You are currently browsing the category archive for the ‘Jazz Journalism’ category.
I had the pleasure of returning to the Blue Whale this weekend, this time to check out the second night of the release party for saxophonist Ben Wendel’s new CD, “Frame.” It’s a great disc, featuring some of Wendell’s stellar contemporaries such as pianist Tigran Hamasyan, drummer Nate Wood, keyboardist Gerald Clayton and bassist Ben Street. Hamasyan and Wood were on hand for this gig, along with Adam Benjamin on keyboards, Larry Koonse on guitar, and Dave Robaire on bass. Read the rest of this entry »
After a few months in Los Angeles, I am finally figuring out where the jazz is happening — it’s not like New York, where you can just see who’s playing at the Jazz Gallery or Village Vanguard on a given evening. But after digging the scene at the Blue Whale a few times — including a fantastic show by the Alan Ferber Expanded Ensemble earlier this month, which I wrote about for WBGO — I have started to get the hang of it out here.
One advantage of checking out a big band concert is that it brings a whole bunch of great players together for one evening — just following a few of them has led me to some cool gigs. One of those musicians is trombonist Joey Sellers, who also happens to have just released a fantastic solo trombone record, entitled “What The . . . ?” (Yes, a solo trombone record: that’s how much of a badass this guy is.) Read the rest of this entry »
In case you’re wondering how I’m ringing in the New Year for 2012, I have the pleasure of joining up with some of my old friends at WBGO for the annual Toast of the Nation extravaganza. The last leg of our multi-city tour features the Billy Childs Quartet from the Blue Whale in downtown Los Angeles, where I’ll be helping out with the broadcast and digging the music.
I’m not sure if the photo above captures it, but this is a seriously cool music venue. Just over two years old, it is a refreshingly up-to-date take on the jazz club concept, far from your typical dimly-lit jazz bar. I’m looking forward to checking this place out a lot in 2012 — starting with one of my favorite trombonists and UCLA alumni, Alan Ferber, next weekend.
But I’m getting ahead of myself — tune in for the broadcast tomorrow, which starts at 8 p.m. EST (5 out here on the Left Coast) with Julian Lage in Boston. Our segment from Los Angeles will run from 2 a.m. EST (11 p.m. LA time) and will count down the New Year in Pacific Time. It’s a great chance to put my radio hat back on for a couple of days — we’ll have a live chat running at the WBGO blog, so tune in and come hang: wbgo.org/toast is the address.
Happy New Year to everyone, and thanks for reading in 2011!