October 24, 2014

L.A. previews October 24-30: Stefon Harris, Satan, Knotfest (Danzig, Black Label, Napalm Death et al.), Jazz Funk Fest, Azar Lawrence, Terry Bozzio, Benny Maupin, Andy Milne, Nick Mancini, Ras Michael, Vardan Ovsepian, RIP Jimmy Scott.

Continue »

October 16, 2014

DVD review: Ozzy Osbourne, "Memoirs of a Madman" (Epic/Legacy)

A career obituary?

Continue »

October 8, 2014

Live review: Angel City Jazz Festival featuring Arthur Blythe tribute at Barnsdall Park, September 28.

A spectacular array of the most adventurous jazz, some guy says.

Continue »

October 2, 2014

Live review: Anthony Braxton Trio, Wadada Leo Smith Silver Orchestra at Zipper Hall, September 27 (with Vinny Golia's 2004 comments on Braxton).

You could check off some common boxes between Anthony Braxton and Wadada Leo Smith -- their longtime connection with Chicago's AACM, their passion for abstraction, the nontraditional ways they diagram their scores/structures, their rumpled-professor mode of dress. But musically, they're almost strangers.

Continue »

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.

Continue »

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.

Continue »

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.

Continue »

August 7, 2014

Poem: "Unsaved."


Continue »

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.

Continue »

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.

Continue »