Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Passing Though The Nickel Whilst Fishbonin'

The Beast has just published a new installment of our series The United Sounds of Los Angeles, whereupon we wax nostalgic about one of our fave L.A. bands: Fishbone.

JUST ANNOUNCED! This Sunday (Oct. 26) at 7:30pm,  Filmforum will be presenting the L.A. premiere of Alina Skrzeszewska's documentary Songs From The Nickel. The Nickel is an area of downtown L.A. (centered around Fifth Avenue, hence its nickname) that houses a lot of transient hotels; indeed, the importance of The Nickel to L.A. music history involves free-jazz godfather Ornette Coleman. In the early 1950s, Coleman lived for a brief period at The Morris Hotel on Fifth Street and Ruth Avenue, which housed many rank-and-file black entertainers, from dancers to showgirls to musicians. Sammy Davis Jr. and the Will Mastin Trio had stayed at the Morris in the mid-1940s; Davis used to dance on the corner for extra change, laying his hat on the sidewalk or entertain sick comrades at their bedside.Despite its dodgy location near L.A.'s Skid Row — "Everywhere I looked were the dregs of Los Angeles," Davis remembered, "as if every pimp and dope peddler in town had moved onto Fifth Street." In fact, the father of Fishbone guitarist Rocky George (as well journalist/essayist Lynell George), was a policeman who used to walk a beat on the Nickel back in the 1950s.

JUST ANNOUNCED! MOCA will present a special screening of Larry Clark's iconic film Passing Through on Saturday, Nov. 8, at 12:00 noon. This is a rare opportunity to see this film made in 1977. Horace Tapscott, Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq & Jesse Sharps appear in the film. Go here to read the Beast's 2008 preview of the film here.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Bobby Bradford Reconvenes the Mo'tet [UPDATED]

Fresh off his 80th Birthday and a showcase concert at the Angel City Jazz Festival last week, composer/bandleader/educator Bobby Bradford will reassemble an extended octet version of his band The Mo'tet exactly one month from today, on Sunday, November 2, 2014 at the Mayme Clayton Library in Culver City. The lineup: BB (cornet), Chuck Manning (reeds), Michael-Pierre Vlatkovich (trombone), Don Preston (keyboards), Ken Rosser (guitar), Roberto Miguel Miranda (bass) and Christopher Garcia (percussion). As an added treat, saxophonist Vinny Golia will join the band for the second set, which will highlight compositions from Bradford's longtime collaborator, clarinetist John Carter.

The concert is from 2-5pm, preceded at 1pm by a brief interview with Mr. Bradford by the Beast's pal (and repository of bad jokes), music writer Jeffrey Winston. Admission is $20 and seating is limited. You can purchase tickets here.

Mr. Carter and Mr. Bradford, L.A., 4/22/78
[photo courtesy of Mark Weber]

JUST ANNOUNCED: Fuasi Abdul-Khaliq is back for one engagement before returning to Europe for an extended tour. On Sat., Oct. 11, He will be performing at Roscoe’s Seabird Jazz Lounge (730 E. Broadway, Long Beach, CA, 562-522-8488) with Acknowledgement, a group that was founded in the summer of 1975 by himself and 6 other members of the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra. Of the original members who are still with us and will be performing on this night are Ishmael Hunter, who is the current organizer of this group as well as trumpeter Steven Smith and saxophonist Michael Sessions. It promises to be a very musical and enjoyable evening bringing back some of the original founding members of this musical coalition after being separated as an entity for almost 40 years. The event will be complemented with pianist Bobby Pierce on piano and bassist Jeff Littleton. First set starts at 9pm.

SON OF JUST ANNOUNCED: Ken Moore of Howling Monk is starting a series of six 4th Sunday afternoon concerts called "The Jazz State of Mind" at Fais Do Do. Reedman Bennie Maupin ("and Friends") will be the first featured show on Sunday, October 26 at 3pm. Doors Open at 2pm.

Oh yes, how could we forget? The Beast has published a few more lil' ditties over at Los Angeles Magazine. Check out the newest entries in our ongoing series The United Sounds of Los Angeles: #11 & #12, #13 and #14. There's also a new documentary on Arhoolie Records and its founder Chris Strachwitz that we reviewed here.