Sunday, March 1, 2015

Live Music in March

3/1 Onaje Murray @ Hal's (Venice)....3/1 Michael Vlatkovich Quartet + Anadis Music @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts....3/1 Pete Christlieb Big Band @ The Lighthouse (Hermosa Beach)....3/3 Zach Brock, Sam Barsh + Mark Ferber @ the blue whale (Little Tokyo)....3/3-3/7 Roy Hargrove Quintet @ Catalina's (Hollywood)....3/3 OHM @ The Baked Potato (Studio City)....3/3 Charles Owens Big Band @ Typhoon (Santa Monica)....3/4 Peter Erskine New Trio @ the blue whale....3/5 Industrial Jazz Group @ Cafe NELA (Cypress Park)....3/5 Brad Dutz 4tet @ REDCAT (Downtown)....3/5 Bill Frisell's Big Sur Quintet @ Valley PAC (Northridge)....3/5 Toy Shop Ghost / Julian Velard @ The Piano Kitchen (Santa Barbara)....3/6 Jean-Michel Pilc, Francois Moutin + Ari Hoening @ UCLA Schoenberg Hall....3/6 The Neptunas @ Cafe NELA....3/6 Toy Shop Ghost w/ Miguelito Leon + Grupo Maferefun @ The Piano Kitchen....3/6-3/7 Robert Hurst Group @ the blue whale....3/7 Carl Saunders Quartet @ Vibrato (Bel-Air)....3/7 Donny McCaslin, Jeff Babko, Tim Lefebvre + Nate Wood @ Zipper Hall (Downtown)....3/8 Nedra Wheeler Ensemble @ Clayton Library (Culver City)....3/8 CalJAS presents Mundell Lowe, Ron Eschete + Luther Hughes (Westminster)....3/9 Emil Richards Big Band @ Typhoon....3/10 Andrea Centazzo, Jeff Schwartz + Charles Sharp / Maksim Velichkin @ Track 16 (Culver City)....3/13 Dubowsky Ensemble presents The Golem (1920 horror film w/ live score) @ HM157 (Lincoln Heights)....3/13 B Free Quintet @ Industry Cafe + Jazz (Culver City)....3/14 20 Years of Freedom w/ Hugh Masekela, Vusi Mahlasela + Ladysmith Black Mambazo @ Disney Hall (Downtown)....3/17 Arturo Sandoval Salutes Zane Musa @ Catalina's....3/17 The Decisive Instant @ Cal State-Dominguez Hills (Carson)....3/19 Majick Bullet Theory @ Cafe NELA....3/19 Nadia Shpachenko-Gottesman @ Cal State-Dominguez Hills....3/20 SASSAS presents AD HOC #12: Coppice, Mathieu Ruhlmann & Joda Clément, Casey Anderson (West Hollywood)....3/20 Black Violin @ The Broad Stage (Santa Monica)....3/21 Dale Fielder Quartet 20th Anniversary Show @ Alva's Showroom (San Pedro)....3/22 Max Richter @ El Rey Theatre (Mid-City)....3/22 Herbie Hancock + Chick Corea @ Disney Hall....3/22 Carl Stone, Tom Recchion + Joseph Hammer @ the blue whale....3/23 Onaje Murray @ Hal's....3/28 Emil Richards Quartet @ Vibrato....3/28 Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet @ Kirk Douglas Theatre (Culver City)

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Putter Smith's 6 Levels of Getting Music Gigs

[photo courtesy of Dailey Pike]

Veteran bassist Patrick "Putter" Smith is one of the Beast's fave interviews. (The guy has literally saved every gig datebook he's had since 1958, so he is a fountain of jazz history in which one can literally frolic like Anita Ekberg.) After his heartfelt and humorous comments at the Charlie Haden Memorial last month, the Beast decided to reprint Smith's advice on how to get music gigs out of being a substitute for another musician -- a sticky wicket to be sure.


"Man, you guys sure sound good. If you ever, like, need a sub on, uh, a rehearsal or anything, you know, let me know."


"Man, it sure is great to play with you guys! I just love it. I really, really appreciate so-and-so sending me in, man. It's really nice!"


"Gee, I feel really bad about so-and-so. I'd like to -- you know, I'm really -- but I really love playing with you guys, but I feel really bad about so-and-so."


"Well, you know, I think the gig should pay just a little more than that."


"Well, I think my name also should be on that poster."


"Fuck you, asshole."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

David Carr, 1956-2015

It’s almost [as if] music is right next to smell in its ability to trigger memory, to put us in that place. How many times have you been riding along in the car, happy as a clam, wrong song will come on, and, baby, you are sad. You’ve got the blues.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Clayton Library Announces New Double M Jazz Salon

Word has come down the pike that the next salon after the one above, which will be sometime in July, might feature the mighty nu-jazz caravan of Kamasi Washington + The Next Step.
Confirmation awaits!

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


I have been mostly unable to talk to anyone since Monday night when one of my four best friends of recent years, Mr. Zane Musa, transitioned. This is a GARGANTUAN and horrific loss to the entire world. it particularly hits home for me. I prayed so hard as it was unfolding that it was not actually happening. I still had a glimmer of hope that perhaps people were misinformed.

Zane Musa was one of my first jazz heroes in Los Angeles ever since I first heard him some 18 years ago. I was 16. John Coltrane and Wayne Shorter have been my two biggest inspirations as performers, and Zane is one of maybe two or three other people on the saxophone that I have ever witnessed live touch upon some of the same depths of transcendent mastery and joyous exploration.

Over the last 18 years, we would see one another, play 1-4 gigs a year, have some great laughs and very soulful and sincere interactions. He would always say, 'Miguel, you are a baddddd motherfucker.' He was probably just being kind, because he was sensitive enough to know how much I was struggling but not giving up.

The turning point in our relationship was almost exactly two years ago when I ran into Zane late night at the Dresden Room in Los Feliz. This was around the time that I mentioned to some of his closer friends that I was really concerned about Zane and his overall well-being. This was not properly conveyed to him and it caused him to think that I was talking shit about him. I don't talk shit. I have never said a negative word about him in my life. Zane has always been a hero to me and I have never wanted anything but the absolute best for him. That night, zane proceeded to get less than inch away from my face and yell and cuss at me. Ferociously. I managed to take the conversation outside, where we ended up talking for easily another 4-5 hours.

He started realizing to the depth that not only was I not talking shit about him, but that I was a brother to him, loved him to his core, have been adoring him all of these years, and actually cared about him wayyyyyyyyyy beyond the world of music. We talked about Austin Peralta that night, we talked about Zane's brother, who recently passed, and we talked about some of my issues, like extreme heartbreak for one.

From then on, we were serious homies. He would play in my large ensemble when he could and we would have long conversations on the phone and enjoy sushi together. we counseled one another and talked about serious issues. It was always optimistic, constructive, well-informed, healing, humorous and joyous. never a pity party. I feel very loved by many, many people around the world, but Zane is one of the only people that would dig deep into me and really ask me what was going on and offer profound insights and constructive and mature perspectives. He made the effort with me. It touched my heart so deeply. Some people just happen to relate to one another, and Zane and I have this.

Even though we were trying to get sushi only a couple days ago, the last time I saw him was less than 6 weeks ago. He severely blessed us all with his presence in my large ensemble at the Blue Whale late December 2014. Luckily it is all filmed and recorded, although the emphasis musically did not include a bunch of soloing, so there are not as many Zane features as I would have appreciated, especially after this week's events.

Life is so precious. It is an amazing gift so far beyond what we can possibly fully comprehend. Zane has been one of the brightest lights in my life, for which I am eternally grateful for. Luckily, I know that because of the depth and sincerity of our connection he will continue to live inside my heart for eternity. This is something that will be fueled on a daily basis. People like Zane are well beyond extremely rare. At least I know he felt loved and knew that he holds a fundamental place in the lives of those that he touched. He isn't just an insanely awesome artisan -- he is a healer, a truly great friend and someone that I think cares about people and holds a torch for everyone.

I can only imagine how Zane's family and other close friends must be feeling. Please shower them all with the most profound love, light, and appreciation that you can. They are all such super beautiful and wonderful people. I feel very strong and healthy, but I am sure there are others that really need some support.

I love you forever, Zane, and appreciate you for caring about me so much, for being such a good friend to my bud Austin and for playing your ass off in such a way that we only need to think of you and we eternally light up. Hero status for sure.

Zane, you have my promise to fully live out my life in the healthiest, most authentic, respectful and joyful way that I possibly can. You are forever a fixture in my everyday life and heart. Thank you for touching me that deeply to make me feel that way.

Wishing you eternal freedom bro and may whatever is deepest in your heart fully and completely manifest.

I love you Zane.

Miguel Atwood-Ferguson
Los Angeles
February 5, 2015
[reprinted with permission by the author]

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Eardelizious [UPDATED]

(L.A. Weekly)
(Musicology Now)

(Current Research in Jazz)

(Atlanta Blackstar)

(Pitchfork Media)

(The Atlantic)

(Huffington Post)


(The Eye)

TUNE HEAR: G.E. Stinson
(Prepared Guitar)

(NPR Music)


(A Blog Supreme)


(Atlas Obscura)

(The Gear Page)

(Wondering Sound)

(Twenty-Two Words)

(Los Angeles Times)

(The Trichordist)

(BMI News)
(The New Yorker)


(L.A. Weekly)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Our Music Picks for January

1/3 Bobby West, James Leary + Fritz Wise @ Seabird Jazz Lounge (Long Beach)....1/4 
Apophenia (w/ Nels & Alex Cline), Steuart Liebig + Scott Walton / Ross Hammond Trio @ Eagle Rock Center for the Arts....1/4 Onaje Murray @ Hal's (Venice)....1/7 & 1/8 Alan Ferber @ the blue whale (Little Tokyo)....1/8 Opening Night Reception for From Pop to the Pit: LAPL Photo Collection Celebrates the L.A. Music Scene, 1978-1989 @ Central Library (Downtown)....1/9 Michael Session @ Seabird Jazz Lounge....1/10 VLATKO (w/ Michael-Pierre Vlatkovich, Tom McNalley, Dominic Genova & John Hernandez) + FREE POP (Anna Abbey, Colter Frazier & James Connolly) @ The Piano Kitchen (Santa Barbara)....1/10 Chris Potter, Peter Erskine, Alan Pasqua + Darek Oles @ The Jazz Bakery....1/10 Photo Exhibit: Jenny Lens, Punk Pioneer @ Central Library....1/10 & 1/31 Azar Lawrence @ Seabird Jazz Lounge....1/17 Nels Cline + Julian Lage @ Largo at the Coronet (West Hollywood)....1/17 David Binney, Ambrose Akinmusire, John Escreet, Eric Revis & Alex Cline @ the blue whale....1/19 Dwight Trible's Renowned Ensemble Band (w/ Justo Almario, John Beasley, Trevor Ware, Munyungo Jackson + Paul Legaspi) @ Catalina's (Hollywood)....1/20 OHM @ The Baked Potato (Studio City)....1/21 Wednesdays@7 presents Wadada Leo Smith, Anthony Davis + John Lindberg @ Prebys Music Center Concert Hall (UC-San Diego)....1/22 Ben Wendel Quartet @ the blue whale....1/22 & 1/23 Jeff Hamilton Group @ Alva's Showroom (San Pedro)....1/23 Kamasi Washington + The Next Step @ Union Station (Downtown)....1/23 Double Naught Spy Car @ Taix....1/23 Tara Jane O'Neil w/ Carla Bozulich + Devin Hoff @ Pehrspace (Glendale)....1/23 Excursions: A Sight + Sound Festival presents MajicBulletTheory, Dave Williams Unit + Andrew Kushin/Albert Mathias/DJ Quest/Charles Sharp @ CALB Shoreline Gallery (Long Beach)....1/24 Modern Brass Quintet (w/ Daniel Rosenboom) @ Pasadena Presbyterian Church....1/24 Michael White, Leisei Chen + Mirza Todorovich @ Harrison House (Joshua Tree)....1/25 Josh Nelson East-West Quartet @ Alva's Showroom....1/25 Scott Heustis GroupCALB Shoreline Gallery....@ 1/26 Zawinul Legacy Band @ the blue whale....1/27 Tiptons Sax Quartet @ Annenburg Community Beach House (Santa Monica)....1/29-1/31 Steve Gadd Band @ Catalina's....1/29 Oguri, Roxanne Steinberg & Alex Cline (STUDENTS-ONLY SHOW) @ LACMA (Mid-City)....1/29-1/31 The Aristrocrats @ Alva's Showroom....1/30 & 1/31 Orenda Records First Anniversary Festival @ the blue whale....1/31-2/1 L.A. Free Music Society @ Paramount Ranch (Agoura Hills)