Tagged: music

Kim Richmond’s “Artistry”

The idea has intrigued modern American composers for decades: What would happen if you mashed-up jazz with the symphonic form? Duke Ellington, Gil Evans, Vince Mendoza, and Maria Schneider have written ravishing scores in this vein. Now, the respected Los Angeles reed-man, arranger, composer and band leader Kim Richmond has released his latest masterwork, “Artistry,” a...

I Wanna Be Loved

The show is billed as “stories of Dinah Washington, Queen of the Blues.” And it is. But I Wanna Be Loved, which features all of Dinah’s hits, could just as easily be billed as “An Evening with Barbara Morrison.” L.A.’s Queen of Jazz & Blues is now confined to an electric wheelchair after diabetes-related operations. The scooter...

The Fake Gallery

Hollywood’s strange and wonderful Fake Gallery, not far from the grand gates of Paramount Studios, is a better place to visit and experience than write about. It’s a refreshingly clean space, a fertile garden where things happen: comedy, spoken word, music, art, happenings. The stench of “industry interest” is blissfully absent. At The Fake, art and...

Leaving Stress Behind

Part yoga tutorial, part Indian travelogue, Leaving Stress Behind is all good. Created by Daniel Overberger, formerly known by his death metal name “Stress,” and now a popular Hollywood yoga instructor and the front man of the Dharma Gypsies band, LSB offers a practical guide to a one-hourish Ashtanga yoga practice, with excellent illustrations and...

American Tune

We were youngsters in 1973 when Paul Simon recorded his song “American Tune,” too immature to understand the profoundity of his words, too busy listening to disposable records to grasp the greatness of his creation. The song has been covered many times subsequently, but now that Kurt Elling sings it on his new album “1619...

Harana Kings

In the old Philippines, before text messaging and Facebook, a gentleman courted a lady by serenading her at night beneath her window, a tradition called harana. Like Cuba’s “Buena Vista Social Club,” the new Harana Kings album joins seasoned veterans with young interpreters, creating music that’s simultaneously a cultrural remembrance and a fresh discovery. Guitars, light...

Speak the Truth?

Apologies in advance if this gets all Orwellian right quickly. We try hard not to sound like a nut-job or Coast-to-Coast Radio conspiracy fetishist — is that redundant? — especially when examining the lengths some folks will go to control the lives of others, but this stuff is real, man. Old George – or, Mr....

The Grand Illusion

The purpose of life is to work. The purpose of life is to play. Or, there is no purpose to life. These are schools of thought that you may or may not subscribe to. You might have been in one camp and moved to another. You may change your mind every time something good happens...

POEMJAZZ

Poet Robert Pinsky. Pianist Laurence Hobgood. Text, music, and the moment — what we hear on the new POEMJAZZ recording is two giant artists making something greater than the sum of its parts. While Pinsky recites his lovely words with his unlovely (but weirdly attractive) voice, Hobgood, the longtime arranger and accompanist for Kurt Elling,...

Encouraging Words for Despairing Artists

If you’re an artist, or have an artistic impulse, or care deeply about art, you probably experience the kind of quiet despair that I find in many of my jazz musician friends, my poet friends, my painter friends, and frequently from myself. Yes, it’s heartbreaking to be part of a culture that finds the work that...