February 7, 2013
Fresh off an eclectic monthlong residency at the Blue Whale, Grammy-nominated keyboardist John Beasley leads this funk and soul-jazz-oriented trio joined by bassist Daryl Jones and drummer Ronald Bruner Jr. The trio, titled 3 Brave Souls, will be joined by a pair of vocalists in Nayanna Holley and Dwight Trible, who reliably can take any song directly into interstellar space. The Jazz Bakery at the Kirk Douglas Theatre, 9820 Washington Blvd., Culver City. Fri., 8 p.m. $25. http://www.jazzbakery.com .
January 10, 2013
Equally adept with classical and jazz, New York-based pianist Uri Caine performs with a trio that includes bassist Drew Gress and drummer Clarence Penn for a night that should be reminiscent of his celebrated Village Vanguard live recordings and his 2011 album "Siren" (which surprisingly marked his first studio recording in a trio). The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E.S. Onizuka St., Suite 301., L.A. Sat., 9 p.m. $15 http://www.bluewhalemusic.com .
January 4, 2013 |
As befits a new jazz venue, Brad Neal's RG Club in Venice is kind of an improvisatory venture. "This is so stupid, why would anyone do this," Neal joked, surveying the bright Art Deco-inspired room, which opened seven weeks ago. "I don't have any experience running a bar. I'm just a guy who loves music. " Neal's a real estate professional by day (albeit one who greets guests in a Hindu "Om" T-shirt befitting his hippie-ish home turf). But his new night job running a jazz joint might prove to be an extended solo.
December 29, 2012
Total time: 5 minutes Servings: 1 cocktail Note: Adapted from Aidan Demarest. 2 ounces vodka, preferably Stoli 1 ounce Curaçao 1/2 ounce lemon juice Ginger beer In a cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, curaçao and lemon juice. Shake and strain over ice, top with ginger beer and serve, preferably in a blue Tiki pint glass. Each serving: 232 calories ; 0 protein ; 14 grams carbohydrates ; 0 fiber ; 0 fat ; 0 cholesterol ; 12 grams sugar ; 3 mg sodium.
December 24, 2012 |
The story may be apocryphal, but according to legend (i.e. Wikipedia) the jazz pianist John Beasley put together his first drum kit at age 2, using kitchen pots and pans. History does not record the title of the debut tune that Beasley performed on his DIY percussion set (let's hope, for his parents' sake, that it didn't take place 'round midnight). But history does record that Beasley went on to write a jazz composition that landed him a scholarship at age 14; record with Miles Davis, Queen Latifah and Steely Dan, among many others; make music for TV's "Fame" and "Cheers"; contribute to film soundtracks including "The Godfather III"; and consistently craft jazz-funk-roots fusion discs that cause critics to use encomiums like, "a groove so deep you could fall right in. " Best of 2012: Movies | TV | Pop music | Jazz | Video Games | Art | Theater | Dance | Classical music So take note, jazz historians: Next month, Beasley will collaborate on four consecutive Wednesdays during a residency at the Blue Whale in downtown's Little Tokyo.
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.