• 12.12-13.8 Charlie Hunter Trio at the Mint

    Charlie's left handCharlie’s left hand

     

    By the time this date came around, I felt bad to nearly forgotten about Charlie Hunter trio playing in town at the Mint. By now it’s about bi-annual event that Charlie would bring his group through, once in the summer and once in the winter. I first heard about the show from Charlie’s previous trio member John Ellis a few months back. I wanted to know when John will bring his Double Wide quartet to Los Angeles. He mentioned the possibility that he might open for Charlie. I assumed this was going to happen. Then the devil of the details got in the way. I’d just have to settle with only Charlie’s trio.

    Settling isn’t an accurate term here, really. Charlie’s current trio with Erik Deutsch on organ and Tony Mason on drums certainly is a lot of music intensity. I convinced my friends Ravi Carman and Matt Cook, the Highland Parks musical residents to go with me to the first show on Friday night. It’s interesting to hear musicians’ take on Charlie. They both had never seen him before. Matt mentioned that he refused to follow Charlie’s technicality and focus only on hearing the music. I felt that I occasionally have to do that as well. It’s been said by many… that “Charlie is a freak”.

    Offstage, I hardly see Charlie exhibits any hints of anything freak-like. He often dubs himself as a “boring suburban dad”, suggesting in the subtext that my ‘inner city life’ is the more exciting? Or at least in the drama-filled sense? Talking about the mundanity of life and immediate reflections of current events is the safest for me to do around him, I think. If anything is freaky about him is his incredible wealth of music knowledge tops with how well well read he is. Ended up it seems, much like his music, I’d stick with simpler conversations instead of slip off into the depth of his thoughts. Yes, I’m a little fearful, but not because of him, but for myself to free fall into something I have no grasp on.

    Catching his shows and catching up with the latest gossips becomes mandatory for me. It’s nice to know some heroes to be inspired by.
     

    Erik

    Erik

    Charlie

    Charlie

    Tony

    Tony

    Erik

    Erik

    Charlie

    Charlie

    Charlie

    Charlie

    Tony

    Tony

    Charlie Hunter Trio at the Mint

    Charlie Hunter Trio at the Mint

    Erik

    Erik

    Tony

    Tony

    Charlie with friend

    Charlie with friend


  • 10.28.8 Scott Amendola at the Hammer museum

    Scott Amendolat with Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming CoreScott Amendola with Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core

     

    My favorite drummer friend Scott played a show at the Hammer Museum as a part of Larry Ochs Sax & Drumming Core. I took the couchsurfer Mark Stangroom with me for this treatment of improvisational music. I felt a slight reservation in imposing this on Mark on this, but how could one go wrong with introduction to any cultures? 
      

    Natsuki Tamura on trumpet.

    Natsuki Tamura on trumpet.

    Satoko Fujii (on synthesizer and piano)

    Satoko Fujii (on synthesizer and piano)

    Scott Amendola

    Scott Amendola


  • 10.21.8 Aaron Parks Quartet at the Jazz Bakery

    Aaron at the pianoAaron at the piano

     

    I try to keep an eye out for some visiting musician friends playing in town, especially the Brooklyn guys. I had on my calendar that Mike Moreno was supposed to come through. Not until the day before the gig did I look up who he was playing with. And not until after the actual show did I learn about this Aaron Parks, whose Quartet he’s a part of. On the rhythm section were Thomas Morgan on bass, and Marcus Gilmore on drums. I ran into the Jazz Cat LeRoy Downs along with Josslyn Luckett. You know you are at right place when you see them in the mix.
     

    Aaron Parks

    Aaron Parks

    Marcus Gilmore and Mike Moreno

    Marcus Gilmore and Mike Moreno

    Thomas Morgan

    Thomas Morgan

    Marcus Gilmore

    Marcus Gilmore

    Aaron showed me a notebook

    Aaron showed me a notebook

    Ruth Price queuing the band

    Ruth Price queuing the band

    Mike

    Mike

    Marcus

    Marcus

    Thomas

    Thomas

    Aaron

    Aaron

    Mike - solo

    Mike - solo

    Thomas

    Thomas

    Aaron and Mike

    Aaron and Mike


  • 9.21.8 Bill Frisell & Nels Cline at Henry Miller- Big Sur, CA

    Nels Cline and Bill Frisell - Big SurNels Cline and Bill Frisell – Big Sur

    When I heard that Nels will be playing with Bill Frisell in Big Sur , I freaked out. Luckily I could (easily) coerce my friends Phebbie and Josh to all attend as we would already be in Santa Cruz that weekend. It was, as I insisted mentally, necessary to be there – to realign the construction of our consciousness – on behalf of ourselves and as witness for humanity. What more could you dream of than being in the middle of beautiful Big Sur’s grand surrounding of giant redwoods listening to Frisell, Nels, and then BOTH? 

    Nels solo

    Nels solo

     

     

    Bill solo

    Bill solo

    Nes and Bill duo

    Nes and Bill duo

    Nels and Bill

    Nels and Bill

    Bill and Nels

    Bill and Nels

     

    Event Promoter, Producer - Ian Brennan

    Event Promoter, Producer - Ian Brennan

    David Breskin and Bill Frisell after show

    David Breskin and Bill Frisell after show

    Bill Frisell, David Breskin, Nels Cline, and Carla Bozolich

    Bill Frisell, David Breskin, Nels Cline, and Carla Bozolich


  • 9.1.8 Angel City Jazz Festival with Nels Cline Quintet

    The first annual Los Angeles’s own jazz festival lined up with local favorites of musical groups and artists alike. I was excited to go. A lot of people I adore were playing. I didn’t expect to run into so many people I used to know, sorta know, and should have already known. It was a sweet family friendly (but not in a lame way) event. 

    Well, I just failed to find any photos from this day. This is incredible. I DID take pictures, didn’t I? I know I did some footage I haven’t gotten around to editing yet. I’ll just install a placeholder here until further notice.


  • 4.19.8 Anthony Wilson at Cafe Metropol Downtown LA

    My neighbor Anthony Wilson is an established jazz guitarist. He lives just a few doors down from me, but I hardly ever see him. He’s always on tour! I finally caught up with him for a couple of songs at Cafe Metropol. This venue is a great, but funny one with their strict schedule – pulling the plug at exactly 10 pm. This, as I was told, is due to the establishment being underneath residential lofts.

    Anthony

    Anthony


  • 02.13-14.8 First New York (Brooklyn) trip to hang with John Ellis

    How excited I was to finally make the case to be in New York for the first time. John Ellis needs some publicity photos done for his upcoming new release with the Double Wide (album purchase highly recommended!) His new band consists of him on saxophone, Matt Perrine on the sousaphone, Gary Versace on organ, and Jason Marsalis on drums. That’s half New Yorkers, half New Orleaners as a band. John’s background for being from North Carolina, having lived in New Orleans, and currently residing in Brooklyn, his music showcase ALL that. I love this album so much that I would do anything to support it – including making a stop to see him in Brooklyn when I was sh*t faced broke, before I head out to Chicago for my next thing.

    John in Brooklyn Park

    John in Brooklyn Park

    John at Coney Island

    John at Coney Island

    John at the Brooklyn Park

    John at the Brooklyn Park

    John can be a clown

    John clowning around

    John at home before a gig

    John at home before a gig

     

    We ran around in the park, and hopped on the subway to Coney Island and did some few shots there. John then had to get back and prepare to go to this gig on Valentine’s day. The Gig was at the 55 Bar. I walked about a mile from the Stone to catch them here. It was a little hard to find, I kept walking passed it. 

    John's gig at the village

    Todd Sickafoose at 55 Bar

    Alan plays trombone on the gig with John

    Alan Ferber plays trombone on the same gig

    on the gig with John in the Village

    Mike Gamble

    on the same gig as John in the Village

    Adam Levy