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Amoeba Partners With Jazz at LACMA

Posted by Billy Gil, April 8, 2014 11:33am | Post a Comment

lacma

When the weather’s nice, L.A. becomes a great place to hear live jazz music in the outdoors.

Every Friday night at 6 p.m. from mid-April to late November, LACMA offers free jazz shows in the lawn area. Amoeba is proud to be a community sponsor of the event.

pete escovedo Pete Escovedo Latin Jazz Orchestra opens the program on Friday, April 18. Featuring legendary percussionist Pete Escovedo, who has performed with Santana, Herbie Hancock and Tito Puente, among others, the performance will pay tribute to pioneering jazz keyboardist George Duke.

The series, which features leading jazz artists from Southern California, continues with Mark Winkler and Cheryl Bentyne April 25; Russell Ferrante & Bob Mintzer Quartet  May 2 and Lesa Terry and Collective Spirit May 9. See the whole list of performers here.

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A Fantastic New Pressing of a Miles Davis Masterstroke

Posted by Rick Frystak, January 15, 2014 01:51pm | Post a Comment

Miles Dewey Davis may have been many things, but he was certainly a forward-thinking artist with an eye out for what was happening at any given time in the musical landscape, and an urge to not repeat himself in his journey toward a newer, “hipper “style, like it or not. Some, myself included, would argue this point vigorously towards various stages of his career output, especially later. This week, the formidable Impex Record company releases one of Miles’ most contemporary and timeless albums of music and cultural relevance: 1965’s “ESP”.  

 

Miles Davis Quintet

E.S.P.

Impex Records IMP 6018

180 gram LP (2014) 

 

So… Miles Davis in 1965? ‘Trane releases “A Love Supreme”, “Rubber Soul” comes out, Horowitz plays Carnagie Hall, Otis Redding , The Byrds and Bob Dylan release classic, timeless music, and new Miles Davis Quintet members Wayne  Shorter and Herbie Hancock had just presented “Speak No Evil” and “Maiden Voyage” to the universe. Miles' previous band had already left, but he had the next great quintet already assembled, Wayne being the final glorious recruit. "E.S.P." would be their first studio recording together, and what a record it turns out to be, produced by Columbia Records' A&R man Irving Townsend, he of “Kind Of Blue”, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, etc. fame. The cover features a bewildered Miles and an adorable Frances Davis, with Miles sporting quite the flummoxed facial expression. "Man, does she have 'E.S.P.'?" 

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LA Jazz Great Chico Hamilton Dies At Age 92

Posted by Billyjam, November 27, 2013 10:30am | Post a Comment

Chico Hamilton Quintet - "Blue Sands (live)"

This week the jazz world lost one of its greats when jazz drummer Chico Hamilton died Monday (November 25th) as reported yesterday by the New York Times who noted how back in the 1950's the drummer and bandleader  helped put California on the modern-jazz map, was instrumental in shaping the smooth Los Angeles modern-jazz style, and how the 92 year old Los Angeles born Hamilton, who got his start in jazz while still in his teens touring with Lionel Hampton’s big band before touring with Lena Horne’s backup band, been an original member of Gerry Mulligan’s quartet, and then forming his own highly revered cool jazz quintet, had remained musically active up until last year.

Read the full Peter Keepnews penned NYT obit here. Meanwhile, look for Chico Hamilton's music at Amoeba including such releases as budget priced Seven Classic Albums (seven LPs condensed onto 4 CDs for only $14.98 from Amoeba!), and Chico Hamilton: Man of Two Worlds - both released earlier this year, or such other Hamilton albums as Different Journey, NomadHamiltonia, Montreux Festival, The Dealer, El Chico, and The Film Music Of Chico Hamilton [Sweet Smell of Success / Repulsion]. The above clip, culled from the documentary Jazz On a Hot Summer's Day, is of the Chico Hamilton Quintet performing "Blue Sands" live while the video immediately below is of Hamilton and his quintet from the 1957 film Sweet Smell of Success

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Radio Sombra's Second Anniversary

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 18, 2013 06:31am | Post a Comment
radio sombra 2 year 
On Saturday, November 14th, Radio Sombra celebrated its second anniversary as an Internet radio station. Radio Sombra was started by Marco Amador as an important first step in creating more autonomous spaces throughout the Chicano community. Internet radio is nothing new to the world, but it’s an important first step in the advancement of communities such as Boyle Heights and East Los Angeles in looking beyond our traditional means of expression. From Radio Sombra came Espacio 1839, an art gallery/bookstore/record store/apparel shop that houses the station. Again, nothing new to most progressive communities, but Radio Sombra and Espacio 1839 has continued to flourish without corporate sponsorship, grants, and city funding or bank loans. This enables both entities to not compromise and continue defining itself.



Radio Sombra now has over twenty shows with the archives of past shows now running 24/7 in between the live shows. All radio shows pays dues for the upkeep of the station and equipment. Each show is required to run independently, with each host getting a course on how to engineer their shows and uploading them once completed on radiosombra.org. The shows vary from social/political talk shows to music shows specializing in every genre of music imaginable. There are youth programs that teach students from local high schools how to run their own shows as well as an ongoing achieve of interviews from important voices both locally and internationally.

Saturday’s broadcast was twelve straight hours of live programming. Starting at 11 am with This Is Not A Radio Show with Omar Ramirez & Gabriel Tenorio and Ending with Heartbreak Radio with Lady Imix & DJ Phatrick at 11 pm. Other shows that participated were AF3IRM Radio, an anti-imperialist transnational feminist national women’s organization. This was followed by O Lo Siento, a 90’s noise rock revival and platform for new groups personally recorded by studio engineer Eddie Rivas. Beatific Audio followed by DJ Cezar, a mixture of jazzy funk, hip-hop and social consciousness, Small Talk From Sapo is hosted by Moises Ruiz, aka Sapo, which on that day was a tribute to all the great jazz organists, all from vinyl. Steady Beat For Lovers by Mali is exactly what the name entails, a sweet blend of Rocksteady and Lover’s Rock. Nicotina hosted by Nico Avina, always plays political fueled rock and folk in Spanish and English. I did a set for Discos Inmigrantes, an all vinyl set of my favorite jams from past shows. Social Machine Broadcast with Becky & Dewey plays mostly powerful female-led rock in the first have and punk and metal in the second half. Heartbreak Radio closed it out with a set from DJ Phatrick followed by another tearjerker set by Lady Imix.

Rare Steve Lacy LP Shows Up In Hollywood

Posted by Rick Frystak, October 7, 2013 03:43pm | Post a Comment

Steve Lacy has always been one of my favorite horn players since I first hear him in the mid 70’s. He delivers a liquid, speech-like sound with his soprano saxophone which he plays exclusively.  Influenced by trad jazz players, Cecil Taylor, Thelonious Monk and Gil Evans, Mr. Lacy composes and improvises with a quirky sense of melody unlike any other player around at the time or since, and his compositions reveal his very personal way of telling his stories. His staccato yet fluid attack, and almost vibrato-less legato stands out within the history of his axe. He has made many, many records (hundreds) and almost each one has its own individual sound and ultimate expression. Straight up swing to musique concrete to free improvisation are where Steve could be found at any moment, often simultaneously. His accompanists range from sitar duos to big band improv to sax/synthesizer/ drum outings, exploring all avenues of audible art. He also made many solo concerts, with just his soprano sax perhaps speaking the musical dialog about what was shaking at the moment. These concerts and recordings are a wonderful document of this artist’s creative depth.

I am fortunate to have met Steve when I had an in-store appearance with him while I was managing Rasputin’s Jazz and Soul record store in Berkeley, California in 1981. Steve is second from left, just to my right in this photo of that day (Rick Gillman far left, Lacy, Frystak, Michael Finney far right).

A kind and soft spoken personality belied his passionate, forward surging playing style.  His many bay-area fans that day were in heaven to be near this musical icon, myself included. He played later in the evening at U.C.Berkeley to a packed house. Steve passed in 2004 at age 69 years young, and I was fortunate to see him play multiple times, always searching and swinging in whatever context he found himself in.

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