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.
October 11, 2012
A boisterously talented, funk-friendly trumpeter whose aptly titled new album "Artful Joy" features contributions from the Yellowjackets' Bob Mintzer and rising young vocalist Gretchen Parlato, Daversa is a talented fixture on the L.A. jazz scene. Here he celebrates his new album with a band that includes guests Renee Olstead and Katisse. The Blue Whale, 123 Astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301. L.A. Sat.-Sun., 9 p.m. $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.
July 19, 2012
MUSIC Born in Munich and educated at Boston's Berklee College of Music, New York-based guitarist Leni Stern's recent recordings are lush, deeply felt explorations of the sound of Africa colored by Stern's soulful lyrics, lightly sanded voice and dazzling instrumental prowess. The Blue Whale, 123 astronaut E S Onizuka St. Suite 301. 9 p.m. Sat. $10. http://www.bluewhalemusic.com.
June 3, 2012 |
This post has been updated. Please see the bottom for details. Declining record sales, aging audiences and the closing of legendary clubs make worrying for jazz's future an annual concern among followers of the music. A few years back one prominent writer even started a mini Twitter movement encouraging fans to use the hashtag "#jazzlives" while heading to a show in the hopes of building measurable evidence of the music's continued health. The campaign couldn't quite sustain itself, but Friday's show at the Blue Whale in Little Tokyo managed to wash the concerns away, at least for a night.
May 31, 2012
JAZZ Maybe one of the most underrated saxophonists working today, Walter Smith III has performed with Terence Blanchard, Christian Scott and Jason Moran in addition to releasing three albums as a bandleader that included the inviting 2010 album "III. " His deft interplay with rising star Ambrose Akinmusire was among the highlights of the trumpeter's celebrated 2011 album, and Akinmusire will join Smith along with two members of Kneebody in a quintet that's sure to throw sparks downtown.