Tuesday, March 24, 2015


[photo courtesy of Mark Weber]

Sometime in mid- or late-April, the Paris-based indie jazz label Dark Tree Records will a drop No U-Turn, a previously unreleased live performance from L.A. avant-garde godfathers Bobby Bradford and John Carter. The 5-song, 72-minute set features Carter's son Stanley Carter along with Roberto Miguel Miranda on double basses and William Jeffrey on drums. It was recorded on a 4-track reel-to-reel at Baxter Hall on Pasadena's Cal-Tech campus on November 17, 1975. The setlist: "Love’s Dream," "She," "Comin’ On," "Come Softly" and "Circle."

According to D.T. label head Bertrand Gastaut, "No U-Turn is the first and only recording by this quintet and the earliest extant recording of Bobby and John live in performance. Also, this shows that window of about five years when John was using soprano and clarinet equally. And most importantly, for historians this recording fills a void in Bobby Bradford and John Carter’s discography. If you were not in Los Angeles throughout the 70s, this is the first time you'll hear what they were doing during those years!"

This release will include a 16-page booklet with liner notes by photographer/journalist Mark Weber, who also donated rare and previously unpublished photos from his voluminous archives alongside contributions from Jak Kilby and Gérard Rouy. (Go here for audio samples from No U-Turn.)

Even better, tonight at the blue whale in Little Tokyo, you can congratulate Bob in person when he plays with his quartet (pictured below, from left of Mr. B): bassist Zephry Avalon, drummer Tina Raymond, woodwind poo-bah Vinny Golia. Golia will follow with his sextet: alto saxophonist Gavin Templeton, trumpeter Daniel Rosenboom, guitarist Alex Noice, bassist Jon Armstrong and drummer Andrew Lessman. These are good days, peeps! XO, the Beast

Thursday, March 12, 2015

REST IN TEMPO: Tom Williamson, 1937-2015

Tom Williamson was born on October 29, 1937 in Montgomery, Alabama. His family moved to Detroit in the early forties, where he was exposed to jazz music as a youngster and began playing the trumpet. Williamson attended an all-black high school but at sixteen left to enlist in the United States Air Force, and ended up stationed in Kansas. In 1958 his left the military, then moved to Los Angeles in 1961, where he took up the bass, studying with teachers Richard Taylor, John Dule and Ray Siegel. He began playing at the It Club and Adams West Theatre in Mid-City Los Angeles. During the seventies he studied business at Pasadena City College and later in 1992 obtained a B.S. in Marketing from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. His career includes working and recording with Los Angeles Jazz Quintet, the John Carter-Bobby Bradford Quartet (where he was the principal bassist), Horace Tapscott's Pan-Afrikan People's Arkestra and Curtis Peagler. He passed away on March 2, 2015.

Some examples of Tom's basswork:

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Live Music in March [UPDATED]

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)....3/13 JUST ADDED! Premiere Screening of The Wrecking Crew (Q&A w/ director Danny Tedesco + WC members Hal Blaine, Joe Osborn, Don Randi + Bill Pitman) @ NUART Theater (West L.A.)....3/13 Joe Potts, Rick Potts + Joseph Hammer @ Jancar Gallery (7pm, Chinatown)....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)....3/21 Tribute to J.S. Bach's Tricentennial w/ Miguel Atwood-Ferguson @ Union Station (Downtown)....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....3/24 JUST ADDED! Bobby Bradford Quartet + Vinny Golia Sextet @ the blue whale....3/7 JUST ADDED! NotQuiteFree + B Free Quartet @ CALB (Long Beach)....3/28 Emil Richards Quartet @ Vibrato....3/28 Tomasz Stanko New York Quartet @ Kirk Douglas Theatre (Culver City)....3/28 Azar Lawrence, Juini Booth, Henry Franklin + Alphonse Mouzon @ Seabird Jazz Lounge (Long Beach)....3/29 JUST ADDED! Dwight Trible Birthday Concert @ the blue whale