December 20, 2012
A rising star on the jazz scene with his immersive 2011 album "Waking Dreams," vibraphonist Chris Dingman should be in exceptional form Thursday night. His ensemble also will feature some serious talent in saxophonist Walter Smith III and pianist Gerald Clayton, both of whom have released bewitching albums as bandleaders in their own right. The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., Suite 301. Thurs., 9 p.m. $10 http://www.bluewhalemusic.com.
December 6, 2012
JAZZ Spend a few hours Christmas shopping and most holiday music can sound pretty terrible, especially considering that much of it has been on loop since just after Halloween. Fortunately, there are sharp, witty thinkers like jazz drummer Matt Wilson, whose deft Christmas Tree-O specializes in smart, tastily swung reworkings of familiar holiday classics including "Winter Wonderland," "Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late)" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas," making spirits bright in the nick of time.
December 2, 2012 |
It's probably safe to assume at this point that no other band working today can offer what Kneebody delivered at the Blue Whale on Friday night. Embarking on the second of a four-night residency, the group -- forged more than 10 years ago with a popular residency at Santa Monica's Temple Bar -- can't really be considered a local band anymore, given that some of its members have relocated to the East Coast. But with a long-held habit of merging jazz with groove-heavy elements of rock and electronic music, Kneebody remains far from forgotten on the local scene, particularly as its members have gone on to shine in other projects.
November 29, 2012
Able to hopscotch between groove-heavy jazz, intricate electro-rock and worlds that seem exclusive to them, the band Kneebody returns to the Blue Whale for another multi-night residency. While each night should offer its own adventure led by the talents of saxophonist Ben Wendel, trumpeter Shane Endsley and keyboardist Adam Benjamin, Friday should offer a particularly unclassifiable treat in hearing Kneebody's nimble talents joined by DJ-producer Daedelus. 123 Astronaut E. S. Onizuka St., Suite 301. Thu.-Sun., 9 p.m. $15. http://www.bluewhalemusic.com .
November 6, 2012 |
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)
November 1, 2012
MUSIC A gifted saxophonist who has backed a variety of artists including Gretchen Parlato, Taylor Eigsti and many more, Dayna Stephens finds himself on the waiting list for a kidney transplant. To help offset his impending costs, musicians including Vardan Ovsepian, Hitomi Oba and Stephens himself in a quartet with local pianist Josh Nelson are staging this marathon benefit in Little Tokyo. (Stephens' band also performs Thursday in Toluca Lake at the United Methodist Church on Cahuenga, and proceeds from the show will also go toward his medical bills.)
October 18, 2012
Considered one of the top young talents working today, Milwaukee-born trumpeter Philip Dizack celebrates the release of his second album, "End of an Era. " Suffused with an atmospheric melancholy and occasionally dusted with lush string accompaniment (which for this show will be led by the always-great Miguel Atwood-Ferguson), Dizack sounds far more like a rich continuation of an era in jazz than anything resembling the completion of one. The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St., Suite 301. 9 p.m. Fri. $10. http://www.bluewhalemusic.com.
September 20, 2012
MUSIC The Kandinsky Effect is a young, Paris-based trio comprised of bass, drums and saxophone deliver bracing, electronically tweaked jazz reminiscent of the bent funk-rock flights of the genre-mashing Seattle band Critters Buggin. The band is launching a West Coast tour in the advance of its recently recorded sophomore album, which was produced by Kneebody's Nate Wood. The Blue Whale, 123 astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301, L.A. Fri., 9 p.m. $10. http://www.bluewhalemusic.com.
September 14, 2012 |
On "Danziger Bridge Massacre," the concluding number of Christian Scott's second 45-minute set Thursday night at the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo, the furiously gifted young jazz trumpeter let loose with exquisite howls of pain. The song's title refers to the shooting deaths of two unarmed men (one of them mentally disabled) by New Orleans cops during the chaos that engulfed the city in the days after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005. Five former officers were found guilty in the subsequent civil rights and cover-up trials and sentenced to prison.