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December 11, 2013 | By Chris Barton
It's a grim reality, but there's one thing you don't expect from Charlie Haden on stage in 2013, and that's a lot of conversation. Stricken by post-polio syndrome since late 2010 (Haden was first diagnosed with a bulbar form of the disease around his throat and facial muscles at 15), his voice was said to be just about gone heading into a Tuesday night performance at REDCAT. The 76-year-old bassist-composer was there to conduct CalArts musicians through his work with his own socially conscious, large ensemble, the Liberation Music Orchestra.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 11, 2013 | By Chris Barton
It's a grim reality, but there's one thing you don't expect from Charlie Haden on stage in 2013, and that's a lot of conversation. Stricken by post-polio syndrome since late 2010 (Haden was first diagnosed with a bulbar form of the disease around his throat and facial muscles at 15), his voice was said to be just about gone heading into a Tuesday night performance at REDCAT. The 76-year-old bassist-composer was there to conduct CalArts musicians through his work with his own socially conscious, large ensemble, the Liberation Music Orchestra.
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ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2013 | By Chris Barton
It says something about the capacity for invention displayed by pianist Jason Moran that it was almost a disappointment to see him taking the stage Tuesday night joined "only" by his band the Bandwagon at a show presented by the Jazz Bakery. Granted, the New York City-based Moran is already appointment viewing for jazz fans given his mountains of acclaim and how rarely he ventures west (Moran performed solo at the Hammer Museum in 2011 but estimated it had been 10 years since his band last played L.A.)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 23, 2013 | By Chris Barton
If there's a broad failure to the vast majority of popular music in 2013, it's that very often nothing of consequence is being said. This is not an issue for jazz artist Christian Scott. Which isn't to say that Scott has delved into vocals or the spoken word to get his message across. Though Scott is certainly unafraid to speak his mind in interviews, his instrument remains the trumpet, which can soar, murmur or wail on his two-disc 2012 album "Christian aTunde Adjuah. " Musically referencing American xenophobia ("Jihad Joe")
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 1993 | LEONARD FEATHER
It was a measure of Joshua Redman's near-overnight popularity that Catalina was as crowded, long before showtime Monday, as it has been on some recent Saturdays. The 24-year-old tenor-sax man, with only two years of professional experience, is being hailed with so many extravagant nicknames--the Golden Horn, the new jazz messiah--that one tends to be skeptical. But the praise is warranted.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 10, 1986 | A. JAMES LISKA
The aural excitement of George Gershwin's American classic, "Rhapsody in Blue," has diminished since its 1924 premier. But at an all-Gershwin concert Saturday night at Burroughs High School in Burbank, "Rhapsody in Blue" was given a lustrous new treatment by the pianist Milco Leviev, who had beautifully arranged--recomposed, really--the piece for the 120-voice Valley Master Chorale and a jazz septet.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 23, 1991 | DON HECKMAN
Michel Petrucciani's plane didn't quite make it to LAX in time for his opening set at Catalina Bar & Grill this week--which was both good and bad. Good because Mike Garson, the pianist with Free Flight, happened to be in the audience. Bad because any reduction in Petrucciani's playing time was a loss.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 5, 1988 | ZAN STEWART
Fathers know best. At least they did Thursday at the Wiltern Theatre when the Dads, the fathers of three of the four members of the featured Flim and the BBs, took the stand and put together as much musicality on a couple of tunes as their offspring could generate in two sets. The Dads--Jack Oatts, alto sax; Bill Barber Sr.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 1987 | LEONARD FEATHER
Spike Robinson is beyond question one of a handful of contemporary giants of the tenor saxophone. Why, then, you might ask, have so few people heard of him? Why was there not a full house at Donte's on Wednesday evening? One reason is that Robinson, now in his late 50s, was virtually retired from music until a few years ago. More significantly, he lives in Boulder, Colo., and has escaped the attention of the influential but parochial New York jazz critics.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 14, 1991 | LEONARD FEATHER
Hallelujah! The Innervoices are back, which means that without checking our calendars we know that Christmas is upon us. Thursday evening in the crowded confines of At My Place in Santa Monica, these four wondrous women performed their annual yuletide show. Carmen Twillie took everyone to church with her soulful contralto. Darlene Koldenhoven's celestial soprano took us to heaven.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 8, 2013 | By Chris Barton
It says something about the capacity for invention displayed by pianist Jason Moran that it was almost a disappointment to see him taking the stage Tuesday night joined "only" by his band the Bandwagon at a show presented by the Jazz Bakery. Granted, the New York City-based Moran is already appointment viewing for jazz fans given his mountains of acclaim and how rarely he ventures west (Moran performed solo at the Hammer Museum in 2011 but estimated it had been 10 years since his band last played L.A.)
ENTERTAINMENT
April 23, 2013 | By Chris Barton
On paper, "Transcendence," the debut release by 34-year-old jazz drummer Jaimeo (pronounced jah-mayo ) Brown should not work. Primarily featuring tenor saxophonist JD Allen and guitarist Chris Sholar (who recently earned a Grammy for producing Jay-Z and Kanye West's haunting "No Church in the Wild"), Brown's band adds some wild cards in pianist Geri Allen, East Indian vocalist Falu and field recordings of the Gee's Bend singers, an Alabama quilting group who sing traditional spirituals while they work.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 12, 2013 | By Chris Barton
In the mid '90s, there weren't many safer bets on the West Coast for a raucous, funk-leaning good time than San Diego's Greyboy Allstars. Coalescing around the soul and rare groove sounds mined by the city's DJ Greyboy, the Allstars were part of a loosely defined American acid jazz scene that at various points included Soulive, Brooklyn Funk Essentials and offshoots of what became a sort of jazz-leaning instrumental "jam band" circuit. The Allstars even shifted into film work, performing music for Jake Kasdan's 1998 feature, "Zero Effect.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2013 | By Chris Barton
By nature, duet recordings are all about limitations, and an exercise in trying to say more with less. This month marked a pair of high-profile recordings between saxophone and keyboard, and the results are as distinctive as they are rewarding. Say what you will about Charles Lloyd, but the guy has exquisite taste in piano players. Over a career that began as a member of Gerald Wilson's band in the '50s, Lloyd has recorded with Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Brad Mehldau and, in an album-length pairing that coincides with Lloyd's 75th birthday, Jason Moran, who has been part of Lloyd's regular quartet for several years.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 2, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Though Ben Wendel and Dan Tepfer could be considered newcomers as compared with 75-year-old saxophone master Charles Lloyd (who also recently released a duet album, "Hagar's Song," with pianist Jason Moran), they show as much restless invention on "Small Constructions. " While still a duet, the album lives up to its name with some judicious multi-tracking, allowing Wendel (co-leader of the genre-skipping jazz-rock group Kneebody) to seamlessly switch to melodica and bassoon, such as "Still Play," the opener, and "Gratitude," which expands with a quiet grace.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 7, 2013 | By Chris Barton
Wayne Shorter Quartet “Without a Net” (Blue Note Records) Three and a half stars There's a moment during Wayne Shorter's much-anticipated new album where someone, said to be a member of the string ensemble Imani Winds, lets out maybe the most natural response to Shorter's darting soprano saxophone. “Oh my God,” she says with a touch of disbelief, and the band twists further into the hypnotic 23-minute composition “Pegasus.” It's an understandable reaction. “Without a Net” is Shorter's first album for Blue Note Records in 43 years, and it's the sort of release that seemed preordained for superlatives.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 24, 1988 | LEONARD FEATHER
"Windows on Hollywood," the series of jazz brunches co-presented by the Los Angeles Jazz Society at the Hollywood Holiday Inn on Highland Avenue, resumed Sunday with a session by the Red Callender Trio. Callender, a perennial bassist in Southland studios but also a jazzman of exceptional experience, was flanked by two other veterans, pianist Gerald Wiggins and drummer Paul Humphrey.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 13, 1986 | LEONARD FEATHER
Since a change of ownership late last year, Alfonse's, the Toluca Lake restaurant, has stepped up its music policy, which now consists of jazz seven nights a week. Tuesday the incumbents were Buddy Childers, the John Leitham Trio and the singer Diane Varga. For Childers, this was a less-than-typical setting, most of his credentials having been racked up in the trumpet sections of innumerable big bands, from Barnet and Basie to Dorsey and Goodman, not to mention seven stints with Stan Kenton.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 22, 2012 | By Randall Roberts, Los Angeles Times Pop Music Critic
Austin Peralta, the 22-year-old jazz piano prodigy, composer and son of professional skater Stacy Peralta, has died. Flying Lotus, the beat producer and labelhead who released Peralta's music, confirmed the news Thursday morning via Twitter, writing: "it kills me to type that we lost a member of our family, Austin Peralta. I don't really have the right words right now. " Peralta's cause of death has not been announced.  Peralta's recent output has ranged from collaborations on Flying Lotus' Brainfeeder Records imprint, including the pianist's 2011 album "Endless Planets," and session work for artists including Erykah Badu and the Cinematic Orchestra.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 6, 2012 | By Chris Barton
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)
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