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ENTERTAINMENT
June 12, 2010 | By Chris Barton, Los Angeles Times
If you really want to hear Esperanza Spalding get excited talking about jazz, ask her about its effect on 5-year-olds. Speaking by phone from her home in Portland, Ore., the effervescent young bassist's conversational tempo shifts into another gear as she talks about leading a jazz workshop at an elementary school. Working with pianist and band mate Leo Genovese, Spalding introduced free improvisation to the kids as a musical twist on Cops and Robbers. Spalding promised to follow Genovese's lead, and that the kids should clap when she caught him. "So Leo will play a phrase and maybe it's really crazy and I can't follow him and I'll go 'Awww.
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ENTERTAINMENT
April 30, 2010 | By Steve Appleford, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Hard rock thrives on conflict and chaos, and no band has found more beauty and soaring aggression within those ingredients than Deftones. The Sacramento group has operated like this for years, a functioning dysfunctional group of musicians who nearly broke apart (again) during the struggle and combat of their last album, 2006's "Saturday Night Wrist," which nonetheless ended up as another stirring fusion of atmosphere and grinding guitar. After the band finished recording, bassist Chi Cheng said at the time: "It's a really onerous, painful process … but it seems that kind of tension does make great music for us."
NATIONAL
February 19, 2010 | By Richard Fausset
He was a 53-year-old software engineer who played bass in a local band and lived what by all appearances was a quiet suburban life here with his wife, who taught piano at home, and her young daughter. But, for several decades, Joe Stack also had been battling the Internal Revenue Service -- and nursing a grudge. And on Thursday morning, he acted. After setting fire to the family home, he drove to the municipal airport, slid into the cockpit of his single-engine Piper Cherokee and took off into the clear blue sky over Austin, authorities said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
October 17, 2009 | Dennis McLellan
Dickie Peterson, the bassist and lead singer for Blue Cheer, the San Francisco power trio best known for its high-volume 1968 hit rendition of the rock 'n' roll classic "Summertime Blues," has died. He was 63. Peterson, who had prostate cancer that spread to other parts of his body, died Monday in Erkelenz, Germany, where he lived, said Ron Rainey, the band's manager. Taking its name from a potent strain of LSD -- as well as giving a nod to their love of the blues -- Blue Cheer began as a six-piece band in 1966 and downsized a year later to a trio consisting of Peterson on bass and vocals, Leigh Stephens on guitar and Paul Whaley on drums.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 24, 2009 | Keith Thursby
Larry Knechtel, a member of the 1970s soft-rock group Bread, who had a wide-ranging career as a studio musician, has died. Knechtel died Thursday at Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital in Yakima, Wash. He was 69. A hospital official would not release a cause of death, but a report in the Yakima Herald-Republic said he apparently suffered a heart attack. Knechtel played keyboards, bass guitar and harmonica as a member of the Wrecking Crew, a group of Los Angeles studio musicians that included future headliners Glen Campbell and Leon Russell and session drummer Hal Blaine.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
June 15, 2009 | Times Staff And Wire Reports
Hugh Hopper, 64, a bassist and composer for the progressive rock group Soft Machine, died of leukemia June 7 in Kent, England. After serving as the group's road manager, Hopper stepped up to offer compositions and virtuoso performances on six of the group's albums. His songs include "Facelift" and "Kings and Queens." He left the group in 1973 to pursue a variety of projects in experimental jazz and avant-garde rock. Born in Canterbury, England, on April 29, 1945, he was largely self-taught as a musician playing guitar before turning to electric bass.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 11, 2009 | Associated Press
Orlando "Cachaito" Lopez, considered the "heartbeat" of Cuba's legendary Buena Vista Social Club for his internationally acclaimed bass playing, died Monday of complications from prostate surgery, fellow musicians said. He was 76. Lopez, a founding member of the band brought together in the 1990s by American guitarist and producer Ry Cooder, died in a Havana hospital several days after surgery, said Manuel Galban, a Cuban musician who played with Lopez for decades.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 23, 2009 | Chris Barton
There may be no greater ambassador for jazz these days than L.A.'s adopted son Charlie Haden. Haden's nearly 40-year career has encompassed such genres as free jazz, Portuguese fado and vintage country -- the last of which is featured on his latest album, "Rambling Boy" -- not to mention a consistently revolving roster of sidemen and bandleaders that reads like a list from some imaginary jazz hall of fame.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2009 | Chris Barton
A marquee name on the contemporary jazz scene since winning the Thelonious Monk Institute's Jazz Saxophone Competition in 1991, Joshua Redman has played electric, acoustic, rock, funk and just about every musical style fit for a celebrated jazz saxophonist. But before his new album, "Compass," due out this week, Redman had never performed in an acoustic "double-trio" setting, an unconventional, rhythm-heavy configuration where a soloist is backed by two drummers and two bassists.
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