Awaiting the return of Amir ElSaffar’s eclectic & enchanting soundstream 2

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Ed. note: This article was commissioned and first published by The Soraya in conjunction with an April 16, 2020 performance, unfortunately cancelled by COVID-19. It is republished on artsmeme with permission. This young jazz-fusion artist, who mixes an Oriental and Western sound, merits your attention. Musical eclecticism is built into the DNA of the 43-year-old ...

Exit the jazz giant: McCoy Tyner

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Meandering, plucking-and-picking, pouring forth, cascading. In the video, pianist McCoy Tyner (1938-2020) both reveres and rips into “My One and Only Love.” It’s a ditty with underpinnings so thin it’s just humbling the mighty mountain of sound Tyner constructs of it. Personnel include McCoy Tyner (piano), Azar Lawrence (saxophones), Juini Booth (contrabass), E. W. Wainwright, ...

Bird Lives — to 100 — at CAP UCLA

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Urban legend has it that the Kansas City native, alto saxophonist and legend, Charlie Parker, copped the nickname “Bird” (shortened from “Yardbird”) due to his hankering for southern fried chicken. We’ll buy that; and while that finger-licking dish comes from a bird that rambles close to the ground, the self-taught virtuoso of American jazz who ...

‘Disappearing guitars’ of Bill Frisell & Julian Lage @ CAP UCLA

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Guitarist Bill Frisell has proven himself as one of the most interesting conceptualizers of the past twenty years or so in jazz. His albums are a continual source of delight and amazement, as he takes his audience down one musical rabbit hole or another. Whether he’s playing his own original scores to Buster Keaton’s silent ...

Jazz gladiator Joshua Redman brings it to Royce Hall

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Ever since he came to national attention at the beginning of the 1990s, tenor saxophonist Joshua Redman has defied the narrative of the wunderkind who bears prodigious talent, then declines. He’s taken on ambitious formats, often in the company of seasoned jazz gladiators, and Redman has more than held his mud. In the face of ...

Alan Broadbent: fire in the residency

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Alan Broadbent – Photo by Jon Frost When he left Santa Monica for New York in the fall of 2011, pianist and composer Alan Broadbent wasn’t missing out on many playing opportunities. One night a month at Vibrato wasn’t exactly stoking his pianistic fires. Chalk it up to one of the failures of this city ...

Los Angeles lore thru music & photography @ Central Library

Music · Visual arts
Josh Nelson: The Sky Remains, May 4, 2019, singer Kathleen Grace out frontCentral Library downtown Los Angelesphoto courtesy of Mark Christian Miller, Corniche Entertainment A wonderful Saturday afternoon: a chance to unplug, be with people, and simply simmer in a stew of creativity, while taking in a jazz concert in the cozy confines of the ...

Jazz review: Chilly night at the Ford warmed by ‘Spring Quartet’

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Spring Quartet: DeJohnette, Lovano, Spalding, Genovese For a jazz super group, the Spring Quartet is something of a phantom. Most Angeleno jazz fans had never heard of the quartet, but they all know the names of saxophonist Joe Lovano, drummer Jack DeJohnette, bassist Esperanza Spalding and pianist Leo Genovese. When the group performed at the ...

A grandaughter’s devotion: Mariana de Moraes at the bluewhale

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photo courtesy mariana de moraes In her upcoming performance at the Little Tokyo jazz club, bluewhale, chanteuse Mariana de Moraes is admirably fronting an evening of Brazilian samba, bossa nova, Brazilian jazz, Afro-Samba, and poetry. And she is doing more. She is honoring her grandfather, Vinícius de Moraes (1913-1980) a giant of Brazilian culture history. ...

Rat Pack-ish: Chris Walden Big Band at The Wallis

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Chris Walden is the most ubiquitous musician you’ve never heard of, but whom you’ve heard everywhere. He’s one of the busiest of the current Hollywood composer-arrangers, and just a sampling of his recent album credits includes Michael Bublé, Jessie J., Michael Bolton, and Celine Dion. His film and TV writing is voluminous (your kids hear ...