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Chris Speed, Jeff Parker bring election fireworks to Little Tokyo

November 06, 2012|By Chris Barton
  • Saxophonist-composer Chris Speed performs at the Blue Whale on Tuesday night.
Saxophonist-composer Chris Speed performs at the Blue Whale on Tuesday… (Skirl Records )

This post has been updated. See below for details.

No matter which side you are on in this election, it may not be advisable to wait out the returns alone. For one, who wants to celebrate by themselves in front of CNN when there's a party happening somewhere and for two, where's the solace in solitude?

Fortunately, the Blue Whale has booked a night with four exceptional improvisors to keep your spirits up. Member of New York City's Claudia Quintet and Endangered Blood (just to name two), saxophonist-composer Chris Speed has rounded up an impressive band led by Tortoise's Jeff Parker, Devin Hoff (formerly of the Nels Cline Singers) and drummer Matt Mayhall.

Given that this marks the ensemble's L.A. debut, there's little telling what will come from this meeting, but given Speed's comfort with the twisting time signatures of merging jazz with Balkan music and his prior work with the likes of Tim Berne and Jim Black, odds are it will be memorable, particularly matched with Parker's flinty, off-centered tone.

Watch a video below of Speed squaring off with the Bad Plus' Dave King for what sounds like a knotted redrawing of Nirvana's "Drain You" and remember that after performing your civic duty there may be no better time to revel in something free.

Updated, 3:25 p.m.: An earlier version of this post identified the drummer for this show as Danny Frankel.

Chris Speed with Jeff Parker, Devin Hoff and Matt Mayhall, The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, Suite 301, L.A. 9 p.m. $10


Review: Claudia Quintet at REDCAT

Album review: The Nels Cline Singers' 'Initiate'

Jazz review: Endangered Blood at the Blue Whale

Twitter: @chrisbarton


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