September 18, 2011 |
Saxist Charles Owens is going blue for the senior citizens. Blue notes, blue humor. "A dirty mind is a good thing at any age," chuckled Owens, introducing a breezy R&B hip-shaker called "Funk It" at a daytime retirement-community performance in downtown Los Angeles sponsored by the Angeles Plaza Entertainment Committee. "We ain't dead yet!" Owens, 74, means to include jazz itself among the unentombed. The seniors quit text-messaging to clap rhythm in agreement, and Owens' all-ages quintet proceeded to augment standards such as "Misty" and "Take the 'A' Train" with perky Latin grooves and gutty blues, all featuring his own challenging tenor runs and atomized tones.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 10, 2005 |
In the world of guitars and guitarists, Ted Greene was a Yoda-like figure. A teacher, arranger and theoretician, Greene was "a living encyclopedia of the guitar," according to one student, with a wealth of knowledge that he passed along to students for a pittance. A shy, self-effacing man who loved guitar but loathed the limelight, Greene possessed astonishing range and style in his playing. He performed infrequently at clubs, generally venues in the San Fernando Valley.
May 3, 1998 |
Some days, trombonist Mark McGrain was so far down he couldn't get himself to crawl out of bed, let alone make his gigs. Then he injured his ankle and was afraid it might be broken. It had been several years since he left the faculty of Boston's Berklee College of Music and, with it, his health insurance. He couldn't pay a doctor. "You're very lucky if you can even eke out a hand-to-mouth existence in music these days," he said.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
August 18, 2000 |
The Romanian pan flute is an instrument most often heard in folkloric settings, rarely outside its element. In the hands of Romanian expatriate Damian Draghici, it becomes something else again. One of the world's virtuosos on his instrument, Draghici has pushed the envelope of technical aplomb, using a complex triple-tonguing method that led to his nickname, Speed of Light.
March 4, 1991 |
The CalArts Contemporary Music Festival this year may be only a faint echo of past glories, but its collective ear is clearly on the future. There was more artifice than art in the opening programs, but the technologies surveyed dazzled in their own right and hold much promise. Interactive was the word in trendy neighborhoods Friday and Saturday.
July 3, 1992 |
Wynton and Branford Marsalis are two of the most influential young musicians anywhere. But you might not have heard of Delfeayo Marsalis, unless you're a habitual reader of the fine print in CD booklets. Until now, Delfeayo Marsalis has been mainly known as a record producer who's overseen about 20 projects by such notables as his brother Branford, pianists Marcus Roberts and Kenny Kirkland and pianist-singer Harry Connick Jr.
June 14, 1988 |
The career of Mike Metheny has closely paralleled that of his brother, Pat. Like Pat, he started out on trumpet (but, unlike him, he stayed with the horn while Pat, to quote Mike, "got smart and switched to guitar, an instrument that doesn't require lips"). Like Pat, Mike was raised in Lees Summit, Mo., but wound up in Boston, playing and teaching at the Berklee College of Music.
July 31, 1992 |
A few years ago, guitarist Juan Carlos Quintero would be popping up at jazz clubs all over the Los Angeles area, earning himself a nice following but hardly a hefty bank balance. "I saturated the town, met a lot of people, and that was great," he said on the phone this week from his home in Redondo Beach. "But I also found that a lot of club owners plain didn't want to pay the band, and I couldn't accept that."
September 23, 1994 |
Leonard Geoffrey Feather, a gifted composer and producer who, in the course of his career, gained wide recognition as a jazz critic, died Thursday in Encino. He was 80. Feather, who had spent his final months completing a revision of his acclaimed "Encyclopedia of Jazz," had been undergoing treatment for pneumonia for the last six weeks. He died at Encino Hospital, where he had celebrated his birthday nine days before his death.