When they start to make a name for themselves, most young jazz musicians think about settling in New York City, the center of the acoustic jazz world. But not Mark Shelby and his band, Black/Note.
The bassist and founder of the group said he is glad to have made Los Angeles home for the band, which specializes in '60s style, post-be-bop renditions that often have a bluesy swagger.
"You can make something happen wherever you are. We're trying to maintain the tradition of this music, and yet be able to have some identifying voice of the West Coast," said Shelby, a Memphis, Tenn., native who resides in Hollywood and studies music at California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. "We want to put together our experiences that we've had in Los Angeles and show them through our music."
The band--saxophonist James Mahone, 23; pianist Ark Sano, 29; trumpeter Gilbert Cartellanos, 19; drummer Willie Jones III, 24, and Shelby, 26--has been remarkably active for a unit that was only formed about two years ago.