September 19, 2014

L.A. previews September 19-25: Angel City Jazz Fest, Roberto Miranda, Webb All-Stars, Samhain, AxS Fest, Young Sun Nah & Ulf Wakenius / Trible & Beasley, Allison Miller, Joey Sellers, Golia/Bradford/Adams, Skeletonwitch, Terry Reid, Matana Roberts.

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September 13, 2014

R.I.P.: Gerald Wilson, 1918-2014.

On September 8, Gerald Wilson, one of the most casually impressive people I ever met, went up to lead the Eternal Big Band in the Sky. He had just turned 96. Read my 2004 L.A. Weekly interview here. Read my 2012 live review here.

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August 29, 2014

Live review: Billy Higgins tribute at the Ford Amphitheater, August 24.

Happy 25th anniversary to Leimert Park's World Stage, home to music, poetry and universal artistry since its 1989 founding by Kamau Da'aood and Billy Higgins. A lot of fine performers couldn't wait to pay tribute to drum legend Higgins, who died in 2001.

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August 14, 2014

Ponderation: Pope Kumbaya wages war on the Latin Mass.

When I was an altar boy in the mid-1960s, we said the Mass in Latin and liked it. Now, Pope Francis, like Frank Sinatra, Connie Francis, Frankie Valli and Frank Zappa before him, is trying to deal tradition a mystical and musical death blow.

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August 7, 2014

Poem: "Unsaved."


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July 29, 2014

Live review: Jimmy Cliff, Shaggy, Don Carlos & the Dub Vision Band at Hollywood Bowl, July 20.

Folks who consider reggae a peaceful monolith shoulda dug this year's Reggae Night at the Bowl. The stylistic divisions ran about as harsh as the Israel-Gaza border; we half expected rocket fire.

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July 15, 2014

R.I.P.: Charlie Haden, 1937-2014.

When we saw Charlie Haden at REDCAT in December, we knew the great bassist's time with us would not be long.

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July 11, 2014

Mini-history: "Black Night," Deep Purple's soccer chant.

I nominate the song for permanent inclusion in the repertoire.

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July 3, 2014

Philosophy: Why I don't stand for the national anthem.


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June 26, 2014

Poem: "Warrior"


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