Friday, June 20, 2014

Solsticin' [UPDATED]

Hey there kitty-kats, it's been awhile! Still working on IT and finished the first chapter. In the meantime, we just posted a new installment of out "Ultimate L.A. Record Collection" series over at Los Angeles magazine. Some more random nuggets:

ITEM! The new lineup for the 2014 Angel City Jazz Festival has been announced, and probably the biggest coup is the appearance of free-jazz hellion Anthony Braxton. Braxton also just celebrated a birthday, and our friend and colleague Anthony Miller -- with whom the Beast collaborated on a memorable "joint post" -- has written a brief but potent appreciation of the controversial saxophonist.

ITEM! Saturday, June 21st is Make Music Los Angeles day (co-organized by our blog bud Leroy "The Jazzcat" Downs). There are 150 FREE concerts around the city celebrating the Summer Solstice and quite a few jazz acts on the bill, including Carl Burnett, Randall WillisDwight Trible, James LearyHamilton Price, Rose GalesJacques Lesure and 87-year-old Central Avenue sax legend Cecil "Big Jay" McNeely.

ITEM! The Nels Cline Singers have a new video out from their most recent album Macroscope:

ITEM! After its successful Horace Tapscott tribute back in March, the Mayme Clayton Library will be staging the second of its jazz-salon series next month. The featured performer will be guitarist and head of UCLA's Jazz Studies program Kenny Burrell. Better get on those tickets, as the last salon was sold out!

ITEM! Since he flew in from Europe especially to play the Tapscott tribute (and blew The Beast and our friend away with his complex and virtuosic solos), pianist Bobby West had decided to stick around his hometown for a few gigs. You can catch the cat they once called "Little Ramsey" in two places next weekend: June 27th at H.O.M.E. and June 29th at Fais Do-Do. As you can see in the below video, this man is not to be missed!

ITEM! Leimert Park's World Stage is celebrating its 25th Anniversary this year, and part of the festivities involve a concert honoring one of its founders, the late, mercurial timekeeper "Smilin' Billy" Higgins. Check out the killer lineup:

ITEM! Our blog bud Sean O'Connell has finally published his first book on Los Angeles' Central Avenue Jazz scene. On Sunday, June 29, O'Connell will be hosting a book-release party at Little Tokyo's Blue Whale jazz club. The Daniel Rosenboom Quintet will finish out the evening with a set.

ITEM! David Lee's long out-of-print book The Battle of the Five Spot: Ornette Coleman and the New York Jazz Field has just been reissued by Wolsak & Wynn Publishers with a cool new cover.

ITEM! Could there be a resurgence of jazz-related movies? Adding to Sundance faves Low Down (with John Hawkes and Elle Fanning) and Whiplash (with J.K. Simmons and Miles Teller), actor Don Cheadle should be given some serious respect for his consistent and very vocal one-man crusade to star, co-write and make his directorial debut on Miles Ahead, the Miles Davis biopic he's been working on for years. (He's been a good example of how to master social media in order to generate press, interest, and funding in jazz-related projects.) His IndieGoGo campaign, launched just two weeks ago, has already made $147,671 towards a $325,000 goal. Check out various short videos Cheadle has made to help promote his effort here.

ITEM! The Society for the Activation of Social Space Through Art and Sound has announced its first concert of the summer at its Kings Road environs. This Saturday, June 28, iconoclastic cellist Charles Curtis will perform the L.A. premieres of Occam 5 by electronic music pioneer Éliane Radigue and Glacier by sound artist Alvin Lucier. (Back in the day, Curtis participated in bands such as King Missile, Dogbowl, Bongwater and experimental noise overlords Borbetomagus.) You can buy tickets here.