kamasi Washington Ken Coomer Ken Kawamura KJAZZ 88.1-FM KPFK 90.7-FM KXLU 88.9-FM Larry Goldings Larry Karush Larry Koonse Learning How To Die Leimert Park: The Roots and Branches of L.A. Jazz Les Paul Lester Bowie Lily Burk Memorial Live at the Atelier Los Angeles New Music Ensemble Los Angeles Times Luis Bonilla Maggie Parkins Marcus Rojas Mark Dresser Mark Zaleski Mel Morris Michael Davis Miguel Atwood-Ferguson Mimi Melnick Motoko Honda Museum of Neon Art Museum of Neon Art; MONA; Many Axes; Susan Rawcliffe; Scott Wilkinson; Brad Dutz music blog Myra Melford Nasheet Waits Natsuki Tamura Nels Cline Nels Cline Singers Nels Cline Singers with Jeff Parker Nestor Torres Nick Rosen OC Creative Music Collective Oguri Open Gate Theatre Sunday Concert Series Pannonica Rothschild Peggy Lee Peter Bernstein plays monk Rashied Ali ResBox at the Steve Allen Theater RISE with Mark Maxwell Roberto Miranda Rod Poole Ron MIles Royal/T Cafe Sara Parkins Sara Schoenbeck Sarah Thornblade SASSAS Satoko Fujii Scott Amendola Scott Colley Sky Saxon Tribute Sonship Theus Spirit Moves Spirits in the Sky Steuart Liebig Terry Riley The Gathering The Jazz Baroness The JazzCat with Leroy Downs Thelonious Monk Thomas Stones Tom McNalley Trilogy Van Morrison; Astral Weeks; Scott Foundas; Jan Steward; Music Cirle; SASSAS Vincent Chancey Wayne Horvitz Wayne Peet Wilco Wilco; Nels Cline Wilco; Wilco (The Album); Nels Cline Will Salmon