Tagged: brick wahl

Tierney Sutton’s “After Blue”

When one of the world’s greatest jazz singers, Tierney Sutton, interprets one of the world’s greatest songwriters, Joni Mitchell, the result, in the case of Sutton’s new “After Blue,” is a startlingly sublime work of art. Recording for the first time in a decade without her Tierney Sutton Band mates Christian Jacob and Ray Brinker...

Tigran

For the past couple of years, musician friends of mine have been telling me about an Armenian pianist who they believe is, variously, “a freak,” “a genius,” and “the next Keith Jarrett.” Since almost nobody but the disgraced Cultural Elite know who Jarrett is, despite his nearly mythic status among jazzheads, being the next him...

The Alleged L.A. Jazz Community

Those of us who live in Los Angeles and appreciate jazz music like to think of ourselves as part of an eclectic and passionate family, an intimate clan united in our love for America’s greatest contribution to global arts. We’re part of something we call the Los Angeles Jazz Community.  The evidence, though, suggests there’s...

Astonishing Talent, Astonishing Anonymity

At the annual International Association of Jazz Educators conference, held this past weekend in New York City, one could wander through acres of hotel ballrooms filled with musicians of all ages, colors, and nationalities. And no matter what room one entered, even those chosen randomly or by mistake, one was confronted with so much talent,...

Vocalizing Versus Singing

Beautiful vocalizing is often mistaken for beautiful singing. Both sonic phenomena require the production of a ringing tone that exploits the peculiar vibration of the ligaments and muscles — the cords — at the back of the human mouth. Both require an acute sensitivity to intonation (being “in tune”). And both demand a steady flow...

The Perspective of a Tiny Jazz Record Label

I run a tiny jazz record label called FreeHam Records, which recently released new albums by Zaxariades (“Mr. Z”) and Charmaine Clamor (“Searching for the Soul”). Hundreds of individuals like me dedicate much of their life (and most of their savings!) to jazz music, with no realistic expectation that it will ever earn a penny...

Colorblind Music

No matter how insistently racism tries to insert itself into our social interactions, a few transcendent arenas remain where the truth is immune to strenuously repeated stereotypes and preconceived notions. One of these rare places is music. Either you swing or you don’t; you’ve got soul or not. There’s no faking it. Jazz and blues...

A Tale of Two Venues

Last night in Los Angeles, the Grammy awards were distributed at Staples Center, the basketball/hockey arena downtown. The vital business of marketing jesters ennobled by the moniker “musical artist” went smoothly from what I gather; the festivities were broadcast all over the world, and demure statuettes were disbursed to those who played along with the...

Smooth Jazz

You can find karaoke machines in hundreds of bars and restaurants and bowling alleys around Los Angeles, where everyone is a budding star (or at least wants to be.) You can find fewer live piano bars, where a player well-versed in the standards and Broadway show tunes accompanies enthusiasts with cabaret dreams. And even rarer...