Friday, February 26, 2016

PREMIERING TONIGHT! "The Jazz Creative" w/ Leroy Downs

Two generations of sharp-dressed L.A. jazz broadcasters:
Chet Hanley (L) and Leroy Downs

The Beast gives mad respect to The Jazzcat! Since the late-1990s, radio DJ/promoter Leroy Downs has acted almost as a one-man Energizer Bunny of L.A. jazz. Best known as the master of ceremonies for the Monterey Jazz Festival, Downs now can add "TV host" to his mind-boggling resume. From the press release: "The premiere episode of The Jazz Creative celebrates African American History Month, the Grammys and the Academy Awards as we peek inside the creative process of composing Music for Film with trumpeter Terence Blanchard (Chi-raq) and pianist Jason Moran (Selma), a visit with Philadelphia-born bassist Christian McBride, who talks Gamble & Huff, the Sound Of Philadelphia, Grover Washington Jr. and the 76er’s and two sets of great new music from The Planetary Prince, pianist Cameron Graves and the Afrophysicist, trumpeter Theo Croker."

For more info on the show, check out this new interview with Downs about over at Urban Music Scene. For a clip of Downs chatting with Kamasi Washington, go here. There are also a number of cool interviews on the All Music Television YT channel. Go here to find the Aspire Channel on your TV.

Not surprisingly, Downs is also a Jazz Curator of the Steven James Buchanan Jazz Collection at the Mayme A. Clayton Jazz Library and Museum in Culver City, where two new events have just been announced:

On Sunday, 3/6/16, 2pm, a closing reception for Touch Bass, a unique exhibit by photographer Sammy Davis that focuses on portraiture of several of SoCal's world-class bassists, including Henry Franklin, James Leary, Jennifer Leitham, Roberto Miguel Miranda, Richard Simon, Trevor Ware, Nedra Wheeler, John B. Williams, Mike Alvidrez, Luther Hughes and John Heard. Admission is free.

A month after that on Sunday, 4/3/16, another of the late Mimi Melnick's Double M Jazz Salons will feature the Phil Ranelin Jazz Ensemble, with trombonist/leader Ranelin, reedsmen Pablo Calogero and Keith Fiddmont, trumpeter Curtis Taylor, pianist Aaron Provisor, bassist Ian Martin and drummer Don Littleton. April 3rd, also marks the one-time Horace Tapscott Young Musician’s Heritage Award. A deserving recipient, who has already made early contributions to the art form and continues to display great promise, will be honored during a brief ceremony. (Doors open at 12:30 p.m. At 1:00 p.m., Phil will briefly reflect on his life and career, in an informal discussion with jazz historian Jeffrey Winston. The first of two stellar sets with a 40-minute intermission begins at 2pm.)

Friday, February 12, 2016

Bern After Reading





Thursday, February 4, 2016

SOUNDPRINTS (Jan-Feb Edition)

Welcome to a new feature for the Beast where we keep abreast (or try to anyway) of recent interesting and eclectic new music books. And wow, we're already behind by a month: Probably the most eclectic would be Stephen Coates' X-Ray Audio: The Strange Story of Soviet Music 'On the Bone', which details the bootlegging of illegal music in Soviet Russia on "bone records" (old x-ray cells, pictured above). From the free world side of the collectors' equation comes Rashod Ollison's Soul Serenade: Rhythm, Blues & Coming of Age Through Vinyl and you can read an excerpt here. A collection of essays on Audible Empire: Music, Global Politics, Critique examine the multidisciplinary effects of global power on music. First published in France in 1998, Michel Chion's Sound: An Acoulogical Treatise examines the holistic effects of sound on our daily lives. In Woody Guthrie L.A.: 1937 to 1941, Daryl Holter and William Deverell plumb the little-known SoCal years of folk music's original ramblin' man as he crashed on Skid Row, hosted his own radio show, and even wrote a newspaper column called "Woody Sez." (Go here for excerpts.)

January, if bad for musician deaths, was also a good month for books on jazz and improvised music: Garrison Fewell dialogues with the likes of Baikida Carroll, Myra MelfordNicole MitchellWilliam Parker and Henry Threadgill in Outside Music, Inside Voices: Dialogues on Improvisation and the Spirit of Creative Music; in anticipation of the new Don Cheadle-directed Milers Davis biopic, Bob Gluck follows up his 2013 book on Herbie Hancock's Mwandishi band with The Miles Davis Lost Quintet and Other Revolutionary Ensembles; and Rashida Braggs examines the lives of America's jazz expatriates in Jazz Diasporas: Race, Music, and Migration in Post-World War II Paris. Mark Harvey unearths a vital '70s jazz underground in The Boston Creative Music Scene, 1970-1983, a book with an accompanying CD from crate-diggers Cultures of Soul. (Read an excerpt here.)

Things get even better the second week of February: within two days comes Kris Gabbard's Better Git It in Your Soul: An Interpretive Biography of Charles Mingus (excerpted here) and Alan Light's tie-in to the Oscar-nominated documentary What Happened Miss Simone?: A Biography. (Read a story behind the film-to-book project here.) Lynn Darroch examines a vegetation-hidden jazz history in the land of grunge and tribal punk rock in Rhythm in the Rain: Jazz in the Pacific Northwest. (Read an interview with the author here.) One of our fave jazz writers, Ben Ratliff, faces the labyrinthine task of listening to music in the digital age in Every Song Ever: Twenty Ways to Listen in an Age of Musical Plenty. (Read an interview with the author here.) Later in the month comes NYRB Classic's reprint of Really the Blues, Chicago clarinetist Mezz Mezzrow's wild 1946 autobiography. Cherry Red Records, who just released a 5-disc Shoegaze retrospective, also has a publishing wing that this week dropped Ian Shirley's Never Known Questions: Five Decades of the Residents about the seminal giant-eyeballed misteriosos from the Bay Area. For those who like their country music with a healthy side of postmodern gender politics can revel in Country Boys and Redneck Women: New Essays in Gender and Country Music, edited by Diane Pecknold and Kristine M. McCusker as a follow-up to their previous volume from 2004. Alan Harper looks for the next blues savior in Waiting for Buddy Guy: Chicago Blues at the Crossroads. German photographer Bernd Jonkmanns' mammoth Record Stores practically sells itself in its subtitle: "A Tribute to Record Stores. 400 Pages, 190 Stores, 36 Countries, 5 Continents." And Michael Benson answers the question -- which we thought was answered by the 45 books about this group that came out in the last year, not to mention the upcoming National-curated tribute box set -- Why the Grateful Dead Still Matter.

Monday, February 1, 2016

You're Only Live Once

2/1 Richard Sears, Walter Smith III, Sam Gendel, Eric Revis & Roy McCurdy @ the blue whale (Little Tokyo)....2/2 Mark Dresser, Bobby Bradford & Vinny Golia + Ecosono Ensemble @ The Loft (La Jolla)....2/2 Rob Garland Eclectic Trio + Julian Coryell Trio @ TR!P (Santa Monica)....2/2 Bobby Matos Ensemble @ Las Perlas (Downtown)....2/3 Mixmaster Mike + The Beat Junkies @ Low-End Theory (Lincoln Heights)....2/5 Brandon Coleman & Sam Barsh @ the blue whale....2/5 Phil Niblock + Carl Stone @ Human Resources (Chinatown)....2/5 FIRST FRIDAYS Presents: The Hood Internet, Boulvards + Spazzkid @ Natural History Museum (Exposition Park)....2/6 Michael Session Sextet @ Seabird Jazz Lounge (Long Beach)....2/6 POEM (w/ Alan Pasqua, Darek OlesPeter Erskine & Bob Mintzer) @ the blue whale....2/7 Alex Cline, Steuart Liebig, Wayne Peet & Eric Barber @ Center for the Arts (Eagle Rock)....2/7 SICK AND TWISTED TALES w/ Carla Bozulich + Lydia Lunch @ Cowboy Gallery (Silver Lake)....2/8 The B Band + Invisible Anatomy @ the blue whale....2/9 Jason Moran: Fats Waller Dance Party @ Valley PAC (Northridge)....2/10 OUTPOST CONCERT SERIES Presents: Ogni Suono (saxophone duo) @ Culver Center for the Arts (Riverside)....2/11 Willie Jones III Quartet @ the blue whale....2/11 Terrace Martin + Friends @ Del Monte Speakeasy (Venice)....2/12 Alexander Noice Sextet @ curve line space (Eagle Rock)....2/12 Pamelia Stickney Theremin performance w/ William Roper, Pablo Calogero & Michael Barsimanto @ MiMoDa Studio (Mid-City)....2/12 & 13 The Robert Glasper Experiment @ The Mint (Mid-City)....2/13 Dale Fielder Quartet @ Alva's Showroom (San Pedro)....2/13 The History of Black Poetry in Los Angeles @ Beyond Baroque (Venice)....2/13 SPLA presents The 4th Annual LA Creative String Festival (w/ Zach Brock, Miguel Atwood-Ferguson, Mark Summer & Jacob Szekely @ Mt. Olive Lutheran Church (Santa Monica)....2/13 "CODES"(presenting the writings of Amiri Baraka, Toni Morrison, Langston Hughes, Oscar Brown & others) w/ Joshua White, Brandon Owens, Marvin "Smitty" Smith, Dwight Trible & Josh Johnson) @ the blue whale....2/14 Gary Peacock, Marc Copland & Joey Baron @ The New Roads School (West L.A.)....2/16 Don Randi & Quest @ The Baked Potato (Studio City)....2/16 Emil Richards Big Band @ Typhoon (Santa Monica)....2/17 Wil Blades, Skerik, Andy Coe & Simon Lott @ the blue whale....2/17 SOUNDWAVES Presents: Judicanti Responsura (William Roper & Joseph Mitchell) @ Santa Monica Public Library....2/18 Dave Douglas Quintet @ the blue whale....2/19 DIALOGUE ("An evening of spontaneous art making with live creative music and improvisational dance") w/ Tony Green, Susan Constantini-Green, Breeze Smith & Vinny Golia @ ARC Pasadena....2/20 Thom Rotella 4tet w/ Ernie Watts @ The Baked Potato....2/23 Dr. Vicki Ray @ REDCAT (Downtown)....2/23 & 24 Ralph Alessi Baida Quartet @ the blue whale....2/24 Lori Freedman & Quasar Saxophone Quartet w/ Fred Frith @ REDCAT....2/24 Cut Chemist, Sach, Kenny Segal + DJ Expo @ The Low End Theory....2/25 Kneebody + Daedalus @ The Echoplex (Echo Park)....2/25 & 26 "Jam For Billy (Higgins)" (final 9pm shows before the move across the street!) @ The World Stage....2/26 Regina Carter @ UCLA Royce Hall....2/26 Vinny Golia & Ross Hammond @ Baltic Crossroads (Silver Lake)....2/26 & 27 Jeff Lorber Fusion @ The Baked Potato....2/27 Azar Lawrence Quintet @ Seabird Jazz Lounge....2/27 Carla Bozulich & Devin Sarno + Emily Lacy + L.A. Fog @ Character Projects (Highland Park)....2/27 The NEW World Stage (4321 Degnan) Presents Drin Elliott....2/28 JAB + The Obihiro Cowboys @ Highways Performance Space (Santa Monica)....2/28 SUNDAY JAZZ KICKBACK w/ Dave Williams, Ellen BurrSteuart Liebig, Darryl "JMD" Moore & Michael Session @ Cafe NELA....2/29 The L.A. Jazz Collective @ the blue whale....2/29 Jazz Honors Combo presents A Tribute to A Tribe Called Quest @ Carson Center (USC)....2/30 Justo Almario Quartet @ Bar Fedora/Âu Lac (Downtown)